is down wit da sickness.

[These spoilers have reached pandemic level five.]

It's a dark and stormy night. Cath and Doc Robbins are unofficially out on call, examining the scene of the third undetermined death in as many weeks — if Doc doesn't find a cause, his budget may be slashed! Now there's incentive. Doc has to take a call, so Cath enters the vic's house and is promptly attacked and bitten by his mom. What did I say about zombies?

Just as promptly, Mombie Dearest collapses and dies. What happens to a budget when undetermined deaths pile up? Sure enough, Mombie turns out to be the fourth undetermined death. The first three at least had a tenuous connection: All had body modification, whether tattoos or really uncomfortable-looking subdermal beads.

Hey, whaddaya know, Ray and Nick almost immediately run across someone who knows what's up. Dr. Jack Shaw, former coroner, owns Jack's Body Shop, a tattoo place like none I've ever been in. And I have plenty of work. Seriously, who goes someplace with only red neon lighting when getting ink that lasts a lifetime?

Anyhoo, Shaw recognizes the work as one Carl van Goe, who Shaw fired for being too much of a diva artist. Van Goe isn't cooperative, and since he's been working out of his toolshed, he's under arrest.

Worse, Doc Robbins and Ray figure out what caused the death: rabies. Time for Cath to get to a hospital! Also time to research rabies, during which Ray and Nick learn there was a case… in Reno. Where Shaw was coroner. The good doctor is arrested, and his receptionist collapses.

Ray and Doc Robbins head to Reno to get an unedited version of the state's earlier rabies case, and guess what? The deceased's husband in that case was… Shaw's receptionist. But he's too dumb to be a criminal mastermind! Yeah, well, Shaw's girlfriend, a nurse at the free clinic where he volunteers, was the dead girl's mother. Geez, how did Shaw not figure any of this out, presumably after a trial and being run out of Reno?

Anyway, Shaw's innocent of everything but questionable taste, and Doc Robbins acknowledges he now owes rabies-free Catherine more than a little favor.

In the B-plot, Greg and Riley are called out to a victim who's alive and unresponsive, though not the former for long. Turns out young Kayla had been stabbed in the neck, dragged under a truck and left to bleed to death. At first it looks like her boyfriend Elvis Rodriguez is to blame, but turns out instead it was the Diet Club.

Yeah, Kayla and her friends Rhonda and Diana (who plays Mindy on "Friday Night Lights") had entered a bikini contest. Rhonda tried to sabotage Kayla, which led to a food fight during which Rhonda threw a pork chop. Pork chop stabbed Kayla in the neck, and she collapsed soon after, what with all those diet pills making her blood thin. Have fun in jail, Diet Club!

Posted by:Andy Grieser