You can always tell what kind of episode it’s going to be judging by how quick they show you the body. In “Killer Barbecue” it takes no time at all which tells me that they need just a bit more time for Jim and Callie alongside the murder itself. In the hard opening we get to see the body and some more wedding planning as Jim offers to pay for the dress and Callie counters with a “no thank you” and telling him she’s going to get another part-time job; not only to pay for the dress herself but to work alongside a very skilled sports surgeon, aka possibly a future kink in the wedding chain?
Once Jim arrives on scene we find out the victim is the owner of a popular barbecue chain who was found inside one of his grill rigs at a barbeque competition. With an apple in his mouth… What I like about Jim is he doesn’t take the opportunity to make a pun and put his shades on. Jim dives right into the details of the death and doesn’t lower himself to jokes about the apple. We find out the victim died of an allergic reaction and the killer was obviously making a statement with the apple. Then we meet our first suspect. The first suspect is always the first person they talk to that knew the guy and is usually always the only one that’s sad. Even if they are acting. This one is the victims personal assistant, a young blonde who seems both upset (though not terribly) and interested in whether or not she should cancel the competition, and in her asking about cancelling it she makes it sound like they really shouldn’t. This could mean nothing but you only have one person not to trust at this point.
The lighter note comes when we find out Daniel has a hobby outside of forensics, he is also apparently a barbecue enthusiast who brings all his tech smarts into the world of competition barbecue and even has his laptop running the grill and sending updates to his phone. The other cool thing is we get to meet his brother. It’s more or less just a bit of humor that brings levity to the episode. Daniel is pretty much a one-man-show and anytime we find out more about him it’s enjoyable.
Soon after that we get to meet the rest of the three suspect line-up. The second suspect is another barbecue competitor who is one of the best and is apparently so good that the victim had a restraining order brought up to keep him out of the competitions. In words that sounds like clear motivation but once you meet the guy he does a good job at coming off as completely apathetic to the victim’s decisions and feels like a true fan of the art of barbecue and does it more for the locals than the titles. I instantly wanted to drop the guy off the suspect list but I think that in itself makes you move him up more.
Finally we meet the third suspect, the victim’s own daughter who was trying to sabotage the competition in protest by putting fireworks in the competitor’s grill rigs while they were busy. That gave us a bit of a shock as we hear what sounded like gunshots coming through the phone as Daniel called Jim to tell him. Once Jim sits her down we get even more motive as she explains that the victim was a horrible father who wasted no time moving on after his wife died of cancer and even cut his daughter off from the family trust fund.
Going back to Callie and the super doctor she gets to work with we see that she is having trouble with his attitude and methods of getting her motivated. It’s really a classic set up as we see this old man likes to give her trouble from the first minute. And that comment about him possibly being a kink in the wedding chain, won’t be an issue. Callie puts him in his place which we all know is exactly what he was looking for in an assistant. So it’s no surprise when he comes back to ask for forgiveness and a second chance in that sweet-old-man kind of way.
The suspect list starts to level out as we find out the daughter has no money left, the competitor had access to the shellfish that our victim was allergic too, and the assistant puts on a show and character for starting her own line of barbecue. The episode continues to make you hungry by parading all that awesome food in front of you and in the end it was that apple that gave away the murderer.
It was a good episode for Jim and Callie because in the end there wasn’t as much concentration on them as I thought. It’s nice to see them living life as usual with all the drama seeming to have settled down. But we see the old Callie come back in the end when we realize that she’s taking on that huge workload again and spare time is sparse.