(1.5) Cypher

(commented on by Kathryn A)


So here we encounter the mystery of how "a week" became permanent. The fanfic I've read so far on this account seems to put emphasis on the Sentinel-Guide connection, which is something I'm sceptical of - at least, on the level of "instant instinct". I'm not so sceptical of a connection developing later over time, of which at least 50% would be the friendship aspect of it anyway. But not when they first meet. So, we don't really know how or why Blair's week turned into "roommate".

This opens with the guys stuck in traffic on the way back from a (Jags) game, Jim saying they should have left early to miss the traffic, and Blair all hyper because they won. So the guys are definitely buds, even if they're not best buds yet. Note that later Blair describes Jim as his "roommate" - and Jim remarks that he's not used knocking at his own front door, so Blair can't have been living there that long.

Which reminds me - was the occasion in "The Debt" the first time Jim had come over to Blair's warehouse?

Was I seeing things, or did the loft get a coat of plaster and paint in between "The Killers" and here? Wasn't the main room bare brick before?

Susan Fraiser had tribal masks on the wall.

What are the photographs we see on the mantle later on in the loft?

I liked how, unlike all tough-guy cops in the world, Blair has a bad reaction to finding the body. He doesn't have hysterics, but he doesn't shrug it off, either.

My least favourite bit is watching Blair screw up at the church. That while trying to get Jim's attention, he gets the killer's intention instead.

The car chase that followed bored me. I don't mind car chases, but this one seemed pointless mayhem. Maybe because I knew that the bad guy got away at the end of it, I dunno.

A lot of trust issues get raised here - can Jim trust Blair? can Simon trust Blair? can Blair trust Christine? can Carolyn&Simon trust Jim's instincts?

It's fascinating that Blair actually cracks the case - and that the only person who gives him any appreciation for it is Bates/Lash.

How come they didn't notice the difference in salinity of the water sources until the third murder victim? Or maybe Susan Fraiser's bathwater was the only one which had such a noticeable difference.

Note that it is Lash that first uses the term "hairy Blairy". (Doesn't Brown turn up later and call him Hairboy?)

Jim takes a shot at Alfred's pond, though Carolyn suggests that nearby towns would be just as possible. Some fanfic writers have taken this to be uncanny instinct on Jim's part, but I just think it was logic and impatient decisiveness.

Obviously we've got missing-scene material for between the point where Jim shoots Lash, and the scene the next day. Particularly in the light of Blair's comment about what Jim said to him "last night".

Interesting that Jim is giving Blair love-life advice!

Here is the first (and only?) place in which the "Blessed Protector" is mentioned - and it is obviously done in an offhand manner, just like any of Blair's zillion anthropological anecdotes. I wonder why the fans latched on to it?


  • has a police radio and siren in his truck.
  • has a callsign of 1-zebra-1?
  • wears his gun in a holster in the small of his back.
  • thinks of finding dead bodies in terms of police work - of course! Jim calmly gives Blair a lecture in Dead Bodies 101. He's not mad at Blair about it, just calm and matter-of-fact. He doesn't provide sympathy, he thinks in terms of practicalities - that lives may depend on Blair's reactions.
  • stands up for Blair's trustworthiness in the face of suspicions that he's the leak!
  • defends Blair's continued presence to Simon.
  • works out.
  • has a beeper.
  • puts saving a life over preserving evidence.
  • has a normal freaked-out reaction to finding a dead body.
  • still obfuscates somewhat with girlfriends.
  • with all the best intentions in the world, can mess things up.
  • can also put it all the pieces together!
  • still manages to keep his head in a life-threatening crisis.
  • can tease Jim just as well as Jim teases Blair.
  • appears to be the current mouthpiece of the forensics department.
  • observes Jim using his hearing on the 911 tape.
  • gets even more of an observation of oddness with the smelling of the water sample.
  • doesn't think of Blair as one of the team. Urges Jim to "cut him loose"
  • has a callsign of zebra-1?


  • hears the dripping of the tap in the bathroom
  • hears the difference in voices between Susan Fraiser and the 911 caller
  • sees the Adam's apple on the tape (borderline use, I know)
  • smells the bird waste in the water sample.
  • hears Blair in the warehouse area
  • sees light on in warehouse
  • fights with Lash in the dim light, sees Lash's reflection in the broken glass, shoots him

Observed by:

  • Carolyn (hearing, smell)

Favourite Bits

Where Blair figures out the identity swapping thing. Love that burbling enthusiasm!

The spooky moment when Blair sees Lash dressed like himself, reflected in the taxi window.

The whole Blair-is-in-Lash's hands, gets-rescued-by Jim bit! Particularly freaky when Blair is yelling and Lash is imitating his every epithet.