Cool Change

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Falling Fortunes

Previously on CSI: We meet Gil and Catherine, who love a good crime scene; Warrick, who loves a good bet; Brass, who loves pissing in everyone else's cornflakes; and Holly Gribbs, who's not loving anything about her new job. A young thug shooting her in the back does nothing to change her mind, but it does provide the opening premise for this episode. And now...

We open on a nighttime shot of the Stratosphere, zoom across to the Rio, and move up the strip toward the Luxor. ["Oh, that's a shout-out." -- Sars] The camera angle shifts into a typical casino -- carpet patterns that make your eyes bleed, the kind of blinking lights and electronic chirps that trigger seizures in children, and lots of slack-jawed yokels working the slot machines. A middle-aged guy with a buzz cut keeps pulling the lever on one machine with relentless precision. As he plays, a skinny woman who would have made a fine Skid Row groupie back in the day is watching the slot-monkeys play. She grabs her boyfriend's arm as he's cleaning his glasses:
"Forty million. Could you imagine?"
"It'll never happen. You gotta better chance of going to the moon."
"Hey, gimme $20."
"You got your own money."
"Yeah, but I left my purse in my room. Hurry!"

As the two of them are conducting this complex financial negotiation, the buzz-cut guy takes a drink, then walks off in defeat. He leaves his slot card -- a debit card that casinos hand out to people who don't want to haul around plastic cups full of quarters -- behind. The boyfriend walks over to the machine, inserts a $20 bill, and yanks the handle twice. The first time and second time, nothing happens. The girlfriend looks on eagerly, and Prince Charming says, "Your little premonition cost me $20. You happy now?" He gives the slot one last petulant yank, then snipes at the girlfriend, "Watch out, here come the millll-yuns!" Fortunately, she's ignoring his antics and noticing that the millions did, in fact, come. "Oh my God!" she shrieks at eardrum-splitting level. Great -- they can use some of that money to buy her elocution lessons.

Cut to a shot of Prince Charming and Skankerella holding a giant check aloft for the cameras. Both are wearing tacky t-shirts reading "Giga Million." Skankerella has not stopped shrieking; fortunately, her boyfriend is saving himself from hearing damage by ignoring her. We then see them walking down a hotel hall as a chunky security guard comments that they'll be having steak tonight. Prince Charming is holding the check in both hands; Skankerella is holding her boyfriend in both of hers. "They gave us the presidential suite," she coos, as Prince Charming fumbles with the key. "Here, Richard Gere, let me get that for you," the guard says, then ushers them in.

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