CSI
Ellie

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The Bored Seed

I love Paris in the springtime, I love Vegas in the fall ... we open on the Las Vegas strip, taking in lavish shots of the Bellagio, Paris, and Aladdin exteriors, then the MGM Grand. A very nervous-looking young dark-haired guy is trying to get the attention of passersby, in a way that suggests he learned his travel manners from those Karl Malden American Express travelers checks commercials. A man and woman -- him clad in a Hawaiian shirt, her in a pink sweater-set thing that complements her blonde hair -- notice the panicky traveler and head toward him, wearing expressions of vague concern.

"You all right?" Hawaiian Shirt Guy asks Anxious Traveler. "I'm barred. I got, like, ten thousand dollars in chips, and I can not cash it [sic]," replies Anxious Traveler, his agita affecting his grasp of subject-verb agreement. He then proposes that the would-be Good Samaritans take his chips into the casino and cash them for him. Blonde Woman answers, "Sure, we can do that for you, but you don't have to keep your eye on us..." "We're honest people," Hawaiian Shirt Guy finishes. Anxious Traveler assures them he is in no way impugning their characters, but he wants a guarantee that they'll come back with his ten gees; a simple $2000 would do wonders for his peace of mind. And if they act now, he'll throw in another thousand on top of the deposit just to make nice. The couple does one of those marital mind-melds and agrees.

Cut to a cashier examining the patently false-looking chip and saying, "I'm sorry, sir, I can't cash this for you." Well, he actually could -- the cashier is series creator Anthony Zuiker, so I imagine he could do any damn thing he wants on this show. One would hope, anyway. But in CSIWorld, it's Hawaiian Shirt Guy's turn to play dismayed traveler; then he and the missus turn tail and run toward Anxious Traveler's last known location. Hey! They're at the Tropicana. I love the Trop. Anyway -- they're standing in the doorway, looking over at the Trop's capacious parking garage, when they hear the squeal of tires peeling out.

A transition later, we're at (presumably) the same parking garage, festooned with yellow police tape, and about to be graced by Gil and Brass. "The guy was running one of the oldest scams in Vegas. Would have gotten away with it too, 'til the getaway driver put a nickel in the guy's jukebox," Brass exposits. He continues, "Those are the Ortons, from Florida" -- we flash to the would-be Samaritans -- "they ID'd the deceased as the con man." Pan down to Anxious Traveler, who's looking anxious no more. He's looking pretty inert, and surrounded by hundred-dollar bills. Brass IDs the Ortons' money; Gil responds that it's evidence. We then establish that there's no surveillance in the garage, although the shape of the tire skids (banana), the fresh blood oozing from Anxious Traveler's head, and the oil slick the car left behind will certainly aid and abet the forensic treasure hunt about to commence. Sam Vega, the annoying detective from the other week, surfaces and hands over a plastic bag full of poker chips. Brass cynically notes that he hasn't seen the "chip clip" in a while. Gil declines to respond, and instead launches into the pre-credits punchline. "A striking resemblance to Judas," he muses. "How's that?" Brass helpfully supplies. Gil hits it home: "They both lost their lives over a worthless bag of chips."

Cue the credits, wherein I ignore The Who in favor of thumbing through a concordance for the listing, "Pieces of silver, thirty, as compared to chips."

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