Friends & Lovers

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Party Like It's 1995

This week's C.S.I. comes to you courtesy of several fantastic MBTVers, specifically: Stacy, who generously gave me her tape; Daveyboy, who sent a very funny recap of the first twenty minutes; and mulberry, who also gave me a fantastic summary of the episode. Thank you, all.

On with the show. And what a way to begin! A young man is barreling, naked as a baby, across the screen. Insofar as sprinting nudists go, he's not that bad. Unfortunately, his is not the frisky gambol of students blowing off steam during finals week -- which is how I saw most of my sub-four miler nekkid people -- but a panicked sprint through a dark field at night. He's looking over his shoulder, clearly terrified. We hear his raspy, fearful panting and a dull roaring sound behind him. The camera closes in on his terrified face as the roaring increases in volume...

And then we pull back to Warrick taking pictures of something in broad daylight. Gil is, as usual, crouching over a body and alerting us all to the presence of maggots. "This kid's been here a while," he says, and turns over a vaguely grayish body to reveal the naked sprinter from the paragraph above. In the cold light of day, he looks considerably less pleasant, covered as he is in maggots and other props of decay. His face is frozen into a grimace -- whether that's from rigor mortis or something that happened before, I can't tell. Gil muses, "No gunshot wounds, no stab marks, no signs of strangulation." Warrick replies, "That's a long way out in the sticks, just to drop dead." No kidding -- based on the abundant long grasses and the copse of green trees immediately behind our two desert-based coroners, I'd guess they traveled all the way out to the San Bernadino foothills one state over to check this out. Since, you know, Las Vegas is surrounded by sand and rock for miles around.

Gil tells Warrick that perhaps the naked dead ran all the way out in the sticks to his eventual death, stooping to demonstrate how he came to this conclusion by examining footprints: the left foot is normal, but the right foot is turned, which indicates he was turning as he ran. Warrick notes Gil's tracking acumen -- one of those old Wild West skills that remains relevant in the twenty-first century in a way that whalebone corset manufacture or wholesale buffalo slaughter don't -- and asks him to call it. "Fear," Gil replies, looking around the abundance of herbaceous growth not normally found anywhere within a fifty-mile radius of Vegas. "This kid was chased to death."

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