High And Low

Episode Report Card
Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
Terminal Velocity

The show opens in Vegas, which should surprise nobody at this point in its history. Someone impossibly hip is busy singing about how they woke up with a head full of snow, a phrase which is either a metaphor for modernist alienation or an allusion to some sort of controlled substance. Then we see the skater punks who are busy scraping the paint off the handrails of Las Vegas's civic accessibility ramps with their little stunts. As one guy prepares to do something that will undoubtedly leave him sterile if he screws up, the other offers encouragement via "Don't puss out on me!" When did that become acceptable to CBS's standards and practices department? And when did I become old enough to begin entertaining the opinion that network censors are too lenient? That's kind of horrifying.

However, my encroaching old age is nowhere near as horrifying as what happens onscreen, namely, a body falling from the sky and landing on the plaza by the skaters' feet. Quoth the skater: "Oh, my God." It's an appropriate sentiment; in the following shot, we see that the falling man glanced off something on his way downward, as his right side is pulverized relative to his left. A crew of paramedics is wheeling an empty stretcher away from the body; I have no doubt that it's all part of protocol to check and make sure the person's still alive, but there's something faintly ludicrous about the sight of a bunch of EMTs rolling out the stretcher, looking down, confirming that the guy is dead, and rolling the stretcher back again. As the EMTs clear the scene, Nicky and Warrick stride up. Nicky quips, "We beat Grissom here? That's a first." "Maybe for you," Warrick replies, blissfully unaware that he's talking himself into a starring role in Nicky's latest Rage Diary entry. Brass greets the boys with the cheerful news that the jumper's a John Doe. Nicky assesses the pile of broken parts John Doe is currently comprised of, and concludes, "That's the least of his problems." Nicky needs to think about the wisdom of pointing out the obvious, especially around his coworkers. Brass checks out the building -- done in a relentlessly bland civic style -- and wonders if it's a six-story building. Warrick says, "Six stories, sixty stories, it's not how you fall, it's how you land." In other words, the fall isn't what killed this guy; it was the sudden stop. Nicky notes, "If he landed headfirst, there should be more blood." Warrick adds, "And more brain matter." Just then, Gil's disembodied voice rings out: "He didn't jump." Okay -- either Gil's learned to throw his voice, he's developed long-range telepathy skills, he's been assumed into Heaven and is now solving crimes from beyond the veil (and won't Horatio be jealous?), or...wait. It's only a walkie-talkie. For what it's worth, it takes Warrick and Nicky a moment to figure out where the voice of Gil is coming from too. At least they don't check for a burning bush first.

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