CSI
Hollywood Brass

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Reviving Elphelia

Bright lights! Neon! And -- surprise -- we're not in Las Vegas but in Los Angeles. More specifically, we're on Hollywood Boulevard. It's every bit as glamorous as you might think, if by "glamorous" you mean "filled with prostitutes, none of whom look at all like Julia Roberts." Anyway, we see one saucy little number go sauntering down the street, her heels striking the stars on the sidewalk just close enough for us to savor the irony -- hookers! The dark side of the L.A. dream! -- without having the estate of any featured sidewalk stars sue. The hooker meets up with a friend, and the two confirm that sometimes, it's not the best night to be in the negotiable affection business.

Anyway, that may change soon as a BMW pulls up. "My knight in shining German armor has arrived," cracks the previously perambulating hooker. The other woman's eager to get in on some hot Teutonic action, and the two girls pinky-swear on it. Then the girl leans into the window of the car. We get a shot of her from the side in full-on WhoreMart gear. Do Lucite heels really go with a black-and-red ensemble? They're clear, so I suppose in the world of hooker gear that makes them a mix-'n'-match neutral.

To make a long tracking shot short, it looks like the power of the pinky swear was no match for a one-on-one date. Better luck next time, brunette girl!

Cut to the girl telling a cop she's convinced something is wrong because "Dakota always calls me. We have a system." The cop tells her, "Go home, Jersey. Eat something for once. Get some sleep." Jersey storms off. Once outside, she rolls her eyes. Once they're settled in perpetual spin, she dials a number on her cell phone.

Surprise! Jersey the hooker is calling Brass. More disturbingly, she's calling him "Dad." Even more disturbingly, Jersey is Ellie.

The Who doesn't believe it. See what happens when you dye Ellie's hair brown and get a different actress to play her?

When we get back from commercials, Brass is flagging down some strange man in the hall. This is apparently our new sheriff. Aww, again? Las Vegas goes through sheriffs like Spinal Tap goes through drummers. This is, what, the third? Has anyone thought to investigate what happens to the previous ones? Anyway, Brass asks for family leave, and Sheriff Amiable replies, "I didn't know you had a family." Well, it's clear this guy replaced Sheriff Xander Berkeley because he was the consummate departmental man, working his way up, slogging through cases cheek-by-jowl with the cops. Or not. Brass replies, "You're new, we haven't had a chance to talk. I briefed my lieutenant on my cases. He'll cover for me the next couple of days." In addition to his people skills, the sheriff's a big proponent of flexible workplaces: "This is not a good time for family problems." "Well, duh. If it were freakin' convenient, it wouldn't be a family problem," Brass points out. Only more politely than I just did. And he finishes, "I don't normally ask for time off. I'd appreciate the courtesy here." The sheriff recognizes that he really doesn't have a choice: Brass is going, whether the entire narcotics staff is out of the office at the HIDTA conference or not. By the way, HIDTA is an acronym for "High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area." This is relevant only because it…has nothing to do with Brass's job, so why he'd be covering for the narcotics squad is kind of confusing.

Anyway, Brass departs for a road trip to L.A. He stops at a greasy spoon for breakfast and picks up a cellophane-wrapped little basket for his daughter. It's exactly the kind of sad, impersonal gift that someone gives to a recipient when they're trying not to admit how little they know the other person. The tentatively hopeful expression on Brass's face as he pays for it makes me want to cry.

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