CSI
I-15 Murders

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Driving Me Crazy

Tonight starts off with a networking promo, complimenting C.S.I. on its Golden Globe nomination for Best Drama. I'm torn: on the one hand, yay C.S.I.! On the other -- does this mean I've lost MBTV cred since I'm recapping a show that the critics actually like?

Previously on CSI: Nicky dealt with some hooker who was stupidly smearing Scopalamine on her nipples in an effort to knock out her johns; Warrick bailed on a case with Catherine in response to his pager, thus precipitating an alpha-male showdown between Gil and his scabrous counterpart Conrad Ecklie; Gil requests of a straight-haired Sara that she furtively follow Warrick around, the better to confirm or deny Ecklie's accusations of Warrick's gambling (people, just read the last recap); Sara has a tape showing Warrick entering a casino.

Now on with the show! We open with a few scenes showing Las Vegas during the day -- first the Strip, then acres of prefab suburban houses, then a tacky little strip mall with a grocery store anchoring it. We see a nondescript woman in her forties steering a shopping cart through the pallid fluorescent aisles; one of the wheels on the shopping cart skids wildly. The camera goes all you-are-there on us, giving us first the cart's-eye view of the groceries and then the ankle view of the grocery-gathering matron. Then we hear a jar of mustard crash to the ground.

Cut to the grocery store at night, with Gil striding inside. This raises a question I've had for a while: there are an awful lot of these crimes taking place in broad daylight and not getting investigated until night falls. I can see this daylight disjunction thing being a problem in, say, Alaska in, say, February, but we're in Las Vegas a couple of latitudes down. Why? Why is the night shift investigating crimes that took place during the day? Does it really take that long to block off a crime scene and call out the troops for inspecting it? Someone on the forums please tell me.

Once Gil is in the store, Brass calls out, "Well, if it isn't the Boss himself! Where's your E-Street band?" This, faithful readers, is the first sign that someone has taken it upon themselves to mess with the series' continuity: Gil was made the head cheese (to employ a food metaphor, in keeping with the tradition on the show) some nine episodes back, and this is the first Brass has commented on it? I don't think so. My sharp forum posters already confirmed that this episode was in fact the third, which raises a series of troubling questions. Are we to assume that this episode lays to rest the whole troubling Warrick-is-back-in-casinos situation from last episode? Are we to assume that Gil and Sara's strange professional relationship will continue to progress based on whatever interactions they have tonight? Are we to continue to watch the tedious pseudo-flirtation between Sara and Nicky with the same level of disinterest, or with a whole new level of contempt now that we know he's been throwing her coquettish hand signals for far longer than we suspected? Most importantly -- what about the hair? Do I ignore all the dramatic tonsorial changes that have transpired over the course of the series? Thank you, whomever decided to play fast-and-loose with the continuity here. You're making my head hurt, and it's only 9:02.

Anyway: back to the episode. Gil blows Brass off and defangs him nicely, complaining about the increased volume of cursing he's doing now that he's running the CSI department at night. Brass plays Captain Exposition, telling us that the nice missing lady is Margaret Shorey; Margaret lives with her sister and had been at the grocery store picking up assorted victuals and analgesics, what with her sister being laid up with a broken wrist. Gil notes that Margaret's purse is still in her cart, but there's no wallet. After performing a cursory survey of the stuff in Margaret's cart -- which is really so picayune as to not merit mention even in this, the recap of the show, but goes a long way in confirming my theory that everyone at the grocery store is judging you by the contents of your cart, which is why I always overcompensate for buying a pint of Chubby Hubby by putting, like, five pounds of leaf spinach in my cart on top of it, but...well, I've really wandered off topic here and thus do not really have the time to relay the story about the time I was in Costco and all I was buying were a few cases of cat food, a few cases of Diet Coke, and a shrink-wrapped package of Lean Cuisine dinners, and the guys behind me began snickering and laying bets on the probable state of my love life while the cashier was ringing me up, therefore fueling my contention that everyone plays judgmental anthropologist when it comes to other people's groceries and...oh, look. I did tell the story. Sorry. I'm feeling digressive tonight.

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