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Law and Order and Gambling

The series opens with an aerial shot of Las Vegas at night, then cuts to a hand loading bullets in a chamber of a gun. Another aerial shot -- this one of the MGM Grand - and another bullet sliding into the chamber. A third shot of the Strip, the last bullet slips into the gun's chamber, and the camera pans out to the Las Vegas suburbs as a taped message begins to play: "My name is Royce Harman. I reside at 7642 Carpenter Street, Las Vegas, Nevada. I am 41 years of age. And I'm going to kill myself. I'd like to say 'I love you' to my mother Paige and my sister Gina. I'm so sorry. I never wanted to put you through this. I just can't do it anymore. I've lost hope."

As we hear this suicide note, we see a generic-looking house -- presumably on Carpenter Street -- and the camera switches to the inside of the darkened house. Light from the street lamp below pours in as a black-clad man with a gun in his hand walks down the hall.

"I love you, Mom." And the bullet rings out.

Cut to the outside of 7642 Carpenter Street, this time with a lot of police cars and yellow tape. As an SUV pulls up, a plainclothes detective mutters, "Here comes the nerd squad."

Two not-especially-nerdy men stride by: one is squat, balding, and bitching about a promotion. The other bears a slight resemblance to a Kennedy -- perhaps the West Coast branch, where all the members spend their time surfing and grilling vegetarian kebabs out back, as opposed to the womanizing and touch-football-on-skis shenanigans the folks back east favor. Or perhaps I'm just trying to work in the trivia that William Peterson has played assorted Kennedy siblings not once, but twice. Either way -- the two men, whom we do not yet know by name, are walking by the name-callers on their way into the house.

In the next shot, they're entering the bathroom. West-Coast Kennedy -- who, for the sake of brevity, I'm just going to introduce as Gil Grissom -- is carrying a metal suitcase, the contents of which look like a pool chemistry kit on steroids. Squat-Bald-and-Bitching opines that the corpse in the bathtub became a corpse via suicide, noting that the sleeping bag and bathtub location are perfect for easy cleanup, and the bathroom's window is ajar so that the smell of putrefaction might alert the neighbors that their neighbor may be dead. What a thoughtful suicide victim.

Grissom puts on some glasses and notices...maggots! Yum. Based on the age of the pupa, he estimates the body's been deceased for a week. His boss is not impressed. "That's a maggot, and he stinks," grouses Squat-Bald-and-Bitching. Then, in the next breath, he fulfills every cop stereotype known to man by complaining about paperwork and expressing a fervent desire to grab fresh doughnuts at the Krispy Kreme. Is he going to go to the Excalibur and get his donuts at the Krispy Kreme there? Huzzah!

But wait -- sharp-eyed Grissom has stopped playing with the maggots and noticed that beneath the suicide's gun, there's a tape recorder. "I think we may have our suicide note," he says.

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