Oh my God, Las Vegas is flooded!
I kid: we begin by zooming over what I would assume is the Atlantic Ocean as the sun is setting behind the Miami skyline. A synthesizer plays. The next Miami scene is a little less dusky. The sun, as it turns out, is actually rising, which means one of two things: either the sun comes up in the west in Miami -- something which might be plausible, if Dave Barry is to believed -- or there's another large body of water behind Miami and the camera approached from that direction. I don't know. Anyway, it's now quite sunny; the synthesizer throbs as we see a few high-rises, a stretch of straight highway leading into grassy swamplands, and the Everglades themselves. As the camera fixes on an airboat parked on the waters, two things happen -- the synthesizer switches to industrial music, signaling that this is not your father's Miami police drama, and the sun begins rising or setting again. I can't keep track. The scene falls dramatically silent as the camera slides down the boat and begins tightly focusing on the water. As a fisherman casts a fly, breaking the glassy surface, the lull is broken by the sound of a plane passing overhead. Judging by the way the fishermen's flowing manes whip in the wind, the plane is going very fast and very low. A plume of black smoke trails behind the plane as it continues to plummet; the fishermen make appropriately surprised noises as it zooms by them and crashes within eyeshot. There is a conflagration that can be directly traced back to Con Air, proving that nothing emerges from the Bruckheimer Productions machine until it can muster an explosion or two, and then the camera zooms from the incandescent fireball to the cool green waters several feet away. The waters are quickly roiled by a piece of machinery landing in them.
We then awkwardly transition to a tracking shot of grass. Lots and lots of grass. Enough to keep the people at Pottery Barn in sea-grass rug production through 2003. The camera then cuts through the grass and down a straight, narrow canal. Then, it zooms back up to produce the unnerving spectacle of David Caruso zipping sideways across the screen. We pull back to see Caruso -- or, as he's known on this show, Horatio Caine -- standing at the prow of another airboat, looking for all the world like a ship's figurehead by way of Banana Republic. We watch the boat zip around for a while, then see Caine again, who's now crouched next to Eric Delko. They zoom over to the crash site and begin expositing. Delko says, "Flight 906, outbound Miami to D.C., dropped off the radar at oh-eight-twenty. Crashed right after takeoff." Caine asks how many were on board. Delko replies, "NTSB confirms two pilots, six passengers." NTSB, for those of you playing along at home, is the National Transit Safety Board. Its role in this episode is roughly equivalent to Vera's on Cheers. Were this episode actually taking place in a world where Florida had not apparently seceded from the United States, here's what would have happened: the plane would have gone down. Someone fluent in federal regulations would have remembered 49 CFR 830 (Notification and Reporting of Aircraft Accidents or Incidents and Overdue Aircraft, and Preservation of Aircraft Wreckage, Mail Cargo, and Records), notified the conveniently located NTSB field office in Miami, Florida, given them the relevant information about the crash, then remembered that Section 10 reads, "Prior to the time the Board or its authorized representative takes custody of aircraft wreckage, mail, or cargo, such wreckage, mail, or cargo may not be disturbed or moved except to the extent necessary: