CSI
A Little Murder

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Short People Got No Reason To Kill

It's a shot of the Vegas skyline at night. Aren't you glad we're not in Miami right now? A piano tinkles poignantly as the camera pans to an empty stage, and we see a number of balloons in an oversized champagne glass, indicating that something festive and stylish may be taking place soon. One of the auditorium doors opens up, and we see a woman walking in. The woman is a Little Person -- I'm just pointing that out up front -- and she climbs onto a box to check the light board for the stage, checking assorted lighting set-ups and smiling in relief as they work. She climbs down again and walks across the stage to a red runway, checking the lighting as she goes; the camera swivels from a perspective that follows her from the back to one that shows her thoughtful face, and in the background, we can see a sign reading "International Organization of Little People Fashion." As the camera continues to pan out -- the better to get a view of the sign -- we see the silhouette of a body dangling down in front of it. The woman turns around and looks noticeably startled; to her eternal credit, she merely gasps and stares. The camera swoops up so we're watching from a perspective slightly behind and higher than the corpse, with the woman standing in the middle of a white circle on the red runway. It's a nice shot.

Cut to Sara, Gil, and Nicky walking through a crowded hotel lobby; most of the crowd tops out somewhere in the four-foot range. Sara asks, "Is this some kind...of convention?" Gil answers, "Little People convention. Every year, they come from all over the world to a designated city -- socialize, network. It's their prom, New Year's Eve, and Olympics all rolled into one." We see a little person go zooming by in his wheelchair and run right into Nicky, barking his shins. Nicky leans down and says amiably enough, "Whoa! Hey! Excuse me!" "I don't think so, Square Jaw," the man shoots back. Oh, Nicky. It's a sad state of affairs when the extras are hired to mock you. Nicky watches the guy go, wondering whether his jaw is really all that square, or more trapezoidal. Oblivious to his travails, Sara and Gil walk on, Sara asking how Gil knows about the Little People convention. Because he read the same article in Spin I did a few years ago? No, because he gets the newsletter. Of course he does.

Back at the crime scene, Captain Exposition is holding forth: "Lawrence Ames, clothing salesman from Phoenix. He's 35, four foot five inches tall. One of the convention organizers found him --" We flash to the woman we saw earlier, who's giving a statement to an officer, or, if we want to get technical, to the officer's clipboard, which is eye-level to her. She looks miserable. Brass continues, "She was checking out the stage. There's a fashion show tomorrow, if you're interested. She looked up and saw him."

Gil's been scoping out the area. Sara's planted underneath the guy, and she muses, "Guy does a suicide in a public place, he was trying to make a statement." Gil registers the ten feet of space between Lawrence's feet and the floor and says skeptically, "Suicide?" Sara counters that it's a reasonable suspicion. Poor Nicky tries to demonstrate that he's been reading up just like everyone else, but he picks the wrong thing to demo when he says, "Suicide rate in any disability group is above average." Gil issues the first Nicky-related reprimand of the episode with, "Being a dwarf doesn't mean you're disabled, Nick. It means you're short." Then, because he can't resist the opportunity to make a pun and send us into the credits rolling our eyes, Gil says, "I think we've got a little murder."

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