It's a beautiful day on the Vegas strip/A beautiful day on the Vegas strip/Could you be my.../Would you be my...
It's a beautiful day in the Vegas 'burbs/A beautiful day in the local park/Would you be my/Could you be my/Won't you be my victim?
That's right -- we've entered the land of make-believe, where strings throb with joy as a harp plucks harmonious notes, where happy families gambol across sun-dappled lawns while engaging in the kind of wholesome family fun that godless Mother Jones readers want to take away from America, where children chase each other as they play tag, their piping voices rising in play, where --
-- where I check just to make sure I didn't inadvertently record Touched by an Angel or 7th Heaven instead, because the laughter of children is like a dagger in me. Fortunately, shortly before insulin shock kicks in, one of the children trips on a patch of improbably bare ground, gets up, and begins screaming in pain. Now that's more like it. "The dirt burned my hands!" he hollers, and indeed, his palms are getting progressively more scarlet with each wail. This may be the first time we've witnessed wounding in real time on CSI.
Cut to night, where an EMT is wrapping the child's hands in gauze. Wuh? Night didn't just fall, it drove over a precipice at 75 MPH and landed with a thud. Why, just seconds ago it was light out and this kid was yowling and he's only now getting medical attention? As an extra kitted out in a hazardous materials suit goes by the ambulance, we see Gil, Sara, and Brass threading their way through the usual thicket of emergency service vehicles, personnel, and equipment. Gil asks, "What's hazmat doing here?" Captain Exposition replies, "Kid's playing tag, takes a header in the dirt, ends up with first-degree burns on his hands." Sara's not connecting the dots: "Wait. We got a call about a dead body." Captain Exposition, relishing the return to his rightful pre-credits spot, is not about to let someone hurry his moment. "I'm getting there," he says, then continues, "So hazmat arrives, figuring some chemical spill, starts removing the toxic soil, and bam -- a shovel slams into a shoulder blade."
We then transition rather abruptly to what is now the crime scene -- a trough in the ground, illuminated by an emergency light and ringed by hazmat workers. Sara and Gil are crouched beside the body. Sara notes that the clothing's in shreds, as is the body's epidermal tissue. Gil notes that the body's viscous fluid is the consistency of dishwashing soap -- you know, I can see where it would be handy to have ordinary objects to use as benchmarks for forensic observation, but I do have to wonder if that alters a forensic specialist's perspective on said objects, like if they inadvertently creep themselves out with the Palmolive every once in a while -- and the camera swoops up to the skull, which looks like the stunt double for that guy they dug out of the peat bog a dozen years back. Gil says, "Hazmat was right. Someone doused the body in lye." Sara theorizes that whoever did this must have thought lye would destroy the body. Gil quips, "Yeah. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust -- without the wait."