Nicky smirks and heads toward the cup. When he picks it up, he sees that there's no CSI name on the evidence seal. "That's peculiar," he comments. One can only imagine how he would have commented on the black-clad figure looming behind him -- because we don't see what happens next.
Cut to a CSImobile lurching onto the same scene, sirens ablaze. Gil and Catherine get out and amble on over to where Brass is shouting harshly, "Think! Did you see anyone else?" D.A. says, "I didn't see anything, sir. I only took my eyes off him for a couple of seconds." Brass points out that D.A. shouldn't have taken his eyes off Nicky at all. Then he wheels around and tells Gil and Catherine, "He's been gone maybe 25 minutes." Catherine looks fretful, and Gil steers her over to the deserted alley. The two of them look downright parental.
But first, time to stop at the nicely-arranged entrails. Then to visit Nicky's other crime scene markers, and then to visit his vest, which is lying on the ground next to a final crime scene marker. Catherine gets all verklempt before pulling out a set of gloves and working the scene. She finds some white fibers on the vest; they smell like alcohol. Gil continues to wander around. Great -- now the black-clad guy can get him.
He notices the bagged Styrofoam cup, and Catherine comes over to ask when Gil bagged it. "I didn't," he replies. Catherine hunkers down to look at the bag and notes that it's sealed with the wrong-colored tape, and it doesn't have any CSI's initials on the top. "That's not Nick's evidence," she concludes. "Maybe it's a message," Gil responds.
The Who would like to know who wrote that last teaser line, because they've been getting weaker all season.
When we get back from commercial, we're still in Las Vegas. Only earlier. After some typical shots of the Strip -- there's a lot of neon on it, and five years is not enough time to see all of it -- we switch to someone who's monkeying with a bullet. We then cut back to a shot of Harrah's. Cut to a pair of black-gloved hands putting a bullet in a vise, then using an X-acto knife to etch an X in the top. His hand is remarkably steady for all that he's got two women whimpering in fear to distract him. The women's mouths are duct-taped, and they're bound so they're sitting back-to-back. They're also identical twins.