And this is my big problem with Mr. Tarantino. I can handle that he's made a career basically ripping off -- excuse me, being inspired by -- other directors' distinctive visual and narrative styles. I can handle that many of his movies are essentially collections of sets pieces. I can handle that he's over-reliant on using pop culture references as a way to infuse his work with meaning, since he's unwilling or unable to do the hard work and create that on his own. But what really makes me run cold is how Tarantino's depictions of man's inhumanity to man rarely transcend voyeurism. As depicted by him, acts of violence are just some cool shit to show because they make audience members react, and sparking any response is apparently better than striving to make a point that your audience may or may not respond to. Screw that -- if you're going to show something extreme, it should be in the service of a larger point than "I do it because I can."
Ahem. Speaking of signature Tarantino moves, here's a digression on pop culture! Gil waxes rhapsodic about the virtues of Trigger, the horse Roy Rogers rode, while Sara stands there and looks queasy at the thought of ever being hot for someone who was old enough to avidly enjoy any TV series from 1951-1957. Since this entire exchange has no relevance whatsoever to anything in the actual plot, I'm...not going to transcribe it.
And speaking of exchanges which have dubious value, it's Liam the larval CSI playing a Dukes of Hazzard board game with Hodges. Evidently, our favorite new lab tech has a long-buried passion for TV kitsch. Liam is staring at his as if he considers this a character flaw. Anyway, we play through several moves, and it's nearly quite sweet with how Hodges is all engaged in the game. But what is quite sweet is when Hodges says, "Far be it from me to wax nostalgic, but I kind of miss the old Liam. Ugly t-shirts, goofy hair, semi-pornographic magazines…" "Yeah, well at least I'm still one for three," Liam says under his mop of straightened-and-sprayed blond hair. Or maybe he merely sidesteps this probing comment by grunting, "At least I had style to change." Hodges seems a little rocked by this. So they go back to playing their silly little game and eventually Hodges comments, "By the way, this is just the work me. You haven't had the full David Hodges experience." This hits Liam like a klieg light to the face. Eyes wide, he responds, "I think I'm having it now."
And just in case we haven't established that Ecklie's a dick...well, guess what. Archie is trailing everyone's favorite bureaucrat, arguing, "You can't un-fund me now. I'm committed to presenting the paper next month." And Ecklie drawls, "If it means that much to you, pay your own way. Show a little dedication to your discipline." He's checking phone messages, so he misses Archie's elaborate eye roll. Archie replies, "Tragically, my banking account isn't as dedicated as I am." Ecklie suggests that Archie join the ranks of those who are carrying hefty balances on their credit cards. Archie grins, "How about you kick me a little overtime under the table, huh?" "Over my dead body," Ecklie replies. Well, there's your Season 6 opener. He continues, "Have you been to Grissom's office. Do you think the city of Las Vegas pays for his entomology library? His insect collection? His shrunken head collection? No. Take initiative. People notice." Archie gives him a look like, Presenting a paper in Switzerland isn't ENOUGH initiative? How about I start a shrunken head collection too? I can think of the first specimen I'd bag!