Gil asks about the coffee cup. Nada, zip, zilch, nunca, Sara says, but before she gets to say much, everyone's attention is diverted by Hodges' major hissy in the lobby. Wow, Liam beats him at one TV show-based game and his entire demeanor suffers. Hodges is screaming for security, the scruffy messenger is whining, "Get your freakin' hands off me, man," and as Hodges wrestles away the envelope, he shouts, "I told you, you gotta sign for that." Gil speaks for us all with: "What are you doing, Hodges?"
Hodges huffs, "The guy comes in here with a package with no return address." Not realizing that being restrained by cops is generally not a sign that anything you say will be well-received, the messenger bellows that his rights are violated and he wants a lawyer. Catherine cordially invites him to shut up. Gil is still waiting for an explanation, and Hodges quavers, "The way that guy was pawing the envelope, I figured I better get it away from him before he wipes off all the trace." Gil snaps derisively, "What trace?" Hodges is about to stroke out from his inability to get a basic idea through his colleagues' thick monkey skulls. Veins pop out on his forehead, and you can see him having an out-of-body moment before he finally responds, "It's about Nicky." Everyone comes over to stare at the envelope, which bears the Labitrail's address (3657 Westfall Ave., for the curious) and the legend "RE: STOKES." Gil stalks off to process the envelope.
By "process," he evidently means "slice open with an X-acto knife." Out pops a cassette tape and a USB flash drive. As he flashes an ALS over both, everyone hangs out in the lobby, grouped not unlike a 1980s rock album band portrait. Gil picks up the flash drive and stares at it; it has little blinky lights that flash red and green.
We transition from one of the little blinky lights to the inside of Nicky's coffin, which is still lit by the glow-stick. Nicky is only now figuring out that he's in a coffin: trying to sit up and repeatedly thumping his head don't quite do it. It takes him picking up the glow stick and surveying his space. He doesn't miss the dirt piled up all around him. Nicky's panting and getting progressively more freaked out. He finds the gun. He finds the tape recorder. He picks it up and presses play, a move that does little for his emotional equilibrium at the moment, since the message he hears is: "Hi, CSI guy. You're wondering why you're here? Because you followed the evidence. Because that's what CSIs do. So breathe quick, breathe slow, put your gun in your mouth and pull the trigger. Any way you like, you're going to die here. Okay." The full horror of the situation hits Nicky -- Oh, God, that was the guy from Mitchell! Is Joe Don Baker next? -- and he has a full-on freak-out.