CSI
Grissom Versus The Volcano

Episode Report Card
Sobell: D+ | Grade It Now!
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Eaten Up With Negative Feelings

The peril of recapping two separate shows which take place in Las Vegas is that occasionally, I will happen into a scene -- say, a smooth valet chatting up an attractive blonde -- and suffer some serious disorientation. Am I watching a show about intermittently crime-fighting hotel staffers who sleep with lots of people, or am I watching a show about people solving crimes, some of which take place in hotels, while only intermittently enjoying the pleasures of the flesh? The presence of neon confuses me.

Anyway, a desultory check of the TiVo tells me I'm watching CSI, and the presence of glad-handing Sheriff Xander confirms that. Apparently, he's hanging out at the "Orpheus" casino, the only place in town where the showgirls hunt you down and tear you to pieces after they've had a little too much to drink. Then someone who is about to become either a victim or a witness pulls up in his car; we know we won't be seeing him again after the credits, because it's rare for anyone who gets a few minutes of pre-credits attention to get anything other than a scene or two -- usually when they're being loaded in an ambulance or coroner's wagon -- afterward. The guy looks familiar, but I can't place him. It doesn't matter, because he's about to be blown sky-high, what with the car he's driving blowing up very dramatically. Some poor bystander also becomes a human croquette. Sheriff Xander, to his credit, does not shriek and duck during these goings-on, but gives the scene an irritated look.

When the camera cuts back to the smoking husk of the car, the fire department's dousing the flames, and one poor, charbroiled guy is getting wheeled into an ambulance. Gil and Catherine stroll through the melee, and the sheriff hones in on them with unerring accuracy: "Car bomb. Driver and valet are dead. Another valet is critical. Got at least a dozen injured. I was having dinner here -- I was on my way out. If it'd gone off a few seconds later, you'd be picking my badge up off the ground."

Either Gil's still retained the poker face he developed during his playing days, or he's sincere when he says, "Thank God you're all right."

Then Gil asks if the area has been swept for secondary bombs; the sheriff says the bomb squad took a pass through and saw nothing to get excited about, and just as Catherine blah-dee-blahs about how they're going to work the scene -- for someone who has no problem beating other people over the head with the seniority hammer, she's sure ignoring the fact that both Gil and Xander outrank her here -- there's another series of short, sharp pops. Gil tackles Catherine; S.S. Geek Love passengers across the land aren't sure whether to swoon over this matter-of-fact display of heroism or sulk over Gil tackling a non-Sara female. As the melee continues, Gil and the sheriff look around, as if to determine where the noise is coming from. Or maybe Gil's looking around for his cue to deliver the pre-credits zinger.

The Who kicks in. Looks like Gil's snappy line got blown up, huh?

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CSI

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