Heads up, perverts -- this episode's for you. That's right -- "DUE TO MATURE THEMES, VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED." All I can say is, if trotting out the fetish du jour for sweeps ratings is what it takes to open an episode with something other than the Las Vegas strip at night, I am all for it.
This episode opens with an establishing shot of an opulent mansion somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, what with the lushly-tended grounds. Or maybe the owners are of the "obscenely conspicuous consumption" school and figure sustaining their own non-desert biome in Las Vegas is the ultimate statement about disposable income. In any event, the camera soon tracks to the inside, where we see a not-very-dressed man waddling down the hall, making all sorts of inarticulate noises.
And then we see him on the stairs outside, well below the window he had been heading toward in the last scene. His face is quite bloody; the rest of him looks like he's just been to Fantasy Sumo Camp. The CSIs are trying to work the scene while some TV reporter exposits that casino mogul Bruce Eiger has been found dead on the grounds of his palatial estate. We also establish that the sixty-year-old mogul was something of a twonk, rationalizing his poor public image with, "In Vegas, if nobody wants you dead, you're not working hard enough."
Ecklie arrives on the scene in a CrimeMobile with Gil. Oh, to have been privy to the small talk that took place on the car ride over:
Ecklie: So how's tricks?
Gil: Can't complain. Grasshopper, Adopted Son Number Three, is coming along nicely. Sofia's a pleasant dinner companion --
Ecklie: That so?
Gil: Conrad, whatever you want to say, just get it out in the open.
Ecklie: I wasn't going to say anything. I was going to ask how your loose cannon was doing now that she's been mothballed for my former second-in-command.
Gil: Come again?
Ecklie: Grissom, I am not going to enjoy solving your murder, but I am planning to enjoy anticipating it.
Gil: You've lost me.
Ecklie: Should I use smaller words? You've driven one subordinate to drink, and now you're taking out the other for dinner. If they don't kill each other, they're going to turn on you.
Gil: Conrad, do you really think everyone around here thinks with their loins?
Ecklie: Not always. But I have noticed flare-ups in November, February and May.
Anyway, the two men wander up the driveway and Ecklie asks for a rundown; Brass explains, "Wife comes home from canasta, finds him dead in the driveway. Calls 911, no signs of forced entry. The alarm was off, nothing seems to be missing, welcome to the party." Apparently, the hostess has forgotten her company manners: Catherine sees the guys show up and blusters, "What's going on? This is my scene!" Ecklie explains that the high-profile case woke up the supervisors, so "All hands on deck, Cath. Grissom's lead on this. He's the senior supervisor." Catherine smarts, "If it's all hands on deck, what are you doing behind the tape?" Ecklie tells her, "You know if I cross the tape, my name goes on the crime scene log that gets subpoenaed by the defense, and I have to testify. Juries find me reptilian and repellent. Something about an evil cackle and a deplorable tendency to twirl my moustache as I swirl my big black cape? So in the interest of keeping the conviction rate high, the DA's asked me to step off." Or something like that. Catherine smarts off by asking when the last time Ecklie testified was. Warrick looks up from the stairs he's working and bellows, "About the same time you worked a scene instead of peeing all over it to mark your territory, boss." Oh, he does not. He just works. Ecklie points out that his job is no longer to process crime scenes, but to herd all the little left-brained whiz kids who do. He points out, "I run interference for you guys, starting with the press." Thus primed for dealing with the public, Ecklie proceeds to throw meat to the hordes of reporters.