CSI
Snakes

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The Young Turks in winter

Oh, God, the B-plot. Warrick's futzing around with Vinnie's stuff when Sofia comes barreling in. She tells him that the blood on Vinnie's lapel isn't the same as Vinnie's, and it's matched to one Dax Blanchard. Dax happens to be in CODIS owing to a long-overdue law making possession of a soap opera-esque name a felony offense. Kidding! He's in there owing to an old assault and battery charge. Warrick has been looking at a piece of paper he found in Vinnie's pocket. He pulls it out, smirks slightly, and then calls Brass to deliver the following monologue:

"Congratulations, Jim Brass! You've just won one of these five amazing awards -- a trip to London, a brand-new Caddy, tennis bracelet, a plasma TV, a water purification system. Congratulations, Jim. You finally did it. Just send NZA a check for $300 to claim your prize."

I can't believe anyone stays on the phone long enough to listen to all that. Brass did, because it took him a second to figure out Warrick was pulling his leg. Warrick explains he got the pitch "from the victim's personal effects. My guess: it's the same boob who was calling Bonnie." Brass decides now is the time to go check out NZA.

If you really want an idea of what NZA is like, go rent The Prime Gig, which stars Vince Vaughn and Rory Cochrane. CSI worlds colliding! But if you'd rather not, here's a thumbnail summary: NZA is loud, it's filled with faux-affable salespeople goading folks into sending them money, and it is an excellent argument for going off the grid. We wind our way over to Dax Blanchard, who is every bit as objectionable as the name suggests. The gun he happens to be toting around doesn't do much to ingratiate him to Warrick and Brass either. It's a 9MM -- same as the one used to kill Vincent.

After they've wrenched Dax away from his mark -- I mean, customer -- we find out how his blood came to be on Vinnie's lapel: the two men brawled because Vinnie bilked Dax's grandma of all her earthly goods. Vinnie justifies this with, "Everybody we sell to is someone's grandmother," a line that makes me want to become Gramma's Phone Vigilante. I'd lurk in the shadows like Batman -- the Frank Miller-style Batman, mind you, and not the Adam West Batman -- then deliver unto Gramma-targeted telemarketers that which was coming to them. Anyway, the two men scuffled and Dax confirms that, verily, he hated Vinnie for ripping off his grandmother. Brass deadpans, "Honor among thieves?" Dax protests that his nana's in a nursing home and confined to a wheelchair. Brass hypothesizes that Dax killed Vincent because Vincent was a better salesman and "he sold your bubbe Bonnie, so you wanted him out of the way." Dax is all, "Who the hell's Bonnie?" Not his Nana, that's for sure. There goes Brass's hypothesis.

Cut to Catherine doing a science montage. She's busy trying to determine what kind of tire ran over Veronica, based on the width between the tire treads. There's some Spanish-language rap playing in the background, but the closed-caption guy has thrown up his hands in surrender. Catherine eventually determines that the tires belong to Toyo Open Country MT line.

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