Since we're now pretending that CSI does not begin with desultory shots of Las Vegas at night, the show opens with two party girls wending their way through the side streets of Las Vegas, apparently lost. How anyone can get lost in Vegas is beyond me -- point the car at the shiny lights and drive, people -- but these two have managed, which, frankly, does not provide a ringing endorsement for their mental capacity. As they're giggling about shortcuts, the car gives a sickening thump and runs over something. The brunette in the passenger seat tells her friend to stop the car. "It was just a pothole," the driver protests. "I think you hit someone," she counters. Cut to the brake lights going on.
In the next scene, the usual phalanx of accident vehicles have ringed the scene and Gil is hopping out of the CSIMobile. He walks past the party girls -- who are looking justifiably horrified -- and Sara joins him in time to hear Buzz the investigator give the exposition: "Blonde behind the wheel; girlfriend called in. Vehicular manslaughter." Um, thanks, but I like it better when Brass does it. Gil nods, looking pensive. Warrick -- who either took a separate CSIMobile or mastered the art of teleportation when nobody was looking -- is snapping pictures of the crime scene; Sara leans in and asks, "Taillight?" Yes, Sara, it is. You'd think that someone who dismantles vehicles on a regular basis would be more conversant in car parts. Gil shines his flashlight on a six-pack of "Heisler" beer and inquires, "Have you been drinking, Warrick?" No, Gil; Warrick's inappropriate behavior is confined to gambling during working hours, not consorting with call girls, or inciting cuckolded spouses to homicide. Warrick grunts in the negative: "No, man, I'm having a block party. I marked it where I found it, over in the sidewalk over there." Incidentally, that sidewalk is in Laguna Beach, California, if the websites all filling me in on the genesis of Heisler Beer are correct. Gil and Sara forego hiking to California to gaze at the sidewalk, opting instead to hover over the body on the street. Gil leans down and draws back the body's sweatshirt, then notices the tire treads arrayed perpendicularly on the body's torso. "Two distinct tire treads. One wide, one narrow," he intones, failing to add, "and how they got on the body below its layers of clothes is a mystery I will reveal only after I've made my usual attempt at pre-credits gallows humor." Sara looks at the body and drawls, "Given the extensive bruising by the wide treadmark, the victim was killed by a larger vehicle, not that compact." Gil then calls out, "I wouldn't book those suspects just yet. I think they ran over a corpse."