Vivi’s recap of CSI:Second Life

So a woman dies in NYC and the CSI folk have to find out who done it.  On the crime scene they find a dead chick with green hair in a futuristic looking dress who had recently had plastic surgery, knife wounds on her neck as if she had been tortured, a weird piece of wood, a plastic doll with Johnathan written on its sweater, and a tick — yes like the kind you find in the woods that eats your blood and gives you lime disease. No ID on the dead person.

At the CSI crime lab a day later it turns out someone has ID’d our victim.  The young geeky guy (YGG) at the local CSI office is a SL Resident. “Its not a game” he explains to Gary Sinise’s character.  Anyway the chick is famous in SL and is described as “the Paris Hilton of Second Life.” A bit later, Linden Lab has handed over the RL identity of this woman. We now find out the plastic surgery was done by the her when she was alive to make herself look like her SL avie so she could meet her online lover and look the same in RL. 

Her online lover turns out to be some guy named DonJuan 2-3. As he is the only lead, the good folks at CSI determine that Gary Sinise’s character (Taylor) should go to SL to question him.  So with the help of YGG, Taylor makes an avie. But he can’t go out like that — oh no — people will know he’s a newb. So *click* he’s got a new skin. *Click* he’s got new hair. *Click* he’s got new clothes. In less than 60 seconds, three clicks and without ever showing a box or an inventory he’s un-newbiefied. Taylor now goes in search of Don Juan.

How do you find someone in SL? Well you must find the White Rabbit. No I am not making this up. I couldn’t make this up. Only the writers of CSI could make this up. Honestly I expected White Rabbit by the Jefferson Airplane to come wafting out of my TV any moment. Anyway the White Rabbit knows everyone and everywhere and if you want to find someone you ask the White Rabbit. Yes they actually said that in those words. You send a “tell” to the White Rabbit to let him know you have work for him and then go to this place and wait for him to show up.

Mere moments later the Rabbit shows up. He’s human sized and white. He does know where Don Juan is! Hallelujah! He will tell them for a mere 6K linden dollars. “What is a linden dollar?” Taylor asks. It is explained, fairly well actually but its hard to screw that up, that a linden dollar is the currency in the game and it amounts to about 20 bucks. Taylor agrees to pay the White Rabbit 20 bucks but does not actually use lindex or any other form of currency exchange and you never actually see him paying the White Rabbit.

The White Rabbit force TPs them (in the CSI version there is force TPing) to Shangri-la (I *so* am not making this up — really) where they will find Don Juan and then the White Rabbit leaves because he’s late he’s late for a very important date. Ok I made the last part up — he just leaves — he doesn’t say anything about dates, important or otherwise. Into the halls of Shangri-la Taylor walks. He has the funky newbie walk too cause they forgot to buy him an AO. He finds all kinds of people and does not experience lag.  In the CSI version of SL, infinite numbers of people can be on one sim at the same time with no lag.  I want this version of SL. 

Oh, but look — there’s Don Juan! Taylor marches up to Don Juan and starts coming on to him.  But Don Juan is not gay! He flies away! (still not making stuff up!) Taylor is told he needs to be female because Don Juan is not gay. So *click* he’s a perfect female shape.  *Click* he’s got new hair. *Click* he’s got new clothes. *Click* he’s got new skin. Now he’s female.

He goes back to Shangri-la. He comes on to Don Juan. But Gary Sinise has the social skills of a slug and couldn’t get laid at Pennsic. His curly haired female partner (CHFP) says “Yo you have the social skills of a slug and couldn’t get laid at Pennsic. You better let a pro take over.” She takes over, flirts for about 5 seconds with Don Juan and whammo — Don Juan is hooked. Somewhere she got an AO because they walk off into the sunset holding hands.

Anyway there they are making goo-goo eyes at each other and the YGG turns to the CHFP and says “you keep him busy while I trace his IP”. Yes apparently in the world of CSI, anyone can trace the IP of anyone else. Lovely. So they trace the IP and find the real person behind Don Juan and track him to his comic book shop on the lower east side. Still not making shit up here. They find him but he runs! He falls! A gun falls out of his backpack! OMG no! They drag him back to the station for questioning. After a few questions its clear that a) he didn’t kill the victim; and, b) he doesn’t know she’s dead; and, c) he was in world with her mere moments ago! So why did he run? And why does he have a gun? Well he’s got a fatal form of severe MS (still not making this up!) and he bought the gun to kill himself because its a bad way to die and he thought the cops were after him because he bought the gun on the street.

The cops take the gun back to the station for a ballistics check and its not the gun that killed Paris Hilton. Oh well. Then they remember that he said he had been online with said Paris mere moments before. Back into SL they go and Taylor magically has his male avie back.  They go to this place which is like the Studio 54 of SL and everyone who is anyone goes there. But they don’t let just anyone in. They do, however, let the dead girl in because she is REALLY REALLY POPULAR and the Paris Hilton of SL. The entrance is barred! But the owner is there! He will let them in! But he has a question and a quest for them before they can enter. The owner asks the question. Gary Sinise gets the answer right! Oh happy day! And now the quest. He must fight a battle. To the death.

They enter this roman-colloseum-looking arena that has literally hundreds of people in the bleachers cheering them on (kind of like a roman galditorial bout – natch!).  Still no lag and no mention of the 40 person per sim limit.  But, hey, they left reality behind a long time ago — why start now? The owner of the venue looks like a big red demon and is floating in his special chair ala Q in the first episode of Star Trek:TNG.  The whole thing looks like it came out of WOW. Taylor must fight an orc, a demon, an undead, a big giant skeleton, some chick with futuristic armor, and some other thing… to the death. Because you can die in SL. Right.

But first, Taylor needs leet equipment. *Click* he has weapons. *Click* he has armor.

“Yo Boss” YGG says “if you go into that arena and fight, you will lose. Better let me take over. I got skillz.”

“Ok,” says Gary Sinise, “but if you lose you will lose our only lead.”

YGG says he is up to the task and takes a remote controller joystick thingy and operates it in front of a really big, man-sized screen.  He single handedly defeats all 6 or 7 foes as they were all kind enough to to wait and attack him separately.

So YGG vanquishes his foes and Taylor is on the move in the most exclusive place in SL. He finds Paris Hilton, talks to her and doesn’t let on that he knows she’s dead in RL. But wait! A miniature white rabbit (one cannot have TOO many white rabbits in their crime scene drama) walks up to Paris and says “hey you are dead in RL — why are you impersonating my friend and who the hell are you anyway?” Then the miniature white rabbit shoots Paris with a laser gun. Paris folds up into a thin beam of light and disapates into a black hole in the ground and leaves her shoes on the ground.  No I don’t know why her shoes fell off and didn’t go with the rest of her.  Well I do, actually.  Its because Gary Sinise needs a clue.  I’m really really really not making this up — I couldn’t. Its not lack of imagination, I just don’t think I could write something that has this unbelievable and convoluted a story line.  However, we are not done yet!  Oh no.  This plot has not yet begun to twist!

Back to our story.  They are able to trace the miniature white rabbit’s IP. It leads back to Don Juan!  They follow the IP to discover Don Juan shot in the head, his head resting pathetically on his laptop.

Taylor goes back into SL and inspects the shoes by picking them up off the ground and zooming in close. How he is able to do this with items belonging to another person is not explained. He finds a logo — Gearhead or something like that. Linden Lab is only too happy to supply the real life name of the owner of Gearhead. The owner of Gearhead is a nice guy who is only too happy to cooperate with the police. “Ordinarily”, he explains “he doesn’t have much cross-over rl/sl business but this chick is special as she is REALLY REALLY POPULAR and the Paris Hilton of SL.  If she wears his shoes it quadruples his business for months.” (Did I mention how I was not making any of this up?)

As it turns out, Paris was in the store mere moments ago to buy new shoes as she had left her old ones on the ground back when she turned into a beam of light so that Gary Sinise would not be left without a lead. It is revealed that someone named TCB or BCT or PCP or something like that (we’ll stick with TCB) who is a famous casanova in SL told her to go in and buy shoes on his dime. He’s so famous and such a casanova in SL that he has a line of credit at this shoe store because he tells his girlfriends to go buy shoes there — and he has a LOT of girlfriends. Yes this was actually part of the script. Anyway the plot has definitely thickened. Or been sidetracked. Or fallen into that black hole where story lines that are contrived to highlight fashionable new technology go when they die. Or something.

Somehow in all this, they figure out that the killer is a professional hit man. They do this by matching the bullet used to kill Paris and Don Juan with a bullet used to kill a judge a few years back. There’s no link between the three of them. The hit man killed the judge because it was a job, killed Paris to get her SL ID so he could meet future marks and killed Don Juan cause Don Juan was on to him. OMG. Might TCB be in danger? Could TCB be the hitman?

Taylor goes back into SL to see if he can catch the hitman whom they now know is playing Paris Hilton’s avie.  Paris takes him to her trophy hall and disappears. The trophys are pictures on the wall of all her victims. Gunshot wounds appear in the heads of people in the pictures and they start bleeding. Pretty cool actually and I could totally see how that could be scripted.

Anyway Taylor is freaking out over the bleeding pictures and Paris reappears. She drops what looks like a paper invitation or something on the floor. “Whats that?” Taylor asks of the YGG. “Its a calling card” says YGG, “people use that in SL to track each other. Pick it up, its good. No wait, don’t pick it up — it could be bad. Oh its prolly nothing, go ahead and pick it up. Eh it could be really bad maybe you better not” he says in a perfect immitation of a waffle.

You just know the calling card is going to be bad. So even though you are yelling at the TV screen — “its a trap you moron don’t pick it up!” Taylor picks up the calling card. All of a sudden a virus starts to infect CSI’s computers. What is it? Where did it come from? “I don’t know!” yells YGG excitedly, “its not coming from SL but its infecting our entire system and I can’t stop it!”

“LOG OFF! LOG OFF NOW!” yells Gary Sinise very intently. YGG logs off and CSI’s computers go black.  Mere moments later, they start investigating TCB in earnest because they now know TCB is the hitwoman’s next victim.  But first, they need their computers.  Luckily right about now and after a commercial break to trick you into thinking some time has passed, someone from the IT department lets them know its safe to use the computers again. That’s awesome as they cannot solve this particular crime without the judicious use of computers.

Well they manage to find TCB’s info but he used a bogus CC and address and whatnot. HAHAHAHAHA! Truth in advertising! Finally! I digress. He does leave a phone number and they call it and get a congressman’s office. Yes a United States Congressman.  Because this plot was so straightforward and not convoluted they just had to throw in something to give it a little twist. It turns out this guy has a SL account and meets nubile young women from SL in his NYC apt and has illicit sex with them. Off they rush to the congressman’s apt but the hitman is there. Its a woman! She has green hair! She looks like the SL avie!

She kills the congressman before they get there. Gary Sinise chases her! She runs away! She ditches the green hair! Gary Sinise looks down a garbage chute for no apparent reason. Really! He doesn’t find her!

The end.

Yes it really does abruptly end like this.  Apparently, at some point during this whole thing, you were supposed to gleam that the show actually finishes in SL or in a February episode.  I must have missed that by not paying attention to the commercials.  Bad Vivi!  Anyway lets hope the February show is more streamlined than this POS.  I find it odd this show was so bad because I have watched the Las Vegas franchise and it was pretty good.  Maybe they spent so much money on Gary Sinise they cannot afford good writers.  Ah well… This is Vivi signing off from her short career as a TV show reviewer.

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3 Comments »

  1. Casandra Shilova Said:

    Good job! It was a mess that gives a very unrealistic view of SL mechanics. But typical for SL the website for downloading the OnRez viewer for the CSI fans crashed.

    You know no one that isn’t in the SCA is going to get the Pennsic reference – good one though – had to chuckle

  2. Kit Maitland Said:

    hahaha great synopsis Viv.

    Actually the New York version has been really good…but it was clear the entire point of this epi was product placement…and it was SO weak.

    Added to that was the total suspension of realism (ironic we’re talking about ‘realism’ of a virtual world…) as far as how things work in SL.

    As I said in my blog I was disappointed they didn’t jump on the open registration policy when they had bogus subscriber info on the one guy. hahaha

    Is it wrong that when I saw the dead girl lying there I knew immediately that the dress was designed by Canimal? Yah, probably so. Heh.

  3. recentness Said:

    recentness says : I absolutely agree with this !


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