Morta Las Vegas: CSI and the Problem of the West

By Nathaniel Lewis; Stephen Tatum | Go to book overview

CONCLUSION
NIGHTHAWKS IN LAS VEGAS

The critic is not the one who debunks, but the one who assembles. The
critic is not the one who lifts the rugs from under the feet of the naïve
believers, but the one who offers the participants arenas in which to gather.

—Bruno Latour, “Matters of Fact, Matters of Concern”

“YOU PUT HIM IN THE DRYER,” SO NICK STOKES DECLARES TO ANDY JONES,
FRIEND OF THE DEAD CHASE RYAN, IN ONE OF THECSI CRIME LAB’S
INTERVIEW ROOMS DURING THE PENULTIMATE SCENE OF THE FINAL SEG-
MENT OF “4 × 4.” FOR THE MOST PART, THIS INTERVIEW SCENE DEVELOPS
IN SHOT-COUNTERSHOT FASHION AS THE CAMERA, POSITIONED SLIGHTLY
BEHIND AND ABOVE EITHER NICK’S OR ANDY’S SHOULDERS, OSCILLATES
BETWEEN THEIR GAZES AT EACH OTHER DURING THE DIALOGUE EXCHANGES.
AFTER NICK’S ACCUSATION, HOWEVER, THE PREDOMINANT USE OF MEDIUM
AND CLOSE-UP SHOTS OF THEIR UPPER BODIES OR FACES WHILE SEATED
AT THE INTERVIEW TABLE EXPANDS SO AS TO INCLUDE A VIEW OF ANDY’S
MOTHER, SEATED BESIDE HER SON, NOW BARELY ABLE TO CONTAIN HER
AGITATION AT WHAT SHE IS HEARING, FOR THE FIRST TIME, ABOUT
HER SON’S COMPLICITY IN HIS FRIEND’S DEATH. “YOU PUT YOUR BEST
FRIEND IN A DRYER AND YOU TURN IT ON AND YOU JUST WALKED AWAY?”
SHE BLURTS OUT, PUTTING TOGETHER A CONDENSED SUMMARY OF THE CASE
OF THE ABANDONED DEAD BOY ON A BUS STOP BENCH. AND THEN, SHE
DELIVERS THIS CHARGE IN THE FORM OF A QUESTION: “WHAT IS WRONG

-207-

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Morta Las Vegas: CSI and the Problem of the West
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Postwestern Horizons ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction - Morning in Las Vegas 1
  • 1 - The Problem of the Past 25
  • 2 - The Problem of Space and Place 71
  • 3 - The Problem of Aesthetics 107
  • 4 - The Problem of the [Uncanny] West 157
  • Conclusion - Nighthawks in Las Vegas 207
  • "Just Another Day in Paradise" an Envoi 237
  • Source Acknowledgments 243
  • Notes 245
  • Bibliography 261
  • Index 267
  • In the Postwestern Horizons Series 282
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