Episode Title: 'From This Day Forward'
Writers: Nick Santora and Seth Hoffman
Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
Previously on "Vegas:"
"From This Day Forward" was another busy episode of "Vegas" as we followed two sheriff’s department investigations, Vincent’s search for the rat inside The Savoy, Jack and Mia’s "cops and mobsters" romance, Dixon and Yvonne’s ongoing flirtation and Ralph’s visit from an old flame.
As I said last week, it’s hard to think of what kind of show "Vegas" would be if wasn’t beholden to the procedural format. That said, "From This Day Forward" managed to fill that quota while keeping the show’s serialized elements moving forward at decent clip.
When Ralph’s (Dennis Quaid) ex, Barbara Kent (Frances O'Connor) shows up in his office one morning to report a robbery, he’s immediately smitten with the woman who left him eight years earlier. Now she’s back in town and looking to reconnect with Ralph. Also she and her husband were robbed the night before, but that's not what her visit was about, as Jack (Jason O'Mara) pointed out
Though I’ve been eager to learn more about Ralph’s backstory, Barbara’s visit didn’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know. Ralph still isn't over his late wife and isn’t that interested in world travel. So Barbara left him for a wealthy man who could take on African safaris. Though she tried to tempt him, Ralph passed on hooking up with his married ex. Thankfully, Katherine (Carrie-Anne Moss) was busy getting a death threat from Vincent (Michael Chiklis) and thus we were sparred any uncomfortable introductions.
Speaking of Vincent, he made some tough calls in this episode. Exiling his wife to Chicago and lying to Rizzo (Michael Wiseman) about Mia (Sarah Jones) being the rat whose been chatting with Katherine could have some serious repercussions. Convinced Jack pushed Mia to talk to the ADA, Rizzo promised to take care of him. Problem is Vincent couldn’t get Jack on the phone to warn him. Vincent’s "enemy of my enemy" tactic is a clever one, but it has the potential to backfire. Especially if Rizzo finds out it’s Vincent wife and not Mia who ratting him out to the ADA.
It was great to see Katherine stand up to Vincent, who tried to scare her off the mob. Though she could probably put Rizzo away, ostensibly doing Vincent a favor, that’s not how the mob does things. If Rizzo is going down, it’s on Vincent’s terms. Now that he’s enlisted Jack to do it, it will be interesting to see how Mia reacts. She’s obviously got "daddy issues," blaming him for scaring off both boyfriends and potential employers. But is she willing to let him die?
As for Jack and Dixon’s investigation of a murdered divorcee, the case itself wasn’t all that interesting, but the "divorce ranch" setting sure was. These 60s-era resort-like establishments provided residence to women looking for a quick divorce; an interesting piece of Americana.
"Vegas" has had a slow start, but it’s beginning to come into its own. These last few episodes have moved away from the repetitive run-ins between Sheriff Lamb and Vincent Savino, in which they exchange niceties and talk up their turf war. Both now have their own storylines, though Ralph’s is decidedly less exciting. That’s fine, as Vincent’s troubles at The Savoy fill up a good part of each episode.
"From This Day Forward" was the kind of "Vegas" episode I’d like to see more of. The procedural element was there, but it didn’t feel burdensome or rote. That’s probably because the larger story was given so much room to develop. That and a visit to a divorce ranch made this episode a winner in my book.