Episode Title: '"Money Plays"
Writer: Greg Walker and Nick Santora
Director: Gary Felder
Previously on "Vegas":
After stopping a jewelry store thief, Sheriff Lamb (Dennis Quaid) is summoned by his brother, Jack (Jason O'Mara) to the home of casino employee, Wes Sutcliffe who was found dead in his living room. When he searches the man's garage, the sheriff finds Sutcliffe's girlfriend, Gloria alive in the trunk of his car. Gloria says a masked man pushed his way into the apartment when her boyfriend answered the door. He put her in the trunk and then tied up and shot Wes.
Over at The Savoy, Vincent Savino (Michael Chiklis) addresses his staff and tells them that anyone involved in Perrin's scheme should leave immediately. Several men walk out, including the count room manager, forcing Savino to wait for Chicago to send over a new one. He's surprised when the boss's daughter, Mia Rizzo (Sarah Jones) arrives. She immediately impresses him with her business savvy and Savino welcomes her aboard.
D.A. Rich Reynolds (Michael Reilly Burke) and Assistant D.A. Katherine O'Connell (Carrie-Anne Moss) meet with Bob Perrin and his lawyer. Perrin's lawyer says his client will give up Vincent Savino in order to avoid the death penalty. Later, Reynolds meets with Savino to give him the news.
When they learn that Wes Sutcliffe was involved in a backroom poker game, Sheriff Lamb and his men stop by The Savoy to question Bill Rickers, a player in the game who was charged with beating his wife. Photos show she had the same rope burns as Sutcliffe. Rickers explains that he and his wife were attacked by the same man who killed Wes. The man told Rickers not to tell the police or he'd kill him.
At The Savoy, Mia tells Savino she wants to change the "soft seventeen" rule at the Blackjack tables. When he shoots the idea down, Mia calls her father who then tells Savino to make the change. Meanwhile, the feds get involved with Perrin's case, offering him a deal to take down Savino. Anthony "Red" Cervelli (James Russo) tells Savino he'll take care of the matter. He has one of his men, "Beansy" Cota get arrested by Dixon Lamb (Taylor Handley). While in jail, he prepares to kill Perrin when he's interrupted by Lamb, who wants Cota to take the blame for wrecking a patrol car he crashed into. When Sheriff Lamb figures out what Cota was up to, he has him released to Savino, who is enraged by his man's failure to kill Perrin.
Jack suspects a security company with mob connections could have something to do with the murder case. Sheriff Lamb approaches the company owner, a man named Scarpone at a bar but he brushes him off. When the sheriff persists, Scarpone throws a glass at him. Sheriff Lamb then throws Scarpone through the front window and takes him in for questioning. Scarpone says he sold a list of clients to a gang driving an Oldsmobile with out of town plates.
Patrol locates the car outside a home off Scarpone's list. Sheriff Lamb finds the family tied up inside. A masked man emerges and shots are fired. As he's about to shoot the sheriff, Dixon shoots and kills the intruder. His brother and partner is taken in and charged with Sutcliffe's murder.
With the case solved, Reynolds tells the sheriff he wants it kept out of the press, so as not to scare tourists away. However, when Sheriff Lamb sees a picture of the knot used to tie up Wes Sutcliffe, he realizes the out of towner they have in holding couldn't have killed Sutcliffe, as he was tied up with a rancher's knot. This leads the sheriff to a new suspect, Gloria's ex-boyfriend, rancher Ted Ermin.
Sheriff Lamb tells Gloria he thinks Ermin heard about the robberies from Bill Rickers and decided to kill Wes and make it look like the crew did it. When he's brought in for questioning, Ermin denies the crime initially, but when Sheriff Lamb shows empathy for him, the rancher admits to killing Sutcliffe out of jealousy. The next day, Sheriff Lamb stops by Gloria's where she thanks him for using Wes' money to save the ranch.
That night, the feds drive through downtown Vegas with Perrin in custody when a bomb explodes, presumably killing their key witness in the case against Vincent Savino.
Much like its leading man, the newly minted Sheriff Ralph Lamb, "Vegas" is more about action than words. And by action, I mean throwing mobsters through windows and beating up would-be robbers with broom handles. In this second episode, it became clear that Chicago gangster, Vincent Savino and Sheriff Lamb won't be able to play in the same sandbox much longer.
"Vegas" has a couple things going for it, as it battles for survival among the crop of new fall shows. It's got a great cast, though how well they'll be utilized remains to be seen. Sheriff Lamb's "John Wayne" approach to law enforcement is fun to watch and totally clashes with mobster, Savino's sleazy agenda. And as procedurals go, I'll take mobsters and cowboys over cops, doctors and lawyers any day.
"Money Pays" turned up the heat on Savino, with the feds cornering a potential witness that could take down the mobster's entire operation. And the newest arrival from Chicago, the boss's daughter and new count room manager, Mia Rizzo presents another headache for Savino. She's smart, beautiful and not afraid to undermine those above her to get her way. It should be interesting to see where her loyalties really lie.
Like last week's premiere, this episode had a heightened, pulpy feel to it. At first it's almost laughable, but once you get accustomed to the tone of the show, it's actually pretty entertaining. And the aside between Sheriff Lamb and his son, after he shot a man in order to save his father's life was a nice character moment and one I didn't expect from a show that's sure to get pretty violent at times.
"Vegas" may not be the best new show of the season but so far, it's one of the more enjoyable new procedurals. It's certainly not reinventing the wheel but this newcomer is way more original and inspired than some of this season's other offerings so I can't help but root for it to get better and be given the time to do so.