Episode Title: "All That Glitters"
Writer: Seth Hoffman
Director: Greg Beeman
Previously on "Vegas":
At The Savoy, Assistant D.A. Katherine O'Connell (Carrie-Anne Moss) tells Sheriff Lamb (Dennis Quaid) that the D.A. won't be pressing charges in the the death of Bob Perrin. Vincent Savino (Michael Chiklis walks in with his Chicago associates, who've just arrived in town. He tells his boss, Angelo (Jonathan Banks) that the casino needs an upscale restaurant to retain customers.
Back at the office, Katherine tells Sheriff Lamb that Johnny Rizzo, who has the ear of Savino's boss, was banned the casinos after he roughed up a dealer. Sheriff Lamb says he plans to have Rizzo ousted from The Savoy.
When Olympic boxer, Tommy Carrol turns up dead in the street, Sheriff Lamb and his boys investigate. A teammate of Tommy's named Ray Humphries rushes to the scene. Dixon Lamb (Taylor Handley) finds a pipe that was used to hit Tommy. This causes Ray to rush into a diner where he strangles the agent trying to sign Tommy. Sheriff Lamb chases after Ray and finds Tommy's medal on the agent.
The agent tells the sheriff that Tommy was desperate for money and sold him the medal. Afterwards, the sheriff stops by The Savoy to warn Savino about Rizzo. Instead of having him leave town, Savino sets Rizzo (Michael Wiseman) up in a suite with a room full of table games to entertain him. He tells Rizzo that he wants to ask the boss to build an arena at The Savoy and hopes Rizzo will back him. In the elevator ride down, Mia Rizzo (Sarah Jones) tells Savino she sees potential in his plans.
Tommy's trainer tells Sheriff Lamb that the boxer was on painkillers after taking a beating in a fight. Inside his locker, the sheriff finds a coat check ticket. When he retrieves the bag from the club where it was checked, Sheriff Lamb finds cash and a gun inside with a kind of code written on a piece of paper.
The sheriff talks to Ray about the gun and learns that Tommy broke his neck in his last fight. Ray tried to reason with him not to get back in the ring but Tommy wouldn't listen. Over at The Savoy, Rizzo realizes the blackjack dealer is letting him win and beats the man badly.
After learning that someone other than Tommy was to pick up the bag, Dixon waits at the club. However, someone comes for the it while he's preoccupied. Dixon arrives at the station to tell his father the bad news. The three men stare at the code, written on a blackboard and try to decipher it when the station clerk walks by and tells them it refers to the seven o'clock bus from Vegas to Tucson.
The boys rush to the terminal and soon find a woman on a bus with the bag. Afterwards, Sheriff Lamb gets a call that Rizzo is back on the floor of The Savoy. He heads over and arrests Rizzo, after an altercation.
The woman from the bus won't talk but Sheriff Lamb recognizes her from one of Tommy's fight films as the wife of his teammate. She finally opens up and says that Tommy was trying to help her get away from her abusive husband, Ronnie who was one of Tommy's teammates. Though she never told her husband about Tommy, he somehow found out and went after him. Fearing for her life, she decided to leave town as planned.
When he's taken in for questioning Ronnie says he believed his wife was sleeping with Tommy. He followed her to a meeting with Tommy and then beat him. However, the coroner's report shows that Tommy died from a heart attack, not a blow to the head. A combination of the pain killers he was on and prescription drugs were to blame.
After he's released, Rizzo appeals to his boss to have Savino ousted and Sheriff Lamb killed. Savino argues that killing another sheriff will only deter tourism. The boss sides with Savino and scolds Rizzo.
Sheriff Lamb talks to Ray again, who doesn't think Ronnie would kill his teammate. The sheriff suggests that Ray slipped Tommy some of his asthma meds to make him nauseous so he wouldn't fight. Ray owns up to it, realizing he accidentally killed his friend. The sheriff decides not to arrest Ray and gives him Tommy's medal.
At the station, Sheriff Lamb explains his decision to Katherine. Though Ray is free, Katherine presses charges against Ronnie, for assaulting Tommy with a deadly weapon.
As he prepares to leave town, Rizzo suggests to Mia that Savino won't be running The Savoy for very long.
'Vegas' improved slightly in this third installment as we got a closer look at pioneering mobster, Vincent Savino's relationship with the old guard from Chicago. While Savino has the foresight to see a Las Vegas that's more than a legal gambling ground, his partners back home are content with the status quo.
All this makes new hire, Mia Rizzo an important player in Savino's big Vegas gamble. "All That Glitters" spent some much needed time on developing the story with Savino and his Chicago overlords. Now that we have a better idea of what Savino's endgame is, (and of course, he's on the right track) he's no longer just another thuggish mobster but rather a visionary businessman. He's willing to play by the rules he and his kind have always adhered to. However, Sheriff Lamb isn't.
Aside from Lamb, Savino also came up against mob boss, Johnny Rizzo. But instead of giving us an intelligent rival with good motive to undermine Savino's plan, Rizzo's just another hot-tempered gangster who always finds a way to take accommodation as insult. Of course, there is the Mia factor which could prove interesting if she chooses to play her father and her boss against each other.
As for Sheriff Lamb, I'm still waiting to find out what happened to his wife and what, if any, romantic history he has with Katherine. So far, all we know is that he's a just man who's willing to overlook the law when his own personal ethics dictate otherwise.
That said, "Vegas" is improving. In the strictly procedural sense, the cases are sufficiently engaging and the show's setting makes for some interesting detective work from our three ranchers turned lawmen. As cowboys go, Dennis Quaid makes a great one. Just eager to find out more about him. It's too bad Carrie-Anne Moss wasn't given a better role here. A little conflict between the Assistant D.A. and the sheriff could go a long way but right now she's more of a utility character than anything else.
It's hard to be hard on "Vegas," with a such great cast (how about "Breaking Bad's" Jonathan Banks as Savino's boss in this episode?) assembled in one series, which makes me a bit of an apologist on that end. But when you're losing, you either walk away or bet even more. I'm going to go with the latter on this show in hopes it pays off soon.