Vegas Season 1 Review “Money Plays”

Vegas Money Plays

“You should touch another man’s woman as often as you touch another man’s hat.” That’s some pretty sound advice. Oh, and when Sheriff Ralph Lamb asks you to step outside and chat, it’s a bad idea to resist. Watching “Money Plays,” one thing that became immediately clear is that Vegas is indeed a western. The good guys wear the white hats; the bad guys wear the black hats; and everyone carries a shotgun. The only thing missing is a few tumbleweeds blowing across the street as the sheriff and his boys face off against the outlaw and his boys. I love westerns.

A few observations about “Money Plays”:

The new casino manager the mob sent, Mia Rizzo, looks like she’s going to create more problems than she solves. She’s got a college education and she’s the only child of a connected mob boss. That makes for a volatile situation. Whether she admits it or not, she’s got a lot to prove. She’s got to prove that she’s worthy of the position she’s been handed. She’s also got to make herself heard in an organization populated by men who need to control everything. Basically, she’s got to demonstrate that not only is she just as good as the boys; she’s better. That alone is enough to create friction between her and Savino. The fact that she (and her family) have history with him simply adds another layer to what I’m guessing will turn into a contentious relationship. She’s already started off on the wrong foot by calling her Daddy to make Savino do what she wanted done. That’s never a good way to cultivate a good working relationship with someone. The only thing that stunt accomplished was creating animosity between her and Savino. Their clash is inevitable, and I have a feeling it won’t be pretty.

I am really loving how Lamb and Savino are sizing each other up. It’s like watching two boxers dance around the ring before throwing the first punch. Savino thinks he’s pretty much got Ralph figured out. But he’s still looking for an angle that he can use against Lamb. I’m pretty sure Lamb knew from jump who and what Savino is. He’s just trying to figure out just how much of a foothold Savino has in Vegas. But I do believe the gauntlet has been thrown. Lamb has already made it clear to Savino that he’ll do whatever he feels he has to in executing his duties. He’s not going to ask Savino’s permission to question a witness; even if that witness happens to be in Savino’s casino. Savino returned the favor by showing Lamb he can get into his home. I suppose that was meant as a threat, but Lamb doesn’t strike me as a man who is easily intimidated. Their cage match should be interesting when it finally happens.

This week’s plot, while fairly predictable, was well-executed. Sheriff Lamb and Co. investigated a string of home invasions, one of which resulted in murder. At the same time, Savino and his dirty DA are trying to figure out how to permanently silence Perrin before he rats on them to the Feds. As far as the murder of the week goes, I can’t say that I saw the love triangle angle playing into the story. But it highlighted how difficult the changing times must have been for Las Vegas cowboys in the 1960’s. The casinos and their clientele didn’t have much use for ranchers. And the casinos were buying up all the land and closing down all the ranches. Essentially, they killed the cowboy way of life. It was sad in a way that a man felt like he was forced to kill, in part, because he refused to move forward with the times.

All in all this was a solid second outing for Vegas. There were a few story threads tossed out that may have enough meat on the bones to go the whole season. I’m still hoping that Katherine gets more thoroughly developed, but I haven’t totally passed judgment on her yet.

So what did you think of this week’s Vegas? Are you looking forward to Lamb putting Savino in some hot water next week?

  • I’m hoping the show takes its time in letting Lamb get the better of Savino. Having Savino appear almost untouchable builds him up as a more formidable opponent for Lamb. It also makes for a better payoff down the road when Lamb finally gets a win over Savino.

    As for Katherine O’Connell, there is tremendous potential there. At some point, she’ll have to come to the realization that her boss is on the take. If the writer’s don’t rush that story arc to an early conclusion, it could make for some interesting tension, as she would have to look for a way to do her job without him interfering on behalf of his benefactors.

    So far, VEGAS is the best new show of the season.

    •  I agree. I think Lamb and Savino are going to go back and forth a bit before Lamb finally bests him. But the bigger and badder the bad guy is, the more satisfying it is to see the good guy take him down.

      As far as Katherine goes, there is a great deal of potential there. And I really, REALLY hope TPTB don’t squander it. Fingers crossed they realize what they have and use her well.