Vegas Season 1 Review “Sons of Nevada”

This episode of Vegas picked up pretty much right where the last one left off. Katherine was in still in the hospital in a coma. Ralph has been stripped of his badge and Jack has had to step up and become sheriff. Porter Gainsley made his ultimate plans clear in this episode. He doesn’t just want to own all the ranch land and all the water. He wants to own everything, and in order for him to do that he needs to get the out-of-state mob out of Las Vegas so he can own all the casinos. He doesn’t want to go into all out war with them though because he doesn’t have enough resources to do that, but he does wield enough power to make running a casino in Las Vegas an economically unappealing prospect for them. Gainsley pushed the state attorney general to basically get the gaming commission and licensing agencies to harass the mob out of town. It keeps Gainsley’s hands relatively clean and all the risk is transferred to the attorney general.

The only problem is Lamb and Savino. They put their plan in motion to kill Gainsley at the livestock auction. He would be out in the open and away from the fortress that is his ranch. They probably would’ve had him too if it weren’t for Dixon. Dixon now knows that Gainsley’s the one who killed his mother, and he put together that Ralph and Vince were going to take Gainsley out at the auction. Dixon had Gainsley in his sights, but didn’t kill him. Although Dixon messed up their original plan, Vince had another one. Unfortunately, that meant the return of Pale Creepy Assassin Guy. He seemed extra pale and, um, creepy this time around, but he did serve his purpose. He lead Gainsley and his men into a trap that Ralph and Vince had set. When Ralph had a chance to kill Gainsley, he didn’t. He arrested him and turned him over to the FBI instead. Ultimately, Ralph got his job back and, although he may have sold a little bit of his soul when he gave Savino the tapes, he still walked away with most of it in tact. Basically, Ralph and Vince live to fight another day.

Even Agent Byrne and his bad haircut proved useful this time. In the last episode, Gainsley somehow pulled some strings in DC to get Byrne a promotion so he would leave town. Naturally he was too dumb to see it, but Katherine very astutely pointed it out to him. Despite his overall smarmy attitude, he seems to really care about Katherine and he wanted to help take down Gainsley. But he wanted to act within the law. He had a few words with the attorney general about being in Gainsley’s pocket. I’m not sure how much influence that had in encouraging the AG to cut ties with Gainsley though. Shortly thereafter, some of the attorney general’s (aka Gainsley’s) men showed up to “take Jack into custody.” Byrne showed up in just enough time to save Jack’s life. He also showed up (after Ralph called him) to take Gainsley into custody. I’m still not an Agent Byrne fan, but at least he was actually helpful this time.

Just as an aside, there was a lovely moment between Jack and Dixon after Dixon confessed that as bad as he wanted to kill Gainsley, he couldn’t do it because it just wasn’t right. And Jack said that’s because that’s not the way he raised Dixon. It’s kind of easy to forget that Ralph was away at war for a long time, and Jack stepped in to be a father figure for Dixon. Much of what Dixon knows he learned from Jack. That doesn’t diminish Ralph role in any way nor does it minimize how much Ralph loves Dixon. But it does demonstrate the power of love and family. I also think it shows the growth and maturity in Dixon. It seems like in addition to what he learned from Jack, Yvonne is having a positive influence on him too. He’s changing and I like it.

I said in my review of last week’s episode that Jack didn’t understand that Mia doesn’t want to be saved from the mob. So, she bluntly told him that she didn’t want out of the mob but she did want out of their relationship. Right now, things look good for her. She’s got money, power, and prestige. Why would she want to give all that up to be a housewife? Let me be clear. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a housewife and I applaud all the women who are able to do that job. It’s not an easy one and the work is never done. But Mia is just not that type of woman. She loves Jack a great deal, and maybe she would seriously consider walking away from the mob (and everything that comes with it) for him. Assuming they would even let her. But over time, she would grow restless. Then she would become resentful of Jack for taking her away from the life she always wanted. Then she’d grow to hate him. It’s tragic, but it’s really the only way for that story to end unless Mia truly does have a change of heart.

After everything that Jack went through in this episode, he decided that life was too short for him not to marry Mia so he showed up at her apartment with a ring, got down on one knee, and asked her to marry him. Imagine his surprise when the wiener entertainment director from The Savoy strolled out of Mia’s bedroom wearing nothing but a towel. Jack got up, looked at Mia with the most heartbroken expression I’ve ever seen, tipped his hat and walked away. I felt so bad for him! He’s a really good guy and he loves Mia so much. Mia came off as callous and cruel in that scene. It was as if she didn’t even care that she had just broken Jack’s heart again. Jack has tried so hard to make their relationship work, but it seems like he’s the only one that was ever trying. Jack went all in, but she only ever put half of herself into that relationship. Although it pains me to see Jack so hurt, perhaps he’s better off in the long run. Any woman who could be that cold is probably not one that you should keep around.

Vegas has had its struggles this season, but it has turned out to be a very solid show. Every show struggles a bit during its first season to build the foundation for things to come, and sometimes those birthing pains drive viewers away. But Vegas did a pretty good job of setting up their universe and taking off running. It didn’t do this freshman show very much good to have been pre-empted so much during its first year, but if CBS will give it a chance to continue to mature, I think it’ll be alright. So what did y’all think of Vegas?