'Las Vegas': Crisis management
We're dealing with the fallout from two big events this week on Las Vegas: First, the gas attack and subsequent robbery of the Montecito casino floor, and second, Cooper's firing of Sam. Which event was more devastating? That's open to debate.
I want my spoilers buried at the Montecito.
When last we saw our intrepid hero Danny, he was the last man standing -- well, the last man staggering to his knees -- when the Montecito was hit by knockout gas, and an army of thugs made off with all of the casino's money (about $30 million in all). Everyone's in damage-control mode: Cooper's brought in a disaster PR specialist (played with smarmy verve by Patrick Fabian) to get a handle on things, and the FBI, Homeland Security, and "every other federal agency with initials in their name" are sniffing around the place.
All this is supposed to keep Mike and Danny from taking things into their own hands, but do you honestly think that will stop them? Of course not! They immediately start investigating. Mike thinks Uncle Luke might be behind things. As Luke disappears, it sounds like Mike might be right -- especially when the Feds reveal that Luke was a weaponized gas specialist in the army. But Luke reappears, saying he just had to take a quick jaunt to a brothel to take the edge off. Off to jail he goes!
But then things start breaking in their favor. After visiting Luke in jail, Danny hears that suddenly, all the meth manufacturers have stopped making meth. Perhaps they're making something else? Danny and Mike investigate a likely suspect, but his trailer blows up. This would seem to be the end of the road, but Danny sees a tattoo on a firefighter's arm, and realizes that's what he saw on his assailant at the Montecito. From there, it's not much of a leap to figure out the whole fire department was involved, and to track down old friend Bob Casey, who has a bucket of money in his garage. Sweet, friendly, completely non-suspicious Bob Casey blathers a bit about taking bribes in the good old days, then pulls a gun out of the fridge and takes a shot at Danny. Of course, Luke dives in front of the bullet, and of course, he dies heroically while Danny curses the fact that he ever doubted him. Oh, the poignancy!
Less poignant, but more fun, are the continuing adventures of Sam and Cooper. Cooper tries to blackball Sam at every casino on the strip -- not very nice -- and then decides he can do her job himself. After all, how hard can it be to cater to the whims of a bunch of rich gamblers? He forgets that they're rich crazy gamblers, and that while he may be able to guess their favorite meals, he doesn't know their quirks and superstitions. Score one for Sam.
Sam herself finds a job at a sleazy, up-and-coming young-person's casino, which is all about sex and binge drinking and objectionable 80s hair metal (provided by Metal Skool, to which: Whoo!) and an even more objectionable casino owner who needs to be kicked in the head repeatedly. It's so not her idea of a good time, but she's too proud and stubborn to apologize to Cooper, and he's too proud and stubborn to apologize to her, so there she sits, surrounded by cage dancers, flinging back shots to dull the pain. It's kind of awesome. Sloppy drunk Sam is funny Sam!
Delinda gets it into her head to solve things, and just this once, the writers let her crazy idea work. She basically lies that each wants to apologize to the other, then verbally dope-slaps them and lets them talk things out over bowling. Eventually, fences are mended, balls are bowled, a coin is returned, and all is as it should be. Sam's back, and I'm much happier for it.
The C plot: A rich regular died, and he wants to be buried at the Montecito. His grieving wife has $1 million in cash to buy a place for hubby's earthly remains, so Cooper agrees to make a little memorial area in the chapel. Wifey tells Piper that she and hubby adored each other, Piper finds video surveillance that shows Hubby jumped into bed with everything that moved and is shocked, wife turns out knowing about it all and not caring, as long as she's got her own attractive ass to fondle when the urge hit. Kind of pointless, but there you go.
Thoughts and odds and ends:
- I have a couple of complaints with the gassing-of-the-casino plot. First: Every time I've been to a Vegas casino, I've seen at least half a dozen elderly people on portable oxygen supplies at various slot machines. Surely they wouldn't have been affected by the knockout gas. So does the Montecito not give senior's discounts? Or did that little fact just not work in well with the plot?
- OK, last week, two people showed up at the Montecito unexpectedly. One was a black-sheep, formerly drunken, ex-army uncle. The other was a stand-up-guy, pillar-of-the-community fire chief. So of course it was the fire chief who was the bad guy. Does no one at the Montecito know anything about TV plots? And even if they didn't, surely the fact that the ventilation system that was taken out wasn't in the original building plans, and therefore had to be scouted out recently, should have made Danny contemplate who had access to these far-flung places in the recent past. It wasn't Uncle Luke.
- Who carries a million bucks in cash into a hotel in an open bag? First of all, that must be heavy, and second of all, way to get robbed, lady!
- Ah, Piper. I want to like you, but you just never have anything real to do, do you?
- Disaster Guy's first move is to bring in Disaster Tourists, people who get a kick out of being the first rubberneckers at a scene of trauma or devastation. Um, yay?
- Our dead guy's demise: He was base jumping at Angle Falls in Venezuela. He made it. When he was returning his parachute, he got hit by an ice-cream truck." When you tell that story, perhaps you should cut out the last part. Dying in a base jumping accident? Cool, manly, tragic. Being hit by an ice cream truck while returning a parachute? Bwwah!
- The owner of Shooters (yes, it sounds like Hooters on purpose) tells Sam he's a contrarian: "If someone tells me not touch a hot stove, I will burn my hand until it's a hunk of sizzling flesh." Um, that's not being a contrarian; that's being an idiot.
- Luke tells Danny where he's been: "I went to purge the snorkel, so to speak." That's a euphemism that will haunt me for the rest of my days.