Review of Christmas Episode of Vegas




Estinto                  Season 1, episode 10

Where Christmas comes to Vegas and everyone gets what they wished for. Well, sorta.

Welcome to our weekly recap/review of this week’s episode of Vegas. Did you bring the eggnog (hope its lots of eggnog)

Elvis is singing Blue Christmas on the soundtrack and Ralph is giving Jack a hard time about cleaning up his car.

The Savino family is going shopping. Daddy Rizzo shows up with Miss Desmond and she is sporting a big rock. She and Daddy are getting married. Daddy is hot to hit the sheets which means no Christmas dinner with Mia (who looks a bit blue). But Jack is there to take her blues away. Drink because you saw that coming!

Out in the oil field (yeah, the oil rich fields of Las Vegas, you’ve heard of them, right?) The imagery seems more to invoke the landscape of LA Confidential than 1960 Las Vegas. Anyways, the hoods are not happy with a contractor. Mickey the hood is getting in the contractor’s  (Merrick’s) face until Vince steps in to calm things down. Vince doesn’t mind the contractor padding his wallet but, horrors, in a story straight out of the Benny Siegel play book, the contractor is charging twice for the same building material. Drink if you know this connects to Del Webb in real life or if you know who is Del Webb is. Vince wants the nonsense to end. The contractor says he didn’t know that his crew was doing that!

Over at a honky tonk bar, Jack and Mia are drinking and dancing. They do make a handsome couple.

The net day on the job site, the cement mixer is jammed and in the best CSI fashion, a body falls out covered in wet cement. Drink if you knew it was the contractor before the day player said, “It’s Mr. Merrick”.

Back from commercial, we’re at the crime scene with Ralph, Jack, Dixon and Katherine and Del Merrick’s widow (nice shout out calling him Del). She’s upset, he was supposed to be honored by the Rotary Club later that afternoon. Katherine calls it a mob hit.  One of Del’s men tells Ralph about the hoods, including Vince, who showed up to talk to Merrick.

Over at the Savoy, Miss Desmond wants to talk to Vince. She’s down to her lingerie and making moves on Vince. He tells her to seek employment else where. They get a little physical and he tells her to take her problems to Daddy Rizzo.

Dixon is upset there is no Christmas Eve party because it is against the regulations. Vince shows up and is not happy about his construction permit being pulled. Holy crap, Dennis Quaid smiles again!!! DRINK!!! He smiles again!! Drink! Vince is also complaining about stealing merchandise from his hotel. Ralph sends Dixon to check the thefts out. Dixon is not happy which is weird because he loves being around show girls.

At the corner’s office, seems Merrick was beat and then chocked and ultimately knived with a serrated blade. Doesn’t sound like a mob hit. The widow Merrick shows up and says the big scar was from a crane! The Lamb brothers don’t buy it. Seems someone tried to kill Merrick before.

At the Savoy, Dixon offers to go undercover as a waiter. We learn that Dixon is chafing under Ralph’s way of sheriffing. Are you surprised.

At the Sheriff’s Office, Miss Desmond’s work card application was denied because of narco charges by the feds. No work card for her. Miss Sanchez gets to call the Savoy and tell them Miss Desmond won’t be singing.

The Lamb brothers go to question a suspect and he attacks them. Seems Merrick killed the man’s daughter.

After the commercial, we learn that Merrick had done the construction on the Internment camp that the suspect had been moved to during the war. His daughter died in the camp. When the chance to get revenge surfaced years later, he attacked Merrick and then drove him to the hospital. Seems Merrick had two wives, one a blonde and one a redhead.

Over at the Savoy, Daddy Rizzo is very unhappy that Miss Desmond isn’t allowed to sing in the hotel. Vince tries to reason with him. Miss Desmond tries to explain that she’s been set up. A package arrives for Mia along with a note from Jack. He wants to go dancing with her. The package was a honky tonk album that Daddy throws in the trash.

We learn from Dixon that Ralph’s wife died at Christmas. (Can this show layer the pathos on any stronger and still not be engaging? Yep.) Jack is trying to set up a date and Ralph over hears the conversation. He is not happy about Jack dating a mobster’s daughter.

Miss Sanchez tells them to follow the jewelry. It takes them to a feisty redhead who puts up a fight and tries to shoot them. Seems the redhead is a mobster’s wife and she’s been playing Del on the side.

The problems with Miss Desmond have been worked out. Meanwhile, Dixon is investigating in his waiter outfit. He finds a guy trying to rip off alcohol. A chase ensues. The bad guy gets away but leaves the key behind.

Ralph is interrogating the mobster and he claims he is innocent. Jack is talking to the redhead and we discover she isn’t the redhead that Del left the hospital with.  They go to an old fashioned revivial church to find her.

Vince and the DA meet out in the sticks. Miss Desmond is working with the feds. “She’s dirty, Vince”. Vince is not happy to hear that. “She’s here to get info, to take you down, to take you all down”.  Drink if you know where this storyline is going.

After the break, Ralph and Jack are still at the church. Seems the other woman is quite religious and has become a preacher. She used to be junkie but she’s reformed. Seems Del came to the desert to save his life. He was going to build a church and save the desert. I guess that was to happen after he stole from the mob. This also makes the real wife and the business partner suspects.

Dixon found out who the thief was and made Vince’s day by arresting the guy. He gives Dixon a nice suite for a night in return. Dixon, surprisingly, sees a conflict of interest and turns the suite down! Drink if you didn’t see that one coming!

He thanks Vince. Vince thanks him. Really, this passes as dialog. Vince suggest that Dixon stay in the room and enjoy the view for awhile. Drink because all know what’s going to happen,don’t we.

Ralph is questioning the widow Merrick. The widow knew about the preacher woman. Seems the widow thought all she had to do was bide her time and Del would come home sooner or later. The business partner didn’t have a high opinion of the preacher woman. Jack sympathizes with the partner. Seems Del was going to give the partner 20% of the business.

Back at the Sheriff’s Office, Ralph is not happy to hear that Mia Rizzo called Jack. They have a stand-off. Jack ain’t backing down. He brings Ralph up to date on the partner. Ralph thinks the wife did it. Jack thinks the partner did. They argue.

When does Jack have time to run Ralph’s ranch?  Words are exchanged. While Ralph was overseas in the war, Jack was home raising Dixon and burying Ralph’s wife. “I guess you’re right, I missed it all”, Ralph tells him and walks away.

Yeah, this is an upbeat Christmas episode, ain’t it?

Miss Desmond is preparing to go on. Vince comes in to talk to her. He turns on the radio. They dance. Vince gets handsy. They kiss.  Vince tells her “I want you to get the hell out of here.” He cops to knowing about the Feds. He gives her till morning to get out of town. Yes, it’s that kind of dialog.

Back at the Sheriff’s Office, Jack and Miss Sanchez are going over the evidence. Ralph scoffs at them.  Jack mentions that the partner had a hand injury. The scales fall off and they realize that the partner and the widow are in it together.  One thing we learn, the actress that plays Miss Sanchez is very tiny.

The widow and partner are brought in and the Lamb brothers close the case. The two killers go to a holding cell. Ralph tells Jack to go on his date leaving Ralph to do the paperwork. Jack says “Merry Christmas” Quaid smiles again!! Drink!

Over at the Savoy in the suite that Dixon wasn’t going to accept, a full blown Christmas Eve party is in full gear. Miss Sanchez is there and with a little mistletoe, he tries to kiss her and she smacks him. “Why are you so bossy?” he asks. “Because you love it” she retorts. Drink if this relationship just seems dysfunctional to you.

On his way to get more ice, Dixon runs into Jack. They question each other why the other is upstairs at the Savoy and then go one their way. Jack and Mia are in her room. She breaks it off. She says “It’s too dangerous”. Jack doesn’t want to give up so easily. “It was working for me”. She shows him the door. “You sure this is what you want”. “It doesn’t matter what I want”. She sorrowfully tells him. “It matters to me” he says just before he kisses her. She responds kissing him back. These two star crossed lovers just might make it yet.

Over at the Sheriff’s Office, Katherine arrives bringing home baked Christmas cookies for Ralph. “Home Ec was never my strongest class”. Ralph has a gift for her, horse shampoo. She invites him to join her for a drink. He declines. They hug and almost kiss but Ralph is still broken so that ain’t going to happen any time soon.

Back at the Savoy, Daddy Rizzo has summoned Vince. Miss Desmond is lying dead on the divan. Vince is surprised. A needle is in Miss Desmond’s arm. “Once a junkie, always a junkie, right?” says Daddy Rizzo.

Vince is visibly shaken even as he joins the family for unwrapping Christmas gifts.

That’s how the story ends. No real Christmas good feelings (unless you are a big Jack and Mia fan), no fa-la-la. Just the not so surprising demise of Miss Desmond.

Me? I don’t know. I was hoping perhaps for a Christmas miracle- an episode of Vegas that would make me go, yes, this is what I was hoping the show would be. After the hints at storytelling we got last week, I was hopeful. But it was not to be. We got coal in our stockings instead.

Oh well, we had plenty of egg nog. And we did get to see Dennis Quaid smile.

And there’s always next year. New episodes should return in a few weeks and so will we!

In the meantime, keep those decorated neighborhood info coming in. We'll be posting updates for the Neighborhood Lights later in the week!