"The Third Man" episode of "Vegas"

The Third Man     Episode 14

 This is what Fremont Street really looked like and should look like in Vegas:

photo courtesy of Life Magazine

Welcome back! Hope you are ready for tonight’s review of the latest episode of Vegas. I’ve started to think that the Crime of the Week is the equivalent to the episode from Lost, Stranger in a Strange Land, the one all about how Jack got his tattoo.  That’s how these crimes feel, they are there while the showrunner (Greg Walker) and the writers figure out where the show is going.

The show was sold to viewers as an epic battle between good vs evil in the desert oasis of Las Vegas with the good guys (the Lambs) battling the mob.  That’s not really the show we got. Instead we have gotten a show that is more procedural and more interested in the Crime of the Week than it is about the battle to keep the mob from overtaking Vegas.

And so, each week we tune in wondering if this will be the week that Vegas finally finds its footing and becomes the show it keeps hinting it wants to be.

Let’s find out if this is the week-

At the top of the show we get a shout-out to The Godfather with a Frankie like singer by the name of Nicky Fontaine, an up and comer with friends in Hollywood and Vince wants to lock him up in a contract for a year.  (Am I the only wondering if a horse’s head is in someone’s future)  Never a good idea to remind viewers of greatness when you aren’t striving for that greatness.

Looks like Daddy Rizzo is dead (He is the Crime of the Week!) and Jack is between a rock and a hard place. He should just come clean to everyone, he has evidence that Daddy tortured him. Who would blame him? Certainly Mia knows her father had a temper. But, in a terrible character turn, Jack lies to Mia and tells her he has no idea.  No matter what, this can’t end well for them, especially since he all but confessed to Vince.  And now, Vince has something over Jack Lamb.

I don’t know about you but at this point, I really wish this show was more about the battle between the Lambs and Savino and his guys than this turgid, soapy, we have no idea what story we are trying to tell, drama we have right now.

And the bad news for fans of Jack Lamb (Jason O’Mara), once he starts lying,  messing with evidence can’t be far behind and that puts him on the short train to conflict with Ralph. He lies to Ralph and Katherine before the opening credits are half way through. And, of course, Ralph catches him before the credits are done. And then , of course, he messes with the evidence big time, changing his name on the finger prints  that could implicate him. He has now broken the law and the conflict is now about when will Ralph find out and what will he do. So a story about the law vs the mob has become the story of two brothers, both good and what one did for love and can the other forgive and forget.

With all the different ways to create conflict in this setting, this path that they have put Jack Lamb on seems only done not for the greater good of the story but because they have no plan.

The secondary story line was about hot rods, drag racing and a high school buddy of Dixon’s. The drag race had some good production design as did the hamburger drive-in that made me think of the Blue Onion on the east end of Fremont Street and the hang-out for a generation of Las Vegas High School students.

I do have to say, despite the marrying of Fremont Street and the Strip into one area, the production design is the star of this show.  Well, that and Dennis Quaid’s smile. He smiled at the mechanic garage. Drink! He smiles again talking to Dixon ( a nice wide smile) Drink! And he smiles at the cute woman making eyes at him. Drink! That Quaid smile can cure a lot of things but, unfortunately, not the story line.

Katherine has a major jones for prosecuting (or persecuting) Vince. She seems to be the only one interested in what the show was originally about- the law vs the mob. Unfortunately, she comes across more obsessed than anything. And why is Katherine working out of the Sheriff’s office and not the DA’s office?

Mia bargains with Vince and becomes the head of Casino Operations in addition to staying on as the Count Room Manager.

Enver Gjokaj, late of Dollhouse, is the up and coming talent coordinator at the Hacienda who goes to work for Vince as the Entertainment Director. He happens to have an exclusive contract with Nicky Fontaine so Nicky will go back to working for Vince as well. No horse’s head any time soon far as I can tell.

No episode next week as the show is pre-empted due to the State of the Union address.

In the meantime, enjoy this Youtube video that features the Blue Onion and other landmarks of East Fremont Street and hit the comments and tell us what you think of the show!