Las Vegas
Decks and Violence

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Swizzle shtick

In the next scene, Mike's handing over ice packs while Ben emphasizes how very much he does not want to bring the authorities in. Mike's all, "Maybe a doctor is better qualified to staunch all this blood than I am," but Ben wants to avoid hospitals too. Mike finally realizes that maybe Ben's got some extralegal issues. Ben tells him, "In the poker tournament, I didn't exactly win my seat playing online...that guy, the one who nodded to me at the Mystique? His name is Louie Ambrose. He staked me the $20,000 entry fee." Mike sensibly wonders why Louie was compelled to do so. Ben explains, "When I lost my job, I started playing poker online. You know, tournaments. Never finished lower than the top five in any online event that I entered. So Ambrose emails me, says he's been following me, says he'll stake me for the tournament...in return I'd return his twenty Gs, plus fifty percent of the winnings." Mike realizes Ben owes Louie the leg-breaker at least $20,000. He offers to scrape together his savings and pay back the cash. That's pretty damn generous for someone you haven't seen in a while. Ben's rocking back and forth as he accepts the offer.

Cut to Vanko trying to go it alone while Olga flutters uselessly in the background. People boo and clamor for Vera, and while I realize in this day and age that people can be fans of anything, I'm still a little taken aback at the fervidity of the Vera wankers. People storm out of the theatre in disgust.

In the next shot, we see the Vanko and Vera star on the door as Olga hollers in Russian. Big Ed comes in just as Olga's about to make her big exit. He asks her what happened, and the weepy Olga is all dismissive until Big Ed begins chatting her up in Russian. She tells him, "That man, the man I love is in love with someone else -- his wife! Of all people!" Then she switches back to English to exclaim in disgust, "Only in Vegas!" Big Ed goes in and, still speaking Russian, asks Vanko how things are. The answer: lousy. Big Ed's all, "So! The Vera wankers hated you and Olga?" Vanko replies, "Mr. Ed, please. You must help me find Vera." Big Ed replies, "You must help me find her, please. And another thing. Never, ever call me 'Mr. Ed.'" Vanko gets morose, Ed pushes to know where Vera disappears to when she does the trick, and Vanko eventually admits that he's not going to tell Big Ed how the trick works because he doesn't know himself. And we get the first hint of discord in the Vanko/Vera partnership; they've grown apart over the years, and Vanko was pushing Vera to sign a new contract with the Montecito when she disappeared.

And now, the swizzle stick plot. Mary wanders around, thinking that this is a pretty wacky way to waste her time, even above and beyond the mass wedding and bickering couples, the Wayne Newton impersonator, or the mad King Arthur. Just then, Monty accosts her because his prized Presidential swizzle, the one George W. reportedly used before going on the wagon, is gone. He implores her, "You have to help me find it before the collection judging begins." Then he collapses. Mary pats his back awkwardly and wonders why she got stuck babysitting these guys.

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Las Vegas

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