Las Vegas
Decks and Violence

Episode Report Card
Sobell: D+ | Grade It Now!
Swizzle shtick

Holy cow, it's Nessa! That's four whole appearances in one episode. I don't know if I can handle the excitement if she talks. So far, she's just wandering around as Mike VOs, "Poker isn't just about odds. It's about people, psychology, basic human emotion. You may have mastered the odds playing the computer; now you gotta master the human side of the game, because computers don't have tells." Ben's all, "Tells?" I'm all, "There are really poker players out there who don't know what these are?" Mike explains as they walk over to a gaming table, "Subtle changes in human behavior that let you know what your opponent's going to do." Mike introduces Ben to Nessa and blah blee blahs that she's an excellent pit boss and a heck of a poker player by dint of spending hours on the day job watching gamblers. Mike claims Nessa can tell who's holding a winning hand just by how they act, Ben doubts her, and Nessa gets to talk in her fourth scene of the night: "Try me. Pick a table." I will once I get past wondering what cosmic phenomenon let us see Nessa above and beyond her usual three lines-per-episode limit. Ben picks a table, we see someone who looks like he just realized he needs to begin looking into Depends as a wardrobe basic, and Nessa explains, "Four-seat just made his hand. You can tell by the freeze. Player gets dealt a monster hand, his breathing inadvertently stops for just a second. Could just have a flush, but I'm guessing a straight flush. Yup, definitely the straight flush. There's the look-away. Player holding the nuts will often glance away from the table -- an unconscious effort to appear nonchalant. Freeze gave me the flush, look-away tells me it's even better." Holy cow! This is the most Nessa's spoken since the Ocean's 1.1 episode. And she keeps going! I may pass out from the novelty of it all. I'm recording every word for posterity, since the powers that be will undoubtedly reduce her to one-line appearances in the next four shows to make up for this. Nessa looks at a guy who should be in a commercial telling us how Levitra made him a man again, and says, "The stare-down. Guy's trying to appear confident even though he's holding squat. It's the oldest bluff in the book. So #2's betting big even though he's no threat. Now #4, he'll come over the top. Most people think it's a sign of nervousness, but usually it's just the opposite. The excitement of being dealt a winning hand causes the unconscious release of tension. Never bet into the shake." Ben wonders how Nessa knows all that. Because she spends all day around gamblers? I'm just spit-balling here. Nessa more or less says the same thing.

Back at the Vanko and Vera plotline, Danny's running the video footage of Vera's pre-show routine. Some waiter brought her a martini on a giant, tablecloth-covered room service cart; this gets Big Ed's attention, especially since the night before the disappearance, the waiter delivered Vera's martini on a tray. Big Ed bustles off to find the waiter, leaving Danny to sit in front of the video terminal, whistling casually to keep from blurting, "Injured? I'm not injured! I'm just very stationary this episode!"

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Las Vegas




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