What a weird, disjointed episode, weaving in plot elements we've seen in Casino (although to be fair it would be hard to do anything involving mobsters in Vegas that Casino didn't already touch on) and Indecent Proposal (and also Mad Men) and, for crying out loud, Spider-Man.
The murder of the week is Audrey Ballard, a showgirl being ridden hard — in rehearsal, not between the sheets, to his chagrin — by her director. She winds up strangled, and the trail leads through the taskmaster show director, her deacon father who disowned her, the pornographer who took pictures of her, her secret girlfriend, to the band member who got one line during the cold open. O'Connell takes the case quite personally, because of a time when her cousin got raped by a hand on her ranch, and nobody — including Katherine — said anything about it and the guy eventually raped someone else. She gets caught up in things to the extent the Ralph needs to have a gruff talking-to but they come to an understanding, and then O'Connell almost gets herself killed when she talks to the suspect, and Ralph has to save the day.
Over at the Savoy, Savino has managed to entice a big whale to come in, a Texas oilman named Clay Stinson, played by the guy who played Roy on the American Office, only his babyface makes him come off more like an oilman's spoiled son. He convinces Vincent to lift the betting limit for him, and then promptly splits aces, gets blackjack on both, and plans to waltz out of the Savoy with a million of the casino's money. Rizzo's out of town with Diane, but Vincent knows when he comes back he's going to be pissed, so he employs every trick in the book to get Stinson to gamble it back. The only thing that will make Stinson part with it is a night with Mia Rizzo, and while we can all agree that it would be a bargain at twice the price, Savino doesn't even bother telling her about the offer. She figures it out though, and winds up winning the money back for the casino in a single poker hand, and implies that she put her feminine wiles into the pot.
Meanwhile, the mayor-elect is angling for some of Ralph's time, but he's not interesting because of the way Grady's hanging around with Savino. Oh, and Dixon is afraid of spiders, which didn't seem like a complete goddamn waste of time or anything.
Daniel is a writer in Newfoundland with a wife and a daughter. I bet Pam's sorry she ever let Roy go now. Follow him on Twitter (@DanMacEachern) or email him at email@example.com.
It's time to play the music! It's time to light the lights! It's time to watch the girls at the Stargazer tonight! At least until the Llewellyn Sinclair-esque director stops the proceedings to upbraid them all for not being goddesses, and reminds them that they're "not shaking their peaches for vacuum salesmen" here. He has particular vitriol for a dancer named Audrey and is more apologetic to the star of the show. One of the musicians tries to cheer Audrey up by telling her the boys in the band get it just as bad.
Over at the Savoy, Savino's enjoying a little time off from Rizzo, who's over in Los Angeles with Diane who has scored a screen test (with the help of Rizzo's union buddies). Mia's also not sorry about not having her around. "Hope she gets a starring role and stays there," she says. Not that business is going well; the count is down twelve percent, but Savino says he's got a bigshot whale coming in -- a Texas oilman by the name of Clay Stinson -- who can drop a quarter-million in a weekend. If he has a good time, he can probably reel in other whales.
On the strip, mayor-elect Grady is happily getting his picture taken with showgirls, with Ralph looking on in amusement. Grady's got big plans for a tourism campaign, and I guess we're supposed to believe Ralph came up with the "Welcome to Las Vegas" slogan, if not the actual iconic sign. Grady seems a little put out by Ralph's standoffishness, but it doesn't take a genius; Savino shows up to take Grady out for dinner. "A mobster and a dry-cleaner, planning out the future of the city. What could possibly go wrong?" says Ralph as Grady and Savino stroll away.
Back at the Stargazer, Audrey is practicing her routine alone on stage when the music is suddenly cut. She gets scared when no one answers her calls, so she panics and heads for the doors. The first two sets of doors she tries are locked. The third has someone waiting for her on the other side, someone who wraps a cord around her neck and strangles her. Still seems more fun than dealing with that show director.
Dixon tiptoes into the office. Jack asks about the noise complaint that Dixon was sent out on last night. Dixon says it turned out to be a couple of cocktail waitresses playing records too loud, and then I guess he had sex with them and spent the night, which is why he didn't shower this morning. Meanwhile, Yvonne is looking for something, but she's cagey about what it is, saying it's a personal item. Ralph quietly asks if she found it. She hasn't, but he hopes she does before Dixon does.