This episode loses a couple of points from me for using the hackneyed flashback format, wherein we see, throughout the episode, Ralph getting clocked in the head by an assailant and kidnapped and then the story told from "58 hours earlier" and "36 hours earlier," etc.
Otherwise, there's a lot of weekly plot and overall story advancement.
Let's start with the Lambs: They're trying to nab a brother duo (one of whom moonlights as Walter White Jr. on Breaking Bad) hitting spots that supposedly ruined their late father, like a sports book. At least they are when Jack isn't late from work from sleeping with Mia and Dixon isn't almost getting his head blown off from sleeping with married women. The storyline intersects with Mia's, who asks the Lambs to look into a slick card player from Rhode Island who's fleecing high rollers from Kansas City. If anyone's going to fleece high rollers at the Savoy, understand, it's going to be the Savoy.
Mia's handling it (with the help of Jack going undercover as a cardplayer) because Vincent's got problems of his own; Rizzo is cleaning out the casino's bank accounts (including the bank loan for the Tumbleweed), partly to send some back home to Chicago and partly to put out on the street to earn some mob loan interest. Rizzo ignores Savino's warnings that he can't continue to do business this way, and tries to intimidate Savino's banker buddy, a move that backfires when the banker calls in the local gangsters (led by a massive Michael Ironside), who tie up Rizzo and Savino, prompting Savino to give up the Tumbleweed in exchange for their lives. Rizzo is less than grateful to Savino, but he's feeling a little more secure in his continued employment by Chicago; he's a made guy, whereas Savino is one-quarter Irish, and as Goodfellas taught us, that means he'll never be made.
Katherine's squeezing Laura for more information than the nickel-and-dime stuff Laura's giving her. Turns out Katherine found out Diane Desmond was working with the feds. Laura assures her of her husband's innocence — but later explicitly asks Vincent if he killed Diane — and Katherine offers protection for Vincent if Laura can provide her with proof that, as suspected, Rizzo had Diane killed.
And Ralph gets captured, and is in the process of freeing himself when Jack saves his bacon, so I guess they're good. At least until their brotherly tension flares up again.
Daniel is a writer in Newfoundland with a wife and a daughter. He almost didn't recognize Michael Ironside without nightvision goggles. Follow him on Twitter (@DanMacEachern) or email him at email@example.com.
Ralph's rolling down the Strip in his truck, blasting old-timey country music (I suppose it would be hard to blast new country in the early '60s). He's smiling like he's out for a late-night drive -- and then he pulls up at the shuttered Vegas Bank and Trust and bangs on the door, and is whacked on the back of the head by person unknown.
You know what that means, right? It's a tale told via flashback! There was once a time that seemed fresh and exciting, right? Sometime when Alias was still on, right?
Anyway, fifty-eight hours earlier, Dixon was doing his best to hit on Yvonne, a plan made more difficult when an angry cuckold with a shotgun bursts in to the office and threatens Dixon for messing with his wife. Ralph is the voice of reason -- and is clearly annoyed with his son -- in calming the man down, getting his fearful wife to tell the poor bastard she loves him. "She just happens to love a lot of other folks, too," says Ralph. How it will help to remind this guy that his wife is apparently the town pump is unclear, but tensions are soon defused and Ralph makes Dixon give the unhappy couple a ride home (and Ralph hangs on to Fred's shotgun, just in case).
Jack's not even at work yet. Jack's not even dressed yet. He's in Mia's bed, lamenting that she has to work on Sunday (despite the fact that he apparently does too). She's already up and getting ready to work, trying to figure out what his angle is because every man has one (memo to Mia: Generally the angle is to accomplish what has just happened here, so it's a little late to start worrying about it).
There's a knock at the door. It's Cota, letting her know (as per instructions) that the high rollers from Kansas City are here, currently losing their shirts in a private game. Cota's no idiot, and he notices Mia doing the open-door-just-enough-to-first-show-my-face-and-then-squeeze-out-so-you-can't-see-inside thing, but he doesn't say a word.
On the casino floor, Savino greets his banker buddy Leo Farwood warmly, but the enthusiasm is not returned. Farwood's angry because the first installment of the loan -- $275,000 -- has already been cleaned out of the bank, and ground hasn't even been broken at the Tumbleweed construction site yet. Savino seems genuinely surprised and promises to look into it. "Don't make me look like a fool," warns Farwood. No, only geniuses get into business with mobsters. Only good things come from that.
Mia checks out the poker action in the private suite. The K.C. guys are regulars, but the game's being hosted by a new guy, Hal Whitford, who Cota tells her had been losing downstairs and so decided to host a private game. When Whitford says he's from Rhode Island, Mia asks if he knows this guy over at the Colonial. Whitford doesn't, making her suspicious because in the history of the United States only ten people have actually been from Rhode Island.