Vegas: “Exposure” Recap & Review

This week’s Vegas reminded us yet again of Sheriff Ralph Lamb’s military past, and his ever present longing for his late wife.  The episode also too another chance to show us that mobster Vincent Savino has a heart, all while taking advantage of the time period and following a murder and a military conspiracy.

For the first time in weeks, Lamb’s case did not intersect with Savino’s life — something very comically referred to after Savino visits Lamb in his office, with a ‘thank you’ bottle of scotch and Yvonne knocks in to tell the Sheriff a body’s been found.  Almost instantly Savino remarks “don’t look at me.”

Ralph’s victim this week is military doctor Edward Dozier.  Upon arriving at the crime scene the Sheriff can identify the type of bullet used to kill the man — hollow point — and follows a trail of oil to the doctor’s car, and a potential suspect who tries to flee.  However, as we all know, when it’s only five minutes into an episode, the first man they find is not the killer.  Things get further complicated for the lawmen with the arrival of Lieutenant Norman Kemp, an air force investigator who doesn’t have the patience for Lamb’s way of doing things.

Over at the Savoy, Savino is having trouble getting the skim for the Chicago bosses, which new boss Johnny Rizzo is not at all pleased with.  Clark county auditors still have their eyes all over the casino, and Mia Rizzo is forced to pull a quick-and-dirty cash exchange while the cash boxes are moving in the elevator.  But not only does Savino have to deal with the auditors, but also with the appearance of Diane Desmond (Ivana Milicevic) — a singer with whom Savino had an affair eight years earlier.  Turns out, Johnny Rizzo, in his own attempt to bring more business to the Savoy, hired her to sing.  Diane is more than a little interested in Savino, still, and even threatens to tell Laura about their fling should he not please her.

When Dozier’s body is taken into the ambulance, Ralph’s salute to the victim tips off Lt. Kemp of his past service, something that lightens the tension between them, and eventually sways Kemp to listen to Lamb’s logic in the investigation.  However, the two get run off the road while moving the body, told to get out at gunpoint, and the body is taken by men in ski masks.  After speaking to a man, Massey, claiming to be one of Dozier’s patients at the air force base, the Lambs find Dozier’s hidden Geiger counter, and documents of an autopsy of a soldier who mysteriously died of radiation poisoning.

Things at the Savoy become even more precarious when one of the casino employees discovers that a fill slip went missing and reports it to Mia.  Mia then determines that the slip had to have been moved during the switch in the elevator, and even though she reports it as not being an issue to Savino and her father, Johnny tells Savino that Henry, the employee needs to be ‘taken care of.’  Savino’s heart shines through when he makes a determined effort to get the kid out of town safely — saving his life, and then assures Laura that he doesn’t want Diane around either (she figured out she was the woman he had an affair with) but sadly, he can’t do anything about it.

Thanks to the discovery of Dozier’s own investigations — Lamb and Kemp have reason to believe he was killed because of it, by a military contracting group experimenting with nuclear technology.  The two break into that section of the base and find the missing photos Dozier’s girlfriend told them about — autopsy photos — in the desk of Massey, who is definitely not a patient.  When Sheriff Lamb approaches the man, claiming that he’s going to release the photos and information to the media, he draws them into chasing him, tempting them into Clark County, where he has the jurisdiction to arrest him.

The episode draws to a close as Savino pays Diane, curtly.  When she asks where the necklace she asked for is, Savino replies that some things just don’t belong to her.  Ralph however, also can’t have what he wants, though for an entirely more tragic reason.  The final scene of the hour shows Ralph hesitating with the bottle of scotch gifted to him by Savino, with a file labeled with his wife’s name.  If you remember back to last week, Ralph told Savino that his wife died in a car accident.  Though simple, this scene yet again showed how much the man loves his late wife, and sparked the potential for his own, personal investigation when the camera scans across a line in the file: “No suspicion of foul play.”

Again, this episode was a wonderfully written procedural for the period piece, yet also did an excellent job of showing the characters’ personal demons as well as their commitment to those that they love.  For example, the episode saw Laura Savino proclaim to ADA Katherine O’Connell that she will to whatever she has to do to protect her husband.  I happen to love that the writers are giving Laura her own cause and passions.

The episode also brought back the lingering Jack and Mia romance, which certainly shows the potential to grow over the rest of the season.

One thing that I genuinely admired about “Exposure” was how Lamb and Savino did not interact outside of the brief banter at the top of the hour, and yet, the episode was powerful without the mob/law tension.

 

Vegas airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on CBS.

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