'Las Vegas': The bikini contest of doom
Probably it's just me, but every time Las Vegas comes on I think to myself "Vegas, baby, Vegas." I know, that makes me just the sort of tragically uncool person that attends conventions at the Montecito but most definitely does not work there. My life is far too mundane compared to the insanity that takes place under the ever-watchful eye-in-the-sky that always seems to miss the most important moments.
Speaking of thinking, I think this whole Sam Marquez seeing a shrink and having flashbacks of her abduction was totally out of place on this series. Oh, I don't argue that someone who has been kidnapped, thrown in a box, and almost raped at 30,000 feet has some serious issues that they need to work through. Sam's flashbacks of it all just don't fit on Las Vegas. The show is all about glitz and glamour and insanity, it's all flash and no substance, and it's great at that. Going more deeply, treating an insane, over-the-top event's aftermath with the seriousness that Sam's going to see a shrink and having flashbacks implies is an odd juxtaposition.
Seriously, look at the show tonight, a couple of minutes after Sam was on the verge of losing it with the shrink, there was a bikini contest. Then, during the contest Sam began to start having flashbacks about the kidnapping. The show put the incredibly serious aftermath of Sam's trials into the midst of a bikini contest. It was not particularly appropriate and didn't work very well. Then, as if that wasn't enough, Sam saw someone get murdered at the contest right after one of the bikini models took her top off (and, surprise, surprise, no one believed Sam about the murder).
How the show decided that it might be a good idea to put together into a single episode a murder that only a possibly crazy woman witnessed with a bikini model's top being tampered with in order to make her pull it off, I can't imagine. Plus, did anyone out there actually believe that Sam didn't see Powell stab a woman? Hasn't everyone seen this plot before on a bunch of other shows?
The upside of the "Sam Marquez witnessed a murder or perhaps she just imagined it" plot was that it stopped the god-awful flashbacks of Sam's abduction. I'm going to say it again, in case you missed it -- it's just serious in a way the show doesn't do well. I wonder if the producers wanted to make sure not to minimalize what happened to Sam and yet had trouble dealing with it in a Las Vegas appropriate way. Actually, they way they fixed the problem at the end of the show was just about perfect. Having Sam go back to the shrink's and announce they she was going to tell him all about it and then cutting away was exactly what the show should have done. In the real world it would be crazy to assume that Sam is now all better for having had another 55 minute session, but the show definitely implies that at the end of the episode. For this show however that result works just fine.
Now, the bikini contest being sabotaged was completely appropriate for Las Vegas. That's absolutely where the show excels. I can imagine no show on television where a sabotaged bikini contest more belongs and could be dealt with better than on Las Vegas.
To be clear, I in no way mean that as an insult. The show does fun and over-the-top in a way that few shows on television can. They even tend to do murder and spy stuff in great, amusing ways. I love the show's care-free, no deep-thought attitude, it is in fact why I watch on a weekly basis. A tampered with bikini contest and the search for that villain is definitely their thing.
Enough plot, question time: Is this Piper girl (Camille Guaty) a permanent addition to the show? Is she here to stay? As far as I can tell, the character doesn't have a last name yet, so that may imply she is not sticking around long. She is also not on the opening credits nor on the front page of the NBC site for the show. Yet, she seems to be getting more and more screen time -- story arc or replacement character?
Just in case you need another example of great Las Vegas moments, how's this for a quote (it features Delinda talking to Piper, shopping for a dress that will help her get lucky with Danny) -- "No, you were right. I'm going to spend the afternoon at the spa getting fluffed off, blown out, and waxed in places that would make a gynecologist blush, so let's just find a dress that will get me plowed like a rice paddy, okay?" Great stuff, right?
Speaking of Vegas, but not really, why not go and check out The TV and Film Guy's Reviews.