Let’s face it, the ultimate question people want answered about tonight’s Las Vegas is how do they get rid of Ed Deline (James Caan) and Mary Connell (Nikki Cox)? I guess people are probably interested in how the whole Sam Marquez (Vanessa Marcil) kidnapped and in a box works out too, and maybe even Delinda’s being so close to an explosion in the Montecito. The casting changes were widely publicized, everyone knew before tonight’s episode started that Caan and Cox were leaving the show, and good old Magnum P.I. was coming in. The question is just how does it all happen.

Dealing with Sam first, she quickly dispatches kidnapper Vince when he ties her to the ceiling of the cabin of a private plane and yet miraculously close enough to the door that Sam can open it. What with the whole pressurized cabin, less pressurized outside air thing going on, Vince goes flying to his death and Sam is free. Except for the memories that continue to haunt her, of course.

Next, Nikki Cox’s Mary Connell. As you may recall Mary was going to confront her sexually abusive father with a gun as was Danny. Ed was also there, slightly away from the scene, but close enough. They were all armed, and Mary’s father died. At the very outset of tonight’s episode, Danny escorts Mary to a car, grabs her gun from her, writes down an address, and she drives off. While the show had a close-up of Mary in one shot, I think it was from an old episode, as when she is with Danny we don’t see anything but the back of her head. Oh, and there happens to be someone hiding in the back of her car, a hooker and her john.

This leaves only Ed. Good old Ed Deline, Company man, Montecito man, Cheryl Ladd’s man. Danny’s gun residue test came up negative, neither of Mary’s bullets were the fatal shot, so that leaves only Ed. As we all know by now, “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” So, I think we all came up with Ed’s guilt before Mike and the cops. What happens to him? Well, the hooker from the back of the car tries to blackmail him, but Ed does not bite, so the hooker tips off the cops. Ed then finds the man that led the robbery against the Montecito and disappears just before the cops get him. What did you expect?

As for Magnum P.I., or “Cooper” as he’s known here, he just bought the Montecito, nothing more serious than that. Sam had the whole back taxes problem and Cooper, a cattle rancher from Wyoming, paid the money, making him the new man in charge. And, he is even a Marine Corps. veteran (that way he can do a little punching later in the season). His motto seems to be “anything can happen,” and he made good on that by giving everyone on the floor of the casino one thousand dollars, then handing out keys to people (for goodness knows what), and driving fifteen brand new trucks through the casino. I’d tear into the impractical nature Cooper’s idea of putting a bowling alley on the 37th floor, but it’s Las Vegas, practicality does not enter into it.

Now, here’s what I don’t get about the whole Sam Marquez thing. Sam is kidnapped, brought onto a private jet, and then beaten up and almost raped on said jet. Are the pilots really unable to hear that sort of thing? Clumsy though it may be I would really have liked one little line from Vince along the lines of “don’t worry about the pilot, the advantage of a steel reinforced cockpit door is that there is no possible way for them to hear us.” Or “the only other people on the plane are the pilots and they have headphones on and can’t possibly hear us.” You know, just a little something like that. It would have really brought the whole bit of kidnapping insanity that much more down to Earth.

But, worse than that, the show setup three different major cliffhangers at the end of last season, and then wrapped them up within the first five minutes of the premiere (Delinda went down a laundry chute to escape the blast). The rest of the show was the fallout. It was perfectly fun in a Las Vegas all flash, no substance, no thinking way, but the windup to the cliffhangers felt really rushed.

And, I have some questions for you:

Then there was good old Mitch, the security guy. Why were we ever expected to believe that this guy who worked for the Montecito for years, who saw Ed and company take down a ton of people that tried to harm the Montecito, would rob from the place and come in a couple days later with a new 100,000 dollar car and really expensive, really shiny suit. Why would Mike ever suspect him? There is no way Mitch could have worked there so long and be so dumb.

Why on Earth did Mike come to Danny with his notion that Sam killed Vince and Danny killed Mary’s father? Where did that come from? At what point did Mike become so suspicious about his friends? Plus, him showing Danny the video of what his baby looks like now, was truly disgusting, and I have a baby.

More importantly though, are we okay with all the illegal things that Danny did tonight? He deleted surveillance footage, let murder suspects escape, and threw away evidence. It felt like the producers are moving him to truly be the center of the show, he cleaned up everyone’s mess, he took charge. He just did it in this horrible way and frankly, I am not interested in his having a baby with Delinda. Are you?

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Posted by:Josh Lasser