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Series / Las Vegas

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The cast from season 1. From left to right: Mike, Sam, Delinda, Ed, Danny, Nessa, and Mary.

If you're looking for information about the city itself, click here. Also not to be confused with the CBS series Vega$.

Running from 2003 to 2008 on NBC, Las Vegas was an hour-long drama that depicted the professional and personal lives of the employees of the Montecito Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, which was based loosely on the Mandalay Bay building. The show underwent several retools during its five-year run, usually referenced in-universe as the casino changing ownership (a few of the owners were portrayed by Dean Cain, Lara Flynn Boyle, and Tom Selleck). James Caan and Nikki Cox left at the end of the fourth season (Caan to return to films; Cox, it was rumored, due to budget cuts) and Selleck was brought in as the new owner. Ratings, however, had never been stellar, and combined with the high costs of filming and the 2007 Writer's Strike, led the series to be cancelled with a Cliffhanger series finale. Creator Gary Scott Thompson at one point wanted to do a TV movie that would tie up the numerous loose ends of the finale, but as yet nothing has come of it. Reruns currently air on E!.


Significant characters:

Ed Deline (James Caan) - The Head of Surveillance and Security at the Montecito, Ed was a no-nonsense ex-CIA agent who had the respect (and fear) of most of the old guard in Vegas, as well as virtually all of the new establishment. He was soon promoted to President of Operations, and became responsible for the day-to-day running of the casino.

Danny McCoy (Josh Duhamel) - The central character of the series, Danny was a former Marine and childhood friend of Mary, who worked at the Montecito as a member of the Surveillance and Security team. When Ed became President of Operations, Danny was promoted to Ed's former job of Security head. The show started off with him giving voiceover explanations about what was happening, but this was quickly dropped part of the way into the first season. In the fourth season, Danny and Delinda got together and Delinda got pregnant, and in the fifth season, he was promoted to Ed's old job as President of Operations.


Mary Connell (Nikki Cox) - The Montecito's Special Events Director, who was responsible for planning and organizing conventions, weddings, and any other events taking place at the hotel.

Sam Marquez (Vanessa Marcil) - The Montecito's Casino Host, responsible for drawing "whales" (rich clients who gamble large amounts of money) to the casino and doing everything she can to keep them happy and betting.

Mike Cannon (James Lesure) - The Montecito's Head Valet, Mike is actually a genius graduate of MIT who moved to Vegas for the adventure. After Danny is promoted to Head of Security, he brings Mike upstairs as a member of the Security team. In the fifth season, the recently promoted Danny makes him head of Surveillance and Security.

Delinda Deline (Molly Sims) - Ed's daughter, Delinda becomes the Entertainment Manager of the Montecito, overseeing the running of the casino's clubs, restaurants and shops. She has a short-lived affair with Danny at the beginning of the first season, but they later fall in love and get back together.

Nessa Holt (Marsha Thomason) - The Pit Boss of the Montecito, she oversees all betting on the floor and monitors the tables to ensure there is no cheating. Her father was a CIA agent who worked with Ed, and after his disappearance, Ed took her in and raised her like a daughter. She is of course very close to Ed, and she and Delinda consider each other sisters.

A.J. Cooper (Tom Selleck) - A Wyoming cattle baron who buys the Montecito at the outset of the fifth season, little becomes known about him except that he is a former Marine and claims he got into the hotel/casino business because he wanted to learn about it. He prefers being called "Cooper" instead of "A.J.", is prone to shaking things up at the Montecito, and has a mysterious connection to...

Piper Nielsen (Camille Guaty) - A new character introduced in the fifth season premier, Piper is a Concierge, focusing on getting the guests whatever they want (separate from Sam, who only worries about her whales).

This series contains examples of:

  • Accidental Marriage: Mike and Piper got so drunk in one episode, they ended up getting married in one of Vegas' chapels. After some talking, they decide to stay married.
  • Accidental Pervert: In one episode, Delinda offers to allow a blind man to feel her face so he'll know what she looks like. The blind man in question reaches out at eye level, not noticing Delinda stood up from the stool she was on, and takes hold of her breast. The man comments "Apparently you're very tall" but makes no effort to remove his hand.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Dean Cain guest stars in one episode as the owner of the casino. He spends two hours walking around in disguise. Ed, meanwhile, had spotted him on the security cameras from the beginning, and comments "Does he really think a hat and a pair of glasses can make him invisible?"
    • He also appears when the Monticito is hosting a comic convention where it is revealed Ed went to him to take back the casino from Monica. As the comic book style scene shows, she's about to get an ass kicking, or more appropriately Superman is flying in to save the day.
    • Vincent Ventresca and Paul Ben-Victor guest starred as a quirky duo, echoing their dynamic from The Invisible Man.
    • Ed Deline asks Danny and Mike if they've seen The Godfather, and then quotes the famous line "keep your friends close, and your enemies closer". Ed is played by James Caan, who played Sonny Corleone in that film.
    • Josh Duhamel (Danny McCoy) gets two alluding to his relationship (later marriage) with Fergie, a member of the Black Eyed Peas. When the band guest stars in the show, she refers to Danny as being hot when she sees him. In a later episode, Danny sees a poster of her hanging in a teenager's room and comments on it.
  • Adam Westing: Many over the course of the show, most notably Jean-Claude Van Damme, who gets killed off onscreen.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: In one episode, some bad guys take over the Montecito security centre. Danny McCoy uses the air vent system to try and get some intelligence on them. Right after the audience starts wondering why the hotel with "the best security on the strip" has such a gaping security hole, the vent collapses, conspicuously dumping Danny in the middle of his, formerly Ed Deline's office. Logically, Ed knew it would collapse for any intruder. Heck, he may have set it up that way deliberately.
  • All for Nothing: A young man steals something, and one of the Montecito team goes through a lot of trouble to give him a second chance. Turns out that the item he stole was on sale, which made it a lesser crime, so he got off with probation. He shows up at the casino to thank his guardian angel...and then gets caught lifting a purse on his way out.
  • Alliterative Name: Delinda Deline
  • Almighty Janitor: Mike Cannon is an engineer, MIT graduate, and Nerd. He starts the series as a valet. He's called in to help the actual security staff several times during the first season. Despite his initial reluctance — he actually likes being a valet, and doesn't want the potential pay cut — he eventually becomes full-time security staff. In the final season, he's actually promoted to head of security.
  • Alternate Reality Episode: There's an episode where Danny imagines himself and his co-workers working at a Las Vegas casino in the 1960s instead of the 2000s. Ed Deline is basically a mobster-turned casino boss as opposed to an ex-CIA agent turned casino manager, Mike faces racism from a Jerkass diner owner, and Sam Marquez is a hooker operating out of the casino.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: This is how Monica's exit is handled. The cast is not only all-around pleased that she's gone, but they flush her ashen remains down a toilet. Though this was according to Monica's wishes, as her will and friend explained that it was a metaphor for what Monica believed life to be like.
  • Animal Wrongs Group: They steal a truckload of lobsters from the Montecito to prevent their "murder", and dump them into a shark aquarium, which endangers the sharks by introducing unchecked foreign contaminants into the water. Besides getting them arrested and using the Running Gag of the threat of Prison Rape by suggesting he will become a meat eater, Ed and another casino manager retaliate by organizing an All-You-Can-Eat lobster buffet.
  • Arab Oil Sheikh: An Arab oil sheik showed up in an episode. He sort-of defied the stereotype in terms of looks since he was younger and more handsome than the usual standard and just wore a regular custom suit instead of a keffiyeh, but he was openly polygynous and already had three wives. He proposes to Delinda, but is 'mysteriously' poisoned and then set on fire before he can give her the ring. It turns out that his previous wives all despised him.
  • As Himself:
    • Mayor Oscar Goodman occasionally appeared as... Mayor Oscar Goodman.
    • Jean-Claude Van Damme as... uh.... Unusually, he also died in the episode.
    • Steve Wynn, Glenn Schaeffer and the Maloofs, pretty much the people who built Modern Day Vegas, often make many appearances as patrons of the Montecito.
  • Asian Rudeness: Sheesh, Polly, not everybody wants to hear about your sex life!
  • Bar Brawl: Ed, Danny, and Danny's ex commander went had some drinks in a bar and they decided to have a bar fight.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Mary who is the most genuinely kind and sweet of the group has a fiery temper, is known to hold grudges, and murdered her abusive father to protect her sisters.
  • Big Blackout: "The Night the Lights Went Out in Vegas."
  • Big Sister Instinct: Mary, who was sexually abused by her father when she was a kid, learns she has little half-sisters when her father attempts to "make amends". After learning this, she tearfully contacts her step-mother and informs her of what her father had done to her when she was her sisters age. After meeting her sisters, and immediately falling in love with them, when she learns from her step-mother that her father has begun abusing them too, she agrees to testify on their behalf. Ultimately after the trial goes lopsided, she outright murders him to protect them.
  • Bottle Episode: "The Night the Lights Went Out in Vegas." The episode takes place entirely at the Montecitio, and only the main cast is used and none of the (few) extras can speak. Danny and Mary are stuck in an elevator with a deaf man who writes notes they read out loud.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Delinda, who is a member of Mensa, but usually acts very flighty and has a short attention span. She used to be a psychology major, and can still reel off several concepts from the field at the drop of a hat, but quit because it was boring.
  • The Caligula: Monica Mancuso. The Montecito’s other owners have ranged from reasonable (Gavin Brunson) to friendly (Casey Manning) to aloof but thoughtful (AJ Cooper), but Mancuso gradually devolved into outright megalomania during her stay.
  • Casual Kink: It is Vegas, after all. For example, at one point, a man and a woman start getting hot and heavy in an elevator. Danny knocks on the door.
    Danny: There's a camera directly over you! We can see what you're doing.
    Woman: I know!
  • Catfight: There's a verbal variation between Sam Marquez and Monica Mancuso when they first meet in the third season. Any ambiguity as to whether it's intended as one is dropped out the window when two cats screeching are heard over the soundtrack. The guys later remark that they really regret that they missed it, so it's also in-universe fanservice.
  • Celebrity Casualty: Jean-Claude Van Damme made a guest appearance as himself in which a stunt was sabotaged and he fell to his death.
  • Celebrity Paradox: See trope entry.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Zigzagged with Danny and Mary. They grew up and spent all their time together and he protected her from her abusive father, but they never started a committed relationship. They made out the night before Danny joined the marines. Since then Mary harbors feelings for Danny, which he doesn't reciprocate. When she confronts him over it, she theorizes that he is afraid of commitment because of the way he lost his mother. They have sex again before his second tour. When he comes back he proposes to her, but it is primarily a sign of his shellshock, so they break it off. Danny and Mary have spontaneous sex in a closet in another episode. Then later on they spend a romantic weekend with each other, but still don't get a Relationship Upgrade. Then they both briefly get different love interests. Then Danny starts dating Delinda again, and keeps this a secret from Mary, who is hurt after she finds out. And finally, after four seasons of Will They or Won't They?, Mary leaves town in the season 5 opener.
  • City of Adventure: Something big seems to happen at the Montecito every week.
  • Continuity Nod: At one point, Sam gets a dog named Reggie. She mentions it in a blink-and-you'll-miss-it comment a few episodes later, despite it not having been seen since that episode. 'Heroes' shows him, much bigger, and judging by his food bowl, he's treated well. But then again, he doesn't appear again, so maybe not?
  • Covert Distress Code: In case of a kidnapping or hostage situation in ops, those taken hostage should communicate this to anyone on the outside by saying things are "Nothing but aces."
  • Crossover:
    • Occasionally with Crossing Jordan. A few episodes of the 2008 Knight Rider reboot featured the Montecito, though none of the usual characters were around. Same with Heroes (in the latter's case, it was more because they already had the sets around).
    • And, of all things, Deal or No Deal. One episode of Deal ended with host Howie Mandell walking off the set, telling the stage people that he is late for his flight to Las Vegas. In the episode of Las Vegas that followed, he arrived As Himself to stay at the Montecito.
    • Also with NBC's daytime soap Passions, though this amounted to little more than the Passions characters dropping by the Montecito and some of the characters from this show appearing in extended cameos.
    • Even Medium had a scene involving someone gambling at the Montecito, as evidenced by the chips with the casino's logo on them.
    • "The Story of Owe" had a line about a Dunder Mifflin convention being held at the Montecito.
  • Cut Short: The series finale wasn't ever intended as such, so when the show was cancelled, it ended on a major cliffhanger.
  • Daddy's Girl - Whenever Ed and Jillian argue, Delinda tends to side with her father. She viewed their life of travel as a constant adventure and doesn't understand why her mother is tired of it.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Subverted by a gay couple when they have Danny and Mike over for some food. They say that the four of them can have each other for lunch and then dinner, weirding out Danny and Mike, but then admit that they were just messing with them.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Delinda taunts her kidnappers with this (the general tone, not the exact phrase) when they're trying to make a new escape plan after Danny calls in a fake terrorist threat to ground all flights in or out of LAS. (She has a point: they kidnapped the daughter of a former Head of Counter-Terrorism for the CIA. What did they think was going to happen, he'd play along?)
    Delinda: You're gonna die, you know. They shut down your airport, it's only a matter of time.
    Mr. Chips: By the time the police figure any of this out, I'll be on a beach earning twenty percent.
    Delinda: *chuckles*
    Mr. Chips: I'm glad you think this is all funny.
    Delinda: What's so funny is, you actually think the police will be involved. There'll be no police, no FBI. There'll only be men whose sole responsibility is to hunt you down and kill you.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: Played utterly straight when a Syrian diplomat steals a 90 million dollar Egyptian mummy that was on display at the Montecito casino. When Ed shows up trying to stop the guy before he boards his private plane the cops just let him go on with his business by citing his personal immunity, in spite of the fact that letting a foreigner steal a national treasure would undoubtedly lead to an international incident with Egypt (which unlike Syria, has been a major US ally since 1989). However, the guy who stole the treasure was a selfish dick who simply did not give a crap who wanted it for his private collection, Deline didn't have any legally obtained, actionable evidence of the crime, and Team Montecito had already stolen it back.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: One season one episode had Sam really upset by a rival, culminating in suggesting they make a fresh start, make out, then after really working him up ties him to the bed and offers him to a grotesque, obese, borderline woman. This is especially hypocritical in light of the show's generally egalitarian view of gender, and the fact that Sam herself would later be kidnapped and nearly raped, which is treated as serious and traumatizing.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Monica, who is fatally blown off the Montecito's roof and carried by the wind into another casino.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Some of the season one episodes (including the pilot) featured a "Mr. Schaefer", who was implied to be Ed's boss at the Montecito. The character was quickly dropped.
  • Egopolis: Neither of them gets the chance to go through with it, but before her death billionaire Monica Mancuso planned to rename the Montecito Resort and Casino The Monica when she was the property's owner, while Sam Marquez toys with renaming it the "Samecito" when she later inherits the ownership from Casey Manning.
  • Elseworld: "Everything Old Is You Again", set in 1962.
  • Enhance Button - The show is absolutely terrible about this. In fact, it's built into the very premise: the main characters are almost always able to solve the various crimes that occur in their casino because of the abundance of security surveillance on the premises (as noted in the pilot, Las Vegas has more surveillance cameras per capita than other any city in the world). Nearly every episode has Danny, Ed, and Mike zoom in to identify individuals from security cameras at least twenty feet away and use absurdly sophisticated (for a casino, MIT students gave them the latest and greatest in exchange for helping with a harmless prank) facial recognition software. And yet despite all this, they still manage to get robbed (or at least someone tries to) in every other episode. Some of the more ridiculous examples:
    • Episode 2.16 has Mike using the footage from two convenience store cameras to create a composite image of Ed driving through a green light (he was falsely ticketed for a red-light violation) by among other things, straightening a diagonal image, and using a reflection on a videoscreen in the footage to zoom in on the (now-defunct) High Roller Ride on the Stratosphere Tower more than 5 miles away.
    • Episode 2.08 (a crossover with Crossing Jordan) has the boys using four or so medium-close-up-size stills to end up with a 3-d simulation of a room, revealing the face of a women which wasn't anywhere in the recorded material. There's a slight Hand Wave that the computer "extrapolated" the new information from what they already had (which simply means that it took a guess), but it's not even shown how it did so - the audience is simply supposed to accept it.
    • Episode 2.18 starts out with CCTV footage of a guy's head shoved onto a restaurant counter by Sylvester Stallone, with his hand concealing nearly all of the man's face. They then remove the hand, fill in the missing features, do the same to the other half of the guy's face, ending up with a complete 3-d rendering of the guy's head by pure guesswork.
    • In Shrink Rap, Mike holds a special filter up to an image of cards on the screen, revealing the markings in invisible dye which a cheater has been applying to them. On the screen, which by rights shouldn't be capable of displaying anything but the human-visible spectrum of colors.
    • When the Monticito reopens Ed does some Lampshade Hanging by asking to use something he is not supposed to have, suggesting that if the casino wouldn't use it then being ex CIA he would.
  • Epic Tracking Shot: A signature staple of the series, with some pretty impressive examples. The series even opens with a rather extensive one.
  • Ethical Slut: Delinda. Sam would be one, but she bends the interpersonal ethics at times, though it's usually funny.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Sam may do some low things but she wouldn't break the law by drugging her clients to keep them to continue gambling. And when she used a rich man dating service to bring in three whales, her conscience started eating her as the men seemed to genuinely like her and she was just using them. So, she uses her connections and finds suitable romantic interests for each one while she gave them a break-up speech.
  • Evil Debt Collector: Subverted in an episode where Sam Marquez is teamed up with a debt collector to track down several gamblers who are evading their debts to the casino. She asks him if he's gonna hurt anyone to force them to pay up, but he points out that this would quickly land him in jail if the debtor decides to call the authorities; according to him it's more about appearance and intimidation than actually roughing people up. This doesn't stop Sam from playing the "violent collector" part herself later on.
  • Evil Lawyer Joke: In the last episode of season 1, Ed says to a group of lawyers that it might seems strange to them to try to do the right thing for once.
  • False Rape Accusation: A privileged women lies that Danny forced himself onto her after she came onto him while both were drunk. She then tries to blackmail Ed into using his worldwide contacts to get several of her company's overseas development projects approved in exchange for her dropping the false charges against his employee and protégé. Ed blackmails her right back by using these same contacts to cancel most of her company's projects, and generally make her life a living hell, after which she backs off.
  • Fanservice: Frequently and unashamedly. There's a reason Delinda's emergence from the pool was never taken out of the opening sequence. And don't worry, it's often unisex. Taken a step further on the DVDs of the series, as the topless scenes at the Bela Peto pool are uncensored.
  • Femme Fatale: Sam Marquez works for a casino. Specifically, her job is to keep 'whales' - big spenders - happy. Once, she only slept with a guy because he was dying, and she has openly called herself a slut. Strangely, she rarely sleeps with any of the whales themselves, and had to start going to a therapist later in the series after she was abducted and nearly raped and killed.
  • Field Promotion: Ed goes from chief of security to casino president on behalf of a mysterious owner who just bought a controlling interest in the Montecito.
  • Flair Bartending: When Delinda opened her new club in the Montecito casino, one of the first things she did was hire a stellar flair bartender. She had to steal him from another establishment, in fact.
  • Genius Bruiser: Sylvester Stallone's guest character, Frank the Repairman. Notably, Stallone is one in real life too.
  • Genius Ditz: Delinda is specifically described as having a genius IQ. She is very good at running restaurants, fashion, and sex, while appearing to be a ditzy blonde.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!:
    • In "The Night the Lights Went Out in Vegas", there is a power outage in the entire city, and Mike and Ed are locked up in the surveillance room. Mike, who is claustrophobic, starts freaking out, leading Ed to hit him. Subverted in that Mike says it doesn't work – he's still freaking out, but now his face hurts.
    • Delinda does it to Mike again in a later episode.
    Mike: What is it with your family and hitting people?
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: When Ed and Jack Keller are looking for a stolen painting they use this approach to the suspects twice, but switch the roles around.
  • Good Bad Girl: Sam and Delinda both describe themselves openly as sluts on at least one occasion.
  • The Heist: "Pharaoh 'Nuff" revolves around a mummy being stolen from the Montecito on the way from the airport by a guy with diplomatic immunity, and Ed deciding that the team is going to steal it back.
  • Heroic BSoD: Sam gets hit with one of these when she greets a visiting whale. She cheerfully asks where his wife and daughters are, only for the man to mournfully answer that they were all killed in a car wreck. Cut to a look of sheer horror on Sam's face.
  • High Turnover Rate: Montecito owners are usually killed or bought out, with the notable exception of Sam and outright subversion of Cooper.
  • Hit You So Hard, Your X Will Feel It!: In one episode, a prosphetic foot belonging to a boxing champion's assistant is stolen and he refuses to fight until he gets it back. The casino's manager Ed Deline, a former CIA operative, puts the culprits all in one room, then makes some very pointed threats including that unless the foot shows up, when he's done with them "their kids will come out well-behaved". He quietly leaves and returns 10 minutes later to get the foot.
  • Hot Men at Work: Appears in an episode when two window washers are doing work on the Montecito casino's many hotel windows while shirtless. Justified because they were specifically paid extra to follow this dress code to placate the guests.
  • I Let You Win: In "Delinda's Box: Part 2" Soli Tendar threw his final bet on the roulette wheel, saving the casino from a lose in the millions. He showed this by after making his bet, he wispers to Sam another number and that is the one the roulette wheel came out with.
  • Imagine Spot: Danny and Mike have two pretty funny ones of these when they think Ed may have had an affair with the deranged Monica Mancuso. The first involves Monica being dominant and Ed submissive behind closed doors, and the second the other way around.
  • Informed Ability: It wasn't explicitly referenced often, but Danny's status as an ex-Marine made his fighting and marksmanship talents more believable.
  • Interrogation by Vandalism:
    • Ed Deline and Jack Keller do this to get info from an effeminate artist by destroying his paintings, virtually giving the guy a heart attack in the process. Subverted in the same episode when Ed tries this approach with another artist. It's modern art, and the guy says it can't actually be ruined.
    • Also used by Ed and Danny while questioning an escort service manager.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sam Marquez had enough genuinely nice and selfless moments, where she did something kind even though there was nothing in it for her, to keep her from being a pure Jerkass or Ice Queen. It's also gradually revealed that she had a rough childhood and secretly values her friendships with her colleagues, making her bitchy public personality just a façade to seem tough and unscrupulous. She ends up receiving the most Character Development of anyone on the show.
  • Karmic Death:
    • After her Megalomania is exposed, with her openly stating she has begun her plans to take over the entirety of the Las Vegas Strip, Monica Mancuso immediately is killed in a bizarre incident, involving the roof of the Montactio, long cape-like sleeves, and a gust of wind. Her death is even underscored by "Optimistic Voices" and the leitmotif of the "Wicked Witch of the West", from The Wizard of Oz.
    • Mr. Chips, the man who had kidnapped Delinda and buried her in the desert, finds himself waking up in a coffin Buried Alive after Delinda's rescue.
  • Karmic Jackpot: In "Delinda's Box: Part 2" Sam and Mike deal with Buddhist monk Soli Tendar who runs with this. Every seven years or so he comes to Vegas from his monastery and wins big each and every time. He gives all winnings away, so as not to accrue negative karma from greed. He even lost a final double or nothing bet on purpose.
  • Knight of Cerebus: The show was fairly light in tone despite several dramatic moments such as Danny's shellshock and the episode's typical villains were usually high-profile thieves, cheaters and con artists. Then comes Vince Petersen in season 4, who quickly establishes himself as the most twisted and horrifying one when he is revealed as a rapist serial killer when he abducts Sam Marquez to do the same to her. After Sam kills him she suffers from PTSD in the next season and spends most of it trying to cope with the trauma.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • A guy came to the Casino to look for a prostitute to sleep with while away from his wife. As it turns out, she took some self-defense courses way too far, and became a Domestic Abuser who likes hurting him. He finally gets the courage to leave her for good; ties her to the bed, goes downstairs and leaves his wedding ring in an envelope with Mike. Then he drives off free.
    • Sam was faced in bet against another Host to see who could be the best. She end up being so desperate she goes to a Gambler's Anonymous meeting to try and convince one of her old whales to come back into the game but relents and is willing to accept a lose when the meeting starts. Mistaken for one of them, she stays and listens to some of their stories, which included a man who recently when off the wagon because the new drug prescription his doctor gave him was causing him to gamble. With this knowledge in mind, she was able to beat the other host as he is drugging his clients to play more.
  • Lesbian Subtext: In 'Fleeting Cheating Meeting' Mary and Sam argue over Sam's poor behavior before deciding to kiss and make up. They do this by making out on the floor.
    • Sperm Whales and Spearmint Rhinos: Mary and Sam may or may not have had sex after a night out at a strip club. Also Delinda called dibs on the girl in the gold top while they were out.
  • Malaproper: Polly the beautician, a woman who speaks near-perfect English, except with a Korean accent. Problem is, she has no appropriateness filter. Take the time her friend Sam is offered a drink by a cute guy in Traffic school. Polly complains that no one offered to buy her a drink. Paraplegic Mitch offers to buy her one.
    Polly: No thanks. Wheelchair give me bruises.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: After Sam and one guy have sex, he wants to cuddle, but she zips up, adjusts her crotch, and moves on.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • It's never fully confirmed if Sam's whale in "Hide and Seek" is an actual Vampire or a Vampire Vannabe.
    • Likewise in "The Bitch Is Back," no logical explanation is given to some of the mysterious events going on, leaving it up in the air if Monica's ghost is actually haunting the Montecito or not.
  • Mistaken for Prostitute: A meta-example in the pilot. Danny McCoy, the main character and Narrator for the first few episodes, is going through his work day and introducing the various supporting characters. After talking with his buxom colleague Mary, she walks off with one of her (older, male) clients, and Danny turns to the audience with "No, I know what you're thinking, and don't go there. Mary's not a hooker, she's our Special Events Director". This was done because originally Mary was supposed to be an escort, and the pilot was filmed with this information, before her role was changed after it had been picked up.
  • The Mole:
    • Leo, one of the new guys at surveillance Ed hired in season 2, is revealed to be working together with a group of card counters.
    • Adam, an employee remotely overseeing the card games in "Hit Me" is revealed to be sending electronic signals to a player.
  • Mood Whiplash: As a result of most episodes involving at least two separate plots, this happens often on the show. One episode had a plot dealing with someone with a bomb threatening to blow up the casino unless he got to talk to a particular blackjack dealer, which was interspersed with a plot about an Everlast concert and another one about dealing with a prima donna chef.
  • Mugging the Monster: Played with in the episode "Big Ed De-cline" Mike borrows Ed's Aston Martin to impress a girl on a date. The girl steals the car and takes it to a chop shop. Mike is able to track her down and while surrounded by the mechanics, with it already in the process of being chopped up, Mike tells them who actually owns the car. The mechanics don't care until the boss comes on and demands proof by looking at the registration which confirms this and promptly orders his men to put the car back together now.
  • Mysterious Past: Ed's past with the CIA, and AJ Cooper. We don't even know what his initals mean.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: In "Can You See What I See?" Ed is accused of running a red light. He asks Mike to prove he didn't and Mike uses some tech to show the light was green and the system needs recalibration. To confirm this is legitimate evidence, Ed shows it to a judge playing at the casino, just for consulting knowing the man cannot sit on any case Ed is involved with. The judge looks at the evidence and confirms he would agree Ed didn't run a red light, however he was driving without a seat belt on and that is a more serious offense.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: Parodied in the episode in which Jean-Claude Van Damme is killed in a rooftop motorcycle movie stunt gone wrong. According to the credits, "No Jean-Claude Van Dammes were killed in the making of this episode".
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Gavin Brunson, the first of the Montecito's many, many owners, is a Race Lifted version of Howard Hughes.
  • No Ending: The series ends with a To Be Continued, but was never given another season. The TBC wasn't even intended as a season finale, it only ended up that way due to the WGA strike. There were even plans for the 2008 revival of Knight Rider to conclude the unresolved cliffhangers, featuring the Montecito crew (the first episode of KR08 featured the Montecito), but it too was cancelled before anything could come from it.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: The bad guys in the first episode of season 2 use this to infiltrate the Montecito surveillance room.
  • Obliviously Beautiful: Mary Connell, which isn't exactly atypical for abuse victims.
    Mary: Why is everyone so fascinated with my breasts?
  • Only Bad Guys Call Their Lawyers: Played straight in the episode where Danny is falsely being accused of sexual harassment.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Played straight in the season five opener, as Delinda outruns an explosion started by one of Danny's old marine comrades, a Shell-Shocked Veteran.
  • Papa Wolf: Ed. Take the episode that starts with Delinda being kidnapped unless Ed steals money from the Montecito for the bad guys.
    Ed: (calmly) I swear to God I will kill you.
    • This gets him in trouble a few episodes later when Danny tells Ed to give him and Delinda some space to which Ed agrees, then realizes Ed's installed spy cameras in their suite. He punches Ed in the face.
  • Powerful People Are Subs: At one point, based on some suggestive camera footage they stumble across, Danny and Mike (mistakenly) believe that their boss Ed, a hard-ass ex-CIA agent who runs the casino, was having an affair with Monica Mancuso, an ill-tempered Gold Digger who bought the casino and regularly feuded with Ed. In an Imagine Spot, both Ed and Monica are in turn portrayed as submissives to the other behind closed doors.
  • Precious Puppy: Sam receives a puppy as an unwanted Christmas present from Delinda, then brings it to a dying friend who it comforts. Sam later names the puppy after her dying friend/client, Reggie.
  • Prison Rape: Threatened a couple of times after Sam had a rival raped.
  • Put on a Bus: Nessa put herself on a bus, and at the end of Season 4, both Ed and Mary left town to avoid getting charged with murder for killing Mary's father.
  • Rape as Backstory: Mary was molested by her father, which informed much of her character.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: Elvis Presley's "A Little Less Conversation."
  • Retired Badass: Ed's jobs as Chief of Security and then President of Operations came after he'd left his first job: Chief of Counter-Intelligence for the Central Intelligence Agency.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Ed and Danny go on one of these together when Delinda is kidnapped.
  • Rogue Juror: Ed plays this role in "Tainted Love". He's called for jury duty, but before the deliberation among the jury even begins, he already openly notes many discrepancies in the prosecution's case (for which he is almost held in contempt of court), and even investigates the case himself on his off-time. He discovers that the suspect is innocent, but the judge orders him that he can't use any of the evidence that he found out in his judgment. So instead he proves to the other jurors that the guy is innocent by noting that he is left-handed, while the real perpetrator would have to be right-handed to commit the crime the way the photos show. He did this because of his own backstory. He tells his wife that when he was a teenager, he was caught for stealing hubcaps, but even though he committed the crime, a single juror outright refused to find him guilty, which he did because he wanted to give Ed a second chance.
  • Running Gag: People mistaking Mary for a prostitute, or ogling her breasts.
  • Samus Is a Girl: In the pilot, Danny is surprised to learn that the super-host "Sam" is a hostess, as she'd previously maintained her mystique by posing as her own secretary.
  • Serial Rapist: In an early episode there was a guy who went around parties slipping roofies into girls' drinks to rape them. Delinda almost becomes one of the rapist's victims, which means It's Personal for her father Ed, who runs the casino. He tracks down the guy together with Danny and drives him out to the desert before forcing him at gunpoint to dig his own grave, which turns out to be a bluff on Ed's part.
  • Sex for Solace: In the episode "Three Babes, 100 Guns and a Fat Chick, " Sam has sex with one of her whales to keep him from committing suicide after losing his entire family to random violence.
  • Shellshocked Veteran: Danny McCoy when he returns from his second tour of duty with the Marines in season 2. He recovers later on.
  • Special Guest: Regularly.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: While they were portrayed as a loving couple, when Delinda's mother Jillian returns in the final episode for her and Danny's wedding, she reveals that after all of the lies and emotional coldness, and his actions often affecting the both of them, she has decided to leave Ed.
  • Survivor's Guilt: Danny McCoy returns to Las Vegas from a tour in Afghanistan with a massive case of PTSD after he had to call in an airstrike that killed everyone else in his unit. He eventually comes to terms with this after a near-suicide attempt and some heartfelt words with his boss Ed Deline, who has had to do similar things in his past job as a CIA agent.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Piper in season five seemed to fill the occupational role Mary had before she left, but Piper's backstory is more reminiscent of Nessa's with Cooper being connected to her past as Ed was to Nessa's.
  • Television Geography: Boy, oh BOY! The Montecito starts out as Mandalay Bay, then becomes a casino that moves around about five times through the first season alone. In the first ten episodes or so the other casinos on the Strip do too, to the point of putting Luxor next to Mirage.
    • By the time the Montecito II is opened, the casino consistently is located in what is really an empty space south of the Tropicana. However, the view out of the window of Ed's office, as well as the roof in one important sequence, is all the way up Treasure Island.
  • Tell Me About My Father!: Piper mistakenly believes for a while that Cooper is her father; it turns out he's not, but that Piper's father was his best friend and Cooper promised the man he'd watch after her.
  • That Was Objectionable: An Amoral Attorney tries to net a hefty salary by encouraging his client to pursue a Frivolous Lawsuit against the Montecito. He objects during a meeting with the casino's bosses and main lawyer when he's not even in a courtroom, which is duly pointed out to him.
  • There Are No Therapists: Averted. In season 5 after Sam was kidnapped, nearly raped, and killed her rapist by throwing him out of his own flying plane mid-flight she went to a therapist to deal with the stress. One episode was told from her telling the therapist about her day and later she consulted him about a broken client who was contemplating suicide.
  • Til Murder Do Us Part: An Arab Oil Sheikh is murdered by his three wives because none of them could stand his blatant gluttony (for more wives).
  • Token Evil Teammate: Sam. While the other characters are charitable when the situation demands it she is an utter mercenary, using low, malicious and down right evil methods to get high rollers gambling and more importantly losing.
  • Tsundere: Mary becomes this for a while after Danny and Delinda begin dating.
  • Vampires Sleep in Coffins: In one episode the Montecito is hosting a group of clients who like to pretend that they're vampires. At first Sam Marquez is pretty curious about their private parties, but when she sees the coffins in their room, she just calls them lame.
  • Vandalism Backfire: Ed tries to get revenge on an anger management therapist by wrecking his car after the therapist had used accomplices in trying to provoke Ed into lashing out throughout the episode. The therapist explains that it's not actually his car - cue the car's hugely built owner (also a patient of his) seeing the damage and telling the therapist that he'll have to ignore his lessons for a few moments.
  • War Is Hell: Danny is a veteran of two tours of duty in Iraq. He comes back from his first deployment fairly well-adjusted, his second one, not so much.
  • We Can Rule Together: Monica to Danny after she fired Ed; Danny preferred to team up with Ed against her instead.
  • Whole Plot Reference: One episode features Ed, aka. James Caan trapped in his bed with a psychotic housemaid, who holds him hostage after receiving news that infuriates her, while Mary tries to sneak into his house and rescue him.
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: Since A Christmas Carol is his favorite Christmas story, Mike is Genre Savvy enough to want to get through the spirits as quickly as possible.
  • You See, I'm Dying: In one episode a childhood friend of Delinda shows up, only to inform her that he's dying of cancer, and is going down a bucket list. This list includes sleeping with her. Turns out Sam does instead.