|Season 1, Episode 1|
|Air date||September 25, 2012|
|Written by|| Greg Walker &|
|Directed by||James Mangold|
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Nevada rancher Ralph Lamb is called on to investigate a murder by Las Vegas Mayor Ted Bennet. Bennet was Lamb's commanding officer during World War II, before he was recruited to a Military Police investigative unit for solving a murder in their unit. Sheriff Clyde Herrigan is nowhere to be found. The victim, Samantha Meade, is the niece of the Governor. Lamb agrees on one condition - the Mayor intervene in his dispute with the airport, whose planes are disrupting his herd. Lamb recruits his family and friends to aid him - his brother Jack Lamb, his son Dixon Lamb, his neighbor Assistant District Attorney Katherine O'Connell, and Native American tracker Don Simmons.
Chicago mobster Vincent Savino is brought to town to handle the running of the Savoy Hotel Casino, where the victim worked. Savino is taking over from Anthony "Red" Cervelli, who has disappointed with his first six months managing the mob's interests in town. Savino is also looking for Sheriff Clyde, who he believes is a government informant.
Ralph is able to determine that Meade was killed by Savoy credit manager Bob Perrin because she was investigating his off the books extortion of customers. The investigation causes Ralph to clash with Savino as Savino's people try to prevent the investigation reaching into their operations. Lamb arrests Perrin as he attempts to flee the state. Savino orders Perrin killed in prison to prevent him realing more about the casino's backers.
Corrupt District Attorney Rich Reynolds takes Savino straight to Sheriff Clyde. Savino has his people kill Clyde in the desert. On discovery of the body Bennet makes Ralph the Sheriff.
Nevada rancher Ralph Lamb is frustrated by planes from the McCarran Field Airport disrupting his herd. He rides off to confront the manager, George Blanchford, leaving his brother Jack Lamb and son Dixon Lamb to round up the 176 head of cattle for auction. Blanchford is unapologetic about reneging on his promise to have the planes approach from the East, over the burgeoning Las Vegas strip. He tells Ralph that the town is on the rise and he is happy to take the money from the casino owners. Lamb refuses to back down and Blanchford has his mechanics attack him. Lamb easily fights off all three men at once but his victory is short-lived; he is arrested for his part in the brawl.
Chicago mobster Vincent Savino disembarks from the plane that upset Ralph. He watches the exchange with interest before meeting his colleagues Anthony "Red" Cervelli, Nick "Beansy" Cota, and Vic Borelli. Red greets Savino warmly. Beansy mutters to Vic that he used to see Savino in the neighborhood before he was sent to run Havana.
District Attorney Rich Reynolds prepares Las Vegas Mayor Ted Bennet for a backstage appearance with Liberace as part of his re-election campaign. Bennet is reluctant but Reynolds insists it will win more votes than days of traditional campaigning. They are interrupted by Assistant District Attorney Katherine O'Connell who has bad news; a body has been found at the Nevada Test Site.
O'Connell brings the Mayor to the scene and explains that the victim, Samantha Meade, is the niece of the state governor. O'Connell adds that the victim's mother, Alice Meade, has been notified and is flying in. Bennet asks after his Sheriff, Clyde Herrigan, and Reynolds says that he is staying with a mistress in Reno. Bennet sends O'Connell to meet the grieving mother and Reynolds to inform the governor. He then assigns a deputy to bring Ralph to the scene.
Lamb is located in a patrol car on his way to jail and driven out to the test site, still handcuffed. Bennet orders his release and asks him to investigate the murder. Lamb sets out his terms; Bennet must intervene on his behalf with the airport. Bennet accepts and Lamb gets to work, his first priority is to move the body to protect it from coyotes.
Savino's first priority is locating Sheriff Herrigan, who the mob believes is a government informant. Red's people drive him out to a slot machine warehouse. Red wonders how long he will be staying in town and Savino reveals that he is also there to take over the running of the Savoy Casino. The mob funded venue has been hemorrhaging cash under Red's leadership despite having only opened its doors six months earlier. Red's enforcers have kidnapped and severely beaten a casino dealer, Toby Grasso, who is a friend of the sheriff. Savino seethes at the unnecessary violence, particularly when Grasso reveals that he worked for Savino at the Colonial. Savino delivers a beating of his own on Beansy for his thoughtless action. Grasso readily reveals that Herrigan is staying with his sister in Anderson. Later, Savino surveys the main floor of the Savoy Casino and quickly roots out a thieving dealer and discerns that the flowers are blocking the security cameras.
Ralph prepares for his first day on the job by recruiting his brother Jack. Jack wonders who will take care of the ranch and Ralph reassures him that their hand Francisco can handle it. Jack also worries about leaving Dixon unsupervised and Ralph agrees they should bring him along. Ralph also asks Jack to recruit a Native American tracker named Don Simmons, who has just been released from Warm Springs for transporting stolen cigarettes. Jack takes Ralph to fetch his son, who is fleeing half dressed from a suburban home. He has been sleeping with a married woman and her husband has found out. Dixon jumps into the back of the moving truck and narrowly escapes being shot by the man he cuckolded.
DA Reynolds is frustrated by Lamb's appointment. He asserts that he should be leading the investigation and complains that Ralph is not qualified. Mayor Bennet counters with a story of his military service with Ralph. Ralph solved a series of murders committed by the medic of their unit when they were stationed near Naples during World War II. He was then recruited to a special investigative unit of the military police. Reynolds leaves the Mayor's office and asks O'Connell for more background on Ralph. She reveals that she grew up on the ranch neighboring his and that he is a widower who is more concerned with his ranch than the growing town.
Ralph and Jack meet with Alice Meade at the Mayor's office. She tells them that she was estranged from her daughter, who ran off with a ranch hand named Cale Green. The Lamb brothers meet Don at the crime scene. Ralph discovers a hidden grave and discerns that the murderer was interrupted while trying to dispose of the body. They also find day old motorbike tracks at the scene. Dixon reports that Cale works at a rodeo and they next go to question him. He has no alibi but is not thought to be a likely suspect. He tells them that Samantha often worked late in her role as an accounts clerk at the Savoy Casino and suspected that she was cheating on him. Catherine catches up with them at the rodeo for a report on their progress before they head to the Savoy.
The brothers meets Savino at the hotel. He feigns readiness to comply with the investigation and invites them to a fundraiser for Mayor Bennet. He introduces them to the Credit Department Manager Bob Perrin. Perrin tells them that Meade was last seen by her colleague Jodie Kent, after he had left for the evening. Dixon reports that security footage picked up Samantha in an elevator at 19:00 but that she was not seen leaving the building. Ralph is intrigued and goes to check out the maintenance area. As Jack and Dixon leave the casino they spot a rowdy motorcycle club stealing a slot machine from the Tumbleweed Club. Dixon connects them to the tracks they found at the scene. Ralph stumbles across a couple having sex. He continues his search and finds a spot of blood. He is then assaulted and knocked out.
Ralph talks over the case with the mayor and Katherine at his ranch as he recovers. They tell him that Savino claims that security mistook him for a peeping tom. He is doubtful, believing the killer was threatened by his search and relays finding the blood. Katherine tells him that it had been cleaned up by the time they found him. Mayor Bennet is under pressure from the governor and is keen to pursue the bikers. Ralph suggests a roundup; he has his Deputies corner the bikers on the strip. The club president, Monty, makes a break for it but Ralph rides after him and manages to unseat him and bring him in.
Don calls Ralph back to the grave site with new evidence. The grave is damp and was therefore dug the rainy night before Samantha was killed; before the bikers arrived in town. Ralph goes to the fundraiser to look for new leads. He uses the Mayor's speech as a diversion and sneaks into the credit department. He finds the files that Samantha was working on emptied but spots a reference to "Monaco" in her notebooks. He questions the desk clerk and learns that the hotel has a Monaco Suite and that a banker named Stuart Mills was staying there on the night Samantha disappeared and has since left the room in a hurry leaving his luggage behind. The following morning William Van Dyke arrives to represent the bikers and Ralph locks him in the holding cell with the gang.
Jack looks into Mills' background and finds that Samantha was investigating him as a high roller client before her murder. She had discerned that he misrepresented his income and that he was stealing from his bank. Ralph realizes that Mills is on the run and goes to see Arthur Speziali, a barber and pawn broker on the strip. Speziali has bought a watch from Mills and knows that he is staying at the Westward Ho! Motel.
Ralph finds Mills at the motel. Mills admits to stealing from the bank but says that he did not kill Samantha. He reveals that he had an off the books deal with Perrin; he was stealing from his bank to pay off his gambling debt while Perrin kept his credit line open so he could keep gambling. Ralph brings Perrin in to testify before a grand jury; Perrin watches the arrest from his car.
DA Reynolds arranges to meet Sheriff Clyde on the pretense of helping him. Clyde says that he is willing to talk to the federal authorities about organized crime in Las Vegas for safe passage out of the state. Reynolds has actually led Savino right to Clyde. Reynolds drives off and Clyde tries to escape but is murdered by Beansy.
Ralph comes looking for Perrin at the Savoy. Savino is outraged at Ralph raiding the hotel armed and protests that Perrin is not there. Savino accuses Ralph of trespassing but he refuses to leave. He finds a photo of Perrin with a CESSNA airplane on his desk. He heads back to McCarran Field, where Perrin is attempting to flee in the plane. Perrin tries to flee but Ralph has his people cut off his escape and then shoots out the tires of his car as he doubles back. Katherine worries that the case against Perrin is weak; they have no evidence connecting him with the scene. Ralph offers Monty and his club a deal; reveal what they were doing at the scene in exchange for their release. Monty admits that they were there, and interrupted Perrin trying to dispose of the body. He is able to identify Perrin's car, solidifying the case against him. Savino is concerned that Perrin will turn against the organization and orders Red to have him killed in prison.
Ralph returns to the rodeo to see Cale. He reassures him that Samantha was not cheating on him and empathizes with his loss. He offers Cale a job if he should return to Las Vegas. Sheriff Clyde's body is discovered out in the desert. Bennet names Ralph as Clyde's successor.
The following named, recurring characters are introduced in this episode:
- Ralph Lamb - a Nevada rancher and widower with a talent for investigative work.
- Jack Lamb - Ralph's younger brother, a crack shot.
- Dixon Lamb - Ralph's son, a ladies man.
- Vincent Savino - a Chicago mobster assigned to manage the Savoy Casino in Las Vegas.
- Anthony "Red" Cervelli - Savino's predecessor in managing the Savoy.
- Nick "Beansy" Cota - Cervelli's enforcer.
- Vic Borelli - Cervelli's enforcer.
- Rich Reynolds - the corrupt and ambitious District Attorney.
- Ted Bennet - Mayor of Las Vegas.
- Katherine O'Connell - an Assistant District Attorney who grew up on the ranch next to the Lamb family.
- Don Simmons - a friend of the Lambs, ex-convict and expert tracker.
- Arthur Speziali - barber and pawn shop owner.
- Mert Hage - owner of the Tumbleweed club, looking to sell.
- Samantha Meade - the murder victim in Ralph's first case.
- Sheriff Clyde Herrigan - Ralph's predecessor, murdered on the orders of Vincent Savino as a suspected government informant.