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Daniel: B | Grade It Now!
Maid in the Shade
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Ralph stands outside at his ranch, gazing up at a huge oak tree, before heading back inside where Jack is totting up numbers on an adding machine, wearing glasses for added comic benefit. Ralph growls something about a couple of ranch hands talking about felling the oak, and Jack explains there's an aquifer underneath that'll be good for the three-hundred head of new, thirsty cattle they've got. Ralph has some kind of man-crush on the oak and insists that they put the new well in a distant parcel that Jack points out will take ten times the manpower to do, but Ralph is too busy gazing out the window at the oak to brook any more discussion or to answer the ringing telephone. Jack answers it and at this point I like to think the sheriff's office just to call and says, "Savoy" and the Lamb boys know what to do. It's like the Bat Signal!

At the Savoy, Savino's got a card-counter in his office. "Card-counting is just bad manners," Savino tells the terrified con man, but Buddy was also sending signals to a partner-in-crime at the table. Jack and Ralph show up, somewhat surprised to be asked to arrest the crooks rather than finding their bodies in an alley on the strip. "You people usually handle this kind of thing on your own," Ralph tells Savino. Whoa whoa whoa! "You people"? Let's keep this civil, Ralph! Nevertheless, they arrest the card-counter and leave, but not before Jack and Mia get an eyeful of each other's considerable genetic gifts.

Savino goes for his usual plot-advancement stroll with Red, who tells him Angelo is sending a new courier for the skim. It's Angelo's nephew and Angelo basically wants the kid to get laid. Not sure how going to Vegas will help that! Savino tells Red to "call Magda," and then outside, starts laying out his new grandiose plans. He's going to buy the Tumbleweed Club across the street, because it's got the most acreage on the strip, and advance his development plans from the outside, getting everything all tied up in a neat bow to present to Angelo (plus his usual cut). Red's less surprised about that than where Savino's going to get the money: "A bank," Savino says as he drives off, but I sort of assumed by "bank" he meant "the wallets of people I will personally beat up."

Then it's nighttime and we get a bunch of neon establishing shots of the Tumbleweed, and a couple of black maids are discussing a racist guest before the younger one begs off on a party suggested by the older one, since she's got to go to "the meeting," which turns out to be a meeting of the hotel staff union. The shop steward promises some shady guy that he "won't let Milwaukee down" and then attempts to rile the staff into a wildcat strike, at least until Estelle (the young maid from before) reminds everyone that they're six months away from their contract expiring, meaning a strike would be illegal and they could lose their benefits and jobs. "We need to sacrifice now so when the contract is up, we can get what's right," she says, to applause from the rest of the staff, including a co-worker who's a little too prominently featured to be coincidental. The union head isn't pleased.

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