Crossing Jordan and Las Vegas

Crossing Jordan (2001-2007)
Las Vegas (2003-2008)
Type: Crossover
Group: 10

   Well this is a solid funky little crossover. Crossing Jordan is show set in Boston dealing with young female medical examiner Jordan Cavanaugh, helping the cops solve the tough dead body related cases. Sort of a cool (and hot) Quincy for a new generation. Las Vegas was about... well... Las Vegas. Specifically the show focused on the stories of the people working at the Montecito Casino, even more specifically on the casino's security team.

   The elaborate-to-the-point-of-absurdity plot started on Crossing Jordan. A plane from Vegas arrives in Boston with a dead guy on board. Also on board the plane was Montecito security dude Danny McCoy and casino hostess Samantha "Sam" Marquez. Jordan and police detective Woody Hoyt show up at the plane and are surprised to see folks from another show in addition to the dead guy on the plane.

   The thing I like at this point is that the characters involved in the crossover don't hit it off all friendly right off. They actually dislike each other. Okay, they push the dislike a little hard. Okay, the folks on the plane are suspects given the big punch mark on the dead guy and the fact that Danny McCoy tells them, "Yeah, before he died I clocked the dead guy really good." Still, the dislike is pushed so hard you would think Jordan and company walked on the plane and found Danny ritualistically sacrificing the guy. They get off on the wrong foot even before it is firmly established that maybe the Las Vegas folks had a hand in this guy's death. BUT overdone though it was it was cool.

   As it turns out the dead guy was a high roller. He had a briefcase with a zillion dollars in winnings handcuffed to his wrist. The casino folks were accompanying him as an extra precaution and because their boss felt there was something fishy about him. It turns out Danny clocked the guy for getting a little handsy and crazy with Sam. But it also turns out the head wound didn't kill him. Then stun gun burns are found on his body. Only it turns out that didn't kill him. In fact it seems he got zapped with the stun gun in the name of kinky sex. Yikes! So what did kill him? Seems like maybe some spiked cocaine he did while in Las Vegas. The guy was clearly a busy guy. And you don't even know the half of it yet.

   Well, before they establish that the guy was poisoned some other things happen. First off, while Danny is still suspected of the murder, his boss and the head of casino security "Big Ed" Deline pulls some strings and gets his guy released from custody. In the process he ends up rubbing both Detective Hoyt and coroner Garret Macy the wrong way. The cool thing here is that "Big Ed" is played by James Caan, as in "tough guy from tons of films in particular Sonny Corleone in The Godfather" James Caan. Going up against Jordan's boss it ends up being a good old fashion pissing contest between the two "bosses". When Ed goes up against Detective Woody Hoyt it's a different story. Ed lays on some subtle but palpable power that really tells poor Woody Hoyt, "I'm in control here and it would be best not to throw down with me." Not verbally but... well for God's sake I was sitting at home and I could feel that power. He puts an arms around Woody and grips his shoulder in such a way where, again, folks at home could feel that solid grip themselves. It was a very impressive bit of business from Mr. Caan.

   While the cops are still trying to figure out who killed the high roller and why, someone breaks into the morgue's vault and steals the money the guy was carrying. Some quick forensic work quickly establishes the thief as the dead man's wife. It seems she stole the money, cooked up a batch of poisoned cookies and then flew back to Vegas. By the end of the episode Jordan and Hoyt realize their visitors from Vegas are innocent and that to catch the killer they will need to go to Vegas.

   Which brings us to Las Vegas - the town and the show - and a whole bucket of bigger complications. On Crossing Jordan the story had had a very serious vibe. When part two starts on Las Vegas the tone shifts. Not that the plot becomes less serious. It just becomes kinda warped and surreal, just like what happens to events in the real world when you go to Las Vegas. Almost right away Detective Hoyt falls right off the case. Jordan and the security team at the casino are all over it so Woody just starts gambling himself into oblivion. He's such a bad gambler that even Sam - whose job it is to help people lose their money - feels bad for him. While she pities Woody, she and Jordan's dislike dislike for each other from part one continues.

   While the investigation does continue, it serves largely as a way to get Jordan and Woody to Vegas and into bizarre situations. In addition to Woody getting the gambling bug, Jordan finds herself partnering with Danny to infiltrate a couples only card game in a casino hotel room. Turns out to be a game where the stakes are getting to sleep with the other guys' wives. Danny wins Jordan and they head off to the bedroom which may be the crime scene where the dead guy - you remember him - was poisoned. Once in the room they discover the guy running the game secretly video tapes all the sex in the room to sell as porn. So as not to blow their cover the two of them have to fake making out and, I would assume, doing the Vegas bed dance. This is a little awkward since Danny is engaged and Jordan and Woody Hoyt like each other. But, hey, that's Vegas baby.

   They did something else that I loved and that added to the whole reality warp feel of Las Vegas. Remember how I said on Crossing Jordan James Caan's Big Ed came on like the toughest most in control of everything guy ever? Well once the story moves to Vegas they flip that on its head. There is actually a point where Ed is going to have to talk to the guy running the couples only poker game. They discuss whether he is going to have to turn on his special charm such as he used on Crossing Jordan. So now that we are in the story from his point of view we get to see he isn't always Mr. Badass, that he turns it on when needed.

   But more of a flip than that is the plot with Big Ed's wife. Seems she is having the floors of their home redone and until the work is complete she is going to stay in the casino's hotel. Big tough Big Ed is utterly unmanned by the idea that his life will be living where he works. He can't cope with it. He goes from being the man in control to freaked out husband on the run at one point literally hiding from his wife behind Jordan's skirt. It is far enough from how he appeared on Crossing Jordan to give you whiplash. Very funny.

   But, hey, we still have the dead guy to deal with. It soon turns out he had not one wife but two or three. And every time the crew gets some sort of lead they either end up getting shot at or finding their latest lead dead. Eventually they find evidence that the killer wife knows wife number two. It clicks into place that very likely neither of them is his first wife and so neither would stand to inherit his millions in winnings. So to keep wife number one from the cash they conspired to kill their mutual hubby and steal his money. They are both nabbed as they are leaving Las Vegas.

   The plot is good enough to carry the crossover and complicated enough so that most people won't notice the loose ends in the plot. For instance, when the money is stolen on Crossing Jordan they make a big deal out of the fact that the guy's wife did her homework on how to break into the morgue and steal the money. She has maps and all sorts of info on the morgue. But how she got these apparently sensitive documents isn't explained. And they make a big deal out of her baking these poisoned cookies. Why? What is she up to? Then she ends up using them to kill the guy running the couples poker game. Only she force feeds them to him. Its odd enough that even the cops wonder about why she'd go to all the trouble of making poisoned cookies and then just force them down his throat. The whole point would seem to be to trick him into eating them of his own free will. So what is up with the cookies? I wish I could tell you but the show never did explain that. But really I'm being picky because the story was enough fun so that I didn't really care. And it is Vegas. There should be untidy lose ends.

   One minor bit of trivia. Big Ed's wife is played by the lovely Cheryl Ladd. Back in the 70s Cheryl Ladd played Kris Munroe on the hit show Charlie's Angels. The third season premiere of Charlie's Angels had the Angels doing a crossover with a show starring Robert Urich as detective Dan Tana, a little show called Vegas. I believe Cheryl Ladd is the only person to have a hand in two Vegas... er... Las Vegas crossovers.

   While I'm on the subject, if anyone from the show Las Vegas is reading this might I suggest you guys get busy already and bring back some of the characters from Vegas for a guest spot or two. Come on, Robert Urich is gone but you could still bring back Binzer. Or grab Tony Curtis and get him to reprise his role as Slick. Come on, Tony Curtis and James Caan would be awesome. Caan played the baddest mobster ever in The Godfather and Curtis dressed like a woman to hide from the mob in Some Like It Hot. Tell me there isn't something to work with right there.

   And one final final note. Something to keep an eye on. In one episode of Las Vegas they actually killed off Jean-Claude Van Damme. Lets be clear here. Jean-Claude Van Damme was on the show playing HIMSELF and they killed him off. So in the world of Las Vegas Jean-Claude Van Damme is dead. Because of this crossover, Jean-Claude Van Damme is now dead on Crossing Jordan. So this is sort of like a virus. If Crossing Jordan or Las Vegas crossover with any other shows Jean-Claude Van Damme will be dead on those too. This needs to be contained! If a connection from Las Vegas should be made to one of the big groups I have listed on this site, Jean-Claude Van Damme could be dead all over the place!

Other Las Vegas Crossover Links
Las Vegas and Heroes
Las Vegas and Knight Rider
Las Vegas and Medium
Las Vegas and The Office (U.S.)
Las Vegas and Passions

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