Film and TV

Luck 1.7: "One Mystery Put to Rest"

"While another one deepens."

Mike's deduction about Nathan's intentions isn't entirely accurate. For aside from the Englisman figuring out that Nathan is still wholly Ace's man (and beating him within an inch of his life as a result), the other mystery solved this week was the question of whether or not anything of significance was likely to happen this season. With two weeks left to go in Luck's inaugural year, the answer to that finally appears to be "yes."

The acting on the show is still top notch, and the dialogue is quick and engaging, but things are finally coming to a head for Ace and Mike's long-simmering feud (with the aforementioned unpleasant consequences for young Nathan).

Also, Jerry gets laid.

In a series of scenes meant either to highlight Jo's maternal instincts or accentuate Turo's prickitude, we start off with an unnamed Uncle of the Year allowing Jo to show his nephew Eduardo around the track for $10. The boy is obviously in love with horses, and Turo shows us a softer side by giving the kid a ride back to his shantytown when dear uncle predictably fails to pick him up. Perhaps he sees something of the boy he used to be, or perhaps this is all a place setter for Jo's announcement later in the show that she's pregnant.

And Ronnie's back in rehab. He hopes to get Walter to put him back on Gettin'Up Morning. Walter allows there are "other considerations" that have come into play, but that he'll think on it.

These other considerations have to do with Bowman, who is the Colonel's ex-banker, or something. Walter maintains the Colonel gave him Gettin'up Morning as a gift, and has hired an attorney (played by Bruce Davison) to cover his ass. The lawyer assures him the letter from the Colonel will be sufficient, not that I would trust anything Senator Kelly told me.

Lonnie is getting crap from Marcus about "Niagara's Fall," a horse he wants to claim from Turo. "You don't catch lightning in a bottle twice." Nonetheless, he goes to see Turo and put in his claim. Leon rides him in the third race (barely making weight again), and the same thing holds true for all races: The principles' horse either wins or DQs. In this case, NF pulls up lame with a ruptured tendon, which Lonnie initially blames on Turo's care.

Lonnie is the odd man out with the Four Amigos. He's not a handicapper, just a small-time grifter who happened to have cash on hand for the pick six. In what might be construed as a crack in his facade, Marcus attempts to gently suggest that he was being too impulsive. Then Lonnie proves he's probably not all that bright to begin with by blaming his misfortune on the horse's name (it's from a Three Stooges bit). What?

Rosie goes to Joey to see if he'll talk to Walter, and ends up taking him on as her agent. He talks to the Old Man, and there's obviously little love lost between the two. Walter says he'll give her the news that night, and does: He's going with Ronnie, as long as he stays clean. Good news, right? It must be, because Ronnie celebrates by snorting some more painkillers. So much for that three-day chip.

Jerry...well, Jerry's back in the casino. He runs into Naomi (Weronika Rosati), the cute poker dealer, and they play at the same table. It's romance of a sort. Until he beats her. She still wants to hang out, because what isn't unattractive about a dissolute, unwashed gambler with an apparent death wish? So taken is he with his uncombed hair and leisure ensemble she has sex with him in his car.

Ace goes with Claire to the thoroughbred farm, which is about as exciting as watching horses graze (I was really hoping Joan Allen was another bad guy). After, he goes to Sacramento to meet the Indians, making sure he allows Mike's people to photograph him. Then, after fretting with Gus about Nathan's absence, watches his horse on the newly installed Webcam. Who wants to bet that particular bit of technology plays a part later?

The key to this week's episode, however, is second Nathan's visit to Mike's yacht. Here is where he see the deliberateness of Milch's narrative at play: Did Ace slip when he said he was giving the kid his "marching papers?" Did he mean "marching orders?" Was his hiring of Nathan a calculated strategy, derived from knowing the young man would be sure to aggravate Mike? If so, it worked, for when Nathan smugly uses Ace's "He answers a question with a question" line on Mike, he's rewarded by Dumbledore clouting him with an ashtray. That one phrase was all Mike needed to know Nathan was "100 percent" Ace's man.

"Syntax is how I know! Syntax!" Awesome.

Is Nathan dead? Can Leon ride a horse without breaking it? How will Jerry fuck up his budding romance with Naomi (because you know he will)? Has Ace finally lost all faith in Gus? Will we finally see a horse explode?

Two more weeks...

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar