Luck – Chapter Ten
Normally Luck isn’t a show that I watch for the story but this week’s episode was special, it was the events of the shows surface and not their subtle, metaphorical meanings that most moved me. For weeks we’ve watched the people of this track shuffle places – moving up and down the scales, manoeuvring around one another and into positions that they both did and didn’t deserve – and with this episode we finally got to zoom out a little and see at least a piece of the greater shape that their motions are making as many of the meetings came to climactic heads. Ace has always been a tragically tangential character, distant from the rest of the show, and Mike – his nemesis – was bound to it only through him, the most ostracised of outliers, that is until now. We were all expecting the Degenerates to have a downfall after last weeks ludicrously lucky run, but I for one didn’t see it coming so soon; setting them up as a second opposition for Mike through the investment of their new capital was a bold move on Milch’s behalf and one that will provide a whole host of great material for this second stretch of episodes, I only hope they make it through to the next season alive!
Though this episode wasn’t just a platesetter, it had a whole lot of action of its own, including what I will have to say is the best of the horse races yet and that means something given the greatness of the stable – how the show manages to keep topping itself on this front is incredible to me -though it was what happened after the action that was most memorable. When Pint O’ Plain has one of those moments of animal prescience on the walk back to the stalls, freaks out, falls and is fatally wounded on the way down, while at the exact same time Ace’s grandson is getting whacked was one of the show’s strongest and saddest moments to date. Sure it was a little on the nose but the juxtaposition between the boy and the horse was well set up late last week for this most potent of pay-offs, plus it provided an opportunity for Nolte and Hoffman to interact that made sense; he is perhaps the only man that could understand how Ace was hurt more by the loss of his horse than his boy. We’ve been waiting all season for these two to come together, but the wait was worth it; that scene had me in tears, lets hope there is a tie at the Emmy’s this year. These events were all extraordinary enough on their own, but there was still more to them than that; the final reveal in the closing minutes that all of this was Ace’s daydreaming, an attempt to stay the silent dark while he survives the final year of his prison sentence was shocking beyond belief, though I don’t think it was the only twist of the episode. I have a theory that the Ace we saw in that coda wasn’t our Ace from year before, but an entirely different person, perhaps even a Degenerate who wished he was a big shot. My evidence for this after the Jump.
If only, if only…
April Fools are cruel.