February 13th, 2012
06:32 PM ET
The third episode of HBO’s "Luck" shows us various characters reverting to addictions and bad habits of the past, wincing slightly while they return to their previous ways.
For aging jockey Ronnie Jenkins, it’s drugs and alcohol (after he breaks his collarbone again in a racing accident). For Jerry, it’s the poker table (and continuing to burn through his share of the big episode one winning). For Dr. Jo and Turo Escalante, it’s, strangely, each other.
But more on that later. The episode opens with a near-collision on the track, echoing the plotlines of many of the characters in the show.
Our ladies man, Lonnie, is released from the hospital after getting robbed, and the other Four Horsemen of Pick-Six winners (as they call themselves – although they are more like the Four Stooges) come to visit.
We see Ace Bernstein (another expertly subdued performance by Dustin Hoffman) in a board meeting, looking equal parts uncomfortable and perfectly in place. Bernstein’s character continues to be the intriguing onion being peeled slowly layer by layer – each scene he’s in involves slow prodding music, and he's always being trailed by his bodyguard/friend Gus Demitriou.
Bernstein exudes power – sitting in the backseat in every car, waiting for doors to be opened for him, and holding meetings in the private suite at every occasion.
Before a meeting with Nathan Israel, a whiz kid financial expert Bernstein's courting for a million dollar mystery job, we meet Claire. Played by star Joan Allen, we encounter her in a cramped elevator, and she wants Bernstein to get involved in a horse charity.
At the end of the episode, Bernstein mumbles half-asleep, “I’m gonna call her in the morning” – signaling there’s more to come from Allen in future episodes.
There was far less actual horseracing in this episode, but the Four Horsemen/Stooges buy the horse they wanted all along while Cajun jockey Leon Micheaux had a mystery fall after feeling light-headed in a jockey steam room.
The strange end to the episode was Escalante and Dr. Jo (Jill Hennessy – formerly Dr. Jordan Cavanaugh of “Crossing Jordan”), who tossed F-bombs around earlier in the episode during a heated argument.
They ended the episode in the same house, grabbing a Budweiser each and, followed by the Valentine’s Day-worthy pick-up line of “You wanna do it?” from Escalante, retiring to the bedroom together.
Whatever their relationship is, or was, we’re likely to learn a lot more about in the coming episodes, as the characters' lives go around the proverbial track, hoping to avoid the collisions along the way.
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