March 5th, 2012
03:31 PM ET
In a slow, prodding episode that featured two horse races but little else, Ace Bernstein and Gus Demitriou (played by Dustin Hoffman and Dennis Farina) provided the spark that drives "Luck" on Sunday, even as they drifted in and out of dreaming.
Jockey agent Joey Rathburn was in a bad place, considering suicide after a call to his ex-wife. “Give my best to the kid,” he tells her, stammering while she blows him off for what seems like the umpteenth time. “Tell him to clean up his act.”
As he puts the gun to his head, a sudden earthquake causes him to stop – but not before the bullet fires at the floor, ricochets off a pipe and grazes his cheek. Somehow his stutter is gone after a trip to the doctor, as he proudly proclaims, stutter-free, “My name is Joey Rathburn!”
After the earthquake, “Foray Stables” (or the Four Stooges, as we’ve been calling them) agree to run their horse, who wins again - and by a lot.
But a “flag on the play” – a contested finish - leads to a pause in their celebration. The judges keep the results, though, and the suddenly rich get suddenly richer. Leon’s ride to victory almost caused a post-race jockey fight over the nearly illegal bump.
Meanwhile, Ace’s business whiz kid Nathan Israel takes a meeting with nemesis Mike, who convinces Israel to work for him as well, picking up “two paychecks instead of one.”
But that "convincing" was actually all part of Ace’s plan. The double crossing continues in the battle between Ace and Mike.
Nick Nolte’s character Walter is back after a one-episode hiatus, and runs his horse to another victory (while the Dropkick Murphys song made famous in “The Departed” plays in the background, giving the race a notably Irish feel). But Walter’s not happy with jockey Rosie, despite the major win (which was a track record). Rosie chose to use the whip on the horse when she didn’t need to, and Walter chides her after the race. But we do get a glimpse of what may be the best horse on the track.
Side note: Can we see a horse race that doesn’t feature a victory for our characters? We’re six episodes in, and despite major differences stylistically in the way the races are shot, and some of the drama associated with them, we haven’t seen a loss yet.
Meanwhile, in the ever-awkward relationship between Dr. Jo and star trainer Turo Escalante, it appears the fighting has reached a boiling point. But, as Jo mutters under her breath at the end of the episode, she’s “knocked up.”
Turo doesn’t know it yet, but the Foray Stables guys, Ace, Leon – they are just the beginning of what seem to be the stresses in his life.
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