Nonstop good 'Luck' puts Gus to sleep
March 5th, 2012
03:31 PM ET

Nonstop good 'Luck' puts Gus to sleep

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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Filed under: Luck • television • TV recaps

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. ChrisJames

    I wish HBO would stop coming out with a new series ever other month. I want to see films. If I want to watch a one hour drama or 30 min sit com I'll watch the commerical networks!

    March 7, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jim Dandey

    This show is so BORING and convoluted... I stopped watching after last week's episode.

    March 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. kyle

    There was not a "contested finish" in the Mon Gateau race. There was an inquiry. Mon Gateau did not maintain a straight course through the stretch. He moved inward as he hit the lead causing the third place horse, racing between Mon Gateau and the horse on the rail, to "check" or lose momentum. The Stewards (judges) looked at the tape of the race and spoke with the jockeys involved. They determined that the horse that was bothered by Mon Gateau was already tiring and that the incident did not effect the order of finish. So instead of disqualifying Mon Gateau from first and placing him behind the horse that was bothered they allowed the original order of finsih to stand.

    March 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ed G.

    "In a slow, prodding episode...."

    Prodding? Don't you mean Plodding? Jeez, a screw up on the fourth damn word. Doesn't anybody proofread stuff anymore? A bunch of very lazy so-and-sos.

    March 6, 2012 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Richard Fore

    I iz a ho-mo and a fudge packin fruit!! Any gayboyyz wanna hook up and pump each other silly??

    March 5, 2012 at 10:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Office Ant


    March 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Emma


    March 5, 2012 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |

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