Let me just tell you: this episode of The Deuce had one of the most surprising openers I can remember. I even had to do a little research after! Let's find out what I'm alluding to after the break, shall we? Rolling The Deuce S2:E04 What Big Ideas!
We open in a photographer's studio with Larry Brown (Gbenga Akkinnagbe) having photos done for his portfolio, ruining shot after shot with a huge, glorious smile.
The photographer (Jason Kravits) was thinking more menacing, though, you know why. We all know why. Larry's trying to find his method while his lady Darlene (Dominique Fishback) watches from the peanut gallery.
Back to the shoot! Larry doesn't want to drop trou, he's here for head shots! He paid $59.95 for these leather pants! Time to put up or shut up.
(Included only because it made me laugh)
Somewhere in New York City, the sun disappears behind a moving object. A small wind grows, people shiver and stare at the sky.
I can't gif that. But DAYUM Gbenga Akkinagbe! You're a series regular!
I do love how he smiles his biggest smile during, he got his teeth in there after all! **Not that anyone noticed with an entire non-electrified eel laying across the bed.
*Across the country, people are reassuring their partners: "Yes, honey, I'm sure it's a prosthetic."
Sidenote: the interesting thing about everything that's happening now between Darlene and Larry is that it's reversed. He was the pimp, she was the prostitute, but now he's the one selling flesh and she's slinging knowledge. All that book and street learning came to something after all. Larry's just starting out, he has no idea what he's signed up for. A quick reminder of last week:
Is Gbenga Akkinagbe single? Hmm, no answer online, he must be private.
Paul (Chris Coy) is excitedly planning the interior of his new gabar with Vincent Martino's (James Franco with a long, dry wig and bad mustache) help, I hope Vincent points out the whole mob protection aspect soon. He does, Paul (worst.mustache.ever) wants to be out on his own, but who's gonna protect his Italian marble?
Candy Merrell (Maggie Gyllenhaal) has been working like a dog on her new movie idea, an X-Rated Little Red Riding Hood, securing her first 10 grand in seed money in LA and scouting locations back in New York. Her mentor and boss Harvey Wasserman (David Krumholtz) flips through her workbook (fabric samples and pubic hair drawings), he's worried that it's coming off a bit quaint.
But it's not going to be that, it's about the "hunger and the terror and the risk we all fucking risk to connect to each other."
Fuck you, Harv! He'll back it, though, in whatever shape its in, but he needs three straight scenes, some light girlbi and a free for all at the end, capiche? They have such a good working relationship.
*Seriously, we're all half in love with Harvey, right?
Harvey's wife is awesome, and took scriptwriting in school. Guess who needs a scriptwriter? And a name in IMDb?? Candy wants to do it on her own.
The Hi Hat is buzzing with Abby Parker's (Margarita Levieva) photo show, she's been taking pictures all along but I think these are Viv's (Adelind Horan) shots. Viv and Vincent hit it off immediately, lots of long looks.
There's a moment with an unidentified woman looking at a picture, I was so sure she was looking at herself that I had to go check it out. And I was right: she's Nan Goldin, a renowned American photographer.
Irene (Roberta Colindrez) opens the peepshow safe for Big Mike (Mustafa Shakir), they gossip about Frankie (James Franco with greasy black hair and a slightly better mustache) and orgasms until someone screaming about Shay (Kim Director) draws them out of the office.
Shay's od'd on stage, the worst thing is that men are refusing the leave their peeshow booths. Well. Not the WORST thing. Shay's put in a cab and sent to the hospital, third time this year.
Abby goes looking for Vincent, then Viv, they've found a quiet corner I'm guessing. Or alley. Or bathroom. Love is klass in The Deuce.
Awww, I jumped ahead a couple of steps, Viv and Vincent only went to Club 366, not WhatWasYourNameAgain?SexTown. Just when they're catching up to me and he's about to "walk her home", Abby shows up. Wah wah wahhh. Oh but the party isn't over.
Boy, the 70s were fun, hey?? Abby and Vincent have an open relationship, but I'm guessing the fact that Abby and Viv were friends makes a difference.
Frankie shows up at his new dry cleaner business only 3 hours past opening, it's going GREAT.
Shay wakes up alive at least, Irene has signed her up for rehab. Melissa (Olivia Luccardi)'s there too, she'll run interference with Shay's pimp Rodney (Method Man). Irene is definitely in love with Shay.
An asthmatic cameraman (Joel Marsh Garland from OITNB!) keeps throwing Lori (Emily Meade) off as she's trying to shoot a scene, her pimp C.C. (Gary Carr) steps in with a prescient suggestion. Why not have the male half of the scene shoot it? That's what people really want to see.
*Turns out, that is really what people want to see. Almost as much as interracial.
Bernie Wolf (Stephen Gevedon) does not want C.C.'s help, he says good day, sir! GOOD.DAY!
Candy's kiddo explains the plot of The Love Boat to her while her mom rolls her eyes at "I'm not an actress!" Joan's (Carolyn Mignini) mostly worried because Candy's kiddo has been looking at Penthouse magazine, which is totally normal for that age range.
*Remember when all you had to worry about was a discarded magazine in the woods? REMEMBER BEFORE THE INTERNET??
C.C. approaches Bernie after the movie shoot, pitching a movie about pimps. Bernie makes the mistake of laughing, which means he won't be shooting Lori for awhile.
There's another fire at a rival massage parlor, it doesn't sound like Kitty made it out.
Ashley/Dorothy Spina (Jamie Neumann) and Dave (Sebastian Arcelus) walk the stroll, talking about the various women and interrupted rudely by Rodney. Rodney looks like he should be funny, but he's really not.
Dorothy runs into Loretta (Sepideh Moafi), she's back with Larry Brown again. She tried to set up house with a john, but it didn't work out. You can't house-husband a john.
Candy works late into the night on the script, it's not coming together. She's still with that guy? Who's that guy again? Where is this? It doesn't look like her swank normal apartment, she looks out in the alley to see a woman in a bright jacket walk by.
Ohh, that was one of Rudy's massage parlours that got firebombed, probably in retaliation for Tommy Longo (Daniel Sauli) setting the fire at a rival parlour last week. Bobby (Chris Bauer) can't believe the bouncer didn't clear the rooms until the smoke hit the second floor. Carlos (Gino Vento) was maybe drunk and not watching as closely as he should have been.
Abby and Dorothy try to figure out who Kitty was, Bobby doesn't know her last name or where she came from, he's got nothing. Dorothy's on it.
There's an emergency meeting across town between Rudy Pipilo (Michael Rispoli), Tommy and mob boss Carmine Patriccia (James Ciccone), what are they gonna do after the death?
Bobby's drunk as a skunk, mourning Kitty's death. He let her live in the parlour and now she's dead. Abby doesn't let up an inch.
Detective Chris Alston (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) gets the headsup from his boss Inspector Deputy McDonagh (Ed Moran) that the Midtown Enforcement Project is interested in his arson homicide. They have half a million dollars for once thing, this precinct has nada.
One of the things Dorothy and Dave have been working on is free medical care for the ladies, they've got a doctor (Michael Torpey) lined up who swears he won't be taking advantage as other doctors have in the past.
****I couldn't figure out why I hated and mistrusted this doctor on sight until I realised that he was the evilest guard on Orange is the New Black before I stopped watching.
Candy found a writer!
Dorothy and Dave head to Nyack to see if anyone recognises Kitty's picture, just as Dorothy's about to give up on everything, someone pipes up that it looks like a Stephanie they know.
Midtown Enforcement's having a party, yay! Chris is there all reluctance, Gene Goldman (Luke Kirby) is happy to see him, but Chris doesn't stay long. He's not into riding the overtime pony or treading water like most of these guys.
Kitty's dad does not want anything to do with Dorothy, Dave or his own daughter's dead body sitting in a New York City morgue.
Officer Haddix (Ralph Macchio) asks Black Frankie (Thaddeus Street) to pick a joint for them to knock over the next week, they have to give the bosses something. Vincent pops in to grab the vig from Bernice (Andrea-Rachel Parker) and borrows Black Frankie for a minute. I forgot how pretty Bernice is, she still hasn't acclimated to the big city.
Oh! I'm an idiot, I missed that the editor is Candy's new boyfriend, I like him and his work! No idea what his name is or who plays him.
Frankie loves watching his new wife work, Christina Fuego (Katrina Cunningham) puts on a great burlesque show until some drunk guy gets a little too close to the moneymaker.
*I'm always taken aback when I see an untrimmed...area like that, the 70s were awesome!
Vincent borrowed Black Frankie because he wants BF to take over the run for him, Tommy doesn't understand. He takes a minute to shoot a rival in.the.head and then it's business as usual.
Vincent gets home to find a bereft Abby: Kitty was only 16. Since she'd been in the game for a year already, she was only 15 when Bobby hired her. He said he checked her ID!
Abby wants Bobby to pay for the memorial, but Vincent says he'll cover it. Abby thinks Bobby is out of control.
She was only 15?
Kitty's death and the violence Vincent just witnessed have them in two separate bad places.
Woooooo Larry Brown's in his first movie and he's been a bad boy! Let's just say his acting of a bad actor is spot on. Candy's the director, though, he's in great hands. Darlene steps in to suggest a script re-write, what about Harvey's wife?! And her name?
Ooh, Lori's meeting with Kiki Rains (Alysia Reiner) again, she'd like to hire Kiki to do everything the right way, but with C.C. in the way...
Darlene spills to Candy, Larry can't read so no way he'll be able to learn some new lines on the fly today. Maybe they'd better improv. Heather (Margaret Judson) does NOT want to improv. Always trust your Candy!
Oh. I did.
Chris is reviewing photos from the arson scene when Gene Goldman shows up, why did Chris leave when he was requested specially? Coz Chris is too busy for his shite but he does offer up that all the guys at the party effectively torpedoed the big raid Gene has planned for the following week.
Kitty aka Stephanie Esposito is buried in the rain with Dorothy, Vincent and Bobby in attendance and we're oot.
It's nice to see half of the cast from OITNB over here, woot! I always wonder what happens to the character actors from those large casts, speaking of. Did you know the showrunner of The Deuce is responsible for The Wire? Now I've seen the first season (we used to watch it as a group!), so I knew of Lawrence Gilliard Jr., although I had to overcome my strong dislike of his deathscene in The Walking Dead. I did not realise that's where Gbenge Akinnagbe made his bones, though, I gotta run through the full cast one of these days and get right.
Until the next time, cheers!