By Jordan Magrath
Following, by far, the best episode of the season, “Episode Six” does a pretty good job following it up. Sure it wasn’t quite as riveting, but at least the momentum kept going. For a season with a lack of wow-inspiring moments, “Luck” needed a good stretch to save the finale. At this rate, there is a good chance this could happen.
Okay, to the episode! “Episode Six” took place primarily on the racetrack, which, for a a show about horse racing, shouldn’t be that surprising. However, instead of one race, we got to see two! In race one was the “Pick Six’s” newest horse, jockeyed by Leon. Hmm…some character connection! In race two was Rosie on Walter’s horse.
But before all this could happen, we had an odd (but fun) action sequence that involved an (unmagnified) earthquake. While the result of the earthquake really didn’t amount to anything (besides Joey), it was still the part that really jump-started the episode. There’s a pun in there somewhere, I’m sure. Joey, on the one hand, was in the midst of perhaps killing himself when the quake made him inadvertently pull the trigger on his gun, sending a bullet ricocheting around his bathroom and scaring his face. It’s a real wake-up call and chance for Joey to change his ways. The result was Joey 2.0 (or perhaps 3.0). The new Joey had oozing confidence and was temporarily stammer-less. Although this faded by the end of the episode, I think Joey lives on for a long time now.
Back to the races, the “Pick Six’s” horse won a race despite a post-race inquiry looking into Leon’s jockeying. By cutting off another horse, they were almost disqualified. However, the judges rule in their favor and the boys get their first win. Yay!
In the second race, Rosie doesn’t just beat the competition, she completely obliterates it. She sets a new track record, but much to the chagrin of Walter. When she resorts to whipping his horse, he takes the action particularly hard. This action rifts them two by also showing how much he loves his horse(s). They do make up a bit later, which also shows how much he cares for Rosie.
On the Ace homefront, we finally got a look at what exactly Ace was trying to do. He’s trying to bring gambling to the race track in the form of slot machines. His new business employee, Nathan Israel, visited that yacht from a few episodes back to do something. However, the intentions were completely lost on me. It’s moments like this that still plague the show. I understand that “Luck’s” writers are trying to create suspense by also keeping us in the dark. However, it’s frustrating to not understand things for multiple episodes. In the case of Ace’s dealings, we didn’t know for five episodes (of nine) what he was trying to do. It’s almost like they’re setting up the idea earlier only to save it for a finale-type event. With that being said, I’m happy we know more now!
Speaking of Ace, I’ve been wondering what the point of his sidekick’s character (Gus). Besides driving him around, his part of the show seemed pretty pointless. That’s why the end of the episode had an interesting twist, where Ace became upset with him. Their friendship isn’t a-OK like it seems. I chalk this more up to Ace’s personality than anything that had happened. He plainly says there is something wrong with him. Up to this point, we hadn’t seen as much character depth as we probably deserved. It does appear now that there is something else going on inside him.
All in all, the episode kept the momentum going. During the beginning of “Episode Six,” it sort of dragged, but everything (almost) after the earthquake worked tremendously. By the end, we had two fun (and well-shot) races, some character conflict, and even a few romantic bouts. The rifts are starting to pile up (except for my “Pick Six” crew) while the different characters start to come together. At this point, I could care less about Escalente and more about Jerry, Marcus, and the rest, but I’m interested where the remainder of the season goes.