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S03.E06: This Trust Thing

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In the wake of a personal loss, Candy finds the emotional core of her latest movie; Abby confronts Vincent after she makes an alarming discovery; Paul turns to activism as the AIDS epidemic continues to ravage New York's gay community.

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You buried the lead.

Spoiler

Rudy getting popped is the major development. It is all going to crash. He was the only thing protecting Vinnie and the bats and the massage parlors. Only two episodes left for the final destruction of the Deuce and its transfiguration into Disneyland the way it is now.

Edited by The Ringo Kidd
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Wasn't expecting Rudy to bite it.  Thought it would probably be Tommy so I appreciated that unexpected twist.  I'm assuming that Tommy got the green light to take out Rudy based on Rudy's belligerence and lack of cooperation with the other made guy.  It's hard to believe that Tommy decided to do that on his own, even though he was probably furious about being humiliated earlier, for two reasons:  his calm demeanor just prior to shooting Rudy - he didn't seem to be acting with emotion or passion but with a well thought out plan; and the fact that he is probably well aware that if he acted on his own and took out his boss, that his life would be over.

Given that turn of events, there doesn't seem to be any realistic way Vince can survive to the end of the finale, unless he packs up and gets out of town permanently.  I wonder if they are leading toward an even more tragic end, for example Abby (which would not be so tragic, she really annoys me) ends up as collateral damage as payback from the mob, or someone else who has no direct role in this beef.  It really seems like Vince went down a road that he cannot turn off from and live happily ever after, at least not in a believable way.  He obviously knows he is on borrowed time or he would not have brought the gun into their bedroom for defense.

So, Big Mike just walks off into the sunset to die of AIDS alone?  "Vince, I gotta go."  Puzzling way to behave, and very sad exit.

Bobby can't not be a douche.  That is all.

I'm intrigued by the development of the city official character who is in the closet (can't think of his name) over the last couple of episodes.  He is still in the closet professionally which is not at all surprising (it's still only the 80's plus AIDS is now elevating long-standing homophobia), but there is a growing comfort with who he is.  He at least can claim it with those closest to him.  His confession to his wife last episode was actually a poignant and powerful exchange ("I can't stop. It's who I am.")  And in this episode, I was surprised to see that he was out to Paul and that the two of them had some kind of ongoing friendship/relationship.  I was under the impression that he was still visiting the gay bars/bathhouses in a completely anonymous fashion, but clearly there are leaders in the gay community who know him and who he is, and he does not seem to be uncomfortable with that fact.  Good for him.  I feel sorry for his wife, who obviously loves him.

Kudos to some other poster who said in an earlier thread that we have not seen the last of Melissa/Margaret, although I didn't pick up much in the way of significance from her scenes.

Perhaps the most confusing scene for me was Harvey/Eileen.  I did not see Eileen resisting or pushing him away at all.  It seemed that she was receptive to his pass/seduction.  It appeared to me that it was all Harvey who put the brakes on it, after initiating it.  I wonder if others saw it the same.  I'm not completely sure what happened there but I would like to take a very optimistic view.  Harvey has been pining for Eileen sexually for years, but I believe at this point in time he loves and respects her deeply.  After her intense emotional dump on set and perhaps some wine, she was extremely vulnerable and he initially acted with his heart/libido, but quickly thought better of it, realizing her vulnerability in the moment, her steady relationship with another guy, and that challenging their very successful business/platonic relationship in that moment with sexual spontaneity may not have been a wise course.  At least, that is my take.

I don't know where to start with Lori.  Good for her for finally severing her relationship with those parasites - the agent and her manager/boyfriend/suitcase pimp.  I wonder if this is where she exits porn for good.  After the gangbang there is not that much further down the ladder to go - bukakke? (J/K - that wasn't a thing until the late 90's or early 2000's.)  Maybe I'll have more thoughts on her later.

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Was definitely surprise to see  Rudy taken out. It seems like Vince is probably not long for this world now unless he skips town. Of course there isnt much holding him here now. His brother is dead, his business is struggling, his relationship with Abbey is just about over, and even Big Mike is off to walk into the sunset to die. 

Good for Lori for standing up for herself and trying to escape all of these leaches trying to suck her dry. I hope that she can get out of this alright, but I am still worried about where she ends up when the show ends. 

Paul going into politics to make his life mean something is both nice to see and very sad, especially with him saying that he probably has the virus and will die soon anyway. His scene with Abbey wondering if people will remember him was heartbreaking. Abbey is really so much better when she isnt with Vince, when she actually seems somewhat invested. I do wonder where Abbey will end up, she seems kind of stalled at this point. Originally she seemed to be working at the bar as a sort of break from the more middle class college experience she was bored with, but now its been several years, its not a break or a youthful walk about kind of thing, its her life, and I dont know how happy she is about that. 

Wow Eileen really unloaded a lot of backstory on that actress. Maggie G is such a great actress, she has been such a treat to watch throughout this whole show. I did kind of crack up at the actresses face during her whole rant. Like, "So...should I move my fingers more or..."

Poor Big Mike. 

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5 hours ago, sd dude said:

I don't know where to start with Lori.  Good for her for finally severing her relationship with those parasites - the agent and her manager/boyfriend/suitcase pimp.  I wonder if this is where she exits porn for good.  After the gangbang there is not that much further down the ladder to go - bukakke? (J/K - that wasn't a thing until the late 90's or early 2000's.)  Maybe I'll have more thoughts on her later.

I was kind of surprised they went there. As a Howard Stern fan I remember the biggest gang bang “competition” of the 90s between Annabel Chong, Jasmin St. Claire, and Houston, but I guess it had to start somewhere.

I really thought “Chekhov’s gun” would come into play and Lori would shoot the boyfriend and the other girl, or die by suicide, or he’d shoot her for trying to leave. Glad to see her moving on.

Good to see Paul joining the protest.

Bobby is a dumbass. Of course you have no leverage to pimp women/girls unless they’re naive and underage, in the country illegally, hooked on hard drugs, etc. Good for the girls going independent. #capitalism

Surprised to see Rudy gone, but I guess it was the end of an era for mobsters who were “above” selling drugs.

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8 hours ago, sd dude said:

Kudos to some other poster who said in an earlier thread that we have not seen the last of Melissa/Margaret, although I didn't pick up much in the way of significance from her scenes.

When we first saw her dressed up for her "date," I honestly wondered if she was going to go do stand up somewhere.  She had the stereotypical '80s female comic look down.  I guess she was acting as a beard for some guy?  It was a little confusing. 

7 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

Wow Eileen really unloaded a lot of backstory on that actress. Maggie G is such a great actress, she has been such a treat to watch throughout this whole show. I did kind of crack up at the actresses face during her whole rant. Like, "So...should I move my fingers more or..."

That whole scene was amazing.  It felt very real without going over the top.  It was interesting the brother had already died.   I wonder if he ever made it out of the institution we saw him in, in Season 1.  

And yeah, good for Lori for cutting out those parasites.  I really hope she gets some kind of happy ending, or at least one that seems hopeful.   

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2 hours ago, txhorns79 said:

When we first saw her dressed up for her "date," I honestly wondered if she was going to go do stand up somewhere.  She had the stereotypical '80s female comic look down.  I guess she was acting as a beard for some guy?  It was a little confusing

I think that is a different character than Melissa. I dont know her name but she is the one that works for Abby at the High Hat, was planning to go to Washington to protest against porn at the Meese hearings, and instead took those days off to spend time with that fella (Juan?) who showed up at the bar to pick her up after her shift.  I thought that was a legitimate "meet the boyfriend's parents" dinner, with the added awkwardness of not wanting to reveal the true circumstances of how they met, which is why she said to him under her breath "How did we meet" so they could have their stories straight.

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Maybe it's all the mob movies I have watched but I was not surprised about Rudy, I was waiting for Tommy to shoot him when he got out of the car. Also figured Melissa would be back.

I was afraid Lori was going to end up like Dorothy Stratten, killed by her boyfriend, so I am glad she got away from him. But I have always had a feeling of doom about her so I think things are going to end badly for her.

I'm really enjoying this season, maybe because I was a teen in the 80's so I can relate a bit more to this era. Although I was a sheltered kid in the midwest so this was so not my experience. 🙂

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7 hours ago, sd dude said:

I think that is a different character than Melissa. I dont know her name but she is the one that works for Abby at the High Hat, was planning to go to Washington to protest against porn at the Meese hearings, and instead took those days off to spend time with that fella (Juan?) who showed up at the bar to pick her up after her shift.  I thought that was a legitimate "meet the boyfriend's parents" dinner, with the added awkwardness of not wanting to reveal the true circumstances of how they met, which is why she said to him under her breath "How did we meet" so they could have their stories straight.

That makes more sense!  The show has a lot of minor characters running around, and it's not always easy to keep them separate from one another. 

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22 hours ago, sd dude said:

I think that is a different character than Melissa. I dont know her name but she is the one that works for Abby at the High Hat, was planning to go to Washington to protest against porn at the Meese hearings, and instead took those days off to spend time with that fella (Juan?) who showed up at the bar to pick her up after her shift.  I thought that was a legitimate "meet the boyfriend's parents" dinner, with the added awkwardness of not wanting to reveal the true circumstances of how they met, which is why she said to him under her breath "How did we meet" so they could have their stories straight.

That actress looks so much like Jami Gertz it’s ridiculous! I would have thought it was her (but she’s like 50 now) or her daughter.

Her name is Sepideh Moafi.

Edited by MCMLXXVII
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Wow, Rudy really stepped up for Vincent, at his own peril. For naught, unfortunately. Vincent is toast.

Poor Lori. Her boyfriend/manager was putting her hard-earned money up his nose. It really took a long time for her to see how much he was using her.

TMW you unsuccessfully try to negotiate the conditions of your gangbang. Lori's still a prostitute, her new pimps were just letting her think she had a choice. She might've been better off staying with CC.

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It is depressing to see characters get killed off each episode.  I feel like I am watching the last episode of 6 Feet Under in slow motion.

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On 10/15/2019 at 1:06 PM, The Ringo Kidd said:

You buried the lead.

  Hide contents

Rudy getting popped is the major development. It is all going to crash. He was the only thing protecting Vinnie and the bats and the massage parlors. Only two episodes left for the final destruction of the Deuce and its transfiguration into Disneyland the way it is now.

buried the lede

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On 10/15/2019 at 12:43 PM, sd dude said:

Wasn't expecting Rudy to bite it.  Thought it would probably be Tommy so I appreciated that unexpected twist.  I'm assuming that Tommy got the green light to take out Rudy based on Rudy's belligerence and lack of cooperation with the other made guy.

Is Tommy a made guy? I would assume he is, but I don't recall. I kind of call mild bs on this. To be fair, given what the show has said about the internal strife, I guess. But Rudy correctly pointed out that he had solid, credible earners in his crew, and I would think that warranted a sit down with his higher ups. I know this isn't a show about the inner workings of the mafia, but Rudy had good relationships with his crew, so where is all that money going to go now? He also correctly pointed out that the son of a made guy isn't necessarily protected. I guess Vincent is his tragic flaw, even though Vincent is the only one above board.

On 10/15/2019 at 12:43 PM, sd dude said:

Perhaps the most confusing scene for me was Harvey/Eileen.  I did not see Eileen resisting or pushing him away at all.  It seemed that she was receptive to his pass/seduction.  It appeared to me that it was all Harvey who put the brakes on it, after initiating it.  I wonder if others saw it the same.

That was my take. I think she even cradled his arm.

On 10/15/2019 at 6:09 PM, MCMLXXVII said:

I was kind of surprised they went there. As a Howard Stern fan I remember the biggest gang bang “competition” of the 90s between Annabel Chong, Jasmin St. Claire, and Houston, but I guess it had to start somewhere.

I do too. To be fair, after Lori sang at the bar, she told Fig, 'I'll do whatever.' So, Fig was just doing her job. Lori is completely valid in being totally over this shit, but, what was she expecting to happen at this point. She effectively reached the pinnacle of A list porn star.

I'm not so sure Vincent is doomed. It's documented that he's a good earner. Rudy gave him the protection to off the guy, who is known as a drug dealer, which the old school guys won't like. I don't think Tommy would say anything bad about him either, and he knows first hand Vincent earns. Getting rid of Rudy might have actually put him in the clear.

The tragic part is that if Vincent left well enough alone, then Rudy wouldn't have got got.

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15 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

I'm not so sure Vincent is doomed. It's documented that he's a good earner. Rudy gave him the protection to off the guy, who is known as a drug dealer, which the old school guys won't like. I don't think Tommy would say anything bad about him either, and he knows first hand Vincent earns. Getting rid of Rudy might have actually put him in the clear.

But since Vince is not a made guy and Caccace,, Sr. is, if daddy still decides to take out his grief on Vincent, would anyone really do anything in further retaliation?  Civilian earners may need to be groomed and developed, but I presume they are just considered commodities to LCN.  Rudy really did have a soft spot for him, which also might explain why he tolerated all the aggida and disrespect from Vince's PITA twin brother, who also put good money in Rudy's pocket, but eventually would have needed to stop his holding out and be taught a little respect.

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15 hours ago, DoctorAtomic said:

I'm not so sure Vincent is doomed. It's documented that he's a good earner. Rudy gave him the protection to off the guy, who is known as a drug dealer, which the old school guys won't like. I don't think Tommy would say anything bad about him either, and he knows first hand Vincent earns. Getting rid of Rudy might have actually put him in the clear.

I think during the episode it was implied that Vincent's earning power did not matter, and he would need to be taken out for having killed the son. 

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The key point there is that Rudy said, "I gave him permission". Rudy (a made guy) getting taken out then evens it for the son. *If* he wasn't made. If he was made, then forget it.

Then you take over for Rudy and get all the income. You tell Vincent - Everything is even. This stops now. You take it further, then it's on you.

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They specifically said that he was as not a made guy but his father was a big deal.

Tommy is going to approach Vincent and tell hum he is going to have to pay him. The club was closed so only the bar and the massage Parlors and the peeps Are on their last legs. The big peep on this show is obviously supposed to be Showworld which was shut down but not until much later.

Tommy Longo is a loser and he will screw it up.

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What reads unrealistic for me is that Rudy lied about giving permission for the revenge hit in order to protect Vincent.  Mobster with a heart of gold?  Yeah, Vince is an earner, but is it worth adding to all the ongoing strife within/between the families to protect one civilian earner?  I'm sure someone else can take over the bar and prepare the envelopes at the massage and peeps without too much difficulty.  This was pure loyalty.  Could guys really last very long in the mafia without displaying a much higher level of ruthlessness?

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3 hours ago, sd dude said:

  Yeah, Vince is an earner, but is it worth adding to all the ongoing strife within/between the families to protect one civilian earner? 

He was also literally the only person that never skimmed from Rudy too.

Even with 366 closed, Rudy said he was going to find another place for Vincent.

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On 10/16/2019 at 3:00 AM, Armchair Critic said:

Maybe it's all the mob movies I have watched but I was not surprised about Rudy, I was waiting for Tommy to shoot him when he got out of the car. Also figured Melissa would be back.

I was afraid Lori was going to end up like Dorothy Stratten, killed by her boyfriend, so I am glad she got away from him. But I have always had a feeling of doom about her so I think things are going to end badly for her.

I'm really enjoying this season, maybe because I was a teen in the 80's so I can relate a bit more to this era. Although I was a sheltered kid in the midwest so this was so not my experience. 🙂

Yeah, I wonder if Lori is based on anyone in particular or just sort of an amalgam of a lot of people?  Dorothy Stratten occurred to me as well probably just because of the time period and the blonde hair, but Lori seems less naive than Stratten has been portrayed.  

I was also a teen in the 80s and am enjoying this season more than the others as well.  Part of it is the music and part of it is the strange combination of the lingering seediness  of the 70s and the surface brightness and optimism of the early 80s.  Its like I was vaguely aware of some of this stuff at the time, but was young and didn't really know what was happening.  I about AIDS but it didn't really touch my life in any real way other than the dire warnings about safe sex.  It still amazes and saddens me that a huge portion of a generation of people (mostly gay men) was wiped during my lifetime and no one wanted to address it.  Whenever I watch something about it now, I get a bit overwhelmed at the tragedy of it.  Right now I am more invested in Paul story and Lori's story more than the others.

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6 minutes ago, Deanie87 said:

Yeah, I wonder if Lori is based on anyone in particular or just sort of an amalgam of a lot of people?  Dorothy Stratten occurred to me as well probably just because of the time period and the blonde hair, but Lori seems less naive than Stratten has been portrayed. 

I would think a big difference would be Stratten was 20 when she was killed.  She was a teenager when she did Playboy, and from what I understand, that was her first exposure to the sex industry.  At the time she died, she was going mainstream in her career.  Lori, on the other hand, spent years on the streets as a prostitute under the thumb of a violent pimp, and has been doing porn for nearly a decade.  That alone puts her in a much different place than Stratten.  

And someone had mentioned last week that Eileen reminded them of Pretty Woman with her outfit.  I think she looks a lot more like this:

giphy.gif

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41 minutes ago, Deanie87 said:

Its like I was vaguely aware of some of this stuff at the time, but was young and didn't really know what was happening.  I about AIDS but it didn't really touch my life in any real way other than the dire warnings about safe sex.  It still amazes and saddens me that a huge portion of a generation of people (mostly gay men) was wiped during my lifetime and no one wanted to address it.  Whenever I watch something about it now, I get a bit overwhelmed at the tragedy of it.

Yeah. It was something I heard about but didn't really live.

When the guy told Paul he was the only person still alive in the picture - I don't know where I heard this but it reminded me - "I remember when Pride was basically a funeral march; you never knew who was going to make it to next year back then."

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My guess is Vincent will survive. In December 1985, John Gotti (already mentioned on the show) took over the Gambino family by killing the current head. The father of the guy Vincent killed was with the Gambino family. I think he will die (and likely Tommy also) in the take over, letting Vincent off the hook.

Edited by Gobi

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On 10/17/2019 at 9:07 PM, txhorns79 said:

I would think a big difference would be Stratten was 20 when she was killed.  She was a teenager when she did Playboy, and from what I understand, that was her first exposure to the sex industry.  At the time she died, she was going mainstream in her career.  Lori, on the other hand, spent years on the streets as a prostitute under the thumb of a violent pimp, and has been doing porn for nearly a decade.  That alone puts her in a much different place than Stratten.  

And someone had mentioned last week that Eileen reminded them of Pretty Woman with her outfit.  I think she looks a lot more like this:

giphy.gif

Oh Bleech! It's Christy Brinkley. Can't stand her and her friggin always chipper-ness. Easy to be happy when you made easy billions off your blonde bland white girl looks. 

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As I was reading this thread earlier, I had the TV on in the other room, with a Law & Order (original) rerun playing, and I heard a voice that sounded very familiar. It sounded a lot like Lori, so I went into the other room to look, and sure enough, it was a younger Lori with dark hair, but the same voice and teeth/mouth. It was from around 2010. Nice to see her with her clothes on. 🙂

I loved the last couple of episodes, by the way, especially this one. I guess some of us were wrong about Candy/Eileen's boyfriend dumping her last ep when he left a phone message to cancel their date. I didn't post, but also thought he might be giving her the boot. Guess not. It was nice seeing Harvey and her boyfriend (name?) schooling her on Jewish death traditions. Very real touch.

Speaking of Harvey, I agree with sd dude about that awkward romantic scene with Eileen. I also think it was coming from a very real and deep place for him, and she is also truly fond of him (in a brotherly way), and I think Harvey was the one who stopped it. I'm sure he knew it wasn't a good idea, for the reasons already mentioned. Hope they're able to push through it, like it never happened, or talk about it and then put it to rest.

Did anyone else think of S2 of The Wire when Bobby/Frank (I admit I had to just look up the name) started talking about being a union guy his whole life? Oh Bobby, if only you were half as loyal and smart as Frank.

I was rooting for Vince and Abby at the end, and was glad they could comfort each other for at least that night. He really does love her, and by now, they've been together almost 15 years! I know she cares about him a great deal, but I don't think she could give up her "free" self and settle in with Vince in a pretty boring life. Except for the drugs, sex, money, killings, etc. 🙂

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I don't think there's anything wrong with her wanting to just manage the bar. It's successful, and she's good at it. I actually thought they were going to make her kind of a promoter when they started bringing in the bands. Like, early punk and 80s new wave, playing the Hi-Hat would be a big deal. 

I can't imagine Vincent thinks she would be ok with just being a housewife. I don't think he would be either. He seems to like the bustle of managing a club. 

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I'm savoring these recap/reaction posts as I parcel out the last few episodes of "The Deuce", trying to make one of my favorite shows last (because of some medical memory issues, I actually rewatched S1-2 first which helped A LOT) ... 

I had a strong suspicion that Big Mike had AIDS last episode (and while we didn't see that much of his "personal" life on the show, the episode(s?) where we did made it make sense right away), but that didn't keep my heart from breaking a bit ... kudos too to the makeup/hair crew who really showed his physical deterioration. He was one of my favorite characters. 

I spent the whole show pretty much trying to figure out who would die, Rudy or Tommy. What I expected was they'd shoot each other and both die, right down to the last moment when Tommy was about to fire the second shot, and I thought maybe a dying Rudy would get a shot off in return first. I really liked the way Rudy's character developed/softened a bit with the time jump. I don't expect Tommy to survive the last two episodes though ...

Was Lori's film appearance a shout out to "Debbie Does Dallas"?

Eileen/Candy's monologue was one of the highlights of the series for me. 

So much else I'm still processing but I really love/d this show so much. Am going to miss it. But I guess one of the few "perks" of my memory issues is that I'll be able to watch the whole thing again in a year or two and not remember anything from this last bingewatch! (I'm about to do that with "Treme" ... I'm STILL not ready for "The Wire" because it breaks my heart way too much). 

Edited by PamelaMaeSnap
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1 hour ago, PamelaMaeSnap said:

Was Lori's film appearance a shout out to "Debbie Does Dallas"?

Without question, I think.  Just being in a cheerleader outfit surrounded by athletes is certainly not an unusual porn scenario but for viewers who know of the film from the golden age of porn, I suppose it is something of an easter egg for us.

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