Luck “Episode Four” Review

Episode four of Luck really brought David Milch’s vision into focus. Until now, I had wondered several times what connects all of these people that we see at the Santa Anita racetrack. This week really showed us what I had suspected all along: It’s the track. The track is a place where magic still occurs for these people. It doesn’t matter if you are a wide-eyed, inexperienced rider or an old, fragile horse owner and trainer, the track can be a place where something beautiful and unique can happen daily.

The beautiful and unique event occurred during the first race for Walter Smith’s promising colt Gettin’ Up Morning. Thanks to injury and weight issues, Gettin’ Up Morning has been given to Rosie who has returned from Portland for the honor. While the scene is masterfully shot, scored, and put together, the real beauty of the scene comes in watching those watching the race. Walter Smith cheered with everything that his old body would allow. Joey the jockey agent watched intently and fearfully as he recognized what Rosie’s win did to his jockeys chances of earning the mount atop Gettin’ Up Morning. Finally, there was the look of wonder in the eye of Marcus. Marcus seems to have been reborn at the track in the last few episodes. Between the pure joy he experiences in feeding his horse carrots and watching Gettin’ Up Morning unexpectedly win the race, Marcus is experiencing the best that the track can offer a man. Most likely, these are the best days he has had in quite some time.

In addition to the people that were there, we got shots of the people that weren’t there to watch Gettin’ Up Morning’s triumph. Ace and Gus are pulling into the Hilton, Leon is finishing up his run, and Escalante appears to missed it as well. With the exception of Ace, all of them get giddy recounts of the race later from announcers or the winning jockey. However, no explanation will ever be able to capture that moment.

If nothing else, this episode of Luck showed us that we should treasure the great moments that we bear witness to in life. Whether it be sports, music, art, or personal experiences, the truly great moments happen so rarely, that being witness to a moment that memorable can never be taken away from those that experienced it. I have no doubt that Marcus will always remember that race. His own horse can win countless times and give him untold amounts of joy, but watching Rosie win atop Gettin’ Up Morning will always stay with him.

Some other quick hits on this episode:

*I love every interaction between Ace and Nathan Israel. It’s still unclear what Ace has planned for him, but there back and forth is truly entertaining.

*Watching Jerry throw away his new found fortune at the poker tables is really depressing to watch. He’s not someone you would root for on the show, but you just wish he would back away from the table. It’s pretty telling that he missed Rosie’s big win because he was at the tables.

*It’s riveting watching the two displaced jockeys, Leon and Ronnie, handle not having a mount. Leon runs and runs until his heart nearly explodes. Not only is he trying to lose weight, but the metaphor of his run cracks you over the skull so hard it’s tough to ignore. Meanwhile, Ronnie’s scenes were really memorable for me for some reason. Once he finishes talking with Joey, he rarely speaks, but the message is clear: Being a jockey is the only thing keeping him afloat. Without racing, he has nothing. The only way to deal with his pain is to use drugs. Believe me, it’s not the physical pain he is seeking to dull.

What did everyone else think of this week’s episode of Luck? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.

The TV Czar