Luck Episode 9 Review (Series Finale)

'Luck' (HBO) Episode 9

Thanks to some ill-timed horse deaths, this review will be the last one I ever do for Luck. Frankly, I am very disappointed. After a slow start, I had finally begun to understand what Milch and Mann were trying to accomplish. Milch never wavered from insistence in telling his dream story, and Mann and others communicated brilliantly to the audience. Everyone discusses the beauty of the horse-racing scenes, and rightfully so, but the life that the two-legged characters brought to the screen was seen in every shot. Did the show struggle to “get there” some weeks? Sure, but when it did (like in the finale) it was incredibly compelling television. The show had all the trappings of a typical, well-done HBO show. It was well written, shot, and acted. I sincerely hope that people who began to watch this show stuck with it despite news of the cancellation.

The finale was a beautiful hour of television that delivered on a level that made it seem like a natural ending point. We finally got the showdown between Pint of Plain and Gettin’ Up Morning that had been building for the entire season. As it’s shot, the scene is one of the more beautiful scenes of the entire series. Between all of the particulars and the horses themselves, we got to run the gamut of emotions during the course of the race. As the race was coming to a conclusion, I came to the realization that I didn’t know who I wanted to win. I decided on the eventual winner Pint of Plain because I wanted my man Escalante to at least get something to salvage the day where he tragically lost his unborn child. The scene with Jo in the hospital after the races is made all the more emotional because of the man we have watched Turo Escalante become over these past nine episodes. I couldn’t be more disappointed that I don’t get to see Turo Escalante on my screen anymore.

The only plot-driven aspect of the show also had a satisfying conclusion. Though the beef with Mike and Ace did not get resolved, there was a logical stopping point in their battle for supremacy. Throughout the episode, Dustin Hoffman was absolutely on fire. He played his part this week with so much visceral emotion that it was practically pouring out of the screen. Watching him identifying Israel’s body and interacting with his grandson, Dustin Hoffman proves why you spend the extra coin to go get a guy like him in your series. He’s been outstanding, and this episode should serve as his submission for his likely Emmy nomination.

Though I will miss Turo, Ace, Walter Smith, and others, I will miss the degenerates of Foray Stables the most. Watching these guys ride their hot streak has been the most enjoyable aspect of the show. Things have gone so well for our struggling degenerates that Marcus is constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. It didn’t drop in the finale. Their horse, Mon Gateau, wins its race and leads the way for a pick-4 that nets them each over $104,000. Although things are going well now, the gang acknowledges that they will most likely to go broke in the end. Frankly, I’m happy I don’t have to watch it happen. I love these guys. I would just like to assume that their celebratory barbecue continues for eternity. Oh, and if we could get more shots of Naomi, I would greatly appreciate it.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the Luck finale? Let me know in the comments below.

The TV Czar

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