Warning! Spoilers for The Deuce below!
The Story so Far: Lori is becoming a bigger star in the porn industry and with the increasing fame has come a greater desire for more freedom. C.C. seems to sense this and as can be expected is not very happy. Candy is still working to get her idea for a more respectable looking porno done, but despite the help of Harvey, she is being met with resistance almost every step of the way. Larry Brown is looking to increase his money making options while Detective Alston cannot seem to escape from Goldman. Looming over everything is a potential mob war.
The Deuce has a number of storylines progressing each episode. While it can be difficult for viewers to remember every character’s name, the writing has done an excellent job of highlighting each individual. This is seen most clearly with Larry Brown in ‘What Big Ideas.’ The cold open (which have all been excellent this season) is a humorous look at what the pimp is doing in his new line of work. The scene is filled with comedy, but what it also effectively does is provide more insight into Larry. The first season showed him as a frightening and unstable person. This season has shown a more sensitive side to the character and the opening in episode four shows his insecurity while putting his supreme confidence and determination on full display.
This is captured excellently towards the end of the episode. Once again, viewers see the determination, but now it is mixed with uncertainty and frustration. Gbenga Akinnagbe is excellent in both scenes and brings a new charm to the character. Though it is only two scenes, they add a whole new dimension to the character and an argument can be made that Larry’s moments were the best in the episode. The writers deserve much credit for giving so much impact to what can be seen as relatively unimportant scenes.
One of the strengths of The Deuce has been an uncanny ability to switch between light hearted and serious moments. Episode four constantly jumps back and forth between the two effortlessly, yet the viewer is never left confused or annoyed. This change of emotional tenor actually works in the show’s favor since it never allows the show to become too heavy nor does it ever make light of what is happening. There is also a consistent tone that has been developed whether the scene is meant for laughs or tears.
Since they first met, there has always been an interesting tug-of-war between Vincent and Abby. Sometimes it is the playful back and forth that is in all successful relationships, at other times it is difficult to believe that the two have managed to stay together for five years. This season has constantly seen obstacles thrown at the couple, The two have been through a lot together, but it seems with each passing week they are pulling further apart.
The Deuce is putting together one of the best seasons in television history. Each episode has used a simple formula of strong acting, intriguing stories, and great writing that takes its viewers through a myriad of emotions. If you are not watching The Deuce, you are missing out on something special.