Warning! Spoilers for The Deuce below!
The story so far: Everyone is starting to come to grips with the difficulties of the Deuce. This realization is also bringing a shocking sense of self awareness causing many to lash out at those around them. Vincent and Abby are coming up on a crossroads due to their diametrically opposed views on life. Abby is still trying to figure out how she can help make the Deuce a better place. Lori still wants her freedom but also does not feel she can do it. C.C.’s increasing insecurities are becoming more frightening each week. Meanwhile, Candy continues to try to shoot her movie while Frankie’s trouble causing has ironically kept him out of serious trouble.
Despite the second season of The Deuce heading into its final three episodes, the writing continues to develop its wide cast of characters. David Simon’s show has done a great job of using subtle foreshadowing to give eagle eyed viewers an idea as to which direction its characters are headed. A great example of this has been Darlene. The young prostitute started as a scared and dishonest little girl and has evolved over the course of the show to someone who is using her intellect to better herself. Her journey never really takes center stage on the show, but is presented in a way that is realistic and interesting to watch.
Darlene is also a great example of possible upcoming plot developments. ‘We’re All Beasts’ hints that there may be a possible career change in her future. There is also the very really possibility of a violent mob war along with the inevitable involvement of the New York City government. History also lets us know HIV and a cocaine epidemic are right around the corner.The development of these stories has been excellent. The mob violence and government involvement are in the viewers’ faces and impossible to ignore. Possible stories involving AIDS and cocaine seem obvious since the show is in a real world setting. Where the writing really shines is in the advancement of plot through the events of the show. Instead of laying out to the audience exactly what is going to happen, The Deuce lets events unfold and has its audience witness the progression. Even seemingly innocuous moments from last season have added to the personalities of the cast.
Episode six continues the same style of storytelling as the rest of The Deuce. The episode constantly switches between scenes involving different characters and advancing their stories. There truly is no “main” character and the show perfectly defines ensemble cast. However, one of the main stories covered throughout ‘We’re All Beasts’ is the filming of Candy’s dream porno Red Hot.It has been entertaining and heartbreaking to watch Candy try to achieve her goal and episode six continues to show her resilience and determination. Maggie Gyllenhaal has been phenomenal in the role bringing toughness and heart to the character. What makes Candy so endearing are the many setbacks she has to endure. Gyllenhaal has been effortlessly expressive and charming and brings a realness to the character that makes it impossible not to root for.
The Deuce continues to weave a compelling narrative as its second season draws to a close. The character driven show has a naturally evolving story that never talks down to its viewers. Episode six also seems to set up more stories for the third and final season.