Warning! Spoilers for The Deuce ahead!
The story so far: Lori continues to tire of the ever changing porn industry. Detective Alston and Goldman work to persuade shady owners to leave Times Square. Melissa comes face to face with her past. Joey continues to try to move up the corporate ladder by using his dad’s connections. Vinnie and Abigail are still in their tumultuous relationship while Frankie keeps pushing his luck.
The Deuce has always been a show that has had its viewers look to the future. When the story began in the early 1970s, fans knew where things were headed. As things moved to the late 70s, the reckless recreational drug use and heedless sex were were a portend of what was going to happen in the final season. Now the HBO drama is in the mid 80s and the worse things that have been foreshadowed are coming to be.
It seems like every character on the show is looking to their futures for the first time. Candy seemed to be the only person who had a clear plan for the years ahead. The others just wanted to get out of their current situations. Vinnie now seems to want a more peaceful life. Lori is not sure exactly what she wants to do, but she is trying different things. Even Mike has a set future ahead of him.
Of course, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Lori has been comfortable being a sex worker since before she came to the Deuce. Over the years, she had had to deal with terrible johns, abusive pimps, and a porn industry she no longer wants to have anything to do with. She is as vocal as ever about what she does not want to do. Unfortunately, she still does not have control over her life. The writers do a great job of subtly drawing a comparison between her life on the streets and where she is now. It has been interesting watching her journey. She makes some bold decisions that will make audiences cheer even if the results may not work out exactly how Lori planned.
Candy has been more outspoken than Lori. From refusing to ever let a man run her life to filming the movie’s she wants, the former prostitute has always done what she wants. Due to her experience in the sex business, Candy is asked to speak at Women Against Pornography by Abigail. As usual, Candy is able to defend the work she does. But do the women she is speaking to care about what she has to say?
Even though The Deuce is about the sex business, the lustier moments have almost always had a sleazy quality to them. They have always been dirty and even scary. More often than not, the sex on the show has been indiscriminate and irresponsible. ‘They Can Never Go Home’ has as much sex as any other episode of the series. For the first time, none of it seems uncaring and cheap. They acts may not be filled with love, but they are also not timed or come with a price. It is telling that the scenes that do involve an exchange of money do not go as they should.
The fourth episode of The Deuce has been the best one of the final season. As they have gotten older, the audience sees that character motivations and philosophies on life have changes. There has also been in a change in the way sex has been portrayed. The usual great performances and top notch story make the show the best thing to watch on Monday nights.