The Televangelist: “Luck,” Season 1, Ep. 2

Season 1, Ep. 2

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  • HBO.com
  • I am Son of Delphi, and Father I shall avenge thee!



I want to rename this series “Mumble, Grumble, Whisper, Moan.” I don’t know how you guys watching it live are doing it - last week a commenter brought up the difficulty of understanding the dialogue, and a co-worker mentioned closed captioning. I cannot convey to you enough what a great idea this is for certain shows. Yes it’s distracting, but it’s also distracting to be wondering “what the heck just happened?” after every scene. In this vein, I will attempt to translate (both literally and in the larger context of the show) what I can by playing my screener disc back two or three times for a few of these scenes (*this actually happened). These first few reviews may be a little more play-by-play than usual for me, but I’m hoping it will help sort through some of more cryptic and dialogue-dense scenes. And before we begin, let me also direct you to this handy cheat sheet I used this week to call everyone by their proper names (it matches names to faces, huzzah!)

Last night’s episode focused on some of the repercussions of the most explosive plot points out of the pilot. The Son of Delphi, that super-fast 3-year-old who Rosie rides into warp speed at the track, has proven himself as a possibly Derby-caliber contender. Our Pick 6 winners all found ways to start spending their cash, and Ace, back in the proverbial saddle (someone had to say it) is not wasting any time getting involved again in a Trojan horse scheme. After a wildly expansive first episode, “Luck” settled down this week and narrowed the focus to fewer names and occupations the sprawling character list: owners and jockeys, mainly, with a side-dish of gambling. We saw three different perspectives of a jockey’s life, from Rosie lobbying to ride what she knows is a fantastic horse (that could make her career), to Ronnie being coaxed back out of his drunken haze for this same special horse, to Leon trying to navigate stable politics and overcoming his fear of getting hurt - or his horse getting hurt - in a repeat of his last race. So far Rosie’s story looks to be the most interesting of the three - seeing how a young, female jockey can navigate this Old Boys Club (even Walter Smith, who likes Rosie and seems like a decent guy, wants Ronnie to ride his horse because of their Kentucky connection). Walter, looking out for Rosie, does pass her card along to the agent Joey Rathbun, but whether or not he will do right by Rosie we have yet to see.

On the owner’s side, we learned a little something about Claims. To wit, if a horse is available to be claimed, one must put the money down before the race (which is why it is essential to have an experienced trainer with you to help navigate what looks like a decent horse or not, and hopefully outwit some of the tricks like Escalante pulled by bandaging the horse’s front legs as if it had an injury). If more than one person has put a claim in on the same horse, after the race there is yet another gambling game with dice, letting fate decide the winner. In this case, one of our gambling guys, Renzo (the most easily likable of the bunch so far) attempted to put his horse racing winnings on an actual horse, to share with his friends, though heart-breakingly lost in the final gamble.