|"Ace Meets with a Potential Investor"|
|Season 1, Episode 2|
|Air date||February 5 2012|
|Written by||John R. Perotta|
|Directed by||Terry George|
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"Ace Meets with a Talented Whiz Kid"
Chester “Ace” Bernstein discusses his past with his driver and friend Gus Demitriou. Ace’s prison sentence resulted from his former business partner Mike using a property belonging to Ace to stash cocaine. Ace claimed the drugs were his to protect both Mike and his grandson. Ace now plots revenge against Mike and his other former partners by drawing them into a plan to buy the Santa Anita racetrack and succeeds in pitching the idea at a lunch meeting. Ace then goes to the track to see his horse Pint of Plain.
Marcus finds many reasons to be angry with his pick-six willing syndicate irk him with high profile spending. Lonnie buys a new suit. Jerry moves to a higher stakes poker game at the casino. Renzo hires a horse trainer and plans to claim Mon Gateau. Marcus alienates all three with his complaints. Turo Escalante is incensed when his plan to win more money on Mon Gateau by running the horse in a low value claiming race while driving away buyers with unnecessary bandages backfires. Mon Gateau wins again but is claimed. Rather than Renzo, a rival trainer gets ownership of the horse. Escalante believes Leon Micheaux could be responsible because of Leon’s anxious questions following the death of Tattered Flag. Lonnie tries to back out of a trip and fall insurance scam he had begun with two insurance agents given his winnings. The women try to drug and murder him to cash the life insurance policy they had on him but he manages to escape back to the others at their motel.
Walter Smith continues to be impressed with the training times of Gettin’ Up Morning. His training rider Rosie asks him to consider her to ride the horse in its first race. Veteran jockey Ronnie Jenkins continues to campaign for the horse and Smith opts to give him the reins. Smith approaches Jenkins’ agent Joey Rathburn to help Rosie with her career, letting her down gently.
Chester “Ace” Bernstein meets with his parole officer. Ace sits in silence as the officer scans his paperwork until the questions begin. Ace denies having done anything to violate the terms of his parole. His gaze is drawn to photographs of Miles Davis and Malcolm X on the office wall. His attention is drawn back when he is asked about changes in residence or contact information; he confirms that he has made neither. A softer question about how he is settling in is last, Ace says he is good. The parole officer asks for a urine sample and retrieves a pot from his desk drawer.
Ace notices the parole officer trailing him to the bathroom and says that he has difficulty going if someone is looking. The parole officer wonders how he coped in prison and Ace says that people made adjustments for him. Once in the bathroom Ace struggles to go while the parole officer stands behind him. The parole officer says that Ace has shy kidneys and turns on the taps to aid him.
Ace is met by Gus Economou as he exits the police station. Gus reports that Ace has a lunch invitation and wonders if they should postpone their planned visit to Turo Escalante at Santa Anita Park to accommodate the lunch. Ace says that they will fit it in. Gus asks about the meeting and Ace says that his parole officer seems decent. Gus opens the rear door of his Mercedes for Ace before calling to confirm the lunch, avoiding using any names on the phone. Ace observes that the last minute invite was intended to put him on the back foot as Gus starts the car.
Jerry plays Texas Hold ‘Em poker in the early hours of the morning at the Hustler Casino in Los Angeles. An unfinished breakfast sits beside the table. The casino is being cleaned around the long running game. The hand is almost over with the king of spades, three of diamonds, seven of spades, eight of spades and six of diamonds on the table. Jerry hesitates, looks at Lester (a rival player) and then bets $2000.
Exercise riders prepare for a morning run at Santa Anita. Rosie and Gettin’ Up Morning are led to the gate by an Assistant Starter. She is irritated when the starter asks her who is going to be riding the horse, keen to win that job for herself. She plays dumb and says that she will be until the starter clarifies that he means in a race. She then tells the loader to mind his own business. Ronnie Jenkins, in the next bay, says that Gettin’ Up Morning is supposed to be a good horse. Rosie leans forward and pats her behind while telling Jenkins to get used to the view.
Lester needles Jerry at the poker table. He observes that Jerry is playing at a higher stakes table than usual and wonders if Jerry has sold his house. Jerry claims that he has inherited money from the death of an Aunt. Lester offers condolences and Jerry says that they were not close. Jerry calls time trying to prompt Lester to wager. The dealer relays the call to the Poker Room Floorman. Lester tells the other gamblers that he often starts off on the low stakes tables and then moves up when he has won Jerry’s chips. Jerry counters that his losses are due to it being Lester’s century (referencing Lester’s ethnicity and the idea of the Chinese century). The floorman warns Lester that he has a minute to bet. Lester says that he has 88 years.
The gate opens and the training riders surge out. Rosie takes an early lead that only lengthens as she rounds the first bend. Walter Smith watches her progress through his binoculars, stopwatch in hand and his dog beside him. Further up the stands another man is also watching through binoculars. Smith urges his horse on and records the lap time. He glances down at the watch and says “Heaven help us all”.
Lester warns Jerry that he has made a flush on “the river”. Jerry doubtfully congratulates him and Lester offers to show him if he folds. Jerry counters that Lester can show him how he takes a raspberry douche. Lester pauses and then tells the dealer that he will put Jerry all in; Lester has the larger bank of chips. Jerry looks at his cards – the nine and ten of hearts – and backs his straight, believing Lester is bluffing about having the flush. Lester gleefully shows the ten and the Ace of spades proving Jerry wrong and winning the hand with the flush. Lester says that he wouldn’t lie to Jerry because he has too much respect for his game. Jerry gets up from the table and walks away. He has to go back to the table to get his jacket. Lester says that Jerry is “on tilt” and wonders if he is going to get more money from his inheritance.
Ace has lunch in the clubhouse of a golf course with his business associates DiRossi and Cohen. Cohen admits that he is jealous that Ace still looks so good given his recent prison term. Ace says that it was no tea party and Cohen and DiRossi commiserate. Cohen changes the subject, asking if Gus is enjoying the jackpot he won in Las Vegas. Ace says he is and adds that they are going to see Gus’s horse next. Cohen looks at DiRossi and jokes about the number of stunts his floor staff had to pull to ensure Gus was the winning player. DiRossi asks if Ace wants something to eat and Ace shakes his head. DiRossi waves away the waitress. Cohen says that he has a message from Mike – he sends his best wishes and wants to support Ace in any way that Ace suggests. Ace asks if he can start and begins his pitch. He says that with the recession the leisure gaming market is tightening and Cohen agrees with his assessment. Ace rhetorically asks why they should look at buying a race track, lists the reasons against and then says that it is an opportunity to infiltrate casino gambling into California. He says that with horse racing being legal but the sport in financial crisis he believes they can use the purchase as a Trojan horse to bring in slot machines and table games. Ace offers to fund the purchase while Cohen will provide his name for the signs. He offers ten percent of the operation and the option to purchase a further thirty-nine percent at his purchase price plus costs. Cohen laughs, saying that the proposal requires an all-out effort to convince the legislature in Sacramento rather than just costs. Ace raises his voice to say that the option is a choice afforded to Cohen not a price he has to pay. DiRossi observes that this is an exhibition of the famous Ace temper. Ace moderates his tone and says that the ten percent share is a gesture of friendship if Cohen decides not to exercise the option. Cohen notes that Ace needs his name on the sign, irritating Ace by referencing his status as a felon. Ace asks Cohen to tell Mike that he can take a piece of the ten percent or the option if he wants it. DiRossi punctuates the discussion by announcing that “the Ace is back in place”.
On their drive to the racetrack Gus asks Ace how the meeting went. Ace reports that he believes his old partners will move on the racetrack. Econmou predicts that Mike will be easily drawn by the idea of a casino and Ace agrees that there is nothing Mike likes more than stealing another’s idea. Gus wonders how Ace got involved with Mike and learns that Ace saw him as a skilful businessman when they first met 25 years earlier. Ace intimates that cocaine was Mike’s undoing. Gus asks if cocaine was involved in the problems at the condo. Ace is bemused and then corrects Gus that it was a co-op that he and Mike owned in New York for entertaining business clients. Ace says that when they ended their partnership he took the co-op while Mike took the plane. Ace relates allowing his grandson to live in the co-op while studying at New York University. Mike also continued to use to co-op to stash narcotics. Gus notes that Mike could have kept the drugs anywhere and Ace says that there is no way to understand Mike’s perverse logic. Ace reports that his grandson drew complaints from the neighbours for holding parties and that the co-op was searched by the police who discovered the drugs. Gus says that he is only able to remember a little boy running around with his shoes untied from that time. Ace recalls that his grandson was in such poor shape at the time there is no way he could have obtained the 6 kilograms of cocaine he was found with. Gus believes the federal investigators knew that Ace’s grandson was not responsible and Ace confirms that they did, believing that they wanted him to testify against Mike. Ace opted to claim the drugs were his to protect both his grandson and Mike. Gus asks what Mike would have done if the situation was reversed and Ace says that Mike would have given him up. Ace insists this is immaterial because he has never given information on anyone to the police. Gus laments not being allowed to kill Mike. Ace tells Gus to stop it, ending the conversation.
Escalante walks Lizzie out onto the track and instructs her how to handle Pint of Plain in his workout. He says that since Pint of Plain is a busy body who always has his head out of his stall he will want to take everything in. Escalante and Lizzie halt as they notice Rosie talking to Smith. Rosie asks how her ride was and Smith reports that it was fast. She asks if he saw the competitive start that Gettin’ Up Morning made. Escalante moves Lizzie on as Rosie tells Smith how well behaved his horse was. Smith notes that the horse's breathing is already back to normal. Rosie tells Smith that she feels she gets on well with his horse, campaigning to ride him in his upcoming race. Smith nods and then asks Rosie to take the horse back to the barn. Rosie chastises herself under her breath for begging.
Escalante calls his scout up in the stands to ask about Smith’s bay. The scout reports Gettin’ Up Morning’s name, age and lineage. Escalante recognizes Delphi’s name and says the horse has a right to be OK. The scout says that he might need a vacation because he understood everything Escalante said.
Jenkins rides alongside Chris Mulligan, an owner and trainer. Jenkins reports that Mulligan’s horse ran well but could not keep pace with Gettin’ Up Morning. Mulligan is annoyed that the horse ran faster the week before and feels that he wasted a workout. Mulligan tells Jenkins to get the horse back to the barn and Jenkins complains about getting up early to hear Mulligan complain. Joey Rathburn walks along the rail next to Jenkins. Jenkins passes Smith who jokes that Jenkins has not been taking speaking classes. Jenkins asks how Smith is and Smith says that he is better for seeing another face from Kentucky. Jenkins comments on Gettin’ Up Morning’s impressive workout and Smith calls his horse a promising type. Smith says that he has heard that Jenkins took a bad fall. Jenkins responds that he is back to normal and Smith invites him to stop by the barn for a talk. Rathburn overhears the whole exchange.
Renzo and Marcus share breakfast at their usual diner. Marcus notes that Escalante has entered Mon Gateau in a claim race with a lower sale price despite him winning his last race. Marcus believes Escalante is trying to offload the horse and is dubious of Renzo’s proposal that they buy the horse for the claim cost. Renzo believes they should own the horse because Mon Gateau’s win was the key to their pick six windfall. Jerry enters as Marcus suggests that it would be better to flush the $8000 the horse would cost down the toilet because it would save them paying the sales tax. Renzo observes that Marcus has reservations and Marcus says that nothing gets past Renzo. Renzo announces Jerry and stands up to let him into the booth. Marcus sarcastically notes Jerry’s appearance. A man arrives at the door to the diner and holds his hands up quizzically. Renzo excuses himself, claiming he is going for a smoke. Marcus asks how much Jerry lost and Jerry takes offence at the suggestion. Marcus wonders what size game Jerry was playing in and Jerry says that it was a $10-20 bet, just a small step up. Marcus reminds Jerry that they were careful to avoid publicity about their winnings and chastises him for throwing money around at the casinos. Jerry says that they have got nothing to hide. Marcus notes that Renzo is acting the same way wanting to claim Mon Gateau. Jerry says that he noticed Escalante had dropped the price of the horse. Marcus predicts that Lonnie will be bragging about his winnings to the older insurance agents he has been having sex with before being overcome by a coughing fit. Jerry urges him to calm down and Marcus profanely refuses.
Renzo and Goose Kellog, the horse trainer who drew him outside, discuss the process of claiming a horse. Goose says that Renzo is under no obligation until he puts in the claim and Renzo confirms that Goose has seen Mon Gateau. Goose confirms that he knows the horse. Renzo tells Goose that he hopes to partner with Marcus, Jerry and Lonnie in the ownership of the horse. Goose is more interested in ensuring Renzo’s ability to pay the claim cost. Renzo tries to mentally calculate the cost of a share in the horse but is unable to reach a figure. Goose tallies the cost of the horse as $8,800 including sales taz and Renzo agrees to pay the sum on his own and give the horse to his friends as a gift. Goose asks Renzo to accompany him to the track.
Jo ducks out of Mon Gateau’s stall and tells Escalante that she has given his horse the diuretic he requested. Escalante wonders if she thinks he will lose the horse to a claim and she admits she is baffled as to why the horse is still running claim races given its victory. Escalante says that he is going to run the horse with wraps on its forelegs to scare away potential buyers. Jo calls the ploy “old-school” as Escalante leads her out of his barn. He shows her Pint of Plain and reports that Ace is on his way to see the horse. Jo reassures Escalante that his horse is doing well. Escalante strokes the horse as he says it was all eyes and ears during its workout. He sends his stable hand to water the horse and derisively notes that Ace is trying to butt into his business. Jo responds with a sigh.
Renzo poses for a photograph for his horse owners license. Goose shows him through to have his fingerprints taken.
Lonnie emerges from his motel room, wearing a new suit. Jerry and Marcus are checking listings on a card table outside their own, adjoining, rooms. Jerry says that Lonnie looks a million dollars and Marcus agrees with the assessment. Lonnie poses for his fellow winners and Marcus says that he is projecting the image of someone who has won money. Lonnie wonders what Marcus is talking about and Marcus says that Lonnie is showing off for the insurance agents he is sleeping with. Lonnie says the women bought the suit for him. Marcus sees through the lie and references Lonnie’s involvement in a planned insurance scam where he will fake being the victim of a fall. Marcus warns Lonnie that the agents probably have him signed to a life insurance policy. Marcus again complains that the others are drawing attention to him. Lonnie says that he does not have to take Marcus’ abuse and Marcus invites him to leave. Renzo arrives with coffee and doughnuts for the others. Lonnie tells Marcus that the conversation is impairing his “mental adroitness with its contra-negativity” and walks away. Marcus derisively repeats the phrase to Jerry and predicts that the insurance agents would have bad intentions towards Marcus if they found out about his winnings.
Renzo follows Lonnie to give him his coffee and says that Marcus is having a bad day. Lonnie notes that it is always a bad day with Marcus. Renzo says that it is a period of adjustment and Lonnie counters that he feels like he is falling. Renzo asks Lonnie to consider continuing their partnership under a new concept and Lonnie ends the discussion by saying that he is overdosing on concepts. As he walks away Lonnie calls back a thank you for the coffee.
Marcus and Jerry arrive at the track. Marcus continues to complain, fearful of scrutiny. Jerry does not understand what Marcus is afraid of. Marcus explains that with Jerry betting more at the casino the other gamblers will realise he has won big elsewhere. He believes they will tie his winnings to Jerry’s because they are known associates. Jerry jokes that he could sit in a different section. Marcus tells Jerry that he will end up broke and alone. Kagle approaches and pats Marcus’ clothes, asking if he ever washes them. Marcus is irate and swears at Kagle before steering his wheelchair at him. Jerry says that they were talking and Kagle leaves after offering them a chance to invest in his money lending business. Jerry says that despite his $7000 loss at the poker table he is still up $650,000 overall for the week. Marcus cannot believe Jerry’s losses. Jerry says that Marcus is the one afraid of dying broke and alone and tells Marcus that he knows what he is carrying in his laundry bag. Renzo joins them as Jerry walks away. Renzo asks when Jerry will return and Jerry says it won’t be that day. Marcus calls after Jerry, saying that Jerry will now use their argument as an excuse for further gambling. With Jerry gone Marcus asks Renzo what is wrong. Renzo reveals his plan to claim the horse and invites Marcus to join him as a co-owner. Marcus refuses, saying that Renzo is in no position to buy a horse and lacks the intelligence to be an owner. Renzo counters that Marcus might be more aware of the positions of others if he weren’t so busy hurting their feelings. Marcus drives himself away.
Joey finds his newest jockey Leon Micheaux in the cafeteria of the barn area. Micheaux is considering ordering a bear claw pastry but Joey orders him not to so that he will make weight when he rides for Escalante later. Leon protests that he could run off the calories doing road work. Joey reports that Jenkins and Smith had a good talk. Leon asks Joey if Escalante has commented on how Mon Gateau is doing. Rathburn says that it is not their place to ask and reminds Leon not to second guess the trainer. Rathburn sits and realises that Leon is concerned because of riding Tattered Flag when she broke her leg and was put down. Joey tells Leon that you cannot worry about acts of god. Leon counters that Joey worries about everything. Joey explains that he thinks similar anxiety drove Jenkins to drink heavily after his bad fall. Leon accepts the explanation and Joey pats his clasped hands.
Renzo completes a claim form as Goose watches over his shoulder. Goose notices that Mon Gateau’s legs are bandaged. Goose suggests that either Mon Gateau has a problem or Escalante is trying to pretend he does so that the horse is not claimed. Renzo asks why Escalante would do this and Goose elucidates that Escalante will be trying to lengthen the odds on his horse while protecting it from being claimed. Goose urges Renzo to follow him. Escalante exits the barn at the same time as them and Renzo notices him, asking Goose to confirm his identity. Goose notices Renzo’s reverence and tells him that Escalante is human.
Escalante greets Ace and Gus outside the barn. Gus makes introductions and Escalante is sycophantic. Ace urges him not to interrupt his routine and Gus tells them that while Gus’ horse is a champion he is about to race an $8,000 bum. Across the track Goose tells Renzo that the horse looks good. Leon walks up to Escalante and is introduced. Ace wishes him a safe race as he leaves with Escalante and Mon Gateau. Gus asks Ace to explain training races to him. Ace tells him that the horses in the race all have a buying price set by their owners. Gus wonders when you have to pay and Ace says that the claim is put in before the race. Gus asks if you can pull your offer after seeing the horse runs and Ace explains that at that point you own the horse unless someone else has claimed it too. Ace notes that Gus knew the answer to his last question already.
Leon asks Escalante if he should warm the horse up thoroughly. Escalante suspiciously questions why Leon is asking. Leon says he had no reason. Escalante says that Leon should be as sound as the horse while helping him up. Escalante returns to Ace and Gus. Gus says that Leon seems nice and Escalante says that he has no brains. Escalante tells Gus that the horse will win provided Leon stays on.
Renzo files his claim and high fives Goose. Marcus drives his chair into a disabled area of the stands. His neighbour greets him and asks who he has bet on. He tells her that it is the fourth horse. She wishes him luck and he awkwardly reciprocates. He notices Renzo with Goose and disparages his friend’s choice of trainer.
Leon is led out to the starting gate. The starter’s assistant asks if he is ready and Leon uncertainly affirms. The gate opens. Ace smiles as Gus nods excitedly. Renzo and Goose watch intently. Mon Gateau is trapped between two other riders. Renzo is taken aback and checks with Goose that it is their horse. Leon pulls back on the reins and Mon Gateau tosses his head in defiance. Escalante is annoyed that Mon Gateau is not beating the competition, knowing that the horse should run better than the others in the claiming race and blaiming Leon. Leon eventually slows the horse enough to go outside his competition. He then allows the horse to reach its full speed and overtakes the riders who had boxed him in. Escalante urges him on. Leon continues to progress through the field. Renzo cheers excitedly. Gus cheers along. Marcus does the same. Leon takes the lead. Gus tells Ace the horse is going to win. Leon wins lengths ahead of the field. Renzo and Gus clap the horse together. Gus tells Ace he bet $200. Escalante walks down from the stands and passes a man in the crowd who observes that Escalante made easy money with the win. Escalante replies that the horse ran well. Marcus’ neighbour congratulates his win. Escalante, Leon and Mon Gateau pose for their photograph. A Steward’s Assistant places a claimed tag on Mon Gateau. Renzo asks Goose if they should be in the claimed area already. Goose says they need to find out if there is going to be a shake and Renzo asks what he means. Leon dismounts and commiserates Escalante on Mon Gateau being claimed. Escalante warns Leon to hope that he does not find out that Leon talked to anyone. Leon protests his innocence as Escalante stalks off. Gus observes that Escalante looks unhappy for someone who has just won.
Leon is weighed holding his saddle as Goose, Renzo and Mulligan wait in the claimed area. Goose tells Renzo that there is going to be a shake because Mulligan also claimed the horse – they will have a 50% chance of getting ownership. Renzo is perturbed. The Steward’s Assistant conducts the shake and Mulligan gets the horse. Renzo is disbelieving.
Escalante approaches Ace and Gus in the stands, complaining about losing Mon Gateau. Gus offers congratulations to Escalante on the win anyway. Escalante promises to get revenge on whoever talked about his horse, ignoring Gus and addressing Ace. Ace says only good and then waits for Escalante. Escalante apologises for bothering them with his problem. Ace asks when Gus can see his horse and Escalante offers to take them right away.
Joey walks Jenkins to his meeting with Smith, advising him on what to say. Jenkins acidly says that he feels as though Joey is walking him to school. Joey allows him to carry on alone but can’t resist one last suggestion.
Renzo and Goose walk past the receiving barn as Mulligan leads Mon Gateau inside. Renzo laments the missed opportunity. He reiterates his plan to give the horse to his friend and wonders what will happen now. Goose suggests that he knows someone with a two-year-old horse for sale.
Jenkins approaches Smith as he leads Gettin’ Up Morning back to his barn. Jenkins says that the horse is good looking and Smith agrees but says that it is not a beauty contest. Jenkins jokes that it is lucky for the two of them that it is not, drawing a chuckle from Smith. Jenkins then adds that Gettin’ Up Morning is the picture of his father, Delphi. Smith agrees and adds that he follows Delphi’s gait. Smith wonders if he has told Jenkins a story linking him and the horse and Smith shakes his head. Smith says that the horse ran its second half mile at Keeneland on the same day that Jenkins was involved in a difficult race at Pimlico. Jenkins was prevented from winning the race by “blue bloods”. He later gave a radio interview and complained about the other riders. He amused Smith by talking about the “Kentucky Quality” in the interview. Jenkins asserts that being a “blue blood” does not make the triple crown (a trio of prestigious races) your private playpen. Hearing Jenkins interview prompted Smith to tell Delphi that he could be something special. Rosie watches the others talking from inside the barn. Smith confides that he feels that Kentucky Quality killed Delphi. Following the death of “The Colonel” they took over his farm and spent all of the money. Broke, they decided to insure and kill Delphi for $30,000,000. Smith is tearful and asks if Jenkins knows the sound of breaking legs comparing it to branches snapping. Smith admits feeling of self recrimination about Delphi’s death. Jenkins, also emotional, reminds Smith that he has a new chance with Delphi’s son. Smith doesn’t hear him at first but then agrees with him and says that he is taking it. Smith mumbles a thank you as he goes inside.
Jerry is back at the Hustler Casino. The dealer has changed but Lester is still playing. The community cards are the 10 of hearts, king of clubs, queen of clubs, 9 of clubs and 4 of spades. Jerry holds the 9 of hearts and the queen of hearts giving him a pair of queens. Lester has again put Jerry all in and Jerry takes the bet. Lester notes that Jerry loves to gamble. Jerry shows his cards defiantly but loses to Lester’s three tens. The dealer clears the hand and moves Lester’s winnings over to him. She then places the dealer chip for the next hand in front of Jerry. She hesitates before dealing despite Jerry’s urging her on. He stands and throws a wad of cash from his pocket onto the table. Lester jokes that it will take Jerry forever to win back his money. Jerry threatens Lester, using a racial slur. The dealer calls for the floorman.
Lonnie drinks in a bar with his insurance agent contacts, Adelle and Lynette. He offers excuses for backing out of their planned insurance scam and bemoans unable to give specific details regarding his improved circumstances. They are matter of fact about his backing out. He wonders if they can still meet up and have “laughs” together. Adelle suggests that they have a few right now. Lonnie is confused and Adelle jokes with Lynette that Lonnie is letting them down gently and doesn’t want to see them again. Lonnie says that is untrue. Lynette says that she thought Lonnie enjoyed having sex with them and slips her hand through his fly. With Lonnie distracted Adelle spikes his drink. Lonnie jokes that his penis, called “The Emperor”, wants to exercise its right to vote. He makes a toast and downs the spiked drink.
Jerry retrieves more cash from a holdall in the boot of his car outside the casino.
In Escalante’s barn Gus says that Pint of Plain is looking much better than last week. Escalante says that often people have a feeling and speak when they really know nothing about the subject, insulting Gus and referencing his belief that someone’s big mouth is behind his loss of Mon Gateau. Gus and Ace take offence. Ace and Escalante share a hard stare and Ace asks if it is too hard to keep a civil tongue. Escalante says that he will not beg to keep the horse. Escalante agrees that the horse is better and reports that he has had new shoes fitted. Ace tells Gus that the horse has a great stride, adding that Gus showed him tapes to maintain the illusion of Gus being the decision maker. Escalante agrees that the horse has a smooth action on the track. Escalante says that he had to start paying all of Mon Gateau’s bills himself two years prior because the horse had a problem with its front legs. He is upset that he has now had to give the horse away to Mulligan. Ace tells Escalante that it appears that he lost in a game he ran. Gus is distracted by the goat and points it out to Ace. Ace says only good and does not look away from Escalante. Escalante reports that Pint of Plain likes the goat and will often nudge him with his nose. Escalante’s stable hand says that the goat waits by Pint of Plain’s stall when the horse is out of the barn in Spanish and Escalante translates for his visitors. Escalante says that the stable hands have named the goat after an exercise rider because of his bowed legs. Ace asks what Gus calls him and Escalante tells him “Goat”. Ace asks how much Escalante pays for the bags of carrots he has on the side, clarifying that he means now rather than when Escalante started out 30 years ago. Escalante checks with the stable hand and reports that it is about $15 a bag. Escalante asks why Ace cares about the cost of the carrots. Ace avoids the question and asks if Escalante knows that he was in prison. Escalante confirms that he has heard people say so. Ace suggests that people might also say that Gus’ ownership of Pint of Plain is related to organized crime. Escalante says that he wouldn’t know, being from Peru. Ace smiles and asks to pet the horse. He gently strokes the horses head as Escalante observes that the horse has a plain head.
Lonnie, Lynette and Adelle have moved on to a motel room. Lonnie is struggling with impotence and slurring his speech after the drugs they gave him. Adelle keeps his attention on her while Lynette retrieves a blackjack from the drawer. She hits Lonnie over the back of the head but only confuses him rather than knocking him out. Adelle tries to keep his focus on her breasts as Lynette hits him again. He fights back and grapples with Lynette. Lynette hands the cosh to Adelle who beats him with it as she rants about broken promises, comparing him to President Obama. Lonnie falls backwards through the screen door. He begs a nearby landscaper for help and the man helps Lonnie into his truck as Lonnie asks him to take him back to the oasis motel.
Jerry’s cash is counted and the floorman announces a house ruling to allow Jerry to bet the cash with Lester’s agreements. Jerry has bet his whole stake plus the $25,000 on a hand where only the flop has been revealed. The ace of spades, eight of diamonds and the queen of diamonds are the community cards. Lester has the ace of hearts and queen of hearts giving him two pairs. Jerry has the king of spades and king of diamonds giving him just the pair of kings in his hand. The dealer shows the turn, the two of clubs. The river is the king of hearts giving Jerry three kings and winning him the hand. Jerry asks the floorman to cash him out. Lester invites Jerry to come back the next day and says he will “wipe the white off [his] face”. Jerry tips the dealer and walks away from the table.
Rosie smokes outside a bar called The Long Shot. Smith pulls up in his truck. She pretends she has been caught out among them and Smith greets her. She asks how Gettin’ Up Morning ate and Smith relates that he did not leave an oat. Rosie apologises for putting Smith on the spot. Smith says that it was his fault for not speaking up. Rosie realises that she is not going to be riding in the race. Smith consoles her by saying that she has done a lovely job getting the horse ready and predicts that she will be an excellent race rider. Rosie dejectedly says that she will end up working at Portland Meadows. Smith tells her that it is an easier place to get started. Rosie offers to play pool and Smith tells her that he would have made her regret the offer in the past before heading inside for a beer. Rosie asks him to have one for her.
Joey introduces himself to Smith inside the bar. Smith invites him to sit and asks if he knows any jockey’s agents in Portland. Joey suggests Tommy Swanson and Smith reveals that he is thinking of Rosie. Joey gives his card to Smith and offers to put them in touch. Smith asked about Jenkins readiness and then shows Joey the listings and points out his intended race. Joey comments that Jenkins can handle the six furlong race and Smith invites him to ride it.
Marcus looks out of his motel window, watching for the others to return. Renzo knocks on the adjoining door and reports his failure to claim Mon Gateau. Marcus sarcastically congratulates Renzo on his choice of trainer and wonders if Goose is in the hall of fame yet. There is a knock on Renzo’s main door and he asks Marcus to wait before going to answer. Renzo finds Lonnie slumped against the wall, bruised and battered. Renzo calls Marcus out and the two of them help Lonnie atop Marcus on the chair. Marcus then reverses back into his room. As the others are struggling to help Lonnie, Jerry pulls up.
In his hotel suite Ace talks about first meeting Escalante with Gus. He tells Gus that Escalante used to work on a fruit and vegetable stand outside the track. Ace recalls Escalante furiously haggling over small sums. Gus wonders at Escalante being stuck outside the track wanting to get in. Ace clarifies that he wasn’t sure Escalante had ambitions in that direction but knew that he hated being in a foreign country selling vegetables. Gus goes on to say that Ace was responsible for getting Escalante inside the track. Ace tells Gus that Escalante is responsible for his own success and that all he did was ask a trainer to hire him as a stable hand. Gus relates this to Ace’s plan for revenge on Mike, noting that Ace never leaves an open contract. Ace tells Gus that they need to find a go-between to continue their dealings with DiRossi, Mike and Cohen. Gus suggests himself and Ace admits having concerns about Gus’ temper. Gus then asks if they need someone they trust or someone that they don’t. Ace says they need someone for whom trust will not be an issue. Gus notes that Ace went to a lot of trouble having his associates fix the slot machine so that they would feel that they were owed a favour. Ace asks Gus to set up a meeting with his investment company the next day and adds that he will pick a go-between so they can advance their plans for revenge. Gus asks Ace to reassure him that he did not let him down. Ace does so and Gus says “let’s go get these cocksuckers.”
- Isadore Cohen - a business associate of Ace who he is trying to exact revenge on.
- Chris Mulligan - a horse owner with an eye on the claiming races.
- Lynette - an insurance agent embroiled in scam claims with Lonnie.
- Adelle - Lynette's partner in the scam claims.
- Lester Chan - an arrogant poker player and restaurant owner.
- Goose Kellog - Renzo's new horse trainer.
- Dustin Hoffman as Chester "Ace" Bernstein
- Dennis Farina as Gus Economou
- John Ortiz as Turo Escalante
- Richard Kind as Joey Rathburn
- Kevin Dunn as Marcus
- Ian Hart as Lonnie
- Ritchie Coster as Renzo
- Jason Gedrick as Jerry
- Kerry Condon as Rosie
- Gary Stevens as Ronnie Jenkins
- Tom Payne as Leon Micheaux
- Jill Hennessy as Jo
- Nick Nolte as Walter Smith
- Ted Levine as Isadore Cohen
- Barry Shabaka Henley as Parole officer
- Alan Rosenberg as Nick DiRossi
- W. Earl Brown as Chris Mulligan
- Mary-Margaret Humes as Lynette
- Patti Tippo as Adelle
- Dennis Dun as Lester Chan
- Peter Appel as Kagle
- Aaron Perilo as Caleb
- Chantal Sutherland as Lizzie
- Shauna Stoddart as Lorelei
- Woody Copland as Goose Kellog
- Paul Perri as Man in the stands
- Dina Belle Garcia as Woman in the stands
- David Pease as Poker room floorman 1
- Erika Lenhart as Poker dealer 2
- Amanda MacLachlan as Steward's assistant
- Kurt Basa as Poker dealer 1
- Kelly Steed as Assistant Starter 1
- Doug Minner as Escalante's scout
- Kevin Steed as Assistant Starter 2
- Jose Reyes as Landscaper
- Miguel Delgado
- Christopher Dergregorian as Poker room floorman 2
- Unknown as Escalante's Stablehand
It was first broadcast by HBO on February 5 2012 and drew 0.43 million viewers. This represented a significant drop off from the 1.04 million who watched the series premiere a week earlier.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Seidman, Robert (February 7, 2012). Cable Ratings: ESPN Post Game Coverage Leads Quiet Super Bowl Sunday + 'Shameless,' 'Californication' & More. TV by the Numbers.