If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: With his marriage failing, Vincent moves into a seedy Times Square hotel and, fueled by his success drawing customers to a struggling Korean bar, contemplates a tempting offer from mob capo Rudy Pipilo. Meanwhile, Vincent and Frankie’s brother-in law, Bobby, a Brooklyn construction foreman, eyes Vincent’s new connections as a way to better his own lot. Reluctantly agreeing to pinch-hit for a friend in a pornographic short, Candy ends up being intrigued by the film-making process. C.C. shows Lori the advantages of having a pimp, while Larry is unsettled by Darlene’s interest in literature – and by Sandra Washington, a reporter. Police officers Chris Alston and Danny Flanagan are joined by detectives Grossman and Haddix for a routine hooker round-up, as well as a raid of an adult porn shop whose peep shows cross the line. (HBO)
Writers: Richard Price and George Pelecanos
Director: Ernest Dickerson
Running Time: 59mins
The first episode did an excellent job at setting the stage and establishing the characters and this episode gave us an idea where the plot is going while also giving us a fun, little subplot to contend with. The episode title “Show and Prove” derives from requests police officers make to streetwalkers for their property vouchers in order to avoid getting arrested. A pair of police officers named Chris Alston (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.) and Danny Flanagan (Don Harvey) along with a pair of detectives named Grossman (Brian Muller) and Haddix (Ralph Macchio) round up streetwalkers in their wagon and then raid of an adult porn shop whose peep shows cross the line. It definitely was not easy for them as the ladies did not like getting arrested but they all knew the drill. Abby left school and decided to stay in New York.
We got our first glimpse of the porn industry here. Although, in order to get there, they would have to start from the bottom and that meant taking pictures and showing them to the right people. This time, it was Ashley’s turn. Other had done the same but are yet to appear in a film. Appearing in adult films was a controversial issue with the pimps who did not like what they were paid for these films. As a favor for a friend, Candy appeared in an adult film, perhaps due to the pressure from her mother to be there for her son. The film itself was just as ridiculous as what a 70s adult film would look like, however, Candy was fascinated nonetheless.
In other pimp news, C.C. spent a lot of time with Lori to try and stop her from getting ideas from other pimps and to deter her from leaving him. He believed that she needed a pimp to protect her and there was an instance later on in which he did. He also disagreed with her being in adult films and opened up to her and told her that his intention was to quit being a pimp and settle down with a family once he made enough money. Larry didn’t like Darlene’s newfound interest in books or a reporter named Sandra Washington (Natalie Paul) prying into his affairs.
Vincent wanted to live an honest life but sank a little lower here by aligning himself and his brother-in-law Bobby (Chris Bauer) with the mob boss named Bernie (Stephen Gevedon) to benefit themselves and help pay Frankie’s debt. He had assumed a management position in every establishment he’s worked in but the chance to build his own from the ground up was an opportunity he couldn’t refuse.
Franco and Gyllenhaal stood out more here and candy continues to be the most compelling character so far. The jury is still out on Franco’s dual role. There is still very little difference between both characters which makes them not as easy to watch in scenes featuring both brothers but both characters appear to be going separate ways.
Overall, this was another good episode that gave us a direction for the series. The setting is compelling and the plot is promising but still lacks some compelling characters. Of course this could improve so it will be interesting to see where it all goes.