The Deuce Season 1 Episode 3: The Principle Is All Review

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: Putting the finishing touches on his new bar, Vincent is blindsided by the sudden appearance of an unexpected partner, causing Frankie to blow a gasket. Rudy buys into a rival’s plan to reconfigure The Deuce, hopefully with the support of an ambitious mayor. Candy eyes an entrée into the filmmaking business; Abby languishes in her new job; Darlene works overtime to compensate Larry; C.C. tasks Lori to play the “long game”; Bobby pays a price for his recent stress at work. Big Mike, a menacing drifter, proves useful to Vincent as the Hi-Hat finally opens. (HBO)

Writers: David Simon and Richard Price

Director: James Franco

Rating: TV-MA

Running Time: 58mins

It was only a matter of time until this season slowed down, allowing us to take a breath and that was exactly what happened here. The previous two episodes introduced us to the setting and the characters but in this new episode, we get to see them in their element while setting the stage for future episodes. It’s not that this episode was any less compelling, there just wasn’t as much going on here.

In the last episode, Vincent got his own bar and this episode saw him and his friends put the finishing touches on it so it can open but unfortunately for him and Frankie, a part owner of the previous establishment showed up and had different plans. He appeared to go away with Rudy’s help, however, he may very well still come back in the future. The opening appeared to be a success, despite not being incident-free, as Vincent’s management style led to a large crowd. Luckily for him, a large stranger named Big Mike (Mustafa Shakir) was there to save the day. 

Candy is still serious about going into the adult movie business. A friend took her to a filming (that wasn’t really a filming) and she spoke to the director Harvey Wasserman (a fatter David Krumholtz) who offered her a job as part of the crew. She figured she’d work her way up through the industry. Her mother did not approve of her current lifestyle but Candy thought this would help change her mind. She told her that she would be in the legitimate movie business which appeared to start to change her mind but really she would be working in the adult movie business.

Here’s a quick rundown of everything else that happened:

  • Since dropping out of College and deciding to stay in New York, getting a job proved difficult for Abby. She bounced around, making a few mistakes along the way, but she ended up at Vincent’s bar just in time for the opening.
  • Rudy started to lay the groundwork in his plan to redevelop The Deuce.
  • The stress of Bobby’s work finally caught up to him, causing him to collapse and putting him in the hospital.
  • Over their time together, Darlene has grown close to the regular which she watches old movies with to the point that they both fell asleep while watching a movie. She could have taken all his money, however, chose otherwise and took her usual amount. It was this decision that forced her to work overtime for Larry.
  • Alston and Flanagan were given “no-go zones” where they could not arrest people unless something really crazy was happening.
  • Sandra Washington came back into the picture by paying to talk to a prostitute for information.

One of the problems through the first two episodes was the lack of any difference between Vincent and Frankie but this was even more the case here. At least they were dressed differently so they were easy to tell apart with Vincent in white and Frankie in black. For whatever reason, it was more difficult to tell them apart. Although one of them might not survive until the end of the season, this got slightly frustrating. Franco does deserve some kudos here as he directed the episode while playing multiple roles which surely isn’t easy.

Overall, this was another good episode which slowed things down a little but nothing of substance happened. The Franco dual roles continue to be a problem and the only compelling character is Candy. The world created here is still engrossing and I am still curious to see where it will go.

Score: 8/10

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