Hoo boy! Jerry spends the episode making tons of money at the poker tables, presumably to make his downward spiral even more poignant later. Wheelchair Guy mostly bitches and moans at everybody for spending money in flashy ways, because they still don't seem to have figured out how best to claim their winnings. The Twitchy One sweetly bids to purchase a horse that he can then share with his buddies, but gets the horse snatched away by cruel fate after very much explanation of how claims races work.
Basically, you bid to buy a horse before the race starts, and then at the end of the race you either get the horse or, by dice-roll, you don't. It complicates matters that claims races are still regular races, so in this case, for example, Escalante doesn't want the horse to sell, but still wants it to win, so he tries to make it seem like the horse is injured. Wheelchair yells about this attempted purchase, but mostly saves his ire for Hustler Guy, who -- surprisingly enough -- is not getting paid for sex with those lady insurance agents he was talking about last week.
The truth is much stranger! Apparently his arrangement with the women involved an insurance scam where he would get injured and all three of them would profit. But now that he's won this huge jackpot, he wants to pull out. Next thing you know they've got their hard fake cougar tits out and have roofied his drink, and after a short and very unsettling sexual interaction, they explain that in fact they insured his life, and will now be beating him to death to collect. He escapes, but only barely. It is super weird and indelibly scary and haunting and bizarre.
The Old Man chooses that drunk jockey Porky always yells at to ride his horse, hoping to arrange a soft landing for Irish Girl as he's destroying her dreams. In the interim, we learn more about the death of his horse's sire that Nolte mentioned last week -- another life insurance scheme. I guess the moral of the story is, don't let other people take out insurance policies on you unless you are absolutely sure they aren't going to beat you to death later.
Ace and Gus's Monte Cristo thing gets more intense this week as we learn more of the particulars of the scam that sent Ace to jail in the first place. There's this guy Mike with whom Ace was once partnered and who is the real target of whatever it is he's trying to do. It was engineered that Mike was stashing his drug supply at a condo of Ace's, where Ace's grandson was living, and would have taken the fall if Ace hadn't stepped in. So now he's trying to set up this casino in the racetrack grounds, which somehow is going to cause everybody to die horribly or something. I don't know, it's clearly Byzantine.
"Degenerate" Count: 0
"Cocksucker(s)" Count: 2
Lunatic Cougar Count: 2
Mysterious Bag Count: 2
Serious Injuries: 1
Ace got out of jail, Gus bought a horse, Porky Pig stuttered, various tiny jockeys had their tiny jockey dreams, a horse went crunch, Nick Nolte was weird and wonderful, various gross track-rats -- including Escalante the trainer -- won a bunch of cash, and Jill Hennessey stuck her hand up a horse, and Milch explained himself thusly:
"My belief is that we are a single beating heart, mistakenly perceiving ourselves as separate, each from the other. If you ask me to define the word 'luck,' I would say it is the moment when we experience that simultaneity. It can come at the most surprising goddamn times and ways."
Ace meets with his parole officer, noting his PO's admiration for Malcolm X and the music of Jazz. Even though he is wearing a suit, he does not let the ickiness of providing a urine sample get him down. Even inside, he explains, accommodations were made for his pee-shyness. Not so much these days. One assumes some motherfucker will pay for this latest outrage, but it won't be the PO. That one, Ace likes.
Gus: "You just got invited to lunch, also."
Ace: "I hope it's with a bunch of people who don't have names and all kind of look the same and speak in unrealistically stylized ways."
Gus: "I think that's to be presumed."
TRACK - AM EXERCISES
Irish Lass: "I still really want to ride the Old Man's horse."
That Hot Drunk Jockey: "And you're still never going to."
Irish Lass: "Let's just exercise these horses."
Hot Drunk Jockey: "And talk about how great the Old Man's horse is. And who his father was. And How They Killed Him. Forever."
An Unpleasant Asian Stereotype Named Lester: "In this scene I will needle Jerry the Psychic Addict for a million years. This will show the passage of time, because Jerry doesn't really have anything to do in this episode besides be amazed that his gross friends are gross."
Jerry: "I mostly gamble for a personality. I also do that in this episode."
Dealer: "Lester Wins!"
Lester: "[More needling, in this sing-songy ching-chongy opium-den bullshit semiotic-flashcard way that is really unfortunate]."
Is with Buffalo Bill, and that hotelier DiRossi from last week. The one that Ace flipped out on for no reason. Soon, that will not narrow things down, but right now it's still the only thing he really did last week. Buffalo Bill is some other kind of mobster or something. They are all mobsters. We still don't know exactly why Ace is so very angry or what his ultimate aim might be, but if I had to guess I would say probably it's because they are all mobsters.