The Casino
Episode 3

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: C | Grade It Now!
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All Bad Things

Cute cigarette girl shakes her tongue in a very KISS rock-out way over R.I.C.O.'s shoulder at a slot machine, but pulls it off because she's so darn cute. Tim walks up behind them and fumes with disappointment and not a little bit of desperation at the fact that R.I.C.O.'s playing slots instead of high-stakes poker. Even when he leaves the Suite, he's still only playing slots, which Tim tells us "really isn't gambling." I guess these high rollers -- just like every other set of high rollers you've snaked into coming down so far -- was a bad "bet" there, eh, "Dice Town"? Toolaroonie. But the weird thing about gambling is this: I don't think R.I.C.O. could be any happier with his slots jackpot if they were $100 chips. That's what being a high roller is all about, simply winning something, anything, and that's what Tim will never, ever get. Because he is a tool. R.I.C.O. gives cute cigarette girl all the slots tokens he won, but drops some, and all her friends tell her it's because he wants her to bend over and pick them up. Which she does, with a 4/5-full lowball glass held perfectly upright in her hand, gracefully and cutely and effortlessly. Martha Stewart could not have executed that maneuver with more élan. Assuming, of course, that Martha Stewart ever found herself in the position of scooping up quarter-slots tokens off the sticky floor of the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino. Disgusted, Tim finally must turn away from this horrific display of fun people having fun. The gall of them, to take something freely offered and then play it safe with their own money! He huffs and puffs and is generally three shots of pissed about something that is only really a half-shot of tacky, in my opinion. This is not the social contract, this is just them not playing into your bait-and-switch. Get over yourself. You didn't invent it, Tim. Not the buffet, not the showgirls, not the comp meals, the free "steaknlobster," none of it. Welcome to the Vegas, bitch.

Back to cute little stupid little entitled little Tommy Sunstrum. This scene has caused a bit of drama in the forums but, having watched it multiple times, I stand by my original take. I'll do my best to explain why. The lady who gave Tommy the weird look last week walks by. Tommy, obviously having a good time with a coworker, tells her, "I pack a strong game underneath it all, Monique." So that's her name. Monique. Uh huh. She gives him a quizzical look and you can see the hamster running: I know he's trying to reassure me of his skill, but it would make my night to get someone fired on sexual harassment charges right now. Because he cannot see the hamster, because he is semi-retarded, he follows up -- really, though, he's edited to seem as though he's following up -- with, "What are you doing after work?" I maintain that this is because he's feeling expansive and possibly friendly, and that even the thought of flirting with Monique would cause his stomach to go all flopsy and contortionist like a "Velvet" brain. And Monique snips up to the plate: "I didn't hear that. What did you just say?" Thereby forcing him to repeat himself, always a good way to get the upper hand when the battle is joined. "I said, 'What are you doing after work?'" She looks down at her watch and points at him. "Not you." Stunned into a momentary TILT, Tommy recontextualizes this statement into what she's thinking is happening here, and groans like it's a total burn, instead of what it was: a radical subversion of his pretty decent act, in the hopes of making him feel shitty and unable to do anything about this classless redefinition of terms. Tommy voices over, "Monique is pretty much my boss," as she looks petulantly to the left and the right, disbelieving, as if everyone around them in the casino is going to fall upon him with the ferocity of a thousand Dworkins for so blatantly hitting on her while on shift. "Since I've started working here, I've honestly had a problem with one person, and that's Monique." And all of a sudden I am Li'l Tommy, because I had a Monique once. Most of us have, I think. Who knows why they do the things they do? The Moniques of this world are mysterious. They're not evil, they might even be fun and cool, unless they pick you. And then you are fucked, especially if they're your boss.

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The Casino

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