Backroom poker game. Marlo's playing with some old dude, and several others who don't say much. Old Dude fondly comments on the way Marlo's been nipping at him the whole game. Marlo quietly retorts that he's not the one with a "mountain" at his elbow. As Old Dude takes his sweet-ass time counting out his bet, he asks whether Marlo likes his Town Car. Marlo, watching him, shrugs, and the Old Dude goes on some more about the Kids Today and their Giant SUVs, advising Marlo that, if he wins this hand, he should buy himself a Town Car. Marlo can't resist the suggestion that Old Dude isn't actually that confident in his own hand, and calls. "Showtime," says Old Dude, turning his three clubs. Beaten, Marlo declines to show his own hand, saying that, soon, he's going to walk out with a Rolls. Old Dude doesn't doubt it: "Way you been going to school up in this here room, son, I suspect you're gonna walk out of here with Morgan fucking Freeman to drive it for you, too." Everyone laughs as Old Dude rakes in his chips. As usual, I wait tensely for someone to get murdered.
Downstairs, a bodyguard or someone lets Marlo out to the street. Marlo says he'll see the guy next time, and calls Partlow, telling him to pick him up at a nearby grocery store. I would make fun of his heather-grey tracksuit, but (a) it probably cost him like $300, and (b) I can't think of anything comfier to wear for playing poker all night. Oh, and (c) he'd have me killed.
Marlo saunters into the market, where a uniformed security guard stands sentry by the door. Marlo and the guard barely take their eyes off each other as Marlo goes to a cooler and takes out a water -- so Marlo is very sure the guy is still watching him as he pays for the water, but grabs two lollipops out of a canister at the cash and puts them in his pocket. Guard rolls his head exasperatedly like, "Fucking perfect," and as Marlo ambles out of the store without stopping. Guard rolls his head again and bitterly follows him outside. Huh, I didn't know there were uniform pants made by Bad Idea Jeans.
On the sidewalk, Guard spreads his hands: "What the fuck? You think I dream of coming to work up in this shit on a Sunday morning? Tell all my friends what a good job I got? I'm working to support a family, man." Marlo, so above it all, shakes his head and looks the other way, taking a swig of water. "Pretend I ain't talking to you," says Guard irritably. "Pretend like I ain't even on this earth. I know what you are." Marlo looks Guard up and down, now faintly interested. Guard: "Now, I ain't stepping to, but I am a man. And you just clip that shit and act like you don't even know I'm there." "I don't," says Marlo curtly, peeling the wrapper off one of the lollipops and dropping it on the ground. Shoplifting and littering? Monster! Guard quite unwisely takes a couple of steps so that he's standing directly in front of Marlo, spreading his hands again: "I'm here." Marlo stares him in the eye, closing the distance between them, and Guard realizes his error, averting his eyes and reminding Marlo that he said he wasn't stepping to him: "I ain't disrespecting you, son!" To make his point, he looks at Marlo again. Staring back, Marlo murmurs, "You want it to be one way." Guard doesn't know what that means. "You want it to be one way," Marlo repeats. Guard tries to interrupt Marlo's mind games, but Marlo repeats himself again until Guard hisses at him to stop. Just then, Partlow pulls up and, seeing Marlo in such close conversation with someone, climbs out of the car. Marlo: "But it's the other way." He moseys over to the truck, while Guard stares after him in confusion, and Partlow stares from the boss to his antagonist, totally gobsmacked either that a security guard would try to detain Marlo, or that Marlo would bother to engage one in any kind of conversation. After a moment, Partlow goes back to the truck and pulls off, leaving Guard to nod in satisfaction at having stood his ground. Oh, self-respect. You are often a real luxury!
"No one wins. One side just loses more slowly." -- Prez. He's teaching Civics now?