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The Deuce

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Good finale to the season. Dorothy being killed off-screen worked for me, especially with CC's murder being on-screen last week. Somehow it was more powerful her being just another Jane Doe until we realize along with, but really through, Alton. It had that much more of an impact.

Another contrast that worked extremely well was Darlene's and Lori's breaks with Larry and CC. Darlene was able to leave because they were simply "acting or playing  a role". (What an appropriate metaphor) There wasn't much emotion in it and it was fairly effortless and awkward. Especially Larry's attempted kiss. Contrast that with the sheer emotional relief of Lori upon learning of CC's death and her liberation. "Liberation" is truly what it was for her. Larry may have been going through the motions of his role as a pimp, but CC was a pimp, manipulative, vicious, abusive, making Lori's leaving that much more difficult than Darlene's. Not excusing any of Larry's actions, though.

Bobby's reaction to Black Frankie's murder of Carlos was so in-character for him. He thought Black Frankie was his tough and seemed more upset BF took the job without Bobby's permission. But Bobby really has never had any control in his life and his need for it has created so many problems in his life.

Candy had some great scenes this episode. Of course, that final scene with her parents not allowing her son to go on vacation with her, but I really loved her scene with Russell where he apologized to his conversation with the two guys at the premiere. She realized he really just saw her as a trophy and was cutting her losses. It seemed so emotionless, but with Candy, we all know she is very good at suppressing her emotions and putting on a good face. She finally broke in that final scene. She rolls with her punches, but she has a  lot of trouble doing that when it comes to her parental situation. Love her character.

Good thing for Haddix Rodney didn't know to sweep the leg.

 

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Great finale and enjoyed watching the last 5 episodes back to back. I'm surprised how much depth the show and its characters have with so few episodes. Some of the characters have only had minutes of screen-time but they all feel like living and breathing entities.

The episode where Lori leaves CC was great. I spent most of the episode dreading what CC was going to do. I feared he was going to slice her face (like he did with Dorothy in the pilot episode) so it came as a pleasant surprise when he was killed by Bobby. Then the chilling off-screen killing of Dorothy that had me wondering whether I'd missed something. Who killed her? I was actually thinking it could have been CC taking his rage out on her instead of Lori. Or was it one of the other pimps? Afterall CC was the pimp who argued against killing her. Not sure whether it will be followed up or not.

I'm pleased the next season is less of a time jump and having it charge the birth of VHS makes a lot of sense. I guess it did change the world of porn as Harvey pointed out and I guess it wasn't superceded until the internet took off (or became capable of streaming video footage).

I also like how the show has transitioned into a genuine gangster show. Perhaps as much gang related as porn related now and the show has made a point of showing how the two intertwine.

This show has some great performances particularly regarding some of the nastier characters where you can't help but connect with them. CC and Larry don't deserve much empathy but the actors do such a good job you can't help but see their pov. Emily Meade was excellent in the scene where her sobs went from sorrow to confusion to outright relief.

It's almost a shame there's only one more season but I respect Simon and Pelecanos knowing exactly how long they want to spend on the show. I imagine it's also a commitment for Franco and Gylenhaal in the sense they probably only signed on knowing it would last 3 seasons tops. 

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I've read up on what happens this season, but have only watched the first episode of season two thus far. I really love the way this show captures the setting so well, and how it really brings this period to life. Granted, even though Vince is basically the focal point of the show, I tend to feel that he, Frankie, Abby, and Paul kind of take away from the more-interesting porn plot. 

Speaking of which, does anyone else find it hard to believe that a wealthy, attractive college girl would give up everything to shack up with James Franco for five years? 

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