Luck: Season 1, Episode 8 (B+)
I’m still reeling from the shock of the news last week that this show has been cancelled due to the deaths of three horses on set. Especially following this show’s early renewal back in January, it’s surprising and jarring to see that decision entirely reversed. It’s true, however, that a big part of what makes this show work well is its racing sequences, so I suppose that element being missing would drastically change its quality. HBO was kind enough to send me the full season, through next week’s finale, and it appears that they plan to air them and then the show will end, so hopefully the season ender will conclude all the arcs properly. It’s hard not to let this news influence the viewing experience of the episode, but it’s still quite a strong hour. I’m glad to see Rosie getting back on top, though the old man seems more than distracted with everything going on in his life. Jo getting injured doesn’t bode well for her pregnancy, but it’s reassuring to see Escalante come see her and show a partial interest in her wellbeing. Most powerful of all was Ace’s reaction to Nathan’s disappearance, piecing together that his adversaries had murdered him, which was revealed to be the harsh truth with the images of his dismembered body being discarded in bags in the water. Gus did an impressive job of springing into action and being Ace’s bodyguard upon learning the truth, and Ace was unexpectedly honest in his confrontation with Mike, putting equal blame on himself for the poor kid’s fate.