The Deuce recap: Season 1, Episode 2, “Show and Prove,” aired Sept 17, 2017
In the follow up to their pilot, The Deuce‘s “Show and Prove” doesn’t hold back. We get our first glimpses of pornography film, as Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “Candy” shows up for her first shoot. Not to mention, someone probably dies this episode! Here’s our The Deuce recap for the second episode of the premiere season.
Setting the stage for film
In this episode we get our first looks at the status of the film industry at the time along with the changes on the horizon. At the beginning of this episode, Barbara sets up a photo shoot that she hopes will land her more opportunities in the business, with specific interests in film. While the girls are talking, Candy speaks up about her major problem with films. Being the girl who works for herself, she doesn’t like the concept of only getting paid once for a movie shoot. Meanwhile, producers make money every time the movie is viewed or purchased.
It’s during this conversation that Darlene finds out that she’s in a movie “Backdoor Betty” that was intended for a private library. It’s now at the local store and available for purchase through some shady business dealings. She gets her hands on the remaining copies and decides to investigate it further.
The family business
Vinnie and Frankie make a visit to their sister and brother and law, Bobby. They discuss the new business Vinnie has gotten to boom, and decide to try to hustle as much as they can to make money. Vinnie makes some deals with the loan sharks to help with Frankie’s debt, promising he will personally make sure it happens (a risky promise in our opinion). The loan sharks mentions how the streets are “stagnant”, possibly foreshadowing the change to come in the industry.
As part of their side hustle, the twins and Bobby set up a new paycheck system at Bobby’s workplace. Since banks weren’t open on the weekend, most employees had to wait to get cash. The men create a system where employees can get their checks in cash instead, with a 5% cut. That profit goes to the loan sharks and possibly towards expanding business.
We’d also like to mention that there are some fantastic shots of the twin brothers in the same shot! Both sit across the bar from each other, full Franko face in sight. How do they work that magic?
In the gritty world of prostitution and New York City, it might not be a surprise that some of our main characters and prostitutes will butt heads. While we saw the starts of some jealousy in the pilot, Barbara really starts to become a bully. At the diner, Barbara throws a cigarette at Lori in the diner, clearly out of spite for her popularity and youth.
Lori also finds herself on a roller coaster with her pimp, C.C. He talks about being ready to settle down, becoming tired of the dog eat dog world of being a pimp. However, it seems to be a little less than sincere. C.C. also makes comments about her body and health, making it seem like he is concerned, but in reality he’s concerned about his business. At the end of their encounter he gives her a necklace, proceeding to add to the mind game. C.C., we’re confused over here!
We also see some tension between Candy and her mom who is taking care of her son. They get into a slight argument about her work. It turns out her son believes she’s doing something more important with her life “working for the government” because she isn’t around very much. Meanwhile, Candy is doing what she can to provide for the life they live.
Candy isn’t the only one with familial issues and a maternal argument. Abby flunks out of classes after having skipped her finals last episode. She decides to stay in New York after her mom comes to pick her up from school. Following their tension, surprisingly, her mother ends up being understanding. She sets her up with some money which she uses to get a place for a while and look for jobs.
Maggie’s “Candy” gets on camera
Despite being against everything about film and knowing that it doesn’t pay what she wants, Candy agrees to cover for a friend who is double-booked with a shoot and a court date. She shows up and we get our first real film scene in The Deuce. Candy ends up in a hokey viking group sex setup.
After the shoot, Candy asks one of the camera girls a few questions, surprising us all with her slight interest in the film industry. She steals a copy of a pornography on the way out. She takes it home and watches it, and from what it looks like we think she’s studying up!
Death on screen
During an encounter, Lori finds herself being arrested and taken to a vehicle. C.C. approaches the scene and things get heavy quickly. The pimp starts stabbing the officer, only to show Lori that he was an imposter. The man had rope in his car, clearly trying to kidnap or hurt the new prostitute. It showed us as an audience just how dangerous some of this work really is.
That was a heck of an ending, and we’re exciting from the scenes for next week! What did you think of The Deuce this week and what are you expecting next?