[rating=7.00] “The Racket”
After taking several big swipes at what it was aiming to be, Vinyl seems to have finally gotten itself in position for a piece-moving episode, now that it’s getting a better idea of what those pieces are. Of course, this being Scorsese at his most indulgently reckless, they aren’t the pieces that everyone would be expecting, which makes the imagining what’s to come in the season’s back-half all the more interesting. In the meantime, here are Vinyl’s five deepest cuts from last night’s episode.
5. The limo ride
Zach got a special shout-out last week for his deeply snide “Mr. Video” comment to Richie, which makes him the only one willing to talk back to him (at work anyway) and the one guy who got his nose broken by him. But here, as the four bigwigs discuss their now-abandoned life plans after Richie pulled the plug on the sale of American Century was a perfectly-timed scene to strike a balance between moments like this and the fantastic, technicolor rock and roll overload the show veers into. The fact they were coming from Buck’s funeral at the time made it all the better.
4. The American Century office
Aside from some glimpses in the pilot episode, we’ve been hearing about the wild parties hosted by Richie Finestra at his office by association, but yet to see any of it first hand. Last night, with the arrival of funk superstar Hannibal and his entourage, which crowded up with Lester’s unannounced arrival as well as the signing of The Nasty Bitz, the camera could’ve just traveled from room to room for minutes on end and it would’ve qualified for quality goddamn television.
3. Lester Grimes
After playing him up in the pilot, then pushing him completely aside for the follow-up episode, the show has been working to integrate Lester more fully into the fold, his long-standing (and very justified) beef with Richie Finestra included. He shows up to burn the master tapes Richie had hoped to turn into a record before smartly working his way into management after a quick chat with The Nasty Bitz. After a quick rundown of the financial and legal obligations that await a band once their name is on the dotted line, he comes to the table looking to beat Richie at his own game.
2. Robert Goulet
Why must this show, every fucking week, take an established pop culture persona and give as a warmed-over, 40-years reversed caricature of them. And why, out of everyone, did it have to be Robert Goulet? We could’ve just seen him recording in the studio. We didn’t need a Robert Goulet impressionist hanging out in the hallway and mingling like that.
1. Sal Finestra
A cliffhanger ending might be a cheap ploy (it is), but when it’s done well, it’s impossible to deny its effectiveness. After Richie is visited by two homicide detectives, one with a particular affinity for Robert Goulet (though not enough to justify Goulet’s cameo) his desperation drives him to his father, who happens to be played by David Proval!
If this looks to be as rock-solid as it’s hinting at, I’ll finally have something to compare my Richie Aprile/Gyp Rosetti fan-fiction to.