When Chester "Ace" Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) first walked onto the screen in "Luck" (Sun., 9 p.m. EST on HBO), he was coming off a three-year stretch in prison. This week, he opened up to his long-time driver Gus about the circumstances behind his incarceration. It appeared to be more exposition for the viewer, but Gus (Dennis Farina) had some pointed opinions of his own regarding what went down.
As it turns out, Ace went to prison because he refused the nearly impossible situation the Feds put him in. After his grandson was caught with six kilos of cocaine in Ace's co-op, the kid was picked up and Ace was given a choice. He could either roll over on his partner Michael's off-shore gambling activities, or see his grandson go to prison for the drugs.
As Ace described the boy at the time, "You couldn't send him out to find six pounds of dog food the shape he was in four years ago." So he opted for a third choice. He took the fall for the drugs and did the time himself.
When Gus asked him what Michael would have done had their roles been reversed, Ace knew his old partner would have turned on him in a heartbeat. "I never ratted out anybody in my whole f*****g life, and I wouldn't do it even with that c********r," Ace said vehemently. It's a code.
The heart-to-hearts between Ace and Gus seem to be the emotional core of the show thus far, as is their unlikely friendship and loyalty to one another. With "Luck" already picked up for a second season by HBO, it will be interesting to see if that bond gets tested, or if they take on the world of horse racing side by side.
Find out as "Luck" continues Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on HBO.
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