Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
A Tax For Stupidity
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!


Chester "Ace" Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) went to jail, and boy is he grumpy about it. Now he's getting out of jail and heading back to the racetrack with his buddy Gus (Dennis Farina) and an unblinking intensity that means a lot of soft-focus staring into nowhere. They drive to some hotel somewhere so Ace can act senile in various locations, while having various set-piece conversations about mumbling and grumbling.

Ace wants a voice recorder, Gus wants to talk about his grove of trees, and the conversation lasts as long as it takes to drive the length of California. Gus has bought a horse on Ace's behalf, because you can't own a racehorse if you've committed certain crimes. So whether or not he actually deserved to be in jail, Ace can't have a horse anymore. Maybe that's why he's so grumpy.

In a stable you find horses, maybe a cute little billygoat, some music that sounds like The Sopranos, and lots of gorgeous shots of horses doing stuff and tiny little jockeys, doing their jockey cultural dances and having their jockey cultural feasts and talking their strange tiny language. It is in this pageantry, this milieu, that we find several things:

No. 1: Nick Nolte is insane and we have no way of knowing what the fuck he is talking about, but he is looking better than he has in years. His voice is so low you can't hear it, but your car alarm might go off. Not great for talking, but probably very nice for a horse. He has a horse that is his friend and he likes to say weird things to it; he has a jockey who is an Irish lass who seems pretty important in the overall scheme of things.

No. 2: The Pick Six jackpot is quite high. If you wonder what that is and are very interesting in finding out what that is through the decipherment of mumbles and grizzling, this is the show for you. Pick Six is when you somehow have psychic mental powers and can predict the horses that are going to win in six different races.

No. 3: Jill Hennessey's actress vanity threshold is so low that while I was explaining the Pick Six, she stuck her hand up a horse's rear. Up to the elbow. Not a leisure activity, to be sure, because she is a doctor of horses, but it is still a very mysterious or startling thing to see Jill Hennessey do on a Sunday.

Also, she is sleeping with a pretty crummy guy who mumbles like everybody else, but in Spanish so it's even less comprehensible. His name is Escalante, he's a famous horse trainer and what he mostly likes to do in this episode is yell at this little jockey he calls "Pinhead," but who is in actuality a British hottie who sadly is playing a Cajun in this show and thus speaks with the only accent on this planet more awful to listen to than an Australian one.

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