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October 4, 2015

Hustle: Episode 11

by Annie Wu, posted Mar 29th 2006 6:03PM
Hustle on AMCThe episode started right in the middle of the gang's latest cons. Stacie was just about to work her "sex kitten" act when she stopped dead in her tracks. She just spotted someone that she recognized... her ex-husband, Jake. A crazy twist within the first two minutes? Bravo, Hustle. Anyway, Stacie's ex-husband ran out on her years and years ago, taking all their savings with him. To exact revenge on this jerk that betrayed their beloved Stacie, the gang decided to make her ex the new mark. Stacie explained some of his background to the group and they decided that, by working off his love for poker, they would fool him with a bent Hold 'Em competition.

Albert worked his magic as a fellow named Benny, and invited Ben to a secret poker game with an alcoholic rich kid (really Danny). At this poker game, there would be $25 grand sit-down money and since Benny was going to be the dealer, he offered to help Jake cheat a little (but, really, he was just going to screw up somehow and the gang would get his money). Jake politely declined but took Benny's card anyway. Right then, Stacie came in to rekindle Jake's love for her... Jaime Murray (the actress that plays Stacie) is really gorgeous and she usually looks lovely, but they chose a really funny dress for this scene. It was a nice color, but the shape made her look weird. Ahem, fashion talk aside, she "bumped" into Jake and they had a short conversation. Stacie revealed that she was now with Mickey, which made Jake get really competitive. Solution? Jake invited Mickey to join in on the "secret" poker game.

Ash snuck around a little to learn some more about Jake. He saw a cactus at one point and smirked at it. I didn't get it... I thought maybe it was a phallic joke or something (turned out it was something else but we didn't find out until the end). Jake visited Stacie in her and Mickey's apartment (it was really the showroom of an apartment complex done up to look a little more lived-in). Jake started to explain why he ran out on Stacie so long ago. He said that he was roped into some dirty games of poker, which resulted in some acid burns. He was desperate for money and didn't want Stacie to get hurt so he disappeared with everything and didn't call. Stacie couldn't help but kiss him again. The boys of the gang were waiting anxiously back at the gang's hotel room... they were worried that Stacie might fall for him again.

There were a few bits here and there where they showed Mickey and Stacie as a rich couple, conning jewelers into giving them diamonds and stuff. Anyone know what was going on there? The jewelers weren't doing anything wrong, so why was it okay to con them? Oh, and there was also a quick lesson of Hold 'Em taught by Professors Danny and Mickey. I don't think that was entirely necessary (since they really didn't go that deep into the game in the end of the episode) but it was cute.

Game time rolled around and everybody was extremely nervous, waiting inside Eddie's Bar. Two non-grifters, Danny, Mickey, and Jake were the players, Albert was going to deal. Stacie sat by at the bar with Eddie, watching her friends con her ex-husband (and possible once-again-lover). To get rid of the two non-grifters, Eddie put laxatives in one of their drinks and Ash called the other one to say that his wife was going into labor. Danny, as the clumsy drunk, was easy to get out of the game. Mickey and Jake were livid with each other, so the game was very tense. During one of the two-minute breaks that they had, Stacie pulled Jake aside and told him that it was a con and that everyone in the Bar knew each other. She offered to help him cheat back his money but, surprisingly, Jake refused because he wanted to beat Mickey for real.

Well, Jake ended up beating Mickey, so he took the money... and Stacie. The whole gang was really pissed off that they had lost both their winnings and their Stacie. In the car, Stacie opened the suitcase and pulled out a stake of phony money. She panicked and showed Jake. "I didn't know!" So, they headed back to Mickey's place and demanded the real money. Mickey tried to get Stacie back but to no avail... Stacie and Jake head back home with the money. Boo. Back at their place, Stacie questioned Jake's desire for her. She told him that if he really wanted her back, he would chuck the money into the river. With little hesitation, Jake took the suitcase and flung it out... but Stacie was on to him. That was the suitcase of fake money. She told him she didn't care about the money... she just wanted him to get out of her sight at that point. So, Jake hopped in a taxi and left, only to realize -- bwaha! -- the suitcase was really full of fake money. Turned out that Stacie grabbed a stack of fake cash back at Eddie's Bar and pulled it out of her purse (not the suitcase) earlier in the car. That means Jake tossed a suitcase full of real money into the river. Whoops.

Stacie, all smiles, showed up at the gang's place again. Everyone was overjoyed and Stacie was even happier when Ash told her what he did. Apparently, when Jake left Stacie, he left a few "thoughtful touches" for her... a cactus, a Phil Collins CD, and a piece of moldy cheese. So, that was exactly what Ash left Jake once he cleared out his apartment and drained his bank account. Aww, Ash really loves Stacie. Danny showed up in a wetsuit, clutching the suitcase of money, and everyone was even more overjoyed (over overjoyed). They broke out the bubbly and laughed. Yaaay.

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A good episode, but too easily predictable. I never once believed that Stacie was serious about going back with her ex and when she pulled out the wad of fake money it was obvious that this was just going to be a standard bait-and-switch with him somehow trading the real money for fake.

July 03 2006 at 8:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Evelyn B. Nast

This is my favorite TV show, worthy of the repeated showings to savor the personalities and plots. Although, this episode demonstrates that they have become a little too convoluted lately; usually because of too many leaps back and forth in time.
I have been extolling this show in an effort to build its audience. But AMC has buried it on Saturday night with an unpredictable schedule so it is difficult to enlist more viewers. Anyone know who could be contacted about that?

May 28 2006 at 1:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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