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September 1, 2015

Hustle: Episode 15

by Annie Wu, posted Jul 13th 2006 12:28PM
Hustle(S03E03) The episode started quite abruptly with three different people (Stacie and two guys we haven't seen before) giving Danny a whippng and his voice-over saying that he wishes that he never heard the name James Whittaker Wright III. Um. What? Jump back to Danny and Stacie working a short con. Stacie was inside a store, roping in the mark, Danny was sitting outside, watching and waiting for his moment. All of a sudden, some random American guy (played by the legendary Robert Richard Chamberlain -- but he's not quite as legendary as my inability to read my own notes, it seems) sat down in front of him and started talking to Danny about the old ring scam he was presently working on with Stacie. Then, the mysterious man said, "I bet you I can bite my own eye." Of course, Danny jumped at the chance and bet. The man popped out his glass eye, struck his teeth on it a few times, and replaced it. What. In. The. Hell. Before leaving, the man handed Danny his business card. James Whittaker Wright III from Lea Park.

Jump forward to later that same day. Albert and Mick were hanging out at a high-class casino as they waited for Ash to work his magic with the hapless mark. We then saw that the "hapless mark" is actually James. He forcibly plays all of the signs of a vulnerable mark right into Ash's hands, causing Ash to signal "no" to Albert and Mick. What a weirdo.

Later, Stacie and Danny gave Albert the business card. Albert explained the story of James Whittaker Wright I. Apparently, he was one of the greatest financiers of the Victorian age... or the greatest fraud in history. He faked his own death to get out of a sentencing. The show then went all old-timey, looking like a black and white, silent film. Mickey played James, looking something like Charlie Chaplin. Heh, it was weird, but interesting. Through this B & W film, they showed that Wright was a financial wizard that made his fortune peddling phony goldmines. After he was caught, he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. However, during his sentencing, he took cyanide (well, he pretended). To learn more, Albert told everyone to go to Lea Park. There, they met with James Whittaker Wright III, who completed his grandfather's backstory. His "grandpappy" tried to make some big money in the city by working out the London Stock Exchange. However, the bank he was working with, Cornfoot's, conspired against him and drove him to his downfall. James Whittaker Wright III (ahh, I'm just going to call him "III" from now on) wanted to seek revenge by screwing over Cornfoot's, so he sought the help of the gang. The gang agreed to take part, even though they were well aware that III would double-cross them at some point.

After deciding to work another stock exchange con (based on oil), Mickey assigned roles to everyone. Stacie was to pretend to be an new analyst for the bank and feed information from the bank. Ash played the oil expert who start the rumors running. Albert and III played the foolish investors who would drive up the stock price. Danny was to be the obnoxious, irritating, young, rich city-type who has a company he wants to float on the Exchange.

Stacie infiltrated the place with no problem and managed to work closely with the top two bankers of Cornfoot's. After Ash fooled a rich man to hand over the keys to his boat (he said he cleaned boats for cheap), Danny bought a couple of nice suits and prepared to act like a spoiled city-boy. He showed up at the bank, made the valet guys move his boat, and burst in on the top two bankers during a meeting. After he "realized" he meant to go to the merchant bank next door, he very nonchalantly explained that he was looking for some place to float his oil company on the stock market. The Cornfoot's guys wanted in, so they consulted an oil expert (Ash) and made Danny an offer.

The only way this con was going to work was if the bankers really hated Danny. So, he was as annoying as possible... Coming in drunk, loudly interrupting meetings, constantly hitting on Stacie (well, he does that anyway, doesn't he?). The whipping part came in after they played a game guessing the serial numbers on banknotes. Danny lost, so the two bankers and Stacie took turns in whipping him. Haha, what a bizarre game. Anyway, Danny's stock was doing quite well on the futures market, thanks to the foolish American investors, Albert and III. The bank decided that they wanted to screw Danny out of his money so they started selling like crazy, all the way down to 0, making Danny's company completely worthless. They planned on buying all the shares back the next day, before the company officially opened on the market. However, no one was willing to sell. Uh-oh. Because the bank pledged to sell, they have to pay out every day that they can't. The bankers found out that Danny owned 50% and the foolish American investors owned the other half, both sides completely unwilling to sell. Cornfoot's was screwed.

The bankers pleaded with Danny, Albert, and III, but no one budged. III explained his grandpappy's story and how he was finally getting revenge. One of the bankers started getting really angry and grabbed III by the collar. Suddenly, III dropped dead from a heart attack (well, "heart attack"). Horrified, the bankers called in the physician waiting next door (Mickey, conveniently showing up to do employee check-ups). Mickey pronounced III dead and left to call the coroner. Danny and Albert convinced the bankers to write out a 2 million pound settlement, threatening to tell the police that they assaulted III and killed him. After handing over the settlement, the bankers made a run for it. Whoo.

Once Mickey came back, he saw that III was still on the floor. The gang kept telling him to get up, but III didn't budge. Smelling almonds, Mickey realized that III didn't pretend to take cyanide, but really poisoned himself. He tried to resuscitate him, but just as he opened III's shirt, he saw an envelope across his chest. The enclosed letter revealed that III wasn't actually James Whittaker Wright III, but a man by the name of Bill Clegg (not American). He was seeking revenge on Cornfoot's for bankrupting his old place. The letter said that the settlements were worthless and there was only enough to send the bankers to the pen for a long time and put the bank out of business. Oh, and the fraud squad was on its way to arrest the gang. Oh shit. The gang cleaned up and made a run for it. It wasn't until they scrambled into their van did Mickey realize something... No Northerner would ever say "pen". That's strictly American usage for "in prison". III was double double bluffing!

They tried chasing III down to the airport, but to no avail. He left with their 2 million. The gang was furious, but Albert was impressed with III's work. After a month's worth of work, they had no money to show for it. Well, except for Danny. He bought loads of shares from a toilet/bidet company that Cornfoot's kept making fun of throughout the episode. Apparently, the toilet/bidets were a hit in Japan.

What a weird episode. I'm looking forward to next week's, where there's going to be some crazy Bollywood dance sequence. Exciting.

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Derek Wright

Whitaker Wright was my great great uncle and I can tell you now that the programme was very inaccurate indeed !

July 29 2006 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Bennett

The "legendary" Robert Chamberlin deserves recognition...even though his name is RICHARD Chamberlin! LOL...maybe he's not THAT legendary after all!

July 13 2006 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Pssssssssssssssssssst! *whispers* That's Richard Chamberlain, not Robert.

July 13 2006 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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