Magic City: Down and Out at the Miramar Playa

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Magic City S01E06: “The Harder They Fall”

Ah, that awkward moment when Jackie Kennedy cancels her lunch date with your wife and you blow $25,000 betting on the wrong fighter in a rigged match—guys, Ike Evans had a hard time in this week’s Magic City. It started out alright enough, as alright as things ever are over at the Miramar Playa... which when you really think about it, can more accurately be described as “barely keeping it together.” But hey, when you live in a war zone, you find that it sometimes becomes easy to ignore the artillery fire. It’s just part of the scenery.

The Miramar Playa hosted a heavily publicized, televised boxing match and Ben Diamond floated nakedly in his pool (congratulations, Magic City, on making the leap into full frontal male nudity), raging about that bible-thumping government official from a few episodes back reaffirming his stance on doing what Jesus would do concerning the legalization of gambling. He also sicced his henchmen on Lily, who could only watch and quietly panic as they tore her bedroom apart looking for the pornaroids that Stevie swore he burned. She called Stevie and made him SWEAR he burned them, and Stevie tore his room apart looking for them only to wind up empty handed.

Stevie’s hands are slated to get a lot emptier judging from the extortion note Danny accidentally intercepted during one of his and Mercedes’ disturbingly wholesome hook-ups. Twenty grand. Ouch. He might have to hit up the Bank of Dad.

Of course, the Bank of Dad wasn’t looking so hot by the end of “The Harder They Fall” either. Ben decided to speak with the official himself and when Ike refused to set it up, Ben demanded the return of the $100,000 he had invested in the project. Ike caved and said he’d arrange it, then turned around and bribed the official with his own cash to maintain his anti-gambling stance; Ike wanted Lauren to grow up in a safe and crime-free Miami. I’m sure Ben will be thrilled when he finds that out, and the official will in no way wind up in Ben’s underwater grave yard. Right guys? Right?

Ben was a busy guy this week. Between bugging Ike for an audience with the government official and looking for a reason to wack Lily, Ben also rigged the boxing match at the hotel and went out of his way to let everyone know. An eager Stevie called Ike to let him know which fighter to place his money on, and Ike promptly jumped at the chance. By the time Stevie learned the truth, that Ben had not only fixed the fight, but spread inaccurate information about which fighter would win in order to manipulate the odds and give himself a higher payout, it was too late for Ike to change his bet. He wound up losing $25,000. And don't forget the context: That’s almost $200,000 in 2012 dollars.

To answer one of our questions from last week, Danny’s internship with the DA has already hit a rocky patch. Ike was less than enthusiastic about the news and told him, in so many words, to pass on the opportunity. Ike offered to get him an internship in his own lawyer’s office, and argued that it was a bigger and more successful office anyway. Danny said that his decision had nothing to do with money.

Ike countered with, “It’s ALWAYS about the money.”

Way to miss the POINT, Dad.

But sadly (and it IS sad, because at his core, Ike is a good dad) Ike didn’t really miss the point at all. He’s not an idiot and I’m sure he knew that Danny’s internship offer had everything to do with Klein’s investigation. At face value, Ike’s disapproval certainly revolved around the fear that Danny would somehow, even unintentionally, help Klein find some grain of evidence against him, but I like to think that part of it was also that he just didn’t want to see his kid manipulated. Danny, it's been established, is his mother’s son—and Magic City invokes Ike’s reverence for his late first wife rather often. Now that the point has been made, that Danny is more like his mother than the rest of the family, I can’t help but wonder if that played into casting at all. I mean, Steven Strait, who plays Stevie, could probably pass for an offspring of Jeffrey Dean Morgan on the street. The same goes for Taylor Blackwell, the actress who plays Lauren. But Christian Cooke, the actor behind Danny, doesn’t really look like any of them. It could have been coincidence, but it makes me happy when details like that aren’t accidental because it means that the people making the television show are paying attention to everything that they do, and that typically translates to quality.

Anyway, Ike wasn’t happy about the internship and Danny basically told him to butt out. So Klein has Danny and, as we saw at the end, Klein has dredged up the car of Judi Silver’s would-be assassin. I wouldn’t want to be Ike Evans right now.

Notes (and Questions) from Beyond the Naked-Lady Window:

– Stevie caught a glimpse of Vera naked in the shower and the ogling was not the sort of ogling that a son should give his step-mom...even if said step-mom is really, really hot. Don’t go there, Magic City, please oh please oh please don’t go there. It’s not even that it would be supremely gross—because it wouldn’t be, not really, they’re not related and she’s closer in age to him than she is to his dad. I just wish Stevie could keep it in his pants for like, an entire episode. Or even three quarters of an episode...half an episode? I really try to feel bad for Stevie, but I just can’t, because all of his problems seem to stem from thinking exclusively with his downstairs brain. Do you the show will go there?

– We know that Ike has been struggling financially throughout the season, but after this episode, I’m starting to wonder if he’s not straight-up broke. There was the depleted bag of cash in his safe, the awkward pause when Danny referred to him as his “rich dad,” and then the expression on his face after the boxing match when he was drinking his problems away in the Atlantis Lounge. That look was way past “I just lost an unfortunate amount of money on a bad bet.” It was very much the look of “I just lost my entire freaking LIFE on a bad bet.” Thoughts?