Season 1 / Episode 9 / Cinemax
I had a friend named Phil that did football in high school. He told me that whenever someone tried to do a bit too much or be a lil’ extra then got the shit tackled out of’em, everybody would say, “Damn. He tried to be a hero.” As we open up the episode with Tommy holding Mac at gunpoint those words are running through my mind cause I know (and you know) ain’t no way Tommy goin’ to make it outta here alive. Mac tried to tell his ass to run, and right as Tommy was talkin’ that “Gotcha” shit… he caught a bullet that exploded the inside of his jaw. This dude caught a bullet and looked like he was auditioning for the role of Two-Face in The Dark Knight. Dude’s face opened up like a fucking Fruit Roll-Up my dude. Big N Tall and his boys laid Tommy the fuck out while shooting at Mac.
Mac and Buddy started gun buckin’ on everybody, they somehow managed to kill Big N Tall along with all his men. The Broker showed up like, well god-damn. They got the heroin stash, which doesn’t look like that much to me but maybe rap videos done spoiled me on what mad bricks of cocaine and heroin look like. The Broker is none too worried that they got a dead detective on the scene either.
We next see Mac over at his father’s place because there is now an offer for the house. This young couple is ready to pay money up front and it is a lot. Everybody all happy, especially Mac’s step-mom… probably because she can’t wait for them to get the hell outta town. Mac’s Dad makes a lil’ comment about the house selling and the pool not being “professionally” built (Mac built it) but that being a great offer. Joni was about to sign that shit, she was about to go through with it…but she couldn’t let that lil’ pool comment go. Nahhh, nah Joni ain’t having that shit. Mac’s like, “wait a minute, I thought this is what you wanted?” “Nah man, nah, he ain’t goin be talkin’ that shit on that pool. Fuck that we stayin’. This is our home I made a mistake.” Joni ain’t bout to sell for shit and now Mac’s dad all mad and finally the step-mom had enough.
“These muh fuckas just want some money. This was all a stunt.” Yo why she down to ya mans Mac tho? Mac just trying to keep the peace right now and he getting dragged like he said some problematic shit on the Twitter. Joni standing up for her mans and dem and then step-mom busts out the check book. Wrote a check to them for 4-grand man. She said she never wanted to see them again if they took the money. Man, Mac was staring a hole through her yo. She called him a disgrace, and everything under the sun. I’m not goin lie I didn’t want him to take the money, and he went to grab his mother’s records from the table. I was like, “fuck yeah Mac” and then he snatched the check and I said, “…fuck yeah Mac!” I realized that too much money to let go off, plus his side of the family was shit anyhow. Dad all lowkey racist and goin’ be that grandfather you gotta preface with “he’s from a different time” in order to apologize for his blatant racism. Yeah fuck that, take the money and run y’all. RUN!
Things start looking up for Mac tho. He goes in for a job selling pools and gets interviewed by a guy that has no idea who he is or about the whole Quan Thang shit show he was part of. Mac’s double checking to make sure dude don’t know him and this guy only reads the paper for the Sports section and Family Circus comic strip (I had to look up the year Family Circus debuted in order to make sure the reference wasn’t anachronistic but you don’t hear me tho). Mac gets the job, goes home, and has the 4 grand for The Broker laid out on the table. Joni saying it doesn’t look like a lot of money and she is right because nowadays a rapper will have that shit in singles piled up in their music videos. Mac sets up a time to met The Broker and it’s going to happen at some hole-in-a-wall bar.
Over at Ruth’s place Moses (or “Felix”) is sitting down with the family to eat and noticing they got a lot of fine shit now. Ruth says Marcus saved up from doing yard work and was buying some stuff around the house for her. Moses can fucking smell the strength of the bullshit, Marcus wants to leave the table since his moms putting his business on Front Street. Moses killed me man, he looked at Marcus sayin, “For real? It’s like that? You ain’t trying to break bread with me man? Thought we bonded with the whole cops situation bout an episode ago and shit?”
Moses low-key interrogating Marcus about where he gettin’ all this “yard work” when he finds him outside hoping. Macrus man, if you goin’ move on a lie you gotta have that shit played all the fucking way out. Either start doing actual yard work or get others in on that shit. I woulda been like “I’m workin’ Mrs. Jinkins yard from 3pm-4pm, Mrs. Smiths from 5pm-540pm, here’s my flow chart, here’s my bank statements” Woulda pulled out all the damn stops.
Ruth was reminiscing about how hard it is with Arthur being gone and Moses saying he understands what she is going through…apparently, that’s a turn-on cause they start goin at it, then chill. Ruth just wants to lay in bed for now. Moses is cool with that. You know what else he cool with? Sneaking up in Marcus room and putting the burner to this kid’s melon. Fam, he pointed the snub at Marcus and was like where the money at? Marcus pointed to the guap with the quickness. Moses said, “Mmmm hmmmmm. You know how your daddy got shot? Yeah, you tell anybody bout this I’m filling your whole body with metal. Operation.” [This game debuted in ’64 that rap reference makes sense. BARS!]. Moses left and Marcus straight-up made lemonade in the bed. How you goin’ explain that shit, I bet he goin’ blame it on his sister.
Mac and Joni are enjoying a night out at some speakeasy and everything is all good till Mac starts seeing shit from the battlefield and searching around the premises for enemies. Dude is looking for someone that ain’t there and comes to realizing everyone at the party looking at him like “what the fuck man?” Homie done trashed the band’s equipment and shit. Personally, I woulda did the same shit listening to them. I bet he asked them to play some Otis Redding like 3 songs ago and then just lost it. Joni visits a vet hospital trying to get some kinda answers to what he’s going through. They gave her a pamphlet yo. Joanie was like:
Now they got Joni mid “the fuck am I supposed to do with this shit” when the counselor was like “Yo your mans and dem got both arms and both legs? Cool. Now look around you, yeah. Your mans dealing with nightmares, these cats dealing with phantom limb. It’s also the 70’s and we’re also pretty ill-equipped to deal with mental illness as a whole as well as post-traumatic stress disorder. Shit is crazy out here man, this is a great look at how the country is so ready to go to war and then not do shit for those that come back and survive that war.” Speaking of war, Mac makes his way to the bar to meet up with The Broker (with a gun tucked in his back pocket mind you) but The Broker ain’t there. Know who does walk in tho? Mac’s old leader that ordered that hit on Quan Thang.
Yeah, let’s flashback to that shit first. Back in ‘Nam 10 months earlier, this captain wanted Mac and Arthur as part of the squad to hit Quan Thang. Quan Thang was a weapons cache for the enemy, but shit was fucked from the jump when Arthur saw a cross at the front of the village. That captain was like “They fakin the funk. Shoot’em.” Mac shoots one enemy and realizes they are in a fishing village. Dude, it’s all downhill from there. They done air-striked this village, napalmed they shit, shot these folks up just for there to only be 3 actual enemies in that damn village. Oh, let’s not forget that Mac thought he was dropping a grenade into an enemy foxhole. Noooooooope, there were children in there. Yeaaaaaah, after it’s all said and done Mac is staring off into the distance straight in the void. So it’s safe to say he ain’t forgot that fuckhole of a situation one bit in the damn least.
Back in the present, Mac and Captain “I make horrible mistakes” are getting all up in each other’s shit. Mac mad aggressive with his responses like, “Yeah. I sell pools in November. It happens to be a lucrative time of the year for us — THAT MISSION WAS BULLSHIT AN YOU FUCKING KNOW IT!” Captain Horrible Mistakes leaves and Mac is out there after him, he’s outside making a call and then these fuckers just go at that shit. Dude pulled a knife on Mac and Mac ain’t having that shit. This dude straight grabbed Mac’s junk to escape man. Where they do that at? Mac follows him and gets ambushed in the woods. Mac was left face down at the mouth of a river but then comes to, and the rest of the scene plays out just like how we saw in episode one. We’re seeing now the person that Mac killed was his old captain. Mac then sends the body along the river back to his maker while that random big-ass turtle was the only witness to this shit. The fuck was that turtle even doing there man? She must’ve been like, “Oh shit! I saw not a DAMN thing.”
Quick interlude to Buddy trying to deal with his own shit. My man goes to a spot that’s apparently the Grindr meet up that’s pre-Grindr. Buddy meets a stranger and they start goin at it and homie brings Buddy to a secluded area with a “friend” waiting. They jump the hell out of Buddy something fierce man. I’m like come on dude, that shit ain’t even necessary. They take out Buddy’s brass-knucks and go William Regal / Hate crime on his ass. Ugh, just a fucking reminder of how shitty we can be, and when I say we I am talking about men. If that hurts your fragility as a man to acknowledge that then this ain’t the recap for you fam. Mac meets up With The Broker at the Quarry and hands him the last of the money he owes him. The Broker offers Mac another job just for the sake of it cause…why not? Mac is like you said I was done… Fuck that. Walks away… then strikes up conversation by asking who The Broker voted for.
This guy said the last person he voted for was Truman. The fuuuuuuuck? That’s gotta weigh on your conscience. Mac takes the bag then drives over to the Mississippi River. The dope shit about this is that over in ‘Nam he bet Arthur $100 that he could swim the Mississippi River. Mac is overlooking that shit and says fuck it, I’ll take ghost credit. This dude gets down to his underwear and fucking goes for that shit. I’m like damn man. Mac is the fucking best.
Now that would be a great way to close the show as the did…however I’m leaving out one detail. Back in that ‘Nam flashback we see Mac’s captian in Quan Thang waiting for someone. That person is The Broker. He arrives and is walking over all these dead innocent bodies and into the field filled with plants. Mad plants used for the heroin trade. We see why Quan Thang was a thing, we see the Captain mention how nice Mac was at killing, and that this is how the chess board was set up from the jump. I’m really hoping there’s more to The Broker than straight colonizing people of color in order to run some heroin. We’ll have to find out next season.