Poker Face: The Future of the Sport
February 16, 2023 4:01 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

While working at a go-kart complex, Charlie becomes involved in a bitter feud between an aging race car driver and a hotheaded young upstart, whose rivalry has explosive consequences.
posted by ellieBOA (17 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This is the first episode where there is no actual murder (but instead multiple failed attempts) and that there are no consequences yet for the villain.

I did initially wonder if Charlie's claim about Katy's miraculous recovery was an attempt to get Davis to confess or fork over some sort of evidence. But no, it seems this one is all about karma. Which considering Davis has proven themselves more than happy to try and kill people, I don't know if I'd so blythely expect karma to hand his ass to him before he does kill someone.

I did find Davis's attempt to kill/hurt Charlie unbelievable. I think for karma to work, it would have to be confined to just that seatbelt sabotage.

So did I enjoy it? Absolutely. Do I think there was some weak writing? Also yes. But I'm pretty happily along for the ride with this show.

Pokerface has been renewed for a second seasons so anyone hoping for a quick resolution to the overarching plotline is gonna have to be patient.
posted by miss-lapin at 10:48 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]

The quantity of TV coverage for the local race track had me laughing out loud at a few different points.

Weekly releases, keeping the remote nearby so I can mute all the ad breaks… it’s just like the old days.
posted by itesser at 7:13 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]

Loved the needle drop on “Riding on 9” at the end. Shame it jumped to another show so quickly.
posted by thecaddy at 8:03 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]

Glad the series has been renewed, but Comcast/Xfinity is dropping free access in a few months and I don’t think I’m interested or willing to pay to keep access to the service.
posted by jazon at 9:03 PM on February 16

An out-loud "whoa" escaped my lips when the purpose behind Davis leaving the sabotage in place became evident. Wicked little twist that I didn't really see coming even though it was telegraphed with Charlie's wife's assessment of Davis's character early on. I love when Rian Johnson pulls that sort of thing, where we the important clues are presented with too much mitigating noise, so that they only click into place in hindsight.
posted by desuetude at 10:58 PM on February 16 [7 favorites]

One of the trophies in the beginning reads "Peach Tree Speedway" - I'm not a racing fan but I am an MST3K fan and in the Riding with Death episode, Buffalo Bill mentions winning the Peach Tree 50 lapper. Hmmm..
posted by LostInUbe at 2:07 AM on February 17 [4 favorites]

I'm pretty sure the mailbox thing is a felony! Should have just leaned on local connections to get charges brought on that rather than the whole "sabotage his car" angle.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:42 PM on February 17 [4 favorites]

I'm pretty sure the mailbox thing is a felony! Should have just leaned on local connections to get charges brought on that rather than the whole "sabotage his car" angle.

A federal felony, in point of fact, punishable by up to three years in prison.
posted by Etrigan at 12:54 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]

Ooh! Tim Blake Nelson! Love this guy. I really liked 'Old Henry' (2021).

Ugh, one of my major pet peeves are overly loud vehicles and making noise for noises' sake.

lol, calling the kid out for lying about cancer.
posted by porpoise at 7:58 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]

I am raising an eyebrow quizzically at those of you suggesting that knocking over a mailbox with a truck is actually treated with Federal Level Seriousness by the authorities aside from using that fact as a threat to get an apology and replacement outta the perpetrator.
posted by desuetude at 9:01 PM on February 18 [3 favorites]

I like when Charlie learns a skill and is able to put it to good use immediately, like this episode's driving lesson or the bbq episode's wood tasting.

It makes sense that Charlie can't get every bad guy arrested, and I thought giving Davis the yips/messing with his flow was a good punishment. Kind of harkened back to the lessons of the first episode, when Frost Jr was telling Charlie to go after what matters most to people. In this case, driving.
posted by the primroses were over at 7:42 PM on February 23 [4 favorites]

Usually this show has pretty good acting but Davis was just bad.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 4:52 PM on February 28

Davis kneeling down to explain to the kid about how every seat belt is checked before the race was the first clumsy exposition I've seen in this show. And was rigging the seat belt really necessary? Just leaving the fish hook in place so the car crashed should've been enough. But I guess that would've been more difficult for Charlie to suss out based on the photo and the gear tie.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:52 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]

I like when Charlie learns a skill and is able to put it to good use immediately

I've been hoping they accumulate and get re-used in later episodes.
posted by fleacircus at 12:30 AM on March 7 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure the mailbox thing is a felony!

Both yes but also... iirc this mailbox was by the house up the driveway? Which is... not a thing, not a place you can have a mailbox. It moved the plot along, but you can't get mail like this. Maybe they're in some gated community which does its own mail delivery in which case, not a federal crime because it's not a USPS box. I could nerd out about mailboxes all day....

ANYHOW, I was mostly just coming here to say as an old, I loved the Silkwood nod with the "Charlie looks scared as bright lights appear in her rearview and light up her whole face" image. I'm sure other shows have also done this, but I suspect this was the impetus.

Was happy that Katy did not die. Was happy to see "the yips" being the karmic payback. Was surprised that we did not hear some story about the two racing grandads as part of this.
posted by jessamyn at 7:32 PM on April 3 [2 favorites]

Does anyone else feel like this show has missed the point of the original? In Columbo, a working-class schlub proves each episode that he's smarter than the rich, clever or decorated shmuck who thinks they've committed the perfect crime. He's a cop, OK, but he works alone and he's deeply suspicious of authority, fame and wealth, and the show consistently shows him right to be. And he does it by being good at his job: gathering evidence, noticing details, asking questions. Nobody's ever Law&Ordered into a confession that he can't prove.

In this show, and I haven't watched past this episode yet, but so far, mostly working class people, grifters and people living close to the edge make selfish, sometimes spur-of-the-moment decisions to hurt other people, and Charlie uses a magical power to find out and then she delivers them their comeuppance. Occasionally with the support of a pleasant and agreeable white police or FBI officer.

I mean, those are very different politics.

An episode before this one reminded me of a comment I read on Tumblr recently by someone called spearsquid who doesn't seem to have an account anymore (and I don't even know if links to Tumblr work), but the gist was, it's not unusual to have TV or movie characters who are coded as anti-war or communist inexplicably do insane things like plan to murder a bunch of teenagers at a model UN conference. And maybe, just maybe, those characters are written that way to undermine the legitimacy of their political opinions. I'm not saying there weren't violent radicals in the 70s! But I think it's worth asking why the show is making its villains left-wing protestors, or the drivers of beat up racecars, or an unhappy middle-aged woman working a dead-end job who's continued to plug away at her band, year after year.

Then again I'm just someone who watched a lot of Columbo during various lockdowns and became a little obsessed with the interior shots of rich people's houses. Especially their houseplants.
posted by happyfrog at 3:02 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]

I enjoyed this episode a good but overall! I liked the double-twist structure, and the ambiguity of the ending (like whether Charlie is even telling the truth — I’ve seen Knives Out, after all). Enjoyed seeing the “CHARLES” name tag on her too.

It is true that the politics are different, but at the same time it’s not, like, particularly retrograde, so much as just less Eat The Rich than Columbo. I mean, a murder’s a murder, even if it happens among people who don’t have a whole lot of money.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:40 AM on April 23

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