Things are heading downhill fast for Jay this week as he pretty much hits rock bottom … yikes!
There’s a whole bunch of Kulina family resemblances that come to light, and a few role reversals too. The episode opens with a brilliant shot of Jay cooking up heroin with Ava, spliced with Cristina cooking up some protein infused porridge for Nate on the morning of his big fight.
As happy as we are for Cristina, Jay’s in some serious trouble.
Weirdly, Mac has a big role to play this episode. First of all, he starts a contagion at the gym with some nasty infection, so Alvey has to send everyone home. Alvey then goes over to Nate’s house to train him, and there’s a sweet family moment as Cristina watches them train. She expresses her concern for Jay, though, and Alvey promises to have a word for him at the fight tonight. Alvey mentions that Ava and Jay remind him of Cristina and himself when they were young, and Cristina bringing up Jay’s gun doesn’t exactly set our minds at ease – young Alvey wasn’t the most stable.
The infected gym means Alicia’s looking for a place to stay, and since Ryan made her crashing at Alvey’s weird, she turns to him instead. He acquiesces eventually, but only after extorting promises of cooking and cleaning and laundry out of her. Have I mentioned recently how much he disgusts me? Anyway, Keith’s not too happy about the situation, worried about her trying to move in permanently.
Back to Jay, running low on narcotics, Ava persuades him to call Mac to bring them a top up, but when Mac sees the state Jay’s in, he pulls through and says what we’re all thinking: “You’re way too fucked up, and I don’t want anything to do with this situation.”
Same here, Mac. It gets pretty ugly as Jay literally begs, and Mac relents, giving him the bare minimum, and telling him he’d better be at Nate’s fight. Jay seems pretty ashamed, but not enough to stop.
On to the fight! Nate’s got a lot riding on this one – the first legitimate fight since his injury. We see a small smile from him after a good luck text from his beau Will, and he seems to be in a good place … that is until Jay shows up, high as hell, and tries to give him some brotherly advice. Seconds away from starting a fight, Alvey drags Jay out the back and gives him a good rollicking.
“You’d better take it seriously, motherf*cker,” yells Alvey, about his career, his life, his responsibility to Nate. Fingers crossed he takes some of that on board!
We see that Jay did indeed get into Nate’s head, as he replays people telling him he’s not a great fighter in his head before he gets into the ring. Luckily for him, he is a damn great fighter.
The camera work reaches new heights as we see Nate’s body tangling with his opponent’s from behind the bars, and audience members’ heads. In the crowd, Jay starts throwing up, and Ryan and Mac carry him to the bathrooms. For a moment we think that’s it, Nate’s distracted, he’s going to lose.
Then Alvey shouts at him to focus, and Nate brings it home. The camera is up close and personal, showing every hit in visceral detail. Blood splatters on the lens as Nate takes his final shot. Incredible.
The victory doesn’t really take centre stage – Nate never does in this family – and instead we go straight to Jay puking his guts out. This is the first time Ryan’s seen him since the fight, and he apologizes for the article, offering Jay a way to back out of the rematch.
“You’re the champ, you don’t owe me sh*t,” offers Ryan, but Jay’s determined to go ahead with it. Mac takes him back to the motel with Ava, and chews her out for doing this to Jay – what a hero!
The last bombshell of the episode comes in the form of Ron, Lisa’s dad, showing up to talk to Alvey. He assures him Lisa’s doing better, but that she wants to come back to LA, to her job at the gym.
Ron’s here to get Alvey to tell her no, but Alvey’s reluctant: “She was carrying my child, I’m not gonna leave her out in the cold,” he says.
Lisa, however, coming back may throw a spanner in the works with his new girlfriend Roxanne, especially when they’re still settling into their relationship.
Ron gets desperate and offers Alvey money to do as he’s asked. We don’t see an answer, but the episode ends with Alvey staring down at a huge cheque. We’ve got to remember he’s got that law suit money to cover, but is this a betrayal of Lisa? I guess we’ll find out.
She’s sure to return to Navy St. soon enough!
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