"They killed him, Gus. They fucking killed him." So says Chester "Ace" Bernstein in the second-to-last episode of Luck. It's a chilling line for both textual and extratextual reasons: Ace's protégé, representative, and triple-agent Nathan Israel is dead, killed by Ace's enemy Mike on his yacht last episode. But Luck is dead, too: canceled by HBO after the death of a third horse during production of the show's second season. Near-death experiences are as rare on TV as they are in life. When we watch episode eight of Luck's first season, directed by Allen Coulter and written by John R. Perotta and Jay Hovdey, what we're seeing is very likely the penultimate episode of Luck's only season. The season finale will double as the series finale. An image comes to mind of Deadwood's Al Swearengen cleaning blood off a floor. Read More..