OK, quick question: does anyone the Byrdes know have a clean background?
I mean, that seems to work out well for them as far as “staying alive” goes, but it does seem a wee bit weird that they don’t know anyone who isn’t at least a little bit of a criminal.
Here’s what that means: we see Ruth, Marty, and Wendy all go off to do separate things to get the riverboat casino going. Ruth needs to move a boat down the river for Marty. Wendy needs to make sure the state legislature votes to allow the casino to even exist. And Marty needs to make sure the local mob lets lumber get through to even build the dang thing.
Oh yeah, the mob has a rather violent way to send messages to state senators who own lumberyards.
Now, Ruth’s problem is the least shocking. Her father Cade has been, well, a problem since season one, and thinking he’ll go along with a plan to actually get a real house through (semi) honest work, send Cousin Wyatt to college, and a few other things that would keep that guy out of prison. She even gets him a job! But then she needs help moving the boat since it doesn’t have a motor and tipping over the wheelchair-bound seller, while satisfying and deserving given what he requested for a motor, probably didn’t help. And Cade is behaving himself as he uses his own boat to tow the paddleboat in. But then he goes and robs a diner, smacks Ruthie a bit, and basically reminds her that he wants Marty’s money even though, clearly, working for Marty will provide them with more money over the long term.
Some of these people aren’t very bright.
Wendy, with rich conservative Christian type Charles Wilkes, has to convince four state senators to change their votes. She gets it down to two, but has to use one of the strippers at Marty’s strip club to blackmail one more. That’s low. Then again, Wilkes, who doesn’t believe in gambling but does believe in Wendy, implies he can get the last guy if Wendy will sleep with him. She refuses, but he does something anyway that keeps the guy from voting at all.
So, wait, why is Marty going to the mob? He’s a money guy, not a muscle guy. Short answer: he’s the only one available. But he does have a possible connection: Buddy! Yes, the dying old man can apparently get the local mob boss to relent because they used to hang. Buddy gives a different name when they get there, implies he may have slept with the man’s wife, and even though Buddy warned this guy will kill at the drop of a hat…he gets Marty enough time to pitch an idea to appease the mob by basically promising nothing but union jobs on the casino. That works.
So, when even the dying old man in the basement has criminal connections, this may be a much more corrupt place than anyone might have thought.
Also, Petty is blackmailing Rachel into getting some dirt on Marty. So, if you thought Rachel was clean…