Vinyl, Season 1, Episode 9: “Rock and Roll Queen”
Written by Debora Cahn
Directed by Carl Franklin
Airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO
Ever since Richie lost all the money gained from selling American Century’s private jet, a shoe has been hanging over the show. Zach is Richie’s most loyal lieutenant, and one who’s really more of a friend and partner, but he’s already sacrificed a huge chunk of his savings in the wake of the failed bid to sell the label, money which he needed for his daughter’s extravagant bat mitzvah. With the revelation that Richie also stole the jet money, and then tricked Zach into thinking his drunken threesome was responsible for the theft, that other shoe drops.
The reveal happens when Zach gets a call from the Vegas Hilton inviting him to a high roller weekend where they’ll fly him out and comp his room and drinks. Skip is in the room and knows that someone who casually gambled like Zach did wouldn’t have gotten the offer. There had to be more money involved. With that realization, Zach runs out to find Richie. He follows Richie into and elevator and beats him mercilessly. The punches seem to have a real weight. His goal isn’t to fight Richie, it’s to hurt him.
Being assaulted is actually the least of Richie’s problems. At the start of the episode he’s spent the weekend in jail for Buck Rogers’ murder. The cops have a recording of him and Joe Corso discussing it, so it should be pretty bulletproof. Except that the FBI is interested, and they have larger targets that interest them. Richie agreed to make himself subservient to his old boss, Maury Gold (Paul Ben-Victor), who works for Corrado Galasso (Armen Garo), in exchange for a loan to keep the company afloat. Galasso is a murderer and a crook, and the FBI is more interested in getting someone to inform on him than prosecuting the murder of another criminal. Richie isn’t interested, though. . .
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