Vinyl, Ep. 1.10: Vinyl’s Season Finale Goes out With a Whimper, Not a Bang

Vinyl, Season 1, Episode 10: “Alibi”
Written by Terence Winter
Directed by Allen Coulter
Airs Sundays at 9pm on HBO

Prior to the penultimate episode of Vinyl’s first season, HBO announced that co-creator and showrunner Terence Winter would be leaving the show, supposedly over creative differences (usually code for low ratings and/or critical disapproval). Although filled with exceptional moments, Vinyl has been disappointing on average, especially compared to Winter’s best television work, Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos. It’s a show that is unable to find a consistent groove.

Richie’s troubles with the law continue as the episode opens on Richie in a dingy bar meeting the two FBI agents who offered to drop the charges against him in exchange for his help in taking down Corrado Galasso. They make clear that he won’t be wearing a wire, or trying to bait Galasso into admitting anything, which is refreshing. There are so many clichés that come with characters wearing wires (many of which The Sopranos already exploited), so it’s best to avoid that.

Zach is still hurt at how Richie misled him about losing all their jet money, so much so that he decides to give Galasso a visit to rat out Richie. His contract includes a morality clause, so Richie’s recent drug use would be enough to get him fired. However, when Galasso convenes a meeting it’s clear that the real target of his fury is Zach for turning on his business partner and suggesting that Galasso might not make money on his investment. Later, Galasso kidnaps Zach and makes Richie and Joe Corso join up. Galasso’s illegal used car operation was raided by the police after he mentioned it on the recorder in Richie’s office. Richie manages to convince him that Zach doesn’t have the foresight to bring him down, whereas Corso has repeatedly run his mouth. Corso is the one who ends up with a bullet in his head. After that, Richie decides that it’s simply easier to lie to the feds and omits that little detail.

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