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Vinyl: Season 1, Episode 10 - "Alibi"

Leyla Hamedi

Richie gets sold out by his best friend, while the Nasty Bits sell out a show in a neatly tied up season finale.


Airtime: Sundays, 9pm
Cast: Bobby Cannavale, Olivia Wilde, Ato Essandoh, James Jagger, Juno Temple, Ray Romano
Subtitle: Season 1, Episode 10 - "Alibi"
Network: HBO
Air date: 2016-04-17

Everything’s coming up Milhouse for American Century. Sneaky Clark (Jack Quaid), who was demoted to mail room clerk, has been shopping the disco band Indigo's single at every dance club, to the point where it's finally gaining some traction on the charts. Did the label cut ties with them? Nope, because Clark withheld the letter of termination, and now they can all reap the profits. That's why Clark's white guy afro is so big: it's full of secrets. Cue the rise of disco for next season; they better have Donna Summer.

Meanwhile, Zak Yankovich (Ray Romano) tries to sell out Richie (Bobby Cannavale) to the new mob partners. They get mad, they let slip some words, the cops get involved, and Zak almost wets himself, but in the end it's Corso (Bo Dietl) who dies. Good riddance to bad rubbish, and to that lagging Buck Rogers plotline, but man, only Richie can smell so good wading in sewers, and Zak knows it. Cue more heated, intense looks between the two best friends/partners next season. They better start making out, because fighting doesn't seem to relieve any of their tension.

The Nasty Bits, on the other hand, have been working all season long for this huge chance: opening for the New York Dolls. But before they can kick out the jams, Kip (James Jagger) and Jamie (Juno Temple) have a lovers’ spat, Kip ODs on heroin, and Richie fires Jamie while getting Kip back to the land of lucidity with a handy shot of cocaine. I kind of had to agree with Richie's incredulous, "Are you fucking kidding me?" when he realized it was all over a girl. Jamie confesses she has feelings for Alex (Val Emmich), the guitarist, as well as Kip, which sets off Kip's girl-trouble spiral. Which, as we remember, is why he ended up in the States in the first place.

Then again, they won't be the first band, they won't be the last band, and as long as there are ladies with an attitude and fellas that are in the mood, there will always be sex wars. Jamie isn't really fired, of course; Richie tells her he had to say what he needed to in order to get them onstage. Good on him because for fuck's sake, grow up. Do your jobs! All of you! Richie proves he knows his inside and out when he calls the cops on the Nasty Bits and gets them yanked off staged for public indecency: a beautiful stunt. We also finally witness James Jagger's pull as he sasses about onstage. Cue more band drama and white punks on dope next season. They better start making out, because fighting doesn't seem to relieve any of their tension.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Vinyl episode without a poignant, desperately-from-the-heart speech from Richie, and he delivers, declaring that every generation has lost, fucked up kids who need to hear that they're not alone (like him) and Alibi Records will be that conduit. He invites the staff to trash the office, because what's more rock 'n' roll than suits with spray paint? Richie wants to be part of the living, breathing organism of an audience, but he also wants to be the almighty bestower of that ultimate high: music. Cue more cocaine close-ups and crazy schemes that completely go against what Richie claims to stand for next season.

The launch of Alibi Records is a success, the Nasty Bits are a success, with a photo Richie steals from Devon (Olivia Wilde) as their album cover, several smug set-ups for those of us "in the know" are planted for next season -- like the introduction of a bar that plays "country, bluegrass, and blues" (ie, CBGB) -- and Richie continues being the son of a bastard he is. See you next season, kiddo.


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