Starz’ Magic City: “Who’s the Horse, and Who’s the Rider?

Stevie and Danny scrambled to unveil a blackmailer in the latest Magic City.

Magic City - Episode 7 - Who's the Horse, and Who's the Rider?

Stevie’s ongoing affair with Ben’s wife Lilly has long been a weak point in the drama of Magic City. As much as Stevie insists he’s in love — madly in love — with Ben’s gorgeous, lonely spouse, their relationship seems fueled more by careless risk than by the emotional complexity that makes for good television. What, after all, do we know about these two people beyond their lust for each other and their mutual thirst for some dressing room cunnilingus?

Thankfully, last night’s episode, “Who’s the Horse, and Who’s the Rider?” finally milked the consequences of Stevie’s high-risk sexual marathon for all they were worth — and even allowed him a flash of intelligence for the first time in the series. Better late than never.

At the episode’s opening, those racy photos of Stevie and Lilly became the catalyst for a heated confrontation between Stevie and his level-headed (but compulsively dull) little brother, Danny. “I am so sick of cleaning up after you,” Danny spat at Stevie, prompting many a viewer to struggle to remember a time at which Danny had played a pivotal role in this series’ narrative.

Never mind, though — the brothers set aside their differences long enough to try to save Stevie’s life, just this once. And it didn’t take long for Danny to prove his worth by getting his hands on some useful dossiers. Being chummy with the D.A.’s office apparently has its benefits.

Once Danny had managed to pinpoint the suspected blackmailer (an athlete by the name of “Divin’ Dave,” who serves as a swim coach at the Miramar Playa), Stevie went rogue and paid the guy a visit, in the hopes that good, old-fashioned intimidation would close this matter. It didn’t, however — this is Stevie we’re talking about, after all — and the eldest Evans brother was forced to come up with a Plan B. By episode’s end, he’d dreamed up a doozy: He told Ben that Dave had been robbing the Miramar, and allowed Ben’s goons to tie up the loose ends from there. Before long, Divin’ Dave had done a half-gainer onto some unforgiving concrete.

Meanwhile, Vera struggled with the crushing reality that she will never be able to bear Ike’s progeny (the mystical mumbo-jumbo she tried a couple of weeks ago didn’t work), and instead offered to reprise her Tropicana dancer days and perform on stage at the Miramar Playa to help make the hotel a little money. Ike responded with an emphatic no. Vera is, after all, the “queen of the Miramar,” and dancing for cash would be beneath the wife of someone like Ike Evans.

But securing his wife’s honor turned out to be the least of Ike’s problems. When Ben happened to discover the $100,000 he had given to Ike to bribe Senator Sloat never reached its intended destination, the man Miami lovingly calls “Ben the Butcher” flew into a rage and demanded that Ike come up with the money, and quick. “People will die tonight,” Ben warned. “That is a promise.” Somewhere, the body of Divin’ Dave nodded in agreement.

Unable to talk his way out of Ben’s ultimatum, Ike raced over to Meg’s house in the middle of the night and insisted she reach into her deep pockets and help him out of this jam. She was reluctant, until Ike dropped the mother of all bombshells: Meg’s father (and, hence, the father of Ike’s late wife) had handed the Miramar Playa over to Ike on the condition that his children get no inheritance. In other words, without the Miramar, Ike has nothing — and Meg has everything. Talk about a guilt trip.

Ike’s Hail Mary play worked (was it the truth?), and Ben held off on killing his partner… for now. But given that Jack Klein warned Ike that seven of Ben’s former partners have all ended up dead, Mr. Evans’ odds for a long and happy life really aren’t looking too good. And now that Jack Klein has discovered Judi Silver is alive and well (and now a redhead!), Ike’s problems are mounting on both sides of the law.

It’s a pretty safe bet, though, that our hero will live for at least a bit longer. Magic City has already been slated for a second season, after all.

Images courtesy of Starz