The Lance & Landis show is the best doping drama in history, a category shattering oeuvre d’art that pushes the boundaries of entertainment and story telling. Rich and complex story lines, riveting, unique characters and blind-side twists and turns make this simply the best show in or out of Hollywood.
We’ve reviewed the Lance & Landis pilot and episodes one and two. It’s time to tackle the action after what was a fast and furious third episode. But first, let’s cover an embarrassing oversight from the last installment.
Episode two brought us a fantastic new character in Michael Ball, the bankrupt designer jeans CEO and sponsor of the defunct Rock Racking team. A wild and unpredictable personality, Ball gave the Lance & Lance show a whole new playground — the glitz and glam of Los Angeles, runway models, cocaine and sex in public bathrooms. Chapeau to the creative genius of the show producers. This show will not stop rocking for one nano-second.
However, in our giddy excitment about Ball, we forget to mention the other dynamite new character let loose in this sprawling and powerful drama: Rahsaan Bahati. Now we’ve explained how Ball widened the conflict and created new texture and Bahati does the exact same.
Essentially, Bahati provides that bad, black muthafucka we have in all gritty tales of drugs and inner city violence. Like Samuel Jackson in Pulp Fiction and Don Cheadle in Out Of Sight, Bahati is the dreadlock bad-ass that ain’t takin’ shit from nobody, not the Feds, Lance Armstrong or Michael Ball.
Yes, in yet another brilliant move by the show producers, the Lance & Landis show now has that Compton ghetto, Boys in the ‘Hood vibe and we are digging it. Right out the box, Bahati drops the ominous prediction: “I fear for the future of the sport.” That’s drama, baby. Welcome Rahsaan. This show hit the turbo thrusters again — and yo, bring the graffiti spray-paint!
Okay, we’re up to full, ripping speed — which is mandatory — because the Lance & Landis show moves fast, like bombing the backside of Tourmalet. First, the main plot thread, the spine of the story: did Lance dope or did he not? So far the show has kept us guessing and paraded some fabulous walk-on characters past us, who claimed the boss was hopped up.
The latest episode had us on the edge of our San Marco as we tried to guess the identity of the new secret witness who ‘collaborated” the Landis tale of sordid and institutionalized doping within the U.S. Postal squad, presided over by the illustrious Armstrong. Our guess is that it’s none other than JV, the argyle genius, head of Garmin Transitions, Jonathan Vaughters.
That’s right folks, more drama, more characters, and by golly, sartorial argyle to boot. What does deposed denim king Michael Ball think of that! Vaughters reputation is excellent and he’s viewed with respect in the world of professional bike racing. This is a credible witness and a set-back for team Mellow Johnny.
However, the man, THE MAN, adds another strong character to his team and now we’ve got the conflict dialed up tighter than Sidi shoes cranked to max. Spin Doctor to the stars, Mark ‘fabulous” Fabiani, the guy Newsweek Magazine called the Master of Disaster is on the show. If anyone can turn things the Boss’ way, it’s the F-man, who has previously spun for former President Clinton, Al Gore and corporate thieves Goldman Sachs.
Fabiani hit episode three with a hard, fast right hand before the opening credits were finished, calling the investigation worthless when compared to the salmonella “recall of 380 million eggs.” Do you love this guy already? Again, exceptional casting and an awesome new character for Lance & Landis. That is spin in all its glory: seismic shifting the argument with something that has NOTHING to do with drug allegations but is so brilliantly left-field as to baffle any opponent used to dealing with logic and legal precedent. An freakin’ egg recall? Chapeau all over again.
Every powerful legal drama you’ve ever seen looks under-cast and woefully inadequate when you look at the legal stars of Lance & Landis. BALCO bad-boy, the bald head Fed Jeff Novizky, Assistant US attorney Doug Miller, the Fabulous Fabiani, criminal defense lawyer Brian D. Daly — this is a top-notch cast that should sweep up every Doping Emmy if there were such a thing.
Now, this episode’s final blockbuster and it’s massive because that’s the only way the Lance & Landis show rolls. We’re talking about the elephant in the room, the linch-pin character, the man who CHANGES everything, Big George Hincapie. Show fans know this is the guy who can take this dope story in any dramatic direction just by taking the oath. Smart plotting by the show’s writers have kept George in the wings, a powerful presence that can only be whispered about by the main characters. For Godsakes, what is Big George going to do and say?
Hincapie is one of the show’s most powerful characters, a man caught in a classic moral dilemma of Greek tragedy proportions. Does he stay loyal to long time friend and powerful ally Lance Armstrong or does he cough up big chunks of damning testimony?
Is George willing to play the sad Roger Clements game and risk six months in the slammer for not telling the truth? This is a beloved American rider wearing the stars and stripes jersey who may or may not take down one of the biggest sports legends in history. This is the stuff of genius story-telling and the Lance & Landis show is toying with us, teasing us, driving us poison-oak scratching mad with anticipation.
The latest blockbuster question being, did the show just blind-side us again and stun us with a mysterious and shocking event — because we think that’s just what happened. Even those of us who’ve followed the show from the beginning were fooled but anyone skilled with conspiracy theories had it figured in an instant. We’re talking about the the Tour of Utah, the Hincapie Crash.
On the face of it, an unfortunate tumble, an early exit from the race and a possible complication in Hincapie’s defense of his jersey in his hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. At least that’s what viewers thought they saw, the media mush that was ladled out to the unassuming public.
Twisted Spoke says something big went down and it was more than George. The Feds concocted an ingenious way to get Hincapie away from Lance’s handlers without arousing suspicion. They wanted George under oath and singing like a ProTour canary before Armstrong could turn him.
The crash was faked, pure and simple. Hincapie was taken away by the Feds inside a rented ambulance in a pre-arranged plan with the agreement of Hincapie. A bombshell, a mind-blower, proof once again that the Lance & Landis show makes Mad Men and The Sopranos look like a community theater presentation of Singing in the Rain.
Stay tuned because this show just getter better and better, it’s the maillot jaune of cycling drama.
*Disclaimer: Twisted Spoke makes no claims of guilt or innocence or the validity of legal testimony or arguments. This is strictly a wildly imagined piece of creative writing. No actual events used in the making of this post. We’re just enjoying the best show that isn’t on TV.