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Episode Recap: What Smiles Are For

Sax crashes a high-stakes poker game to win guns and cash, while his ex-wife Amanda and ex-lover Merry team up to rescue Hailey.


Last we saw Nick Sax, he was getting jackknifed by a sixteen wheeler. Now he's on Jerry Springer. That’s right, the show. He's moving up in the world. Actually, his cameo is just a near-death quasi-hallucination that examines Sax's complicated feelings towards being told by a miniature flying horse that he has a daughter trapped in a creepy Santa's storage container. It could happen to anyone.

After running from the wreckage of the accident, Nick finally accepts Happy as something between real and kind of real, but definitely not a figment of his imagination. Meanwhile, Hailey learns that she's not alone in Santa's workshop — there are other kids Creepy St. Nick’s taken captive there too. He wants them all to stay young and innocent forever. Probably because he wasn't able to — as demonstrated by the fact that he’s an old geezer keeping kids trapped in... you get the point.

When Nick returns to his apartment, he finds others have already broken in there looking to surprise him. These guys were once in the employ of Mr. Blue (one of the main mobsters in town) until they switched teams for more money. Turns out, they don't want Mr. Blue to get hold of the password any more than Nick does. So... they aim to kill him. Of course, Nick ain't gonna let that happen. And he cleans up the apartment complex with the goons.

Speaking of Mr. Blue, he’s busy having cheese and crackers with Detective Meredith. They discuss family stuff, like how Meredith broke up Sax's marriage with a little illicit romance, and then broke his heart. And like how she and her mom are indebted to him. And like how the Don passed the password over Blue's head, and gave it to his nephew instead. By the end of the meal, they come to an arrangement: if Meredith delivers Sax to Blue, she's out of his debt.

Speaking of Nick, he wants to leave town — things are starting to heat up too much. So he seeks succor in his old pal Le Dic, who's busy playing cards with some other underworld buddies. Le Dic hates Nick's guts for screwing him on a deal. If Nick wants money and guns (which he does), he's going to need to play cards for 'em (which he does).

He doesn't do so well. But soon he gets a little unexpected help from Happy. Happy can read cards, but no one can read him — because he's invisible. So in exchange for telling him whose got what cards, Nick promises to help find Hailey. Best. Partnership. Ever! It works… Until Happy gets a snout-full of blow, and goes absolutely bonkers.

Nick's just lost his ace in the hole, so he plans on hitting the bricks with his winnings. But Le Dic is sure not going to let Nick go considering he's under contract with Mr. Blue to keep this vigilante locked down. And alive. So… things are at an impasse. Nick has to take things into his own hands. And use those hands to smash smash smash. He picks off the others' guns, and goes to town.

After vanquishing the underworld types, Nick takes Le Dic's car and makes a beeline out of the city. When Happy comes down from his phenomenal high, he realizes: Nick's flipping on his side of the deal. Not cool, dude.

Amanda Hansen, Hailey's mom and Nick's ex, confronts Meredith down at the depot. She wants Merry's help finding Nick and Hailey. Meredith says she can connect her with a missing persons detective, but she doesn't owe her jack. So Amanda socks her one in the face.

Before heading westward, Nick stops off at a diner. Killing can work up an appetite. Happy is still trying to get him to go find Hailey, but Nick is dead set against it. Happy tries another tack: by telling him that if Hailey dies, Happy dies as well. Nick doesn't soften. It takes another trip to Jerry Springer to knock some sense into Nick's thick skull. So Nick leaves that diner, picks up Happy, and heads back into the city to rescue… his daughter.