"In its third and final season, which began on Monday, The Deuce is racing toward its bleak and inevitable coda," says Sophie Gilbert. "Simon and George Pelecanos, the show’s co-creator, are connecting all the ways in which the sex industry has changed since 1971, the year the series opens on. All of Simon’s most didactic impulses are on display in the early episodes of the new season, which riff on the cynicism of pornography in 1985, the efforts by Mayor Ed Koch to clean up Times Square, anti-porn protests in the feminist movement, and the AIDS crisis. More than ever, the show feels like a homily on the vulnerability of humans as commodities, whether they’re sex workers, film directors, or grunts in a mafiosi power pyramid. But something, at this point in the show’s life, has been lost. There’s no charge in the way two people look at each other anymore; no sense of ambition; no motivation, even. Desire has left the Deuce."