Twin brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino navigate their way through the rough-and-tumble world of 1971 Times Square. Vincent crosses paths with other midtown denizens while plotting to improve his situation. Abby gets enlisted to buy amphetamines.
Vincent moves into a seedy hotel and contemplates an offer from mob capo Rudy Pipilo. Bobby hopes to take advantage of Vincent's new connections. filmmaking intrigues Candy. C.C. shows Lori the benefits of having a pimp; Larry feels unsettled.
The appearance of an unexpected partner surprises Vincent. Rudy buys into a rival's plan to reconfigure the Deuce. Candy considers entering the filmmaking business; Abby languishes in her new job. Darlene works overtime to compensate Larry.
Rudy dangles a lucrative offer in front of Vincent. Longo uses strong-arm tactics to restore order among Bobby's unhappy construction workers. Candy attracts unwanted attention and is intrigued by a legitimate suitor. Paul questions his place at the Hi-Hat; Frankie hits a hot streak; Darlene gets a gift from Abby; Alston sees through Sandra. Bristling after a police shakedown, Vincent adds muscle in the person of Black Frankie, a Vietnam War vet.
Looking for a way out of his construction gig, Bobby tries to change Vincent's mind about Rudy's offer. Darlene returns from a trip home with a new girl, disappointing Abby. Roughed up by a john, Candy contemplates a change of careers. After getting busted, Paul explores the underbelly, and the exhilaration, of gay life in the city. With an assist from Alston, Sandra scores a key interview with a pimp.
An end-of-the-year crackdown by police in and around The Deuce sparks Vincent and Bobby. Candy tries to persuade Harvey, her adult-film director, that she can do more than act. Rudy witnesses a pivotal lower-court ruling on obscenity, and enlists Frankie and Big Mike to protect his interests in the peeps. Alston tries to convince Sandra that he's not just a "source".
With police pushing their business off the streets, C.C., Larry, Rodney and other pimps worry about becoming obsolete. Candy eyes a different job on Harvey's set as Lori struggles with the demands of porn acting. At her wit's end, Ashley hangs out with Frankie and, later, washes up on Abby's door. Bobby is smitten with an employee while dealing with shakedowns, flare-ups and a medical emergency. Frankie is tasked by Rudy to turn a peep-show concept into reality. Alston finds himself singled out by the 14th Precinct's new captain, McDonagh. Abby asks Vincent to be her escort at her family's lavish party.
Vincent balks at getting in deeper with Rudy, as expansion fever hits Frankie and Bobby. Candy gets a taste of directing, and enjoys the red-carpet perks of a major premiere. Alston finds himself in limbo at his precinct. Abby changes up the Hi-Hat's clientele; Sandra faces editorial and legal hurdles; Barbara and Thunder Thighs connect with the wrong sort of clients; Vincent settles a score. C.C. encourages Ace, a former pimp, to get back in the game.