Where did the money go, Elizabeth?
There were a million different answers that Beth, a woman who is generally quick to conjure up proper responses, could have come up with to make herself seem less suspicious, but telling the gang leader who already doesn’t trust you that you cannot tell him where you’re spending your cut of the money he’s giving you was far from the right answer.
Honestly, simply telling him you’re paying off debt would have been better. It’s not that hard of a sell. Beth has no furniture in the house, Dean has no job, and she has four children — they’re bound to be in some financial trouble. After all, it’s what landed them in this mess in the first place.
Beth chalked it up to being put on the spot and threatened, but when isn’t that the case with Rio? He’s always ambushing her in unexpected ways, and she never misses a beat. Why did she stumble now? Because she felt guilty for spending it on a hitman to kill him.
Beth may have pursued the hitman and given him the “ok” to shoot Rio, but I’m still not convinced she’s ready to eliminate Rio permanently.
And personally, I don’t know what she’s trying to achieve. On one hand, she sells Rio this idea of washing the cash using a hot tub business. She then tells Dean to start up his hot tub business. But she’s also still planning to kill Rio. So, is she just lying to gang friend to keep him occupied? Is she hoping to still wash cash when he’s gone using Dean’s hustle?
Is she bringing Dean into the hustle? Honestly, it’s all so confusing.
If she wants to get rid of Rio, why would she bring mess Dean up in it in the first place?
At this point, I don’t think Beth knows what she wants or what would make her happy. She’s so far gone from the person she once was that she.
But let me just say, I’ve never been more stressed out at a car wash.
Rio is really great at intimidation tactics!
I’ve mentioned before that the season has been less than thrilling because nothing seems to be moving forward. With each passing episode, it’s as if the ladies are stuck in place. Rio gets barely any screentime, and it should be a crime for Manny Montana to be that underutilized.
To be quite frank, what is the point of this season? This episode is just one of many that didn’t establish anything new or exciting. The hitman storyline dragged on because he brought up Beth’s love affair with Rio (and yes, boning twice still counts as jilted lovers), so he was skeptical about getting involved and doing a hit that might get messy.
We already know Beth is persuasive, so she wasted absolutely no time trying to convince him that getting the job done was necessary.
Eventually, it was her honesty that gave her a second chance as the hitman “recognized” something in her. Which man doesn’t?
She also proved herself by being able to give the go-ahead to shoot, though, it was just a test run, which explains the whole yellow paintball splatter on “Rio’s G Wagon” that had many fans thinking the hitman was an undercover cop or one of Rio’s men. I’m still not convinced he isn’t.
She may have been ready this time, but my guess is that something will happen that will make Rio invaluable to her. Something like the feds closing in on her friend Ruby. More on this in a minute.
Also, let’s be real, they cannot kill off Rio or the fanbase will riot.
Instead, Beth should have been more interested in finding out about Rio so that she could use it to manipulate him.
The hitman gave her a lot to work with after just following him for a week. At this point, she’s better off hiring a PI than a hitman to gain leverage.
Unfortunately, Beth seemed totally disinterested even when the hitman brought up Rio’s weekly visit to a posh tennis club. Girl, does Rio look like the kind of guy to play tennis? At a posh club? What’s he really up to? Who is he dealing with?!
The audience’s ears perked up because we’ve been waiting for some development on this storyline that was introduced back in season 2.
One of the most aggravating things about this season, and I believe I’ve said this before but it bears repeating, is how dumbed down these characters are.
On some level, it’s done for entertainment and comedy sake, but I found nothing enjoyable about the three of them following the hitman and assuming he was going to take someone in the broad daylight in close range. Literally, what is wrong with them?
The choices they have been making this season are so questionable that I’m beginning to think they deserve to get caught.
Also in the same vein of stupidity was Beth’s naive assumption that Rio was in fact dead. She was celebrating with champagne instead of trying to confirm that the enemy had been eliminated. It’s sloppy.
This is exactly why Beth is going to get blindsided by the realization that there are others who are out to get her.
The feds are closing in primarily because the woman agent is brilliant. She may be a complete slob in her personal life, but she asked all the right questions to figure out who was at the nail salon when the color was stolen.
She saw right through the facade of poor women who had motive and went right for the source of who brought them there.
And it seems like they’ve pinned down Ruby when they mentioned she just bought a car in cash and works at a nail salon.
Ruby is going to get caught by a series of unfortunate events that all stemmed from getting sweet Sara involved.
After Sara was forced to be a cover for her mother while she stole the nail polish, Ruby came clean to her about all the things she’s had to do to not only provide for the family but buy her a second life. She made her an accomplice.
Sara wanted to give back, so she invited the family who donated their daughter’s kidney when she died, which is why Ruby had to spend a bunch of money buying a car.
At least, we’re assuming based on the events that Ruby agreed to purchase them the car. This whole with the donor couple was slightly funny and a bit humbling as it made Ruby and Stan acknowledged how blessed they are, but it also made me disgusted with the couple, specifically the wife, who somehow thought since Ruby and Stan were better off and had a healthy daughter that they owed them in any way.
Ruby and Stan’s guilt was understandable, but it’s not like they killed Heather to get the kidney. She died and was a donor who graciously saved another life. It’s unfortunate that kidney transplants cost so much money and yet, the family that’s donating gets nothing, and oftentimes, both sides go into financial ruin. But that’s a completely different story.
Bottom line — Ruby and Stan did not owe the couple a car. They made them two delicious meals, opened up their home to them, and even offered to get them a bus ticket. I’m sure there were other ways they could have repaid them, but the wife clearly used this as an opportunity.
Because of that purchase, the feds are now zeroed in on Ruby, Annie, and Beth. However, if Ruby goes down for this, I hope Beth steps up and protects her friend! Ruby doesn’t deserve it.
Which brings me back to my initial point of Beth turning to Rio for help. When you’re desperate, an enemy will quickly become a friend.
I’m still unclear where they’re going with Annie’s storyline. Everything with Dr. Josh is messy, and she needs to remove herself from it completely for her own sanity.
Usually, Annie wouldn’t care if a man was taken, she’d pursue him anyway, but when Josh told her he proposed to Lyla, she stepped back. What an improvement! I think she may have genuine feelings for him, but what the hell is he doing?
Why take Annie to a bar and get that cozy only to interject by saying you are engaged? It seemed like Josh was a good guy at first but clearly, looks can be deceiving.
Hopefully, this doesn’t discourage her from taking the GED until she passes. She considered taking the easy way out, but no one gets anywhere by cheating. It took her son to convince her and inspire her to get her act together, and though she may have failed, at least she put herself out there and tried.
It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, Annie, it matters how many times you get back up! This is the most character growth we’ve gotten from her, and I hope the trajectory into success continues.
What did you think of the penultimate episode?
Do you want them to focus more on Rio or bring his storyline to light? Are the feds onto Ruby?
Will they make Sara testify against her mother?
What do you think of this season? The finale is next week, and it doesn’t feel like much has happened since the premiere!
Doom Patrol Review – ‘Who You Gonna Call?’ Sex Busters? (2×04)
After a hide-and-seek game gone awry between Dorothy and her imaginary friends in the last episode, Danny the Street (or rather the brick that’s left of them) is accidentally broken in half.
The Doom Patrol along with the help of the Dannyzens throw a party to help heal Danny back to its old self, but Rita and Flex Mentallo accidentally summon a sinister sex demon, named Shadowy Mr. Evans, who nearly causes another apocalypse.
Good thing the SeX Men (a shockingly real comic-book team, by the way) are on watch and swoop in to help save the day.
If that doesn’t sound bizarre enough to get hooked, I don’t know what will.
Despite the goofy and outrageous theme around sex in the episode, each character from the main cast has their moment to shine, which still gives viewers that signature heart within the chaos charm that Doom Patrol typically delivers.
The impetus that drives the narrative is the relationship between Niles and Dorothy – as she’s ridden with guilt at the beginning of the episode because she hurt her friend Danny.
When she’s exposed to the realities of being a 100-year old girl trapped in an 11-year old body, however, Dorothy begins to question the authority of not only her father Niles but also the nature of Danny shielding her from the world.
Her rebellious outbursts are met with empathy by Danny but prompt a firm authoritative albeit misguided reaction from Niles, and the hints of Dorothy’s powers potentially causing catastrophe is accented by her emotional reactions toward Niles, Danny, and the rest of her new friends.
She is equally innocent and a menacing threat at the same time, which is bad news especially to Niles.
In contrast, Dorothy shines in sweet and tender moments in this episode, particularly during shared scenes with Rita who puts lipstick on her for the first time, and Flex Mentallo who gives her confidence by gently urging her to help however she can in preparing for Danny’s party.
Though the most heartfelt scene she shares in the episode is definitely when Niles plays the piano to the tune of “Pure Imagination” by Gene Wilder as Dorothy sings to kickstart the party in front of everyone in attendance.
— DC Universe (@TheDCUniverse) June 28, 2020
Cliff / Robotman provides comedic breath to the situation per usual but is still rooted in emotional distress.
After wallowing in despair from his disappointing visit with his daughter in Florida, Niles –surprisingly, of all people– inputs Cliff’s nutrient tank with methylenedioxymethamphetamine, AKA ecstacy, so he can get out of his depressed state and enjoy the party.
Cliff, sure enough, has the time of his life as he danced and hugged with friends and strangers alike through the night. In one hilarious scene, he even dances with the shadow of the sex demon that almost destroyed the world.
Meanwhile, Larry sort of takes a backseat in this episode as he reluctantly maneuvers his way to the party, wanting to participate at first, but ultimately isolating himself due to fear of being intimate, and accidentally killing someone. The way Larry awkwardly flirts at the party is something most people can relate to, and it’s easy to sympathize and root for him because of all he’s suffered in the name of love.
The same goes for Cyborg, who understandably, has an understated appearance in this episode as he has a heart to heart talk with Maura Lee Karupt regarding his encounter with Roni.
But then he becomes the undeserved target of Jane’s Scarlet Harlot persona flirting with him, then ditching him right away for the party.
Jane, in the meantime, shuffles from different personas throughout the episode as several of them seek to be the primary, but Jane seizes her spot again as her heroic side comes through to save the day.
The main crux of the episode, however, involves Rita and Flex Mentallo when they seclude themselves from the party.
Rita, seeing Flex’s proficient ability to control the muscles of his body at will, seeks advice in hopes of controlling her own powers.
Flex agrees and they have an impromptu training session in Rita’s room where she asks Flex to sexually stimulate her via a special muscle flex first seen in season 1 to comedic effect, so she can “empty her mind” during the exercise.
(Above YouTube video is the aforementioned scene during Season 1 Episode 14 “Penultimate Patrol.”)
It works, and Rita discovers a traumatic mental block that’s been limiting her self-control, and comes to terms with it.
The unfortunate side-effect soon becomes apparent though as Rita’s magnitude of sexual pleasure attracts Shadowy Mr. Evans who crashes the party and summons “sex ghosts” that haunt Doom Manor as he summons the vaguely defined “erotic apocalypse.”
The demon is thwarted with the appearance of the Ghostbuster-like team of the SeX Men – consisting of Kiss, Torture, and Cuddles (guest star Michael Shenefelt) – who clumsily assist the Doom Patrol in stopping Shadowy Mr. Evans.
The MVP award goes to Jane in the end, as she steps up in the last minute to literally shove an apocalypse-inducing baby back into the (uhmm) let’s just say… “nether regions” of the sex demon.
Capping off an episode that truly takes a wondrously perverted, yet somehow simultaneously heart-warming story.
Though the team is accustomed to dealing with apocalyptic events at this point, this particular instance is quite bizarre yet humorous in tone. One never feels that the stakes are actually high, but the outrageous premise of the situation amidst a celebration of sexuality and LGBTQ undertones increases the overall appeal of this installment. It may be off-putting at times, but the topic of sex is never an easy one to handle, but Doom Patrol does a decent job at balancing crude humor within a story that tugs at the core of human struggles.
The Bold Type Review – Sutton and Richard Disagree on the Future, Kat Learns Ava’s Secret (4×14)
Embracing your truth — no matter how difficult — is important.
The ladies of The Bold Type made some necessary discoveries about themselves on “The Truth Will Set You Free,” some for the better, others for the worst, but none of them all that surprising.
There was nothing shocking about Kat’s attraction towards foe-turned-friend-and-possibly-more, Ava. They didn’t get off on the right foot, but there was palpable chemistry between the two of them through every brief interaction leading up to Ava’s reveal that she’s a lesbian. Simply putting that out there made Kat more aware of her attraction to Ava, and in a weird way, as she was pursuing her for the podcast, she was also pursuing her romantically.
Kat’s realization was ill-timed as she uttered Ava’s name during a romantic moment with her current partner, but at least she admitted what she was subconsciously feeling. The truth shall set you free.
While I’m not a huge fan of Ava, I do like that she challenges Kat to see the other side of things. Kat is an outspoken liberal who sees things through her own perspective and lens, but Ava is the opposite of everything Kat believes a Republican is. And while they may disagree on many issues, it opens up an honest, purposeful conversation that is much-needed in our current political climate.
Are Sutton and Richard over? They are the couple I truly believe in wholeheartedly, but this is one situation where suggesting a compromise is unfair to both parties. The miscarriage made Richard want children even more, while Sutton realized she doesn’t want them at all. There is no middle ground, no gray area, it’s black and white. Richard shouldn’t have to give up his wants and desires and neither should Sutton.
So many things have been pulling Richard and Sutton in different directions — their age, society, and their career goals — but they managed to make it through because of their love for one another. But if they love each other, they know that the only thing to do is to go their separate ways if neither person is willing to give up something so important to them.
And while I don’t want them to break-up, I kind of love that Sutton didn’t agree to a middle ground and followed her heart and her gut. So often in society, women are told that they should want kids and they should be happy when it happens. Some women just know they want them, and that’s great, more power to you. Others know they want them in the future but they aren’t ready right now, and that’s okay too. But Sutton knew she wasn’t going to change her mind. This wasn’t a phase, and it wasn’t something that would change five-years down the line, and that’s just as valid as the woman who instinctively knows she was meant to be a mom.
The Bold Type always pushes the envelope and embraces the hard conversations because it’s important to give everyone a voice. Sutton didn’t waver even though she knew it could cost her everything that she loved about her current life.
Hopefully, Richard and Sutton will be as brave as she was when it comes to deciding what their next steps should be.
Jane continued to struggle with her post-mastectomy body. I don’t necessarily agree with her assessment that she was “feeling sorry for herself” because again, she was struggling with her identity; she wasn’t feeling like herself and she didn’t know how to get out of her funk, for lack of a better term. However, she didn’t just sit around and mope either. She was proactive about overcoming the resentment and anxiety by going on a date with her boobs, taking them on a night on the town, and sure, those things didn’t work, but it proves Jane’s resilience. She isn’t the kind of person that’s going to give up and wallow around in self-pity.
Turns out, all she needed to do was a good old-fashioned chat with her dad. Nothing worked because Jane needed to change her perspective. She wasn’t looking at the procedure as a blessing but rather a curse. When her father came to town, he reminded her that because she made this brave choice and put herself first, she had time to find herself.
She made a decision that saved her life — the same privileges were not given to her late mother.
While its understandable Jane will continue to struggle a bit, it’s important that she realizes just how lucky she is and learns that she deserves to embrace and enjoy her life. And most importantly, that she doesn’t waste this second chance.
Regardless of what we’re going through in life, I think that’s an important reminder we could all use on some level.
The ladies owned their truth and relied on each other when times got tough, so even though it was predictable for Kat to fall for Ava, Sutton to realize she doesn’t want children, and Jane to finally accept her new boobs, seeing them work through it and bravely choices that reflected their truth was a joy.
This is one TV friendship I don’t take for granted.
What did you think of the episode? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Twilight Zone Season 2 Review – Revival is a Strange Mixed Bag
The Twilight Zone has a long history of revivals trying to capture the spirit of the original series. These have usually been a mixed bag when it comes to quality and the latest attempt is no different. The original tapped into cold war fears including the threat of nuclear annihilation looming large in people’s minds. Despite airing over sixty years ago, many of the stories are familiar to people who have never even watched the show. Such is the legacy of the Twilight Zone and while there are some worthwhile attempts to reach it, the new season of the reboot is a mixed bag with some intriguing ideas that sometimes fails in its execution.
A typical episode of the original Twilight Zone involves being plopped into a new world and slowly discovering what’s strange about it along with the protagonists. There’s usually a big twist that changes the dynamic and the characters are left to deal with the fallout and somewhere in there is a morality lesson. The reboot doesn’t stray far from this formula although there are some clever and some not so clever attempts at putting their own spin on things.
Starting with the positives, these episodes look great which is to be expected from a show executive produced by Jordan Peele. The production design throughout the season is stellar and each episode has its own distinctive feel. The worlds feel both alien and familiar, and take place in an indeterminate futuristic society.
There are some fun visual nods to fifties Sci-Fi throughout the season such as Downtime which features a large orb floating in the sky that could be straight out of Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space. The season finale has Kanamits that are identical to the originals from the famous To Serve Man from the original series.
The highpoint is 8 which takes place in an underwater substation and features a computer-generated octopus terrorizing the crew. The set looks straight out of The Thing and the scene where the octopus rips out a crewmember’s eye is visually disturbing and plays nicely with its B-movie horror aesthetic.
The direction is also oftentimes excellent. In Ovation, the new series’ nod to the Monkey’s Paw, the camera flourishes take us on the protagonist’s journey of confusion. In my favorite episode, Try, Try, there’s a sense of dread that oozes throughout the episode. There’s nothing overtly supernatural, just two people having a meet-cute. The dialogue is sharp and there’s a puzzle element to the proceedings as we slowly uncover what’s off about this interaction. Once Topher Grace’s character lets Kylie Bunbury’s character in on his secret, the rom-com elements masterfully fade into a horror version of Groundhog’s Day
There are downsides too, the biggest being the runtime. Many of the episodes simply feel bloated. The biggest culprit of this is The Who of You. The main hook, that a thespian has the power to switch bodies in the greatest acting performance of his life, is solid but after the sixth or seventh swap, there’s not much to be gained and there is a plot point featuring Billy Porter that could easily be cut without losing anything. In other episodes, you sit too long with the concept that it starts to bring up unflattering questions about why characters act in certain ways and how unlikely some plot points are.
The worst offender is A Human Face, which features Christopher Meloni and Jenna Elfman dealing with an alien that takes the form of their dead daughter. Most of the episode sputters after the alien takes its human form and characters talk in circles about whether they should accept it or not. The most interesting part of the episode, that this scenario is happening in homes all over the world, is saved for the final shot and would have made for a better episode if this was the focus.
The dialogue is also a weak point in many episodes. Characters will drop loads of exposition that beats you over the head with what the episode is trying to say. It’s understandable that each episode only has so much time to establish its premise but many times this is done with hammy and over the top speech. This is a weakness shared by the original Twilight Zone which had a similar problem where the characters were often just mouthpieces for whatever lesson the writers are trying to impart.
Even at its worst moments, the show is still eminently watchable. There are some fun concepts that are explored and the best episodes manage to capture some of the essence of the original. All ten episodes of the second season released at once on CBS Access and it is perfect for binging. Any of the negatives are easy to ignore as soon as the next episode pops up. Overall, season two of The Twilight Zone is enjoyable but a bit uneven in terms of quality.
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