Tuesday, September 13, 2016

REVIEW: 'One Mississippi' - Tig and Bill Finally Deal with Old Problems in 'How 'Bout Now, Hot 'Bout Right Now'

Amazon's One Mississippi - Episode 1.05 "How 'Bout Now, Hot 'Bout Right Now"

Tig and Jessie explore the limits of living in the moment. Attempting to connect, Bill attempts to organize a family dinner with Tig and Remy. Remy clumsily pursues a female member of his Civil War reenactment club. Tig and Bill finally have it out over painful events of the past.

Tig has made the decision to stay in Mississippi for a little while longer. It's not a decision she comes to lightly. Her canceling her move back to Los Angeles essentially ends her relationship with Brooke, who is now shipping all of her boxes and belongings back to Mississippi. And yet, this is something she needs to do. She came to the realization that there is still too much broken within this family unit. They are not all better yet. They haven't even addressed the real problems going on within their dynamics. They've just been dealing with the most recent loss of Caroline. There are still complex emotions from the past. This family has hurt and betrayed one another. Yes, they are all there for each other right now. And yet, they struggle to truly connect and express themselves properly to one another. It has created a tense situation all season long that finally bursts in "How 'Bout Now, Hot 'Bout Right Now."

Just because Tig is back doesn't mean everyone in the family is willing to address these issues. Not even Tig seems committed to fixing and addressing these emotions. She's not even sure what that process even looks like. She had the realization that she should stay because it could be beneficial to everyone. They made progress as a family after Caroline's death. But now, there is still a lot of work to be done. And yet, they are all going their separate ways. Tig is actively avoiding spending time with her family. Instead, she's having fun with her show and hanging out with Jessie the reporter. She's not looking for anything serious. However, something serious does happen to her that is a monumental moment for her. She has sex for the first time since her mastectomy. She finally got the courage to look at her body after the procedure just a few episodes ago. That doesn't mean she's confident showing it off to other people and being a sexualized being again. That process takes time. Instead it all happens very suddenly with Jessie. She's excited by the scars. It shows passion and intrigue that allows this moment between them to be real. It's questionable if this relationship is anything more than just silly fun. But this moment is the first step of returning to normalcy for Tig.

Meanwhile, Remy feels confident in going up to Vicky with romantic intentions. It was just an episode ago when he flailed around trying to get the attention of the mother of one of his athletes. It didn't work out and showed just how lousy he is when interacting with woman he's interested in. That trend continues here. He has a fun time at his latest Civil War reenactment. It's a hobby for him that he really enjoys. Bill just sees it as a game and a waste of time. It's something for Remy to do and not much more than that. But to Remy, it provides him with an outlet to express himself. His life is pretty boring. He's still living at his parents' house and he works as a teacher at the high school he went to. He has never left this town and explored what else is out there. He was a confident jock in high school. But that was his peak. It's been downhill ever since and he doesn't know what he's doing wrong or how he can be happy. He doesn't realize that the issues with his family are keeping him from maturing. He views himself as a stable and happy adult. But as Tig has frequently pointed out, what does that actually mean? And more importantly, is it even true?

Bill is actually the one who wants to spend even more time as family. He wants them to be even closer and more civil. He knows that he and Tig exchanged heated words at the parade. He knows she's been avoiding him. But he wants to put in the effort to make this family whole once more. He wants to do that by cooking a dinner that they can all enjoy together. He just has to make sure that Tig and Remy will actually show up. They agree to it. But Bill doesn't make his intentions known that he is doing something different. Tig and Remy just figure it will be like all the other times they eat as a family. They'll sit down together at the same dinner table. But they are all eating different meals. That's their normal. Tig and Remy don't expect anything different from that. So they agree to come not knowing that Bill has all of these big plans. He spends the day cooking this turkey. And then, he's just sitting there with Remy waiting for Tig to return so they can enjoy it as a family. This is what he believes normal families do. They share a meal and are there with each other. That's certainly the picture that is painted in society's mind about what happy families are. And yet, real life is so much more complicated than that. Bill actually has to express his feelings so that Tig and Remy know that things have changed. They have to emote back. And then, the family has to figure out how to move forward together. It's a difficult process. It's not something that can be easily fixed. Everyone has to be willing to do it. This family isn't until the very end of this episode.

When Tig finally comes home, Bill confronts her as if she is a teenager getting caught breaking her curfew. The dynamic between them is youthful and stunted in a lot of ways. Tig didn't know that Bill had all of these plans. He didn't communicate them to her in a way she understood. She just saw a man going about his normal routine as if nothing had happened or was wrong. But of course, something did happen. Something big happen. Tig can't just move past it like everyone is telling her. Her molestation has affected more than just her as well. This entire family is broken because of that event. The show finally clues the audience in on all of the details as well. It was actually Tig's grandfathered who abused her in that way. It was happening under this same roof. And more importantly, no one knew it was going on. Tig couldn't even bear to tell her mother about. She needed a friend to break the horrifying news. It's an event that rips apart this entire family. They would never look at the grandfather the same way again. But now, he's dead. Tig and Remy are adults now. But there are many ways that they haven't grown at all since that day. Remy didn't know what was happening. He's tried moving on by pretending that everything is normal. And yet, he's still the same guy he was in high school. But the tricks he used to get the ladies are no longer working for him nor does he have the athletic skills to impress anyone. Tig is uncomfortable with her body because she was abused in such a way. She is confident in so much of her life. But when it comes to family, it's a touchy subject for her because they never dealt with any of these pent-up frustrations and emotions.

It's incredibly moving when Tig finally confronts Bill about not doing anything to protect her. In that moment, he finally communicates his perspective of things in the right way. The reveal of Dalton Green's existence isn't shocking to him. He knew about it this whole time and stayed because he believes in the sacrament of marriage. He kept the truth from Tig and Remy because it's what Caroline wanted. But when it comes to the molestation, he had absolutely no clue that was going on. It's not because he sees the world differently. It just wasn't something that people were actively looking for back in those days. He never believed that something like that could happen. So, he didn't notice it even if the signs were pretty clear. His daughter was hurting and he thought she was a normal teenager who wouldn't say goodbye to her grandfather. He didn't know. Tig felt betrayed because her parents didn't protect her like they should have. They were surprised. This is the moment they failed her. They've been trying to move past it ever since. But they can't just move past the bad stuff so easily. It takes a lot of hard work to actually get better. This confrontation is the first step on the road to recovery. Hopefully, it means a better future for this family.

Some more thoughts:
  • "How 'Bout Now, Hot 'Bout Right Now" was written by Stephanie Allynne & Tig Notaro and directed by Ken Kwapis.
  • Jessie clearly isn't looking for something real or lasting with Tig. She's just looking for quick fun. She listens to Tig's show and is in awe of her. But she's startled over the fact that Tig maybe broke up with Brooke just to be with her.
  • Plus, Jessie may be way too spontaneous for Tig. When she sees a basket of goodies on a front porch, she walks up to it and steals a couple chocolates. Even after she's caught, she quickly makes up a lie about Tig being diabetic and needing the sugar to live. It's fun but could hint at some bigger problems.
  • Tig and Kate seem to have a romantic connection as well. Or at least that's what it seemed until Kate mentions her boyfriend. Plus, Kate likes order and control too. Not as much as Bill. But she could never be all that impulsive.
  • Vicky was able to get over her issues from the past by finding religion. She suggests Remy do the same. He's resistant but it could be interesting to see this show tackle religion and spirituality. 
  • Tig has some major problems with her biological father, Mick. And yet, she is more than friendly to her other half-brother, Ding Dong, when she sees him dancing instead of working at a slushie stand.
  • And Bonkers still hasn't been found. I wonder if his return will symbolize greater unity amongst the family? Or is his disappearance simply an action that pulled the family apart?

As noted in previous reviews from this show, every episodic review was written without having seen any succeeding episodes. Similarly, it would be much appreciated if in the comments, the conversation would only revolve around the show up to this point in its run.