Sunday, November 25, 2018

REVIEW: 'Escape at Dannemora' - Unexpected Changes Force Sweat to Consider Matt's Offer in 'Part 2'

Showtime's Escape at Dannemora - Episode 1.02 "Part 2"

Matt has an idea to get out of Dannemora, but Sweat is not interested in taking the risk. Matt begins to help Tilly with an inmate she doesn't get along with in the shop, while Sweat comes to miss the freedoms that come with Matt's protection.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of Showtime's Escape at Dannemora.

"Part 2" was written by Brett Johnson & Michael Tolkin and directed by Ben Stiller

It's intriguing how many of the elements from the premiere are apparently dropped in the second episode. There are no cutaways to the future of this conflict where Tilly is being interviewed by the Inspector General to understand how this prison break occurred. More importantly though, there are no random needle drops of modern-day pop anthems to try to underscore the dramatic tension. That was a really odd stylistic choice that didn't work at all. Now, these elements are more than likely to return in the future. However, this episode seems a little more tightly focused than the premiere because it actually commits to its premise. The premiere was all about establishing this environment and the individuals at the heart of the story. Richard Matt and David Sweat are the inmates in question. They are planning on escaping. They come to that conclusion by the end of this hour. It's something that Matt is already actively planning. He has potentially found a way out. He just needs to make the right decisions to get the tools to plot this escape. He wants Sweat's help. He isn't interested in the idea because he believes his family is writing a letter that will allow him to transfer to another facility. Instead, this hour is fundamentally about breaking Sweat down so that he wants to escape from prison alongside Matt. Matt is doing this because he wants to envision a life in the neighboring town. So far, he has only seen it in the distance. He imagines what it would be like to actually be out in the open as a free man once more. It's a goal that simply isn't attainable for him. He is serving a life sentence. Sweat is as well. That's an important detail in this story. They are in prison for murder. And yet, that's not what's defining them in this story so far. Instead, it's all about the lives they have been living in prison and the yearning for something more out of life. Sweat sees himself as a model inmate as well. He hasn't gotten into any trouble or conflicts. He believes he deserves a transfer because of how well-behaved he is. However, that shouldn't make up for the fact that he killed someone. That is unforgivable. But he thinks he deserves to be out in the world once more simply because he can't stand all of the insects and annoying inmates who are crowding him in his new cell. He strives for that independence. His relationship with Tilly is taken away. This hour also confirms that Matt had a sexual relationship with her as well. When it came to Tilly and Sweat, it was a sexual relationship built out of attraction. They wanted to be doing it because it was so thrilling and exciting. With Matt, it's much more methodical and planned out. Matt is actively wooing her. He's not doing so because he's lonely and wishes to be with a woman again. Instead, he is manipulating her in order to get the tools he needs to escape. He wants to be the new inmate that she can depend on. She doesn't like the replacement the corporate entity named for Sweat. That proves that Tilly is also a racist. She only has a problem with Murder because of his physical appearance. Her interactions with Matt and Sweat prove that she can be very close with murderers. She wants to restore a sense of humanity to them. She yearns for that connection because she isn't getting it from her husband. Lyle knows that they have problems. But he's doing nothing to actually address them. As such, this will all build into an epic prison break because Tilly wanted to trust the wrong people. Matt and Sweat are fully just taking advantage of her right now.