Wednesday, March 27, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Act' - Gypsy Keeps Secrets From Her Mother and Sees How Far She Can Go Without Her in 'Two Wolverines'

Hulu's The Act - Episode 1.03 "Two Wolverines"

Dee Dee makes Gypsy play dress up for a costume convention, where they each attract charming men who could dangerously complicate their insular relationship. And Gypsy is starting to question the lies her mother tells her - especially about how old she really is.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Hulu's The Act.

"Two Wolverines" was written by Robin Veith and directed by Adam Arkin

Dee Dee is scamming people. This hour opens with her receiving cards telling her just how inspirational Gypsy's story is and also filled with cash. She is cashing in on the good and wholesome kindness of others. She has orchestrated all of this to get even more attention for herself and her family. Of course, she also has the skills to deceive the world. None of this would work if people could see through her act. Some have over time. And yet, time passes here a little bit with no one being any wiser as to what is going on in the Blanchard house. Even after Dee Dee is killed in 2015, her neighbors are confused as to what actually happened. Mel, Lacey and Shelly are simply sitting around a table discussing all of the details that in hindsight seem strange to them. Shelly forgot all about the time that Dee Dee called her in a panic in the middle of the night for the name of a guy who worked at a cosplay convention with her. She never thought much of that interaction. For those with the insight into the true story though, it's a profound moment in which Dee Dee runs the risk of losing everything because her daughter is emboldened to take action to defy her mother. That too is a striking parallel. Gypsy is deceiving the world as well. And yet, she is a young woman shaped by the narratives that her mother has always told her. She is getting older and starting to question things more. Dee Dee continues to push back. Sometimes, it's subtle. Other times though, it's very forceful. She claims that she is just forgetful with numbers when Gypsy asks about how old she is. That story is continually changing to suit whatever needs Dee Dee requires. When attending this convention, Gypsy is 15. When shaming the man her daughter has been secretly seeing, Gypsy is 14. In reality though, Gypsy is 19 years old. That information is easily accessible to Gypsy as well. She just needs to know where to look. That too inspires her to take action. She doesn't have a good explanation for why she can suddenly walk. When she first met Scott, it was through the story that she has always presented to the world. She is the young princess in a wheelchair looking for love and admiration. It's the story that Dee Dee has carefully crafted over the years. Gypsy is bringing her own sexual curiosity to the proceedings though. She envisions this entire relationship that she has with Scott. He is very pleasant and kind to her. They share deep conversations over texts. Gypsy runs to him when he is in the emergency room after a bar fight. That's when she presents as a new woman. In that moment, she is the 19-year-old girl with a red wig who can walk. Scott never presses for more of an answer as to the deceit. He thought Gypsy was confined to a wheelchair. Here, she says she wants a new life and to never sit down in that chair again. But Dee Dee can still track her down and force her back to the life that she has always known. She can persuade Gypsy by saying things can be perfectly normal with Scott. They don't have to run off and get married right now. Then, she turns around and shames Scott for being romantically interested in an underage girl. Dee Dee infantilizes Gypsy in so many ways. She is her little girl. She can never change. But that change is fundamental to this story. Gypsy is testing how far she can go. She is humiliated and forced to recognize the help she needs from her mother. But she will more than likely be emboldened again moving forward as well.