Saturday, April 13, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Act' - Gypsy Hits Her Breaking Point with Her Mother and Plots an Escape with Nick in 'Plan B'

Hulu's The Act - Episode 1.05 "Plan B"

Gypsy and Nick scheme to meet in person and hope to win Dee Dee's approval, but when their plan goes disastrously wrong, they'll be pushed to make an extreme choice in order to be together.

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.

"Plan B" was written by Lisa Long & Nick Antosca and directed by Steven Piet

The narrative has been building to a deadly conclusion. It's ominous when this hour points out that the action has caught up to the foreshadowing moments previously seen from 2015. No, Dee Dee hasn't been killed yet. But the show is examining the events that led to that tragic moment. It proves that Gypsy was an active participant in what happened because of all the abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother for her entire life. That always seemed like the obvious direction given how intimate and abusive their relationship has been throughout the previous episodes. And now, it's clear just how powerful some inappropriate relationships can inform the actions by both Gypsy and Dee Dee. There was always the question of what would ultimately push Gypsy over the edge to wanting her mother dead. She has endured so much abuse at Dee Dee's hand. She may not have always been able to pick up the emotional manipulation of making her feel bad for wanting too much or trying to be like other young girls. But Dee Dee physically abused Gypsy and subjected her to so many medical procedures even though it was apparent that Gypsy didn't need them whatsoever. A doctor never came to that conclusion though. Dee Dee was always able to keep the truth hidden. It was a secret contained to Dee Dee and Gypsy inside their pink house. Gypsy's only escape was her online connection with Nick. They spent two years just communicating over the internet at night. Even that shows off some serious red flags that proved that they were both capable of this heinous central act. It immediately becomes clear that their bond has turned incredibly sexual. With that though, it also props up the idea that Gypsy has to be in peril in order for Nick to get off. That is inherently disturbing and proves that all of this has been normalized. They have intimacy and are eager to meet for the first time in person. During that central meeting at the movie theater though, Dee Dee isn't inherently wrong for seeing Nick as a creep who shouldn't be anywhere near her daughter. Gypsy and Nick want to live in the fantasy of this moment. Nick is her Prince Charming who will come to sweep her off her feet. He isn't her first kiss. And yet, she won't allow the truth to derail the moment she perceives as perfect when they are in the bathroom together having sex before Dee Dee catches them. That's special to her. And yet, Dee Dee just sees this pervert who keeps following Gypsy around. That's scary for any parent. Sure, it's exaggerated because of Dee Dee's own mental state and failing health. This hour makes it clear that she really isn't taking care of herself. That is also contributing to her disease that has crippled Gypsy for her entire life. She is growing increasingly frail and broken. She is losing a sense of her power. That is frightening. Gypsy has pushed back for several years now. But only now does she have the convictions to take her mother out of the picture entirely. She doesn't see a woman in failing health who simply couldn't hunt her down and control her forever. Of course, she also doesn't see how a future with Nick won't be as everlasting in personal happiness either. This is a transformational hour for Gypsy because she makes that decision to kill her mother. She is even planning it out exactly. She has become quite skilled at sneaking around her mother's back. It just feels like this hour is a little too agonizingly slow with this central build up. It's all about Gypsy coming to that decision and really elongating the moments that fuel her mindset at the moment. It's very effective with just how difficult it is to watch. The show just hasn't quite gotten to that brutal conclusion yet either.