Sunday, June 9, 2019

REVIEW: 'Claws' - Desna Assembles the Crew at the Hospital After Virginia Is Shot in 'Just the Tip'

TNT's Claws - Episode 3.01 "Just the Tip"

In the wake of Virginia being shot, the crew must regroup to face their off-kilter new adversaries, Mac and Melba Lovestone, so they can run Bayside Rapture Casino like the bosses they are.

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 season premiere of TNT's Claws.

"Just the Tip" was written by Eliot Laurence and directed by Dale Stern

This premiere feels the pressure to get back to normal as quickly as possible. The show has a certain status quo that it enjoys maintaining. Sure, it flirts with the idea that some members of the central crew will leave for a much better life. And yet, that seems unlikely of actually happening. That means Jenn and Bryce quickly move back to town after they realize Tampa is terrible for them. Meanwhile, Polly walks out of her treatment center just as soon as she walked in to deal with the hallucinations of her dead sister. And finally, Virginia only has one significant injury from getting shot outside of Desna's new casino. Virginia requires a cornea transplant. She gets it right away. That may alter her personality in some ways. She can see people more clearly now. That could make her an even more loyal member of the crew. However, the premiere essentially concludes with the five ladies all rallying around Desna once more as she makes a claim that they could move on up in stature. That has always been the promising tease of this world though. Desna has always aspired for more. And now, she presents as a woman getting it for herself. She no longer trusts the Dixie Mafia because they are incompetent gang leaders. Plus, she has eliminated the threats from the Russians and the Haitians. She now has new enemies introduced that threaten her stake in the casino left to her by Ruval. That presents as a very colorful and intriguing threat for the new season. It ensures that she still has an antagonist to contend with in her pursuit of gaining notoriety and respect in this world. She doesn't have sole ownership of the casino. Instead, she has a minority stake alongside Mac and Melba Lovestone. It should be fascinating to see how long it takes before Melba's use of oxygen mask grows tiring. They too present as this show's typical portrayal of mobsters. They also happen to be laundering money through the casino. They have to intimidate their accountant into submission simply because she asked for a raise. That makes it immediately clear that they are a threat that should be taken seriously. Desna does that as well. She wants it to be known to them that they should respect her because she knows every criminal thing that is going on in this casino. She doesn't mind though. She's not going to the police. She just wants her fair cut of the profits in order to be bought out of this business. That's what she is entitled to. That's the message she delivers here. She has the support of her girls once more. It's empowering to watch them powerful En Vogue's "Free Your Mind" with elaborate choreography. That shows that the new season will be just as delightfully over-the-top as it has always been. However, the premiere also has to deal with the ugly business of resolving the cliffhanger of who shot at Desna. Virginia lost an eye as a result. There needed to be immediate resolution or the tease that it was coming shortly. The show looks at several people with suspicion. Roller is leading the investigation in the hopes of getting close and intimate with Desna once more. It works too. She just doesn't want anything more than a casual fling. She trusts him to protect her. He kills whomever needs killing for her. And yet, Clint wasn't the one responsible for this hit because he wanted to send a message to Desna for offending Uncle Daddy. Instead, it was Toby. That was wildly unexpected because he has never presented as a killer before. But he will likely have newfound importance this season even though his sole devotion to Uncle Daddy is so toxic and corrosive.