Sunday, June 23, 2019

REVIEW: 'Claws' - Desna Learns How Corrupt the Lovestones Have Made the Casino in 'Welcome to the Pleasuredome'

TNT's Claws - Episode 3.03 "Welcome to the Pleasuredome"

After discovering Mac and Melba's surprise gift in the salon, Desna and the crew go to their "fundraiser" to retrieve information to use against them.

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 TNT's Claws.

"Welcome to the Pleasuredome" was written by Maisha Closson and directed by Dale Stern

The conflict between Desna and the Lovestones is still just escalating. They keep sending messages to each other in order to show just how serious a threat they should each be taken. It's fascinating. The hour essentially opens with Desna and her crew discovering Penelope's body in the salon. Joe killed her for the Lovestones because of the information she gave Desna. As such, Desna feels responsible for what happened. She couldn't keep her safe when she promised she would. That shows that there are still limitations to what Desna is capable of doing in this world. She is still just constantly thinking on the fly in order to best preserve her interests. This season shows her trying to establish her own empire. She believes she has the power and influence in order to take a serious run at that thanks to her ownership of the hotel. She does find a new place to live that is absolutely gorgeous. And yet, she is still vulnerable and tentative in many ways as well. She doesn't know when her friends and family will just show up at the casino. She trusts Polly to best protect her interests here. Polly and Joe continue to circle each other trying to get a better understanding of what they are trying to achieve in this delicate game of deceit. Of course, it's not a game. It's a matter of life or death. Joe is a killer. He does so at Mac and Melba's orders. He gets information out of Polly even though she believes she has believably fallen into a new identity. Moreover, Desna thinks that she knows how to dispose of a body at this point. She has had to deal with so many over the course of the series. The crew's first instinct isn't to call the police either. They can't bring any kind of suspicion towards their business because that could lead to more exposure. Of course, everyone is also encouraging Ann to be completely honest with Arlene because their feelings are so real and genuine. That tease of total honesty may completely change that dynamic. Ann is willing to switch things up as well. She has sex with a man here just in order to get more information for Desna. Sure, drugs make her more free and willing to go that far. That's just treated as such a casual thing too. This hour actually spends quite a bit of time at the sex party fundraiser for the governor. This is the location where Desna and company can learn about the corruption that the Lovestones have going on with the governor of the state. Again, the Lovestones aren't really doing a great job at covering up their corrupt actions. One moment it seems as if they know Desna and her friends have crashed this party. Polly is called up onto the stage during the big magic performance. But that may just be Joe being more perceptive than the people he is working for. He may be the true threat in all of this which should make everyone worried about Polly because she is being somewhat seduced by him. Desna still believes that she holds power and agency over her life though. She believes she can threaten the Lovestones into becoming the silent partners of the casino because of the leverage she has just gained. Of course, that was always going to be unlikely. In fact, they already launch their next move by abducting Roller. That's bound to cause some major personal drama. That's really the strongest hook for the season so far too. Everything happening with Jenn, Uncle Daddy's rehab clinic and Dean's desire for independence currently feels a little too tangential. Sure, it will eventually be important that Virginia briefly flirts with EJ not knowing exactly who he is. But that doesn't seem as engaging as the other stories - especially since Jenn and Bryce's children have always just been pushed to the sidelines.