Sunday, June 30, 2019

REVIEW: 'Claws' - Desna Discovers What All She Is Willing to Do to Keep Roller in Her Life in 'Boy, Bye'

TNT's Claws - Episode 3.04 "Boy, Bye"

After Desna discovers Mac and Melba have done something horrible to a loved one, she realizes just how far she is willing to go to save him.

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.

"Boy, Bye" was written by Sam Forman and directed by Sheree Folkson

The show understands that some people definitely could be exhausted by the idea of Desna and Roller as a couple. And yet, the show remains committed to that central relationship. They have both tried to kill each other in the past. There was the hope that brighter days were ahead for them. And yet, it feels like more of the same. This is the third season that has seen Roller kidnapped and tortured by a crazy white lady. It has become such a pattern for the show. In fact, it may prove that the show delights in making Roller suffer a little too much. That reduces him down significantly as a character the audience is suppose to care about though. Even Jenn and Ann voice their concerns upon learning that Desna is upset after Roller didn't show up to their date. They know that she can do so much better than him. And yet, this episode is largely about her deciding whether or not he continues to be worth all of the stress and drama. She can easily say that he has made her life demonstrably worse because of all the criminal antics he got her involved in. But she has pursued those projects as well in order to expand her own empire and help her loved ones. She was consumed by the idea of running the casino and earning enough money to franchise the salon and provide for everyone she cares about. That remains the idealistic goal. And yet, the reality becomes more and more dangerous. Mac and Melba have always been seen as lethal foes who have a very specific way of conducting business. And yet, they are eerily similar to all of the other threats Desna and her crew have had to deal with across three seasons now. It no longer feels as refreshing and vital as it once did. In fact, it seems like the plot keeps going around in circles. This is the hour where Roller gets kidnapped and tortured. There is damage in that he is bitten by a snake and has a toe cut off. That does eventually forge a stronger bond between him and Desna as she ventures ahead in order to get help in time to save his life. But it's hard to invest too much in this specific outcome. The writing remains inconsistent with Mac and Melba as well. They are closely monitoring Desna on her entire journey in order to rescue Roller. They knew that she didn't follow orders by coming alone to the yurt. They knew she was driving by herself to the cabin. And yet, they decide to just leave things to fate when it comes to Desna and Roller actually dying in the cabin. They aren't monitoring that situation. Instead, they just go back to the casino believing all of their plans have been restored. Desna and Roller break free of their constraints and are rescued. Of course, Mac and Melba's influence will still be felt even though Desna signed away her shares to the casino to get Roller back. Mac only becomes aware of Desna's survival because he has forged a friendship with Dean. That bond will continue to be exploited because Dean has seemingly become more naive and gullible now that he is striving for his own independence in the world. That may be an unfortunate storytelling choice though. He is absolutely capable of doing wondrous things without Desna or Virginia needing to coach him through life. But right now, it increasingly feels like things are happening in the narrative just to keep things intense. It's hard to get a sense of whether or not Polly and Joe are actually falling for each other. It's such a toxic dynamic. It's easy to understand how they are playing each other in order to get close and report back to their respective bosses. Polly just seems in a more vulnerable position because she hasn't addressed her health concerns in a meaningful way and is easily rattled by the sheer sight of Ken. That may not make her the best manipulator in this situation especially considering Joe has already proven himself to be a killer more than willing to cover up crimes and dispose of bodies.