Friday, June 21, 2019

REVIEW: 'Jett' - Jett Is Hired to Rob a Club Where the Contents of a Safe are a Complete Surprise in 'Charles Junior'

Cinemax's Jett - Episode 1.02 "Charles Junior"

Jett is forced to mastermind a heist at the site of a high-end poker game. Baudelaire's son Junior continues to vex his father.

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 Cinemax's Jett.

"Charles Junior" was written by Sebastian Gutierrez and directed by Sebastian Gutierrez

This hour proves the show's desire to be episodic with its storytelling. That is such a refreshing quality in an era where most prestige dramas feel the urgency to be as serialized as possible. There are still plenty of ongoing elements to this show as well. It's just choosing to be very deliberate when it comes to exploring the supporting members of the ensemble. The focus never strays too far away from Jett in any given moment. Most of the characters are best defined through their relationships with her. And yet, there are moments where the audience gets to peak behind the curtain to see all of the machinations that are occurring that will only further complicate her life. Junior is the one who kills the judge overseeing his father's criminal case. That immediately disrupts Charlie's dinner with Jett. That's infuriating to him. But he still walks around with the aura of strength and protection. He can punch a waiter repeatedly without any fear of consequences whatsoever. He can jog down the street knowing that he has loyal men willing to protect him. Of course, Jett is only loyal to herself and the family unit she has at home. That's the only leverage that can be used against her. Bestic threatened her family. She has been forced into submission by him because he's such a terrifying and threatening presence. He doesn't appear here at all. And yet, his influence is keenly felt. Jett is called upon to do jobs for him. She doesn't even know the full extent of what she has to rob at the club either. She just knows the basics of the job. Now, she is still treated with respect. She makes the plan and expects everyone to follow it. It goes off without a hitch as well - until the safe is actually cracked open and Blair finds bars of gold inside. That's unexpected and immediately changes the importance and payoff from this job. Jett was trusted to get this job done. She succeeds in that. And yet, she now has a rogue figure in Blair who is more than willing to use violence in order to disrupt this carefully thought out plan. Jett believed her team didn't need to use guns in order to pull this off. Sure, she could intimidate people with the threat of violence in order to get them to take her seriously. But she doesn't actually want to pull the trigger. That's an important distinction. She too is caught off guard when Blair opens fire. Now, it's incredibly unlikely that Jett will actually be injured or killed. She is the title character after all. This just threatens to destroy the tense relationship that she already has with her shady partners. She is trying to retain a sense of her own independence. She is teaming with Jackie and his new partner in order to better understand the police's interest in Junior. She is willing to feed information to them knowing that her family could be safe after all of these criminal elements are dealt with. She feels confident in that mission. And yet, she too is scared of being discovered as deceitful. She knows just how delicate the balance of this world can be. Her companion, Maria, is dying from a terminal illness. That too is startling. That's such a fascinating relationship. It seems defined by the two of them simply being kindred spirits. It may be nothing more than that. Jett has complex bonds with people though. So, it should not be surprising in the slightest when more is eventually revealed about some of the other characters in this world and their efforts to disrupt whatever Jett has planned for her own self-preservation.