Sunday, July 7, 2019

REVIEW: 'Claws' - Desna Reaches Out to a Relative While Dean Spends More Time with Mac in 'Zaddy Was a Rolling Stone'

TNT's Claws - Episode 3.05 "Zaddy Was a Rolling Stone"

Desna and Dean's world turns sideways when an unexpected relative appears from their past. Things take an even more unexpected twist when the Lovestones retaliate against Desna for getting in their way.

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.

"Zaddy Was a Rolling Stone" was written by Darrin Dortch and directed by Niecy Nash

After Desna signed her shares of the casino away, there was no reason for anyone to be spending time at the casino. They could move on with their lives with the understanding that there was no longer a threat from Mac and Melba. And yet, those two present as the clear antagonists for the season. The tension between them and Desna can't be over with halfway through the season. It certainly built to a climatic moment where Desna and Roller's lives were in the balance. But now, the show is basically just setting up how the Lovestones will continue to be important this season. Desna is armed with information about them. She knows all about their shady deal with the governor. She doesn't plan on fighting them anymore. But she feels compelled to because Dean is spending all of his time at the casino playing mahjong. Now, the motivation for Mac wanting to bond with Dean is incredibly thin and simple. Mac is essentially a child who wants to play with a toy all by himself. That's his view in all of this. He sees Dean as the fun thing he gets to manipulate even though it may distract from all of the other plans he and Melba may be interested in doing. She tells him to cut Dean loose. They can't afford to make Desna angry once more. They don't want to contend with her any more. And yet, they keep acting in ways that make an enemy out of her. Mac wanting Dean all to himself means he must takes actions against Desna and her family in order to isolate Dean from them. He no longer has the clarity that comes from these important friendships. Instead, he just refuses to see beyond what is right in front of him on the mahjong table. He sees Mac as a great guy. That's all there is to this. It's meaningful that Desna and Dean's estranged father, Calvin, is introduced here. The series has previously talked about how rough their childhood was. They always had to support each other. Their parents abandoned them and forced them into the horrendous foster care system. Everything they have is what they have worked to achieve. Desna is so proud of that. And yet, her crew is now telling her that she needs to confront her father in order to get over all of the abandonment issues she has because of him. It's simple and understandable advice. It just may be a little too conventional. This is a show that depicts an argument between Desna and Roller about moving in together as a music video. This season hasn't had too many of those out-there, stylistic moments that deliver a message in a potent and visceral way. Instead, it has wanted to be more grounded. But the excitement may be fading for these characters' lives and stories. That means that Calvin shows up and his sobriety is immediately called into question. He is drugged by Melba just so Dean won't want anything to do with him. He feels betrayed by both his father and sister. Desna knows he can't be at the casino. He can't fall further in love with Mac. But now, her only solution is to bring a gun into the casino to exert her vengeance. That probably won't go well for her. Polly is only now realizing just how dangerous Joe can truly be. He kills once more because a problem pops up. He may be genuinely trying to romance Polly. He isn't a good influence on her at all. It's that infatuation that may cause her mental health issues to become further complicated. She at least has some awareness of what is going on now. It's not all fun adventures full of extorting money from small businesses. Sometimes, it truly is matters of life and death. That was the clear lesson from Desna and Roller being captured and sentenced to die in the woods. But Polly apparently had to learn it again simply by continuing to work at the casino with Joe.