Sunday, July 14, 2019

REVIEW: 'Euphoria' - The Police Are Brought In to Investigate a Troubling and Violent Relationship in '03 Bonnie and Clyde'

HBO's Euphoria - Episode 1.05 "'03 Bonnie and Clyde"

In the aftermath of the carnival, Maddy and Nate are forced to deal with a police investigation. Jules begins to feel pressured by her role in Rue's sobriety. Kat ignores a confused Ethan and embraces her new lifestyle. Cassie tries to distance herself from Daniel and focus on her relationship with McKay. Cal worries about how his actions have affected his sons.

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 HBO's Euphoria.

"'03 Bonnie and Clyde" was written by Sam Levinson and directed by Jennifer Morrison

This show is intrigued by the idea of confidence being so life-affirming even though it can quickly be all-consuming as well. Kat has an epiphany here where she understands that if she walks around with confidence then she can get whatever she wants. And yet, that idea of confidence can still be presented and used as a front. A way to mask oneself from the pain of life. The complete appearance of confidence may come out of fear of being vulnerable. Many of these characters are struggling with that at the moment. They don't have the time or the appreciation to reflect on the decisions they have made. Now is the time where they can course correct in the hopes of pursuing better lives as young adults. And yet, they feel resilient as teenagers with the need to prove that their independence means something. They just have no way of dealing with the consequences when they inevitably appear. Both Maddy and Nate believe they can be exonerated by the police after their families go to war with each other regarding the bruises on Maddy's neck. That disrupts everything that Maddy had planned for her life. This episode establishes that she has always known that confidence can get her far even though she has no aspirations beyond being a trophy wife who doesn't actually do anything. That's what she was hoping to achieve with Nate. And now, she fears the loss of that connection as the end of this reality for her. That is startling even though it's only a half-baked idea at the moment. In fact, it's a little infuriating how this episode spends a lot of time with the Jacobs family even though it's suppose to be Maddy's perspective in all of this. It's meaningful that Maddy doesn't want to press charges because she believes she and Nate are in love. She believes in that so fiercely despite the evidence to the contrary. They have such a combustive relationship. One that will only lead to more anger and violence. This is a very troubling sign of a relationship that could end in complete and tragic disaster. Maddy doesn't see it that way though. She sees a man who gets angry but that doesn't take away from the love he feels for her. She is willing to literally drop everything and come rushing to him when he orchestrates a way for them to meet after the police investigation begins. At first, that whole scandal presents as a way for the narrative to unify around a specific plot in order to feel like things are actually going somewhere. The season has been erratic so far. That comes from the nature of introducing these characters one at a time. This is the spotlight hour for Maddy. It's brutal to watch as she is chained down in order to get the evidence from this assault. It's not something she is willing to do. It may be necessary. The adults in the room may know better. None of them are trying to communicate with Maddy in a genuine way though to make this seem like something that needs to happen. Instead, it all continues as a twisted and tortured romance. It's one that Cal immediately has fears about causing because his hiding of secrets could inform the anger his boys carry through life. That is absolutely true. He may be powerless to change it as well. Most of the time coming to those realizations happens too late. Jules now understands that so much of Rue's sobriety rests on the relationship they have together. That's not healthy in the slightest. It should leave her concerned. But it's still early enough to address it. The fear is already present that the damage has already been done to Maddy and Nate. Their lives may never be as good as they are right now. That's depressing. It may make things difficult for the narrative moving forward as well. Things are bleak and tragic in a way that will probably only be reaffirmed by these characters struggling to make different choices upon growing up.