Sunday, July 7, 2019

REVIEW: 'Perpetual Grace, LTD' - Pa and Hector Work Together to Find Ma Buried in a Field in 'When Doves Cry'

Epix's Perpetual Grace, LTD - Episode 1.06 "When Doves Cry"

Pa gains control over Hector, demanding that Hector lead him to Ma, who is in dire straits.

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 Epix's Perpetual Grace, LTD.

"When Doves Cry" was written by Steven Conrad & Bruce Terris and directed by Steven Conrad

This is a weird show that delights in the oddities of its storytelling. It picks up on characters at unnatural intervals of their lives. Uncle Dave is largely seen in the background here. New Leaf really only appears as a vicious punchline to Wesley and when his alert goes off signaling that his parents have died. All of this happens while James and Paul seem to get away with what they have been plotting. A lot has gone wrong for them. A lot will probably continue to go wrong for them. They are actually caught by the conclusion of this episode. Scotty is the one who blatantly overhears them boasting of their accomplishments. She too is a reformed individual nursed back to health by Pa and Ma. Even then, she still has an unstable and loveless life where she feels trapped in a marriage. She was told not to embrace that form of love. She did so anyway. That is truly the spotlight of this specific hour. This can be a weird show but this hour offers a profound meditation on what love truly means. The show so far has highlighted how monstrous these individuals can be. They aren't always smart. They are always putting their own needs first in the pursuit of some kind of selfish desire. But now, the show brings characters together in a way that shows that love fills their lives in some meaningful ways as well. The audience gets to see how Ma and Pa first met. They actually hit it off the night of the moon landing in 1969. They were both raised as orphans. That shared sense of tragedy and search for love bonds them together. But love is so much more than that as Pa articulates to Hector here. Pa delights in mocking the script that Hector has spent years working on. He sees it as completely terrible and inane. There is no saving it. That's not the worst thing that Pa is doing. He is holding Hector's family hostage until Hector reunites him with his wife. And yet, the central focus is on how Hector was manipulated into nearly destroying his entire life by something that was pure lust. His definition of love was having sex constantly. He never had that connection with his wife. And now, she simply comments on how fat he has gotten. But she is the one who got the special typewriter for him. She is the one who supports his ambitions as a writer even though she probably knows he's terrible as well. That's what love is. Pa explains it as being excited about sharing every possible moment and emotion with another person. That bond is so palpable between Pa and Ma. They have spent a significant portion of the season apart. Ma still somewhat feels underdeveloped as a character. Pa is the one who brings them back together. And yet, the scene is cackling with energy and passion throughout the fight to reunite. It's absolutely ridiculous that Hector can't find where he buried Ma alive because the breathing tube has been taken away. It's a hunt that ultimately relies on Pa and Hector cutting down a tree because of the cries of a dove above. That's so unusual. But it also presents as a bonding experience. There is always this sinking feeling that something bad is about to happen to Hector or his family. And yet, they may emerge completely unharmed from all of this. Hector wishes to be forgiven and forgotten for everything he has done recently. Pa and Ma are already plotting their return home. But they are once more going to face off with danger because of the consequences of their actions while in Mexico. Sure, it's insane that they signal down the car driven by the cartel members who wish to kill Pa for the man he killed way back in the series premiere. But they are no longer seen as the helpless old couple. They can no longer rely on that image to get whatever they want. They may be exposed throughout this world as the criminals they truly are. And so, James and Paul may not be as screwed as they seem. Only time will tell what will develop from all of these unusual circumstances though.