Sunday, July 28, 2019

REVIEW: 'Perpetual Grace, LTD' - Pa and Ma Plead Their Case to Clara and the Cartel in 'The Elements of an Epiphany'

Epix's Perpetual Grace, LTD - Episode 1.09 "The Elements of an Epiphany"

Pa and Ma find themselves surrounded by cartel members in Mexico, while James learns new skills in Half Acre.

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.

"The Elements of an Epiphany" was written by Steven Conrad and directed by Steven Conrad

This show articulates perfectly how a conversation between two characters can be an intense escalation of tension. Donny DeLoash arrives in Half Acre. He doesn't find the people he has come to hunt down though. Pa and Ma are still trapped in Mexico. They are being held by the cartel. Clara's son was killed by Pa at the start of the series. Now, she has to figure out what his punishment should be. She is weighing all of her options. She could allow him to be killed by the other members of the cartel or she could turn him over to Hector so that he could be dealt with by the proper authorities. Of course, Hector isn't impartial in all of this. Valerie once again makes her presence known. Now, she no longer fulfills some fantasy life that he could have. She is instead blackmailing him to once again become complicit in this overall scheme. It's an effective purpose for him right now in the story. He is actively making the choice not to bring Pa and Ma into police custody. He knows just how complicated all of this has already become for him. He doesn't want to do anything else that could bring pain and destruction back to his family. He has already risked so much. He still has the love and support of his family. He doesn't want to do anything that could jeopardize that. But Pa and Ma's fate remains up in the air by the conclusion of this hour. It's not clear what Clara intends to do with them. Pa can eloquently speak about how his path just clashed with her son's by complete accident. They both happened to be at the same place at the same time. They stood in each other's ways for no other reason than some people wanted to disrupt their lives for a little bit. James and Paul are the ones truly to blame. And yet, they remain the people who keep emerging as innocent and strong. They are the ones with the freedom to do whatever they want in this world. Wesley gets no meaningful leads with his investigation. He's also blatantly told to go back home already. At the start of the season, James struggled to step into Paul's life. He was shocked by how much he didn't know about the guy he was now in business with. He is still in the dark to a certain extent. And yet, they have bonded. They have a stronger understanding of each other now. It means James can assume enough of Paul's life in order to fool Wesley into believing that he was just innocently teaching magic to a young girl. She died in a trick gone wrong. There is nothing more to that particular story. Wesley seems satisfied. However, he is the first person in town to have an encounter with Donny. This is a strange new environment for him. In fact, Half Acre presents mostly as a ghost town where many of the businesses have closed and barely anyone roams the streets. The news is recent and important. Donny gets up to date about the life stories of everyone in the area. He makes himself known to the Texas ranger. He finds a compassionate understanding with him in a way that no one else has strived for. He understands that Wesley would rather be known as a detective. That's more fitting of the job he actually does. But it's much more perilous to watch the confrontation between Donny and New Leaf. That is absolutely explosive. Sure, it comes with the threat of violence but no such act actually occurs. It's one full of provocations and eloquent speeches about the value of violence and reform. New Leaf strives for something more but doubts he'll ever achieve it. Him signing his parents away to James and Paul will ensure that he is forever damned. Meanwhile, Donny embraces the inner violence and sees it as the only way to conduct his business. Right now, he is solely armed with a gun. He may use it to inflict more damage than New Leaf did. But the pacing of all of this remains strange because it's unclear just how these stories will collide in the future. It's so unexpected to see Glenn reach out to James' father. And yet, that could be the uplifting final reveal that helps sail everything through to its conclusion. Or it could further complicate everything for James.