Saturday, September 28, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Politician' - Astrid's Disappearance Creates a Ton of Questions While Payton Tells Infinity the Truth in 'Gone Girl'

Netflix's The Politician - Episode 1.04 "Gone Girl"

With the election just days away, Payton faces tough questions about just how far he's willing to go to defeat his opponent.

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 Netflix's The Politician.

"Gone Girl" was written by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk & Ian Brennan and directed by Helen Hunt

People are fairly insulated within their own bubbles in life. Confronting one's own privilege and being able to accept that perception while actively confronting it with those who wish to define one as solely that is insanely difficult. Astrid makes a plea to her mother that she wants to be able to feel things. She doesn't want to be full of drugs to the point where she doesn't know if she's happy or sad. That is a huge reaction on her part. One that comes with her saying some spiteful things not knowing just how crucial the right chemical balance in the brain actually is. She and Payton are similar in that regard because they wonder if they react with the same emotions as their peers. They worry that they aren't authentic and real. When Astrid runs away to New York with Ricardo, she does so mostly to have sex with him and to believe that she is truly living life like the other side of the socio-economic coin. She isn't. She still has the money to finance this entire venture. She can give some away to Ricardo because it's meaningless to her. She wants to believe she learned some grand lesson from all of this. The world will respect her when she makes her triumphant return to share her story. It doesn't though. Sure, McAfee and James are impressed. They see her return speech as the thing that humanizes her in such a powerful way. They view it as the thing that could actually swing this election back in her favor. But they have those artificial reactions because they live and breathe the life of politics. They see this as a calculated move that actually makes a ton of sense. They can see the argument for why it had to be done. And yet, they are the outliers in the situation. Astrid doesn't return to the race with stronger numbers than ever before. Now, more people dislike her and Payton has a solid lead ahead of her. It's infuriating but it also showcases just how obsessed people can get with the horse race aspects of campaigns. Polls don't necessarily mean anything. Sure, they can fundamentally track support and how it changes over time. But they shouldn't be seen as the expected outcome because each methodology has its own pros and cons. The system itself may be biased based on whomever is conducting the polls. Astrid's team wants the reliability of the numbers to be taken seriously. And yet, it's all completely up in the air until people actually vote. Polls just help incentivize the campaigns into believing that they still need to do a ton of work in order to emerge victorious. Payton feels the urgency to dump Infinity from the ticket. He does so because it's the right move politically. It's not the response he has because he is offended by the comments in the scandalous video released of her. Payton doesn't appear to have any convictions. He has an end goal. He is going to end up in the White House. The dream doesn't come from him chasing some noble cause that he is passionate about in this moment. He just views himself as belonging there for a reason and that reason will only present itself once he holds the office. That is the reverse way to look at this situation and at life overall. It's very cynical and tragic. Payton is so obsessive in that way. He has been insulated as well because he lives a life of privilege. He doesn't have to struggle. He is an entitled white rich kid. The local police may have their suspicions about him. And yet, the lead detectives are more than willing to be paid off simply because that's the community that all of this takes place in. Outrage simply has no merit in this world. Instead, it's just whatever money can buy. That's not really a keen insight. It mostly just continues to present a show that needs to offer twists in the narrative even though it's not really saying anything of true substance. It's a lot of back-and-forth wondering how things will play instead of just allowing those moments to land for the audience to experience themselves. And so, it's essentially meaningless that McAfee wants Skye to join Payton's ticket because they have started a relationship in secret.