Sunday, October 6, 2019

REVIEW: 'On Becoming a God in Central Florida' - Krystal Experiences Louise's Version of Therapy in 'Birthday Party'

Showtime's On Becoming a God in Central Florida - Episode 1.08 "Birthday Party"

Krystal loses her job, but gets a personal invitation to Paradise Cay. Roger trains Cody in security protocols. Ernie and Bets cha-cha.

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 Showtime's On Becoming a God in Central Florida.

"Birthday Party" was written by Robert Funke & Matt Lutsky and directed by So Yong Kim

The core drive of this season has been Krystal trying to figure out exactly what she wants in this life. That's the question that has been posed to her several times this season. At times, she has had a sensible and understandable answer. She wants to protect and provide for her daughter. She wants to get revenge on the people she blames for Travis' death. But now, things are much more complicated. She has a ton of rage. It's justified and valid too. She has suffered a lot in this world. But now, Louise poses that central question to her once more. It no longer has a clear answer. Krystal went to Paradise Cay in order to gather more evidence about the FAM deception. She saw clearly that this an organization was taking advantage of the people who buy into it. She has seen that deceit and destruction firsthand. She wants to believe she is doing something to expose it. However, she learns that Mirta isn't the trusted journalist she thought she was. Instead, she is simply an addict who got fired from her job. She may hit her rock bottom here without knowing the true extent of what happened in her apartment. That could create further purpose for her. But right now, Krystal is sitting down with Louise. She goes on another spiritual journey. It's not one brought on by a rare and weird illness. Instead, it's the version of therapy Louise preaches throughout this program. This is her side of the business. Sure, that may mean she is the one responsible for brainwashing those who choose to speak out against FAM. She is just as active a participant in all of this as Obie. She does so because she believes she's doing good work. She yearns for these connections based on the ways people were born. She can tell that Krystal was a difficult delivery. But she runs into friction because Krystal has long been very hesitant to talk about her upbringing. She has been very forceful about not wanting to return to a life of poverty ever again. And now, she suggests that she never actually knew her parents. She doesn't have these stories to share. Instead, it's all about the destiny she made for herself. That's a fitting name for her daughter. Krystal endured so much in order to create that new life. She got no support whatsoever. Travis wasn't there to take care of his family when they needed him the most. And now, Cody is off running around with Roger completely oblivious to what's going on. Sure, he may learn that Krystal has been working with the reporter whose apartment he has just ransacked. However, he doesn't realize that his gun is missing until he checks his holster after a long day. He sets it down in Mirta's apartment. That was literally the first destination Roger took him to. Roger was always aware of where the weapon was. He used it to essentially frame Cody for attacking the Buck Bridges event. All of this may ultimately be an attempt at taking down Krystal and Cody instead of revealing the true nature of FAM. That allows the stakes to be much more personal. Cody believes that he and Krystal are closer than ever before. They aren't. She has been deceiving him in order to get the information she needs. But now, the future is unclear. The same is true for Ernie and Bets. Ernie continues to withhold so much from her hoping he can make up for it by buying her nice things. That's not enough though. She wants to feel like a part of the team. Instead, he's the one who quits his job and refuses to share what happened to him at the pizza place. He doesn't want to address any of this. He needs things to go a certain way for him. Once those boundaries are destroyed, he runs the risk of imploding completely. As such, he can't see clearly. Bets is starting to though. She sees the damage being done to him and those around him. She wants to help but doesn't know how. That is devastating while still making it unclear what exactly can be done to make things better.