Saturday, December 7, 2019

REVIEW: 'Reprisal' - Molly Confronts an Unwelcome Visitor While Joel Strives for Peace in 'On the Principles of Horsehound'

Hulu's Reprisal - Episode 1.04 "On the Principles of Horsehound"

Doris learns how to work with her new crew The Monster Ring. Ethan discovers the real reasons he was pushed to join this world. Joel makes an unprecedented offering to keep peace with the Ghouls. Molly confronts her past with violent consequences.

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 Hulu's Reprisal.

"On the Principles of Horsehound" was written by Justin Boyd and directed by Cherie Nowlan

Bernice tells Earl that no amount of crime and robbing will fill the void within him following the tragedy he has endured. Now, the audience doesn't know the precise details of that statement. However, Earl disagrees with its basis premise. He doesn't see that as what he is doing. He is a solider. This is what he was trained to do. He is good at it. He and Cordell abide by a strict moral code where they only hurt bad people. However, that statement from Bernice may sum up the entire show. These characters embrace the horrifying vices of this world in order to deflect from some of the heinous things they have done. It's a way to skirt around potential consequences. It may allow them to sit alone with their thoughts. But they can cover all of that up with entertainment and alcohol. It may fundamentally be a narrative about repression and family. Burt persuades people into joining his cause through a lie. He stages an attack to make it look like the Ghouls came after him. Joel and Bash know the truth. However, they too present as lost souls who need the direction that this savior is presenting towards them. Burt may now present as a ghost. No one knows where he is or what he is doing. They don't even know if he is alive. That means the gang is entering its second stage of existence. One where the membership may not remember the days of war. They may be taking on too many risks simply because they've had it good so far. They are pushing the boundaries to see what they can get away with. There is respect for the people who came before and created this system. Joel will do whatever it takes in order to maintain the status quo even if that means making drastic decisions by himself that may cut into the Brawlers' revenue stream. He has that full autonomy. He does so because he's determined to maintain peace for his daughter. That's what he values above all else. He is focused in that way. Others can see that blatantly too. Others are motivated by the sense of protection within this community. Matty may constantly be teasing Ethan with some kind of threat. However, he continues to present as an ally who will have his back no matter what. Ethan has been thrown into the deep end. He doesn't want to be part of this world. He is forced into it and even finds a kindred spirit in Meredith. She too wishes to escape. She doesn't respect or admire what her father created. He has long been absent from her life. She is more than capable of looking after herself. Everyone fears and respects her. And yet, she can't truly be vulnerable with anyone. No one really feels that impulse in this world. That is sad and tragic. It makes all of this a performance so that others can also indulge in the fantasy. That isn't real to these people though. There is always the threat of war. There is the fear of what would happened if violence returned to this area. However, there is also the sense that all of these people are stuck in their emotional development because they now exist in a system that props them up as all that they have to be in order to achieve success. Some may be mournful and contemplative. That may make them dangerous. Others may be single minded in their pursuits. And others still are just trying to stay alive. There is that moment of release where Doris, Earl and Cordell can laugh together upon realizing that they all make Big Graham's life miserable. However, there is a moment of pure terror as well when Molly looks like she is going to be killed for her role in all of this. She just isn't as fragile as the world continually saw her. That may make her more active in the proceedings. Doris claimed that others always underestimated her. She did the same exact thing to Molly. She won't make that mistake again. But again, these relationships are forged by common interests instead of genuine connections. As such, the situations may be much more malleable than Doris may be hoping in order to pull off her grand plan for revenge on her brother.