Sunday, January 12, 2020

REVIEW: 'Dare Me' - Beth Pushes Tacy Into a Dire Situation to Exert Her Dominance Over the Squad in 'Surrender at Discretion'

USA's Dare Me - Episode 1.03 "Surrender at Discretion"

As Addy gets closer to Colette, Beth takes drastic action to regain control of the squad.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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 USA's Dare Me.

"Surrender at Discretion" was written by Ariel Schrag and directed by Lauren Wolkstein

Personal boundaries are being crossed. The pressure to project strength and the desire to fit in amongst their peers is what fuels the willingness to go beyond their limits. Colette continues to pump the squad up. She needs to motivate them into being their best. They have to be supportive of each other. They can't exist based on a hierarchy that oppresses whomever they deem unworthy. Colette understands the potential that Tacy has. She sees a great talent that can still be molded. Some girls may be too far gone for her to change their behavior. In fact, Colette seems to welcome and support it. It is truly startling to watch as Addy just joins Colette and Will on their date in the woods. A teenage girl is a third wheel for her coach and the man she is cheating on her husband with. It's weird and icky. But again, it highlights the connection that Colette has fostered. She sees greatness within Addy as well. She sees her as a girl who has been forced into one role for far too long despite the ambitions she has. She may not match the physical requirements to be the showcase girl at the top of the pyramid. However, her tumbling skills are incredible. Colette may only be singing her praises in order to continue relying on her discretion when it comes to this affair. This inclusion fosters a sense of intimacy and trust. Colette understands how vital that is for the flow of the team. This is her managing the situation to the best of her ability. It can all be beneficial to Addy as well. She has a new source to engage her talents. She no longer has to solely rely on Beth in order to feel personally motivated and inspired. But again, Colette may be cultivating a toxic atmosphere. She invites the entire squad to her house without telling her husband. Even more damning, she freely serves alcohol and encourages all to partake. She has no problem with these teenagers drinking and then driving. That's a part of their world already. It's a way to bring the team closer together. That is the most important thing at the moment because of the video that has to be perfect. The team may fail on purpose just to get Beth back in the top girl position. They don't view Tacy as being worthy of that showcase role. Colette disagrees. However, she isn't present to see Beth exert her influence and dominance in order to control the situation. Yes, she can overhear what Beth is saying during practice. She is leading the charge condemning her half sister. She has no love for her whatsoever. She views her solely through the context of her father's destruction of her family. That pain extends so deep. It means she is more than willing to let Tacy drown in order to remain in power. That is her showing just how strong her hold really is over the squad. Everyone joins in for this public display of physical prowess. Addy knows that ice will help Beth's injury. These women have to take care of their bodies in order to remain involved with the sport. Sure, that compromises their health in some significant ways as well. They have to remain at their physical peaks and humiliate themselves for the sheer shame of eating junk food. With the ice baths though, Beth forces Tacy into a competition. It's one where Tacy feels she can't back down no matter what. But she also feels as if she'll lose and be punished no matter what. She would be scorned by the team if she bailed first. She is also blamed for not knowing where her limits are. That shouldn't be a tactic used in order to shame someone. But it is weaponized here in such a cruel and condescending way. That too highlights the fluidity of Beth and Addy's relationship. They have been tense so far. However, they are there to sensually rub each other's bodies in order to take care of themselves. That truly is a sign of friendship that proves the intimacy between them is valid. They are intensely close. That's the release Beth was hoping to find with Kurtz. That too is a scandalous relationship. They know the potential consequences and pursue it anyway. It's a way to feel something even though it's illegal and abusive. That can define so much of this world. The pursuit of greatness comes at a significant cost. Everyone has all of their hopes and dreams on the success of this cheer squad. But the burden is simply too much for some and will force others to break. Right now, boundaries are being crossed which will make it all the more easy for tragedy to occur later on and for it to be devastating when it does.