Thursday, January 16, 2020

REVIEW: 'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' - Nicholas Wants to Remain Present Despite a Painful Injury in 'Greenbottle Blue Tarantula'

Freeform's Everything's Gonna Be Okay - Episode 1.02 "Greenbottle Blue Tarantula"

Nicholas wishes he could call an adult! After the death of their father, Nicholas, Matilda and Genevieve struggle to return to their daily - and nightly - routines. Navigating the stay-at-home parent life is harder than Nicholas thought.

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 Freeform's Everything's Gonna Be Okay.

"Greenbottle Blue Tarantula" was written by Josh Thomas, Marissa Berlin & Vivienne Walshe and directed by Silas Howard

This episode offers a growing sense of connection amongst the core family. It allows the narrative to just relax into discovering who these characters are and the relationships they have. That is apparent even when Nicholas breaks his finger. In that moment, the absurdity may come from the gross visual of it all. There is no real resolution to that either. It's assumed that he is fine after eventually getting to the hospital and receiving treatment. However, the purpose of that particular story is in bringing this family together for a shared experience. They have been a part of each other's lives for a long time. They haven't always liked each other though. Nicholas had resentment towards his sisters because they took his father away. Matilda and Genevieve saw their brother as a stranger who represented a part of their father's past they didn't want to focus on. But now, they have to rely on each other. They still seek comfort in sleeping in their father's bed every single night. Part of it is the comfort it brings to each of them. Another part is the comfort it provides the others by being there as a part of it. That is just as crucial. Showing up may be half the battle in the end. That may be all that Nicholas needs to do in order to be a fine guardian. Of course, there will be ongoing issues that he'll have to sort out. He gets locked out of the house here which is why he breaks his finger after crawling through an open window. He has no idea where his insurance card is either. Nor can he drive himself to the hospital. Instead, it's a priority for him to be home when his sisters arrive from school. That is important to him. He has to be present in their lives. That offers him the clarity that he is succeeding in this new role. His mother doesn't have to worry about it being too much for him to handle either. She tries to tell him that he needs to take some time for himself to have fun as well. But the show provides that moment long before that conversation between mother and son. The episode opens with Nicholas and Alex growing closer and more intimate. They finally do have sex. But it's a nice journey getting to that point where they trust that they can go at whatever speed they are both comfortable with. It may all happen in the scope of this one night. But it showcases the instant connection they have. Sure, Nicholas may seek clarity from Alex that he can't provide because he doesn't know him well enough to tell him what to do. He just knows to freak out when a tarantula is placed on his chest. That's not something he is comfortable with. It's an experiment that Nicholas thinks will work because it's him opening up his world further. This is his career after all. He cares about these animals. As such, it's easy to understand how he could be considered a strong guardian. He knows how to keep things alive. His sisters may represent something different though. When he needs a distraction, he talks about the time Genevieve genuinely talked about suicide. That isn't a funny subject at all. In fact, the audience or the characters probably couldn't explain why it is funny in the moment when Nicholas is detailing this situation to distract himself. And yet, it is. That is so unique and odd. Again, the show treats it with all the sensitivity it deserves. Genevieve shouldn't feel second fiddle to whatever is going on in Matilda's life. She has just as much personal agency as well. The show does a nice job at balancing the three siblings too. Sure, most of the storytelling is told from Nicholas' perspective. However, it's equally important to spend time at school with Matilda and Genevieve as they try to adjust to life without a father. They are still emotional about it. It bonds them all together. And yet, the world at large doesn't know what to do with those emotions either. As such, it's important for all of them to bond. That makes this episode a success that creates a welcome template for the future. It's sweet and charming instead of relying on too much cringe-based humor. Sure, it's still awkward when Genevieve is cornered by the boy wanting to apologize for his past actions or when Nicholas is flailing around unsure of what to do. But those moments don't define the whole swath of comedic ambition in this series. As such, it feels much more nuanced than what one might initially perceive.