Sunday, February 9, 2020

REVIEW: 'Dare Me' - Will Becomes Increasingly Destructive After Seeing a Different Side of Colette in 'Code Red'

USA's Dare Me - Episode 1.06 "Code Red"

Colette feels the pressure of Regionals looming as a chance encounter leads Will to a dark place.

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.

"Code Red" was written by Danielle Henderson and directed by Josephine Decker

When Addy sees Michael getting into a car with Kurtz and Tibbs, she sees a genuine friendship growing. However, her mother operates with the clarity that it is an imbalanced power dynamic because these military recruiters want something from him. Kurtz and Tibbs may view Michael as nothing more than a target they need to secure in order to complete their mission. This is their current posting. This is what drives them forward each day. They don't operate with some moral principle. It's simply about recruiting high school teens by whatever means necessary. That's fundamentally what this job is. Will operates with a sense of higher purpose and the mentality that this life isn't for everyone. He may have regrets about the decisions he made in the past. He has had a destructive life. He is still in the process of committing a fair amount of damage too. His sheer presence is enough to unnerve Colette and make her feel as if she isn't happy with the current family dynamic she has. She was always reluctant to attend a business dinner with Matt, Bert and J.J. Will's drunken arrival gives her the excuse to place her emotional needs elsewhere. She is also more than capable of crafting a convenient lie in order to continue earning sympathy from her husband. He stands up for her at this dinner. He knows just how special and brilliant she can be. He has been furious with some of the leadership decisions she has made. And yet, he knows the value she brings to this town. She deserves to be treated with some respect. Of course, that also comes after she yells at the cheer squad for all of the petty drama happening amongst them. That doesn't even get them to change their minds about the pranks and bullying they are doing on Tacy. In fact, it may only encourage it moving forward because it presents this rough and tough exterior as the only way to properly focus on the task at hand. Everyone is building up the importance of the regionals and the pressure to succeed. Colette doesn't try to discipline the squad after what went wrong during the pep rally. In fact, it seems like nothing more than a talk about ambition and the need for young women to embrace that. They shouldn't feel ashamed for chasing after what they want. But the balance may always be tipped towards one outcome because Colette has come to depend on Addy for so much. She is complicit in the affair and even provides a sense of stability for Colette's family unit. Will is distressed the moment he sees Colette in public with her happy life. He understands in that moment that she may be using him because nothing about this family is bad. He believes that she is using Addy in the same exact way. He just doesn't have the emotional maturity to do anything about it. Instead, he assaults Kurtz for abusing Beth during the party. And then, he drinks until he demands a reaction from Colette. She gives it to him. That shows how she remains in a position of power. She wields that effectively even though she feels as if her life is spinning. That anxiety is increasing to an unhealthy level where no one seems to be sleeping all that much. It's great to get the praise and attention. However, people have to cope with all of that in a way that can sustain itself in the future. Right now, everyone wants to focus on who to blame for the accident that sidelines RiRi on the squad for good. Addy is stepping up with more responsibilities. She is dependable in that way. However, she may be whatever Colette needs her to be. That isn't a strengthening of independence. It's instead her becoming codependent with someone new. Maybe that is the way that she views friendships. The personal intimacy is deep and well drawn at this point. She remains close with Beth as well who desperately needs a sense of camaraderie in order to cope with everything going on. She has been monstrous in the past. She will likely be wild and reckless in the future as well. That shouldn't discredit her from receiving compassion when she needs it though. Everyone needs it from time to time. But again, the power dynamics of this world aren't balanced in the slightest even though people condition themselves into believing that they are. That clarity can be elusive though and lead to startling consequences like RiRi's injury or Colette having to fake a car crash.