Wednesday, April 1, 2020

REVIEW: 'Brockmire' - Jules' Career in Baseball Promotion Goes Through Epic Highs and Lows in 'Low and Away'

IFC's Brockmire - Episode 4.03 "Low and Away"

Baseball is barely holding on so Jim turns to the one person he knows can turn it around: Jules.

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 IFC's Brockmire.

"Low and Away" was written by Alex Reid and directed by Maurice Marable

Jim Brockmire landed in Morristown back in the first season because it was the only place that would have him. Jules had a vision for revitalizing baseball in this town. It could be the sport that makes this a thriving city of the future. In its fourth season, the show has actually jumped ahead to that future. It's such a bleak world. One ravaged by the corruption of the world and the abuse of the planet. As such, no one is really prioritizing the world of sports. It doesn't matter as much as the life and death stakes of continuing to stay alive. In fact, the show says that Arizonians only have a few years left of sustainability. But all of this highlights the personal stakes for the characters as well. They have a personal impact on the world of sports. Jules does enough on her own to turn people around from loving baseball. The sport has meant so much to her throughout her life. It was her father's entire world. She had to convince him to step away from the sport. He could have a life outside of baseball. That isn't the advice that anyone else is willing to take at the moment though. They view baseball as the one source of comfort in a trying and tragic world. Not many people share that same sensibility. It's easy to walk away from that admiration after seeing a man literally explode in front of thousands of people. Jules went on her own rise throughout the series. She had to step out of her friendship with Brockmire in order to achieve her own success. She succeeded in that endeavor as well. She was happy as an arena promoter. She helped stadiums increase attendance. She did so long before Brockmire was tasked with that impossible responsibility. She went after these big gambits. One blows up in her face. Body parts rain down on the audience. It's absolutely horrifying. People could see the warning signs that this famous magician wanted to die during his latest act. There was even a suicide note left behind on social media for anyone to see. Jules didn't though. She just wanted to promise an incredible feat. One that would dazzle the audience during this game in 2024. Afterwards, she is right back in Morristown. She holds on tight to make this town the vision of rural economic sustainability. It isn't though. That actually disappeared a long time ago. She is holding onto an idea that is no longer feasible. She sees the eternal flame caused by the local fracking as a tourist attraction. Something that can help revitalize the town once more. It's the only thing she wants to focus on. She doesn't want to be a part of baseball anymore. She doesn't think anyone would even be willing to give her a chance in that world again. It's the latest example of a woman being forever punished because of one mistake while men are frequently given numerous chances to fail and return to the spotlight. Brockmire is the biggest example of that. He was a pariah in the sport. And now, he is the commissioner of baseball. That's an incredible rise to power. He now feels invigorated in that position. He can bring Charles and Jules back in to consult for how to improve the standing of the sport. That is a goal they all understand or can at least rally around. Jules doesn't want to. She wants to be done with that part of her life. Again, this is a dystopian future. One where the commercials are even presenting their services as a matter of life or death. It's absolutely horrifying. But the twisted sense of humor at the heart of it is very effective too. This episode has to break Jules down and crush her dreams about her hometown for good. It's devastating. This is the path the world may be on. There is no coming back. The season may eventually explain that all hope is not lost. Perhaps baseball can save the world from pending apocalypse. Or maybe it will serve as a nice outlet to rally around as a community. Right now, it's just important that the core trio are reunited and may even do great things together once more despite their numerous shortcomings. Jules blatantly has a drugs and alcohol problem now after all. Morristown startles Brockmire when he shows up at the bar. This is a hellscape he needs to escape from as soon as possible. It's easy for the audience to see that too instead of just being from Brockmire's perspective like it was in the first season. He has grown. And now, Jules has the opportunity to expand her focus once more with the support of people who want her to succeed if she can allow herself to trust them again.