Sunday, August 30, 2020

REVIEW: 'P-Valley' - Clifford Needs Everyone's Best Performances During the Pynk's Final Night in 'Last Call for Alcohol'

Starz's P-Valley - Episode 1.07 "Last Call for Alcohol"

Uncle Clifford goes to war for the hearts and minds of Chucalissa. Back at the club, the Pynk family comes together to prepare for its biggest night yet.

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 Starz's P-Valley.

"Last Call for Alcohol" was written by Patrik-Ian Polk and directed by Sydney Freeland

Clifford is willing to work with anyone in the hopes of keeping his business afloat. He will make a deal with Patrice despite hurting Mercedes in the process. At the end of the day though, his only accomplishment may have been publicizing the deal for the casino. The land developers and local politicians were hoping to keep that quiet. That way they would be allowed to make all the deals in the cover of night. Now, they have to conduct business in the light. The people of this community will have their voices be heard regarding its future. Sure, they are susceptible to the persuasions of their local leaders. People trust what Clifford and Patrice have to say on the subject. They will lead their followers in this cause. And yet, Clifford essentially has to admit that he only has one more night of ownership of the Pynk. This could be the final shift for his club. It's devastating. He is emotional about it. But he also feels the burden of being strong for his girls. He has to make this a night to remember. He needs to know that he did everything in his power to prevent the inevitable from happening. He knows that his colleagues will be in disarray if they can no longer prosper in this business. Life in the outside world won't always be kind to them. They will be pushed to the brink and may suffer because of the cruelty of society. They found a collective home at the Pynk. Some have allowed themselves to hope and dream about what comes next for them. Hailey has been running her money scheme. She has stayed in Chucalissa for a base to run this operation. She isn't planning on staying though. She has a generous spirit. She wants to help Mercedes realize her dream of opening up a dance studio. As the realtor previously pointed out, Mercedes may not succeed as a businesswoman. She still deserves the chance to try. She doesn't want to be back on the pole hoping the tips are enough for her to survive. She agrees to do so here out of courtesy to Clifford. She wants to make this a good last night for the Pynk. She has invested in this place as well. She is one of the brightest stars to come out of here. Her future may be uncertain. However, her connections in this place allow her to feel full in a way that the outside world doesn't know how to adapt to quite yet. All of this narrative dread could ultimately be for nothing as well. Mayor Ruffin certainly views Andre as blowing up this deal. He is making offers that seem foolish. Andre feels a responsibility to do right by his community. He can do so while maintaining his sense of integrity. Sure, he is essentially cheating on his wife with Hailey. But his devotion to this community is also coming out through his actions. He is invested in making this place better. He saw the casino project as a major step in that direction. But he also sees the corrupt actions of those who wish to remain in power and control throughout this whole process. They wield that expertly and still manage to get ahead. Meanwhile, Clifford is left behind struggling to make ends meet. He has to keep himself together for one night. He'll need Lil Murda's support the following day when the business is auctioned away from him. He has that clarity. He knows exactly what he needs and when he'll need it. And yet, so much drama is happening before the girls even get up on the stage for Murda Night. Hailey is rattled by seeing her former husband. She left him for dead. She saw vindication in stealing his money. He has hunted her down. He is dangerous. Mercedes may be able to sense that something isn't right with her friend. And yet, this business needs every girl to earn as much as she can knowing that there is no tomorrow. As such, some behavior may be rationalized in the end. Clifford wants the girls to promise not to break any of the laws. Hailey does that when she dances for Andre. Everyone has gotten so close and personally entangled. It means tensions are high as Murda prepares to hit the stage. This performance could shape what happens next in his career. This night is important. The fallout will be just as critical for these characters. The show has set up all this fraught drama. Now, the finale will outline just how expansive the consequences will be and if the ensemble can still keep hope alive for brighter days ahead of them.