Sunday, September 6, 2020

REVIEW: 'P-Valley' - Hailey Faces Her Terrifying Past in the Paradise Room as the Pynk Prepares for Foreclosure in 'Murda Night'

Starz's P-Valley - Episode 1.08 "Murda Night"

Folks from Biloxi to Atlanta pack out the Pynk to see two shining stars ascend to the heavens on a truly unforgettable night. Meanwhile, Autumn's past finally catches up with her.

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 season finale of Starz's P-Valley.

"Murda Night" was written by Katori Hall and directed by Barbara Brown

No one knows what the future will bring. Everyone is terrified because the Pynk is likely to be sold during the auction. They only have one last night to put on a show. They put everything into this performance as well. They want to go out on a high. It can allow new opportunities to arise. Lil Murda and Keyshawn can perform for someone who wants to manage them. And yet, everyone at the Pynk deserves the same amount of safety and respect that they receive during every other night of business. Clifford takes so many precautions to protect his girls. He knows this can be a scary and dangerous business for them. They are exposed and vulnerable. Sure, they flaunt their athleticism all the time. Most people seek to objectify and fetishize them though. They only see the apparent sexuality coming through their bodies. They don't look beyond that to see the strong and powerful women who are commanding such attention. They can accomplish so much. However, they need to trust that the people who run this business will keep them safe no matter what. Clifford uses cameras to always be aware of what is happening in his building. He doesn't know everything though. People are distracted. There are severe consequences for that as well. The Pynk could be doomed because of the shootout that occurs during the final night of business. And yes, it certainly can be scandalous. Furthermore, it condemns this place as an environment that is nothing more than crime and violence. However, the business is still positioned as something that can provide economic opportunity and improvement for the people caught up in its world. But again, businesses either succeed or fail based on their management. Clifford is strong in some areas. He is weak in some other aspects though. He can recognize problems that are arising. He understands personal relationships. He has a strong sense of identity that demands respect despite the discrimination he faces everywhere he goes. He fears how people will react to him. He deserves to exist and fill up space. Lil Murda wants to offer him more. However, he is terrified too. When the idea of being public with their relationship comes up, he shuns away. It's devastating while being a completely quiet moment. So much happens. It pushes the two of them away because they don't know how to be open to the world with everything they are. They can be private and invite certain people in to experience their truths. The cost of business seemingly demands them to be something else entirely though. Murda's perspective manager wants authenticity in his clients. He sees that in Keyshawn. He is more intrigued by her than Murda. He may make too many promises he can't deliver on. However, he has that confidence. With Murda, he seems like so many other artists out there just trying to make it with less-than-ideal equipment. The passion and local success may not be enough. It's admirable to pursue those endeavors though. Keyshawn deserves happiness and success. She remains terrified of Derek though. Diamond seeks to intervene. That causes the public scene that ruins the night. It's also him choosing to act in this dangerous situation instead of the one happening with Hailey, Mercedes and Montavius.

Throughout this finale, people acknowledge that things aren't right in the Paradise room. Orders are given to do something about that. The people in charge with keeping things in order though are prioritizing their own interests instead of helping the girls whose lives are on the line. Big L is gone for most of the night working his new side hustle. Diamond is distracted by Keyshawn and believes she wants her husband dead even though she has never said that. A man is projecting his opinion onto a woman without caring how she is feeling in a particular moment. Yes, Keyshawn is in danger with Derek. She is still willing to pull a gun on Diamond to diffuse this situation. That is a rational action to her. The presence of a weapon though isn't enough to ease the tension in every moment. Clifford and Mercedes do their best to rescue Hailey from Montavius. They are the best available options for her because everyone else has abandoned their posts. It leads to Montavius' death. That allows Hailey to walk around with newfound confidence afterwards with the money she has taken. She can flaunt that proudly now. It allows the Pynk to be saved from foreclosure. It puts a wrench in the plan Mayor Ruffin and Andre were hoping to achieve. In her former life, Hailey was a corporate accountant. Her becoming Clifford's new partner may ensure a better future for the Pynk. She can handle that side of the business. But this environment is still deeply fractured. The lot has been secured. The personal dynamics amongst the employees have been damaged. They all seek out some clarity and understanding to help them keep going. Being responsible for a man's death hits Mercedes hard. She is rejected by her mother once more. She is welcomed at the Pynk. That has to be good enough. This place can still bring people together. They just happen to be bonded by secrets that could destroy them should they ever be revealed. That's precarious for them while ensuring plenty of compelling drama for the viewer. This show promises the delight of economic change in this area of Mississippi. It may forever be on the horizon instead of actually becoming true. These characters hustle to get a piece of that prosperity for themselves. Hailey gives back here. She doesn't run away. She has found a home in the Pynk even though changes will need to be made to rebuild respect and trust. She is the savior. She survives as the true face of hope for Chucalissa. That is good enough for some. It's aggravating to others. It's powerful to her after years of being terrified by Montavius and recently mourning the death of her child.