Wednesday, December 9, 2020

REVIEW: 'Big Mouth' - Nick, Andrew, Jessi, Missy and Matthew Confront Their Fears During Halloween in 'Horrority House'

Netflix's Big Mouth - Episode 4.09 "Horrority House"

A trippy haunted house hosted by Kappa Kappa Kill forces each of the friends to reckon with their biggest fears.

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 Netflix's Big Mouth.

"Horrority House" was written by Emily Altman & Victor Quinaz and directed by Dave Stone

Fear and anxiety have dominated these young characters' lives this season. And now, they are forced to confront these fears during an especially heinous haunted house put on by the local sorority. These kids are drugged. There is no getting around that fact. The show states over and over again that Kappa Kappa Kill is a monstrous organization that has no real concern for the well-being of others especially children. And yet, the purpose of this story is for the kids to confront what has defined their fears as of late. For many of them, these concerns have risen up slowly as their lives have matured. For others, it's just what they are worried about right now. Andrew's fear of death hasn't been a series long concern of his. It was simply a worry his parents passed on to him following his grandfather's death. He now believes any moment could turn deadly for him. That mostly provides this episode with its comedic levity. At one point, Andrew's insides are sucked out through his butt before a plane explodes. That is so completely outrageous. But again, it's fitting of how gross this character is in his overall demeanor. He worries about that kind of public humiliation. That kind of shame has already happened repeatedly in his life. The Shame Wizard is always impressed whenever he gets to stop by and torment him about his latest actions. But this story is mostly about returning Andrew to his baseline of needing to masturbate because it's one of the few things he truly has control over in his life. He shouldn't fret about death because it is completely random in the end. The rest of the stories center on more existential crises for the core characters. Missy has yearned for a greater understanding of her identity this season. That has also made her fear that the various pieces of her identity are actually at war with one another for control over her being. They must attack to survive. Only one can prevail. That isn't true at all. She can be so many things at once. It's reassuring when she can put all the pieces together to create a more fulfilling life for herself. It's one that includes a new voice actress. But that only continues to showcase the evolution she is on. She doesn't have all the answers at the moment. However, she is growing more confident. That reassurance allows the show to make this transition without anyone growing too concerned about any of it. Meanwhile, Jessi knows how to be anxious and depressed. Those emotions have been in her life for awhile now. Her new therapist can even diagnose her. In doing so though, she fears a life of being treated differently. She knows how her peers treat Coach Steve. She doesn't want to be just like him. She fears that she is. She doesn't know how to cope with that. It's suggested that she should highlight the things in her life she is grateful to have. That's hard for her to do. With the introduction of a new monster, it lessens the burden a little bit. It allows her to deal with the unfortunate circumstances that have defined her life until this point. It's not necessary to worry about the extremes in any given situation. No one is going to die based on the choices that these kids make right now. Matthew also lives in that headspace. He fears that he has to choose between his mother and his boyfriend. It doesn't have to be so absolute. Their relationships may be changing. However, he doesn't have to sacrifice one in order to have a more rewarding bond with the other. Instead, it has to remain an ongoing conversation about the best way to cope moving forward as things evolve. Matthew, Jessi, Missy and Andrew receive these pieces of clarity by the conclusion of this episode. Meanwhile, Jay is devastated when Lola doesn't reciprocate his declaration of love. These two have worked well throughout this entire season. This may become a significant roadblock for them. Jay is more vulnerable with her than anyone else. And yet, she doesn't share the same affection apparently. He runs away though instead of wanting to have that conversation continue. That too highlights the struggles of young love and how easy it is to react in a big way to these developments. And finally, Nick may only spiral out of control further with his night of horror. He is attacked by his older self. He sees that as the monster that has to be slain. He can only do so by protecting himself. It's a prospect he has to embrace at every single moment. It means he runs away from his friends after they are freed. It's the only way to ensure his survival. It also pushes away the people who can help him. It's a destructive pattern no matter what. It's seen as a rational thought as well. This is what his anxiety dictates. It is only amplified through this experience. He doesn't have the hormone monsters or friends to offer much clarity. That sets up a finale where his identity is much more likely to shatter than any of his peers despite their many turbulent stories this year.