Thursday, April 15, 2021

REVIEW: 'Rebel' - Rebel Looks for More Evidence to Improve the Strength of the Case Against Stonemore for Cruz in 'Patient X'

ABC's Rebel - Episode 1.02 "Patient X"

Blindsided and upset by Grady's sudden change of heart, Rebel proceeds to help Cruz build their case against Stonemore and enlists Lana's assistance to convince a former patient to aid in their case. Cassidy shares surprising news with Cruz who is simultaneously dealing with trauma from his own past. Nate tries to prove Rebel wrong and recruits a colleague to help with his heart valve study.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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 ABC's Rebel.

"Patient X" was written by Krista Vernoff and directed by Adam Arkin

Once more, it doesn't seem like this show is all that interested in being subtle. That's all an extension of its lead character who is absolutely relentless and hard-charging. It's a very fine line to balance though. It varies from moment to moment whether Rebel is seen as a champion fighting against injustices or just a bully. Her personality and spirited nature are seemingly all it takes to stretch out Jason's disciplinary hearing until Lana can arrive with the evidence to prove he was telling the truth. Even then, it's also noticeable that she doesn't pick up on the subtle details of life around her. She doesn't notice the swastika that has been painted onto his house. Lana can't avoid that. She sees it plainly. The two of them are walking into Jason's life. He is already dealing with a lot. He doesn't need them to make it much worse. Their actions help him though. As such, he is indebted to them. That's the way Rebel operates. She takes on causes to fight for those abused by the powerful in this world. However, she also takes on causes just in order to gain support elsewhere. It's very clear to see. Jason recognizes that. He didn't invite Rebel along for this hearing. She just keeps walking alongside him. Lana does all the hard work. She uses Rebel's name to actually earn trust and learn what's going on. Rebel is just blindsided by all the evidence the school already has against Jason. In fact, this one incident may not be the only thing that can potentially get him fired. And yet, he is essentially cut from the same cloth as Rebel. They are harsh on people. They have high standards. They treat people with respect only when it's earned. They are preparing for a fight. That unifies them. Again, it presents a case where once again people have to yell and be obnoxious in order to actually get through to Rebel. She is so often the person driving the story forward. Her intentions are more valid and must take center stage. It can be exhausting. Honestly, no one should blame Cassidy for walking away and trying to forge her own path. Of course, she will still be working alongside a parent. Her father will be her new boss. She isn't even in this environment for a day before it gets messy with the personal dynamics involved. That may be the nature of life for this family. They see the benefits of being together. No one gets left behind or ignored. And yet, Ziggie has to scream in order to convince her parents to do things in a rational way. These people explode and treat that as the norm. It's the way the show operates. That's what makes the quiet moments work incredibly well. They are simply more powerful because the show understands the emotion that comes from it. It's important to the overall story. It's visceral when Rebel just lets a moment pass knowing that Cruz is realizing his wife didn't have to die after receiving this heart valve. She passes that along to Ziggie as well. That moment shows that Rebel has the capacity to understand the complex human emotions and reactions to life's traumatic events. It's simply more comfortable for her to be a hard-charging presence because that's seemingly the only way to get things done. She pulls her entire family into this mess. Some of them are completely unwilling to do so. They would love to escape to their own lives. This episode does a better job in defining the focus of the central stories. Rebel and her children are given independent perspectives. They are the ones driving the narrative forward. The show is not about Rebel and her ex-husbands. Sure, Grady is given a brief moment of personal agency as well. At the moment though, it's all about Rebel and her relationships with her children. That is more complex and meaningful. She relies on all of them for support in the Stonemore case. She doesn't always receive it. That is disappointing. She views it as a personal betrayal even. And yet, she still gets a satisfying moment of victory. That too may be the pattern of stories here. Rebel fights and fights. She manages to prevail in the end despite the personal wreckage that may occur after it's all done. She found her Patient X and filed the lawsuit against Stonemore after all. Plus, Cruz finally found the courage to look at Sharon's autopsy report. Those are important steps. The battle is just beginning though.