Thursday, April 22, 2021

REVIEW: 'Rebel' - Rebel Helps Cruz Craft an Emotional Argument to Maintain Trust in the Stonemore Case in 'Superhero'

ABC's Rebel - Episode 1.03 "Superhero"

Rebel and a group of residents take a stand to fight for clean water. Cassidy's new role puts the Stonemore case in jeopardy. Grady grows frustrated when Rebel remains consumed with her work. Cruz reaches his breaking point.

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.

"Superhero" was written by Jamie Denbo and directed by Wendey Stanzler

Rebel was completely surprised by Grady filing for a divorce. She has obviously gone through the process before. She didn't expect it from her current marriage though. And now, the show is offering some dimension to the men who have been romantically entangled with her. It turns out that Benji is just as manipulative as she is. Cassidy comes to realize that. She believed every decision she has made so far was done out of her own desires. And now, she comes to understand that her father has been coercing her into potentially derailing the big case that Rebel has been setting up against Stonemore. Luke argues that Cassidy having a seat at the table will ensure that she has the power to get things done the way she wants. And yet, that action already proves to be costly for her. She is now perceived to be just as cruel and heartless through the sheer association with these tactics. She makes the decision she believes will be best for her. She is then surprised when it has consequences in her personal life. She makes the plaintiffs in the suit have to choose whether or not they can still have Cruz as their attorney knowing that this conflict-of-interest exists. This corporate entity and their lawyers force these suffering people into making an agonizing decision. Rebel enters believing that an emotional appeal is the only way to make Cruz seem up for the job. She needs him to understand the pain that they all are in. She sees through Benji's actions. They are at war with Cassidy caught in the middle. She wants her own agency. In the end, she loses Amir. No certainty comes from that. In fact, all of Rebel's children feel adrift because of the high-stakes that everything is perceived as having. Ziggy argues that her whole family is at war with each other. It's intense. She is overly dramatic. And yet, the narrative really wants to prop up these conflicts in those terms. They are extreme. Ziggy isn't on the sidelines either. Her sobriety has to be a priority. However, she feels trapped between her parents who are actively hostile towards each other now. She was the one who suggested they go to marriage counseling. It now seems as if they are using that as the latest battlefield for their conflict. Rebel shows a desire to attend and work on her marriage. She doesn't actually make it into the room. Instead, her attention is elsewhere. She must take action when she sees injustice in the world. That includes the episodic plot of fighting against a landlord who refuses to fix the broken pipes in his building. Tenants complain about water not being safe to drink. They are forcibly removed. Rebel hopes to inspire others to take action. She is bold and public with her declarations. Her interests are far-reaching. She is proud of the work she does. Her loved ones care about her work as well. Grady wants to feel like a priority too though. He doesn't feel that in this marriage. He thinks he's an afterthought. That would seemingly make it easier for him to cheat. That's the action he is willing to take by the end of things here. Meanwhile, Rebel just wants to know that someone loves and appreciates her. She achieves victories across town. And yet, the comfort comes from knowing that her loved ones still look deeper and see a person they respect. Right now, it seems like Cruz is the only person capable of giving that to her. In reality, he is the one who needs help. Again, the show isn't subtle about the power of using emotion to win an argument. In fact, the show is really started to get scattered with its depiction of the legal profession and how people can obtain justice. Rebel is a firecracker though. She is determined to succeed. She makes noise. She alienates those who are suppose to be close with her. Lana manages to have perfectly healthy relationships with both Rebel and Benji. That doesn't seem difficult to her. Rebel isn't built that way. That is apparent. Her children seem stunted in that way as well. They have power and authority in this world though. They must use that responsibly. At the moment, it plays as the mistakes of one generation wielding consequences for the next in ways that no one truly understands or grasps.