Thursday, May 20, 2021

REVIEW: 'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' - Genevieve and Barb Flirt with Boys at a Party in the Woods in 'Banded Argiope Spider'

Freeform's Everything's Gonna Be Okay - Episode 2.08 "Banded Argiope Spider"

It's Barb's birthday and, of course, she's depressed. Genevieve takes her to a party in the woods to attempt to turn things around.

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 Freeform's Everything's Gonna Be Okay.

"Banded Argiope Spider" was written by Marissa Berlin and directed by Josh Thomas

Difficult conversations need to happen. They can't be ignored completely hoping that everything will work out for the best eventually. That's not fair to anyone involved. And yet, these characters instinctively believe that everything will be okay regardless of them voicing their true feelings. They are certain that Drea will say no to Matilda's proposal. That would be the sensible thing for an 18-year-old to do when given the option to marry. Everyone is placing their hopes on her making that difficult decision instead of voicing their concerns to Matilda themselves. They want to be happy for her. They love her. They want to be there with her to celebrate her getting engaged. They are concerned about her still being young. She is moving too fast. And yet, they don't want to hurt her. That means that conversation never happens. No one can even offer a reaction to the idea of Drea saying no. Instead, it's just a thought that lingers over the proceedings without anyone actually grappling with the reality of this moment. Of course, Drea would say yes. She is in love too. Everyone wants to believe in the happy story. And yet, that's not the case with every relationship. Nor is it true of the storytelling of this show. Nicholas and Alex have long been a stable couple. They are mostly driven together out of inertia. It's easier to just remain a couple than have any serious conversations about their feelings. They have little outbursts when those emotions become crystal clear. Those have never threatened to tear them apart. Again, Alex is simply part of this family. He is engaged with the ongoing dynamics in Nicholas, Genevieve and Matilda's lives. He is trusted with that responsibility. He cares for all of them. His entire life could be seen in service to this family. He wants his own agency. More importantly though, he wants people who actually care about him as well. Nicholas blankly believes that they are happy. That is such a contradictory opinion based on everything that has happened this season. It's clear that Alex has been upset for awhile. He has stayed in this relationship for a long time too. It's gotten to the point where everyone just sees him as part of this family even though he doesn't feel happy in this dynamic. He finally makes his exit here. He has that difficult conversation with Nicholas. It's brutal because Nicholas is completely blindsided by it. He shouldn't be surprised. He is though. He thought this was a happy and healthy relationship. They have overcome problems in the past. And yet, Alex has clarity on him being the boyfriend Nicholas needed in a time of grief and to help transition to his new role as guardian. Alex has served that purpose. He wants more agency and individuality. Instead, he has a pool. He is constantly swimming. Even that environment is invaded and interrupted. He can't find peace. He ends this relationship because he knows what's going on. He has that clarity. Nicholas denies it and still falls into the same pattern of blindly saying "I love you." It's meaningful. He cares. He just doesn't show it in a way that allows the bond to deepen and grow. And so, Alex leaves before he becomes even more entangled in this dynamic. Everyone relies on him without considering how he is doing in that moment. Genevieve shouldn't miss out on this moment with her sister just because she thinks it's a foolish idea. Barb convinces her of that. Genevieve and Barb are trying to be more honest with each other. Barb lashes out because no one seems to care about her. She doesn't pull people in like Genevieve does. Genevieve just appreciates that comment. She enjoys being the center of attention and having boys fight over her even though it's awkward seeing them trying to prove themselves to her. But again, her being selfish is reasonable because she's a teenager finding her way in the world. It's a less forgiving attribute when it comes to the older characters who yearn for the best but struggle to put in the work to make that actually happen. That too can be hard to accept. Life has been good. These characters haven't had to worry about many things. Their interpersonal dynamics are still fraught with drama. They love and support each other. They still need to be challenged and evolve over time though. It's not healthy to remain stuck in life and what has traditionally worked for so long within this unit. That comes from being honest and vulnerable even when it's difficult.