Sunday, November 14, 2021

REVIEW: 'Hightown' - Renee Sticks to Her Convictions Even When Her Naivety in the Criminal World Shines Through in 'Dot Dot Dot'

Starz's Hightown - Episode 2.05 "Dot Dot Dot"

Jackie and Ray both realize a distressing truth. Frankie feels threatened. Renee proves herself to be ruthless.

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 Starz's Hightown.

"Dot Dot Dot" was written by Lloyd Gilyard Jr. and directed by Eagle Egilsson

The only place where Renee can feel safe happens to be Ray's rock bottom. That reveals just how depressing the state of affairs happen to be across the narrative. She is propelled back to him because of a shocking gun shot. Her killing Jorge isn't even the first shot fired. The first, of course, is Daisy in the extravagant home Jorge has gifted to her. That moment affirms once more just how vicious and volatile Frankie can be. That hasn't exactly been forgotten this season. However, it's clear that this is the episode where everything starts to escalate a little bit. It puts things into perspective. Renee is tired and exhausted by the life she is living with Frankie. Part of that comes from her pure hatred towards Jorge. But she knows just how dangerous and depressing this world can be. She is a manager of a strip club. That's technically a step up for her. And yet, she doesn't operate with any certainty or control. Even in her own agency, she has to react according to how she believes others will respond to her news. She is a strong and protective mother. That's her natural instinct. She gets clarity that she wants to continue the pregnancy following a minor traffic accident. In doing so, that already sets the stage for a clash to occur. It doesn't happen between her and Frankie though. Instead, Jorge is the one who suffers the consequences. She tries her best to exert her own power and dominance. It blows up in her face because she is out of her depth. She is still working with the task force. However, she can't rely on them for any support. She is making her own decisions from moment to moment. It's all spontaneous for her. That's the case when she decides to let Jorge die. That's true when she pays off the cleaners to help her cover up the crime. It's also true when she returns to Ray. That can be seen as confirmation of their love. It's mostly just protection though. It's the only safe place where she knows where to go. It's still a depressing place. That was true long before Ray was assaulted. Alan commented on Ray hitting rock bottom after being fired from the job. He even feared that his former partner would commit suicide. He was concerned. Ray assuaged his fears. Even then, Ray is still in that headspace. All it takes is him conveniently running into a face from his past. The consequences of his actions on the job still reverberate throughout this community. He can't continue to play off his firing. That's the reality he has to accept. He can no longer be a part of this team with Jackie and Alan. That part of his life is gone. He can't get it back. And yet, Renee shows up and declares her love. That may only reinvigorate his spirit and make him delusional once more about what he deserves. It's the two of them propping up the idea that the other person offers them total salvation. They need that in their lives. They believe the other is the only person who can offer it because they saved each other both in the past and right now when they are in danger. And yet, it's necessary to have people who are free to call each other out on their bad behavior. Jackie is excited about her new romance. She feels confident in every aspect of her job. And yet, Ed followed a bad tip and Daisy is killed. Those aren't a direct result of Jackie refusing to hold herself accountable for the past. However, it leaves her adrift and unable to help those who need acceptance as they too go through their own tragic cycles. Instead, she just piles on the misery. That's how her life has been conditioned. And so, she targets others just as viciously. She feels things deeply. Leslie disappears after Jackie declares her love via text. Jackie views that as a mistake on par with what Ed has done. Those decisions aren't on equal footing. That continues to be the way Jackie sees the world though. If that continues, then only more chaos and destruction will be welcomed into this world. Even more lives will be lost as the criminal elements continue to gain influence. Of course, the truth can only set them free to a certain extent. They still have to make better decisions in the future with the awareness of all the consequences that may entail. At this point, no one is capable of achieving that perfection. They shouldn't have to either. And yet, the misery they embrace is tragic and dire to the point where everyone should be concerned about the decisions being made.