Sunday, November 28, 2021

REVIEW: 'Hightown' - Tragic Circumstances Lead to Poor Decisions for Jackie and Ray in 'Behind Every Skirt Is a Slip'

Starz's Hightown - Episode 2.06 "Behind Every Skirt Is a Slip"

It's the day before Thanksgiving on the Cape: things are looking up for Ray, and looking grim for Jackie. Frankie is filled with anxiety over his business with Jorge.

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.

"Behind Every Skirt Is a Slip" was written by Molly Manning and directed by Eagle Egilsson

The tragic circumstances of these characters' lives are only getting more profound as the season progresses. And yet, the most tragic thing is very little has been done to actually disrupt the drug trade in the area. It truly feels like Alan is the only person with his complete focus on that core objective. He leads the task force. The lack of progress may speak to his poor management style. But he's also the one having to deal with the brutal reality of the latest deaths on the Cape. Everyone else is off dealing with their own personal drama. Alan is the one devoted to the job. He is furious that Aileen is the latest kid to end up as collateral damage. Charmaine is angry as well. That doesn't naturally bring them together as reluctant allies though. Charmaine is too cynical about the world. Her entire life has been defined by other people trying to tell her what's good for her. She pursued her own interests. She gained influence and power. It has now come at the expense of her most meaningful relationship. That is devastating for her. It will disrupt everything she has built lately with Frankie and Jorge. That will be meaningful. The audience is very aware of the distinct threat that may allow the task force to come out of this season with a major win. But it's also overwhelming to see how outmatched and outnumbered they are in dealing with these concerns. So many are ultimately compromised. That prevents them from thinking straight. And so, they only continue to indulge in poor choices. Things went from bad to worse for Jackie, Ray and Renee in the previous episode. They are still essentially doubling down on those choices. They aren't doing anything that will dramatically alter their lives. They are simply making foolish decisions they believe will help their overall survival. Again, it's playing for the moment instead of planning for the long term. Renee sought pleasure from Ray once more. They don't inherently trust each other. Ray follows her around and knows she is lying to him. He continues to have sex with her. That's his addiction leading instead of rational thoughts. Meanwhile, Jackie is too distracted by others walking away from her chaotic identity to offer any support to anyone. She continues to be very narcissistic and self-obsessed. That's dangerous because it too fuels her addiction. She doesn't relapse right away. And yet, Ed and Leslie were betrayed by Jackie in ways that cut much deeper than any of them were expecting. Ed always had Jackie's back. And now, he's realizing just how much she depended on him when she was incapable of offering the same support. He has made peace with deciding to retire. Jackie only views that as what it means for her. It's a disruption to her life instead of a choice her dear friend on the job is making. Meanwhile, Leslie is labeled as crazy simply because others got too invested too quickly in what their sexual dynamic became. It was just a fling when she was together with both Ray and Jackie. They wanted more. They seek to understand why she pushes them away. But they only seek to rationalize their behavior instead of investigate it further. It's a self-fulfilling circle of tragedy where no growth happens as a result. It may prevent Jackie and Leslie from effectively serving as partners on the task force as well. Their relationship is immediately done. Now, the audience knew this dynamic was more significant than the usual hookups Jackie pursues. She feels stuck and pent up as a result. But that's how invested she is in using sex to establish her value and worth. It means so much. It's personal intimacy and vulnerability. She opened herself up to Leslie in a way she didn't know was such a big deal. And now, Jackie closes herself off and relapses. That's significant. She can't find the words either. It's easier to drink than to share with her fellow alcoholics. All of these secrets are bound to explode at some point. Some characters may be able to delay the inevitable. Some are bound to come out sooner than later this season. A good deed or an apology isn't enough to make up for the heinous actions that have occurred. True accountability is still very much elusive. Meanwhile, Osito is thriving in prison far removed from this ongoing drama. So, drug dealers still prosper even if Frankie's operation is no longer certain and the key business destroying the community.