Saturday, February 12, 2022

REVIEW: 'Inventing Anna' - A Trip to Morocco with Anna Creates Horrors for Kacy and Rachel in 'Friends in Low Places'

Netflix's Inventing Anna - Episode 1.06 "Friends in Low Places"

Vivian obtains footage of Anna's ill-fated trip to Morocco, an extravagant retreat with Rachel, Kacy and a videographer that quickly spirals into chaos.

"Friends in Low Places" was written by Jess Brownell and directed by Nzingha Stewart

Vivian receives video of Anna during one of her trips aboard. For the first time, she can actually witness Anna's behavior before her life was placed behind bars. It is no longer necessary to interview someone to get a full detailing of events. That has been the basic structure of the show. It continues to be so here. Yes, the presence of footage helps enhance Vivian's understanding of the events. She still needs people to put it into context. That means she talks with the videographer and Kacy. This is the story from their perspective. They certainly offer details about what this grueling experience was like for Rachel. However, she isn't the one sharing her story. It's being told by others. Vivian wants to include her perspective. It's vital. She remains evasive. She may be a true friend to Kacy and dating Noah. However, she wants to avoid Vivian and Anna for as long as possible. The truth is coming out though. That's Vivian's grand ambition. She has so many details about what Anna did. She yearns to understand how she got away with it at every turn. It's mostly just a case of her luring people into her world until they go blind to just how reckless and dangerous her actions are. It takes true outsiders to get their friends away from her. Kacy thanks the universe for getting food poison. It left her in bed for a week. That spared her from the horrors that were happening in Morocco. Of course, Anna still looked to her for financial assistance. That money is never going to be repaid. Neff continues to be special in that way. All of this actually details how Neff is the central figure with a compelling character arc across the season. She remains a friend of Anna's. She is simply no longer allowing that friendship to come at the expense of her own personal agency. That's a fascinating dynamic. Sure, she is quick to take Anna's side. She has contempt for Rachel as well. She was so eager to spend this money Anna assured her she had. Once the burden fell on her, it was absolutely crippling. It made it easy for Noah to argue that they needed to abandon Anna in Morocco. That's the smart decision that keeps them alive. They went to this foreign country as arrogant tourists with no true appreciation for the culture. They didn't know why they should celebrate this place or be respectful to its people. They just want some fabulous adventure. It turned into a nightmare instead.

However, that's the way that Kacy and Noah experienced the trip. The episode ends with the suggestion that Rachel could view things completely differently. She serves as a crucial witness who can corroborate one side over the other. Vivian will more than likely track her down and get her to talk somehow. That too is the basic formula that has driven each episode. The season hasn't exactly presented her as a smart and cunning journalist. She basically just tells every source that she won't use their name when detailing this story. She gets them all to open up so easily. The only adversity she has faced was dealing with her bosses who were skeptical in the beginning. That is no longer a concern. She can pursue this case how she sees fit. That includes going out on a double date with Todd and his wife. Vivian and Todd's lives have become consumed by Anna. Mags and Jack actually enjoy mocking them. The work still takes priority though. It is deemed important while the spouses are simply left behind to serve as sounding boards for the various developments. Vivian has plenty of those in her life. Again, it's not creative storytelling. This episode is a slight improvement simply because so much time is actually spent on those personally victimized by Anna. It takes true strength for any of them to cut her out of their lives. Kacy has done well for herself. And yet, she still fears that this young woman will outlast her and make her suffer for ever betraying her. That fear radiates even though she now has enough perspective to be grateful it wasn't worse. Those boundaries have been laid out for her. She appreciates the friends who helped her see that. Of course, the show itself has complete tunnel vision for Anna. She breaks down on the tennis court after learning her loan has been approved. That reaction is created by one final check on her trust in person. It all plays as her realizing this is as far as she could possibly go. She bought into her own hype. She demanded respect no matter where she went. She fooled so many people. They loved her unique standing in the world. It was still all a lie that ended in disaster. It's that simple. The show still struggles in portraying complexity in the situation though. Instead, it's all about Anna quickly creating an excuse for sobbing over what should be happy news. People shouldn't really buy into it. The show rarely takes that skeptical view when it pertains to anyone dealing with Anna. Consequences come. That's why Vivian is interested. The show just never wants to break either one way in supporting or condemning Anna Delvey.