Monday, May 9, 2022

REVIEW: 'Candy' - The Events of a Murder Are Seen Directly Before and After While the Motive Remains Mysterious in 'Friday the 13th'

Hulu's Candy - Episode 1.01 "Friday the 13th"

Candy Montgomery goes about her day while Allan Gore desperately tries to get a hold of his wife, Betty.

"Friday the 13th" was directed by Michael Uppendahl with story by Robin Veith & Nick Antosca and teleplay by Robin Veith

This premiere details the day Betty Gore was murdered. It actually depicts the hours leading up to the event and the hours following it. However, the actual event itself is shrouded in mystery. The audience has a firm understanding that Candy Montgomery is responsible. She leaves Betty's home covered in blood. Her perfect suburban housewife exterior has gone away in favor of absolute mania. She spends the hours that follow worried about getting caught. It's agonizing for Betty's husband, Allan, as he calls and calls hoping to get through to his wife. With each passing hour, he grows more concerned for her well being. He can't find her and no one can get into the house to know what's happened despite the front door being unlocked. Even when they do make the gruesome discovery, everyone immediately assumes she was shot to death. That's the story passed along to Allan who then shares it with Candy. It's not an official cause of death. And yet, it's enough encouragement for Candy to immediately perk up. She has just been giving this horrifying news. She declares that everything is going to be okay. It's not said to comfort Allan on the other end of the call. It's not sharing with her own husband, Pat, what has happened. Instead, it's all about her believing she will get away with this murder. The direction then cuts away to the actual murder weapon: an ax. But again, it's all about the vicious uncertainty pertaining to this action. It's not meant to offer much clarity about why this happened. It's simply suppose to live in the moment with these characters. A portion of time is missing from the narrative. That's done on purpose. Of course, everyone is aware that Betty is going to die. It's spelled out onscreen in the hours leading up to the tragedy. She is already overwhelmed by life. She's disappointed that Allan is leaving for a work trip. She voices her concerns both to him and his boss. She's dealing with a newborn baby constantly crying. She has her tricks to ease the child back to sleep. It's still a lot. People constantly talk about her as the person who doesn't know how to have fun. The other moms condemn her for taking everything so seriously. Betty simply wishes to raise her children differently. Meanwhile, the rest of the clique adheres to their faith while seeing the benefits of sneaking in some snacks and seeing the new Star Wars movie. That's the ideal Candy hopes to embody. Of course, she also wants to be seen as the super-parent capable of anything. She adds more errands to her schedule believing it will all work out for her. The only thing standing in her way is time and the inability of the rest of the world to conform to her own schedule.

Candy certainly has her own struggles with kids. She is responsible for watching over a bunch of them. A few are her own. Another is staying over for a couple nights in a row. And then, bible study is a major responsibility where the community seeks to uplift the teachings of Gods in their own fun ways. Candy details a story about a little tree being upset it wasn't allowed to grow big and strong only to be celebrated for becoming the cross that symbolizes Jesus' suffering for all eternity. She wants everyone to be aware of the value of waiting for something better to come along. It's not worth it to be disappointed over not getting something. It wasn't the plan given to them. It's all in service of something more that they can't understand. When the clarity does arrive, the glory is even sweeter. It's Candy essentially trying to learn this lesson herself while communicating with the children. She wants to be giving of herself in this space. She wants to have something completely her own. And yet, she is shot down everywhere she goes. Of course, other people's demands are fully responsible. Candy operates with a sense of arrogance and willingness to break from the agreed upon schedule. She sets the terms of friendship with Betty. As a result, Betty simply has to go along with every shocking twist and turn. That apparently includes her own murder. In that moment, it's clear Candy snapped and took out her rage on Betty. She did so with no concern for the screaming child in the other room. Instead, that infant is left behind to suffer for hours. It's pure agony. The tension only grows. Candy is fully aware of what she has done. She tries her best to cover it up. This is a grim world. One where this tragedy was inevitable. Allan is completely powerless as he's away in St. Paul. And yet, his attention is squarely at home. He knows Betty isn't answering his calls. He's worried because this is completely out of character. She wanted more support from him. He wants to surprise her with a trip to Switzerland. They will never get to go on that adventure and capture the magic that once was. Instead, this is the fate dealt to them. Allan is still relying on Candy for support. He calls and is grateful for her friendship. That's a relief mostly for knowing his daughter is safe and away from this crime scene. His children remain cared for. His whole life has been destroyed. Candy selfishly reflects on what this means for her. It's satisfying even though it's obviously fleeting given the lack of understanding everyone currently has about the central crime.