Thursday, July 28, 2022

REVIEW: 'The Resort' - Emma Discovers a Phone That Contains Clues to Sam's Disappearance in 'The Disappointment of Time'

Peacock's The Resort - Episode 1.01 "The Disappointment of Time"

Emma and Noah's anniversary trip to Mexico takes a turn when Emma finds an old phone in the jungle.

"The Disappointment of Time" was written by Andy Siara and directed by Ben Sinclair

Noah and Emma have reached the puberty of their marriage. They have been together for ten years. They celebrate by visiting a Mexican resort. Along the way though, it's clear the two aren't connecting in a way typically on display by couples who love each other. So much of that is a projection of Emma's perspective. Noah is more than capable of making friends with anyone and going on crazy adventures. He's basically down for anything even though he fears jet lag has caused him to feel out of place. He can't even stay up for a late dinner. Emma feels the weight of that distance. It doesn't have an immediate effect on Noah. It's not until he sees a mysterious phone in her purse. That piece of technology awakens something new within each of them. They traveled to this location to celebrate. It's also going to force a reckoning of what they want in life. Emma wonders if she should stay in this marriage. Noah hasn't betrayed her in some unforgivable way. Emma hasn't done anything either. She has simply forgotten what it means to be happy and excited. She's walking through life without the passion it once had. That's unnerving. The marriage could be responsible for her uneasy feelings. She comes alive when she gains confidence riding the ATV. That adventure still ends in injury. She gets thrown from the path. Noah rushes to her aid. He comforts her and cares about her well-being. Meanwhile, she discovers the phone. It's completely random. The flip phone is a relic from a former time. Examining its secrets is all that Emma cares about. The resources to do so are immediately available as well. This is a mystery she can unlock. As such, she believes she can solve what happened to Sam and Violet when they disappeared from a nearby resort fifteen years ago. Some online sleuthing points Emma in a direction she must pursue. She found this new evidence for a reason. She has to see what she can do. The sensible thing would be to give the phone to the local police. They are the ones conducting the official investigation after all. They have had no meaningful leads in over a decade. A hurricane destroyed the resort and all the evidence as to what happened to these two teenagers. Emma has found something new. As such, she gains insight into Sam's world. The audience is gifted with even more clarity. We get to see the start of this trip with Sam, his parents and his girlfriend. Emma can infer a lot. She sees a grand mystery that has to connect the two disappearances, a hurricane and a body washed ashore that can't be identified. She projects so much meaning onto this investigation. Noah is concerned but ultimately accepts that this is the passion Emma needs to pursue in order to feel whole in her life once more.

Of course, the entire purpose of the narrative seems to be analyzing what's working in these personal relationships. That's all articulated in the relationship between Young Ted and Grey Ted. They explain to Noah that they travel somewhere new every seven years to have fun and evaluate their relationship. They've been together for 21 years. That's special and impressive. However, the relationship still has to be good and fun for both of them. They have to be honest about their feelings. This offers them the road map to have that conversation and be upfront about it. They can't hide anything because they have this mapped out for their lives. Emma and Noah may need that kind of clarity. Of course, Emma is hungover and bus sick when Noah is off having this conversation. Again, she's alienated from the adventure Noah wants to be having. Everything just feels off. The narrative enjoys displaying the grandiosity of the various resorts. This is a beautiful environment for the people who spend their vacations here. They are also home to the natives who have a very specific understanding of this community and what tourism has done to it. All of that can be inferred by the closing shot of the camera following several groups of people around the resort until Sam and Violet run into each other. That immediately proves that the operating theory for the past 15 years has been incorrect. The two of them did know each other. For some reason, Sam deleted all of his messages with Violet. He kept his correspondence with Hanna though even though he feared she was cheating on him with her professor. Everyone believes they understand this couple because they seem distant in photos. The same could be said of Emma and Noah. Those parallels are distinct. People have to be forced together in order to tolerate what's going on. They can still find happiness. They just need the confidence to explore what they actually want. That doesn't always line up with the planned activities for this vacation. Sam's life was thrown into turmoil hours before the plane even landed. Meanwhile, Emma conducts an entire investigation overnight while Noah is sleeping. She still misses some vital clues. Noah provides those once he can offer his perspective. He engages in the investigation because he sees how important it is to Emma. The secrets he uncovers though show him equally getting caught up in this pursuit. That may set the two of them on a course of being happy and having fun together once more. That's in doubt for the moment. That's how the story has to start for them. They believe they have a duty to understand the past. The phone was found for a reason. The implications it has for the future are probably going to be more compelling as there is very little Emma and Noah can do to change what happened 15 years ago.