Sunday, October 30, 2022

REVIEW: 'Let the Right One In' - Mark and Eleanor Push the Boundaries of What Will Make Them Happy in 'Outings'

Showtime's Let the Right One In - Episode 1.04 "Outings"

Mark and Zeke celebrate the restaurant's tenth anniversary and it ends with an unexpected bang. Meanwhile, Eleanor and Isaiah sneak out for a night of magic, wonder, and danger. Naomi struggles with new developments in her case while Claire makes great strides.

"Outings" was written by Mfoniso Udofia and directed by Eva Sørhaug

Mark and Claire can't allow themselves to be happy - even for a moment - so long as their loved ones remain stuck in the circumstances that have defined the last decade of their lives. Of course, Eleanor and Peter are stuck in these limited lives because of the expectations of their loved ones. Their families want to protect them for as long as possible. That doesn't mean the other vampires in this world are isolated and without love. All the blame for the recent murders in the city is placed on the vampire Naomi killed. She still has questions. She wants to get to the truth in order to honor the victims. She views the vampire as part of that too. She needs to know what happened to him in order for that lair to become necessary. Peter and Eleanor are protected because they have families willing to exploit every resource imaginable to keep them safe. Other families probably make those same choices. It's also different for each individual. So many families are impacted by addiction. Those issues with substance abuse tear down what people are willing to endure. They help their loved ones for as long as they can handle it. The people in trouble need to recognize that danger and the hardship they've put their families through. Peter has never really had to think about that. All has been forgiven for letting Claire think he was dead for the past decade. Meanwhile, Eleanor was turned at such a young age. She has never had to question following her father's orders. She never hit those rebellious years. They each mourn for the loss of a mother and wife. They still have each other. That keeps them strong. Of course, Eleanor is now pushing the boundaries. She has made a new friend. Her connection with Isaiah is something that has been deprived of her for so long. She can't hide her true self from him either. Sure, it's a little outrageous that the height markings would be left behind at her old house. That clue is just enough to get Isaiah to confront who Eleanor is. She encouraged him to sneak out at night. They attended an event at the magic shop he was transfixed by. Eleanor wants that experience too. Her reality is simply much more drastic than his. He is depressed from the bullying he received at school. But Eleanor is traumatized by the loss she has suffered. Her freedom was taken away. Mark will sacrifice everything to provide for her. That creates a fairly limited life. She is pushing back now. That risks exposure in any number of ways. She is willing to share the truth with Isaiah. She probably wouldn't make that same decision with others. Everyone is desperate for clarity though. Right now, the only relief that can come is from being honest. Of course, Isaiah's reaction to learning his new friend is a blood-sucker isn't seen. It's simply something that had to occur in order to further build on these relationships.

Similarly, it's necessary to see joy and happiness in this world despite all the horror. The tone can be incredibly monotonous a lot of the time. The show doesn't diverge from that path significantly. It's still poignant to watch Zeke remind Mark of his own humanity. When he steps into church, Mark can't bring himself to participate in the ceremony. He's simply reminded of the times in which his family was happy in this place. That memory is invaded as well by what Eleanor has become. Mark can't accept that reality. But he's also forced to recognize happiness when he shows up to work. It's the tenth anniversary for the restaurant. Everyone is celebrating the past. They are recognizing what allowed this place to prosper for a decade. Mark was significant early on. He deserves to be a part of the celebration. That includes honoring his contributions to the menu and his skills as a chef. He too is inspired by the next generation. He recognizes the people who added onto what he built. He's happy for his friend. Meanwhile, Zeke sees the importance from lifting Mark out of the despair as well. That's the power of friendship. That's drastically missing in Claire's corner of the world. She isn't even working on the cure to save Peter. Instead, she's focused on developing a painkiller strong enough so she can treat his burns. That's the immediate focus. She shuts everything else out. She has to find this solution. She can't devote her attention to handling her father's estate. She can only delay so long before that creates drastic repercussions. She's ultimately successful with her experiments as well. She simply has to test the formula on an ape and then Matthew. He's willing to do whatever it takes to heal Peter. He is just as devoted to the cause as she is. That deserves more explanation. Something more is happening that explains why he is so committed to this family. A way of life was established under Arthur's leadership. He's gone now. A new era has started with Claire. It's inspiring. Of course, it's terrifying as well. The audience is never allowed to celebrate at the restaurant alongside Mark and Zeke. Instead, it's all about waiting for the other shoe to drop. They are under surveillance by the people peddling the new drug on the streets. They are ultimately caught and forced to explain themselves. It's a dire ending. One that will force an incredible amount of clarity onto Mark. He has to reveal his true devotion to his daughter. He will do anything in the name of protecting her. Others understand that impulse. They can all work towards the same collective goal. But it's often so difficult to step outside of one's own life to see the similarities with another. Mark has choices to make. He will always prioritize his daughter. That's simply becoming a more dangerous proposition. And that's before Mark even becomes aware of Eleanor's growing independence.