Sunday, November 27, 2022

REVIEW: 'Let the Right One In' - Naomi's Latest Admission Leads Mark to the Woman He's Been Searching For in 'Or Stay and Die'

Showtime's Let the Right One In - Episode 1.08 "Or Stay and Die"

Mark goes on a date with Naomi, but Eleanor realizes his motives might not be as sincere as they seem. Naomi and her partner, Ben, close in on their suspect, Claire, who has found a terrifying new way to advance her research.

"Or Stay and Die" was written by David Turkel and directed by Viet Nguyen

Eleanor and Peter have been shielded from the harsh decisions made in the name of their survival. Their loved ones have tried to preserve their innocence for as long as possible. It's all done with the belief that a happy and prosperous future still awaits them. That reality can still be achieved with enough devotion to the cause. However, Eleanor and Peter are starting to become aware of the cost of maintaining this idea. They want to be more involved in the decisions. They want to be active participants in what happens to them. They bring innocence and naivety to a situation that has never challenged them to be more than that. They've never explored all the possibilities of what they could do. They've forever had to be kept away. They have pushed past the point of no return now. The stakes are only increasing further. Eleanor and Peter can't grapple with that reality as easily as the people whose lives have been defined by these bleak choices for awhile now. Mark is angry that his family was taken from him. He hasn't had someone to direct those emotions towards. Instead, he's bottled it all up to continue providing for Eleanor. He carried the personal burden of not being able to kill in time to prevent Elizabeth from making the ultimate sacrifice. Mark and Eleanor are always haunted by that immense loss. Elizabeth chose to kill herself so her daughter could live. That action cemented this path for Mark and Eleanor. It made Mark feel like he could only live if he upheld the promise he made. He told Elizabeth he would never give up on Eleanor until he found a cure. Giving up now would be betraying both of the people he loves. He can't handle that. And so, he devotes his entire life to Eleanor. He can never explore romantic potential with anyone. He simply uses people to obtain the information he needs to advance this mission forward. That's it. That's all that he expects from Naomi. He makes her happy. She hasn't felt that in a long time. Everyone idolizes the future of this blended family. They can all be happy once more. That's not something that can come true. Naomi will need to arrest Mark as soon as she learns about the many people he has killed. He can't receive God's grace either so long as he continues planning to kill people. He went to the confessional not hoping to be absolved of his sins. He needed to unburden himself. The priest highlights how Mark is truly channeling his rage towards Elizabeth. They were both placed in an impossible situation. They couldn't say goodbye to their daughter. The more time has dragged on the more everything has stopped in place for everyone who wants to be loyal to this idea of what could one day be. That's never been a guarantee. Mark promotes that hope. And yet, he needs Eleanor to know she's foolish for believing they can have a happy family once more when the truth is ultimately revealed.

Similarly, Peter believes Claire is so smart that she can cure Chris after using him for her human experiment. She got his approval before anything happened. She needed to see how this virus behaved in a human body. She wants to preserve Peter. She doesn't want to do anything that could compromise his ability to function. She isn't a brain surgeon. She needs to cut into Chris' head to see how the biology reacts. She can't sew him back up believing he'll be fine regardless of what she did. She can't lead with that arrogance of her expertise. She's out of her depth in so many ways. She takes these risks because they can hopefully lead to a cure one day. She won't allow anyone to compromise her mission. The threats have invaded her home though. Naomi and Ben come knocking for answers. Mark does so as well. This is his grand return after a close call with the Logan family in the past. He didn't know about the similarities of their suffering. He's once again abused by the family. Matthew refuses to let anyone harm Claire and Peter. He'll break into Naomi's home to see how much she has uncovered about their potential culpability for the murders made possible by their drug. He'll follow Mark because it can't be a coincidence that he lives next to Naomi after previously snooping around the warehouse. It comes to the most dramatic ending as Mark walks right up to the Logan mansion. The true threat lurks behind the doors. Peter grew personally connected to Chris. He vaguely shares how he feels drawn to protect him because he created him. That compulsion could signal something significant. At the moment, it highlights how he isn't willing to take these drastic actions. He wants to break Chris free. He can potentially survive on his own. He doesn't have to die just so Claire can understand what happens to the body. But Chris has to stay so that nothing exposes the experiments. He can never have his freedom. That would threaten the family and all they hope to achieve. Chris' rage is understandable. He hunts Claire down throughout the mansion. It's only a mystery as to whether anyone will save her in time. She's afraid of what can be done to her. Peter ultimately protects her. That sibling bond is still more powerful. It's such a reluctant action. The stakes have been elevated so that no one can be left in the dark about what needs to be done. Of course, that still leaves plenty of time for people to speculate as to how others will react if they knew the truth. Secrets are powerful throughout narrative storytelling. At a certain point though, the truth being known to everyone who matters is more compelling. The show is quickly approaching that destination. Hopefully, that produces a climactic ending with unexpected results. After so much talking, the buildup is immense. The payoff has to follow through. It's still a tentative assessment though. Drama comes from whether or not these characters can restrain themselves to continue blending in. That's nice for a moment. It can't serve as some of the most pivotal moments of a specific episode. The action is ultimately more satisfying.