Saturday, June 27, 2015

Summer Travel Through TV: The Straits 1.03: "Yawor My Lovely"

“I put my neck on the block every day for your family. You think what I do is easy? You know they’ve got whole government departments trying to work out what I do. One slip up, I go away for life. This? This is the thanks? Take the house. Take it. I can go away.”

The third episode of “The Straits” was an especially intense one. By the end of it, there were two members of the Montebello family in mortal danger. Since we’re early in the series, it’s a pretty safe bet that at least one will survive, but at the end of this episode, at least, it doesn’t look good. The melodrama is really turned up to eleven, though. One of the life-threatening scenarios facing one of the characters is so ridiculous that I may have laughed the first time I saw it (well, I may have laughed if I wasn’t busy being terrified of the snake). This episode was so crazy you would think we were getting near the end of the season, but we’re actually just beginning. We still have a little over two-thirds of the season to go! I think this episode really speaks to why “The Straits” is so addictive. The action really never lets up.

At the beginning of this episode, we meet Vlad, a sniper for hire. He’s diabetic (at one point we see him take an insulin injection), and he has been hired to kill Harry. We will see Vlad periodically throughout the episode, but he obviously becomes most important at the end. More immediately, there is a Montebello anniversary party in the works. While they are setting up tables and decorations, Sissy keeps giving Harry dirty looks. He notices, and he pulls her aside to ask what is wrong. I figured she would mention seeing his affair with Natasha (she doesn’t until later in the episode), but she mentions the situation with Paddy instead. They visit one of the houses Paddy bought, and Harry says he will deal with the problem. He ends up dealing with it by taking Paddy fishing and literally stabbing him in the back. To say it is a pretty brutal scene would be an understatement.

At Kitty’s insistence, Gary is going back to Zey Island. First, however, there’s some more drama with Lola. Gary and Lola have an awkward conversation about what happened. Gary tells Lola that he told Marou he supported him, and if Lola presses the issue any further, he will tell Marou what they did. Lola does seem to genuinely love Marou in her twisted way, so this is enough to keep her quiet for now at least. With Lola taken care of, Gary and Kitty go to Zey. We quickly see just how much power Kitty has on Zey. The customs guy, who the Montebellos clearly know well, says he’s leaving his job so he can go back to art school. Kitty can’t have a customs agent actually checking Montebello packages, so she manipulates things to make him keep his job.

Kitty is convinced that throwing a big party will remind the islanders who the Montebellos are and what they can do. She starts ordering Gary, Eddie, and Joseph around to take care of all the preparation. The interaction is kind of hilarious, especially when she orders Joseph to make two kinds of curry. Which he does, of course. At the party, Kitty schmoozes and does indeed remind the islanders what they owe the Montebellos. Specifically, she threatens to close the family crawfish factory on Zey. One woman in particular apologizes profusely for not warning Gary about the stranger on the island, and she says it will never happen again. Also at the party, Gary meets a younger woman (late teens/early 20’s, maybe?) named Bridget. She is still in school. Kitty doesn’t approve of Gary talking to Bridget at all, and I’m not sure why, considering how much she wants at least one of her kids to marry someone on Zey. Maybe it’s the age difference?

In yet another wrenching (and kind of melodramatic in a cheesy way) scene, Harry dumps Paddy’s body in the ocean and rows off in a dinghy as his fishing boat explodes behind him. His hand is injured, but he eventually makes it back home. Sissy notices the injury, and Harry eventually tells her what he did. He wants Sissy’s help in cooking up the story about where Paddy went. He’s supposed to go on a trip somewhere. Preferably in South America. Sissy is horrified at what her father is done, and things are extremely tense between her and Harry for the rest of the episode. There doesn’t seem to be any sign of Sissy telling anyone what happened, though. People spend much of the episode wondering where Sissy is, because she keeps running off to let out all her hurt and frustration about what happened. Kitty is also pissed because she thinks Harry is just in his current drunken state on their anniversary because he’s inconsiderate. She has no idea what has happened.

Back on Zey, we get to what is the absolutely most ridiculous sequence of the entire series. Joseph asks to be taken back to the mainland, because he has done more than his fair share to earn a favor from Gary and Eddie. Gary agrees, but the drive to the airport is a comedy of errors that is way too over the top. First, Gary, who is probably high, gets in a car accident. He’s somewhat injured, so he and Joseph try to walk for help. In the process, Gary of course gets bitten by a snake. The snake bite is serious, but when Joseph finally gets to the clinic, he finds out that Eddie has stolen all the anti-venom. Back at the house, Eddie is nowhere to be found, so Gary sits in the chair and slowly deteriorates, basically waiting to die. While he’s delusional, he does make a call to Harry and confesses that she slept with Lola. Harry’s reaction is interesting. He’s not at all mad at Gary. Instead he takes Lola aside and tells her to leave and never come back.

Harry, however, is not going to be able to do much other than make threats for the time being. He gets a text that something is ready for pick-up, and so he drives off to a house that’s kind of remote in the forest. A woman greets him at the door. No, this isn’t yet another affair. Harry has commissioned a beautiful silver music box as a gift for Kitty, and it is finally ready. Unfortunately for Harry, though, he was followed to the house by the sniper. On his way back to the car, Harry is shot. He’s still alive, and he manages to get a strained phone call through to Kitty. In the middle of the call, though, the sniper approaches him and we hear more shots. Kitty screams on the other end of the line, thinking that her husband, who she was kind of nasty to earlier, is dead.

No comments:

Post a Comment