“New Patty” is currently available to stream on AMC +; its first broadcast on AMC is on July 11, 2021.
In the 1991 fuck-the-patriarchy classic of Ridley Scott and Callie Khouri Thelma & Louise, Louise by Susan Sarandon has a line that she delivers with resignation, resentment and a bit of rebellion: “You get what you settle for. Her best friend Thelma (Geena Davis) settled for a husband who treats her like shit. Louise herself has been content with an intermittent relationship with a guy who treats her well, but is usually not around. Every woman has been sexually assaulted. Every woman has been exploited. The identity and personality of every woman has been diminished by men. And each of the best friends would rather get away from the edge of a cliff and fall to death than being judged, locked up and punished for the crime of being a woman in a world that hates women. “I can’t go back. I mean, I just couldn’t live, ”Thelma says, and they don’t – but at least that denial is on their own terms.
I thought of Thelma & Louise often during “New Patty,” which pushes Allison aside a bit to make room for a deeper look at Patty’s life, but then brings the women together for a purposeful alliance. Each of the previous four episodes built Patty bit by bit: first, she was just one of Kevin’s sycophants, then we saw her own dislike and frustration with the band, and finally, in “Live Free or Die, ”it seemed like she and Allison had really made inroads. This episode ended on a cliffhanger – what would Patty say to Allison’s admission that she was considering using those Oxy pills to kill Kevin? – and “New Patty” picks it up quickly.
Overall, I thought this episode was a better combination of the drama / sitcom format than “Live Free or Die,” with a more seamless integration of elements from Kevin’s laugh track that then contrast with the action elements. off screen of Kevin. Oh, he drew a childish diagram of the ways Patty and Allison betrayed him; How funny! Oh, he called Curt, Patty’s boyfriend, and smeared his reputation, just like he did Allison’s; what disarray! Kevin’s behavior is not going to change, and I was delighted to at least see other people in Worcester – like Curt – realize that Kevin’s behavior is destructive, selfish and narcissistic. And I think halfway through this season, Allison should start working toward her goal of killing Kevin, while also making rebellious strides for herself. Are all of these choices regressive? Some of them are, yes! But Allison spoke enviously, and often, of who she was before Kevin. If the only Allison she knows is who she was, of course, it makes sense for her to slide back – straight into Sam’s arms.
Before we wander down the infidelity alley, let’s get back to this drive back from Vermont. Patty couldn’t be more impressed with Allison’s confession that she plans to kill Kevin because “you are, like, you are you“And she thrusts the knife a little deeper:” Deep down, you’re like wallpaper. Those words hurt Allison at first (“You’re right. I think I’m just spending a while”), but the next day she decides to oppose the dismissal. She steals a lipstick. Much to Patty’s delight, she quits her crappy job after a client is an asshole and her boss refuses to defend her. And she gives in to her simmering attraction to Sam by gesturing for him to return, and after they have slept together, she accepts his job offer as a waitress at Bev’s Diner. Seems like a bad idea too reckless!
As Allison leaps forward, Patty steps back. Mary Hollis Inboden does a great job polishing her performance of the sarcastic, cynical, and established version of Patty into a more vulnerable, fragile person and – as Thelma, Louise and Allison did before her – more willing to settle down. . Her two scenes with Curt are heartbreaking in different ways. During breakfast, Patty realizes that she forgot about her proposal after Terrance’s arrest, and she can only describe their three years together as “good”. Curt, meanwhile, bristles at the idea that wanting to marry Patty is such a wacky notion, and Patty’s response might be his most honest moment on the show yet: “normal people.” So I’m not normal because I want to live my life the way I want to? Curt’s tee shot, meanwhile, is shockingly nasty (“Have fun rotting in Kevin’s house”) and his behavior later, when Patty practically begs him to marry her, is also hurtful. Curt is not wrong to say that Patty is lying to him and that she has never been as involved in the relationship as he is. But to say that they don’t know each other at all? It sounds like a fear inspired entirely by Kevin’s bombast, and it helps Patty realize what Allison has lived with all those years under Kevin’s thumb.
The fear of being linked to this horrible man drove Allison, and now she drove Patty too – much like the threat posed by new character Nick (Robin Lord Taylor, unrecognizable from his time as the Penguin on Gotham), whose Aunt Cindy was the one who constantly hit Patty about pills. Aunt Cindy and a few other women in town would take the pills they bought from Patty and sell them elsewhere. What Patty thought was a Robin Hood-meets-Florence Nightingale situation is really more of a Walter White situation, and now Nick is trying to force her into a Jesse Pinkman situation being held by Todd. Nick’s presence in Patty’s life is a bad sign, as is Detective Tammy seeing Nick as a presence in Patty’s life. And what was the deal with Detective Tammy inviting Patty “to a work thing”? I don’t think it was a date, but… I’m not sure what it actually was?
At the end of this scene in Patty’s house, with Detective Tammy leaving the front door out and Nick leaving the back door outside, Patty is stuck between two opposing paths forward. She could tell Detective Tammy the truth and sell Nick. She could agree to work with Nick and continue lying to Detective Tammy. Or, as she dreams with Allison in the final minutes of the episode, there is a third option. If Allison really wants to kill Kevin (which she assures Patty that she is during that well-composed kitchen showdown scene), then why don’t they make it worth it? “It turns out I’m actually good at doing terrible things to people who deserve what happens to them. It’s not that hard, ”Allison says, and Patty was also pushed over the edge. Maybe Kevin could be the drug dealer Detective Tammy is looking for, and maybe Patty and Allison pay Nick to kill Kevin, and then maybe that’ll get Detective Tammy off them. I don’t think this plan is quite flawless as it then puts Allison and Patty in Nick’s debt, but maybe they’re planning a double murder that would wipe out both Kevin and Nick?
And given all of this, I have to ask myself: is Kevin on them? As usual, he drew the most insignificant conclusions from what he determined about Patty and Allison driving all around Vermont and maybe not actually attending the beauty show, but he l ‘understood. He clearly has no problem and no shame in calling other people into these women’s lives and berating them with his complaints and insults. His questions about Patty and Allison are in the sitcom portions of this episode, but consider these scenes without the bright lights, awkward blocking, or the laugh trail. You come home and your partner has enlisted their friends and family to help you stop, then question you, then accuse you. A friend of his, a guy you don’t know very well, has a knife. They have the nerve to tell you, “Loyalty. I demand it. Our marriage demands it ”, as if it were Michael Corleone, not some fool who spent his savings on fake sports memorabilia and still has not been clear with you about this. Every week I am in awe of the new ways the writing staff on this show make Kevin so horrible, because dude, they’re good at it. But more seriously: what are the odds that Kevin will accomplish what Allison and Patty are up to by sheer luck or stupid luck? What would he be prepared to do then?
• Was this “criminal mastermind” scene a new take? Patty wore her signature burgundy lipstick on the drive home from Vermont, but didn’t have it during that sidewalk conversation with Allison, and her absence changed her look completely. A good reminder of what character design through hair, makeup, and costumes can do.
• Related: Allison’s Idea In Lilac Lipstick Is As Unfathomable As This Moment In Easttown mare when Mare had a blue lipstick on her bedside table. The “unlikely shade of makeup” is a tidy instigator of an exasperation reaction, isn’t it?
• The makeup saleswoman played by Kiara Pichardo is perhaps the wildest character in this whole series. Her laugh when Jenn suggested Allison’s concealer for dark circles? Ouch. So, damn it, Jenn, keep this advice to yourself!
• Kevin booing salad might be the only time I’ve sided with anything.
• Meanwhile, Patty’s idea of having fun being “I’m going to come home and eat a really big burrito”? I felt that.
• I’m sad Jon Glaser isn’t on this show more often, but bumping into Jeremy Jamm with Travis Bickle felt effortless to him, and I enjoyed it.
• Allison’s boss, Diane, snubs Allison’s outrage at being insulted by that arrogant client, saying “Come on, you know the drill, I have to put up with this shit every day.” I appreciate that Kevin can fuck himself didn’t insist on it, but so far it has featured female characters of varying levels of solidarity and complicity. And while I don’t exactly respect Diane for thinking that because she dealt with harassment everyone should, I do appreciate that the show included this generalized perspective. Allison needs foils, and between Diane and Jenn, she’s covered.
• Savage Theory: Curt finds out what Allison and Patty are planning, or what they achieve if they do killing Kevin, then (perhaps reluctantly, given their final fight?) marries Patty for confidential marital privileges so he doesn’t have to testify against her. Perhaps? I do not know! Just a guess!