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Image Credit: Sundance Channel

'The Red Road' recap: Something about a wolf and a dog

Season 1 | Ep. 2 | “The Wolf and the Dog” | Aired Mar 6, 2014

We left off in a pretty tense place last week, but this week’s episode of The Red Road circles back to answer some questions we have about the main players. While last week was about establishing the conflicts, this week is about introducing the characters and giving us some of the insight we need to get through the restrained intensity that has come to define this show.

Jean, for instance, had a pretty rough week, as her mental illness is becoming more and more unmanageable. The episode opens on Harold searching for a new bumper for Jean’s SUV, and when he removes the old, dented one, he removes a piece of clothing from the Lenape boy’s hoodie. That is an eerie moment, as we see Harold conflicted between what he is doing for his wife and what he knows is right. When confronted, Jean is so mixed up it is hard to blame her for anything. Harold questions her and she becomes so bewildered that she tells him that Rachel told her to take the gun, which we know to be a product of her addled mental state. It’s tough to watch, especially knowing that she hasn’t fully realized what she’s done. Once the Chief of police finds out witnesses are claiming  it was Jean, she has to give a statement, and it does not go well. She tells the interviewer she was looking for Brian (her dead brother), then corrects herself to say she was looking for Rachel, who was screaming for her because, “she can’t hold her breath as long.” It was ugly and wrenching, devolving  even further when she demands to go “home. Our home. Where Brian was,” meaning her parents’ house.  Once she’s home, she starts to see things that aren’t there, and as the voices get louder they suggest she jump out the window; which she almost does. Intercepted by her father, Jean lands in the mental hospital.

But even as Jean hasn’t come to grips with hitting the boy, Phillip is working just as hard as Harold to protect her, and both men pay Marie a visit to convince her not to give a statement. Phillip provides Jean an alibi, vouching for her whereabouts that night and tells Marie he knows she wouldn’t have hit the boy. Harold on the other hand, visits Marie in a much more menacing way. While Harold doesn’t outright threaten her, especially after she faints, he does use his status as law enforcement to bully her a little. Yuck.  Now Marie is conflicted about what to do, and the waters become even muddier, as I try to decide who’s side I’m on (hint: it is probably going to be Phillip’s). Harold, like all the important characters in The Red Road, has a dark, jagged edge. These edges contribute to the intricate motivations that fuel the politics, and make it impossible to distinguish the good guy from the bad guy. Harold makes Jean believe she is mistaken about the hit and run when she starts to remember, painting himself in a pretty ugly light, even though he’s meant to look like the good guy.

Red Road s1e2: Momoa, Henderson (SundanceTV)As Harold starts to realize what it means to have an ally in Phillip, he does a little research about his background. We learn that he was in prison for six years for “engaging in a criminal enterprise,” which was just part of a larger drug case. Later in the episode, as Phillip and Mike scope out a nursing home in order to steal prescriptions, we learn that he pulled a similar job in Florida. At least now we know what Phillip’s deal is: drugs, petty theft, the occasional assault and batter, and possibly murder. (Cut to the scene in which Phillip threatens to “cut off your head while you sleep” as he sits on the crooked pharmacist’s chest.)

On the other hand, Phillip has a sweet, genuine side, as evidenced by the relationship he fosters with Junior: giving him advice, protecting him and offering to mentor him (albeit in the ways of organized, drug-related crime). This charming, brotherly affection shown to Junior, especially in the scene at the football field, is matched only by the brutality he inflicts on the man his father sent to spy on him. I was taken aback in the moment when Phillip crushes the man’s arm in the car door and LITERALLY growls a warning to him to stay away.  The duplicity created by Phillip’s nature works towards the show’s complex system of characters and their interplay with each other. Seeing him through the other characters eyes is endlessly insightful. Junior is enamored with him, his uncle, the Lenape Chief, is suspicious of him, his father bullies him, and his own mother is leery to allow him access to her life.

I feel compelled to mention a scene from this episode in which both Harold and Phillip are on screen, it’s raining and Phillip is eating some sort of fast food, and Harold sits down, soaking wet, looking desperate and bedraggled. Beautifully framed, and intricately executed, those few moments reveal a hell of a lot about each character. We see how frantic and reckless Harold has become (he put his gun on the table, for Pete’s sake), but we also see how disarming Phillip is — that twinkle and half smile will stop you dead in your tracks. We also see that Harold is a terrible liar, a fact that Phillip warns him must change, especially if he is going to continue to maintain Jean’s innocence.  We also see that Harold is trapped, and Phillip enjoys having him in a corner. I am taking the foreshadowing as it seems and calling it here: This is where it starts to go bad for these two characters.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

I am pretty smitten with Phillip (as if you haven’t guessed). Who are you true-loving from this week’s episode? Tweet me so we can compare crushes: @sroseholt

 

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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