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'The Player' fan react: Cassandra's double life

Season 1 | Episode 4 | “The Big Blind” | Aired Oct 15, 2015

There are so many questions The Player poses, but so few answers. We’re just in the fourth episode, but I hope that by the end of the season, or at least by the midseason, we’ll have answers to at least some of these mysteries. A new mystery we learned this week is that Cassandra (otherwise known as April, to her boyfriend) actually hates her job as Dealer.

Just from the pilot, I would have pegged Cassandra as a person who loved her job. Of course, characters are allowed to change and evolve, but does the change from a Dealer who seemed way too into her Player to a Dealer who was somehow tricked into becoming a Dealer seem like a big shift? I mean, it keeps the through line of the show—that Mr. Johnson is the ringleader of everything and everyone—intact, but I didn’t see this development coming for Cassandra. But that’s also what makes a show good; you can’t tell where it’s going.

So let’s talk about what has happened to Cassandra so far and see if we can make sense of some of it. Her real name may or may not actually be Cassandra. She’s a reluctant Dealer who blames Mr. Johnson for her having to do this high-stakes job (although the complaint only really came after she was denied her day off). Cassandra seemed really into Alex, but has a boyfriend she’s also really into; which person does she love the most? She was also in a picture with Ginny; what does she know about Ginny, and why was her relationship with Ginny back in the day important to the stakes now?

There are a few theories I’m throwing around. The first one is that Cassandra was drafted into the Game like all of the Players. Cassandra seemed pretty upset with Mr. Johnson about ruining her illusion of a normal life, a shade of how Alex has been ratcheting up his level of upset with Mr. Johnson for ruining his life. Perhaps Cassandra was out in the field with Ginny, both of them field doctors, and Mr. Johnson locked in on all three of them as pawns in his international game. Maybe Mr. Johnson blackmailed Cassandra into exposing Ginny to getting “killed,” leading Alex to join the Game. Perhaps the reason Cassandra is all about Alex isn’t because she loves him, but because she’s trying to somehow help him win the Game and free them both.

Or perhaps Cassandra has always been in on the game, and has acted as Ginny’s friend on behalf of Mr. Johnson’s plan to get Alex in the Game. Whether or not it was about love, maybe her mission was to just get close enough to Alex and his lady in order to expose them.

Or what if Cassandra is playing everyone, including Mr. Johnson, and became friends with Ginny to take her down? As we now know, Ginny is still alive, and I think she’s in on the entire Game. Even worse, I think she’s the ultimate villain of the show. Maybe Cassandra is somehow working a master plan to get Alex to take out Ginny, which will allow them all to leave the Game. Alex might be the only one who can take out Ginny because he’s the only player who knows her weaknesses. Therefore, Alex would have to be the one to take her down.

To expand on that Ginny-is-evil theory, we’d have to address what Monica (Nikki Deloach), Alex’s friend and the woman he saved from her abusive mafia husband, told Alex about Ginny. She said that Ginny was scared. We’re inclined to think she was afraid of someone coming after her, and that could be true. But she could also be afraid of her relationship with Alex and how that could endanger her going forward. If she knows how the Game works, then she would figure out that he would be the next Player. Like I said above, there are just too many mysteries with too few explanations.

Who knows at this point why anyone involved with the Game is doing what they’re doing? All we really know is that Mr. Johnson knows everything about everything, and he’s not ready or willing to give up what he knows to Alex (giving more credence to my theory of Ginny being the ultimate mastermind). Mr. Johnson is also not shy about getting innocent people mixed up in his game (giving more credence to the theory that he blackmailed Cassandra into working for him). There seems to be little that phases Mr. Johnson or causes him to stop and think about the ramifications of anything.

Also, quick shoutout to Eric Roberts, who played Monica’s imprisoned mobster father, Pauly Agostino. It’s always fun to see him on TV chewing up scenery.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Give us your opinions below!

The Player airs Thursdays at 10/9C on NBC.

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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