Monday, August 15, 2011

Against the Wall Season 1 Episode 3 Recap/Review

            Well that was fast. After Richie shot JaMarcus in the first episode, I expected that story arc to continue for quite a few episodes. It looks like, however, Against the Wall has finished with that plotline, and now will be moving on. In my opinion, that is a great move by the show. Do not get me wrong, I thought it was an interesting topic to explore, and also believe the show did very well with it. I loved watching Richie and Shelia struggle with the consequences of his actions, as it provided an opportunity to flesh out their characters early on in the series. I also thought it was brilliant and unexpected that the show explored the effects the shooting had on JaMarcus’ mother, even if it did so briefly. Still, if the show had stuck with this arc too long, it would have devolved into something extremely melodramatic. Those powerful scenes with Richie in the shower and Shelia in the kitchen would have become watered down, because we would have seen similar scenes just in different locations. Instead, those moments remain captivating; as they are the only glimpses we have into that part of their emotions and characters.

Furthermore, it also demonstrates that the writers know when to show restraint. It would have been very easy for them to keep following this arc. They realized, however, they got all they could get out of it narrative wise, and wisely chose to move onto different territory. That bodes extremely well for the show. Other good shows, like The Killing for instance, have been undone when the writers did not know when to finish an arc. By keeping everything brisk, but also emotional satisfying, Against the Wall keeps its audience interested.
And it really was emotional satisfying. I was nervous when Shelia went to meet JaMarcus’ mother and volunteer with her. Honestly, when Shelia told her that she was Richie’s mom, I thought the whole scene was going to turn out terrible. Some nice writing and fantastic acting from Baker and Lisa Berry, though, really sold that scene in the end. Was it the most believable outcome? Not entirely. I am left questioning whether or not JaMarcus’ mother could really open up to Sheila like that. What I am not questioning, though, is the emotion that permeated that scene. That felt real, and gave me chills. I am totally willing to suspend reality a little, when the show can deliver emotionally like it did there.
Overall, I thought this was another good episode. Against the Wall keeps coming out strong each week, and I keep liking it more and more.

Quick hits says what:

-Wow Scott is an ass, is he not? Sleazy, sleazy, sleazy. I am pretty sure Lina would kick his ass if he pulled that move on her when she was not pregnant. Lucky man. Thankfully, Abby showed him she is not someone to be messed with. I cheered when she took him down and established she was not someone to be harassed. And thank God she was smart enough to record him. I am all for characters getting physical when they need to make a point, but love it when they use their brains to get the upper hand. Abby might be a klutz and a little naïve at times, but she is not stupid. I am sure Scott will be back to continue his asshole ways, but he will be a lot more wary the next time.

-Abby does need to get use to the fact that she is I.A. I cringed when she told Lina and Papadol that people hate I.A., implying that she was not one of them. Honey, you are I.A. and need to get use to it. Do not going pissing these two off, as they are your only allies at the moment outside of Shelia.

-Nice case this week. I am glad none of them have been straightforward so far, and this week’s had a good twist. On a certain level, I understand where the mother of the burned victim was coming from. I mean, really? The best her husband could do was write tickets? Still, her actions have ensured she is out of her daughter’s life for the foreseeable future, which does not help that little girl.

-Thankfully Brody did not plant the gun. I like him, and his new darker hair, and would have hated to see him go down like that. All of that eye candy would have gone to waste, which would have been a terrible crime.

-Oh Dick Brother and Blond Brother, you suck. Blond Brother, who cares if your sister is on birth control, it is none of your damn business! Your girls are cute though. At least you have something redeeming about you. Dick Brother, you have nothing. Unless you plan on getting shirtless next week, please do not appear on the screen.

-Love the show’s music choices. Just had to throw that out there.

-The episode we do not see Sheila bake will be a very sad episode. The woman loves her oven.

-Hopefully, we get to see more sides of Don in the coming weeks. I think we have effectively explored his pissed side enough.

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