Summary: A member of the GR, Gladys, is stoned to her death by unknown assailants. Kevin tries to help the GR but risks alienating the townspeople. He ultimately lets them go and decides to divorce Laurie. Laurie is distressed by Gladys' death and Patti has to talk to her 1 on 1 to reaffirm her faith.
The Good: The opening sequence was really well done. It was a shock to see Gladys stoned so suddenly and the scene itself was brutal, disgusting and depressing which is exactly what the show was going for. It started the episode on a really high note.
I liked the effect of Gladys' death on the GR. Laurie went into a full-on panic and had an attack, probably spurred on by the worry of her dying and leaving her family behind. I love the touch that while long-time member Laurie questions her beliefs after the stoning, the newbie Meg gets her beliefs reaffirmed and becomes entirely committed to the GR and finally dresses in white and stops speaking.
The highlight of the episode was easily Patti talking to Laurie (see: Best Moment). It raises some more questions about the GR (see: The Unknown), but it also adds some much needed humanity to Patti and clarity for what the GR stands for.
A scene that I really liked was Jill's reaction when Kevin arrived in her school. She assumes the worst and can't control her emotions, and when Kevin tells her everything is okay she shows that while she still cares about her mom, she is angry at her for leaving them. It was a good scene that shows the many emotions that loss puts you through.
Kevin deciding to divorce Laurie and give up on the GR was a logical next step for his story arc after this episode. His final scene was good, though I didn't connect as much as I think I was meant to (see: The Bad).
Matt saying "I say fuck too" was easily the funniest moment on this show.
The Bad: This show isn't clicking as well as it should be. There are plenty of scenes that I feel were made to draw an emotional response but they did nothing for me. I'm sure that the reason for this is because I don't care about ay of the characters individually with the exception of Matt. In the previous episodes we have been primed to care about the relationships between characters, but when a character's individual story arc is taking place I'm finding it hard to care because the show hasn't given us a reason to care about the character as a whole; instead we can only care about the character's relationships with others. This show desperately needs a flashback or more focused episodes like "Two Boats and a Helicopter" to make us care.
Kevin had an interesting story this week as he was tested to choose between the townspeople and the GR. On paper it's a good conflict, but I thought the execution was fairly sloppy. In almost every scene Kevin comes off as an asshole and is hard to like. The part where he stormed the Indian guys at the dry cleaners was a good example of this; it was just difficult to root for Kevin when he's literally threatening some businessmen. I understand that Kevin is going through a tough time with all the pressure he's under, but I need to see what he's like without that pressure so that I can actually sympathize with him.
The GR has the same issue too. It's hard to care about the characters because we don't know why they joined the GR. Laurie should be likeable but since we have no idea why she left her family (especially since she lost nobody close to her), we can't understand her decisions and what motivates her. This flaw is taking away from all of the scenes that Laurie is in.
What happened with the whole mystery man shooting dogs storyline? It's clear that the man does exist and isn't in Kevin's mind after this episode, but why was there no mention of the dog shootings? It feels like the entire storyline was just dropped which makes all the setup in "Penguin One, us Zero" feel rather pointless since the story has led absolutely nowhere. There seems to be a conflict between Kevin and the man but I have no clue what the conflict is about if not about the dogs and where it's going to lead to.
The Unknown: What is Patti and Laurie's relationship? Their conversation seems to hint that Laurie was Patti's therapist or possibly the other way around. Also who is Neil and what did Patti give him in the bag?
Why is Patti allowed to speak on some days? How do these "days off" work? The GR apparently make you not feel anything anymore. How does that work and how is it possible? Surely you can't lose all feelings, something still has to be there.
Why did the alarm never seem to work for Kevin?
What's with the green lights suddenly turning to red?
What happened to Kevin's white shirts? If they weren't at the dry cleaners, where are they?
Who is the mystery man and what is his motivation?
What was with the whole Killainey dispute? There were so many vague problems in Kevin's way that prevented him from keeping Gladys' body and we need an explanation for those. What was with Killainey's final phone call too? What did he plan to do to remove the GR?
Best Moment: Laurie and Patti's discussion in the restaurant was the best part. A lot was revealed about the GR which helps us understand them more. It's nice to get to know Patti more as she seems to be an important character, so we need to understand who she is and where she comes from.
Character of the Episode: Patti for speaking and giving us some much needed answers to our questions about the GR.
Conclusion: This was another disappointing episode but for different reasons than the previous one. This show wants to tell an emotional story but without making us care about the characters it is very tough to do that and we desperately need to be given a reason to care or this show risks being unable to hit any of the high points it hit in "Two Boats and a Helicopter" again.
Just a high school student who loves to watch TV. And criticize it like hell.