‘Briarpatch’ 1×03 Review: “Terrible, Awful, Shocking Things”

I will admit three episodes into Briarpatch, I’m disappointed. Why am I watching? Why did I think this was worth my time? What in the world is going on in Briarpatch 1×03 “Terrible, Awful, Shocking Things.” I got no answer for either of those questions, sadly. And if I’m being honest, I’m not sure I truly care that much about how much I don’t know.

There was the decision to start the episode somewhere other than when the last episode ended, which, eh …why?  That was the ONLY interesting thing that had happened in this show so far, why take the resolution away from me? And then there was the fact that the show hasn’t really explained to me why I should care about Felicity enough to be following this trail around, much less why I should care about anyone else in Saint Disgrace.

And that even includes Allegra at this point.

Let’s not even get into Jake Spivey. What the hell is his deal and why in the world should I invest in someone who seems like he’s just going to hurt me? I know fandoms, and I know people like the villains every once in a while, and there’s enough charisma here to be fooled into thinking that might be the case, but you know why it won’t be?

There’s no heart.

Not in Jake Spivey, not in Allegra Dill, not in anything. We’ve gotten glimpses, yes, but nothing seems to stick. It’s all an illusion, meant to carry us from one episode to the next. And if we’re actually gonna, you know, keep watching, we need way more than that.

BRIARPATCH — “Terrible, Awful, Shocking Things” Episode 103 — Pictured: (l-r) Jay R. Ferguson as Jake Spivey, Rosario Dawson as Allegra Dill — (Photo by: Ursula Coyote/USA Network)

FIVE* THINGS TO MENTION ABOUT “TERRIBLE, AWFUL, SHOCKING THINGS”:

  1. Why start with characters we don’t know or care about when the only thing we wanted to know was how the last episode ended? And then, why just …show Allegra like nothing, and never explained the only interesting thing that has happened on this show to date.
  2. The zoo metaphors are just too deep for me. Get rid of the giraffes, please. Also, did someone catch that tiger? Because no one mentioned catching that tiger, and that’s important information.
  3. This everyone’s a crook thing, a la Breaking Bad, only works if we have reasons to relate to the crooks. They don’t need to stop doing bad shit, but we do need to find just a tiny bit that’s relatable. I ain’t seeing that tiny bit, Briarpatch. Not even close.
  4. I hate Allegra’s nickname more than I can explain. I especially hate the way Jake Spivey says it.
  5. Since I’m already at the trust no one Mr. Mulder stage of watching this show, the real question now is: who of these people I don’t trust is actually decent? Is anyone?
  6. Adding one more to this week before …hello Monday nights? This doesn’t seem like a good move, despite whatever brave face everyone is putting on it. But then again, I’m not sure even wrestling can save this show.

Agree? Disagree? What did you think of “Terrible, Awful, Shocking Things”? Share with us in the comments below!

Briarpatch airs Mondays at 11/10c on USA Network.

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