Briarpatch - Season 1

‘Briarpatch’ 1×09 Review: “Game Theory and Mescaline”

Briarpatch 1×09 “Game Theory and Mescaline” stays more or less at the level of last episode, which was, by far, the best in the series – not that this distinction is very hard to earn. The problem is that it doesn’t build on it, which it really should be doing considering there’s only one episode left.

Instead the episode, at times, tries to play at being weird – as the show has been over and over again, is once again too heavy handed with the metaphors (they are so hard to understand at this point, that the characters themselves have to spell them out for us, so we don’t miss them), and it underplays the character moments in a way that makes us really, really wish next week was here.

Not because we truly care about the ending, but because we just want this season to be over.

The highlight remains Rosario Dawson, not because Allegra Dill ends up being in any way, shape or form a fully formed character, but because every second of her performance makes us hope this character gets some compelling storytelling. And that’s both the best thing about the show, and the biggest tragedy.

We want something we’re not likely to get, after all.

BRIARPATCH — “Game Theory and Mescaline” Episode 109 — Pictured: Charles Parnell as Cyrus — (Photo by: John Britt/USA Network)

FIVE THINGS ABOUT “GAME THEORY AND MESCALINE”

  1. I’m gonna forgive the show for this trippy ass beginning just because they at least didn’t jump to a time when Allegra and Jake were free without ever explaining what happened, which they’ve done before.
  2. The problem with Brattle is that the show wants him to be creepy, and the actor is certainly capable of the kind of vibe they were going for, but the writing never allows him to shine. We don’t fear him, and without that fear, the rest doesn’t really work.
  3. Allegra and Jake’s relationship, whatever that is or will be in the future, has always been the most interesting part of this show. And yet, maybe because the show is trying to be “edgy” and “different,” every time we come close to a connection, the show pivots away, as if the fact that we care about these two characters is the opposite of what they want.
  4. Whatever Allegra might say, Jake has proven, in his own weird way and as much as this show has allowed, that he does love her. And that’s not all …she’s proven that she loves him too.
  5. Strangely, this episode makes it seem like the show always wanted the central love story to be …well, Allegra’s love for Felicity. Imagine that! Maybe if you’d allowed Allegra to display any emotion that wasn’t anger, we might have gotten there.

Agree? Disagree? What did you think about “Game Theory and Mescaline”? Share with us in the comments below!

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

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