Claws: Season 1/ Episode 5 “Batshit” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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With uncle daddy paid off, now the only thing Desna has to worry about is someone learning about her and Virginia’s involvement in Roller’s murder. Well, that and Dean losing his mind over the Coombses.

Family Matters: Uncle Daddy, Juanda, Desna, Virginia, Bryce, Jen

While Bryce is talked out of killing Dr. Ken, it is clear that the amount of time he is spending with uncle daddy is sending him to the dark side. A place Jen is growing more and more tired of him being on since she already has one baby father in jail and isn’t keen on having two. But with Bryce saying Roller’s death is like a dark cloud of negativity hanging over him, he can’t let go. He needs justice for his brother.

Thus leading to Jen trying to first reason with him through anal sex and food. That doesn’t work. So then she threatens separation. Which she does publicly at the She-She and this pisses Juanda all the way off. For she is really getting tired of the disrespect and attitude Jen has much less is growing suspicious, as Uncle Daddy is, of Virginia’s lies.

Especially because Chip is increasingly showing he is good at his job. Since he circulates that Virginia and Desna formerly were beefing and Desna beat the hell out of her — because of Roller. So with that in mind, so comes the question of maybe they went from being mad at each other to him. Leading to a new Virginia lie to investigate.

Commentary

Juanda’s perception skills though

With how hard Jen goes to bat for Desna, it is going to be interesting to see what happens if she ever learns the truth. For while Roller was her brother in law, at the same time he was family. Much less, his death sent her husband into a spiral and when he hit rock bottom, he decided to walk a dark path. One which the devil (Uncle Daddy) has him by the hand on. To the point it seems that vulnerable, as well as manipulatable, Bryce is slowly slipping away.

Leading me to wonder why Juanda is allowing this? Granted, she is probably trash and happy to live off of Uncle Daddy’s dime, but it’s clear she had one sensitive boy and one dummy who could do this kind of work. Why is she pushing, or rather allowing Uncle Daddy to push, her recovering addict of a son down this dark road? Is she really fine with losing Bryce and getting a Roller 2.1?

Meet The Coombses: Dean, Desna

Mr. Coombses (Michael Cullen) and Mrs. Coombses (Sara Botsford)

On top of dealing with Virginia’s lies, Desna has to worry about Dean who is going beyond his usual eccentricities. All of which seems triggered from seeing that photo of the Coombses in the last episode. Just to give you some examples, he decides to climb at least a few stories up to deface a billboard, buys a gun, and convinces Desna to join him in confronting the Coombses.

Something which leads to a whole lot of issues. For one, it triggers all these feelings both Desna and Dean have been repressing. But it really gets bad as we start to understand the mental defense mechanisms Dean set up within himself to deal with the trauma. Of which includes him being molested and told if he said anything, they would do the same thing to Desna. Something he has held in so long that it helps you understand why Dean has always said he has to protect Desna. It wasn’t a macho thing, but something he has long done and will continue to do.

Commentary

I love this build up we’re getting with Dean. For while there is kind of this iffy vibe that a person without autism, to my knowledge, is playing someone with it, Perrineau erases the need to prod and question. There is nothing about how he plays Dean that comes off as a caricature or something made to be a gimmick to drive sympathy for Desna. He is presented as his own person with his own thoughts, feelings, talents, and goals. And considering how few Black people with special needs there are on television, never mind mainstream media in general, you have to applaud how seriously it seems Perrineau is taking this role and its social impact.

Now, that aside, I want you to imagine the person Dean is carrying the weight that I have to allow myself to be molested, and not tell anyone, to protect my sister. Then flip the script and see it from Desna’s point of view. Being that Dean is functioning, it isn’t like she can’t leave him at the house or let him go out on his own. However, she worries since she knows there is the possibility of someone triggering him and not making the effort to understand him, much less calm him down.

Which, considering Dean is a Black man, in the south especially, is dangerous. All it would take is someone touching him to freak out, people getting scared, calling the cops, and that could be the end of Dean’s life. But, speaking on the reality of the Claws word vs. hypotheticals, take into account you see yourself as your brother’s caretaker. Of course, you don’t tell him that, but everyone knows. Yet you learn he sacrificed his already sort of fragile mental state for you. If you’re like me, you would know whether to cry, scream, or burn a house down.

So considering Desna’s decision on how to deal with them and the Roller situation, it is all very understandable.

Two Birds, A Slew of Bullets: Virginia, Polly, Dean, Desna, Bryce

You can’t con a con artist. Hence how Polly figures out the truth about Virginia and Desna is forced to reveal her part in it. However, while Polly may not like Virginia, that doesn’t trump her love for Desna. So with learning what happened to Dean, and how she could give back to Desna, who has given her so much, she executes a plan. One in which the money Virginia stole would be planted in the Coombses home, Desna would tip off the cops, and assumingly Chip and company would handle the rest.

What perhaps wasn’t factored in was Bryce going and shooting up both the Coombses. Not even execution style with a bullet in the head each. He shot up their torso meaning they died painfully. Something Desna hears about and while Jen cries over the death of the Bryce she knew, Desna feels some relief and is glad she can pass that onto her brother.

Commentary

So should we consider Bryce now having gone over the deep end? Whatever darkness he was suppressing to be this happy go lucky cat I think if it isn’t dead, it is surely tainted. On top of that, with him killing someone, in front of Chip, that gives Uncle Daddy leverage. For now, he not only knows what Bryce is capable of but has a witness. He has someone who can say, and charge, Bryce with a crime. So no matter how much Jen may present food or some ass, she may have to realize that unless she wants two baby daddies in jail, she may have to put up with what uncle daddy wants.

Leading to this Polly and Virginia situation. Now, we know Polly is a habitual liar but this is something she knows the truth about — who really killed Roller. So I’m wondering how she may react to how the Coombses got killed. Will it be fine with her because of what they did to Dean or will she take on guilt? Never mind if she can keep her mouth shut about everything. Which I say solely because I don’t know if and when Polly gets mad at Desna, much less Virginia, what would she say? Yes, her being on parole or probation makes it so talking could bite her in the ass, but she still is dreaming about a nice life out there somewhere. So with the right deal, who knows if she may turn Virginia, if not also Desna, in.

Other Noteworthy Moments

 

 

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Is uncle daddy with his brother’s widow?
  2. We know now Desna and Dean’s mom was a crackhead, hence why they were up for adoption, but did they really have no other family?
  3. Who in the hell has Roller and why are they calling him Mr. Emerson?
  4. Has Quiet Ann ever gone steady with a woman or is she just a player?

Overall

Highlights

  • Polly’s interactions with Virginia showing she may have been around Desna a bit much.
  • The Lady Marmalade dance sequence.
  • Dean’s growth as a character.
  • Multiple people showing how to talk to someone like Dean as a person and not an invalid.

On The Fence

  • The whole Dr. Ken nonsense. Be it him running around the forest and perhaps the character in general.

How Would You Rate This?

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