Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)
With the custody of Jacob on the line, how far will Letty go to keep him is a question asked and answered.
Topic 1: Preparation for a Fight (Letty & Javier)
Please kill him. Letty asks this of Javier with him still trying to fight off this idea that all he can do is kill things, he rejects her request. Also, he rejects it because he believes she may regret the decision. Thus leading to Letty feeling betrayed and beginning to push him away. Including kicking him out of her mother’s house.
Here is what I don’t understand. For the past two episodes, Javier has let Letty in his world, been vulnerable with her, and pretty much made it seem he killed to survive. At first on the side of justice, but then it just became a job to him. You’d think after all they’ve been through together, all the effort he has made to keep her clean which, at this point, he has asked very little in return, she wouldn’t push him to do something like this. But hey, lest we forget, Letty isn’t perfect. For despite these two seemingly becomings friends, if not something more, perhaps at the end of the day this was all she wanted him for. Some source of protection, someone to do what she cannot, so even if she had to give up her body sometimes in exchange, at least she could eventually cash in her chips right?
But perhaps what gets me the most about this is she sees herself changed, reformed, but Sean doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt? Granted, the way he went about meeting and trying to get Jacob is hostile but put yourself in his shoes. Imagine you think you got your life together when there is a kid out there being taught you’re dead, making it seem you abandoned them and that little bugger looks like you.
Topic 2: On The Battleground (Jacob, Letty, and Sean)
During their preliminary hearing, Jacob doesn’t necessarily paint either parent as that great, nor his grandma. However, he is torn between which he should live with. However, the scales seem tipped in Sean’s favor for the person heading this meeting, a white woman, believes Jacob needs to, in the most politically correct way possible, be with his own sort of speak. Letty’s counter is this is her son and she knows she hasn’t been perfect and her mom has raised him thus far, but now she wants to prove herself as a mother.
Sean was a porn star and a drug addict like Letty. However, from what we know, he doesn’t have a record and has turned his life around. Letty, on the other hand, is on probation, hasn’t held down a job since being released, and conveniently there is nothing about her not checking in for how many days or weeks now? The convenient forgetfulness of the writers aside, what case does Letty really have?
A part of me does want to ask why can’t shared custody be put on the table, but with Sean noting in the last episode he might be moving to Florida, and him being petty and wanting to get back at Letty, I guess that’s not an option. Though perhaps something of interest with this whole pre-trial thing is Jacob noting how his dad said Letty would commit suicide if she had to be a full time mom, due to the stress. Making you wonder, if he thinks that would happen if she became his mom full-time, what does he think would happen if he took her child? Perhaps the main reason she would have to get and stay clean? Though considering how rude we see Sean act when Javier tries to talk him out of this custody battle, you can tell he doesn’t give a single damn about Letty’s well-being or anything that isn’t his.
Topic 3: This Is Goodbye (Letty, Christian, and Javier)
With Letty thinking she lost custody she decides to rent a room and get wasted. A room Javier just so happened to rent the day before when he was kicked out of Letty’s, well Estelle’s, house. However, before she can get drunk Sean walks in, thinking Javier would be there, but Letty lets him know they are no more. Leading to Sean feeling on Letty and them eventually having sex. Javier, worried about Letty and knowing a relapse could happen, he checks in on her and finds her and Sean in bed together. This image becomes the beginning of the end for them.
Though Letty doesn’t betray Javier just once. She does it twice for with Christian leading FBI Agent Lashever to Letty, she makes her a deal she can’t refuse. Hand over information on Javier and you get a clean criminal record and Jacob. Don’t and well, you’ll lose Jacob and more. At first Letty doesn’t snitch but once Javier says goodbye, with no hint of a return, Letty puts Jacob first and reveals Javier’s dark web handle. Thus setting him up to be taken down.
Do I understand why Letty did what she did? Yes. She never supported what Javier did until it could benefit her. However, at the same time, and I recognize this wasn’t an easy decision for her, this is the man who forced her to be clean, who kept her clean, let him into his life, meet his family, and led him to believe she cared about him. As much as she talks bad about Sean, outside of hooking Javier on drugs, she played him like Sean played her. Plus, with Javier destroying his phone, there is no ability to warn him or even try to make amends. If these two meet again it will be on bad terms and Javier has proven he doesn’t have that Scarface rule of not killing women.
But with that said, where can we go from here? Christian’s storyline is at the end of its rope with this FBI thing and with him no longer being Letty’s parole officer he has no place. It’s hard to foresee Sean going back and forth with Letty and honestly, as much as Jacob may want his parents together, supposedly Sean got a woman and who really wants to see these two go another round? Though the big thing to look at is what will happen with Javier? Though Letty has grown on me, it is undeniable that its because Javier made her likable. So how can they have him hunted by the FBI, likely knowing Letty had something to do with it, and yet keep what makes this show good together? They have his dark web handle, may end up seeing his face, and with that comes the beginning of the end. So what’s going to happen? Letty kidnapping Jacob and disappearing with Javier to South America or Europe? I like this show but I doubt such an investment is going to be made by TNT. So, here is hoping the inevitable cliff hanger is something good and not too frustrating.
Things to Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Who was Letty working with in episode one, when she was stealing stuff from the hotel, before meeting Javier, and will they ever reveal who that was?
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I’ve never warmed up to Botto. His acting skills are not at the level of Dockery’s tremendous talent. It is Letty that keeps me wanting to come back for more.
This show has good actors and is based on an intrigging premise. But with each episode it seems to be self destructing. I’m really disappointed.
The main issue to me is the show is reverting back to its old ways. In the beginning, it seemed the show wanted to make this sympathetic drug addict using the cheapest methods possible. Add on Michelle Dockery focused on stripping away whatever remnant there was of Lady Mary and it ultimately left you feeling the show was trying too hard. However, with time, and certainly thanks to the actor playing Javier, she settled down, the writing seemed to get better and it seemed we kind of had a hidden gem.
But then Sean came and I feel like we are right back where we started. The writing is geared way too much at making Letty someone you should feel bad for and is making Sean into a cheap villain to do it. It’s like someone realized Juan Diego Botto was starting to eclipse Dockery, who they built all this marketing around, so they decided to take his character down a peg, ruin the relationship which turned this sort of bleh show into something decent. And I get there are going to be ups and downs, but honestly this show is reliant on Botto as Shameless, assuming you watch, has become on Emmy Rossum. Dockery maybe the known face and name but she isn’t what keeps you around in the long run. She, to me anyway, has become a strong supporting role to which Botto, arguably, should be considered the star.
I too felt that Michelle was trying a little to hard to show her acting chops beyond Downton. She could have built the characte over time. I thoroughly enjoy Botto as an actor. Something to be said for subtlety. His character was so strong in the beginning but has slowly become Letty’s doormat. I don’t think she was using him per se, but ends up doing that bc she’s so selfish and self consumed. Wouldn’t hurt if she had fewer crying jags too. I don’t think he had much choice but to walk out on her in the last episode. I don’t enjoy the role of Jacob and the ensuing custody battle. Not my thing. Javier and Letty are good strong characters and the show should center around their relationship and adventures. There were so many plot damaging storylines opened up in E9, I don’t see how they wrap them up and maintain any credibility.
If they get renewed for another season, they need new writers. The Sean/Letty hookup was a really bad move. Didn’t make any sense.
If the show isn’t renewed, I hope Juan Diego Botto doesn’t fall back into obscurity (that’s subjective…He was new to me). Hopefully he’ll get enough exposure from this and get picked up for another show. He has a strong, silent persona. Like Gary Cooper, John Garfield or David Janssen. Michele Dockery, on the other hand, will always land on her feet.
Juan Diego Botto is by far a better actor than Michelle Dockery. She is a more well-known name but he definitely gives the better performance.
The name of the person Letty was working with in E1 was Nate. That’s all they revealed.