The Act: Season 1, Episode 3 “Two Wolverines” – Recap, Review (with Spoilers)

The Act Season 1, Episode 3 Two Wolverines - Title Card featuring Gypsy on her laptop.
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As Gypsy gets her first taste of real love, and Dee Dee a reminder of what that is, we’re reminded both are a bit toxic.


Network
Hulu
Director(s) Adam Arkin
Writer(s) Robin Veith
Air Date 3/27/2019
Introduced This Episode
Russ Dean Norris
Scott Joe Tippett
Shelly Denitra Isler

Anything Can Happen At A Con: Russ, Dee Dee, Scott, Gypsy, Shelly

While Gypsy doesn’t get to leave the house much, beyond hospital visits and ways for Dee Dee to make money, conventions are a strange exception. But what makes this convention, FanOptiCon, different is that the neighbor from down the lane, Shelly, was there. Her importance in this is that she provides Gypsy the opportunity to separate from her mother and not be so close to her eye that she is practically a lash. Thus leading to them both meeting charming men.

Shelly (Denitra Isler) dressed up for the convention.
Shelly (Denitra Isler)

For Dee Dee, it is a man named Russ who claims to know what it is like to take care of a sickly child. Then when it comes to Gypsy, she meets Scott. A man a bit older than her, by a few years, but seems kind. However, no matter how kind a person is, if they get between Dee Dee and her, they are not considered friendly.

A Lady Has Her Secrets: Scott, Lacey, Gypsy, Dee Dee, Russ

While Dee Dee is entertained by Russ’ attention, Gypsy is making secret Facebook accounts to talk to Scott. She even tells Lacey since, with this being one of the first secrets she has, that her mom doesn’t know, it makes her want to tell someone. You know, be like how Lacey’s friends were with one another. And for both, the secret phone calls and interactions last for a while.

A Taste Of How Things Should Have Been: Gypsy, Dee Dee, Russ, Scott

Scott (Joe Tippett), dressed as Wolverine, meeting Gypsy.
Scott (Joe Tippett)

That is until a line is crossed. With Russ talking about helping around the house, that seems fine since it keeps Dee Dee in a power position. However, when he talks about helping with Gypsy, he becomes a threat. So communication ends with that.

As for Scott? Well, Gypsy knows more than it appeared as she, upon hearing Scott is injured, takes her mom’s rainy day fund and runs to him. Actually, better said, runs away to him. But what messes her up is she left a note to give Dee Dee some idea of where she went and no sooner does Dee Dee figure out who the guy is, she is at his door to take Gypsy back. Oh, and lying to Scott and saying the then 19-year-old Gypsy was 14 to turn Scott all the way off.

Highlights

If You Read What Happened, Or Watch The Documentaries Or Interview, It Leaves You In Awe

Granted, Dee Dee was a heavyset woman and Joey King doesn’t look all that much like the real Gypsy, but both of their performances remind you it is about capturing someone’s essence more than their physical look. It’s about capturing the fact Dee Dee wasn’t all there as much as how cunning, or conniving, she was.

Then, with King as Gypsy, it’s about her purposely using what her mom taught her to manipulate people. Leading you to this grey area of recognizing Gypsy as a victim but, through Scott, seeing she has learned a few tricks. That, as much as she seems innocent, it is only because most of her interactions were under her mother’s eye. However, without her around, she is definitely her mother’s daughter.

Noting, Even If A Caretaker, You Still Need To Have A Life & Feel Desirable

Russ (Dean Norris), as Wolverine, meeting Dee Dee.
Russ (Dean Norris)

Let’s put the crazy side of Dee Dee and put it on the shelf for a moment. One of the things you have to appreciate about Russ is how he shows, even with Dee Dee’s Munchausen syndrome by proxy syndrome, that there is still something normal to her. That she does like the idea of maybe having someone, a traditional male figure to fix things, love her, and what have you. In a way, it makes it seem like she isn’t totally lost in poisoning Gypsy to either trap her or con the world. I’d even argue, in a show which makes everyone seem suspect, Russ allowed Dee Dee to seem normal.

How This Show Makes You See The Worse In People

One of the weird things this show is good at is making everyone involved seem guilty. Not just Dee Dee, but how Gypsy aiding her mother in the scams makes her less of a saint. How, when it comes to Scott, it seeming like she was using him as she later appeared to be using Nicholas. Then as you spread out, Scott and Russ seem untrustworthy to a point as well. Scott’s attraction to barely 18 Gypsy, who often looks like a child, makes you uncomfortable. Russ painting this sad picture while he seemingly is doing well, possibly lying, makes you question if he is telling the truth.

I could go on and on but the end result is the show makes you distrust anyone who interacts or is around Gypsy and Dee Dee. Making it so, even if they had good intentions, there is the need to ask if they were covering up their true desires like Dee Dee and Gypsy.

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