Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Round Two: National Treasure

National Treasure: Season 1, Episode 2 (B+)

This really is an exceptional series. What’s most fascinating about it is the way the main characters who are at the certain of this whole thing turn inwards on themselves to think back and try to figure out what they really know. While their lawyer is busy swearing a lot so that the reporters can’t use anything, Paul is thanking people for believing in and standing by him. There are no issues skirted around – he went on a radio show to discuss his innocence, explaining that a presumption of guilt has been encouraged with the announcer bringing up the counterargument about whether the law should be protecting possible perpetrators or possible victims. Dee described her behavior not as a cry for help but as a cry for clarity, and the flashbacks to a far more menacing Paul playing with his young daughter and then eagerly watching as the babysitter walked in indicate that he’s more guilty than he remembers. The layered nature of the memories presents a complex version of events, with the babysitter purposely flirting with Paul to cover up what she and Dee were doing, one that still doesn’t excuse his behavior. Marie’s comment that he is never unfaithful in an important way, one that matters, is an interesting if all too forgiving perspective. What’s clear is that this has all taken a tremendous toll on Dee, who is afraid of losing her own kids, and her destructive driving at the end of the episode doesn’t indicate anything good.