Saturday, December 22, 2018

What I’m Watching: Maniac (Penultimate Episode)

Maniac: Season 1, Episode 9 “Utangatta” (C+)

We’re nearing the end here, and I’m not finding this to be particularly satisfactory. The emphasis on accent work is overwhelming a coherent narrative, and as a result this is turning into a shootout with CIA agents and NATO testimonies in Brussels as an alien invasion looms, which seems random more than anything else and a bit of an overreach for either Owen or Annie’s minds, conscious or unconscious. Owen having to solve an all-silver Rubik’s cube felt like a wild demand, and I think I preferred Annie having a true heart-to-heart with Gertie about what loss means when she told her that she didn’t actually want to be reunited with her sister since she had to let her go. I’m ready to call Julia Garner, who recently netted a surprise SAG bid for “Ozark,” the MVP of this show and an actress who should appear on everything. The manifestation of metaphorical ideas in the real world are considerably less compelling, as James was yammering about how he was blinded by his mother’s toxic love, a characterization she didn’t reject but instead embraced. Now that Gertie has apparently agreed to relinquish eternal control over the subjects of the experiment, it’s not clear what’s left for our protagonists, whose return to life outside this controlled environment is going to be difficult and disappointing at best. They might be able to build a life together, but sharing moments isn’t going to compare to what they’ve experienced together in their minds and in far more extravagant costumes and identities.

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