Friday, April 3, 2020

What I’m Watching: Dispatches from Elsewhere

Dispatches from Elsewhere: Season 1, Episode 5 “Clara” (B+)

It was definitely worth the wait to meet Clara, who is just as interesting as the four main characters but deserves extra credit for discovering this sense of wonder on her own. In fact, it was her individualistic approach that got her into trouble and made her the target of the Jejune Institute, since Octavio approached her and politely noted that she was giving away something that the institute worked very hard to sell. What she seemed to value more than anything, even the pursuit of divine nonchalance, was doing it with her friends, which she appears to have inspired with these four people, who wouldn’t exactly be termed good friends just yet, looking so ardently for her. Her excitement about the ice cream truck spilling out sandwiches and wanting to make it real were indeed infectious, and her backstory was conveyed in a riveting and marvelous manner. The switch to animation when the fantasy stopped because she was attacked and stabbed the woman trying to take her in the eye was fitting since it represented a firm break with this illusion of divine nonchalance, and now it’s not clear where she is aside from in her painted subterranean form. As Janice is trying not to pull away from her personal life, immersing herself in imagined two-way conversations with Lev, both Peter and Simone are doing the opposite, embracing this as their true purpose. Peter and Simone seem keyed in together in a great way, while Janice and Fredwynn still have to work on consistently being on the same page.

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