Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Take Three: The Queen’s Gambit

The Queen’s Gambit: Season 1, Episode 3 “Doubled Pawns” (B+)

This show couldn’t only feature Beth winning every game she played, and her response to her first loss was predictably unpleasant. Benny, played by Thomas Brodie Sangster of “Game of Thrones” and “Love Actually” fame, had already fractured her confidence when he met her and pointed out something she could have done something differently, and his cockiness felt different from, say, Beltik, who wasn’t even interested enough in his opponent to realize that he should be paying attention to the game. Townes was very happy to see her when they ran into each other, though she apparently had different ideas of what he would want other than the more literal opportunity to take pictures of her for the magazine. She seemed put off by the fact that he was gay mostly because she was interested in him and had thought that he would reflect those feelings back and give her another first experience. Having a friend who she can rely on who can help analyze her game play will be helpful, since she doesn’t seem to want to take the advice of someone who doesn’t understand the intricacies of chess: her mother. There are still troubling signs about the addictive parts of Beth’s personality, like her eagerness to drink beer and just rush through every new experience rather than try to digest it slowly so that she can get used to it. What will be most telling is how quickly – and responsibly – she bounces back from a crushing defeat and uses it to better both her strategy and her resilience.

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