Friday, February 18, 2022

What I’m Watching: Inventing Anna

Inventing Anna: Season 1, Episode 5 “Check Out Time” (B+)

This is a cast stacked with a lot of big names, but one of its most impressive assets is one I didn’t know before this: Alexis Floyd. We saw Neff briefly before as she went to ask Kacy and Rachel if they would go visit Anna with her, and this episode allowed us to see a much fuller picture of who she was. Having her start by citing union rules to get her boss to leave her alone indicated a confident resolution to what was a mistake she very much perpetrated, and the sight of her getting tipped in one hundred dollar bills constantly by Anna explained why it was that she did so much for her. Watching her call around town to get her in the right databases and have her reputation precede her so that she could get in anywhere was intoxicating, and by the time Neff was invited along to the party, she could see how well it had paid off. Seeing Anna’s nearly $34,000 hotel bill and realizing that she had been signing her dinner checks to the room was startling, and shows just how much being annoyed at being questioned about the ability to pay for something can inexplicably lead to never paying for anything. This is now the second time we’ve seen Anna have her belongings locked away until she pays, and she didn’t melt down nearly as much this time, even making sure to pay Neff back for the one meal she covered. Seeing her go visit Anna and catch up about gossip at the end was affirming, suggesting that one relationship did survive all of this because it was in part surface level, which is necessary when you’re lying through your teeth. Anna Chlumsky also did great work in this episode as Vivian had to deal with the skeletons of her past reemerging, and I like that Todd knew how to cheer her up by showing her a terrible commercial he had to make.

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