Monday, April 25, 2022

What I’m Watching: Russian Doll

Russian Doll: Season 2, Episode 5 “Exquisite Corpse” (B+)

I should have expected that, on this show, Nadia traveling back to the middle of the Holocaust in Hungary wasn’t going to involve her getting caught or anything traumatic, but instead her walking around, smoking a cigarette, and smuggling out a good portion of her family’s jewelry felt quite casual and rather easy. Having her speak Hungarian for the majority of the episode was also somewhat trippy, but this show, for all that’s sometimes predictable about it, has the capacity to surprise in entirely unexpected ways. Things got very intense and disorienting towards the end when she kept walking from car to car and seeing a different version of herself, but the biggest realization is one that hedges closer to Alan’s perspective about not wanting to change things, or in this case, not being able to since they always happened like that. Nadia’s reaction to the insistence on the particular currency for the valuables made her realize that this was always a part of her history, and that nothing she had done had made any difference since events were still fated to play out the same way. What that suggests, to me, is that this theory of time travel is one in which time doesn’t play out in a linear way, meaning that Vera and Nora both shared a consciousness with Nadia at a certain point, and while Nora may have been more aware of it, especially since they separated for a time, that likely contributed to the diagnosis of mental illness. I’m not sure how that will lead to resolving anything, but it does provide plenty of food for thought.

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