Sunday, April 24, 2022

What I’m Watching: Russian Doll

Russian Doll: Season 2, Episode 3 “Brain Drain” (B+)

This episode was heavily disorienting – not that most of this show isn’t already – and I noticed particularly the effect of the room closing in on Nadia as she spoke to the doctor while she was wearing a straightjacket and started to understand the seriousness of her situation. But this isn’t a show that’s going to find her locked in a psychiatric ward or an asylum but instead one that will easily see her finding a way out the window in mere moments. What she has to endure is that she knows what’s happening to her and that it’s real, but no one is going to believe her. The way that Ruth speaks to her is especially interesting, since she cares very much for her and almost doesn’t even acknowledge the fact that what she’s saying doesn’t make any sense. Having Nora split out of Nadia’s body when she smashed the mirror was a worthwhile development, one that allowed them to have capers together and to feel like partners rather than just a host and a traveler or parasite of sorts. Looking at slides from the Holocaust changed the mood of the episode considerably, but this isn’t about reliving suffering or connecting to heritage, rather the pursuit of something physical that was taken away and the attempt to rewrite history to create prosperity and strong family relationships. Going to Hungary is a new idea, one that feels like a major trip given Nadia’s inability to seamlessly ride the subway, but she seems set on figuring this out.

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