Blow Up is the more complex and revealing episodes of this young series. It is centered around a combination photography benefit and competition which of course involves Sophie but the six previous episodes have sown the Manhattan scene with plenty of drama and this hour utilizes that material to provided an entertaining and dramatic hour.
The most dramatic conflict was between Gideon and his artist father who returns from Europe especially for this episode. We learn that Gideon’s sarcastic and ironic manner is a result of living with the self-important and cruel Tyler Lustig who never met a putdown he wasn’t willing, no anxious, to use on his son. Gideon obviously has internalized his hurt feelings. It wouldn’t do any good to fight back anyway, but when his father attacks Sophie’s artistic ability Gideon rears up and turns his sarcasm and irony on his tormentor.
The other major conflict is ongoing abuse Karen is putting herself through to get thin enough by not eating and taking dangerous prescription diet pills. Finally managing to get that model interview with Kevin’s agency that she has strove for Karen is pumped up on the diet pills and has lost the unique beauty that got her into modeling in the first place. In total denial Karen is shocked and hurt when she sees the collage Sophie made from the photos she posed for. In her confused state she is helpless when Mr. Stein who has been stalking her since the beginning of the series offers her shelter and some self-esteem.
The other themes involve Lynn who get a big opportunity but must endure insults for a co-worker, Nicky overhearing his parents talk about divorce and a renewal of the conflict between Sophie and Annabelle.
And interesting moment occurs after Gideon and Sophie leave the benefit when Nicky defends Gideon to Tyler Lustig saying that Gideon is a “great guy”. Lustig of course brushes aside the opinion of this unknown teenager and Nicky’s father, Julian, defends his son and eventually delivers one of the most deserved right cross to the pompous man’s chin.
The conclusion where Sophie consoles Gideon following his blow up with his father and in a tender moment shares a kiss is made even more poignant when Gideon expresses his semester long love for Sophie telling her he doesn’t want her affection to come from pity, only from true feelings.
This little appreciated series has now presented two outstanding episodes in a row. Unfortunately the next episode will end this first season of this summer series just as the audience is inundated with the major networks fall season.