Season 2 Episode 7

Johnny Hit And Run Pauline

Aired Friday 10:00 PM Nov 06, 2009 on Starz

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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out of 10
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  • The show improves greatly as the pace picks up and story lines pursue more intriguing and new paths.

    (More on Bo later)

    Inez is given greater complexity, as we see a new side to her. Her story continues from last week, as Jimmy finds her dressing up after sex with her new suitor Kieran (Neil Hopkins) with whom she's fallen in love. Jimmy gives her every reason to leave him when he threatens to "set things straight" for such adultery and then insists she be his alibi for what he assures her is an even more dire situation into which he has plunged himself than usual. Wisely, she decides to take Kieran up on his offer to go to London with her. However, after a night of drinking, Kieran accidentally hits a cyclist with his car and is about to leave the car to see if he's alright. Panicked, Inez insists that he drive off -- or call anonymously from a pay phone if necessary -- to avoid being sent to prison for potentially violating the legal blood alcohol level. Disgusted, Kieran rushes to the cyclist's side and calls an ambulance. After help arrives and Kieran informs Inez unaffectionately that the cyclist suffered minor injuries and that his blood-alcohol level was fine, she feigns humanitarian priorities in stating that all that mattered was that the cyclist was alright. Before leaving for London the next morning, Kieran has already decided he doesn't love Inez after all and goes without waking her. While I did sympathize with Inez' survival instinct and find Kieran's judgmental attitude a bit cut and dry, this shows that Inez was never simply a good woman stuck in a bad relationship, but had immoral qualities herself that attracted men like Jimmy into her life. She probably realizes this as she finds that Kieran has abandoned her and she burns wrist with a cigarette butt to pretend to her co-workers that Kieran was abusive and avoid the humiliation of explaining why she isn't on vacation with him.

    Seth Blachard's arc begins to face public and media perceptions of his city for the poor, Byzantium. This story line picks up with Seth's assistant Andrea Schillo continuing to voice concern for Seth's departure from commercial profit-making. When she asks Seth's apparently like-minded wife Maggie Cheon refusing to confront him about it, the latter refuses because it would create a rift in their marriage. Yet, despite her assurances to Seth in the next scene that she supports him in his cause, the worried look that returns when he leaves the room reveals her doubt; so does her quick swig of alcohol, which made me think she not only doesn't care about the baby, but wants to force a miscarriage. One wonders if she is the anonymous source that leaked that Seth believes himself directed by God to help the poor -- as sprung by a morning talk show host in the midst of her live TV interview with him. When Seth demands that Kenny find out whomever is responsible, I feel sure that, if it is discovered that Maggie is to blame, it will not only create tension in their marriage, but might cause him to end it, potentially displaying his zealotry and intolerance for disobedience when it comes to this calling; how understanding will he be?

    While we see Kenny pursue a personal relationship with the woman in charge of the homeless shelter, Tess Nolan, we are reminded of his loyalty to Seth. Early in the episode, he highlights to Andrea that he is more loyal to the new Seth than she is. In their last scene of the episode, Tess blames Kenny for not telling her about Seth's motivations and shows a desire to withdraw support for him, given her priority of ensuring the interests of the homeless. Kenny is apologetic but unhesitant in risking their promising relationship for Seth's vision. When it seems as though they might break up over a matter of principle, they spontaneously fall back into each other's arms -- which I hadn't predicted. This stands in contrast to their first scene in the episode when, during a date that is going well and has each confess to getting impulsively into bad relationships, each vows to take things slowly. Predictably, the very next scene is of them rapturously engaging in intercourse. One wonders why this sex scene and the other toward the end of this episode between these characters are so long, since they feel exploitative by not illustrating anything about Kenny and Tess beyond their lust. Still, I have to admit that Tess' gorgeous writhing body is a pleasure to watch -- prudish distinctions between art and softcore porn be damned.

    Perhaps the least interesting plot involves Ben, as he initially tells his rock musician friend Owen (Keith Carradine) that he won't help him commit suicide. Owen is angered and proceeds to be rude to him over the next few days, while noticing that Ben and Susie seems to be getting along quite well and we see the opportunity -- once Owen dies naturally -- for she and Ben to get back together. Upon seeing Owen fall in the shower and need his wife Susie (Peggy Lipton) and Ben's help to get up, Ben sympathizes with his old friend's sense of humiliation at his helplessness. He reverses his decision and agrees to help Owen; Owen tells him he knew he'd agree and that it was only a matter of time. Without telling Susie, Ben and Owen pretend that they're leaving for the day -- Owen giving her a long good-bye kiss that makes Ben feel guilty for the pain his death will put her through. In a wooded area, Ben helps Owen inject himself with a lethal dose of some drug and he holds his friend. This plot ends when Ben returns with a suicide note from Owen and Susie collapses in tears, I fear the next episode will feature predictable drama of Susie hating Ben and Ben predictably losing a chance at his own happiness with Susie for his actions. While it seems a nice idea to have Ben do something other than obsess over his daughter, it just didn't feel all that exciting, moving or thought-provoking. However, Dennis Hopper's acting seemed fine and it served Ira Steven Behr's commentary on the right to die, which I also feel is essential in a civilized society.
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