Friday, February 18, 2011

Dirty Sexy Money: The Star Witness (2.3)

It was a positive decision to make Nick's reunion with his mother not as peachy as it could have been. Through great work by Peter Krause here, the full extent of Nick's anger was evident, how for thirty years he has felt betrayed by the one woman who is supposed to be there for him and love him unconditionally. Claire's excuses were ridiculous. So she didn't fit into that world... and? While it's hard to fully escape the Darling universe (just ask Lisa), you don't abandon your child to fulfill that desire...

Everybody involved in that particular subplot was blessed with some good material. I loved Lisa's quiet anger that Nick is only pursuing his mother now, and not after the countless times she'd suggested a reconciliation. While Jill Clayburgh was stunning here, depicting a woman clearly unbalanced in certain ways but who has no idea how she is coming off.

Equally strong was Brian's return to the forefront, with his generally obnoxious behavior contrasting sweetly with his relationship with his son. It feels like a rerun of season one, but since this subplot was one of the best things about last season, it's not surprising it's back again. I did love that scene where Brian stole the taxi cab from the old lady with the neck brace. Heh.

The writing for Tripp is once again problematic. He's not been a character this season, only a plot device. Gone are the subtleties and insecurities displayed last year, now all that's left is rapid ambition and a keen interest in manipulating everybody around him. And now he's brought Carmelita back into the fold to keep Patrick sitting pretty. It's all a disservice to Donald Sutherland at this point.

Probably the strongest episode so far this season, if only because it gave most of the actors something to work with. Only Tripp's machinations and the ridiculous Nola/Jeremy subplots are hurting the show right now. A-

Guest stars Will Shadley (Brian Darling Jr.); Sheryl Lee (Andrea Smithson); Laura Margolis (Daisy); Chloe Grace Moretz (Kiki George); Candis Cayne (Carmelita Rainer); Caroline Lagerfelt (Clare George); Dan Rather (Himself); Michael Lerner (Martin); Ron Glass (Dennis Ford)
Writer Yahlin Chang Director Bob Berlinger

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