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Good Behavior - For You I'd Go With Strawberry - Review + POLL



For You I'd Go With Strawberry, the penultimate episode of Good Behavior was written by Lenore Zion and directed by Mikkel Nørgaard. I thought this was another really strong yet emotionally distressing installment. I can't believe how fast the season has gone by!

Opening the episode on the beach, immediately following last week's episode's ending was a really nice way to being this installment and set up the major conflict between Letty and Javier for the episode. During this scene, watching Letty break down, unable to fully stand up as her worst nightmare was being brought to life through Sean was a great scene. The way Michelle Dockery expresses the extreme raw pain Letty feels is always a pleasure to watch.

“I never imagined the man who ruined me would come back to ruin me again”

Javier chatting with Sean was an interesting scene. It showed both men's personalities at their core. Javier carried himself more cooley, calm and collected whilst Sean was overly cocky and felt like he was larger than life. The very fact that Sean wants to “win” custody was evidence of not being fully on his best behavior, he shouldn't want to win as if it was a game but rather, he should want the best for his son.

Sean declared he was a changed man but surely a changed man would be more a bit more gentleman-like, surely one would see how it wasn't a conducive environment when Letty was with him, it's not hard to place yourself in another person shoes. From small interactions we've pieced together some aspects of his Sean's past indiscretions, for him to be so nonchalant, felt like he hasn't truly learned his lesson or changed fully. It's clearer now Letty has made more self-change through her time in prison (through which she took responsibility for her actions) and then afterward, once free, trying to become a better person for Jacob. He did have a hand in her addiction and that's important. I recognize that we are all individual and make our choices however at a younger, more easily persuaded age, one has to realize that power shifts wherever someone finds something of value, so whatever substance you share, it has an effect on the person receiving it and you are not free of the consequences of it, especially if you know it's not good for the person. Sean, later in the episode noting that she came to him, begging for drugs and then Letty not denying it, also says something about her crave for them, perhaps, shoplifting at a young age was just the first step but when someone wants something they shouldn't have, you don't give it to them. People don't become who they are without help. The fact Javier noted picked up on that Sean just abandoned Letty, was more telling of his character, even if "junkies abandon themselves". If one truly cares for someone they stick around for all the trials and tribulations, Letty did when Javier was broken after his family split away from him. Todd Williams and Juan Diego Botto were both great in this scene.

“Kyle said it had to look cheap, not ugly”

Letty going to Kyle for legal aid and happening to be greeted by the receptionist casually checking out the repairman was hilarious. It was nice to hear Tiffany apologize for indirectly telling her daughter who Jacob’s father was. I think it's becoming clear Letty doesn't really hold grudges against Tiffany and whilst I really want her to apologize for what went down at the reunion, I do appreciate that this isn't a friendship based on backstabbing and bickering but rather one in the moment. The little shopping excursion with Letty and Tiffany was quite enjoyable if not short, “you're seriously going to steal that, this is a charity store”.

“I really want to be a good mom to you”

Jacob’s questioning of Letty in the fort was a much-needed scene. After all of those disagreements, I was glad they talked it out, communication is key to repairing fractured relationships, something Sean and Letty clearly haven't had. Letty acknowledging that lying to Jacob was a great narrative choice, she knows he's old enough to know that even if lying to protect someone from the truth is also going to have a rebuttal effect of hurting them too. She also sees herself in Jacob which she noted to the social worker lady and so she knows how it would feel on such a soft soul. These sorts of secrets leave a double edged wound. It also shows how as a mother she's growing, to accept her flaws and to understand that want her son needs.

“We are separate people”

Seeing Letty dismiss Javier for showing up at the custody sit down was disheartening, he showed up, shows how much he cares for Jacob and her, but her judgment was severely clouded. Even Estelle reminded Letty of his loyalty (near the end of the episode) but by then it was a bit too late. Her need to be free of Sean caused her to indirectly push Javier away too. Javier's talk before the meeting was important, I'm very glad he said no to Letty, he's more aware of the repercussions of killing someone, he's asked his clients this very question over and over.

“In a perfect world I’d love to make that happen for you but this world isn’t perfect”

I felt sorry for Jacob in this moment, the way he talked about the lowest parts of both his parents but also yearned for them to be together again was heartbreaking. Children don't understand there are prerequisites for love and that two people aren't always going to end up together just because they share a child. The thing most of us see growing up on tv is a happy family with a white picket fence and happiness galore, so we, in turn, want this. The globalization of perfect families through toys and TV is what perpetuates such a hard to grasp reality. We always see the facade but never the cruel, hurtful shadows that may lurk behind the window pane.

He told me that “you’d try to kill yourself” because of the pressure of being a mom. Now this truly sucked, no man should ever manipulate a child which such words, they’d do anything to stop someone from dying, anything. That's when a child's love really comes through. Yes, she may have tried to kill herself before and maybe isolation, depression, and certain events were too hard to bare but I don't think every child should be told something like this when in such a situation. It was a clear manipulative move. If he cared that she was suicidal, wouldn't he have also not asked for custody, because isn't that a factor in stress?

I think the only reason Letty doesn't give Jacob these unnecessary goals to aim for are because, in this day and age, you are basically being taught to pass exams in schools, there are so many obstacles a child must overcome to be accepted into society, why not just be happy with what you have, be free.

Letty asking Jacob if he wants to live with Sean was definitely hard for her, it took a lot of strength for her to ask him that, she took into account his needs, Sean didn't even ask if Letty was a good fit for Jacob. Children need their mother as much as a father, Letty asking this shows her growth and I think Sean should also realize this, they should work on a shared custody or some visitation rights so both are present in his life.

“A common culture”, The racial identity discussion was very important but as Letty said, he came from her, there's a bond there, a family is many things, not one.

I loved how Letty spoke about her son, that he was soft spoken, that he wasn’t one for the alpha male life, it’s obvious from the way he was during the baseball game, he is a quiet, reserved child by nature, not always sure what he wants, like Letty. I loved how she fought to keep Jacob, her speech was beautifully written and the love in those words just echoed from Michelle Dockery easily.

“Now Jacob needs to know that his own mother can take care of him, that his own mother wants him”, I think she said this because she knows, deep down, he probably feels a lack of a motherly figure from her, in the sense of raising him, her loves her but perhaps wants the small things that make her a mother, plus she hasn't been a solid figure in his life. He still lives and is primarily raised by his grandmother. This was another important piece of dialogue.

“I get him because he’s just like me, and those ingredients were made of, aren’t typical, they’re hard to understand but intuitive to me, I’m not trying to win an argument, I love him, and I want to be his mother. Please let me be his mom."

Michelle Dockery was fantastic throughout this entire delivery, the way she delivered the dialogue, strong and firm but never rude or condescending only with the love from a mother and the need to convey she cares and understands the gravity of the situation. This entire scene was really a highlight for me.

Later, Letty broken by the uncertainty of the custody case finds herself in the same motel room as Javier was when she asked him to leave. That quick moment where Letty is about to phone Javier again, hovering her finger over the screen but fighting the urge to press it was a muted cry for help. It’s heartbreaking to see her parallel herself from the pilot. Even more heartbreaking is how low Letty has she let herself fall into something that made her so upset. To see Sean just walk in and still have that hold on her and the glimpses of her face were too poignant. My heart really sunk when Javier pulled up right outside the motel, right when they were sleeping together and the fact he opened the door, saw them lying asleep on the bed and shut it was devastating. How tragic for him, even more, alone now.

The morning after, Sean noting, "You are better in my memory" and just looking at Letty silently cry into the mirror, regretting her choices was unpleasant to behold. She was forgetting who she was, who she fought so hard to become and now, the way she glimpsed into the mirror, it felt as if she was asking what her positivity videos were asking, who am I?

Back at home, it was nice to see Letty have a moment of happiness as she crawled onto her bed to sleep next to Jacob. It was too late that she found Javier's note and even worse, Christian had shown up with an FBI agent.

“You really should have lead with that tidbit.”

Letty’s reaction to the FBI agent wiping away the mayo from Christian's mouth was so random but funny. The dialogue between the two women was really entertaining. The offer to start clean was not something I expected but I guess the money wasn't as big a crime as Javier's actions to the FBI. It was obvious Letty was conflicted near the end to take the offer but her connection was Javier was stronger, though that sense of doubt for Jacob was pulling at her, fraying her like cloth.

“Betrayal is not a tree falling in a forest”

I never expected that milkshake scene with Javier to be all a figment of her imagination at all. That was really unexpected.

Javier's actual phone call goodbye was so touching and again, heartbreaking. Him wanting to know if she was sober was so thoughtful and the fact she didn’t send the text with Javier’s handle until after the call makes me think she only did it because he left. So he can't get caught, right? In her mind, she's thinking maybe there's some sort of happy ending after all but both are even more isolated now.

Seeing the milkshake dripping down the side of the glass in three paths was such a striking image, a truly profound use of imagery from the director in my opinion. I reflected upon it in the sense that life has many paths, one choice can lead you down many roads and it's this conflict that Letty grappled with when choosing to send Javier's handle to Christian.

Thank you for reading again, apologies for the extra long review, there was a lot of great dialogue to talk about. Some parts are thinner on analysis than others, so please, come and discuss in the comments. I greatly appreciate all the feedback and discussion very week. Do not forget, next Tuesday is the final episode of Good Behavior's first season, so tune in live at 9|8c on TNT, we need ratings to go up! Hopefully, we get a 2nd season.



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