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Claws - Escape - Review

This week on “Claws,” while Desna plans her final “Escape” from the Dixie Mafia, her dark secret makes a prisoner out of Jenn.

Desna is closer than ever to making her dreams a reality, but there’s one last obstacle in her way – she needs Uncle Daddy to let her out of the money laundering operation. She has an exit strategy all set, though – suggesting that his boy toy (who finally gets a name – it’s Toby) take over at Nail Artisans. And to ensure Uncle Daddy is in a good, receptive mood to hear her request, she steps in to plan an elaborate, “Gone with the Wind”-themed anniversary party for him and his wife. But while she’s making these moves, her number two is nowhere to be seen, having called in sick the last few days. And when we see Jenn – a shell of her usual self in almost no makeup and loose pajamas – it’s clear she’s really struggling and feeling disconnected from both her husband and her best friend. She’s distracting herself with excessive shopping sprees, contemplating cough medicine to numb her pain, and calling up that dance instructor from a few weeks ago for a private lesson.

Because this is TV, things come to a head when everyone’s gathered for the anniversary party, where both Bryce and Jenn fall off the wagon (Bryce snorts coke off a live turtle’s shell, which is so, sooo “Claws”) and Jenn spits at Desna that she knows about her connection to the Coombs. This leads to an emotionally and then physically combative confab between them, Polly, and Quiet Ann where Desna tearfully tries to explain herself while Jenn rails that Desna’s “the only one who hasn’t paid a price.” It’s a great, tense scene, and Jenn Lyon is so good playing the ferocity of Jenn’s anger that I really felt for her that Polly and Quiet Ann weren’t more receptive to her pain (Quiet Ann – who learns all this Roller/Coombs stuff for the first time – is mostly upset that Desna didn’t come to her for help).

Things end as well as they can. Uncle Daddy gives Desna her walking papers, though he ominously notes that new businesses fail all the time and that she’ll be welcomed back into the fold if need be. And after a vivid fantasy (that totally got me, by the way) of Bryce shooting Desna, Jenn decides to keep quiet about what she knows. But whether Desna and Jenn’s friendship will be able to survive this is a story for another day.

Besides their supporting roles in the Desna/Jenn story, Polly and Quiet Ann have some subplot stuff of their own. Polly is approached outside the salon by a teenage girl named Marnie. At first, I thought this was a girl from the community service we saw her doing in episode two, but it turns out to be a neighbor of Polly’s from the motel whose mother has been arrested. Seeing something of herself in Marnie, and inspired by Desna’s parenting of Dean, Polly offers her support and a place to stay. Marnie, in turn, advises Polly to open herself up to the advances of Dr. Ken. Quiet Ann, meanwhile, is still secretly dating Detective Arlene, who does an admirable job of getting her to open up about herself. It’s a slow burn right now, but I’ve got my eye on this storyline really exploding at some point.

While all of this is going on, Virginia and Dean are in South Beach so Dean can participate in a performance art piece. Desna is unhappy that Dean thinks Virginia is his girlfriend and warns “Rainbow Brite” to watch herself. At first, Virginia isn’t too concerned, promising to let him down easy. But after he defends her against some jerks poolside, and she gets a peek at his apparently oversized package when he disrobes for his show, she – as she so often does – slips on her bad idea bikini and seduces him. And in the afterglow, it quickly becomes apparent how in over her head she now is.

Also at Art South Beach are Roller and his crazy captor. Now last week, when Roller was convincing her to do the show, I thought he was just trying to get her out of the house. But once I saw she had brought him along (if drugged and tied to a wheelchair), I knew it was only a matter of time before he crossed paths with Virginia and Dean. And indeed, as the episode ends, he manages to escape and gets spotted by both of them. But before he can say anything, Roller is forced to flee when his captor comes after him with a gun, and is only spared death at her hands when he’s scooped up by the Russians who’ve been lurking around the shopping mall. I for one am glad the show didn’t drag out Roller’s captivity, and I’m excited to see where this cliffhanger goes next week.

Now that I’m done captivating you with my thoughts on this week’s “Claws,” “Escape” to the comments section and tell me what you thought of all the twists and turns.