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Good Behavior - The Heart Attack Is the Best Way - Review: "I've Missed This Show" + POLL

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Last season Good Behavior took me by surprise. I never expected to fall in love with it as much as I did. Michelle Dockery and Juan Diego Botto's sizzling onscreen chemistry coupled with their flawless acting abilities made it one of the most enjoyable pieces of TV I've seen in a long time. Not only was it led by two talented actors but collectively, it was filled with brilliant directors, writers, set directors and a music/sound team that's given me so much new music to listen to, amongst a plethora of another talent behind the scenes. Everything in this show is aesthetically pleasing, from each beautifully luxurious hotel room to the locations, and clothing, it all feels like something truly special. Also, I have to mention how good it is to hear that lovely opening title sequence. You know a show is truly divine when you have scenes that are not only musically appealing but are filmed with such precision, I've rewatched multiple scenes from Season 1 because of this.

The episode opens as sexier as ever. Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard & written by Chad Hodge, The Heart Attack Is the Best Way lays the groundwork for the upcoming season. Immediately my mind thinks back to last season's cliffhanger and how it was obviously not targeting our modern day Bonnie & Clyde, thank goodness! So to see them so happy from the get-go had me thankful, they deserve it. From the nonstop ringing of the phone to Jacob's "are you done yet?", it's clear that things won't be smooth sailing. As the episode plays out, this is absolutely certain but our duo is resilient, whether it's together or apart, nothing can keep them down.

"This isn't how a bribe works."

Letty trying to get Jacob into school not only showed how much she's trying to be a good mom but again, how talented Michelle Dockery is. The way she tries to smooth talk the receptionist into letting her son in is fantastic, even if the other lady isn't having it. It's particularly great how the camera focusses on Michelle's facial expressions, the way we see her cheerful exterior shift to disappointed is one of the countless reasons why we love Letty, she's got the best reactions to so many things. That quick swipe of her bribe back was awesome.

"I'm not... I'm not doing those things anymore. You are all I want in this world and now that I have you, I'm going to do everything I can to make a normal life for us."

Meanwhile, Javier going about his business, as usual, took a surprising turn, I'd expect Javier to have to fight for his life had one of his targets reacted but for him to also be a target, that was unexpected. The fight sequence was pretty intense, and like Letty, Javier's quick thinking, pretending to be dead, was just what he needed to get out of that jam. Whilst the guy was choking him, Juan's eyes, the largeness of them, was pretty impressive, it looked as though the life was being drained out of his body, so even if I was sure it was fake (I mean, the trailer had plenty of scenes with him in it for me to assume he wasn't dead, plus, Javier is way too badass to die like that), it was certainly believable from an acting standpoint.

Jacob: "You're not a teacher."
Letty: "I remember sixth grade."

Letty shoplifting school supplies made for such amusing scenes. She’s so slick as she glides around the store swiping the things she needs into her large handbag. The way her face never gives away what she's doing is one of the reasons why she's one of the best con artists I've seen. She never reveals her hand. Though I'll always worry about her getting caught. I love that Letty has a box of secrets (slightly) hidden in the garage. Seeing her prep the stolen goods to look storebought was ingenious. I enjoyed the sharp deceptions Javier & Letty came up to defend what they were doing in the garage, fake rain and a glue gun, so good!

Jacob: "I'm supposed to stay inside all the time?"
Letty: "Yes, that’s what Wifi is for"

Letty googling laws to defend her son being along since the police officer escorted him home was very motherly of her (even if it was also just Letty also being a quick thinker). I do agree with Letty, from what we've seen of Jacob, he's not as irresponsible as other children can be, he's curious definitely, but nothing that should require a police escort. I also agree with Letty that he should've told her where he was going, perhaps he's being a bit rebellious after living in Estelle's strict-ish care for so long, plus this new setup isn't one where it's as easy to tell what's right and wrong. The lines are blurred and perhaps since he didn't always know why his mom disappeared on him all the time, he feels it's okay to act in a similar manner. There are many avenues that could have lead to why Jacob didn't tell Letty, but it's understandable that he'd want to just be a kid, to make friends and having a parent around etc isn't exactly the best way to come across as cool.

Jacob: "Apple wants to help"
Letty: "Apple, is that a person?"
Javier: "I think he means the computers"

Having to re-shoplift new clothes for Jacob as a result of them being too small, as well as prep for an inpromptu dinner (as a result of Jacob being a bit too friendly to strangers) allowed us to see Letty slip into one of her old personas again. Michelle moves in each of these different wigs with such ease. It was great seeing her swipe the right size clothes again. However, this one closeup shot, with the bright sunlight beaming from behind her whilst she's grappling with the revelation that her husband's hunting and fishing aren't what they appear to be was fabulous. The perfection combination of direction and acting.

"Letty, this is what you wanted."

It should be noted how calm Letty was in front of the sales assistant who was helping her with the cases of wine, compared to when she returned home. The sheer shock engulfing her face as she processes Javier's work has come back home with him was great. The shot of her reaction from the reflection of the car doors mirror was a nice feature to film in.

Just as Letty is confronting Javier over the dead body, Laura Bell Bundy shows up. I loved how sweet she was, apologizing for opening the open door etc. For those who didn't watch Hart of Dixie, Laura was just delightful over on that show, and I'm so glad to see her here. I look forward to learning more about Carin with a C, not a K, more so after her husband followed Apple's GPS tracker to Lindsay & Emile's home as if she wasn't exactly trustworthy. It was quite bizarre of him to act in such a manner, which leads me to assume she must have some secrets, or that Eric is just a douche or both. His words, "you told them you could help them too", also seems to insinuate that she might not be as connected as she said, that maybe this has happened before, why else would he say this? Should be interesting seeing this storyline play out.

"Wheres your mom?"

It's so good to have Rhona back, you gotta love that she's playing games on her phone whilst Rob is making her a sandwich. She's such an unconventional FBI agent and Ann Dowd plays her with such panache. There's never a dull moment with Rhonda Lashever on screen, the way she called Estelle, Rob's mom was hilarious, her reaction when Rob says that she's his wife is priceless. I appreciate that Estelle protected Letty, even if she didn't know a lot about the situation, you can tell she's come a long way since the first season. Rhonda opening up her purse with its abundance of bits and bobs, right down to the ridiculously large battery rolling across the table was glorious, plus I adored Estelle's reaction to this all playing out.

"She just stole them. Put em in her cookbook too."
"I have that cookbook."
"Then you have stolen recipes."

Back to Letty & Javier's, "don’t quote me on this", unplanned dinner, watching Letty spin her web of lies was a joy to see. Michelle's conviction as she creates this illusion of a life they once had, right down to the stolen recipes is one of the things that make this show not only entertaining but plausible. Michelle sells Letty being a con artist, it's never forced, it flows are free as her wine. It's thankfully also never too wild, just extravagant enough to fit the right audience, but never overboard, because like Letty said, you don't want them to think about it. It's so evident Michelle has a blast doing these scenes, the reaction from Carin is just marvelous. Letty has her eating from the palm of her hands. After dinner, that quiet balcony conversation between Letty & Carin, which seems to be the start of a lovely friendship, with no bickering or fighting, was appreciated. The accidental slip of Jacob instead of Michael was unexpected, Letty isn't one to make a mistake so obvious but she seemed so passionate talking about her son, it's understandable she did (it's possible she's a little rusty) but she covered it up promptly. You can tell how much she wants the best for Jacob, she's got her proud mom aspect down.

"Where do you think this money will come from?"

Letty & Javier's confrontation in the garage once Apple (and Carin) were taken away by Eric was much needed. They'd both been simmering for a while now, and it had reached a boil. Both Juan Diego Botto and Michelle Dockery brought their A-game, though this isn't even their best, it's yet to come in the following episodes.

Javier touching on how a line cook's wages weren't going to make up the expenses of their lavish vacation home, let alone school fees and Letty talking about wanting to preserve her new spotless record so Jacob can remain with her showed strength. Neither seemed selfish, both were concerned about different aspects of their lives. Javier wanting to help his new family was a testament to his character despite the ways in which he goes about it. Letty wanting to not lose Jacob as well as prove to herself she can do it, by trying not to steal etc, shows how far she's come, (the both of them) in my opinion. Even if they falter, it takes strength to stay on their best behavior. Also, just to add, I loved Letty declaring that her stolen items were all the stuff she was "hiding for Christmas", that small moment was amazing.

"At least I'm trying."

Letty's talk of "dark moments" is credible, anyone, even if they don't shoplift, if they have an addiction to online shopping, to binge-watching, to eating junk food etc, we can all relate to those dark moments where sometimes even the strongest of us, cave, we are only human after all. Nothing ever comes freely and easily, and to see these things recognized, and not just being done because they are stumbling, is refreshing. It shows that the writers are aware that characters need to develop, and I'm so thankful. It's always irritating when characters remain stagnant. It's also nice to see that this is a realistic depiction of growth, it's not overnight but it's happening, little by little. Whilst Letty isn't on board with Javier killing people, she isn't quick to dismiss Javier's statements that someone was trying to kill him, and again, I'm glad there isn't unnecessary drama between our favorite couple. I've noticed some shows do this, add strain to a relationship to stir drama rather than allowing the relationship to grow, it's not just a testament to the writers but also to the idea that showing the worst parts of yourself to your partner first can be a huge gift as it allows everything to be laid out and nothing to be hidden to bit them later on. If someone can love you with all your scars, you know that person is one of a kind.

"Always with the heart attack thing, you need to get more creative"
"I used to be creative. Heart attack is the best way, every time"
"Not every time, obviously and why is it always a boring sport like fishing or golf?"
"It is not always that, I’m just doing what they do, I kill a lot of white men."

Gosh, I love Rhonda's dialogue, the writers must have so much fun coming up with things for her to say and Ann Dowd delivers them with such brilliance. Throw in eating olives, and that is just comedy gold. I look forward to seeing Christian and Rhonda's peculiar relationship evolve as the season progresses.

Letty breaking down over the reason Jacob locked the door to his room was Michelle's finest acting moment in this episode. The sheer distress and staunch protectiveness she has for Jacob is astounding, you can see it etched all over her face, especially through her eyes. It's emotion showcased on another level. When Jacob says that he didn't want to be taken away from Letty (and Javier) again, it added such depth to the scene, it wasn't the typical rebellious kid being annoying, it was a genuine moment of a child wanting to be with his family, even if he didn't have the words to express them, he showed them through his actions (of course which is easily misinterpreted). Regardless of them being such an unconventional family, there is a lot of affection binding them to one another. They just have to work a bit more on their communication and this scene shows that they are on the right track.

Elsewhere, Javier finding Silk shot dead (on the floor of the funeral home) was shocking. I was just expecting him to be ignoring Javier's call, not having been dead all this time. Seeing Javier's reaction was heartbreaking, even more, that he had to be the one to burn Silk's body, it robbed him of time to grief, he just had to react. Coupled with him having to clean up the murder site (that again shows how strong of a character he is) and to top it all, Javier still had to dispose of the guy who tried to kill him, you could see it was taking its toll on him.

Javier showing up at Ava’s house to deliver the news of Silk's passing, his face a wreck, was Juan's finest acting moment in the episode, you could see the pain in his eyes, and whilst he usually keeps a strong face, he was incredibly vulnerable with his sister. That slow shot of the camera panning out to show the extent of his sister's home whilst she's switched the lights being off as he stood alone on the porch was so disheartening. The background score further elevated the emotional takeaway from the scene. One of the best things about last season was the ability to mix scenes, whether it was cheerful or despondent, with music, and it continues into this season too. The cinematography was also a highlight of last season, and it continues to shine here, this show all around is so well made, it feels like an experience, not just another random show. It's distinctive.

"Are you okay?"
"Me neither."

Both Letty and Javier are a bit lost in this new life but that beach reunion was just what they needed. This was a strong premiere, from the dramatic moments to those of utter joy. This combination is something few can accomplish so perfectly, and Good Behavior hits the mark (and goes beyond) always. Please share your thoughts in the comments below, I'm so excited to chat with everyone about this wonderful show TNT has given us once more. I hope you enjoyed the review, it's so good to write about things you feel passionate about. TNT has really taken me by surprise, first with Good Behavior and then this past summer with Claws, which totally kills it, highly recommend that one to fellow Good Behavior fans. Till next week!

Tune in next Sunday at 10|9c for another great episode of Good Behavior, only on TNT. Please stream via TNT's website, via their app and watch live if you can, we want to help in whatever ways we can to get another season, this show is such a gem in a cluttered TV landscape.

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