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Claws - Breezy - Review

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Hurricanes literal and figurative bare down on Palmetto in the season finale of “Claws.” Like last year’s wrap-up, “Breezy” goes big with the double-crosses and shakeups, but they don’t land quite as well this time around.

It’s the day before Desna’s wedding to Ruval and she’s running your typical bridal errands, like planning the groom’s murder with a Russian mob boss. But Zlata turns the tables on Desna yet again when she announces that Desna will have to be the one to kill Ruval and hands her a wedding gift of a vial of poison. A horrified Desna doesn’t want to cross that line and tries to push back, but Zlata reminds her that she’s “still boss” until their deal is done. This puts a damper on the faux celebrations in her hotel suite that night; even the silly yet sweet speeches by her bridesmaids can’t buck Desna up. And when the hotel manager tries to cancel the ceremony because of the impending hurricane, a frazzled Desna insists that she’s “not postponing this wedding one more day.” But salvation comes in the somewhat surprising form of Arlene, who supplies Desna with a wire to tape a confession from Zlata and a knockout drug to use on Ruval instead (whether this was always the plan or something Desna came up with after Zlata’s audible is unclear). So the crew – including Polly, who sneaks out of the mental hospital to attend – rally to pull the wedding together and, after some very pointed vows (“I will honor and cherish you until the day you die”), Desna is officially Mrs. Gregory Ruval.

But things go off the rails once they retire to the honeymoon suite, thanks to a jealous Olga. Having overheard both Zlata and Desna plotting and an amorous moment between Desna and Roller at the wedding reception (more on that in a bit), she calls Ruval to dime Desna out. Olga quickly comes to regret it and confesses, earning her a delightfully soapy slap in the face from Polly. But it’s too late, as Ruval attacks his bride and they engage in a vicious fight. My favorite moment in this sequence is when he dares her to stab him with the sliver of broken glass she’s wielding and she immediately slashes him across the chest. Anyway, Desna ultimately gets the upper hand and shoves Ruval off a balcony to his death. Bye, Jimmy-Jean Louis!

Desna rushes off to confer with Zlata, but they’re cornered by Madame, who pulls a gun on them (there’s also a big deal made of Madame being able to walk, but it fell flat for me). Luckily, the lights coming back on distracts Madame, allowing Zlata to grab her gun and kill her. Bye, Sheryl Lee Ralph! The danger seems to be over, but once Desna signs over Ruval’s properties to Zlata as planned, the gun gets turned on her. “You’re only messy part left,” Zlata admits. Unfortunately for Zlata, she doesn’t know that she’s the season-long antagonist and this is the season finale so she (super randomly, I thought) gets shot and killed by Dean. Bye, Franka Potente! It’s here I’ll say that I thought Potente was really fun in this part and I’ll miss her next season. At least Zlata's final moment – weakly choking out her “Sister friend” tagline one last time as Desna shoves her aside – was classic.

Before we get into the aftermath, let’s talk about Roller as he’s the focus of the episode’s sole subplot. Last week, we saw that cousin Clint was coming between him and Uncle Daddy, and he continues that campaign here by dropping hints about bad blood between Uncle Daddy and Roller’s actual father. Roller takes the bait and, asking a discomforted Uncle Daddy about the day his parents were murdered, catches him in a lie about his whereabouts. Roller’s anger about this suspicion builds throughout the episode until he finally accuses Uncle Daddy, attacking him. Uncle Daddy doesn’t admit to anything, but given he then attempts to commit suicide, only to be talked out of it by an apparition of Juanda who admits they “had [their] reasons,” it seems to be true.

Now, I thought this schism happened too easily, given how much Roller was slavering for Uncle Daddy’s approval and attention just last week, and too quickly, crammed into one already crowded episode. But I do think it’s interesting where Roller as a character is now versus when we met him in the pilot. Back then, he was so dismissive of Desna and their relationship. But here, as he pours his heart out to her about his fake family and fake wife and fake baby (before he, natch, crawls under her wedding dress for some nookie, which is what Olga overhears), he realizes that Desna’s the only real thing he’s got. I’m curious to see where this relationship is going to go next.

Anyway, back to the main action. With Roller and Polly’s help, Desna is able to hide Dean’s involvement in Zlata’s death. And even with her dead, what Desna got on tape is, somehow, enough to get her out from under all her charges, although the salon has been seized by the FBI (whether this is a permanent goodbye to the Nail Artisans set, I dunno). Also gone are most of the crew. Polly returns to the mental hospital, an apparition of Lillian there to taunt her. It appears Jenn and Bryce indeed moved to Tampa. And Quiet Ann is also out, although presumably not to pursue a reconciliation with Arlene as we see her hitting on a bartender at the wedding (Ann and Jenn are both weirdly absent from the back half of the episode). But Desna is still ready to be the boss. She soundly rejects an insulting offer from Uncle Daddy to partner on more clinics (“I know more about running this shit than all you idiots put together”). And as a bonus, she meets up with Mandy – explaining her random reappearance a few weeks ago – at a casino, which Mandy reveals Ruval put in her name, a plot twist that makes absolutely no sense.

And she’s still got Virginia, and it’s a good thing she does. Throughout the episode, we got intrusive, pointless voiceovers from Virginia, narrating events from a future vantage point. And really, they were just there to set up the cliffhanger – Virginia shoving Desna out of the way of a bullet (whether the gunmen were from the Dixie, Haitian, or Russian mobs is a question for next season) and getting shot herself. The way they stage it, it’s possible Virginia isn’t dead (there was a very small amount of blood on her head). But I think it would be a smart move for the show to kill Virginia off. Like I said a few weeks ago, they seem not to know what to do with the character anymore, and the effect her death would have on Desna, Dean, and their relationship would be interesting to see play out.

But with that, that’s a wrap on the second season of “Claws!” Breeze on through the comments section to share your thoughts on “Breezy” and the season as a whole.

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