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Dirty John - One Shoe - Review: Retaliation



We're into the final few episode of Dirty John's first season and things have taken a decidedly terrifying turn. I think "One Shoe" has easily been the most frightening episode of the six that have aired so far.

All pretenses of John being a charming man who has made a few ill-conceived choices in his life have gone completely out the window.

TAPE SIDE A: JOHN MEEHAN VS. DENNIS


We get to see John's first wife, Tonia, once again. Flashing back to the past, Tonia visits the police station in order to try and pursue legal action against John. She doesn't have too much in the way of evidence except a box of stolen hospital drugs but those could just as easily be hers given her job. At least, that is what the detective she speaks to, Dennis (Damon Gupton) lets her know. But as Dennis gets more embroiled in Tonia's case, he begins to see the trail of wreckage John has left behind.

The two of them come head to head when John tries to "kill himself" which is clearly the act of a conman since he works as an anesthesiologist and if anyone knew how to kill themselves correctly it would be him. And given the way John acts in present time, clearly his past stints in jail, rehab, and in court, have not changed him for the better.

Present day John turns vicious on a well-intentioned lawyer who wants to assist Debra in getting a nuptial in order to protect her assets. When John quickly learns Attorney Dzialo (Alan Ruck) has zero intentions to help him "clear his name" he turns to threatening phone calls and bullying tactics to scare him away.

TAPE SIDE B: DEBRA & VERONICA NEWELL


Finally, Debra is ready to be rid of John for good. Seeing his drug habit has continued as well as his lies, she realizes it's time for he to cut him loose, although she is well aware it won't be easy.

Veronica is having her own battles with John who is continually harassing her with no signs of stopping as he believes it will put a permanent wedge between her and her mother. He sends her texts and phone calls telling her to jump off of buildings and kill herself. He took a video of himself spitting on her birth certificate before leaving it at the front desk to pick up, stained with his saliva. 

Debra eventually calls Ronnie and asks her to meet up with her where she arrives wearing a wig. She's finally willing to fully listen to everything Veronica has been telling her and to find a new apartment in a secure location for the two of them to move in together. She's obviously upset about the messages and harassment Veronica has been enduring and it puts the final nail in the Meehan coffin fo Debra. 

But John isn't going to let Debra go quite so easily as evidenced by the powerful final scene between the two. Connie Britton and Eric Bana are at their best in this moment where Debra legitimately tells John she's leaving him and she wants a divorce. I don't think I breathed once the entire duration of this moment. Every second I was waiting for John to strike her or do something crazy, to scream at her or take her hostage.

At that moment, he doesn't, but he's still incredibly intimidating. I was proud of Debra though too, for finally being able to stand up to him even amidst her shaking. She's clearly terrified but she doesn't cower or back down to him. She gets her things and gets out of the house. But the look he gives her as he watches her go is straight out of a horror film.

The next two episodes are going to be very intense, indeed.

ODDS & ENDS


- I hope we do see more Terra soon. Given the part she will play in the story I'm surprised we haven't actually seen more of her but I'm guessing she'll have a bigger part to play in the final act unless they change things from the real story.

A new episode of Dirty John airs Jan. 6th on Bravo.

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