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Why Women Kill - I'd Like To Kill Ya...But Backwards and In High Heels - Review - The Greatest Love Stories

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This review covers "I'd Like to Kill Ya, But I Just Washed My Hair" and "I Killed Everyone He Did, But Backwards and In High Heels."

The shadow of death recedes in the second and third episodes of Why Women Kill. The drama most certainly does not. Simone's story earns all the brownie points for mixing a heavy dash of humor with a little suspense and banter. Lucy Liu expertly veers from aghast to disheartened to invigorated, somehow wildly refined in every scenario. In the second episode, Simone wears an outfit the Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex would wear to a christening, but she wears it to her first secret rendezvous with an infatuated Tommy (Leo Howard). She has some objections to the location he provided, but even clambering into the back of the van she's elegant. Her fling comes second to her marriage though. It's unmistakable that her affections for Karl (Jack Davenport) and his own for her are still strong. Her gentle scolding when he wakes up in the hospital attests to as much. When he points out he actually likes her, unlike her previous husbands, it's the truth. That doesn't mean either of them don't have a healthy portion of awful inside them, although that makes them even more suited for each other. Simone hooks up with Leo mostly because his mother Naomi revealing she knew Karl was having an affair months earlier. Revenge is a dish best served by your son who happens to be a waiter.

Who is going to tell Leo that Simone has no intention of leaving Karl anytime soon? Eventually, Simone tells him herself. It's not as simple as Karl threatening to expose her to the gossip of her friends, which would apparently be something akin to justice for Simone's own ways. Her discovery that Karl faked his suicide attempt ("I may have dropped one or two" was such a funny reading of that line from Davenport) is followed by Karl's confession that he did it because he knew she would appreciate the large gesture. And there's a ring of truth to it. Though she still plans to amicably divorce him post her daughter's upcoming wedding, Karl believes they can move past this because deep down they do love each other. And Simone does love him back. She tells Leo that Karl is always there when she needs him, to tell her she's beautiful and to make her laugh. She might divorce him, but she'll never hate him. In that scene, which Liu delivers with such poignant reflection, Leo seems to be satisfied by Simone's promises that her time with Leo is special too. Expect him to very calmly deal with sharing her with Karl....
In 1963, Beth Ann is determined to not share her man with April. Her focus for these two episodes is on getting Rob back, though her outlook shifts slightly. It's something of a head-scratcher with Beth Ann. Goodwin might be too mature to play the almost-childish innocent Beth Ann is supposed to be, or Beth Ann isn't supposed to have all her mental ducks in a row. The jury's still out on which version of the character we're meant to see or perhaps she's meant to be a mix of both. It's not a wild supposition that being stifled and isolated as Beth Ann has been could push her to the brink. The conversation with Rob at the hospital, after some would-be marital spiciness goes wrong, again refers back to their unspoken tragedy. For a very few seconds, they both drop their facade, and you feel their individual pain. We can almost put into words what they won't, that whatever grief or guilt or blame they won't talk about, that they can't find their way back to each other. 
The moment might slip away too quickly, but it results in Beth Ann redoubling her efforts to save her marriage. She gets closer to April (under the alias of Sheila the Widow who is boarding with Other Sheila the Italian) and sabotages a night out Rob had planned with his paramour. One tuna casserole (a very particular choice) later, she joins April for the evening instead. The evening is packed with revelations. April tells Beth Ann that Rob is a fling she plans on ditching soon or giving back to his wife "good as new." Beth Ann doesn't break out into a victory dance, because she just might not want Rob back as much as she thought she did. This is no sudden development. Prior to the shower incident, we saw how hurt she was at his dismissal of her new look, prompting Beth Ann to strip down and serve him some sass. During her night out with April, hearing the latter's dreams of becoming a singer reminded Beth Ann of how she stopped playing the piano because her "late" husband didn't like it. April's sweet-as-pie exhortation: “Your husband’s dead. Don’t you think it’s time you stopped listening to him?” (Was April too sweet in that scene? There were moments I wondered.) At home, Beth Ann waits up for Rob but then decides to play the piano when he gets home. She gets so caught up in the power of her music that she doesn't get up to get him an olive for his martini. Until he insists he can't find the jar of olives. No olive was ever procured with more volcanic, demure purpose than the one she gets for him then. And the look on her face after he goes up the stairs and she stands by her know she's not thinking about flirting her way back into his favor.
While both the 1963 and 1984 stories are a fairly balanced mix of humor and drama, the 2019 chapter is rather serious by comparison. In "I'd Like to Kill Ya, But I Just Washed My Hair," Eli persuades Taylor to consider a threesome with Jade. His interest is partially motivated by the fact that Jade obviously and openly signaled she liked him, but it's also because he's feeling left out of the closer bond that exists between Taylor and Jade. He and viewers begin to feel that he is intruding on what the other two have. He finds out that Taylor first met Jade six months prior, much earlier than she originally said, and, in one of the few darkly comedic moments their story has, the women basically kick him out of the threesome. Eli serves up three pieces of pie and three scoops of ice cream and sits down to wait for them to join him. Just when it couldn't be more uncomfortable, Eli sees Taylor looking longingly and lovingly at Jade. His wife denies being in love with their amiable house guest, but he and we know better. 
The third episode finally lets us see more of Taylor's perspective. She was starting to feel like the "husband" in Eli's story. With Jade filling a domestic role, Eli appears to have slid deeper into a juvenile chilling role. He's asking Taylor to bring him a soda. He's bought a bass guitar to help him overcome writer's block. He's draped over the living room furniture like it's weekend at grandma's. And Taylor is not okay with it. Exhibit A would be her reaction when Eli walks in on Jade inviting Taylor to go out dancing. He casually includes himself in the plans, and Taylor almost snaps at him when she comments that he doesn't dance. This story takes a twist when another couple's history with Jade makes Taylor jealous. She gets drunk, and Eli has to take care of her. The situation leads to a tender moment where he jokes kindly about being the one to watch out for her for a change. When she wakes up, though, frantic to go after Jade to apologize, Taylor gets honest with Eli. (It only takes him lightly throwing himself on the hood of her vehicle.) She tells him it's hard to be the one that has to work and look out for everyone else. She loves him, but he's taker. And Jade is nothing but a giver. The conversation motivates Eli to invite Jade to stay with them, a decision that he seems to make out of love for Taylor. Jade is tearfully happy and more than willing to accept. There's a somber undertone to the scene, so, even if we didn't know there are several episodes left this season, we'd know this isn't the resolution it appears to be.
Episode 2 confirmed there will be deaths, three of them, and they will all occur at the house. Episode 3, however, only hints at the deaths through the most discreet of tangos (real-life spouses and Dancing With the Stars pros Maks and Peta in an artsy cameo) that suggests all these love stories will end with some fatality. The 2019 story has perhaps the fewest motivations for murder and certainly has the most claustrophobic setting (in three episodes, they've only gone one other place). These episodes don't seem to contribute any new wild cards, so it's really a question of how the show is going to shake things up. No one is marked by story as someone we should want dead, and no one is particularly marked as someone we should want alive. (Except Simone and Karl. We really mustn't lose either of them, or there will be no one left to spar with acidic wit and flair.) 

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