So we finally see the conflict kick in and things hit a head as our characters hit low points in “The Magician”, “Judgement” and “Two of Swords”. Charlie (Jeffery Donovan) and Linda’s (KaDee Strickland) consistently bad decisions have finally caught up to them hardcore. SHUT EYE is now getting to the point with episodes that are now fully entertaining and have some forward momentum.
Well, Fonzo (Agnus Sampson) is not doing well guys. His beef with White Tony (Zak Santiago) has finally come to a head. After killing Tony’s cousin for mentioning his daughters in a lewd way and then Fabiana (Tara Karsian), who is burned to death (more on this later) with everyone looking at Tony for the murder it boils over at Fabiana’s wedding leading to fist fight and Tony poaching Fonzo’s parlors. After a police raid on Fonzo’s house (more on that later) the heads of the Romani have to come in and mediate a peaceful negotiation which doesn’t end in Fonzo’s favor as the Romani see the problem being Fonzo. He loses two of his parlors, his oldest daughter, still a teenager, must marry Tony’s oldest son who is also a teenager. Of course she doesn’t take this lightly as he had just made an unwanted pass at her at Fabiana’s funeral. This leaves Fonzo low as his hands are tied and for the first time he’s left emasculated and powerless.
Linda is making the worst decisions out of everyone on this show. She enlists the help of Gina (Emmanuelle Chriqui) to bury Emma’s (Roan Curtis) body. After burying her and getting rid of her phone Linda blames Gina for the trouble calling her a cancer and leaves her in the woods as she furiously notes that could’ve been her son Nick (Dylan Schmid). However, Gina shows back up and ends up on Charlie’s good side as he enlists her help for a reading for the con on Nadine Davies (Mel Harris). During the reading however, Charlie notices the tension and emotion between Linda and Gina. Once the (successful) reading is over, Charlie kicks out Gina while he deals with his wife. After a heart to heart, it may seem as if Linda and Charlie are stronger than ever, but as they say curiosity killed the cat. Gina sends a text telling Linda to meet her an address that ends up being a love nest apartment Gina bought with money she pawned off the wedding ring she stole. And I might add that luring in a middle aged couple and hypnotizing them for the ring was one of the best scenes of the show so far. Back to Linda, see acknowledges that Gina is crazy but irresistible and she falls back in with an affair with Gina telling her about the one million dollar con Charlie and her are in the middle of pulling off. Again Linda makes the worse decisions on this show.
Charlie’s visions are getting more and more vivid with Dr. Nora White (Susan Misner) believing him after a MRI scan leaves Charlie visibly shaken. Dealing with Fabiana’s parlor and Fabiana herself, she shakes down Charlie as she figures out that Charlie is doing a long con on Nadine. Attending a cookout at Eduardo Bernal’s (David Zayas), Charlie’s vision of fire and screams that’s been recurring finally becomes too much to handle at Eduardo’s, who calls Charlie a saint after Charlie loses it at the party. That manifestation becomes reality as Charlie asks Eduardo to lean on Fabiana. Well, Fabiana being Fabiana takes offense to this and attacks Eduardo leaving him no choice but to shove her in the fire she set in her own parlor (from throwing a lit candle mind you). Fabiana however manages to survive leading Charlie to go to her bedside where she dies trying to communicate the truth to Fonzo and Rita (Isabella Rossellini). With her out of the way and the Romani infighting, this leaves Charlie to finish the con which goes off successfully until he sees Nadine drowning. Jumping in, he sees his vision that he had in the MRI and his own kitchen of him drowning. Once he comes to, he jumps out of the pool and Nadine runs to him with a towel. Sadly though, he dropped the trash bag of a million dollars, leading to have a crisis of conscience by confessing to Nadine once she sees the money that’s supposed to be burned. He goes home to Linda who leaves distraught and Nick comes back telling his dad he’s going to turn in Nadine as she’s the only one who could’ve killed Emma, as her body has been recovered.
Now that she’s recurring more, it’s good to see Sonja Sohn again. Especially playing a hard ass cop again like she did with Kima Greggs on The Wire. Here her detective character knows that Charlie is up to no good but without evidence, she has to focus her efforts of the newly set up gypsy task force and the oncoming Romani war. It is fun seeing Carlie now having to be one step ahead of her as he was at Fabiana’s funeral in which she tries to get one of Fabiana’s former clients to go undercover to gather intel and evidence.
Linda is a character I don’t understand at this point. Why she didn’t leave Gina alone after she was able to get rid of her is something I can’t understand that will probably be addressed later. She’s a clear villain, and who knows maybe Linda is now too seeing as Charlie botched the con. It’s made specifically clear in these three episodes that she loves Charlie, but maybe he messed up too much for her to handle.
Speaking of, Charlie’s visions are now seemingly leading him to become (or try to anyways) a better person. Eduardo is now clearly unstable after he beats three of his former friends in crime due to paranoia. Charlie made some rookie mistakes such as showing his face and holding the gun without gloves on. So the murder Eduardo committed could easily be pinned on him. He needs to somehow sever that relationship and now focus on rebuilding his family and find a new exit strategy.
Nick is feeling guilt for some reason after his fruitless search for Emma. Now that she’s dead he needs to find a way to move on before destroying his and his parents’ lives. Nick still seems like a character who the writers still have no idea on what to do with, but his storyline as we move into these last few episodes are becoming clearer.
And it’s finally good to see Fonzo do something other than intimidate. Seeing him vulnerable as well as now down and out leave him in a precarious position. I really don’t think he can recover from this and he’s likely to fall further before the season is done. Fonzo’s only choice right now is to take what’s happened or wipe out White Tony and the head Romani, but that seems next to impossible and would likely bring down heat on him. But then again, Michael Corleone managed to wipe out the Five Families and his brother-in-law at the end of The Godfather, so who knows.
For once, I’m actually looking forward to what comes next on Shut Eye. It’s still to be determined on whether this all worth it once everything’s all said and done but now that everyone is low, let’s see where this take us. If this show really wants to surprise me, they’d pit Linda against Charlie now that it seems their marriage is ruined, and Fonzo against Rita now there at odds over whether to follow orders or not. Not to mention the wild card that is Nick. Charlie needs a vision to help him out now. More than ever.
Season 1, Episodes 5-7 (S01E05-07)
Shut Eye airs Wednesdays on Hulu
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A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is a indie filmmaker/screenwriter and freelance critic who resides in Trenton, NJ. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk movies, shows, and music (especially hip-hop) .
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Brandon Norwood | Contributor