SURVIVOR’S REMORSE Review: “The Guests”

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This week, SURVIVOR’S REMORSE returns to the question that inspired the show: How can a prodigy escape from a troubled past, but still learn from it? Cam and Reggie return to Boston for the wedding of their friend Dealer Joe, but this time around they’re older, wiser, and ready for the challenge. Hopefully. Meanwhile in Atlanta, M-Chuck calls an emergency session with her therapist, after a good deed turns into a one-night stand and some rather mushy feelings.

Cam and Reggie discuss the pros and cons of returning to Boston as they board Cam’s private jet, in a conversation more for the audience than for each other. We learn that Dealer Joe was their marijuana supplier as teens, but has apparently made a lifestyle out drug dealing.

M-Chuck finds a lost dog, then has a steamy night with the woman who owns the dog. She’s a little surprised the next morning to find a young girl waiting patiently outside the bedroom for her  mom to wake up. M-Chuck flees the premises and heads straight to her therapist.

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M-Chuck’s therapy is always a good source of comedy, but it never materializes into anything that matters. The big build up to her first session with Cassie apparently fell flat; in flashback, we see that Cassie refused to give any input for the entire 50-minute appointment. One day we’ll learn who M-Chuck’s father is, but not today. The more immediate issue is her sex life; the therapist urges her to take a break from casual sex and try to find true love.

Over in Boston, Reggie and Cam soon realize that a quiet weekend with old friends is out of the picture. Dealer Joe takes Reggie aside for a business chat: he managed to get multiple upgrades for the wedding accommodations, but only because he promised Cam would post five tweets in support of the hotel. Reggie flatly refuses, and not just because those tweets would unleash a firestorm of Cam’s fans onto the premises. For all practical purposes, Reggie wants Cam’s visit to his old drug dealer friend to be off the record – especially the digital record.

Reggie’s predicament brings up an interesting point about motives. Escaping a rough background can be tough, but what seems to be even more difficult is escaping without simultaneously condemning all the people left behind. Cam, for his part, has no problem reconnecting with his old friend Dirty, as they work on the best man speech for the wedding.

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Elsewhere, M-Chuck mostly ignores her therapist’s advice and goes out for a wild night on the town. She hooks up with hot club patron only to realize that the woman is a prostitute. Out of cash, M-Chuck is ready to blow the woman off when she is confronted by an armed handler outside. This just got serious.

Later that night, Missie swoops in to pick up a rather stunned and sober M-Chuck, who is reconsidering her perspectives on love and sex. The scene is pretty serious for this show and adds a nice beat to M-Chuck’s ongoing arc of self-discovery. The connection isn’t 100% flawless, but M-Chuck decidedly blames Cassie for her relationship struggles. She can’t grow up because she was never really allowed to have a childhood in the first place.

Reggie negotiates a peace with Dealer Joe, agreeing that Cam will post about his night at the hotel after he is safely home from the wedding. Cam finds it hard to keep a low profile, however, when the DJ invites him to say a word right before the best man’s speech. He hams it up for the adoring hometown crowd and the impromptu speech goes over quite well, for everyone except Dirty. Just in case it wasn’t obvious enough, the DJ starts and ends Cam’s introduction with: “He’s from here, he’s a success!” followed by a lackluster introduction for Paul. There’s probably a pun in there somewhere about Cam dealing his friend a dirty hand, but it wouldn’t be fair to make another joke at Dirty’s expense.

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The interesting thing is, Cam knew what he was doing, and he did it anyway. His knowing smile when Dirty calls him out indicates as much. This is a far cry from Season 1 Cam, overly concerned about the friends he left behind. Back then, Cam’s sincerity was tempered by Reggie’s realism. Now he knows his own value, and he knows when and how to use it.

Absent from this week’s events was Cassie, and once again, basketball. It’s not that this series has to be about sports, but three seasons in, it’s not clear what the focus is. The overly specific title describes little of the day to day goings on, whether that be sports, hot button issues about racism, relationships, or family drama. Sure, the Calloways are an interesting family to follow, but at some point we need to know where they’re going.


Season 3, Episode 7  (S03E07)
Survivor’s Remorse airs Sundays at 10PM on Starz

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Heather is a fan of all stories that reflect life, but it doesn’t hurt if they’re set on another planet or in another time.
Twitter: @Elianarra

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