Tweetable Takeaway: It’s more of the same on The Slap as Connie finally realizes that she’s got some serious daddy issues.
Thursdays at 10pm on NBC
By: Rikki McKernan, Contributor
If anyone’s still following along with me here, I’ll do a bit of a recap of last week’s episode to start, since I was having a few technical difficulties. Last week’s episode was all about Manolis, aka the dad aka Brian Cox. Manolis decided there weren’t enough cooks in the kitchen on the whole slap thing, so he threw his hat in the ring, too. He hired his old friend to represent Harry but quickly regretted it after realizing that some shady tactics were going to be in play. Namely, that they were going to try to blame the victim. It’s an unfortunate twist of events that his big plan to save everyone could end up destroying the relationships of each person involved. Oh, yeah, and I think he knows Connie and Hector have something going on.
Enough of Manolis, this episode is all about Connie. On a show where no character is a fully fleshed out person, a show where each character is more boring and annoying as the last, Connie stands out as a shining star of mediocrity. You’ll forgive me if that sounds harsh, but considering that absolutely nothing went on in this episode, I feel it’s pretty much justified. Remember “Anouk?” The episode that seemed to turn the whole series around? The episode where we could all see the light at the end of the tunnel? Well, that was a fluke, I’m sorry to say.
If you really want to get thematic here, this episode is all about Daddy issues. Specifically, that Connie has them. Is anyone really surprised, though? I mean, she’s an 18 year old girl pining after a much older, married man. No offense to Peter Sarsgaard, but that’s just not a scenario I’m buying.
Connie’s dad is out of the picture and has been for most of her life. Before he died young, her mother took Connie and left the relationship. She spends the entire episode being melodramatic and angsty…and not in a normal teenager way. Connie realizes she’s been acting way too grown up after Hector ends their fling and lashes out, first by going out to a party and getting drunk and high, then by putting the moves on her friend, Richie, who also turns her down. Just to be clear, her acting way too grown up isn’t a compliment.
Anyway, Connie decides to take a road trip with Richie and disobey her mom at the same time. She receives a letter from Malcolm, a friend of her dad’s, and goes to meet him. As it turns out, her dad was bi-sexual and had a complicated relationship with Malcolm and Connie’s mother. He was trying to turn his life around when he died when Connie was just 7 years old.
While that storyline has little or nothing to do with the slap at hand, here’s where it ties in. Richie was also at the slap party and was taking pictures of everything. That means not only did he catch the slap on film, but he also caught a glimpse of whatever Connie and Hector were doing in the shadows under the deck. Alone among her peers, Connie seems to genuinely like Rosie and Gary and, yes, even Hugo, so when Rosie is distraught over the fact that there has been a court ordered psychological examination of Hugo, Connie helpfully suggests that Richie may have some pictures of what actually went down that day.
I would like to give props to Richie in this episode. Yes, he’s a pushover and yes, he needs to get new friends but he also has one of the most insightful comments so far. When Connie is crying because she can’t get with Hector, she claims he lied to her. Richie responds, “You lied to yourself.” Thank you Richie! If every character on this show were even half that insightful about those around them, we might have a hit on our hands. As it stands, though, no one seems to care about being adults and moving past this one unfortunate incident so it looks like we don’t get to move on, either.
We’re halfway through the season now and, aside from a new airtime, nothing much has changed on THE SLAP. For a show that’s ostensibly a character study, none of the characters seem to be changing very much. Sure, they may learn a lesson or two here and there, but overall, they’re the same bunch of self absorbed, obnoxious people they were before the dreaded slap. Tune in next week when it looks like more of the same. Connie is called on to testify, Hector wants Aisha to lie for Harry, and Hector himself may be close to confessing his relationship with Connie to Aisha.
In Rikki’s perfect world, she’s Queen of Westeros, best friends with Mindy Kaling, and her other car is a TARDIS…a girl can dream, right?