Between "Sopranos" prep, Passover and the fact that I already wrote about the season in broad strokes this morning, I'm going to be brief, take the bullet points route and then turn it over to y'all. I first saw this episode nine months ago, at a half-awesome (because of the episode), half-sadistic (because we weren't expecting to see another episode until January, which turned out to be April) screening FX arranged with critics, the cast and some of the producers, so I've been itching to hear what other people thought about it.
Me, I loved every single second of it (well, maybe not the Granny Porn subplot, but that's just me), but here are some of the highlights:
- The Johnny Cash song over the opening and closing scenes has quickly shot up my list of Best Uses of Music In a TV Drama (and inspired the thread below this one), just perfectly casting a pall over the entire hour. Because of the relatively low budget, the show generally uses music by unknown artists that can be used cheaply, but whatever they had to spend on "I Hung My Head," it was worth it;
- Shane's entire suicidal spiral, from the moment Claudette explains that Lem didn't sell out the Strike Team through being saved from eating his gun by Dani, all the way up to his confrontation with the meth-head arsonist;
- Corrinne warning Dani that the baby might be autistic, the kind of comment that could have been helpful in another context but was just plain vicious here;
- Kavanaugh slowly losing his mind over Mackey, to the point of planting evidence in Vic's house;
- Billings again being a complete waste of oxygen ("Geez, I've got a goddamn lump!");
- Dutch's reaction to the cats licking up the blood, both because of Dutch's own history with cats and because I first watched the episode while sitting at a table with Cathy Ryan, and at the end of that scene, eight or nine pairs of eyes all turned to her and she said, sheepishly, "What? Talk to my husband," followed by some discussion over the stability of the Ryan marriage.