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As promised, here are the screencaps from last week’s second episode of ‘Dirty John‘, and below the More tag, there’s my review of the act.

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Television  >  (2019) Dirty John  >  Episode 2 Screencaps

Seems like there’s a trend in new series: The first episode is underwhelming, while the second is much better. The problem here is, if you are not invested in the whole thing for some reason and they show you a „bad” first episode, why would you continue watching? Sadly, it seems like a lot of people doesn’t care enough, and they watch everything anyway…

Let’s jump into United States culture at the beginning! It’s really weird to see how a religious sermon looks like there. All those flashy neon lights and big screens everywhere. Here, in Europe, the only electricity in a church is the lighting and the microphone that the priests use sometimes. The way it is shown happening in the USA was interesting to see.

Another thing which fascinates me is the way they build their houses. They are made of thin material, they are not very secure, even the expensive ones. Here, the starting point of the episode is a „homeless woman” who broke into Debra and John’s seaside house. Well, if your house is open from basically everywhere and has glass doors, why is it a surprise if someone gets in? I bet that with all those overly complicated laws, even a security camera footage of you robbing a home is not enough to say you’re guilty…

So our main theme here is: being safe. The side plotline revolves around Veronica, and this is what really interests us. Debra has a Maserati, which her daugther likes to borrow, but now she can’t, because John is using it. Out of jealousy, Veronica buys a tracking device and carefully plants it on the car in question, and starts to track the title character. That doesn’t give any satisfying results, so she sells her most expensive purse and hires a private detective to help her out. Toby, her cousin, joins the quest, because John says a very offensive joke in his presence – more on this later – and they uncover some interesting facts about him…

Here are the things that bug me with this side plot: The detective is a woman. I wonder if this is accurate or not, because beside John, there are hardly any male characters at all. Now, we had Toby, and he has two little sons, but they are only background characters. Debra has a male colleague, but he’s also a background character, and didn’t even appeared in this episode. The psychiatrist is a woman, Debra’s assistant too, and even the small characters, like  the patient in the last episode. Where are all the men? And where does Veronica get all that money from to buy those purses? From her job?

Juno’s character kickstarts things here, because her mom „doesn’t say no” to the tracking device, and later Toby tells Debra about what they’ve found out. These things lead to the last scene. Meanwhile, Terra basically does nothing, her whole plot revolves around how emotionally unstable she is because of her mother’s habit of changing partners often. Despite Julia Garner looking good, her character is really unlikeable, but, at least you can understand her. Too bad, nobody among her family bothers to do so…

The main plotline revolves around how John seems to serve his wife every single day, while gaining her trust more and more. This practice makes the woman overly apologetic towards him and basically blind of his actions. But the man has sudden outbursts of anger, plus he suggests things, that are a bit suspicious. Veronica and Terra are already seeing through him, Toby likes him at first, then after the offensive joke and Veronica’s investigation, he turns against John too. But the grandma is still on the title character’s side, and she reinforces her daugther’s warped vision of Eric Bana’s figure. How all this happens is really interesting, and ultimately resolve in the last scene, which is just the culmination of all the the little signs Debra notices…

The security theme in the main plotline embodies itself in the form of a CCTV-system, that the couple have installed in their seaside home. It’s implied, that Debra has it installed at her workplace as well, and her assistant shows her how to access the cameras from anywhere through her phone. The thing is, Debra has about 80 000 $ in cash in one of her purses, in a house that is easily accessible to even a mentally disturbed homeless woman, and she has 0 security measures to protect her valueables and her life. How can anyone live like this? Then it turns out that her expensive car isn’t protected either, but when Veronica tells her to do something about it, she doesn’t care. When John says they should do something about the house, she immediately gives in. That really shows the way how you don’t listen to your closest relatives, but you do listen to „outsiders”, I liked that part. I saw someone showing footage on the internet of how he was able to hack someone’s security cameras, and that, along with how fast the assistant was able to give access to her employer to a certain CCTV broadcast really makes you wonder, who’s security is served by these systems at the first place? Are they really worth it?

Another key key element is the letter John recieves close to the end. Debra believes his cover story, but I thought if it’s nothing, why isn’t she asking him to read it out loud? And if you watch closely, you can witness a family tragedy from the past, hiding in the background: The ex-brother-in-law, the tasteless joke and Toby and John’s last confrontation together draw out what happened to Debra’s sister. That makes it even more interesting, that she doesn’t care about her own safety…

Lastly, some technical aspects: The bad/cover music has been replaced by atmosphere buliding themes, but it’s completly absent most of the time, this was a great improvement. The text at the very end raises questions, because it wasn’t present at the end of the first episode. Did they read my previous review?:) As I’ve predicted, Veronica – whom Cosmopolitan labelled as the comic relief – is the one who starts the war against John, and Juno really shines in this role.

And here’s a question for you: After seeing the ending here, how do you think this will last for another six episodes? I mean, literally EVERYONE, except the grandma, knows now that John is lying!

Labels: Dirty John, Gallery, Review