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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For me, this episode was like a reintroduction to deaf culture. For a
while it felt like after the big Carlton protest that perhaps they were
going to put deaf culture, outside of people signing, on the back
burner, and they did. However, as they increase Emmett's use, a topic
on deaf culture, getting a Cochlear Implant, is brought to us and the
mixed feelings that could come from using a device which doesn't
necessarily make it so you aren't deaf anymore, but makes it so you
can, as the show calls it "mainstream." Now, as a hearing person, and
knowing hearing people dominate the world, you would think this would
be for the best, but if you've been watching during the time the show
was in Carlton, you can see how much being deaf is an identity to
people, like someone being queer, Jewish and etc. To deny yourself, or
try to change yourself, almost seems like you are turning your back on
the people who struggle with you.
Also the topic of grief is brought in as we continue to see Ty and Mary- Beth deal with the death of her brother Justin. Mary-Beth is taking it hard, and the actress who plays her brings a beautiful display of talent by balancing her character's fighting off the feeling of grief, trying to deal with a mother who wants to just wipe away her brother's existence, seemingly, and trying to maintain that buoyant personality everyone loves about her. The struggle for Mary-Beth is really beautiful in a sad way and just thinking about her scenes as I write this make me a bit teary eyed. They were that damn good.
Oh, and I should mention that the show has really upped its focus on politics and John has got quite a hefty story going on this episode. He is trying to be more than just another Republican and get on the Ways and Means Committee which deals with taxes, but to do so he has to deal with Chip who seemingly is the type of politician you hate to see in office. But, Jace, creepy coffee guy, is on the case and seemingly does more around the office, and out of the office, then do geocaching and make coffee. But, focusing back on John, what I loved and hated about this episode was the actor who played John, finally got to release a lot of pent up frustration the character has had. We all know John can talk under his breath and behind someone's back almost like he is a high school gossip king, but with some of the events in this episode, we see the man who plays John unleash all the pent up frustration from since the show started. It came in two spurts, with Chip being involved in one and though in the Chip situation there is a mix of excitement and a bit of patriarchy because of a situation Chip caused, you also sort of admiring him for actually directing his anger toward someone who deserves all he could give in more. As for the second spurt, it deals with Regina and that scene, that scene was something we all knew he probably felt, but to hear him say it almost felt as cathartic for me as I can tell it was for John.
Just to note, in case you like Angelo, he has some things going on in the episode which makes it seem like he maybe seducing, or just flirting, with a woman at a country club he joined. Seemingly, this is for a business he wants to start with her since, as Regina notes, he has been spending his money on expensive things. But, seemingly he has a plan, but since Angelo's plans never seem to work out to his advantage, I'm waiting for the house of cards to fall.
Overall, the emotion and power of the episode makes you want to see who wrote it and follow their career. Considering all the different topics focused on, and Angelo really being the only weak point, it is really amazing and inspiring what was done in this episode. Not to forget, there was also a cliffhanger which likely won't be devastating, but may present a character needing to shift their personality. I hope they don't, but the situation, which is left undiagnosed, is definitely a game changer.
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