Reprisal Season 1 Episode 9: “dammit” Recap

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In episode 9 the characters brush off their failures and recreate themselves, weaving new legends that fit the past and future as they prefer to see it. Meredith wakes up in Katherine’s motel room, but her loyalty is still to Burt, so first she tries his latest version of events on for size, in trade for Katherine’s location. Katherine has other plans for the evening, since it’s her and Bash’s anniversary. They remember the past and take care of unfinished business.

Burt chooses to believe Avron’s version of the duffel bag story, which implicates Matty. This is probably because he perceives Matty as a Joel loyalist, having been gone for the last 2 years of Matty’s Burt worship. This is not a wise decision on Burt’s part, especially combined with the easily dismissed lies he tells to Meredith.

The old man is slipping. Or self-destructing. Either way, the romances are over in this episode.

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Reprisal Season 1 Episode 8: The Horse Cabbage Heart Recap

Reprisal S1Ep8 Queenie Confronts Burt & Joel

In episode 8 of Reprisal, the characters deal with the aftermath of Katherine’s attack on the Bang-A-Rang and other recent events. Joel tries to go backsies on Konstantinov’s death, but Jukes points out that if there’s anything you can’t take back, it’s a relatively unprovoked murder. Avron discovers that the Monster Ring had an inside man among the Brawlers, but Bru doesn’t want to believe him, since no one likes him anyway. Ethan, the inside man, knows Avron’s right and alerts Katherine.

This is the episode of hitting bottom. Between Burt and Katherine’s messes, most of the characters feel angry, betrayed, helpless and confused, even Katherine herself. They’ve all made mistakes and are letting their emotions get in the way of good judgement, compounding the mistakes. This episode is spent gathering information while also ignoring the obvious. Or mentally escaping and then forming the beginnings of their next terrible plans.

We also learn more about Katherine and Witt’s pasts. Katherine is the queen of personal reinvention that allows one to stay the same deep down and Witt is the king of lying to oneself in order to ignore painful truths forever. Both skill sets allow them to protect their true selves when Burt and the Brawlers try to break them.

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Reprisal Season 1 Episode 4: On the Principles of Horsehound Recap

Burt Watches Fire: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning." -- Lieutenant Kilgore, Apocalypse Now
“I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” — Lieutenant Kilgore, Apocalypse Now

Episode 4 opens on darkness and the sound of automatic weapons fire. Gradually, Burt Harlow’s face is revealed, lit by flickering, orange flames. He sits on the back of a truck and watches a large fire in the distance, on the order of several buildings. There’s a man with a gun several feet away. Burt notices the flames are slowing down and goes to the man with the gun, who is wearing a 3 River Phoenixes jacket and surrounded by a dozen bodies.

The camera pulls out to reveal that they are at the old racetrack and this is the night Katherine Harlow was left for dead. The man with the gun is Joel Kelly. He was the third man on the scene that night, along with Burt and Bash, and the man who drove the truck, but he was a Phoenix, not yet a full Brawler.

Burt goes to Joel and jostles him out of the trance he seems to be in. Now Burt begins to create the legend we heard Matty and Johnson tell Ethan in episode 3.

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Reprisal Season 1 Episode 2: A Flintlock & A Hound

Doris Finds Her Guys & Witt Wrings His Hands

The title of episode 2, A Flintlock & A Hound, refers to an old-style gun fired by striking a spark from a flint and a traditional type of hunting dog. In other words, the hunt is on, and the hunters are armed and ready. Doris is searching for the best crew to act as her backup when she confronts her enemies in the Banished Brawlers. Big Graham is framed by Molly and Doris and thus on the hunt for revenge. Individually and as groups, the Happiness Ghouls and the Banished Brawlers are hunting for a lot of things, most of them conflicting. Joel is definitely trying to maintain the status quo, but he’s not getting any help. The hunt for peace is never an easy one.

Recap

The episode begins with a major piece of Ethan’s origin story. Late one night in Detroit, several weeks ago, Ethan prepares to leave work at Doris’ restaurant. As he says good night to her at the bar on the way out, they’re both mocked by the last customer, an obnoxious redneck. The bartender informs the redneck that it’s closing time. The customer continues to argue and insult the staff before he stumbles outside, shoving Ethan as he leaves.

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Reprisal Season 1 Episode 1: The Tale of Harold Horpus Recap

Reprisal S1Ep1 Doris & Graham.png

My review of Reprisal season 1 is HERE.

In episode 1 of Reprisal, we’re introduced to Katherine Harlow, aka Doris Quinn, who begins the story as a scorned part of the Banished Brawlers gang, but soon reinvents herself into Chef D, a respectable Detroit caterer. Unfortunately, Chef D finds that the men of the Detroit restaurant world aren’t much different from the men of her hometown gangster world, which forces her to make some decisions that will affect more than just herself. As William Faulkner said in his novel Requiem for a Nun, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

Reprisal takes place in a neo-retro noir alternative world that could be the recent past, but could also be a future which has regressed technologically. It could be 100 years into our future, in which we’ve dialed back the level of materialism in order to save the planet or because of the way wealth has been redistributed. In the retrofuture world of Reprisal, Original Star Trek’s communicators have become modern flip phones, which are in use alongside old style land lines. The music spans many decades, from rockabilly and blues to punk.

Much of the series’ look refers back to the post-war era of the late 1940s-60s, especially as viewed through the lens of film.The creators have drawn from films such as Rebel Without a Cause, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Dirty Dancing, Blade Runner and American Graffiti. They’ve combined the neon of the 50s and the neon of neo noir/cyberpunk into their own disaffected, Gothic Noir style.

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Hulu’s Reprisal Season 1 Review

Reprisal

This is a review of the entire season. Recaps of individual episodes are posted HERE as I complete them.

Hulu’s new retro noir series Reprisal is a unique show filled with unique characters. As such, it deserves a spot in their pantheon of shows such as The Handmaid’s Tale and Runaways which highlight complicated characters in fictional worlds that just keep improving the more involved the viewer gets. Altered Carbon is on Netflix, not Hulu, but it’s another show with a similar viewing experience, where it takes several episodes for the characters and the world to click into place and the plot to really take off. Then the viewing experience just gets better and better, as we’re plunged into an immersive world, where everyone has an agenda and anything can happen.

Reprisal takes place in an alternate universe that’s not set in a particular time period, but isn’t the future. It’s set in a neon swingers’ punk gangster scene that combines the look of the late 1940s- early 60s Rat Pack with a few more modern conveniences like 2000s flip phones and 70s muscle cars. It’s gorgeous and lives by its own rules, as this show does in every way.

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