My turn! This episode was good for me, though I could never quite shake the feeling that I wanted to see Russo make a Zoolander model face at some point (Blue Steel/Cold Steel).

This episode featured some fairly interesting advances to the plot, but the thing that caught my attention the most was the episode’s deconstruction of Billy Russo’s facade. When the episode begins, we see Billy the Beaut going through his morning routine, a routine that was reminiscent of, though not nearly impressive as, Patrick Bateman’s. We see the lengths Russo goes through to keep up his physical appearance but then, as the episode progresses, we finally learn there’s a lot more to Russo than meets the eye. Russo makes it clear throughout the episode that his ascension from orphan to millionaire is not something he’ll let go of easily and we see the lengths to which he is willing to go to do so.

In keeping with Russo’s ruthlessness, we learn enough about his backstory to give us just enough reason to realize that while he may be pretty on the outside, he’s every bit as messed up as Frank on the inside. He’s keeping his birth mother in a drug-induced haze; he was in a situation as an orphan where he was exposed to a potential molestation; he savagely murdered Stein during a busted op, and would’ve done the same thing to Dinah. This is apparently all in a days work for Russo, since at the end he calmly wipes Stein’s blood from Dinah while bathing her. At this point it’s obvious there’s enough going on inside Russo’s head to make him a real threat to Frank and that his eventual turn into Jigsaw (I mean it just has to happen, right) will have enough nightmare fuel behind it.

The rest of the episode features some of the most interesting moments of the Frank/Liebermans side plot to date. After bonding over a couple of bottles of rose (I imagine Luis recommended it to Sarah), the very lonely Sarah makes a move on Frank. After no more than a moment of two very lonely people enjoying something intimate, both seem to recognize that this isn’t right and move on. Of course peeper Micro catches a glimpse, sending him into a drunken stupor. Upon returning, Frank and Micro share one of the series’ finest moments when Micro reveals his moose-size wiener before then showing Frank his “high and tight” ass. While this was easily the strangest piece of any Netflix series to date, it did allow the two men to quickly rebond and move forward past the kiss, a move which soon came to be very important.

While much of Frank’s time with the Liebermans always seemed a little strange, it did give Frank some peace of mind in that it gave him something back from what was taken from him: time with kids. So in this episode, when Sarah calls in a panic over finding a knife in Zach’s backpack, Frank gets a chance to play surrogate dad and, in one of the series’ most chilling scenes, gives Zach a quick taste of the horror of violence by holding the knife to Zach’s throat. Thankfully, this provides the insigh into Zach’s mind that had been eluding everyone so far, allowing Frank to build a bond with a kid who is clearly in pain.

VERDICT

4 out of 5 Patrick Bateman’s. The Homeland bust of Russo’s attempted hit on Castle at the end of this episode saved the day and finally gave me the kick I needed to not only want Russo dead, but also to have enough insight into him to figure out why he’d be willing to betray his brother-in-arms: Bill Russo is all about Bill Russo because Bill Russo is all Bill Russo has ever had. His “friend” Frank, his new love interest Dinah, they’re great right until they get in the way of his rags to riches story. The money, power and respect that Anvil provides Russo are far more valuable to him than any emotional connections because he learned to forget about those a long time ago.

ONE-SHOTS:

  • This episode will forever be known in Marvel TV history as “The One Where The Supporting Male Shows His Dick To The Punisher”

  • Russo is like the colder version of Fisk. At least Fisk loved his mother!

  • That shoot out was some high-octane Transporter shit!

  • The lot where Russo and Rawlins meet up looks identical to the lot where Cottonmouth shoots Det. Scarfe in Luke Cage.