And it (seemed) as if it had all been going so well so far. Man. When I refer to Cassie using phrases like “human disaster,” I generally mean it in a light, affectionate way. I’m referring to times when she does something like, trying to be inconspicuous while knocking over a giant sculpture or wearing the loudest coat in Berlin. It’s like when I do the dumb decision roundup for Big Sky (my other show with a Cassie). They’re dumb decisions–it’s frustrating to watch. But, of course, there’s a big gap between dumb and just bad. Unfortunately, that’s where Cassie lands this week.
Of course, one could argue that the trouble started last week, when she slept with Benjamin the CIA handler. This week, that sees her slinking out of his office, looking, as Benjamin’s boss Dot (Cheryl Hines) describes her, “disheveled.” Before this very conspicuous exit, which, by the way, is in the middle of the workday at the CIA field office, she had caught sight of her file on Benjamin’s desk. She immediately takes pictures of it, which later horrifies Shane, because you’re not exactly allowed to just do that with CIA files.
Anyway, Cassie is also upset, because the file doesn’t make sense. In particular, there’s a psych evaluation of her that features answers she didn’t give. That could have something to do with her mysterious doppelganger or maybe it’s tied to something else. In either case, Benjamin doesn’t want anyone to know that he checked out the files or whatever you call it when you request them from the records department. (I am not a federal agent, sorry.)
I’m sure I’ve said some variation of this before, if not in a review of this show, then in a review of another. And that is the fact that there is a certain kind of person who so mistrusts their own happiness that they’ll look for opportunities to blow up their lives. (Aha! In trying to find the original quote that inspired this idea, because I’m sure I read it in a book and it was devastating, I instead found my previous reference to it.)
This isn’t exactly Cassie’s fault. As we saw in the first season, she has a lot of snakes in her head. That’s the kind of thing that you work on when you’re in recovery. And while I’m no expert on substance abuse disorders, I do know enough to know that it’s not always a linear process. As in, you don’t decide to quit drinking or doing drugs and then that’s it. Perfect from then on. There will be stumbles and there will be really hard moments. It’s really hard work.
It’s important, therefore, to have a solid support system. However, you can have that, but it won’t serve its purpose if you don’t call on it. The best thing to do in Cassie’s scenario, when her inner selves are tormenting her and she’s just set off a bomb in her relationship with Marco, is to call Brenda, her sponsor. Cassie doesn’t do this, though. In fact, when Brenda calls her, because Megan has left, Cassie tries to get off the phone as quickly as possible.
And then she goes to Grace’s house. I’m not sure why she just can’t tell Grace that she’s sober. As much as I find her suspicious, Grace does seem like a reasonable sort. I feel like, if Cassie shared with her, then Grace would handle it as her name implies. She’d probably stop offering her drinks, at least.
But Cassie doesn’t tell her and that leads to disaster. It leads to Cassie buying bottles of alcohol and then drunk-dialing Dot repeatedly. She also phones Shane, whose partner answers the phone. It’s not enough that she’s hammered, though–she tells the partner that she needs to talk to Shane about CIA stuff, of which the partner doesn’t seem to be aware. Yikes. To his credit, though, Shane is tough but fair with her.
Finally, she drives (drunk) to the beach, where Brenda finds her. There, she confesses the truth. She’s not actually a year sober. She fell off the wagon twice when she was in New York. That’s the main reason, in fact, that she moved to Los Angeles so that she could have a fresh start. But this is part of the process. As I said, you’ll stumble and maybe you’ll fall. But you get back up and you try again.
I don’t really agree with Brenda’s view that Cassie is starting from the beginning. I mean, she kind of is, but she’s better prepared than she was before. She is starting over, but she’s doing it from a position of strength that she didn’t have before. One of her inner selves mocks the idea of the doppelganger, asking who in their right mind would want to be Cassie, but that’s just useless self-hate. She’s not a bad person. She’s just having a bad time.
Meanwhile, everyone else is having a (slightly) better time. Megan left Brenda’s, for instance, so she could go visit that friend, Cherri (Izabella Miko), whom she wanted Cassie to see. She left a lockbox with Cherri, which she retrieves after some minor criminal activity. At least she finally got to use that mushroom powder.
And speaking of criminal activity, after realizing that the Diazes also cloned his laptop, in addition to taking the View-Master, Max and Annie track them down. In a ridiculously tense sequence, Max breaks into their house, while they’re there, and manages to get everything back. Everything, that is, but Annie’s not-engagement ring. Did the Diazes actually take it? Or is there something else going on here?
8/10 – There wasn’t a lot of forward movement on the season’s main mystery, but that’s just fine with me. I like these slowed-down moments where Cassie has to take a hard look at herself. As I said, I feel an affection for the character, which also means that I want her to be better. I want her to be secure in happiness.
Apparently, that bear Davey got her is a real thing, because recovery gifts are a thing. The more you know.