Starz‘s Flesh and Bone Cannon Fodder TV Show Review. Flesh and Bone: Season 1, Episode 2: Cannon Fodder showed the professional ballerina that Claire Robbins (Sarah Hay) was but also how naive she could be. Example from Bulling Through into Cannon Fodder: the private audition was the turning point for Claire and her career. She had a spotlight on her yet she was blithely ignorant of the emotions that this generated in ballerinas that had been with the company for years and had never been singled out for anything significant. What made it worse was that Claire had only been with the company for a week. The other ballerinas must have all been asking themselves: “What does she have that we do not?”
The Barneys New York shoe delivery in Cannon Fodder didn’t help the situation but Claire eventually used the shoes to throw back some of vitriol spewed at her without speaking a word. It was the first F.U. moment of Cannon Fodder, perfectly deployed on a toilet lid, before the major F.U. moment happened. The first F.U. moment’s befuddled recipient (Emily Tyra) was speechless as she languished in her bathtub. This moment in Cannon Fodder also showed that Claire would only take so much before fighting back.
The viewer understood Claire’s sex-fear regarding rich ballet donor LeRan Brousseau (Stephen Schnetzer). Claire taking a pill to alleviate her trepidation so that she was there at dinner, but wasn’t there was an idiotic decision. Claire had no idea: a.) what the drug was, b.) how potent it was, c.) if it had been cut with anything else, d.) what motivated the virtual stranger that gave it to her, and e.) how it would affect her ability to think and speak (at a dinner date, at a casual get together, one would be expected to do both). With all these unknown and known variables, why did Claire take the pill? All she had to do was to talk with the donor. American Ballet Company Artistic Director Paul Grayson (Ben Daniels) told her so. When the end of the night came, she could have said: “I had a lovely evening but I’d like to keep our association professional” or: “I’m seeing someone.”
The pill decision placed Claire’s intellect into question.
Her suitor’s decision at the end of the dinner placed his morals into question. Brousseau could see that Claire was inebriated, high, or both. The viewer saw him assessing the situation. His ultimate decision to take advantage of Claire’s state (the major F.U. moment of Cannon Fodder previously alluded to) was loathsome but not unexpected. The suitor being a gentleman, throwing his coat over Claire’s shoulders (symbolic since she had a jacket), and taking her home (watching as she got into her door), would have been gallant but boring. The suitor being a scumbag was far more dramatic and entertaining. Brousseau had probably wanted to have sex with Claire since the moment he first laid eyes on her and probably even more so when he first saw her at the beginning of their dinner together. Instead of cultivating a relationship and earning Claire’s favor, he decided to shoplift coitus.
For a drama TV series, it was the correct decision by Brousseau. It gave birth to what followed , a depraved scene that showed yet didn’t exploit Claire’s naked physique, ironic, since she was being exploited. The way Claire maneuvered herself out of the situation contradicted her earlier exhibited stupidity. If she was that good at situational improvisation (Carrie Mathison level), why was she so afraid of navigating a simple dinner, surrounded by numerous other diners in a public restaurant?
One thought on that: if Claire hadn’t self-drugged herself, she would have never ended up in the hotel room. A skillful domino effect was created in Cannon Fodder to lead to that moment.
Also skillful in Cannon Fodder, more devious than skillful I should say, was Bryan Robbins (Josh Helman), who sought to ‘reconnect’ with his sister in both mind and body. Bryan’s scene on the bus and in the rest-stop bathroom showed that he knew that his ‘relationship’ with his sister was wrong (and he didn’t care e.g. Jaime Lannister’s ‘relationship’ with his twin sister Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones) and that he had a lack of impulse control. If Bryan had hit the retired soldier (Joseph R. Sicari) with any more force, he probably would have killed him. Bryan knew exactly how much force to use. That may be indicative of the ‘force’ (psychological and physical) he previously applied to Claire.
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