TV Show Review

TV Review: THE BRINK: Season 1, Episode 8: Who’s Grover Cleveland? [HBO]


HBO’s The Brink Who’s Grover Cleveland? TV Show ReviewThe Brink: Season 1, Episode 8: Who’s Grover Cleveland? is the strongest satirical chapter of this series thus far, and it is so jam packed with quick witted dialog that I almost couldn’t keep up. Don’t watch this episode unless you’re wide awake. Or try super gluing your eyes open.

Walter Larson (Tim Robbins) is dumbfounded by what the president (Esai Morales) and his situation room staff have done by executing the strike on Zaman’s (Iqbal Theba) palace. Intelligence gets in the way of the truth and Larson’s inner child explodes into rage at the manufactured war scheme the government is planning in order to ad hoc their mistake. Sure, he is a whore monger, but wanting to make love not war is his most likable quality. His character is shameless, but at the heart of this man, aside from the moans and groans, is the peacemaker the world needs, and he isn’t afraid to throw a punch and lose his composure to prove it thanks to Kendra’s (Maribeth Monroe) pep talk and psycho sexual analysis.

Zeke (Pablo Schreiber) and Glenn (Eric Ladin) decide to celebrate being recovered prematurely as the mood quickly shifts to laying on the guilt over what Zeke has done to Ashley (Mary Faber) and Gail (Jaimie Alexander), his two girlfriends who just figured out his love triangle. Zeke doesn’t deserve either one of them and he grovels just as convincingly as Larson and Talbot (Jack Black) which comes almost too naturally to both of them. Luckily, Ashley sent the pharmaceuticals just in the nick of time for war. Zeke’s dealings to the broke crew of the ship are foiled by Dougen (Lamont Thompson) who is astounded that he would break the law, and forges the right solution; give the uppers away for free and stop profiting from war. Glenn is right there to pick up the pieces with a deal split over the boner dude statue he lifted from the antiques dealers. Crime might actually pay, even in war.

Talbot finally gets told exactly what Rafiq (Aasif Mandvi) and Fareeda (Melanie Chandra) deserve the space to tell him, and he is still relentless in begging to make amends. His manipulation ultimately benefits Fareeda and the school girls when they are not whisked away to Afghanistan but instead land at her parents’ lake house. Bribery is a talent oft reserved for more powerful players than boorish low level analysts like Talbot, but he is a talented schemer like the rest of the main protagonists in this outfit. The heat between Rafiq and Talbot is impressive as Talbot’s mounting denial and racialization cause emotional explosives to detonate between them. This is the most sincere anger to erupt from Rafiq to date. His prior annoyance with Talbot’s skeeziness was well aimed, but Talbot gaffes to the point of no return this time.

Larson delivers the best lines of his on screen career just before he decides to defect. He tells a kids’ hockey team who the president has allowed to stand around the White House as a guise of peace to start a revolution-a real one-and not this Occupy Wall St. shit because the country is led by impotent war loving maniacs. Who can disagree with him? Walter is a one man revolution.

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About the author

Stephanie King

I am a meticulous writer. Story is my strong suit.

I do not waste time on political "critique" or paranoid "undertones" that might have been an inspiration to a story writer, but clearly are not a main or secondary theme.

I can identify high concept, main and sub theme(s), protagonists and antagonists, secondary character roles, the turning point, the key, the antagonist's story thrust, the spine, twelve sequences, the climax, the resolution, and most importantly, the goal of any film. I am aware of the act structure which can be from three to five acts, generally.

Aristotle elaborates in his Poetics on Plato's Republic on act structure.

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