Baby You’re A Firework: Twisted “Poison of Interest” Review
“Poison of Interest” was far less about Danny’s trial and more about establishing motivations not so clearly illustrated before. It also took the time to develop individual characters, and introduce new players, which expanded the show’s universe and provided strong set up for the series’ summer finale.
Episode ten’s revolving focus was on Danny’s potential expulsion. Gloria Crane re-emerged, solidifying herself as one of his biggest adversaries. Her threat of going to the school board earlier in the season became a reality and she used Danny missing a therapy session to put him on trial – literally. The episode’s first scene made it clear that the girls were done with Danny, making believe he was truly alone in this fight. This was a scary revelation as we saw him prepare for his big date. If the girls weren’t on Danny’s side how did he stand a chance?
A running theme throughout the episode was “a change of heart.” This didn’t stop short of the Mastersons who were the one’s to break down Jo’s wall. They saw it from Danny’s perspective confirming for us that keeping secrets is the quickest way to hurt him. When the truth outs there are people who will do the right thing. That’s made easier when the can believe or believe in you. Jo became one of those people when she not only agreed to help Danny (despite not trusting him), but brought Tyler in as an aid.
Jo’s defense of Danny led to a surprising school board testimony moment when she not so subtly admits in front of the crowd that she has feelings for him. Danny’s response after the school board ruling – that he will be expelled – just added to the angst. But when he talks to Jo about her testimony, instead of stating whether or not he reciprocates those feelings he again tells her she’s very important to him. Clearly Danny is not blind (the entire room knew what she was saying), so what does Danny know or feel that keeps leading him and Jo back to this statement?
Lacey, with the help of Rico, spends the episode weighing whether or not to destroy the sex tape Doug snapped of her. Lacey is at first gung-ho about it all, but when her friends confirm that no matter what they’ll still be her friends we again see a side of people we weren’t expecting. It’s easy to villainize those that don’t trust Danny because the show is about Danny, but emotions are complicated. Lacey’s friends have had a very real world response to Danny. Regina and Lacey are their friends, not Danny.
Their response was positive enough for Lacey to give up on trying to stop the spread of the video. From this we learn that Lacey cares about the people who care about her, not about her popularity. It’s a perfect character development reveal, even after Rico spills on Jo’s feelings for Danny. Lacey expects Jo to understand; Danny is part of the problem, not Lacey. Then the game changes. After Jo has her hallway talk with Danny, she comes back to tell Lacey about her feelings. This appears to be motivated by the impression Danny left her with.
Now Lacey’s fears are back again and so the claws come out. Her hallway fight with Doug and Eloise shows how strong she can be as a character and person. This is why it’s so disappointing when the Lacey and Rico pairing ends up being what ignites the spread of the sex tape. An angry and vindictive Eloise is the one to spread it around (after Lacey snaps about her retainer noises), and in the episode’s final moments we watch as Danny, Lacey, and Jo – as well as everyone who matters to them – finds out.
This episode’s strongest moments were the most combative scenes. Karen fighting against Tang, Gloria and the school board president lent us a look at how smart she is and how she can be a better mother to Danny. Danny and Jo talking with Tyler gave us a necessary view of the duo at odds. They are friends, but they are also individuals in two very different positions. The courtroom scene was explosive in multiple ways, and after the bleacher conversation Jo, Danny, and Cole had it was a nice turn around. Cole has been an in and out character, but he became one of the most important people in Danny’s life.
Lacey and Rico’s interactions were much more of a treat than initially expected. Their similarities as characters became blatantly obvious and their true motivations shined. Lacey who was so often seen as only wanting to protect her status proved she cares about her friends. Rico, very literally, showed the same. His motivations regarding Jo have come off as jealous, but he was calling Doug out on his creepiness and defending the girls’ integrity. Finally, this week’s episode really highlighted the reality of Danny’s situation. This could have left everything on a downer note, but instead it found just the right moments to illustrate how a single person standing up can have an impact (good or bad).
Overall the episode gave us something we were waiting (and needed) to see out of our characters. This lent to great development and strong finale set up, but it may have also left us confused. Sometimes this show is 5 things at once, only allotting certain amounts of time to each angle it comes from. Character development like this hasn’t been around since earlier in the season which is why it could have felt out of character for… well, many of the characters. Hopefully the show can figure out how to create a better balance in its explosiveness and when it decides to showcase certain parts of the series.
What did you think of “Poison of Interest”? Leave your comments below.
Twisted airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on ABC Family.