The Cause, The Kid, The Course, The Charm: Twisted “The Fest and The Furious” Review
Tensions ran high in Twisted‘s fifth episode as the town showed its true colors after Danny’s attendance at Green Grove’s Fall Festival. The series’ lead characters show some surprising colors of their own during the dance.”The Fest and The Furious” also stopped playing poker with Danny and instead gave us an opportunity to see its themes shine.
Lacey’s dream sequence at the beginning of the episode was one of the most surprising scenes in the series so far. The only other dream sequence featured in the show was had by Jo in the pilot, and it played more like a memory – or nightmare – on loop. Lacey’s dream, however, broke a dramatic wall. While conversing with her dead best friend, Lacey is taunted by the specter with the gruesome details of her last night alive. While this may not initially seem important, it signals a shift in how the writers can dole out clues regarding Regina’s murder. In addition, Lacey’s relationship to Regina can now provide another lense from which to evaluate the main murder plot line.
The episode experienced another shift, this time an emotional one, that we saw most clearly between Karen and Danny. They were also two strong illustrations of the complexities of Danny’s guilty/innocent plot. Karen now knows that her son has the necklace taken from Regina after she was murdered. This information literally puts Karen in one of the toughest spots of any character on the show. Particularly when she danced around asking about the necklace as Danny proved one of her greatest fears: her son may be a killer. This scared Karen and rightfully so.
But after visiting a counselor about the signs of a sociopath, she found herself – while fixing his tie for the Fall Festival – back at square one. When she looked at the boy in front of her all she could see was her son; the one person she has left and the only person she wants to protect. Karen’s decision seems to be pretty easy for her now and we see her throw the necklace into a lake near episode’s end, covering up its very existence. She wasn’t alone though and as Rico stood in the shadow of a nearby tree, he transformed from a sidekick to as big a part in this as any of the other characters.
While in past episodes we were privy to Danny’s supposed darker side, “The Fest and The Furious” offered more of an external look at his situation. Throughout we see people Danny once knew (like Tess) and those who barely know him (Tim “Destroyer of Pi Pies”) react to his presence at the fall festival. His moment with Tess – trying to make sure it was okay that he signed up for one of her classes – was fleeting, but tender. Danny revealed his fear of getting to close and while Tess acknowledged his fear she also tried to quell it.
Resident sociopath hunter Tim didn’t show Danny as much kindness and at one point physically pushed the teen. This is an important moment for several reasons. Firstly, Tim was there drumming up fear over Danny’s presence, and his physical violence and obnoxious ranting illustrated some of the trumped up fear we create when we have no answers, only scapegoats. Second, it highlighted how we treat individuals like Danny who have criminal backgrounds. We often treat their rights – to go to dances, to be in public, and frankly to exist around us – not as rights, but as privileges that we afford them. But if we never allow them to readjust and re-enter our communities, how are they supposed to move on to avoid repeating past mistakes? It sometimes can be like clipping a bird’s wings and expecting them to still fly.
While these various moments were enlightening, the best parts of the episode were the scenes between our contrasting duos, Jo and Danny and Lacey and Danny. The talent of Maddie Hasson, Avan Jogia, and Kylie Bunbury was visible from the pilot, but the young actors really nailed it here. From the heated scene in the diner between Lacey and Jo to the touching moment on the dance floor between Jo and Danny, our investment in these characters grew ten fold. There was also a dramatic shift for Lacey when, after uncovering a payoff letter to Regina she decides to let Danny know about it… and plant a big one on him while she’s at it.
Of course this show is a murder mystery, but it’s also a modern day breakfast club. The characters of Jo, Lacey, and Danny very easily fall into stereotypical teen molds. It’s when they get together though that we see sides of each one in our self. This is one of Twisted‘s hidden treasures. You aren’t just watching a social conversation about personality disorders or how we treat released offenders; about how communities react to the unknown or how increasingly we feel more like the police are a threat instead of a protective force. This show is about kids growing up and finding out who they are; grappling with the molds we are given and finding the strength to be ourselves, even when we’re scared of where that leads us; having more in common than we think and letting our walls down to find that out.
Here are my twists, turns, and queries for this week. Share your thoughts on the episode or add to my list of twists and turns in the comments below.
Twists: 1.) Regina was being paid by someone to keep quiet about the necklace, 2.) Karen Desai tosses Aunt Tara’s/Regina’s (possible) necklace into the lake
Turns: 1.) Lacey has finally come around, in more ways than one, to Danny, 2.) Rico was there to see Karen throw the necklace into the body of water
- How much can Lacey help Danny and Jo if she isn’t willing to ruin Regina’s image?
- As things keep getting rougher between Jo and Rico, do we think he’ll Jo about what he saw or will he go to someone else?
- Does Lacey and Danny’s kiss change the trio’s dynamic? If so, is it better or for worse?
- What did we think about Karen’s decision to get rid of the necklace permanently with everything she knows? Could there have been an ulteriour motive behind it other than her simply wanting to protect Danny?
- Will Tess and Kyle’s rough patch influence how Danny is treated by people in the town or how much more fervently Kyle goes after him?
Twisted airs Tuesdays at 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.