The Act Episode 3, “Two Wolverines”, gives the audience a reminder of Dee Dee’s flawed long-term plan, as Gypsy becomes more accustomed to the real world.
Hulu Original Series The Act is a seasonal anthology series that details strange true crime stories. The first season follows Gypsy Blanchard, a young girl who appears to have a range of medical issues, trying to remove herself from her toxic relationship with her overprotective, abusive mother, Dee Dee Blanchard. Her persistence for independence leads to darker secrets, and ultimately, murder. This review of Episode 3, “Two Wolverines”, contains spoilers. You can read the review of the previous episode by clicking these words.
From what I can gather from Episode 3, “Two Wolverines”, Dee Dee Blanchard (Patricia Arquette) was unprepared for Gypsy Blanchard’s (Joey King) growing awareness of the real world. It was inevitable that a teenager going through puberty, developing hormones and finding common interests with people the same age was always going to evolve, albeit slower than usual with the limitations.
We see the transformation of Gypsy in “Two Wolverines”, who has embraced social media secretly while her mum sleeps at night, and excitedly examines make-up tutorial videos on YouTube. Her curiosity about women, and courting men is at the forefront of her mind, but as we learned in the previous episode, she loves her mother – Dee Dee is her best friend, even if it is an abusive relationship, and up until now, she would rather protect her than live her life.
Episode 3 provides the turning point in their artificially happy existence at a comic-con type event. They both attend, but on the way in Dee Dee explains to the event staff that Gypsy is 15. This prompts Gypsy to question her actual age, remembering a time when her mother explained she was born in 1993, not 1995. “Two Wolverines” have both women enticed by men in Wolverine attire, and blossoming romances complicates matters. Gypsy gets acquainted with a man named Scott that takes an interest in her at the event, and Dee Dee becomes shy around another man, played by Dean Norris.
Not only is Gypsy finding ways to explore new areas in her life, but she is also tactically using her mother’s routine to gain necessities she has not had before. She sneakily buys a cheap smartphone and starts delving into the fund money that the public keep sending for Gypsy’s care. She spends weeks excitedly texting Scott, telling Lacey in private that he is her prince charming ready to save her. “Two Wolverines” sees mother and daughter more separate than ever before.
We also learn that Dee Dee is struggling to let go of the abusive, controlling relationship over Gypsy. For whatever reason, she is entirely consumed by keeping her daughter in a particular way. Is it the financial benefits? Or is she mentally ill? It feels like both, but when she is getting all romantic on the phone with the older Wolverine from Comic-Con she is almost persuaded by his words to let loose a little, but as soon as she mentions her daughter, she shuts down the conversation immediately.
Episode 3 ends with an attempted escape from her distorted reality for Gypsy. When she learns Scott is in hospital, she places on her Ariel wig and rushes to see him, declaring that they can be together. At his house, they begin kissing, but her determined mother finds her and pleads for her to come home. You can feel the conflict in Gypsy’s mind at the thought of returning to the house, but she finally gives in. Her mother tells Scott that she’s 14, but we learn earlier in the episode that she is 19.
As “Two Wolverines” closes out, Dee Dee coldly stares at Gypsy as they park outside their house, and waits for her to get into her wheelchair to use the ramp. What a travesty.
You can read our review of the fourth episode by clicking these words.