Briarpatch season 1, episode 4 recap – “Breadknife Weather”

March 4, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
TV, TV Recaps
4

Summary

“Breadknife Weather” marks a turning point for Briarpatch, as both Allegra and the murder-mystery begin to open up.

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4

Summary

“Breadknife Weather” marks a turning point for Briarpatch, as both Allegra and the murder-mystery begin to open up.

This recap of Briarpatch Season 1, Episode 4, “Breadknife Weather”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.


Andy Greenwald’s Briarpatch has always been about Rosario Dawson; about her varied wardrobe of pantsuits, about her effortless cool, and about how well she fits into the neo-noir gumshoe archetype. She’s tough, driven, gorgeous, all of these things, but in Briarpatch Episode 4 she’s finally human. “Breadknife Weather” revels in that humanity, and in Dawson’s ability to showcase a full range of it, caroming between extremes of humor and grief, idling over that frayed, reflective middle ground where so many emotions are fighting for attention that none are able to show themselves.

If Briarpatch Episode 4 feels like Dawson’s Allegra Dill finally letting her façade slip, it also feels like a turning point for the entire show. There’s more useful background and concrete plotting in “Breadknife Weather” than there has been in the previous three episodes combined. And Pick’s detachment from San Bonifacio’s bizarre residents seems starker than ever as everyone assembles to eulogize a person she didn’t seem to know or at least can’t remember. Her late sister Felicity (Michele Weaver) discovered something that got her killed, that much is certain, but the Felicity these people remember doesn’t line up with the one from Pick’s past.

Briarpatch season 1, episode 4 recap - "Breadknife Weather"

The conceit of rounding everyone up in the same location – in this case, Felicity’s funeral – isn’t a new or novel one, but it works. It forces Allegra to brush shoulders with everyone from Raytek (Kim Dickens) to Gene (Brian Geraghty) and Lucretia Colder (Christine Woods) and her old pal Jake Spivey (Jay R. Ferguson), as well as reckon emotionally with what the loss of her sister really means to her. By positioning Jake as the only tether to San Bonifacio and the old life she lived there, Briarpatch Episode 4 is also teeing up an inevitable decision for Allegra to make down the line: According to Cyrus (Charles Parnell), Brattle’s (Alan C*****g) co-operation will make Jake a worthy sacrifice, even if he’s the closest thing Allegra has to a friend and the show itself wouldn’t function without him.

The most significant development in “Breadknife Weather” is the fate of Floyd Ferness (Jon Beavers), who arrives to secretively hand over the recordings from Harold’s bug just when Pick is properly breaking down in private. (Her stealing Felicity’s memorial photo is played for laughs, but it’s actually kind of tragic, when you think about it.) Floyd’s arc has been an odd one; he hasn’t had many scenes, but in his few appearances he has communicated an awful lot. His death here, essentially suicide, feels like the culmination of a life spent watching hope be snatched away, first in terms of his athletic career, and then in terms of exoneration for Felicity’s murder. In supplying the evidence of whatever Felicity was mixed up in, he clearly felt he had fulfilled whatever purpose he had left.

A sad ending, then, but a hopeful one in terms of what Briarpatch Season 1, Episode 4 represents for the rest of the show’s run. Allegra’s mask has slipped, and the case has opened up; for the first time, the quirky eccentricities and aesthetic flourishes aren’t the only reason to be invested.


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