With a lot of its big dramatic questions already answered, “Rebellion Dogs” is mostly a character study — but the those under the microscope don’t deserve the attention.
This recap of Hightown season 1, episode 3, “Rebellion Dogs”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
I can’t help but feel as though I like Hightown slightly more than most, even if I can happily admit that it’s beginning to severely lack dramatic momentum and intrigue. As ever, the question of where exactly you stand on the glossy crime drama is going to depend on whether you can tolerate its characters, most especially self-destructive “gold star lesbian” Jackie (Monica Raymund), and not whether you’re keen on the central mystery, which is losing pace and relevance week on week.
Hightown episode 3, “Rebellion Dogs”, opens with the classic device of a flashback seguing directly into the present: Junior (Shane Harper) stashing Sherry’s body on his boat, riding out to sea with it, and dumping her overboard leads neatly into last week’s kind-of cliffhanger, as he and Jackie discuss the body’s discovery. Osito (Atkins Estimond) is still on him since why have a phone if you’re not going to answer it when it rings? We can all relate.
Then, of course, there’s Ray (James Badge Dale) and Renee (Riley Voelkel), quite a pair, and edging closer to a line that perhaps shouldn’t be crossed – unless, of course, it’s at the behest of Frankie (Amaury Nolasco).
Things aren’t exactly going well for Jackie in Hightown episode 3 since, after all the trauma with the body and her on-going battles with sobriety, she also loses her license and gets suspended. Oops. She’s still able to impart some information to Ray, though, about Krista’s (Crystal Lake Evans) presence on the night of the murder, and after escorting her out of the building he puts it to some use.
Ray visits a burger spot frequented by Osito while Jackie treats her rehab as seriously as usual at Lisa’s, where she learns that Krista left her suitcase. There’s nothing of note to be found beyond some papers, though, which hardly makes turning up for rehab late the next day worth it. Luckily Junior is on-hand to sign her attendance card, and as it turns out, those papers hold the next clue, which relates to a guy Krista was dating. He’s tight-lipped – at least for now.
But Jackie isn’t having that, not when she can seduce an old flame just to get hold of a car that she can drive right to the construction site where, would you believe it, Krista is chilling with the very dude she’s looking for. Nice to see Jackie putting her self-serving, manipulative behavior to good use.
And that’s the point, isn’t it? “Rebellion Dogs” suggests that Hightown isn’t really interested in making its characters likable, and as I said in the recap of the previous episode, that’s all lovely if the mystery itself is strong enough that you don’t mind. But, thus far anyway, there’s really very little to unravel about Sherry’s murder – we even know who did it. With so few big dramatic questions lingering over the show, we’re really left with a character study, and those under the microscope don’t seem worthy of the attention they’re getting.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.