Allen v Farrow episode 2 recap – a disturbing pattern emerges

March 1, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 2
HBO, Weekly TV
4

Summary

Allen v Farrow episode 2 hones in on a disturbing trend in Woody Allen’s work while also examining the fallout of his relationship with Soon-Yi, and revealing Dylan’s story in her own words at the time.

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4

Summary

Allen v Farrow episode 2 hones in on a disturbing trend in Woody Allen’s work while also examining the fallout of his relationship with Soon-Yi, and revealing Dylan’s story in her own words at the time.

This recap of Allen v Farrow episode 2 contains spoilers.

The harrowing first episode of HBO’s Allen v Farrow closed out with the revelation that Woody Allen was conducting a secret affair with Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his partner, Mia Farrow. The fallout of that discovery is of paramount importance in this week’s episode, but it’s eclipsed in its impact by a never-before-seen recording of Dylan Farrow explaining, in her own words, what her adoptive father apparently did to her.

But before that, a clear pattern is highlighted among Allen’s films, a peculiar and surprisingly obvious fixation on age-inappropriate romantic relationships, always about older men being infatuated with younger women, making repeated attempts to justify the behaviour. Richard Morgan, a freelance journalist exploring the Allen archive at Princeton University on behalf of The Washington Post, unearthed a similar focus in many of his unfinished scripts and ideas. Lest the defense of the artist and the art being separate be wheeled out, a clear line is drawn between Manhattan, Allen’s 1979 film about a man (played by Allen himself) and his romance with a high-school girl, and a real-life relationship Allen had while in his 40s with 17-year-old model Christina Engelhardt.

The evidence, then, is mounting up in Allen v Farrow episode 2. Allen’s relationship with Soon-Yi should really come as no surprise, even if it difficult to fathom why anyone would be compelled to side with Allen, as many continue to do. Even in light of the deeply inappropriate nature of this relationship Allen was still legally allowed to see Dylan, who he had adopted along with Moses Farrow; it was on August 4, 1992, that he allegedly abused her in the attic of the family’s Connecticut home during a period of 20 minutes during which nobody present could account for either of their whereabouts.

The tape, presented for the first time in Allen v Farrow episode 2, shows Dylan Farrow openly stating that Allen took her to the attic, touched her “privates”, and told her, “Don’t move, I have to do this,” promising a trip to Paris in exchange for whatever occurred. Mia Farrow filmed this, apparently, for Dylan’s therapist, though I don’t think it would have been unusual for any parent to grab the camera as soon as their child mentioned anything of the sort. Some will, inevitably, see Mia’s pushing of Dylan to state what happened as coercive, but to me, at least, it reads more as a concerned parent getting a child to reiterate for the record something you know you heard them say but that wouldn’t necessarily be believed if it wasn’t recorded. Either way, it lands with tremendous impact.

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2 thoughts on “Allen v Farrow episode 2 recap – a disturbing pattern emerges

  • March 1, 2021 at 10:36 pm
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    It didn’t sound to me like Mia was coaching Dylan at all. She didn’t put words on Dylan’s mouth. She simply replied hmm or uh huh to Dylan’s answers. She did ask Dylan to show where on her private parts Woody touched her just to clarify that Dylan was referring to her private parts and not somewhere else that she thought were her private parts. Woody is a sick, mean and egotistical man. I have never liked his movies, especially the characters he played. BTW Mia was not Woody’s wife. The two were never married.

    • March 1, 2021 at 11:06 pm
      Permalink

      Edited the wife comment — thanks for pointing that out.

      I agree with your interpretation of the recording, and also your assessment of Woody as an egotist. I think that has come through almost more than anything else in these two episodes; even when he talks about his affection for others it’s in terms of what HE does for them as a show of that affection.

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