Allen v Farrow episode 4 recap – the ending explained

March 15, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
Ending Explained, HBO, Weekly TV
4

Summary

Allen v Farrow catches up to the present day, and explores how cultural shifts allowed Dylan Farrow to finally have her voice be heard.

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4

Summary

Allen v Farrow catches up to the present day, and explores how cultural shifts allowed Dylan Farrow to finally have her voice be heard.

This recap of Allen v Farrow episode 4 contains spoilers.


The accusations against Woody Allen have been so intimately associated with the man’s career for so long that it’s impossible to separate one from the other – a matter that is addressed explicitly in the final episode of HBO’s Allen v Farrow, which suggests, correctly, that separating art from artists is just a means of making one feel better about enjoying the art. But this episode also catches us up to the present day, looking at how what Allen allegedly did continues to profoundly impact Dylan Farrow, and how her experiences, not to mention her bravery in sharing them publicly, most notably in an open letter published in 2014 as a blog post under Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times column and in a 2017 Los Angeles Times op-ed, has had a powerful effect in light of the Me Too and Time’s Up movements, both of which hinged on the longstanding ability of powerful men, particularly in showbusiness, to get away with virtually anything.

What has always formed the backbone of Allen’s denial and the insistence of his supporters that he was the victim of a scorned woman was the decision of law enforcement back in 1993 to not prosecute him further. Allen v Farrow episode 4 sheds new light on that, revealing that Connecticut state prosecutor Frank Maco, despite believing there to be grounds to continue, elected not to in order to protect Dylan, rather than traumatize her on the stand. Allen would later give another smug public statement full of words like disgust, cowardly, and dishonest, and included a ridiculously grandiose message to Dylan herself that “the dark forces will not prevail”. He was wrong, obviously, which is no doubt a good thing, but many people bought his story and continue to, and his career largely continued apace. One of the most striking sequences here is of several very prominent celebrities hailing his genius. Another is him glibly explaining in an interview that Dylan was “crazy about him” and he was crazy about her — language I’ve never heard a parent use to express their love for their child.

Maco met with Dylan in the Fall of 2020, after promising to do so many years prior if she ever wanted more clarification of his decision. That conversation, far removed from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood awards dos, gets to the human heart of what the accusations leveled against Woody Allen really mean, to Dylan and many others, including her mother, who found it difficult to find work in the United States, as Allen promised, and eventually pursued – and continues to pursue – humanitarian work abroad. There is no wonder that a glowing 2014 lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes and its obvious avoidance of the allegations became a turning point for both Ronan Farrow and Dylan herself.

Ronan is a gift to Allen v Farrow episode 4, providing a clear insider perspective that lays out how relationships between journalists and celebrities actually work, explaining how Allen’s former all-powerful publicist, Leslee Dart, fostered a culture of “transactional access journalism”, a kind of cultural brainwashing racket in exchange for privileged access to traffic-driving stars and stories. But the episode does a good job of tracing the macro cultural shifts that allowed Dylan’s op-ed in December 2017 to resonate more powerfully than her initial open letter. Now, someone as powerful as Harvey Weinstein was being taken to task for a lifetime of sexual abuse, and former collaborators of Allen’s could no longer sit idly by and say nothing. Many publicly decried him and refused to ever work with him again. After too long spent under the protection of his art, the artist is finally being held to account.

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