“Partners?” focuses primarily on Pedro’s struggles with addiction in another strong chapter with surprising warmth.
This recap of Dom season 1, episode 6, “Partners?”, contains spoilers.
Dom episode 6, like several installments before it, begins in the past with Pedro’s release from prison, which the previous episode made clear was a… let’s say a formative period of his life. I’m reminded of the earlier episode when Pedro tried to make amends with Victor with that laptop; the father gifting his son a cell phone here feels similarly fruitless, just an empty gesture that can’t hope to heal the rift between them.
Speaking of that laptop, Victor opens it in the present day and uses it to find a rural rehab clinic for Pedro; the hug they share here is one of the first moments of genuine warmth we’ve seen between them, and it’s not just a welcome change but an intentional juxtaposition with what we saw moments prior.
Shortly after Victor learns of Jessika’s grisly demise, we return to the ‘70s in Dom episode 6, where Victor begins to experience a crisis of conscience seeing the devastation that is being brought about by the drugs and believing Riberio’s claims of them infiltrating every favela. It’s a future that we know in large part comes to pass, so as Victor continues to learn more about the operation and its scale, there’s an additional layer of tragedy. Crisis, in this case, cannot be averted, no matter how well Victor does his job. All the sacrifices he makes, and all the guilt we know he ends up carrying, was largely for nothing, or at least for very little.
The back half of “Partners?” contains a lot more of that welcome warmth that Dom has been lacking thus far. Rather than the montage of minor successes and huge failures we’ve seen previously, Pedro’s time in rehab seems to have done him the world of good, and we see frankness and love in the handwritten letter he sends his father, in the embrace between the two, in Pedro’s apologies to his sister. Of course, the positivity is intended to be juxtaposed with another crushing relapse, as Dom season 1, episode 6 ends with Pedro on the precipice of another spiral, heading to see Jasmin, who tends not to be a good influence. But this episode shelving a lot of the criminal elements to hone in on Pedro’s journey through addiction is effect at this stage in the season and helps to give the final two episodes a stronger basis in character.