Russian Doll season 2, episode 6 recap – “Schrodinger’s Ruth”

April 20, 2022
Adam Lock 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV Recaps
4

Summary

This episode may take repeated viewings to decipher, but the intricate and confusing narrative is verging on the annoying.

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4

Summary

This episode may take repeated viewings to decipher, but the intricate and confusing narrative is verging on the annoying.

This recap of Netflix’s Russian Doll season 2, episode 6, “Schrodinger’s Ruth,” does not contain any significant spoilers.

Access the archive of recaps, reviews, and news for Russian Doll.

Science was never my forte, but the basics of Schrodinger’s cat is the idea that if our feline friend was sealed inside a box containing poison, the cat would be both dead and alive simultaneously until you looked inside and revealed its true fate. In this topsy-turvy chapter of Russian Doll, Nadia’s old friend Ruth is both dead and alive when Nadia decides to mess with the whole construct of time and possibly destroys the universe in the process, heavy stuff indeed. You don’t need a science degree to follow “Schrodinger’s Ruth”, but it will definitely help. This is the show’s most frustrating and complex episode yet.

Russian Doll season 2, episode 6 recap

Everything starts normal enough, you know, for Russian Doll that is. Nora exits the subway train and gives birth on the platform floor surrounded by her friends and a crowd of random New Yorker’s. The existential madness only gets worse from here on out. Nadia has just given birth to herself whilst occupying her mother’s body. Schrodinger and Einstein would have a field day with that notion. Everyone claps and she’s whisked off to the hospital.

Our old friend Chez (Sharlto Copley) returns for a guest appearance, alluding to the possibility that he may actually be Nadia’s father, God help her. Chez is his usual slimy self, brainstorming ideas to make money from the birth and telling Nora to pay him a visit when she’s all sewn up. Ruth (played by Annie Murphy) manages to kick the degenerate out, taking his celebratory cigar from him in the process. Vera is scheming to get Nora sectioned and Ruth fights to keep the new mother and child together. It’s a touching moment that highlights the bond these two women have, one that will surely hurt even more judging by the episodes title. It is a shame that young Ruth didn’t get more screen time and is more of a plot point than a character their willing to explore in greater depth.

Nadia’s had enough of this new time travelling mayhem and decides to battle back. She gets dressed and exits the hospital with the delicate baby (herself?) in her tight grip. She heads to the magical train and hops on. What could possibly go wrong? Well, the ramifications are unimaginable, what follows is a head trip of the highest caliber, a nightmarish journey into the unknown. Nadia arrives at the hospital with her baby and time starts to jump. It’s a maddening and ambiguous sequence that flitters through time periods, with poor Ruth been discharged for a car accident one second and then in other moments close to dying.

The ending 

The disobedient Nadia continues to break all the rules and investigates the many floors of this madhouse, ending at the mortuary. The trippy twists just keep coming and a panicked Nadia phones up Alan in a last gasp attempt to find some normality within the chaos. Alan himself has started to notice these time jumps and moves from sixties Germany to eighties New York and then the present. As time collapses around them they head to each other’s apartments. This ironic set-up ends with a familiar song that just warrants further questioning.

This is a perplexing episode from a series that can be complicated at the best of times. The depiction of time collapsing in on itself is well crafted and there’s intrigue in the ambiguity, but this is possibly a step too far as the complexity of the story starts to verge on the irritating. Mirroring the first season’s structure, the finale is staged for another ending where Alan and Nadia must solve an existential dilemma together in their usual cryptic ways.

What did you think of Netflix’s Russian Doll season 2, episode 6? Comment below. 

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