“Savage” is another powerful episode dealing with real, serious issues of identity, trauma, and personal crisis.
This recap of P-Valley season 2, episode 6, “Savage”, contains spoilers.
I’m used to P-Valley being sexy and stylish and funny. It has dealt with important issues in the past, sure, and caught a body or two, but after last week’s powerful, poignant exploration of domestic violence and sexual assault, something seems to have changed. “Savage” has its laughs here and there, but the big takeaways are moments of profound pain and tragedy.
There was one big moment, so let’s get some housekeeping out of the way before we get to that. Hailey is still maneuvering her way into a profitable position on the back of her ownership of the Pynk, which mostly involves her seducing Andre given that he’s a shoo-in for the mayoral position. Covid-19 seems to be running rampant through the staff, and it seems Uncle Clifford has taken it home to his dear grandmother, so whether that will crop up again in a more serious fashion remains to be seen.
P-Valley season 2, episode 6 recap
And then there’s Mercedes, whose relationship with Coach badly backfires here when he realizes that his wife is enjoying the escapades much more than he thought. The fact that he’s offended by this while in the middle of paying for sex with a stripper is hypocrisy at its finest, and Farrah is quick to point this out. But Mercedes simply being a stripper seems to embolden Coach to act like she’s some kind of demon seductress and means he doesn’t have to reckon with the fact that his own selfishness and complete lack of interest in his own wife led to this outcome.
Either way, this cozy financial arrangement is up in smoke.
Meanwhile, Derrick goes out to help a buddy with some landscaping, so Keyshawn tries to make a getaway with the kids only to find that the car has been sabotaged. Forced to wait at home, she pulls out a gun she has stashed and clearly thinks long and hard about shooting Derrick as he walks through the door, but she can’t bring herself to do it. For another episode, maybe.
Oh, and Diamond continues to be the show’s link to some ill-advised supernaturalism that doesn’t really work in any way.
Anyway, the big deal in “Savage” is the fate of Big Teak, Lil Murda’s head of security and secret lover who has been spiraling big time since his release from prison into a world he no longer recognizes. On top of everything else, we learn his backstory is marred by significant violence and trauma – this is a troubled man who is not only dealing with his past but also his repressed sexuality, the love of his life having moved on, and systemic inequality that is plastering faces very much like his all over the news.
Throughout the episode Big Teak shares several moving scenes with Lil Murda; one in which he asks him about Uncle Clifford, another in which he visits his old family home and recalls himself as a child, hiding in the closet, covered in blood. The last one comes when he and Lil Murda sit on the hood of the car that Murda just bought for him, and he lays out some of his past and what the teardrops on his face symbolize – not the people he has killed, as most assume, but the loved ones he has had wrenched from him.
It becomes obvious, after a while, that Big Teak has decided to end his own life. We realize it before Lil Murda does, but by then it’s too late. Murda tries everything he can to talk his friend out of it, but his decision is made. Instead, he sits with him at the final moment. After the flash and the gunshot, he stumbles out of the car covered in Big Teak’s blood and makes his way to Uncle Clifford’s place. Perhaps for the first time, he tells Clifford the truth: “I’m not okay.”