If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: Greg joins Ramon and Kristen at the gaming expo, where “Realms,” and Ramon, attract considerable attention. Bruised by inappropriate remarks, Duc takes out his frustrations on a fellow biker after a mountain race. Audrey and Steven reminisce about old times. Ashley questions her place in society, and her relationship with Malcolm. Navid gives Kristen a makeover as the two plot revenge against Madison. Farid crosses a line in his treatment of Ramon. (HBO)
Writer: Tanya Barfield
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Running Time: 57mins
Airs: Sundays at 9pm on HBO Canada (Canada)/HBO (United States)
This episode again tried to do too much as each of the children began to fall apart here and perhaps marked the end of what is the best part of the show so far, the relationship between Ramon and Shokrani.
The episode started off with another appointment between Ramon and Shokrani where Shokrani encouraged him to keep working on his game. Ramon shared his inspiration behind the imagery in his game. Shokrani helped him to see things in his game that he didn’t even see at first. The video game expo he was chosen to go to was coming up soon and he had to get his game ready.
Ramon got a friend to come over to check a part of his game that he didn’t remember adding that appeared and then disappeared. Meanwhile, after a moment in the game caused him to smoke a joint, another memory from Shokrani of his mischievous younger years was triggered.
At school, Kristen stumbled onto a group of girls spray painting swastikas on lockers who then set her up by taking a picture of her with a can of spray paint. One of the tagged lockers was Navid’s so she asked him for help but he was hesitant. An impaired Shokrani and Layla were called to the highschool. Ramon went back to find the rogue code in his game. He tried to call Henry, however, his number was no longer in service.
Greg went to Michael’s funeral after he got hit by a car at the end of the last episode. His fiancee was glad that she wouldn’t have to go forward with the wedding. She only wanted to marry him because she thought she was pregnant. He later visited Duc who he thought seemed off. He was sitting on the toiler earlier for what he claimed to be stomach pains. Back at his office, Greg was not happy to see his new TA that he didn’t know about.
Audrey and her old colleague Steven (Tim DeKay) worked and grew closer together to expand her program. They then had a conference call with the governor of Washington. Greg sent Audrey a message about Duc so she went to visit him. It appeared that his issues were caused by the lingering dreams he had been having of his mother.
Audrey updated Greg about Duc and wanted him to do to Ramon’s video game expo. Duc tried to excerice his problems away, much to the delight of another gym patron. He continued to be off his game while mountain biking with Malcolm and his other friends. After Duc had to refuse the advances of one his friend’s girlfriends, the same friend made a racist joke that put him over the edge which led to them fighting in the bar.
Greg and Kristen joined Ramon at his video game expo. While Ramon was showing off his game to someone who didn’t quite understand it but was impressed with the engine he built for it. Meanwhile, Kristen was showing off the expo to Navid and Greg was looking ridiculous while playing some of the games. Ramon then hallucinated being surrounded by people with masks. This of course made a scene, however, Greg was there for him and interrupted Audrey’s meeting with Steven.
Kristen left to spend time with Navid who gave her a makeover. The photo of Kristen with the spray paint was then shared publicly across their highschool. They vowed to take the mean girls down.
Shokrani visited Ramon at his house and encouraged him to explore the deeper meaning behind his illucinations but Ramon clearly didn’t want to deal with them anymore. He then decided to share the truth about their connection, however, this backfired greatly as Ramon wanted absolutely nothing to do with him anymore. Audrey decided to call her mentally-ill brother Ike.
Overall, this was a decent episode with more Ramon hallucinations possibly leading to the end of his relationship with Shokrani. Ramon was eventually going to learn about his psychic connection with Shokrani and perhaps Shokrani was exploiting Ramon’s condition to a certain degree but they need each other, at least for us to better understand it as it is still not clear yet. This was the clearest part of what was a convoluted episode which included Greg and Michael’s funeral, Audrey and Steven, Kristen vs. the mean girls, Duc’s issues, Ashley’s continuing identity crisis, and Shokrani and Layla. While still somewhat compelling, all these other subplots were not nearly as impactful as they could have been. In terms of this show, focused narratives have always done better so hopefully they follow this path for the remaining 3 episodes.