TV Reviews

Genius Season 2 Episode 2: Picasso Chapter Two Review

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: Picasso’s relationship with Dora Maar is strained by war. Young Pablo succeeds by imitating the masters but struggles to be original. (TVGuide) 

Writer: Ken Biller

Director: Ken Biller

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 43 minutes

Airs: Tuesdays at 10pm on The National Geographic Channel (Canada/United States)

In a part-two continuation of last night’s premiere, the second half focuses on Pablo struggling as a successful artist while his older self deals with the effects of the war. The flashbacks and flashforwards are an interesting element to Genius. And while they can get confusing and happen too often, they do build the story and the central character’s journey.

A young Pablo in Paris is excelling at creating artwork that mimics those that came before him. And while he is steadily finding success and money by selling those paintings, he is unhappy with the unoriginality of it all. The man who is selling his paintings for him insists that he stick to the art he has been creating, but Pablo is over painting dining room scenes. He wants something more, he craves something more.

An elder Pablo starts to struggle as the war continues to rage on. He starts to have issues with his mistress Dora Maar (Samantha Colley), who insists that they leave Paris immediately. But he refuses to go and leave behind his work for the Nazis to destroy. When one of his homes is overtaken by Nazis, he drives 300 miles to retrieve his artwork from the home. That is how much he didn’t want to let go.

This episode focuses a lot on young Pablo’s friendship with Carles, who is a fellow painter that joins Pablo in Paris. But when Carles falls in love with a hooker named Geneviève, things take a drastic turn. While courting her, she tells him that he cannot satisfy her, and Carles falls apart.

Pablo attempts to take care of him and returns home to Malaga with Carles by his side. He leaves behind the success he was slowly obtaining in Paris to help his friend out, which was extremely admirable if you ask me. After some months, Carles tells Pablo he is going to return home to Barcelona, but lies and goes to Paris instead.

He meets up with Geneviève who tells him that she is now with someone else. Things take an awful turn when Carles commits suicide in front of her, devastating Pablo. In a flash forward, an elder Pablo is seen at dinner with Dora Maar. But he gets up and leaves to talk to someone that catches his eye–Franoise Gilot (Clémence Poésy). If you know anything about Pablo, then you know she goes on to be one of his greatest loves.

We haven’t seen much of Franoise Gilot yet, but we do know that she is a fierce, independent, French artist and we can’t wait to see more of her storyline this season as it intermingles with Picasso.

All in all, the two-episode premiere was super thrilling and exciting. I personally don’t know much Pablo Picasso but I have to say that the season premiere has me stoked to learn more about his life and escapades. The strong connection with historical events also makes for a great plot, and I love seeing how it all comes together because it is part of our reality and history. Until next week!

Score: 7.5/10

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