If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: Picasso meets his great love Franoise Gilot. Young Pablo begins his Blue Period after the suicide of his friend. (TVGuide)
Writers: Brian Peterson & Kelly Souders
Director: Kevin Hooks
Running Time: 43 minutes
Airs: Tuesdays at 10pm on The National Geographic Channel (Canada/United States)
I am thoroughly enjoying this season of Genius and a lot of credit goes to the amazing casting director for once again bringing in the perfect actors to portray such iconic roles. As the season begins to dive deeper into the person Picasso was, his journey has been intriguing to watch, learning who he was from his youth to his adulthood. Last week’s episode focused on how he met Franoise Gilot and the beginning of their courtship.
While Picasso and Gilot tiptoed around their feelings for one another, young Picasso continued to deal with the death of his friend, Carles, who killed himself after the love of his life decided to be with someone else. Carles’ death pushed Picasso to head into a new era of his artwork known as the Blue Period and is the artwork we recognize today.
Last week’s episode also introduced French poet Max Jacob (T.R. Knight) who was a dear friend to Picasso throughout Jacob’s entire life. Knight does such an amazing job with this character, and was compelling to watch from the minute he stepped onto the screen. Jacob and Picasso meet when Jacob inquires about his artwork and goes to meet him. This kickstarts a deep friendship between them, and as the episode progresses we learn that Jacob was a homosexual and started to develop feelings for Picasso.
While Picasso wasn’t interested in men, he does let Jacob down gently and supports his sexuality–even though it was extremely taboo for that time period. In the present, Picasso begins to court Gilot, after she finally opens up to the idea of embracing him. She is an artist herself and realizes he may be the one to help her achieve her dreams. While out on a stroll, Picasso stops to visit an elderly woman who we learn is Genevieve. The same Genevieve that Carles ended his life for.
A flashback takes us to a young Picasso going to see Genevieve to mourn the loss of Carles. One thing leads to another and the two end up sleeping together. Of course, Picasso isn’t feeling too great about what he just did but continues to maintain a friendship with her throughout her life.
As we continue to see Gilot and Picasso connect, it will be exciting to see where this courtship will take Picasso’s artwork. He is already amused by Gilot’s reluctance to sleep with him and her interest in just learning how to be an artist. It will surely shape the artist he continues to grow into, even at an old age, and I’m super excited to see where their relationship goes.
Genius is such a thrill to watch even in its sophomore season, which is a hard feat to accomplish. Focusing on Picasso this season was a great idea because his life intertwines with the events of the first season but goes at a completely different angle. It will be interesting to see where the season goes as we continue to learn more about Picasso’s life.