TV Reviews

Genius Season 2 Episode 4: Picasso Chapter Four Review

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

Synopsis: As older Picasso juggles two love affairs, Young Pablo strives to create a masterpiece that will signal his arrival as a great artist. (TVGuide) 

Writer: Raf Green

Director: Kevin Hooks

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 43 minutes

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

I am so in love with this series with each passing episode and am thoroughly enjoying learning about Picasso’s life. This week exposed more of his passionate love affair with Francoise and the downfall of Dora Maar as a result of it. Genius has truly captivated the essence of Picasso’s life in the four episodes we’ve seen thus far, and it blows me away at the detail and sheer beauty of the narrative they have written.

As every episode does, we were thrust back and forth between young and old Picasso’s life but with a bigger focus on his relationships. A young Picasso is still struggling to make end’s meet as he pushes to create more unique art but has trouble making money from it. All the while, his heart has become smitten over a girl that lives in the same compound as him–Fernande (Aisling Franciosi). However, she is with another man but secret glances reveal she is smitten over Picasso as well.

In the present, Picasso is spending time with his new muse, Franoise and he decides he wants her and Dora Maar to meet. Talk about awkward and brave! His fame is steadily increasing but his outlook like remains the same–be free, be wild. Francoise goes to one of Dora’s exhibitions but leaves before meeting her. Picasso suggests the three of them get dinner, which doesn’t exactly go the way he may have liked.

Young Picasso continues to pine for Fernande and with the help of Max and Apollinaire (Seth Gabel) manages to get her attention. The two share an intimate, passionate moment together which is cut off abruptly when she wakes up to find him painting her. However, by the episode’s end, she decides to leave the other man to be with Picasso. After all, he is head over in heels in love with her and willing to go to the world’s end to make her happy.

This episode also brings Max’s death in the present, to which Picasso is quite broken over, despite his rough exterior. He wanted Max to escape to America and regrets not forcing him to amidst the war. Remember, Max was Jewish gay man living in the time of Nazi Germany, therefore he was a huge target to be taken down. Picasso refused to pay his respects and say goodbye for the last time because of his anger–despite Dora urging him to.

After the awkward dinner with his mistresses, we see the toll the whole situation has taken on Dora. She leaves the dinner drunk and goes home emotionally shattered. Before we know it, she slams her head into the mirror and gashes her forehead in the process. This is all part of her plan to manipulate Picasso when she shows up at his doorstep stating that she was mugged.

The plot continues to thicken with Picasso’s complicated love life in the present and his evolving love story in the past. Not to mention, Dora’s nervous breakdown results in her being admitted to a facility where she receives shock therapy. What does this mean for the future of her and Picasso’s relationship? Guess we will have to keep watching to find out!

Score: 8/10

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