TV Reviews

Genius Season 2 Episode 7: Picasso Chapter Seven Review

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

Synopsis: After World War II, Picasso joins the Communist Party and is haunted by a tragic love affair. (TVGuide) 

Writer: Wendy Riss

Director: Greg Yaitanes

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 43mins

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

It is an understatement to say that Picasso was a man of love. Over the course of this season of Genius, we have seen the many love affairs that were a part of his life. Every single one has a certain grandeur to it, with my favorite being Francoise.

This week takes us a little into the future after Francoise and Picasso have already had their first child, Claude, and are now pregnant with their second. Momentarily, their family dynamic is peaceful, adorable, and quaint. But with World War II coming to an end, Picasso’s life takes a bit of a political turn as he joins the Communist party.

In the past, Picasso’s relationship with Fernande has come to an end after she sleeps with the Italian painter Oppi, and in return, Pablo ends up sleeping with her friend Eva. It’s a bit complicated here because Fernande cheated on him out of loneliness, but Picasso fell deep in love with Eva.

His time with Fernande came to an end, but he sought solace in his new relationship, which was quite adorable. Unfortunately, this period in his life brought more sorrow than joy after his father passed. As he was dealing with the grief of that, fate took an ugly turn when they found out Eva had lung cancer.

Her days were numbered, and of course, in true Picasso fashion, he sought companionship with another woman–who was already engaged. By the end of the episode, Eva also passed, but this love affair would continue to haunt Picasso for years to come.

With the pressure to join the Communist party and meet in Poland, Picasso left a very pregnant and ill Francoise behind to tend to his responsibilities. What was meant to be a week trip, turned into three–leaving Francoise agitated and bewildered as she read the telegrams sent by his assistant.

Despite their problems, something about Francoise and Picasso just seems to work, and while we know they don’t end up with a happily ever after story, there is something charming about their love story.

It is quite a funny moment to see Picasso traveling on a plane for the first time, and Antonio Banderas really brings this fear to life. We often forget the early days of such big inventions but seeing what Picasso must have felt through Banderas is a hilarious treat.

This week Max and Picasso have a bit of an argument during Picasso’s party to celebrate selling one of his paintings–the most expensive one that had been sold at that time. Max called out Eva for being a golddigger and for taking advantage just as he begins to gain riches. Of course in his drunken stupor, things took an ugly turn, but they came to an understanding eventually.

Braques and Apoillinaire head off to war while young Picasso decides to stay behind. He believes artists create art, not destroy it, and refuses to enlist. Braques returns from duty blind which is absolutely devastating as his days as an artist are over.

There is an interesting juxtaposition between the past and present as young Picasso withdraws 1,000 francs for his and Eva’s future before the war, and older Picasso decides to add Francoise as a signatory on all his accounts. Despite his flaws, he did love deep and hard–and tried to take care in whatever he thought was right.

The episode ends on a happy note with Francoise having their second child, a baby girl they named Paloma.

It goes without saying, I love Genius. Each week is bringing so much insight into Picasso’s complicated life, and hearing about his complicated, rough life has been so engaging to watch. From his art to his relationships, to the political connection–there is so much to unravel about his life, and it will be exciting to see what goes down next week.

Score: 8/10

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