TV Reviews

Genius Season 2 Episode 8: Picasso Chapter Eight Review

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

Synopsis: Pablo Picasso meets his first wife, a ballerina while designing a ballet; as an older man, the artist struggles to manage his complex family. (TVGuide) 

Writer: Stephanie K. Smith

Director: Greg Yaitanes

Rating: TV-14

Running Time: 43mins

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

After seven episodes of getting a glimpse into Picasso’s polyamorous life, it’s shocking to learn (at least for those of us who didn’t know), that he actually got married. Yes, Picasso had a wife long before the days of Francoise and the many women who came after. This episode was intriguing because we are approaching the end of season two and things are starting to feel final. Yet, there’s still more story to tell!

Young Picasso gets asked to design a ballet, and it is here where he meets his first wife, Olga Khokhlova (Sofia Doniants). Her beauty, elegance, and sophistication catches Picasso’s eye almost immediately, and being the charming man he was, it isn’t long before he brings her into his life.

While we have seen him consorting with many women throughout the series, there is something different about this one. This Picasso has lost, loved, and lived through a lot more than the one who was once in love with Fernande, or the man who was the struggling artist trying to make ends meet. He has become a man of his passion and gained much success in it. So, by the time he meets Olga, things are much different.

Their relationship moves pretty quickly and he decides he wants to be with her for the rest of his life. Was this decision based more so on the fact that she wouldn’t sleep with him unless they were married? Maybe, but Picasso still went for it.

As always, tensions rose in his relationship and increased ten-fold when a drunk Max shows up at their house with a letter from Fernande. This greatly upsets Olga who doesn’t seem to know much about Picasso’s past with women. Picasso confronts Max regarding the abrupt nature of his visit, and the two almost part ways for what may seem like forever. Max is upset with Picasso’s newfound aristocratic attitude and feels he has stopped being a good friend.

But the very same argument also leads Max to make a decision that he would stick to until the end of his life–devoting himself to God and moving into a monastery. In a letter to Picasso, he apologizes and informs Picasso of his intentions, and hopes Picasso will never give up being the genius he is.

In the present, Francoise and Picasso start to butt heads and become distant. Francoise really wants to pursue being an artist and also goes to far lengths to reunite with Picasso with his huge family–inclusive of all the kids and mistresses he had them with. In particular, we see Picasso and his son Paulo’s relationship and while it’s fairly rocky when we first see them–things start to improve by the end (mainly due to Francoise).

It appears that his infatuation with Francoise (after having two kids) is starting to wear off so Picasso finds yet another lover to bring into his life–Genevieve Laporte (Margaux Chatelier). He once met her when she was a student, and she randomly shows up at his Paris home to fulfill a desire of the past. Days turn to weeks and Picasso doesn’t return home to Francoise–and when he does, she seems at her wit’s end. Will she leave him? I’m guessing yes.

This reviewer is not ready for Genius to end yet. It has been thrilling to watch this season and Picasso is such an intriguing person to learn about. From his artwork to his personal life, there is a lot of history and drama–and I am so along for the ride.

Score: 8/10

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