Fallout is expected, given the way the previous episode left things. Flash forward three months, and life is still tense as the Dixons are on the verge of irreparable damage and the rest of the gang are struggling in their own angsty worlds.
Sophie and Delilah are at the forefront of the angst. Mother and daughter are fighting daily. Sophie’s anger and pain bleeds off the screen, as does Delilah’s desperation and frustration. Sophie has more than enough reasons to be angry at Delilah, and clearly being around her mother on a daily basis hasn’t done much good for them in the last three months since the truth was revealed.
Lizzy Greene (Sophie) and Stéphanie Szostak (Delilah) bring an innate intensity to their performances. I could feel their emotions so deeply it was like they were my own. Their performances were powerful and full of life, demanding that their emotions become rooted in the hearts of the audience.
Sophie’s most meaningful moment was also the most cruel, as she states, “You killed Dad” to Delilah. It’s the core of Sophie’s anger, the betrayal of Delilah and Eddie to Sophie’s father. It’s also her breaking point with her mother, as Delilah later explains that while she can take blame for some things, she won’t take the blame for her husband’s suicide.
That’s fair, but it’s something they need to explore a little deeper, as that seems to be one of the biggest issues between them. That, and the fact that Delilah tearfully tells Regina that she feels as though she’s failed her daughter. Sophie and Delilah’s journey to mending their relationship is a reunion that I’m looking forward to, given how broken their relationship is now.
Eddie and Katherine’s performances, meanwhile, struck me as a bit unbelievable. Eddie doesn’t seem to be too concerned over the fallout of the truth on either Sophie or Danny, or even his own son, Theo. He’s too busy enjoying the freedom of fatherhood with Charlie, now that it’s not a secret. Katherine is even helping him with Charlie’s teething and sleep training. How could Katherine just readily jump in, treating Charlie like her own? How could their relationship with Delilah suddenly be so stable and friendly given their past disagreements?
Granted, it’s been three months, but with all the hurt inflicted and the near lawsuit, you’d think Delilah, Eddie and Katherine would all need a bit more time. I’m glad that things are going smoothly for them, but I can’t help but feel that something will blow up, especially if there are things they haven’t yet dealt with. Still, Katherine’s performance in the way she quietly drove Sophie home after Sophie had destroyed Eddie’s guitars was worthy of some kind of award. Katherine has her saintly moments, and connecting with Sophie was one of them.
Beforehand, Katherine and Eddie’s time was minimal with Charlie, and the secret was still under wraps. There would surely be an adjustment period, instead of adding Charlie to their family without issue. Why isn’t Theo rebelling more?
The sudden mention of Eddie’s alcoholic sister seemed odd as well. I can’t help but think that that tidbit will be significant down the line, but it seemed out of place in “The Kiss.” Katherine is concerned that Eddie will fall back to his old ways should he reestablish contact with his sister, but her viewpoint seems to change a little too soon to be realistic.
Sophie being there for Danny on the opening night of his play seems to have influenced Eddie to repair his relationship with his own sister, but it could go either way. Sometimes having faith and hope isn’t enough to help the other person make good choices, much as Eddie may want his sister to repair her life the way he’s repaired his following alcoholism.
In the midst of all the chaos in the Dixon household, it makes for an interesting dynamic in performances. While Sophie and Delilah are at odds, Danny strives to be a peacemaker, and his performance is made that much more meaningful because of his noble efforts. He’s putting aside his own feelings for his mother and sister, comforting both sides as best he can while also trying to be understanding.
One of my favorite moments was Danny explaining that a kiss is a big deal. He was about to experience his first kiss onstage, but wanted to share it with someone special, leading to a kiss from Elliot, his longtime crush. Danny has more insight than meets the eye, not only regarding his parents but also Gary. He and Gary share a special connection, understanding each other in a way few others can. Gary was the first to know Danny was gay, much in the same way Danny knows Gary still has feelings for Maggie.
The Gary-Maggie conundrum has run a bit stale, as has the angst between them and Eric, the transplantee that received the heart of Maggie’s deceased brother. Gary has obviously followed a downward spiral, but in true fashion, covers it up with endless humor. James Roday is a master of comedy, but this new form of dark comedy in Gary’s character is an interesting twist compared to his character on Psych, and it’s intriguing to watch his performance.
Gary clearly still has feelings for Maggie, but does everything he can to avoid her, and himself by extension. He’s clearly hurt and pushing everyone away, which is basically something that Sophie is also doing. That’s why it was so ironic that he was telling Sophie to fix things when Gary needed to take a look in the mirror himself. Especially since his bad attitude nearly had him blown away, as he stared death in the face through the barrel of a gun in one heart-stopping, blood-chilling moment.
Roday’s performance, frozen in place and eyes locked on the gun, took my breath away and I was filled with terror on his behalf. It took several moments before my own adrenaline receded, likely as it did for Gary.
Maggie, on the other hand, seems to be in a better place, but she’s still digging a hole for herself by pursuing anything with Eric. It’s strange, developing feelings for a guy who has your brother’s heart. There seems to be no weirdness until she actually kisses him, and we get the big reveal that Eric has no scar, which means he never received a heart. Why has he lied, and what’s the real story? Gary’s known there’s something off about Eric all along, and it will no doubt send him on another rampage.
Rome and Regina are tediously taking steps towards adoption, following through with their revelation from the previous episode. Turns out, they get the perfect chance to try their hand at parenting as Sophie comes to live with them in the episode’s conclusion. Rome is trying too hard, but I could understand his vulnerabilities.
Despite all that was going on, “The Kiss” still found the time to circle back to the foundation of the show, that being mental health. Rome is concerned at how his visits to his therapist as well as his antidepressant medication will be looked at by people considering couples to adopt their child. Romany Malco’s (Rome) performance was convincing and downright realistic. We’re in a world where people everywhere are working hard to dismantle the stigma and look at people wholly and equally, but it’s not an easy task. Breaking the stigma takes hard work and plenty of time, so I found it suiting that it came up as a concern on Rome’s and Regina’s part.
While they initially tried to hide Rome’s medical history, they made the right decision to be honest. Rome and Regina would make the best parents. I’m sure there are plenty of moments ahead where we’ll get to see their parenting skills tested in action, especially since Sophie will be crashing with them for an undisclosed period of time. With Sophie being as angry and conflicted as she is, there will certainly be some issues to tackle in the upcoming episodes.
I noticed that “The Kiss” attempted to create some kind of balance when it comes to parent-child relationships. While Sophie and Delilah are falling apart, Danny and Delilah have somehow found solid ground to work on together, and Theo and his parents appear to be on good terms as well. For Danny, he wants to keep the peace, and for Theo, it’s likely because he’s too young to grasp the entire concept of what happened to cause such cacophony in the group.
There really should be some form of family counseling for all involved, considering all that they have been through since Jon’s death and now with the revelation of the previously hidden truth. Perhaps therapy would be a significant contribution by way of healing, and therefore, repairing relationships.
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