I have been waiting to get back to Russian Doll all week, I wanna see who Nadia talks to next! Give me allll the backstories! Without further ado, rolling S1:E02 The Great Escape after the break.
We open with Nadia Vulvokov (Natasha Lyonne) cuddled up to a super gross furry pillow, whew, I thought that was gonna be someone's coat. On them. She pulls out some cigarettes, what's this surprise? That must be the special Israeli joint!
Maxine (Greta Lee - whose comedy is SUPERB. You just want to watch her) calls to read Nadia a profile of a Dolores Fuerta who raised 11 children and has had two divorces. Max seems mostly put out by her own lack of divorces than anything else.
Listen, Max: it's not all its cracked up to be. Cannot recommend.
But. But. We've made it past the party! The party that just would never end, it just went on and on, my friend. Nadia died like three, two? times and a lot seemed to hinge on her cat Oatmeal, who's been gone for three days but that she's attempting to feed right now.
I don't know what Nadia and Max talked about after because I was fixated on the raw egg Nadia was preparing to drink whole in a glass. One dash of hot sauce and down the hatch.
Nadia heads her to local bodega where she speaks in Arabic (I fink?) to Kamile (Fady Kerko) and waits for the attention of Farran (Ritesh Rajan), who's dealing with an extremely slow lottery ticket buyer (Devin Ratray). Farran waves her and her coffee on but she stops to ask about his upset drunky friend from the previous night.
No upset drunky friend, nope. Yet another parallel universe.
Lots of meaningful glances exchanged with passersby, I just assume New York is one big happy meet and greet, amirite?
Nadia's ex-husband John (Yul Vasquez - I just love his face!) showed up in one of her death sequences the previous evening so she texts him about the joint before heading into a meeting where she's chastised about her buggy code.
She grabs someone else's computer and fixes her code in the middle of the meeting, life is short, right? Carpe computer.
War Dog (Waris Ahluwalia) is short on answers but long on personality, Nadia is starting to worry that the problem might not be in the drugs.
Ex-husband John calls, he came to the party but did not see Nadia, unlike how she remembered it. Well, that she remembered that ONE time. She's worried that she's absolutely lost the plot.
And that too. She asks for help, he says he will but only if she swears to actually be there needing help when he gets there and she falls down an open hole in the street.
We're back at the party! With black nailpolish once more or something on her finger or ANYWAY, she grabs the Israeli joint out of Max's mouth and heads straight to War Dog's bar where she gains admittance with a password I can't make out.
*Jet Aroski's doom?
War Dog's packing up drugs with Dr. Daniel (David Cale) who did NOT put cocaine in the joint as advertised but rather Ketamine, it's been helping cancer patients with their depression. Nadia explains that she burnt her finger but it's fixed and she keeps dying.
But it can't be her, it has to be the ketamine! She's sorry for yelling but she's having a "very hard never-ending night."
She sees Farran stumble out of the bar with the drunk friend he forgot one of these mornings, she screams at him then falls down the hole in the sidewalk again.
1) all of her deaths look really painful
2) Nadia has crazy impaired situational awareness
Back to the party! And a fall down the stairs, then another then confronting Maxine over and over and she made me laugh here.
ANOTHER fall down the stairs then a completely understandable caution.
Once more, then wait, there's a gun. Where / why is there a gun? I don't understand yet. This time (8th?) when she confronts Maxine, it turns into an argument in front of everyone about whether or not she's crazy. It ends with Nadia slamming her raw birthday chicken onto the floor and trying to stalk out. But...it's her party. Damnit.
Several shots, drinks and conversations later, I'm trying to figure out why the guy she boned in the last episode was at her birthday party if she didn't know him and if she'll die by food poisoning or slipping on the chicken.
More drinking, smoking and drugs, man I don't miss partying at ALL. I do enjoy the ornate pipe she uses in the middle or her binge!
She crashes on the couch, curled up with a bottle of whiskey. It's Monday!
Lizzy (Rebecca Henderson) is curled up with an impressive array of nubile and partially-clothed women. Looks like she made some good choices!
(I cannot even tell you how much I wanted to snap a pic of the guy with the loaded harness on backwards just then but alas: PG13)
Lizzy helps her carefully climb down the ladder of the fire escape then Nadia walks down the street staring at every single face again.
She shoots over to see her therapist but Dr. Ruth Brenner (Elizabeth Ashley) is already helping someone with their traumatic memories. Peter (Stephen Adly Guirgis) needs his wife to talk to him, or hold him at the very least.
*That was not fun to watch.
There are pictures everywhere with Dr. Brenner and an assortment of hunky dudes, go get 'em, tiger! Nadia lets herself in and starts gnawing on some rotisserie chicken from the fridge, sure! Make yourself at home! We know Dr. Brenner is connected to Nadia more intimately than just as a patient, since she gave Nadia the low-down about her mother the other night and also because she greets Nadia with a kiss on the melon.
They move to the kitchen, Nadia usually prefers to have her sessions in there, since it has all the things she was missing as a child. Nadia wants to know what exactly her mom's diagnosis was, but Ruth warns her to not confuse her mother with her damage.
Then they're talking about Nadia dying the night previous, I don't think that's going to go over for anyone, Nads!
Ruth tries to make sense of what Nadia's saying to her, Nadia has to invoke "record player" and then we're off to Bellevue. Dr. Ruth will not be getting into the paddywagon, so Nadia is left alone to explain that she "doesn't f*ck with shoelaces" and isn't inclined to give up her gold necklace either. It's her mom's.
A bizarre intake exam is conducted, "redhead on board? Fire in the hole!" felt a little gratuitous for someone driving a van full of people about to be committed. They debate her lucidity in front of her then she fights to get out and the van is hit and we're back in the bathroom!
It's always the same song! Gah
Much beers and illegal substances (in the US, Canada is much more liberal) later, Nadia is enjoying "f***ing this party in the mouth." She's got all night! Over and over again. John shows up and as she moves towards him and proclaims that nothing will ever change a bouquet of flowers wilts and dies. Huh. Like reverse-ET and we're out!
There are so many details that will probably come into play later that I haven't captured, mostly because that would be boring for you and also sort of gross for me, but some I am keeping an eye on. Like the lottery ticket buyer - he referenced his grandma. Have we met his grandma? Is Ruth his grandma? Is the therapy patient married to someone we know that should be hugging him? There's SO MUCH. I'm looking forward to working it out!
I've been thinking about what I like most about this show and it's that it reminds me of Kevin Smith's early movies. I loved Clerks and Chasing Amy when I was young, I didn't miss the female perspective because I thought they were mostly about universal concepts. Also: I am totally down with the mens having their own shows, it's only the last couple of years that I've wondered what a female version might look like. I think this is kind of it! I like the kind of entertainment that is a vehicle for ideas, like those Kevin Smith movies and like this: wordy and smart and smartfunny, I dig it. Until next time!