Vida episode 4 recap: they create drama for a living

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Finally, after 3 episodes, we get more insight into how Vida’s characters live and work. Or do we?

One of the strangest aspects of Vida is that, up until episode 4, few of the show’s characters are shown doing much work of any kind. At most, there are hints that the characters do this or that. Episode 4 starts to change all that — sort of.

The ball starts rolling when Emma (Mishel Prada) criticizes her sister Lyn (Melissa Barrera) for leading a luxurious lifestyle, where she barely does any work. However, Emma is only shown in a brief business meeting where — due to stored vacation hours — she doesn’t have to go back to her regular job yet. This means, of course, that she can spend time getting her family business resolved.

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At the same time, it suggests she has a certain degree of power that not everyone has. In the world that Vida highlights and critiques, everyone has to work for the man. Yet, interestingly, little time is spent showing this phenomenon as it would actually occur — both the good or the bad. For example, rather than discussing the nature of the family bar, this episode focuses more on the bar’s name — which Emma considers potentially offensive to Asians. Sure, a little time is spent discussing the businesses’ trouble, but you’d almost think it was self-operating. How many people work there? Are they well paid? How long are the worker’s shifts? We don’t really know. None of that matters as much as what the bar is called.

Related Story: Vida Episode 103: Sparks Fly Amidst the Chaos

On that note, you should get ready if you’re going to watch Vida: Almost every single moment and sentence is potentially offensive on this show, with the intent of the design. What a place or person is called is given drastic weight, and everyone is so easily offended and easily offensive. In a way, it’s a perfect reflection of the age we live in.

People are isolated and increasingly afraid of offending someone. If one of these characters is wrong about something, they’ll hear about it unrelentingly. Forgiveness or just letting something go is rare. Successful people will want to avoid scandal, so they tend to avoid personal relationships and watch their words extremely carefully. Skeletons in the closet will refuse to stay buried. This is the world of Vida. It’s all right here in this episode. You will even hear the buzzword “unwoke” in this episode — suggesting it’s tailor-made for the times (such as they are).

Why Not Call the Bar “Vida” or “Vida’s”?

Emma and Lyn could have had a true bonding moment when Lyn suggested calling the bar something like Vida. Incredibly, though, Emma instantly rejects the title. Sorry to say, but this moment adequately captures our day and age, too. Here was a slam dunk of a name — catchy and probably totally inoffensive. Still, something must be wrong with it. What was wrong? Probably the mere fact than Lyn uttered it. As has been established, Emma wants to be the one to take charge, presumably because she’s the more strong-willed of the two. She has to be at the forefront, make the big decisions, and why let anyone else interfere? That’s how a lot of people are.

Emma doing “market research.” (Vida, Starz)

So, in a way, her casual dismissal of her sister blends with the overall themes. It’s implied that everything is wrong, and drama is literally behind every corner. “I’m right and you’re wrong, so you should just go away and let me be right.” Everything is about racial tension, women hating each other, women hating men, all businesses creating endless struggle, etc.

In response, the characters have to booze it up. They have sex just to ease tension (and it’s instantly regrettable), and just about every man is an unrelenting pig. Why would the sisters get along in all this? It doesn’t help that Lyn hardly does anything but shop and sleep around.

On top of that, Emma’s own “market search” for the bar involves visiting nearby bars, drinking, establishing that — shock of all shocks — she is still a lesbian, and letting loose by having more lesbian sex (Emma is a lesbian, in case you missed that little detail). This episode further cements the already well-established facts.