Perpetual Grace, LTD season 1, episode 2 recap: Orphan Comb Death Fight


Perpetual Grace, LTD returns with “Orphan Comb Death Fight.” We get backstories on Pa and Paul Allen. James is bewildered. We’ve got the recap.

“Orphan Comb Death Fight” was once again written by executive producers Steve Conrad (Patriot) and Bruce Terris (The Assets). It was directed by Conrad. The black and white teasers from the episode, as well as “Eleven,” serve as more than just fun, immersive world-building scenes. It’s like they’re really long “last week on Perpetual Grace, LTD” sizzle reels from the years leading up to our current story. They never disappoint.

This week, we learn that Tracy “New Leaf” (Chris Conrad) went to prison because he chased a man onto a baseball field full of little league kids and shot the man in the face at third base. The scammer almost got away with calling into question Tracy’s mom’s honor. While in jail, Tracy becomes a rodeo clown and grows obsessed with opening a Lens Crafters franchise in Half Acre when he gets paroled.

Tracy opens his business, but with him being a murderer and all, sales aren’t great. Also, once you fit everyone in town with glasses, your business kind of goes away for a couple of years. Half Acre doesn’t appear to be a stop for a lot of road trippers. Tracy’s parents belong to Ma (Jackie Weaver) and Pa’s (Sir Ben Kingsley) congregation. While they try to keep Tracy’s Lens Crafter’s afloat, he learns from Pa that his son Paul Allen (Damon Herriman) has taken most of the money from the congregation’s bank. This fuels Tracy’s hatred of Paul Allen and likely leads to that chest tattoo of his name.

light. More. Perpetual Grace, LTD series premiere recap: Eleven

Chuck Norris Who?

Tracy is murderous and he hates Paul Allen. That makes things particularly sticky for James (Jimmi Simpson), who is currently sharing a cell with him and impersonating Paul Allen. That’s where we left our not-so-much hero last week. Things get threat level delta awful when one of the guards starts calling for Paul Allen. James can feel the death stare emanating from Tracy’s cared-for eyes. Plus, James can read Tracy’s chest.

Perpetual Grace LTD-Orphan Comb Death Fight-Courtesy of EPIX

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James is questioned for the murder of a young girl in which Paul Allen was a suspect. Texas Ranger Walker (Terry O’Quinn) conducts the interview in what appears to be a barber shop. O’Quinn is great in the scene. He focuses on James as if he’s looking down on him and in awe of him at the same time. Dressed in a black duster and black cowboy, when Walker tells James that he’s brought Texas to New Mexico, it’s one of the most natural lines of dialogue ever.

James recoils and appears to be lost in all of the details being thrown at him. The real Paul Allen befriended the girl and talked about money a lot. Then one day she was found handcuffed and dead. We later learn from the real Paul Allen that he was teaching the kid magic. He claims that she must have taken things too far. Right.

You can almost see James getting that hot feeling on the back of his neck. It’s like he’s studied for the role of Paul Allen and he’s off book, but when he shows up to the show, everyone wants to improvise. And, if James yes-and everything being said, he’ll likely get the death penalty.

Last week I pointed out that Paul Allen was the name of Jared Leto’s character in American Psycho. He’s the guy that Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) hacks to death with an ax, yet is seen all over New York because all white stock market bros look the same. This week, James points out that Walker’s name is Walker, Texas Ranger. Just like the CBS Chuck Norris show. Walker is confused because he doesn’t watch shows just like Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction.

Perpetual Grace LTD-Orphan Comb Death Fight-Courtesy of EPIX

Walker lets James go, but he fits him with a house arrest ankle bracelet. James isn’t on house arrest. But, since Paul Allen has been gone so long, Walker wants to keep track of him. This severely limits James’ movements at the wrong time. Sheriff Hector Contreras (Luis Guzman) demands $10,000 from James immediately. If his wife sees that money is missing, she’ll belittle him in front of his boys. But, where did the money go?

Seven Pages per Year

Hector bought Valerie, his Angel, (Dana DeLorenzo) an ankle bracelet. We get a split screen shot of her driving the car from “Eleven.” Based on the way this show is building, I wouldn’t be surprised if Valerie drives from caper to caper to make sure everything is running smoothly.

We find out that the kid Pa killed with a shoe in “Eleven” is related to the cartel. His mom Clara is played by Veronica Falcón, who played the OG drug queen-pin on USA Network’s production of Queen of the South. I believe the cartel will factor in because Clara is given a moment on screen to be devastated and Falcón rules and deserves at least a mini story arc.

Pa’s mom died when he was young. The removal of her body is explained in graphic, melon-explicit detail. Since he had no real relatives, Pa grew up in an orphanage where he quickly learned to enjoy fights. It wasn’t about the comb you were fighting over. Every fight was about ending up on top of the pile. Pa is the type of person that you don’t mess with if you can avoid it.

Poor Hector. As I mentioned last week, Valerie really picked her mark well. He used to be in shape, but the pressures of his family and maintaining their home on top of dealing with the cartel on a daily basis have taken their toll on him. While Hector is transporting Pa to a supermax prison in a cartel proof ice cream truck, he tells Pa about the detective novel he’s been writing.

It’s only thirty-six pages, but it’s the story of a seasoned mayor fighting the system to solve a murder with the help of his new, young female partner. Pa guesses that she is the one who committed the murder immediately. And art is imitating life because the new, young person in Hector’s life, Valerie, is also pulling a fast one on him.

Pa inflicts a death-by-a-thousand-nuclear-level-insults plan to wear Hector down enough so that he buys beer, which Pa can use to get out of his cuffs.

Next Week

James has to find a way to get the money to Hector in Mexico. Paul Allen suggests getting bit by a rattlesnake because the nurses at the ER will remove the tracking device. James tries to get his pawn shop buddy Glenn (Dash Williams) to make the trip for him until he realizes that the head injury James gave him has left him in pain every time he has a sensory input. Glenn has to wear goggles and earmuffs at all times. So it looks like it’s rattlesnakes for James, who is also being followed by Tracy. He wants his parent’s money back in two weeks or he’ll kill James. Things are turning into a magnificent disaster.

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Oh. And we got to meet Scotty Sholes (Hana Mae Lee), who keeps James at a large distance based on the fact that she thinks he’s Paul Allen. And, Pa left word for Ma to escape. It should be a wild ride in episode three.

Are you enjoying Perpetual Grace, LTD? Where do you think the story is going next? Let’s discuss in the comments!