Perpetual Grace, LTD S1 E3 recap: Felipe G. Usted. Part I


Perpetual Grace, LTD’s own characters are asking if things are out of control. It’s still a joy to watch, but stakes are rising high. We’ve got the recap!

“Felipe G. Usted. Almost First Mexican on the Moon. Part 1” is the most arresting episode of Perpetual Grace, LTD to date. It’s funny, gross, and mortally dangerous for all involved. I didn’t move much during the episode. It just kept me in place. I love that about this show. The dialogue is awesome, but sparse in parts. You don’t need witty quips or two-page speeches to tell a story. You create good characters, hire actors that can play them, give them the lines they absolutely need to say and just let the story happen. Executive producers and creators Steve Conrad (Patriot) and Bruce Terris (The Asset) excel at this.

We get some narration from the coroner that we briefly met in “Eleven.” That coroner is Felipe Guillermo Usted (Efren Ramirez). He dreams of becoming the first Mexican in space, just as the title suggests. The almost in the title is setting up to be powerful sad. Felipe explains that his dreams of a life off of the planet are destroyed by Hector (Luis Guzman) and James (Jimmi Simpson). They are replaced by death on Earth. Or so Felipe explains. We don’t see that this week. There’s a lot of stories to get through before we even meet Felipe in person.

Last week Pa (Sir Ben Kingsley) manipulated Hector into giving him a beer. This was so he could get a can that he would use to pick the lock of his handcuffs. I have to admit that I thought Pa would use the tab or punctured portion of the can to pick the lock. But this is Perpetual Grace, LTD. Pa is hardcore and he’s got the rhythm. Pick the lock? Amateur hour. No. No, Pa was using the can to cut his own thumb off. At which point, he got out of his cuffs, took Hector’s gun and wallet, and fled in the ice cream truck. More on that later.

So, What are Rattlesnakes In To?

James needs to get out of his ankle bracelet, so he obviously still needs to be bitten by a rattlesnake. Once he and Paul Allen (Damon Herriman) discover that there’s no such thing as rattlesnake cologne, they decide to improvise. They stop in the middle of the New Mexican mesa/desert and dip James’ foot in a makeshift kiddie poRattlesnakes are in the desert and they like water. While they’re waiting for a rattlesnake, they talk.

Perpetual Grace, LTD-Episode Three-Courtesy of Epix

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James catches Paul Allen up on the fact that there is a lot more of his back story that he should have shared. Any ill will or death threats are waved off by Paul Allen, who insists that’s all his father’s fault. Paul Allen is genuinely surprised when James tells him that it will take 90 days to get his parent’s money instead of the 14 he originally thought. But it almost looked like he wasn’t upset. Just surprised that someone found that hole in his plan. I’m starting to think that Paul Allen is just trying to get James to become him so that everyone and everything that is after him go after James. Paul Allen can then safely fade away.

James does get bit by a rattlesnake. He has a limited amount of time to get the anti-venom before side effects take hold. But, he’s trapped in the Allen home by Uncle Dave (Kurtwood Smith) who is looking for Paul Allen and Ma (Jackie Weaver). Uncle Dave describes himself as a normal awkward man. Well, he’s a pedophile who’s living in a halfway house. The sign warning the neighborhood that there is a registered sex offender on the block looks like a radioactivity warning.

Uncle Dave is allowed to travel to work at a toll booth. He has to continually repeat to drivers, “I’m a registered sex offender. Take your change from the change bowl. We did not touch. Thank you. Have a nice day.” He’s not allowed to go anywhere else, but he wants to check on Ma, which leads us to his preventing James from going to the hospital.

Let Us Cater Your Parties!

Paul Allen told Uncle Dave that he would be in town. He’s one of the few people that know what Paul Allen really looks like. I don’t think this was a blunder on Paul Allen’s part. I think it was part of his plan to take him out of the picture. He suggests that James calls the cops and he does after some hesitation. Walker Texas Ranger (Terry O’Quinn) visits Uncle Dave and releases him to the halfway house. It’s clear he’s going to use him to track Paul Allen.

Perpetual Grace, LTD-Episode 3-Courtesy of Epix

James’s version of Paul Allen makes it to the hospital. His head looks like Ken Griffey, Jr.’s after he developed extreme giganticism in The Simpson’s classic episode “Homer at Bat.” New Leaf (Chris Conrad) is there for James. Not for moral support. But, to threaten him. It’s clear that New Leaf will not wear a shirt around James so that he can see his Paul Allen Brown chest tattoo at all times.

For effect, James shares a window-walled room with New Leaf’s parents who are dying of strokes caused by the loss of their life savings to the Allen family. New Leaf reminds James that he will kill him as soon as his parents die. But James convinces New Leaf to help him escape so that he can get his money back.

A Bad Day to Drive an Ice Cream Truck

James still has Glenn (Dash Williams) going to Mexico for him. He has to get the $2,000 that Hector spent on Valerie’s (Dana DeLorenzo) ankle bracelet in Hector’s bank account before his wife realizes its missing. James and New Leaf will go to Houston to visit Felipe. He’s in Houston undergoing a month-long astronaut training, which he is excelling at.

Hector explains to James that Felipe has almost completed his training and he’s nearly a real astronaut. But, James must go tell him to forget his dreams and return to Mexico in order to put a hold on the fake death certificates. Since Pa escaped, if the death certificate is filed Hector now becomes a criminal and his family is left with nothing. “Not the money I was planning on leaving them while I went and lived with a hot girlfriend.”

Sadly for Hector, he thinks that bank statements and fake death certificates are the worst of his problems. No. Not even close. Pa took Hector’s wallet. He has his address. And he drives to Hermosillo in time to catch his kids using hover-boards to commute to Sunday School on a family imposed no technology day. The truck menacingly circles them before stopping. Pa opens the side business window and asks the boys what they’ll be having. Yikes.

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The cherry on top? Hector decides to deal with Pa by being sloppy on purpose. He calls in the transfer of Clara’s (Veronica Falcón) son’s murderer over a public line. Hector makes sure to mention that the transport will happen in the ice cream truck. He knows the cartel is listening and will dispatch a killer. The best part is that the killer would be executing the man who killed Clara’s son. Except the killer hits an actual ice cream truck. An innocent person has been executed and it’s Hector’s fault. I have a feeling that he’s going to continue to have a rough day.

Next week promises to be eventful. How will Glenn do on his mission? How will Felipe meet his death on Earth? Will Ma escape? What is Pa going to do to Hector’s family? Most importantly: Are you enjoying Perpetual Grace, LTD? Let’s discuss in the comments!