Perpetual Grace, LTD S1 E4 recap: Felipe G. Usted. Part 2


Perpetual Grace, LTD is like a Choose Your Own Adventure story where you play all the options at the same time. We’ve got the recap of the latest episode.

“Felipe G. Usted. Almost First Mexican on the Moon. Part 2” features some of the most beautiful, stark, and darkly hilarious visuals of the season to date. And that’s saying something for Perpetual Grace, LTD. The episode was written by executive producers Steve Conrad (Patriot) and Bruce Terris (Patriot). It was directed by John Whitaker (Patriot).

The scene set-ups inform the audience almost as much as the actions and words do. There is little to no room for something as boring as exposition. Stuff just keeps happening to these characters. Some of it is a revelation. Some of it is mundane. All of it has an incredible impact on the story. We often know when someone is lying based on what we’re seeing. It doesn’t take away from the actor’s performances. It makes them better. Sure. A lie is a lie. But, sometimes the character is trying to make themselves believe what they’re saying as much as their scene partner.

The Pawn Shop Glenn Pirdoo Front

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

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Glenn (Dash Williams) is the most earnest character in Perpetual Grace, LTD. I really feel for this kid. So does James (Jimmi Simpson). James almost looks like he’s breaking out in hives. He knows that his best shot of getting money deposited in a Mexican bank for Hector (Luis Guzman) is by sending Glenn. So, he keeps taking more and more advantage of Glenn’s isolated and contact deprived existence. He offers Glenn best-friendship.

When things get particularly dire for Glenn, James ups the ante by offering membership in the gang that he’s just made up in his head: The Special Boys. Glenn would join the likes of James, Paul Allen (Damon Herriman), Hector, and New Leaf (Chris Conrad). They’re all responsible for people dying in one way or another. Glenn should just keep walking to the left as far as he can.

Perpetual Grace, LTD-Episode Four-Courtesy of Epix

There’s something tethering him to Half Acre. We meet his dad, Everly Pirdoo (Michael Chernus), who has turned into the town drunk. In a flashback, we see a younger Glenn get his little heart crushed when Everly tells him that his mom won’t ever come home. Since then, Everly likes to get drunk, eat the shrimp cocktails at the swanky AA meetings of Half Acre, and fish. Everly fishes exactly where Glenn left his moon note in the sand. We watch Everly set up his chair and pole on the shore just as the last of the message is wiped out by the tide.

Everly feels alone, so he calls Glenn at the pawn shop. When he doesn’t answer, Everly goes on the lookout for him and even tells a Half Acre cop that his boy is missing. It would be heartwarming if we didn’t know that Everly had effectively removed Glenn from his own childhood in order to be the responsible adult of the family. Also, this is going to create issues for James down the road.

Meanwhile, Glenn gets lost immediately on his trip to Hermosillo. He stopped to buy a sombrero for his dad and refuses to wear it as protection from the sun’s rays because it is, after all, a gift. He gets roughed up by kids his age and loses his ear muffs and snowboarding goggles. When we look through his point of view, we realize that Glenn is basically blind. It’s akin to macular degeneration. It’s like he’s looking through a shower curtain full of soap scum and pierced by sun-dogs dancing in the sky.

Plus. someone told him that west is always to the left. That’s true when you’re looking at a map that features north on the top. In real life, you should follow the setting sun. Eventually, James is able to pass on this information to Glenn. It’s particularly painful for him since the sunlight will exacerbate his photophobia. When he finally gets to Hermosillo, Glenn, who is sensitive to light, sound, and touch, has to walk through a parade featuring a drum-laden marching band. Of course, he does! This is Perpetual Grace, LTD folks. Goaded by James to see his mission all the way through, Glenn finally completes his deposit.

The Super Boy Front

James goes to Houston and, in a matter-of-fact-statement of truth, tells Felipe (Efrain Ramirez) that he must leave astronaut camp. Felipe tells James that if he leaves he won’t be able to complete the training by his 43rd birthday, which is next week. James isn’t too sympathetic here and reminds Felipe that he could end up on jail as well for falsifying a death certificate.

Perpetual Grace, LTD-Episode 4-Courtesy of EPIX

Defeated and fully experiencing his death on Earth, Felipe asks if he can just complete his zero G training. It’ll be the closest he ever comes to feeling the freedom of outer space. You can see the hope and joy drain out of his face. Felipe was thriving in the temperature testing phase. Sure, it was so cold that Felipe looked like Jack Torrance at the end of The Shining, but he had a real, soulful smile on his face.

Meanwhile, Hector realizes that Pa (Ben Kingsley) knows his home address. On his way back, he runs into Ma (Jacki Weaver). In “Felipe G. Usted. Almost First Mexican on the Moon. Part 1,” Ma bargains to get out of daily inmate exercise by waiting on train tracks. This week, we meet a Young Female Detainee (Anna Ranoso) who also needs to sit out exercise. Ma looks at her pitifully. I immediately became worried about the girl.

Sure enough, the next time we see the two, Ma is braiding the girl’s hair and telling her that everything will be alright. No one will be able to touch her. The girl fights the emotion but begins to smile with the hope she likely hasn’t had in a hot minute. It’s a nice moment until the train starts to take off and the camera pulls out enough to reveal that Ma has tied the girl’s hair to the train. While everyone rushes to prevent the girl from being decapitated, Ma makes a run for it.

As she reaches a bridge, the contrast changes so that we’re almost looking at the silhouette of 70 year old Ma being chased across the screen by 60 year old Hector. It’s one of the funniest moments of the episode. Hector catches up with her. Their next scene is a two person/talking heads situation. But there’s so much more being told by what we see.

Perpetual Grace, LTD-Episoe 3-Courtesy of EPIX

Ma is keeping her end of the conversation up from the back of Hector’s squad car while Hector digs a hole in the desert for her. He tells her that she’ll be ok. After a while of the audience thinking there’s no way Ma will be okay, Hector tells Ma that he will leave her a breathing apparatus. He has a plan. When Hector says he has a plan, that’s supposed to reaffirm someone. Maybe himself. I know I felt that everything he did after he said that would end up in doom.

Hector is a character that we’ve actually watched fall from grace. He seems like he’s chasing it. He’s just not sure what that it is. His family loves him. At one point, Hector thought that having a family would be it. Then it was having a nice home. Then it was providing his kids with all the stuff he probably didn’t have when he was a kid. And now, it’s his Angel, Valerie (Dana DeLorenzo). When he mentions her, Hector’s voice sounds distant. As if he knows that whatever he thought Valerie would be, she isn’t. And all of this trouble is not worth it. Valerie better show up soon.

The Show and Tell Front

Pa confronts Hector’s kids in the ice cream truck. The Alvarez brothers are suspicious of this english speaking ice cream man who has all the good flavors, including reduced fat vanilla. Why is he selling ice cream so early? Why does he want them to walk around to the back of the truck? Too many questions.

The Alvarez brothers hover away on their boards at a blazing five miles per hour. Pa follows them with the ice cream music playing. It’s distorted. The distorted sound music makes on warped video tapes mixed with the Joker’s theme from the animated The Dark Knight Returns Part II. I liked it a lot. Pa drove his truck directly at the doors of the school in a zig zag path. A path of impending destruction.

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In the school, Pa expects to find Hector at show and tell for Father’s Day. He has Hector’s gun tucked in the back of his belt. But Hector is off dealing with Ma. So, Pa gets in line with the rest of the fathers who all work for the electrical company. What in the world is going to happen when it’s his turn? We’ll have to wait till next week to find out that answer.

Are you enjoying Perpetual Grace, LTD? Do think there’s anything else on television like it? Let’s discuss in the comments!