HomeTelevisionClaws, 'Cracker Casserole': This is the Real Premiere

Claws, ‘Cracker Casserole’: This is the Real Premiere

Claws Season 2 Episode Cracker Casserole
Photo Credit: Skip Bolen/TNT

The season premiere was a warm-up for the hot boiling mess episode two, titled ‘Cracker Casserole’, brought. This is Maury Povich-level drama.

Last week was soft; Claws gave us ridiculous situations with lackluster reactions and responses. I was disappointed. But the second episode amps it up a lot and the writers give fans the concoction that brings all the viewers to its yard.

Franka Potente’s character, Zlata, takes a backseat from her introduction last week while the nail-gang hustles to increase the profits of a clinic that’s a facade for an illegal pharmacy. Desna (played by Niecy Nash) gets an idea to make a commercial to promote the business and attract new customers. The idea is risky and certain to attract local or federal authorities later in the season. A commercial as absurd as it is with lowbrow content and Marky Mark’s “Good Vibrations” playing over it is certain to attract all types of attention.

While the nail-gang puts their heads together for that, Dean and Virginia and Jennifer and Bryce have the most absurd, comical and amusing stories this episode.

First, Virginia (Karrueche Tran) blurts out in the middle of the nail salon that she is pregnant with Dean’s baby. Dean (Harold Perrineau) is an adult man who is autistic, so his older sister Desna is very protective of him. The news shocks Desna and she chases Virginia out of the nail salon and into the middle of the parking lot.

Tran delivers that scene well; she flips over a car and then runs into the car-filled lot, in platforms, like a kid who knows they’re in trouble. It is a hilarious scene that reminds me of Next Friday when Baby D chased DayDay in a parking lot.

The baby news, followed by an abortion update leads Virginia and Dean to an abortion clinic surrounded by pro-life protestors. Quiet Ann, Virginia and Dean push through the mob until Dean stops to respond to a protestor: “you only care about babies in the womb, you don’t care about them when they come out” and backs his opinion up with examples of foster care and human trafficking. The writers take this opportunity to explore the conversation around abortion and it’s clear they are pro-choice.

Moments later, director Dale Stern uses the Brady Bunch effect to queue up characters into a discussion about abortion. Some are against and others are for. Towards the end of the Brady Bunch effect, Quiet Ann admits to the bunch that she was pregnant as a teenager, her family forced her to have a baby, but then they took the baby away from her after she had grown attached to her and sent the baby to California. Ann’s story silenced everyone.

Judy Reyes (Scrubs) as Quiet Ann is a telling sign that her character won’t be quiet for much longer. Writers gave Reyes’ character a slow build up to a climactic situation in the first season, and I think they are working that formula into this season too. Though, I’m not sure if Ann’s daughter will be a part of the reveal; they may save that for another season.

As the episode closes out, we see another Povich-like situation happen with Jennifer, Bryce and Jennifer’s mother who came to visit with her famous cracker casserole (hint: the name of the episode). I won’t spoil that part, but Bryce upped the ante on revenge and a mob fight ensued with most of the cast, including Toby (Evan Daigle) who pops out with a sadomasochistic outfit on. Can somebody, anybody save Toby! it was clear, in that moment, that Claws was back in full force. What sealed the deal for was Jennifer crying out after being betrayed by Bryce and her mother – that was the emotion the show needed back.

This was the real premiere.

Cracker Casserole Rating: 10 out of 10

Claws airs Sundays at 9pm EST

Asia Martin
Asia Martin
Writer-at-large. Crushing hard on this era of TVđź“ş
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