Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

‘Dry Creek’: Second episode creates romantic parallels

The second episode of ‘Dry Creek,’ the new web series from writer/directors Evan Cartwright and Ben Kegan, leaves a lot to be desired in terms of actual content – because of its brevity -, but will satiate the cinematic hunger cliffhanger- and love triangle-lovers everywhere.

The opening scene directly follows from the closing scene of the first episode. Charlie Barrow (Kevin Moore) sifts through his father’s many belongings, including pictures, magazines and books. After a longing moment with each, he places them in a cardboard box. He drops a box of flashcubes that lead him to find a neatly bound stack of letters underneath his father’s bed.

A beautiful rotating shot of Eastern Washington’s rolling hills provides a backdrop for an expected detour both Grace (Eliza Young) and Dan (Finn Straley) take after their random, but awkward, encounter in the supermarket parking lot. The history between them is unraveled instantly as they stare into each other’s eyes without the slightest need to speak. Flirting with maudlinism, Dan feels the need to postpone his return to real life by asking Grace to coffee after their (sex?) escapade. Grace realizes the futility in staying with Dan longer than is necessary and excuses herself with their father’s postmortem errands – putting the house on the market, to be specific.

The long shot of Grace’s face is telling. She is torn between staying and leaving, Dan and New York, but understands the potential deleterious effects of staying. The relentless wind captures Grace’s thoughts of Dan, audible yet muffled by her father’s recent bereavement.

Upon returning to the house, Charlie breaks the news: he’s found love letters. Grace tries to play it off, still thinking of Dan, until he reveals that they were not written by their mother.

Is this a justification for Grace to stay now that she is a part of Dan’s love triangle? Does her father’s former love triangle complicate matters further?

The prescribed cliffhanger, albeit necessary (I guess), sourly truncates an episode that did not end as subtly as the first. Indeed, up until that point, it was subtlety all the way: the long shot of the rolling hills, the intimate shot of Grace and Dan, and the violent close-up of Grace’s face in the wind. I had hoped that Cartwright and Kegan had stayed with this trope all the way through the episode, but you can’t please everyone. The story, complicated now by two love triangles, does get more interesting; the multiple tensions – especially those concerning Grace – increase; and Charlie is, unknowingly, in the middle of a hurricane of secrets confined within the four walls of his father’s house.

Don’t worry, it’s still much better than ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’

Reel Score: 6.5 (out of 10)

The web series ‘Dry Creek,’ written, directed and edited by Evan Cartwright and Ben Kegan, will release a new episode every night at 8 p.m. (www.drycreekseries.com) this week.

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