Full Circle – Season 1 Episode 2 “Charger” Recap & Review

Charger

Episode 2 of Full Circle begins with an intense discussion among the family. Almost everyone decides they should help Nicky and follow the instructions. Sam is the only holdout but she too realizes they must do everything to save Nicky.

As he and Jeff are leaving, Derek realizes that the future asked by the kidnappers is a “pi” (context: maths). Harry informs Savitri that they have found Mel’s card in the bunk beds. He wants to abort the mission but Savitri says that Willoughby, the spiritual guardian, has already drawn the circle and they should continue the plan.

Aked smashes Louis’ phone to bits when he hears it ringing in the van. Louis asks Xavier to text Nat that his phone broke, as this hinders their plan. We see her  driving Joey up to a secure cabin in the woods for his safety, and Harry picking up Victor for a “special job.”

We see Mel having a fight with her girlfriend, clearly showing how her work tension is spilling over into her personal life. Meanwhile, Derek and Jeff receive the money from the casino guys. Natalia dumps the dummy into a bike, exactly like the one that Aked has. Right behind the van they are in, Harry pulls up with Victor. Victor shoots one of the men in the head as Harry explains that Mel’s card was found near his bed.

Harry changes up the plans that Aked had in mind, who has now totally lost it. They wrap up the dead man’s body and Paul stays back in the van to supervise the rest of the plan. Meanwhile, Len is following Derek and Jeff to the bridge. Elsewhere, Savitri is sitting in her office and on her table is a photo of Ranwell right in the middle of a circle formed with rice – some kind of ritual?

The circle isn’t complete yet but by the end of the night, something suggests it will be! Anyway, Derek leaves Jeff with Seymour and the casino people, who take him home. Manny finally returns Mel’s call and reprimands her for not doing the job properly. He rejects her plea to send backup as this is an unsanctioned stakeout. Her girlfriend also informs her that their relationship is over for good. Derek’s phone’s battery runs out before Aked can communicate about the exact location. Natalia reaches the spot for the exchange and patiently waits for Louis. 

Victor, Louis, and Xavier get down from the van and enter the park. Louis rides the bike and takes off on his own to make the exchange. Mel reaches the park even though there is no guarantee of her safety.

A lot happens in the next few minutes –  Derek borrows a charger from someone; we see the casino guy walking around; Willoughby brings an ice cream for Clarence, who is frozen dead; and Manny pleads with Mel to go back home due to the risk to her life.

Eventually, Louis and Nat make the exchange successfully, and when Derek is unable to switch his phone off, Victor shoots the dummy and the circle is complete.

Sam rushes toward the park when she overhears the casino guy informing Seymour that Derek’s phone died. Derek is in shock, unable to comprehend his failure to make the exchange. Sam sits beside him to console him. The casino guy takes back the bags of money and as Sam gives them to him, she “breaks the circle. We hear Savitri telling Harry at the “afterparty” that if the circle breaks, their family will be open to misfortune again. But since they have met all the conditions, the curse on the family with Ranwell’s death is lifted now.

Derek and Sam come back home to Jeff announcing how many people he has served through his home kitchens. “You put good out there and it comes back to you,” he quips, annoying Derek that Jeff isn’t the least bit concerned that a young kid died that night.

Once again, Nicky is safe as Louis and Nat made the exchange. The episode ends with Derek having a flashback to the day before when he was playing softball with Jared. For a fleeting second, he saw a silhouette in the bushes of a kid that, in his mind, he couldn’t save that night.


The Episode Review

There are very few directors who can handle nights when shooting as well as Soderbergh can. The halogen lights, soft texture of the pictures, and an unmatchable urgency in the storytelling are all signatures of the great filmmaker. While the opener didn’t have too many clues as to what comes next, episode 2 sets the tone for the limited series.

The episode was markedly shorter than the opener and perhaps this is the best running time to proceed with. Full Circle has many different moving parts that are interconnected in a way to bind the story and also provide it with a new direction. The testing nature of its plot dabbles within the contours of human darkness while imbuing a sense of renewed perspective.

We don’t have enough to make something of our characters yet. But that seems set to change as we head into the third episode next week.

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You can read our full season 1 review of Full Circle here

 

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