High Desert – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review

I’m Getting Close To This Guru Bastard

Bob somehow reaches the hospital with his severed nipple and collapses on the floor. Peggy wakes up from her summer, having spent the entire night in her dilapidated car under the truck. It is remarkable how no one came forward to help and didn’t even notice her in that position. She drives off in her car with the top completely removed. There is no windshield either but the car works just fine. When she reaches Roslyn’s house, she finds Dianne with a realtor, Chris Cooly. Peggy shoos him off and entertains Dianne inside the house.

Dianne is quite annoyed with Peggy’s growing disillusionment with her situation. But Peggy tells her about the progress she is making as a PI and emotionally appeals to Dianne to get her a new car. Dianne agrees but also asks Peggy to respect the fact that the house belongs to all the siblings.

Carol updates her bestie about the things Cooper and she found on the internet about Bob. His wife, Donatella, has been missing and she even has a handsome reward on her, some $70,000. Peggy takes the information to Bruce, who is stunned at seeing the junk of a car Peggy is driving (hilariously, her door falls off when she reaches Bruce’s office).

Bruce explains that Donatella does not want to be found and that this is old news. The reward no longer exists. The family has moved on from the debacle where Donatella drained her joint account with Bob and ran away. In a shocking twist of events, Carol also sees Roslyn boarding the same truck from the same stop and phones Peggy, who is buying a new car and requests Carol to follow the bus. She is able to catch up and boards the bus to sit next to her.

She is not Roslyn, as the dead do not come back, but a doppelganger with a striking resemblance to her. Peggy is charmed to see an apparition of her mother in that woman. She is an actress and Peggy takes her number to meet her again. Carol encourages Peggy to write a play around the woman and to vent her life problems to make a fortune.

The hospital calls Peggy (since her number was on Bob’s hand) and asks her to come in. They couldn’t put the nipple back on Bob so hand over the heavily drugged Bob to Peggy.

“Tots for tits,” is the bottom line of this transaction, according to Peggy. She takes him back home and gets his signature on a cheque for $4000, enough to cover Tammy’s expenses and Owen’s loss. Owen agrees to a sitdown with Bruce after resisting giving the security contract to Bruce’s firm.

The doppelganger’s name is Ginger Fox and Peggy has already finished writing the play. Owen sees the hoardings for the play and asks Peggy about her plans. Peggy cleverly pitches the play as a “heart-wrenching drama” and “a fully professional production,” among other things.

He is convinced and allows it to go forward. Dianne is surprised to see Ginger but her reaction is not as strong as we expected it to be. Carol shows Peggy Bob’s meltdown on national television. He was an anchor before becoming a guru and establishing himself as a spiritual vessel.

Owen is arrested the next morning for cashing a fake cheque. Peggy bails him out but he fires her, saying he cannot trust Peggy anymore. Owen gets vexed when he sees Peggy has brought his mother, whom he is petrified of. She even posted his bail.

Peggy goes to Bob’s that night, all angry and worked up. But he instantly asks her to dinner. They discuss selling one of Bob’s precious paintings. Peggy thinks she can help him but asks for a hefty commission – Tammy’s expenses – and to drop the charges against Owen. He writes Peggy the cheque. It then turns out that the thugs are following Bob.

Dennie has been released from jail and Dianne calls Peggy, informing her of the same as he is banging on the front door of the house. They will be divorced by default in 11 days as she served the papers on him.

The thugs take Bob’s expensive G-Wagon as Peggy reaches home to Dennie wearing her nightie, clearly with the intent to stay there.

The Episode Review

Bob’s involvement in the thick of things has upped up the gamut of possibilities for High Desert. Initial viewing suggested that the show would be a light-hearted dramedy with understated elements of surrealism. Beyond and above Bob, Dennie’s early release is an emotional maelstrom that will be tricky to deal with. Patricia Arquette has so far managed to hold her own and be convincing as a recovering drug addict with brevity and street-smarts.

But something gives way for Dennie and brings a different kind of challenge. I feel there is something lost in the translation between Dianne and Peggy from the pages. Somehow, their dynamic feels wasted in these three episodes. Even Peggy’s interactions with Ginger in this episode did not live up to expectations.

These are minor issues that High Desert has plenty of time to iron out. Overall, the first three episodes have given a promising account of what to expect.

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