‘A Noxious Toothworm’
We ended the last episode with the visual of a bearded man nodding to Luna on the balcony after watching the imminent hurricane. In episode 2 of The Resort, the opening scene shows the same man tailoring the Frias logo over the coat, indicating that he might be an outsider. Or else, why would he need to stitch a uniform? Wouldn’t they give him one?
A brief flashback to 2007 shows how Emma and Noah met. The year is coincidental to Sam and Hanna’s relationship. It is funny how the Reeds bonded over the guttery lake their friends went swimming in. They took off on their own and instead went to a pool to celebrate the special night.
In the flashback, we pick up right where we left off in the Oceana. Violet has just caused Sam to bump into a tree and he is bleeding profusely. His head is almost opened up and Violet uses napkins bandages, and towels to control the blood. Eventually, she takes him in her arms and super glues his head close. It works and the two share an intimate moment. On her room’s desk, we also see a novel by Ilen Ibarra, whose quotes flashed in the first episode in the opening scene. While leaving, Violet asks for Sam’s number, just in case she needs to “check-in” on him. It is the first sign of their bond that will unravel in the series.
This is also where the clue of deleted text message that the Reeds discovered in the last episode comes into play. We see the conversation between Violet and Sam play out as the couple reads it. It is mostly harmless and coyishly flirtatious but to the Reeds, it sounds porny because of how they read it without the context. Sam has lost his skateboard and Violet says they will find it together. She suspects the security guard (whom we saw in the opening of the episode) must have taken it. The Reeds instantly realize this guard is a person of interest. “Don’t f*** with the four-nosed yellow snake” is the final message Violet sends Sam. The Reeds now have to find out what it really means.
On the Tulum Ruins, they ask Raul, the help at the resort, about the phrase. He tells them that is the Frias logo. Frias is a huge conglomerate that owns a lot of stuff on the island. Raul warns them to stay away from the Frias as they’re bad people. Emma also calls the police to enquire about Detective Silverio Narro, who was the chief detective on the case. She is informed that he left the force fifteen years ago (right after the hurricane) and now lives in Punta Venedo. The Reeds discuss and dig deeper into the case and the history of Frias. They are actually primarily cloth designers from Yucatan, who became famous for combining the pashmina wool with henequen fiber. Beatriz Frias is termed as the person who created the fashion empire.
The Reeds reach their local showroom. Caesar, one of the apprentice tailors, greets them. Emma feels she can push his buttons and get more information so she asks him to take her measurements for a dress in the showcase. He reveals that there is a conflict between the Frias and the resort. Baltasar, Beatrize’s son, used to work at the Oceana. He was a master tailor, even better than Beatriz. The Reeds then hurry to leave the showroom. A senior of Caesar’s has Emma’s bag. She takes it from him and they notice that a Frias man is following them as they rush off. They’re able to eventually lose him through the market and go back to their room. In the pictures from Oceana, they spot Luna as a former staff.
They confront her about it out she plays it down. She is visually discomforted when they mention Baltasar and avoids their line of questioning by faking a phone call. The Reeds then head off to Narro’s boat, where he reveals that Sam’s skateboard was indeed found in Baltasar’s room and that he has the prime suspect. Narro didn’t get a chance to make him culpable as the hurricane washed all the evidence away. He believes Baltasar is still alive and in hiding. Emma shows Narro a photo of the room that might possibly be Baltasar, giving compelling circumstantial evidence against him. Narro laughs it off and also sounds like a warning to them not to get entangled in this mess.
We see Violet continuing texting Sam but sees Hanna with him by the pool and is heartbroken. She is taken back to the aftermath of her mother’s death, probably after a long terminal illness. It is on her bookshelf that she discovers that Ibara book. Her mother had bookmarked a page in it and asked Violet to meet her there. The Reeds rediscover some of the lost magic in their relationship as they go out to the pool, just like when they first met. We see Luna driving to a house where we learn that Baltasar is still alive. She tells him about the Reeds and he does not look pleased.
The Episode Review
Didn’t we all expect something typical like this to happen? The ease with which the Reed lose their tail; the astonishing way in which he comes alone. It is all too convenient to fit the stereotype. If the first episode had promise and a slightly hasty execution to create a hint of a mismatch, the second episode woefully expands that crack.
The promise gradually washes away as The Resort falls back into familiar territory heading towards a probable conclusion. Damn the person who said, “the beauty is in the details”, for creators of modern television shows want to run away from them and iron them out with the cloak of narrative and world building. Emma and Noah were brave to take on the Frias in the second episode.
Everything pointed towards a quick roundabout pack to enjoying their vacation and figuring out their marriage. But as they rely on their “instincts”, they sink further into the marshes of the island. Its clutches are now firmly on their backs. They have a target that will not easily stain off. It will create troubles that might be hard to get out of.
We got the central conceit of the series wherein Emma trades confrontation with reality with an adventure that she feels potentially can nudge their marriage back in the right direction. “We don’t surprise each other anymore” would not bother them for some time now. But their emotional investment in Sam Lawford and Violet Thompson’s disappearance might not be the most prudent allocation. I sense a heartbreak -for the characters and us viewers.