After last week’s episode and with This Is Us now finished for its third season, The Village settles down and gets into a much better groove this week.
We begin with Nick, whose suffering from PTSD and seeing visions from his time in Afghanistan. He smashes a plate in frustration and as Sarah comes running in to see if he’s okay, Amy appears from the bedroom, reassuring her that she’s got this and understands his mood swings.
Hearing the commotion through the thin walls of the apartment building, Ben invites Nick out to a basketball game as a way of trying to connect with him. Seeing through this facade, Nick knocks Ben down with a shove and pushes away his attempts. “I lost a son,” Ben exasperates, as Nick turns around and the two begin talking properly. The two share their heartfelt stories about their troubled past before Ben reassures him that he’s not alone in going through this.
Ron starts his story off this week with a celebratory fruit drink. Patricia has successfully competely Round One of Chemotherapy and things seem to be on the up for them. At hospital, Patricia meets up with Enzo and Sarah who all talk together outside in a surprisingly touching moment in this episode.
Meanwhile Katie is none too happy and it’s not about the pregnancy. Someone has burnt her paper heart and turned it into an art piece. Determined to confront the culprit, Katie shows up at the art exhibit only to find a suave guy in a suit explaining why he turned her heart into a flaming gallery piece. After encouraging her to sign the painting, he coolly tells her that she’s not 300 dollars richer than she was before. She can have it too on one condition – she show him more of her art work.
Patricia and Sarah carry on drinking at the bar while Ava is approached by her ex-husband who demands to see his child more. Ben doesn’t take kindly to this and punches the man in the face. Pleading with him to leave, Ava begs her ex-husband not to press charges in exchange for allowing him to see her son more.
The episode then ends with Nick outside on his balcony watching snow lazily fall to the ground. Only, this turns out to be a dream and he wakes up sitting in his dimly lit kitchen with Sarah watching over him. In a rare moment of vulnerability, he bursts into tears and allows Sarah to comfort him.
Compared to the first few episodes, The Village has really improved with its writing. The melodrama feels much more grounded this week and the thin bursts of humour and heartwarming segments work surprisingly well against some of the more tense and dramatic moments.
Nick’s story in particular is something that’s quite intriguing too and after the first few episodes handling this in a somewhat haphazard manner, this week shows some real promise for a well written and interesting societal examination of war vets.
Quite where The Village goes from here is anyone’s guess but if it can keep up the same standard this week’s episode has achieved, we may just be in for an enjoyable and emotional ride in NBC’s latest drama.