Unorthodox – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap & Review

 

Empowerment

Episode 4 of Unorthodox begins in the past again with a young Esty listening to the story of Passover from her Grandfather. It’s too much for her though and she takes herself away, whispering a silent prayer while getting herself a glass of water.

In the other past timeline we see Etsy getting pregnant and Yanky asking for a divorce. Due to their bedroom issues he tells her he can’t be with her anymore and this is a bitter pill for her to swallow. Instead, Etsy heads up to see her piano teacher and manages to sell enough jewelry to pay her way to leave.

In the present, Moishe submerges himself in water from the stream while Esty sneaks out of the house. When Moishe returns to the hotel room, Yanky confronts him over smelling of cigarettes. However, he goes on to tell Yanky that Esty was in the club, showing him the pictures of her and the letter for her audition.

A distraught Yanky heads straight for Leah’s house and demands to know where Esty is. Out on the balcony he talks to Leah about what Esty wants and it’s enough to get him thinking.

Meanwhile, Moishe catches up with Esty and takes her to a playground, telling her a horrific story about the war. As they sit and talk together, he questions how she’s been able to survive, going on to promise she’ll come crawling back to the community eventually.

Moishe gives her a choice and leaves the gun by her side before walking away. As he does, Esty heads straight up to see her Mother, who hastily invites her inside. As thy talk, Esty learns the truth about what happened in her past. She was taken away from her Mother against her will and thanks to a heartbreaking court case, was raised in the community instead.

Esty’s grandmother winds up dying and while she does, Etsy prepares for her audition. Moishe tries to intervene but Leah waits for him with a gun, forcing him out. As all our characters gather together, after performing a German tribute for her Grandmother, Esty sings a Yiddish song. It’s a goosebump-inducing rendition full of heart and emotion, something that stuns them all.

Out the auditorium, Esty runs into Yanky who confronts her as they walk and talk together. Back at his hotel, Yanky hands over a box but inside isn’t a wedding ring – it’s a beautiful necklace with a picture of a song note on. After breaking the ice, they talk about the baby. As a way of trying to keep her with him, Yanky cuts his locks off but it’s not enough to sway her opinion and she walks away. Empowered, she sits in the familiar cafe and smiles as her friends arrive, which is where the series ends.

As far as finales go, Unorthodox does a great job rounding things off on a high and Esty’s journey at the end is given a wonderful send-off as she defies the odds and becomes empowered in her life going forward. Whether she was successful in her music audition or not is irrelevant – the song rendition and the chance to really see her break free from those shackles that have kept her bound to her old life for so long is the most important take-away here.

It’s a wonderful send-off and way to close the series out and something that adds a really touching finality to the show that has done so well to reinforce the themes running throughout. Unorthodox has been a really well-done series and in terms of limited series, this is definitely one of the stronger choices on the platform and one of the best shows of the year so far.

 

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  • Episode Rating
4.5

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