‘Nine Perfect Strangers’ Ep. 2 – ‘The Critical Path’ Review
Typically a wellness retreat consists of relaxation and massages. There are exercises, but they aren’t anything extreme. We’ve all been on some kind of retreat whether it be for church, family, work, or otherwise. These things are considered vacations, and they’re supposed to be fun for the most part. Well at Tranquillum, our Nine Perfect Strangers are taken on an unconventional route they don’t seem to like.
READ: ‘What If…?’ Episode 2 Review: “A Fitting Epilogue”
In this episode of Nine Perfect Strangers, we find out more about Masha (Nicole Kidman). She tells her story of her trauma and how she became a wellness guru. We also find out the truth about the Marconis: Zoe’s (Grace Van Patten) brother had committed suicide and that’s what lead to the family’s issues. When the patients arrived at the retreat, their items such as electronics, junk food, alcohol, and drugs prescribed or otherwise were taken. Tony (Bobby Cannavale) loses his grip as he doesn’t have his medication, and everything becomes very awkward. Tony eventually gets permission to take his medication and Jessica (Samara Weaving) reveals to Frances (Melissa McCarthy) that she’s a big fan.
Masha decides that it’s time for a hike. Tony and Frances stay back. Before the hike, the group does an exercise, and things become a bit spooky. The exercise hits everybody deep in their spirit, and they become very emotional. Ben (Melvin Gregg) and Lars (Luke Evans) continue their bickering. Afterward, the group goes on their hike and something very intense happens with Heather Marconi (Asher Keddie). We also find out about Masha and Yao’s (Manny Jacinto) strange intimate relationship, and how Delilah (Tiffany Boone) fits into the dynamic. The climax to this episode sets up the next perfectly.
Johnathan Levine is back in the director’s chair. David E. Kelley and John-Henry Butterworth are back screenwriting. The writers understand the mystery of this show. Masha receiving death threats, Carmel (Regina Hall) lashing out and showing she has anger issues. Lars letting his sexual orientation be known. They rolled out a few punches in this episode and it was very interesting to see. In particular, the Delilah and Heather moment shows how trustworthy the employees are. Levine gets a lot of great acting out of the cast in this episode as well.
Yves Berlanger does it again with the cinematography. He captures the nature surrounding the retreat, and he also gets some really good shots of the cast. The color grading in this show is amazing along with the editing by David Berman and Ben Lester. The score from Marco Beltrami and Miles Hankins is yet again very soothing, you feel like you’re at the wellness center. There are a ton of layers to this show, and they just add to it. It’s truly a wonderful thing.
This episode is nothing groundbreaking, but it was all terrific. You find out a lot, and start to understand the characters even more. It seems each episode reveals something about a character, and it all makes sense. This is just a show that keeps your interest and makes sure that it does everything to do so. It is by no means simple, but it’s also not difficult on the surface. Paying attention is essential to understanding everything going on. Elements are important and Nine Perfect Strangers definitely has them. – Rascal F. Kennedy
Nine Perfect Strangers premieres Wednesdays on Hulu!
Leave a Comment