Impeachment: American Crime Story is back with a brand new episode this week after a solid previous episode. It featured Monica and Bill finally calling it quits, Paula getting more prominence, and Linda… being Linda. It also saw Billy Eichner’s debut as the entertaining sleuth, Matt Drudge. The third season is now close to reaching its midpoint, meaning that the drama is only going up from here on out. Does this episode keep the momentum upwards or does this episode deserve an impeachment? Let’s find out!
In this episode, titled “The Telephone Hour”, Monica (Beanie Feldstein) leans on Linda (Sarah Paulson) for support. Meanwhile, Linda decides to begin documenting their conversations. I was keen on watching this episode because out of all the aspects of the Lewinsky/Clinton scandal, this one seemed like the craziest one for me. Just the betrayal aspect alone made it TV-adaptation worthy and I couldn’t wait to learn more.
I must admit, this is the most disappointed I’ve been in an episode so far. It could be because of the premise not delivering or the show halting the momentum so abruptly. Yes, the story is moving forward but it doesn’t feel like that at all. That is owed to the delivery method Impeachment: American Crime Story went for this episode. It just… did not work. It all felt too sudden and not impactful by any means.
Paulson and Feldstein are the only aspects that make this episode watchable. It’s the subtleties in their performances that really elevate the story. Meaningless dialogue turns into riveting conversations when these two are on screen. It’s Feldstein bringing to life that woman who is madly in love to all extremes, along with Paulson and her portrayal of Linda that really ground the show into situations we can all identify with. Another great actress I’m waiting for to show up is Edie Falco as Hillary Clinton. I mentioned this last week but this episode reiterated it again with an ominous ending… HILLARY IS COMING WITH RIGHTEOUS ANGER AND THE VENGEANCE OF THE GODS.
Impeachment: American Crime Story really needs to pick up its pace if it wants to match the quality established by previous iterations. Making this season a drama-focused one that didn’t revolve around murder was always going to be a hard hurdle to go over. It needs to have an interesting subject matter, which it does, but the delivery of such has not been up to par as of late. Yes, the season is not over and the tension keeps building, but we’re almost at the halfway point and here we are. I have the utmost faith that this season will end up being another great entry, but to say that it’s without a doubt so far would be stretching it.
Overall, this episode of Impeachment: American Crime Story fails to deliver on its promise for the first time this season. With what was set up and what was to come, this episode just fell flat in its delivery. The only thing that made the episode salvageable and worth watching were the performances by Feldstein and Paulson. They, along with Clive Owen, Annaleigh Ashford, and Billy Eichner, are the only things that are keeping this show as a worthy watch. Once Falco becomes more prominent, maybe the narrative will change for this season. – Kenneth Colon
New episodes of Impeachment: American Crime Story premiere Tuesdays at 10pm/9c on FX.
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