Claws season 3 episode 3 review: When pigs talk; Roller in the deep

ClawsClaws has a real knack for combining emotional moments with others that are absolutely insane. In tonight’s season 3 episode 3, you had a talking pig, a drug-fueled masquerade party, Uncle Daddy starting a rehab where he drinks in front of his clients, and then also Jenn realizing that it’s best to be cooperate when it comes to EJ seeing his biological daughter.

The main story at the heart of tonight’s episode, though, revolved around Desna and her attempts to seize power at the casino — and that meant going undercover at the Governor’s Mansion to get a better sense of an operation that was going on involving private-prison funding. This was some shady business that Mac and Melba were involved in, and Desna already got a good sense as to how much of a warpath they were on with Penelope. If they were willing to play dirty, in her words she had to play dirtier … and that meant her going into overdrive when it comes to making sure she got the leg up.

So what did she do? Go undercover, find the information that she needed, and then try to force them into being silent partners at the casino. Getting the info wasn’t too easy, given that the Governor’s masquerade party was straight out of Eyes Wide Shut, complete with the costumes and the laced drinks. Quiet Ann slept with a man on the other side of it, Virginia thought she was talking with a pig, and Polly probably dropped a little too much knowledge about Penelope’s body being dumped at the salon.

For now, Desna seems to think that she’s got a win over Mac and Melba … but does she? Not exactly, as tonight’s episode ended with Roller being kidnapped after being tricked via some “car trouble.” So much for his and Desna’s date…

As for some personal stories…

Desna’s dream of living with Virginia and Dean in her new place is already a nightmare, mostly because Dean is still on the kick of “I don’t need any help” and refused to move in there — much to the chagrin of Virginia. Is there trouble in this relationship? In between the end of this episode and what we saw with Virginia earlier on, there could be. (Also, Dean seems convinced that Mac is his buddy; he’s not.)

Meanwhile, for Jenn she started to recognize more within this episode that EJ doesn’t have to be a mortal enemy for now, and trying to let him see his daughter could ease some sort of horrible custody battle later. Bryce isn’t insecure about having EJ around so, for the time being, this may be the closest thing that they’ve got to a win-win situation. It’s better than anything Bryce is having to deal with at Uncle Daddy’s “recovery center,” which is already turning into a mess mere episodes into the story’s run. (We understand wanting to keep the fantastic Dean Norris around, but does anyone think that there’s a struggle going on to give this character consistently great material? Is Toby shooting Virginia going to matter again in the future?)

CarterMatt Verdict

Whenever Desna thinks she wins, she only does around 15-20% of the time. We think tonight’s episode is setting herself up for a greater fall down the road. Good on her for finding a sense of confidence and thinking that she was able to get leverage over Mac and Melba. We’re just not sure that it will stick, or that she is even ready for the above-board responsibilities of running a casino.

Yet, Desna’s questionable decision-making actually does help to make Claws a better show. This series is always going to be stronger when you’re getting to see a character make mistakes and rise above them; this fits Desna perfectly more often than not.

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