Claws Season 2 Episode 1 Review: Shook

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I didn't think Claws could get any more bizarre.

I was wrong.

There's a new sheriff in Palmetto on Claws Season 2 Episode 1, and she's from Georgia.

Sisters Forever - Claws Season 2 Episode 1

That's Georgia, the former Russian state, not Georgia, the state adjacent to Florida.

It was three months after the events of Claws Season 1 Episode 10, and the Russians are in charge.

They controlled Uncle Daddy's businesses -- the pill mill and the strip club, She-Shes -- along with Desna's Nail Artisans of Manatee County.

Desna brokered the deal which saved Jenn's daughter and Roller, not that he appreciated it. After all, she and Virginia did try to kill him, so he's holding a grudge. 

Related: Claws Sneak Peek: First Look at Season 2

Life is different under the Russians. A great example was watching Desna's crew Russify the salon, to Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee, before Roller's baby mama Olga arrived for her daily visit, along with baby Bogdan.

So Reva, the Russians' leader, put Desna in charge of the clinic, with Uncle Daddy, Roller, Bryce and Dr. Ken as her underlings.

This arrangement was not working out.

Desna was just too damn empathetic for her own good.

Still in Recovery - Claws Season 2 Episode 1

She felt sorry for Uncle Daddy, who was still mourning Juanda. She blames herself for Bryce going criminal. Then there was the whole trying-to-kill-Roller thing. 

That left Desna dealing with a trio of lazy, entitled rednecks who couldn't adjust to their new roles in life. They can't be bothered to pick up the tens of thousands of dollars from the clinic to launder, which leads loony Dr. Ken to burn the evidence.

Reva naturally blamed Desna for their inaction. The final straw came when Uncle Daddy failed to pick up the cocaine which she wanted the strippers to deal at the club.

That's when things got really interesting, thanks to Zlata, played by Franka Potente.

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Zlata is this season's big bad. She's Reva's younger sister and Olga's estranged mother. She's also the author of "The Kremlin Konnection," seemingly a memoir/self-help book.

Zlata is batshit crazy, which makes her a great addition to Claws.

She proved that when she shot Reva in the head and took over the Russian mob. She made an immediate impression on Desna, Polly and Quiet Ann when she left them covered in Reva's blood.

So, is this leadership change good or bad for Desna and her crew?

It's way too early to tell yet.

In a Family Way Season 2 Episode 1

Rather than Reva's plan for a cocaine-manufacturing-and-distribution operation, Zlata opted for expansion of the oxy clinics. That's much lower-key, criminally speaking.

Then there was her idea of creating a Magic Mike-style troupe and renaming She-Shes Hammer and Pickle. I guess that's a vote for gender equality.

But Reva was calculating but predictable. Zlata is totally unpredictable. She's putting on a sisters-are-doing-it-for-themselves front with Desna and her crew, but who knows how long that's going to last?

If Zlata is the new sheriff, she's determined to make Desna her deputy. She felt a kinship with Desna since both have strong familial bonds.

Zlata decided to teach Desna how to gain respect by bringing the Hussers to heel. This included showing Bryce a sex tape of Jenn and Hank and burning Uncle Daddy's home with Molotov cocktails.

But best of all was her shotgun wedding of Roller and Olga, to the tune of "Happy Together."

Related: Enjoy unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video. Watch anywhere. Cancel anytime!

Poor Roller continues to learn the lesson that karma is a bitch. All the shit he'd done to Desna and Virginia, and surely others before them, has come back to haunt him.

First, he got shot and burned by Desna and Virginia, then he was rescued but held captive by Crazy Gladys. And now this.

It's almost enough to make me feel sorry for him. Almost.

Standing by Her Man - Claws Season 1 Episode 10

Now let's check in on the other couples.

Desna and Dr. Gregory were still going strong, despite her being oblivious to his being the leader of the Haitian mob. How does a renowned ob/gyn have time to run a criminal organization, while plotting a revolution against the Russians?

Jenn and Bryce remained estranged, partly because of her fling with Jewish square dancer Hank. Jenn was acting a little too schoolgirlish in her desire to reunite with Bryce. He's got issues to deal with as well, largely his unwillingness to leave behind the dark side.

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Polly and Dr. Ken were still a dysfunctional couple. Actually, make that a dysfunctional family, with Polly's foster daughter Marnie.

Hey, and how about Polly using her Bolshoi training to become Vlata's choreographer? She was right in her bullshitter's glory.

Dean finally told Virginia that he knew she was pregnant. Not much gets by Dean, despite his autism.

It's frightening that either Polly and Ken or Dean and Virginia are the most well-adjusted couples on this show.

Desna and Dean moving on up to Jenn's house promises to further mess with their longtime friendship. It will be fun to see what else Zlata has planned for Desna's crew.

To catch up on this wild show, watch Claws online.

What did you think of Zlata? Has Desna been through enough? How about Roller? Comment below.

Shook Review

Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
  • 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (10 Votes)

Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Claws Season 2 Episode 1 Quotes

Bryce: So you just broke up our marriage for some random dick.
Jenn: You know, I am so tired of being judged by Vanilla Bryce.

Paging Dr. Do-me-right!

Polly [to Desna]