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Survivor’s Remorse “A Time to Punch” 

Survivor’s Remorse “A Time to Punch”
Photo Credit: Starz
Photo Credit: Starz
Photo Credit: Starz

Cassie: You punched the money!

The latest episode of Starz’ Survivor’s Remorse doesn’t pull any punches in the brief battle between Cam and M-Chuck over the Coke machine. Last year, it was Cassie’s use of corporal punishment that went viral. This season, it’s when M-Chuck smacks her brother, Cam. It’s not just any punch. She does some serious damage to his eye because she’s wearing a monster ring at the time.

To pay or not to pay — that is the question. While I agree with M-Chuck that it’s a nuisance to have to dig up 50 cents every time you need a cola in your own home, Cam did have a point when he talked about the fact the family was wasting soda — just leaving ’em around the house half empty. I’m not sure if charging your family is the best solution but I think his heart was in the right  place.

The entire situation blows up big time thanks to the family butler. At the beginning of “A Time to Punch,” Todd asks Reggie for an $11,000 advance to help his sick mom. I thought Reggie had every right to balk at that amount. He did give three thousand anyway. But tricky Todd figures out how to get the money he needs. After that punch heard ’round the world, he “leaks” the video that captured the whole thing. Been nice knowing you, guy.

Photo Credit: Starz
Photo Credit: Starz

Before you know it, Cam’s wearing old school Kareem goggles, missing ten days to two weeks of games and having to explain to a gaggle of media why his sister hit him. On top of that, everyone thinks Cam’s a p-word that “rhymes with wussy.” And this sudden case of domestic violence gets picked up by D.A. Sandra Knowles, played by the always amazing Tamara Tunie. Don’t even think I didn’t notice the Law & Order joke uttered in her very presence. I much appreciated this reference considering Tunie starred on SVU as the show’s medical examiner for close to 15 years.:

Jimmy Flaherty: Jesus Christ! What did we just say not 11 seconds ago? Just shut the f–k up and let the lawyer and the D.A. talk. You ever see Law & Order? This is the Order part.

Photo Credit: Starz
Photo Credit: Starz

Unfortunately for M-Chuck, the district attorney is serious about having her acknowledge and pay for what she did. This conversation involves the Calloways, Knowles, Jimmy and their recently hired fixer, Clay Beckwith (Spencer Garrett, Satisfaction, Aquarius). This southern gent knows how these kinds of negotiations work. It leads to my favorite exchange of the entire episode:

D.A. Knowles: After all, the most important thing is to start the conversation.

Clay: Well, if the People will forgo prosecution, Cameron and Mary Charles will start the conversation.

D.A. Knowles: I’d insist on therapy and community service for Mary Charles, even if they start the conversation.

Clay: Starting the conversation would not preclude therapy or community service. Shall we say, 50 hours of therapy and 500 of community service? And they start the conversation.

D.A. Knowles: How about 70 and a thousand and they start the conversation.

Clay: 60 and 800 assuming there is some good will that comes out of all this…and they start the conversation.

D.A. Knowles: They can tell their story. I will watch, listen and decide. But the People are making no promises.

Cassie: Who the f–k are the People? I mean, she’s the only one here.

Reggie: Shhh….

Cassie: We the People.

Photo Credit: Starz
Photo Credit: Starz

Starting the conversation means facing the press including a host that’s pretty much disgusted with M-Chuck. Savannah Couronis is played by Mike O’Malley’s real life sister, Kerry. But ultimately what happens is they enlist Da Chen Bao (Robert Wu), who quickly tries to cancel Cam’s sneaker contract for being a p-word that rhymes with wussy. That goes forgotten after he gets a load of Cassie, however. Consider him impressed after she slaps him with her sinuous arms. Instead, he funds a PSA that sheds a light on domestic violence against men.

I want to give a shout out to Mike Epps. He’s brilliant as Uncle Julius. In the episode’s B-story, he faces off with a neighbor who keeps letting his dog s–t in the Calloway’s driveway. Sure he cleans it up. But he doesn’t do a perfect job of it. According to Julius, there’s still a base layer left behind. The snooty neighbor (Kevin Carroll, the upcoming second season of HBO’s The Leftovers) doesn’t appreciate Julius’ un-neighborly ways and continues to let his dog do the deed on the Calloway’s driveway. This forces Julius to get a super duper dog repellent, which does its job too well. Oscar the dog dies.

Julius: What’s dog repellent?

Harlan: It’s for people who don’t like dogs.

Julius: Aw, my God. They sell that in stores?

Harlan: Yeah. He was my North, my South, my East, my West. My working week and my Sunday rest.

Julius: He was a good dog. Real regular.

Harlan: You know, people are awful, Julius.

Julius: I will agree. People suck. (Harlan walks away) Get a cat next time. They got nine lives.

The way Mike Epps delivers his lines is genius. He had me laughing so hard. And he’s the guy that killed the dog!

I hope people are watching Survivor’s Remorse because this show can be inappropriate and as far from politically correct as you can get. It’s hilarious, has heart and wonderful acting, too. Cam and M-Chuck end “A Time to Punch” as tight as ever. Will M-Chuck resort to hitting her brother again? Maybe. It does seem likely that we’ll get to see Mary Charles dealing with therapy.

In a recent interview with TV Goodness, Erica Ash said, “I think M-Chuck deals with herself a lot this season which is a huge thing for her. And it’s a huge thing for the audience as well because you’ll get to see a much more vulnerable side of M-Chuck. And you’ll get to kind of take a peek into maybe the reasons why she might be so angry.”

Photo Credit: Starz
Photo Credit: Starz

After she and Cam guested on that radio show, M-Chuck got pretty angry with the host. She masterfully kept it together while it was going on but as soon as it cut to commercial, she tried to go to town on Savannah, who knew how to give it right back. So it’ll be interesting to see Cam’s sister work on her internal conflicts. I’m looking forward to that.

Survivor’s Remorse airs Saturday nights at 9:30/8:30c on Starz.

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