Previously on The Girlfriend Experience, “Provocation”
The Girlfriend Experience | S1E9: Blindsided | Starring: Riley Keough, Paul Sparks, Mary Lynn Rajskub | Director: Amy Seimetz
This episode of The Girlfriend Experience was really a pleasure to watch unfold. An entire episode that takes place in Kirkland wasn’t something I thought I wanted. With Jack as the catalyst sets the episode on a fast pace that sees Christine trying to come out on top.
We open with Christine getting a phone call from Jack calling her a cunt and asking what exactly she told Anna last episode; she wisely hangs up on him without responding. Unfortunately, unknown to her, he has retaliated in one of the worst ways possible. A video of him and Christine having sex, his voice and face blurred out, has been sent to her entire contact list. David is the first to see it and demands to know why she sent the email.
David thinking this video was somehow all about him was laughable. I can see why Erin insinuated he was the dumbest out of their little trio. Christine quickly realizes what she’s looking at, and her face falls apart in a rare unguarded moment – very well done by Riley Keoug.
She denies that the person on the video is her, but obviously David doesn’t believe her and demands she get rid of every single form of communication between them. She slowly walks out looking shaken as every eye in the office is on her and we hear the whispers and the audio from the tape.
What begins from here on out becomes a game of wills for Christine. She heads into the ladies bathroom to look at the video and who it was sent to, and as she scrolls through the email. She wipes her eyes and we see her mentally preparing herself for battle. Most people would have run out of this office immediately from shame, and their would be nothing wrong with that. Throughout the episode we can tell she’s emotionally shaken, But as her plan starts to unfold before our eyes I got on board completely.
At first I wondered how she was getting out of this but as we see her interacting with her colleagues, Skip and David. When she returns to her base (the bathroom) to listen to her recordings its obvious that she’s gathering ammunition to use against Kirkland and I don’t blame her one bit. While we’ve always know that Christine is all about protecting her interest, I took added pleasure in this case because of the reactions of her many coworkers. So called adults who can’t help but snicker and make bad innuendo’s regarding seeing her having sex in a video. This is a big invasion of privacy and embarrassment for her.
The one person I felt bad for this episode was Skip; the only person to feel actual sympathy for Christine. He asks her if she wants to go home and I loved this scene and how she played it. If you’ve ever worked in corporate America, you quickly learn that conversations with supervisors often have a double meaning. We see that here in the thin line between Skip wanting her to go home, but not being able to tell her to because that’s Human Resources’ job. Christine knowing this and playing it to her advantage adds another layer.
The only person who doesn’t fall into the Christine’s plans is Erin, who she tries to get to incriminate herself by saying she believes her. David interrogates Kayla, asking if Christine has confided anything to her as he continues to try and save himself via perception, a tool Christine is using a lot more effectively. How realistic is it to imagine a managing partner taking it upon himself to take care of a messy situation like this? When Tariq asks him if he’s slept with Christine, it was such a satisfying moment to know someone is able to see through his act.
By the time H.R. does call Christine in to send her home, its evident to everyone she’s not coming back to Kirkland – not as an intern or employee. And this is when she pulls out her final Hail Mary for the day: She returns to her seat and begins to build up the needed momentum for a full-blown panic attack, turning all eyes back on her.
Skip calls for an ambulance while David, Erin, and others look on. Christine sits with an oxygen mask on her tear-stained face. How much of it is a show and how much is real is one of the many things that continues to be hard to define this season when it comes to Christine, but it sure does make for a great show.
The Girlfriend Experience - S1E9
I really enjoyed this episode and the fact that the director, Amy Seimetz, made an entire episode in one location work surprised me. The tension is felt from the very first scene and remains throughout. I felt so bad for Christine, but I am also happy this is a moment that can hopefully force her hand into deciding whether the life of an escort is for her. To be honest, her desperation in trying to remain an escort confounds me. Yes, she has student loans and the money is good, but when someone starts to threaten your life and profession isn’t it time to re-evaluate your life decisions?