EPIX’ Perpetual Grace, LTD series premiere was excellent and a rare example of what happens when sky high anticipation meets all expectations.
The following review and recap contains spoilers for Perpetual Grace, LTD Season 1 Episode 1.
Perpetual Grace, LTD‘s debut lived up to its cast’s prestigious reputation simply put, effortlessly. The two-man punch of Oscar winner legend Sir Ben Kingsley and Westworld’s Emmy-nominated Jimmi Simpson was joined by a standout performance by Luis Guzmán tonight. Guzmán’s Hector Contreras attempting to get his sons to leave their virtual screens and join him in the sun was aces. A must watch, true-to-life comedic statement on society itself hidden among the drama of Perpetual Grace, LTD.
Contreras desperately tried to win over his sons to play soccer and tell ‘dirty jokes’ without their mother around… To no avail. Nothing could pry their eyes off their screens, leaving him to walk back inside himself demoralized. The whole scene took place in Spanish with English subtitles, and lost absolutely zero impact to non-native speakers. It was universally relatable, especially Guzmán’s body language, a look of sincere disappointment that he couldn’t compete against computers. He’d already lost the battle for his sons.
Perpetual Grace, LTD starts off with multiple hooks
Tonight’s series premiere on EPIX started with hook after hook to captivate the audience. From the wonder of why lead character James, a fireman, ‘ran away from a fire’ to Paul Allen Brown’s shady ‘offer’ to him in a bar. Receive two million dollars to get his ‘evil’ parents detained in Mexico temporarily while taking on his likeness and going on methadone. James would agree and after taking the drugs would lay in the middle of nowhere by the road. Picturesque cinematography here with a vivid recall of William in the desert of Westworld. Paul’s parents would soon notice the ailing James and pick him up, sensing an opportunity to help out as owners of a church.
‘Pa’ Pastor Byron Brown would get James to work the fields with him during his recovery, to get some productive ‘rhythm going.’ He would later tell James how disappointed he was in his son being a bad person who hurt people intentionally. Contrasting what Paul had told James about his parents taking advantage of others through the church. Soon ‘Ma’ wanted find James’ old stash, which he would suddenly have to produce. James would go to a local pawn shop with her necklace to get money for a quick, makeshift drug stash purchase. He would bring it to a hotel and stuff it under a mattress like he’d told MA. All in an effort to not be discovered…
He would later return to the pawn shop with a robber’s mask and find the same young boy working there as before. James felt no choice but to knock him out after gently asking why his father wasn’t around and ‘why he wasn’t in school?’ He felt massive remorse and would later bring the boy a milk shake and explain ‘the robber’s’ side of the situation. Trying to convince the injured youngster the robber wasn’t necessarily a bad person. Despite the obviousness, the boy thanked James and did not realize the connection.
James would tell Pa and Ma as a thank you, he’d like to help them find their son. Pa was reluctant but Ma was furious at Pa’s indifference to the subject. As such, Pa would tell James to do it. Naturally, James returned with the news that their son’s health was failing in a prison in Mexico. The couple set South immediately to free him.
Hector almost drops the plan
James informed Hector, a prison guard, they were heading down to his location. It was then Hector had second thoughts about the whole thing but decided to go through with it… Intending to leave his family to be with his mistress through the spoils of the scheme. Hector would lead Pa and Ma to a jail cell with ‘sissies’ (non-violent, scared offenders) until he could ‘get’ their son. However, during a cleanup by another guard a violent offender would enter the cell and make comments toward Pa’s wife Lillian. Thus Pa actually murdered the 24-year old!
Meanwhile, James was picked up by the town’s Sheriff as Paul Allen Brown after renewing his driver’s license as Paul. All part of the plan in order to take out the Brown’s money out of the bank.. It turns out Paul had been witness or part of a violent crime. Something neither Paul or his girlfriend told him. In James’ words, “What else hasn’t he told him?”
Check out info on how to stream Perpetual Grace, LTD’s series premiere on EPIX!