‘My Brilliant Friend’ earns its ‘best’ designation

Finally on the brink of death, Lena (Rena Sofer) waits for her partner Yael (Laia Costa) and daughter to escape following a bombing. But Yael and other gunmen shoot one of the group instead,…

‘My Brilliant Friend’ earns its ‘best’ designation

Finally on the brink of death, Lena (Rena Sofer) waits for her partner Yael (Laia Costa) and daughter to escape following a bombing. But Yael and other gunmen shoot one of the group instead, and while she is shielded, Lena is left behind to bleed out in a hospital. In an effort to save the worst, Lena seeks help from a medical examiner, part of a small group of people appointed to examine crime scenes for clues. During the case, Lena stumbles upon a sheen (or a streak of concrete) from the seemingly destroyed-but-structurally-sound home. In shock, she spares her home’s entire courtyard and her family’s fate is sealed.

Though a far cry from Lena’s take-home dramas, the series tends to employ these momentous events as enough to top stories that unravel slowly throughout the year. And this season, a rampant TV-comic bravado (often spearheaded by the bratty Kitty Munro, played by Vanessa Bayer) convinces the firm to bring in a famous scriptwriter (Carrie Brownstein) to rework the company’s supposedly finished original product — a show about a housewife trying to sell her Sunset home. The breakthrough boom is huge. A bomb threat becomes a terror attack threatening the world’s economy and Lena’s family is framed for the crime.

Little did the show realize, that their biggest bomb they would set was themselves.

After Lena and her fellow captives finally escape from the bomb (via a hail of bullets fired into the mob-controlled taxi), her domineering mother even notes that her deadly transformation made for “some nice ratings.”

It’s a moment to be noted, on both ends of the hero spectrum: on one hand, family dramas that are largely about family and the intricacies of the world they inhabit. On the other, a lawyer of Lena’s profession — into which is thrust the weight of humankind’s unremitting darker side — manipulates a bomb threat to promote a commercial project. Sometimes, you wonder if they aren’t sold out too soon.

But as the season comes to a close, with Yael securing a security clearance after temporarily fleeing the country, the question of faith and loyalty and justice is ongoing.

Before this series delivers that last bomb, it makes one last splash.

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