‘Them’ Eps 4-6 Recap: When Does It Get Better?
In horror stories that center Black families, history, and/or cultural references it's imperative each element chosen be not only essential to the larger narrative in play but fully fleshed out; especially if the setting itself is one of overt racial animus and discrimination. It's not enough to have impeccable cinematography, sets and costume design. To tell a truly insidious story, all its narrative elements must be so hand-in-glove it's impossible to pick them apart.
The strange and creepy happenings in the East Compton neighborhood the Emory's move into should be what anchors Them's from episode-to-episode. narrative. As the Emory's individually and collectively struggle to settle in a unwelcoming world, each bit of backstory should be related to the slow and hideous unraveling of their hearts and minds and a sly corruption of the soul.
Why Are We Here?
Episodes four, five, and six are a mish-mash of horrifying flashbacks, hallucinations, data dumps masquerading as pithy dialogue and a few more instances of encounters rooted more in wish fulfillment than anything else. These three episodes also make it tragically clear it's just going to hop through a greatest hits of recognizable moments from horror films. These writer's also make it readily apparent they have zero respect for women.
Great horror can never, absolutely never forget to do more than be horrid if it wants to tell a harrowing tale. Them unfortunately, still doesn't understand the vehicle it's driving in.
Once again the cast keeps this series watchable but damn this story isn't getting any better. Listen as Kriss and Ro dig into these episodes (so you don't have to).