This review contains spoilers.
1.2 These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends
After last week’s lacklustre, slightly disappointing premiere of Star-Crossed, I still went into this second episode with an open mind, hoping for a sudden turnaround that would keep me watching. These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends, however, simply solidified everything that was wrong with the first and, with the interesting sci-fi elements just as bungled as the love story, I wonder if it can even be redeemed.
We start with an explosive attack, which introduces the idea of two militant groups on either side – the Red Hawks representing the humans and the Trags on the side of the Atrians. Of course, both Emery and Roman are mixed up with these groups one way or another after the killing of Roman’s activist father last week and, although the lack of punishment for Emery’s own father hasn’t gone unnoticed, it hasn’t yet caused a complete meltdown of the system. Give it time, though, because this Romeo and Juliet rubbish is only going to get more intense. They’re from two different worlds, didn’t you know?
The reason Star-Crossed is so irksome is the wasted potential but, with that implying that there was some potential to waste, I still have hope that something adequate can still be extracted from this concept. The love story is the problem, as is the blandness of Emery’s character and, while there isn’t anything particularly compelling about the show right now, the Atrian stuff with Roman as their leader is definitely the strongest link. A focus on this, and a removal of the high school element a la Vampire Diaries (remember how terrible the first pre-Vicky death episodes of that show were?!) would greatly improve a few things.
I was mildly surprised by the Grayson reveal as a member of the Red Hawks but, without a good idea of how far the Red Hawks and Trags will go in their quest for domination, I’m reserving judgement. It’s a well known fact among the teen drama casting people that Grey Damon is good as playing harmless-seeming bad guys and, with his romantic interest in Emery standing in the way of her boggling love for Roman (seriously, do they really have nothing else to worry about?), at least the love triangle isn’t a real one. Then again, it’s possible that Grayson could change his ways for the love of the right woman, thus beginning yet another tedious shipping war.
It’s as if we’re watching two loosely related shows – one about a high school girl in love with an alien boy everyone hates, and another about a war between species that calls upon teenage citizens to lead and fight. I don’t know about you, but the latter sounds a lot more interesting than the former, and Matt Lanter has put in a surprisingly committed performance so far. More of him and his shady Uncle Castor leading the Atrians to a full scale revolt would be an interesting way for the series to go but, with the initial concept clearly sticking around for at least a few weeks, I wonder if Star-Crossed can survive long enough to improve itself.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Pilot, here.
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