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"Once Bitten" leans into its stylish set pieces while adding a new layer of depth, carried by another powerful performance from Nicole Kidman.
One thing this show taps into that I think is super-interesting is the idea that intelligent people can often end up in abusive situations- if you have the kind of mind that Celeste has, you can use it to justify anything.
If there's a better edited television show out there right now, I'd be very surprised.
Madeline, Celeste and Jane are all in various stages of emotional crisis -- it does give us the most compelling episode of the season to date.
We were pretty wrecked by the end of this one.
Once Bitten is an episode analogous to a knife thrust into your back by a good friend.
Perhaps not the most elegant installment, but an enlightening glimpse into the lives of two women dealing with abuse nonetheless.
And "Once Bitten" is straight up fantastic, reining in some of the show's most self-indulgent tendencies to further a story just as tense and compelling as that of any critically acclaimed drama anchored by a "brooding" (and, yes, melodramatic) man.
This week we get more intimate with each of our main marriages in turn, and the results are astonishing even as they are volatile, emotional, and raw.
I thank HBO, writer David E. Kelley, director Jean-Marc Vallée, and this cast for filling these characters with such humanity.
The pendulum is swinging for the characters at just the right time.
The episode belongs to Celeste. It's hard to overstate just how magically Nicole Kidman owns this role.