Claws Recap: I’m Strong, I’m Capable, and I Love Shrimp


Season 1 Episode 2
Editor’s Rating *****
Niecy Nash as Desna Simms. Photo: Alfonso Bresciani/TNT

Ever since Dexter and Nip/Tuck went off the air, I’ve been craving a messy, colorful, ridiculous crime story set in a humid Florida environment and I’ll be damned if Claws isn’t the outlandish crime story I’ve been waiting for. In every other scene, my eyes are looking at something they don’t fully comprehend and someone is turning out a performance. The rompers are tight and the acting is even tighter. Guys, I read Karrueche Tran’s Wikipedia page and it starts with her career in retail and now she’s on Claws. What are you doing with your life? Let’s dive right in.

Desna and Virginia are pulling Roller’s body out of the pool and trying to figure out how to get rid of the body. They put him in a bag and drag him out to his boat. Desna tells Virginia to lose the clear heels. That’s the first contender for something that should be embroidered on a tote bag and sold to countless white girls on Etsy.

There’s another body on the boat because of course. Desna snaps at Virginia to go get some lighter fluid, but Virginia snaps back that they’re a team now and she tries to put Roller’s grill in. This is all happening in broad daylight while Virginia is wearing a peach feather coat. They could not be more conspicuous. Desna says the place has to look like there’s been a struggle, so Virginia takes Roller’s gun and loads it like a pro. We gotta keep our eye on this one. Desna drives the gun to the swamp and tosses it in the water as the camera does a close up on her ass. This episode was directed by the same man who directed Pretty in Pink. That’s just where we all are as a country.

Before Desna can get back home, Jen calls her to remind her that Jen’s husband Bryce is hosting an “abundance coaching” seminar (where his e-book will be available for purchase) that night. Desna turns it down, then realizes that her nail broke. Where? At the scene of the crime, perhaps? Desna returns home and her brother Dean is home and can tell that she looks different. Maybe older or wiser. Can we please not have the character with mental development issues as some sort of weird clairvoyant or savant who speaks in aphorisms and can see into his sister’s soul? Can’t he just be a dude?

Desna wakes up in a cold sweat after nightmares where Roller is drowning her. She also sleeps in a bra, so that might be why she woke up so upset. She texts Virginia and doesn’t get a response back. When she has breakfast with Dean, he tells her that she hasn’t left yesterday and needs to get into today. He makes her stand on one foot and over one eye and repeat a mantra that ends with the other tote bag contender: “I am strong, I am capable, and I love shrimp.” Desna heads out to find Virginia but meets her roommate, a stripper named Relevance, instead. Whoever names these characters needs a goddamn raise.

Ann and Polly are opening the salon for Desna when Ann’s hookup from the premiere episode shows up with a batch of slow-cooker croissants. When you turn a bitch, you turn her hard. Ann tells her that she’s got to get tongue surgery and the hookup says she’s gonna bring her some banana bread. Desna finally shows up to the shop, and this is a bad day for her to be a little jumpy. Mandy the realtor (which is the perfect name for a realtor) says that a secret shopper is coming to the shop and the whole real-estate deal depends on the secret shopper. Bryce shows up and tells everyone that they can’t find Roller. Desna feigns surprise: “Oh no? He’s missing? Yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiikes.”

While Ann drops Polly off at her community service, Polly has an awesome character moment where she puts on a fabulous accent and entertains the preteens with a made-up story about the high-class prostitution ring she was allegedly running. She tells the girls that you pay a whore to leave and not just to bang.

Uncle Daddy gathers the whole family to break the news that they found pieces of Roller at the end of Manatee River and they identified him by his grill. After Uncle Daddy and his wife Wanda slap each other to keep from crying, Uncle Daddy heads out so he can punch his car. Desna breaks the news to Dean and he breaks down.

After Uncle Daddy heads to the salon to have Desna fix his hands, he believes he’s breaking the news to her about the circumstances of Roller’s death. She tells him that she went to thread Roller’s eyebrows the day he died and that he was jumpy. Uncle Daddy wants to find Virginia and Desna tells him that she’s visiting her sick mother. Desna tries to head Uncle Daddy off at the pass and finds that Virginia’s apartment has been turned upside down. Virginia has fled to the seaside to her favorite old motel, where she used to shoot Easter eggs out of her ass for Singaporean businessmen.

Back at the salon, the doctor shows up and demands that Jen and Polly take over Roller’s duties with the whole money-laundering thing. Because they are too busy telling the doctor to shove his head up his own ass, two of their clients leave in a huff and Desna finds out later that the secret shopper was left with wet nails so the whole deal is off.

Desna heads to the Sea Princess motel and finds Virginia dressed in a sexy–Run DMC Halloween costume and chases her down. Virginia got spooked and doesn’t know if she can trust Desna yet. Desna tells her that she needs Virginia to show up at the funeral as the grieving side piece to put on a good show and play her part. Virginia says that she did what Desna was too afraid to do herself and she’s not taking orders from anyone … but could Desna stay until she falls asleep?

Meanwhile, Uncle Daddy offers Bryce the money-laundering gig and Jen says no. Anyway, it’s all hands on deck. It’s time for the funeral. This is quite possibly the single greatest funeral in the history of funerals. I bet it’s how Stefan from Saturday Night Live wants to be buried. It’s got everything: thick-ass ladies carrying a nude portrait of Roller, pimps on parade, that thing where a float of strippers goes down the street in the daylight, and a priest reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography. At the after-party, everyone approaches Desna and tells her that they’re sorry for her loss. She’s playing the part of “grieving widow.” Uncle Daddy takes the mic and sings “How Great Thou Art.” Between that and falling out in tears, Uncle Daddy is playing the part of “old black lady at church who is tremendously affected by this funeral.” Just as the song wraps up, Virginia stumbles in, covered in bruises and scratches without any clear heels on and says, “They got me, they were gonna murder me too.”

This bitch is good.

Claws Recap: I Am Strong, I Am Capable, I Love Shrimp