Claws Recap: Barrel of Rats


Season 1 Episode 4
Editor’s Rating *****

THANK GOD IT WAS JUST GHOST ROLLER. As Desna goes deeper and deeper into this guilt-and-terror-filled wet dream that began in last week’s episode, the ghost Roller sex becomes scarier and ends with him lashing out at her and holding her down. He threatens her and says that Uncle Daddy is gonna find her, and she starts slapping him in the head and wakes up screaming. Dean wakes her up and she sends him back to bed saying it’s just one of her nightmares. After Dean goes to sleep, she breaks down crying. Every scene with Desna and Dean is almost impossibly sad and it hurts me. I want them to be happy. Just let them be happy.

At the salon, Polly’s friend Sally arrives and starts calling her “Heather.” Ummm … what? Apparently, this is another one of Polly’s alter egos: Heather, a blue blood socialite that married a rich older man who died of butt cancer. “Heather” is only working at the nail salon to keep busy after her husband’s death and doing a little research for her novel. Polly prods the ladies in the salon to talk about, y’know, all the murders that have been happening and gushes with Sally about how exciting everything is. It’s like a multi-ethnic Steel Magnolias up in there.

Meanwhile, Desna is at home getting Dean ready for his training session. He’s got a new personal trainer, but unfortunately, Desna is bringing in the mail and Dean sees an old white couple on the back of a magazine and has an anxiety attack. I have the same reaction to old white people, Dean. Desna is trying to calm him down with his favorite song when Uncle Daddy calls. UNCLE. DADDY. NOT. NOW. Uncle Daddy tells Desna that things are a little slow at the clinic and if they can’t get more traffic, then they’ll have to get started on a payment plan.

Desna has the gals at the salon look after Dean. Turns out the old white couple were their foster parents and they treated them like animals. Desna goes to visit the doctor to tell him about Uncle Daddy’s request and she tells him that she isn’t about to be under Uncle Daddy’s thumb for another year. Other clinics have marketing budgets to draw people in, so Desna will just have to do it herself. She hands him $20,000 from her “savings” and walks out, stepping over another Ghost Roller on the way.

Back at the salon, Polly is arranging a tennis date with Sally, and Desna wants the girls to come up with some ideas to raise money. Polly suggests an actual bake sale. Virginia suggests giving patient rubber gloves and nude women. Jen suggests a bikini car wash. Since they can’t fit into their bikinis, they’re going to wear their Vanity 6 outfits from a few Halloweens ago. Polly gives Virginia a herstory lesson when Virginia doesn’t know who Vanity 6 is.

Uncle Daddy, Chip, and Bryce roll up on the salon with a man in the trunk. The man is an employee of Titus who had a run-in with Roller over invoices, so obviously he killed Roller. Uncle Daddy asks Virginia if she recognizes the man and when she says she only heard his voice, Uncle Daddy has them recite fun facts about himself. Uncle Daddy is not satisfied with anyone’s answers and he shoots the man. Bryce and Chip the Detective are in charge of cleaning up the body so they take him out to the swamp, cut him up, and feed him to gators. Meanwhile, Desna and Virginia are freaking out so they better hurry up and sell those pills to get out from under Uncle Daddy.

Polly is playing tennis with her friend Sally. They’re reminiscing about old times and how much money Heather’s husband left her. Polly says that her fictional home is under renovation, but Sally invites her to stay with her for a little while. Then one of her Kegel balls drops out. I fucking love this show. Later, the girls are on the street trying to move some pills when Bryce comes home covered in blood. The stakes have never been higher and Desna agrees that it’s finally time to start poaching customers from the competition. Polly refuses to go because this is her chance to move in with Sally and finally be bougie.

Then there is a positively insane sequence in which Uncle Daddy watches synchronized swimmers in his backyard pool with the sexy-lil’-thing male bartender from the strip club as the star of the show. Jen shows up after the show to ask Uncle Daddy to let Bryce not have to do anything too dangerous.

Polly heads over to Sally’s and is wearing her best cowboy boots to cover her ankle bracelet, but when they strip down for massages, her ankle bracelet goes off. Sally wants to know exactly who Polly is, so Polly reveals her whole painful story and Sally kicks her out. They’re only $15,000 short of what they need at the clinic and Bryce sees a gun in the safe and starts getting some ideas about why the doctor might have a weapon.

The gals need that last $15,000 and they’ve got a plan. They stomp back into Sally’s house while she’s riding her boy toy … and they’re both wearing horse masks. It’s blackmail, bougie bitch.

They’re going to take the money to Uncle Daddy, but then the synchronized-swimming star says that they think they found the man who killed Roller. Desna freaks out and says it’s time to skip town. When she’s getting ready to go back to find her brother, Jen calls with different news: Bryce thinks the doctor killed Roller because he knows all of Roller’s passwords and has a gun in the safe. Desna rushes off to find the doctor, but she doesn’t get there in time to stop him from interrupting his ex’s engagement party, or from getting stuffed into the trunk by Bryce.

Claws Recap: Barrel of Rats