A little change of scenery really makes this week’s episode pop. As Dean would put it, showcasing the local flavor of the South Beach area takes Claws to the next level and unleashes some positively bonkers developments. Also, a pubic-hair sculpture.
“Escape” starts with Desna practicing her speech to ask Uncle Daddy to get out of the business, and then she prays for God to throw him in a ring of fire if he says no. Dean is getting ready for his trip to South Beach to participate in an art sculpture, so that means walking around the house nude asking Desna to critique his form. Desna asks him to cover up and he tells her that his girlfriend, Virginia, is going to drive him. Um, Dean? There’s several things in that sentence that just don’t compute.
Meanwhile, Jen and Bryce are at home and she’s making waffles. I don’t just mean waffles, she’s making waffles. She wants to drop the kids off with Juanda, go see a movie, and eat some waffles, but Bryce says he has to go show off the clinic to some new investors, a term everyone is using loosely. You’ll see why. Jen gets upset because he’s not doing enough to keep their relationship healthy and make sure they don’t end up in a bad way. She then does a perfect passive-aggressive move that’s so beautiful, it’s basically a ballet: She puts waffles in a paper lunch bag and squirts syrup all over them and hands him the bag. It is a Blu Cantrell song in waffle form.
Desna storms into the salon to dress down Virginia for agreeing to take Dean to South Beach. Desna knows that Virginia is going to break his heart because he’s innocent and asks her if she’s ready to calm him down when he has an episode. Virginia snaps back that maybe Dean can handle more than Desna gives him credit for and sashays away. Desna and I agree: “This little bitch.” Jen is at home because she called out sick and she’s surrounded by Chanel bags. She decides to rifle through her medicine cabinet and mixes some pills and some cough syrup to calm her nerves after a stressful day of shopping and betraying Desna. She picks up her phone and calls someone named Hank Gluck, which is the least sexy name for your midday tryst.
Dean arrives at the nail salon in a taxi to pick up Virginia for their big trip. He brought her a paper flower he made and I died of cuteness. I just want Dean to be happy. Desna takes Virginia aside and lays down the ground rules for spending the weekend with Dean and gives her a giant flannel onesie for Virginia to sleep in. Even if Dean’s preparation for his art requires him to walk around naked, Virginia is banned from doing the same. She’s not preparing for any art. She’s just along for the beach vacation.
Just then, another woman from Polly’s life shows up: a young woman named Marnie who could be 15 or could be 25, it’s unclear. Her mom got busted and she needs Polly to drive her to the bus station, so Polly slips into another voice and alter ego. Meanwhile, Gladys is prepping Roller for their big adventure to the city and she zip-ties him to a wheelchair and starts feeding him sleeping pills. Guys, where is this going? Who is this woman? Why are we here? Someone fix this. While Dean is away, Desna starts setting up for her future and meets with Uncle Daddy’s mer-baby, Toby, and sells him on the idea that he could run Nail Artisans and the money-washing scheme. Toby spills that Jen isn’t out sick, but she’s actually been shopping.
Desna rolls up to Jen’s new house and says, “In my next life, let me comeback as a white hillbilly,” and it’s truly a rallying call for our times. She goes around to the back to see Jen dancing with Hank, the guy from the Jewish square-dancing circle, in her living room. Desna tells Jen that all that matters is that she’s by her side. Jen says that she doesn’t need to work anymore, so she’s not going to. This is like 4,000 slaps in the face to Desna.
Desna goes to see Uncle Daddy, who is casually torturing someone in the back of the strip club. Uncle Daddy is beside himself because the event planner he hired to throw his 30th-wedding-anniversary party dropped out, so Desna offers to plan the whole thing in like 24 hours in exchange for a serious chat. Money is no object, Desna, and the theme is Gone With the Wind. Somewhere in a cute park, Arlene and Ann are having a sweet picnic. Arlene wants Ann to open up and when she finally does, she offers the three answers, “Born here, has a brother, was a nerd.” They kiss and Arlene lets it slip that Ann would make a good wife.
Bryce is showing off the clinic to the new investors. One of them has a turtle in a strap that allows him to carry the turtle around like a bunch of books in the ‘50s. Also, the turtle’s name is Emma Watson. Y’all, I’m done. That is officially too much. Desna stops by to reassure Uncle Daddy that the party planning is underway and the investors want to see a lot more of Desna if they invest.
Virginia and Dean have made it to South Beach and are relaxing by the pool when a guy tries to hit on Virginia and insult Dean in the same sentence. When he doesn’t leave them alone, Dean punches him in the face and it’s glorious. Somewhere in a swamp, two random Russian thugs break into Gladys’s house and see that she looked up hotels in South Beach for the art show.
Finally, it’s time for the art show! Dean has to strip down to be assigned a role in the performance-art piece and Virginia’s eyes do that cartoon “Ahhooooga!” thing when she sees him naked and you can see the ho wheels start spinning in her head. Dean is made the star of the performance piece. Meanwhile, Roller has confiscated a knife from the hotel room and is waiting for the right time to slice his restraints off.
Later, Virginia and Dean are sitting in their hotel room and Virginia asks him to sit down next to her and she kisses him. GUYS. Whatever little plan Virginia has is certainly going to backfire AND I JUST WANT DEAN TO BE HAPPY. She lets him touch her boob and we cut to them later with just a sheet covering Virginia. She tries to let him down easy and tells him she wanted his first time to be special and that she’s not looking for a boyfriend right now. Dean says it would be weird for her to look for a boyfriend when he’s her boyfriend. YOU DONE FUCKED UP NOW, VIRGINIA.
At the anniversary party, Jen tells Desna that she knows the Koonses were her foster parents and she set them up to be killed. Jen tries to tell Uncle Daddy, but the rest of the Nail Artisans gang keeps intercepting her and Jen loses her nerve. The investors agree to open up a clinic in Georgia and offer Bryce some cocaine off the underside of a turtle. He turns it down, but Uncle Daddy says, “I’ll hit that turtle.”
Jen goes to tell Bryce what Desna did and Bryce shoots Desna but REWIND. It was just a dream sequence. Desna tries to explain to Jen everything that Roller did and everything the Koonses did to her and Dean, but Jen doesn’t know if she can forgive her. Desna works up the courage to ask Uncle Daddy to let her out of the business and she reveals that she’s thought it all through. Uncle Daddy lets her out, but not before saying that new businesses fail all the time and she’s always welcome back.
Finally at the art show, Gladys is rolling Roller into the show and he’s already working on the knife. He scoots away when she’s soaking up the limelight after her piece is revealed. He manages to cut himself free and Virginia and Dean are walking out and he spots them. Oh shit. Dean waves to Roller and Virginia dashes them away. Gladys starts chasing and shoots a gun into the air to threaten him. Roller tries to go after Virginia and Dean, but he’s caught and thrown into a big white van by some Russians. Desna goes to her hot Haitian boyfriend’s house, but their fun is interrupted by a phone call from Virginia saying that Roller is alive and then the call drops. South Beach, baby!