The Family

The Family

When the mob family descends on their new locale, a quaint village in northern France, their identity is of American. The mobster's wife, Michelle Pfeiffer's character Maggie, enters into a local grocery and asks for peanut butter, descending upon her a crowd of locals dismaying American obesity. Certainly too, when the teen boy and girl in the family join the local school, they're the improvising, brass-balled Americans, whomever sets out to take advantage of them regrets their imposition near immediately. Later, however, it would seem that what they are mostly is Italian--Maggie is fierce in pitting her olive oil diet against the French obsession with cream, as if bulwarked by centuries of Italian lives and culture. They churn out burgers and Cokes for the locals, only to satisfy expectations--Americanism has become a red cape they float before onrushing french bulls they're cannily flanking and spotting out. I'm not quite sure how much fun it is to watch a pleb mob family reduce the French into imbeciles, but I suppose if you understand that what they're doing is impressing themselves upon new cushions so they are succumbed of some of their store presence to take on more of "you," I suppose you can at least get at the sanity of what they're wanting to do.

But what becomes interesting is how in their individual pursuits they find themselves extraneous to one another. The father goes from being a retired patrician mobster to become an excited cell terrorist, activated in his fervour to take down a corporation. The mother goes from sallying forth destruction to the arrogant French in piquant moments to finding her own insides blasted out, with a priest taking what she had revealed to him as ingredients to mix back a mirror as to how long a road of evil she's traveled. The daughter goes from teaching awkward, totally overmatched teenagers a lesson they'll never forget to taking on a polished young instructor, who'll show her that spunk and sass can be quickly subsumed if any inflection at all is given the life someone poised and learned is due to lead. The boy manipulates a whole school to his advantage, but becoming Zuckerberg to the school spanks him as to how top dog substitutes paltry happiness if it's not something he can adequately return home and show family. They've gone so far out in their own individual sports that gangsters arriving to kill them really serve as a welcome call back home. The French, who had temporarily been given some advantage, are once again relinquished all, as the gangsters dump however many they need into corpse status to show the power of this call; tailing along with it, a whole family back tightly together again. 

The episode packages up, and the family is off to fuss up some other European station for awhile. We take stock, and see them as a blotch of virus who are eating up small moth holes into a fine swatch of something precious we weren't really allowed to see, for it making their presence there beyond endurable. Exempting the boy--he is the lone one of the family who can strategize, delay, his revenge--they've each got major problems restraining themselves, which their CIA overlookers greatly assist them with. Fine. But if they needed a soothing, antique village with a lot of prop people to serve as a calming backdrop for this containment "therapy," it's too bad it couldn't be done entirely in simulation. 


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