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Living in Your Car, “Chapter 4” (1.04)

“It felt good doing it for nothing, but I don’t have any money. But if I take the money, does that mean that’s why I was really doing it?” – Steve

The fourth episode of HBO Canada‘s new original series, Living in Your Car, written by George F. Walker, Dani Romain and Joseph Kay, and directed by David Steinberg. Review after the jump…

I can’t say how frustrating it is that the show pulled back from last week’s porn storyline, when it was the strongest thing they’ve done and there was no indication Steve wouldn’t continue giving it a shot. Instead, they’ve gone back to the odd mix of ‘Steve hits up people he once knew for money/jobs’ and ‘Steve gives a new job a shot’ – this time, trying both bike courier and hospital mooch. To be honest, everything I liked about episodes 2 and 3 was dropped here, as we’ve got a low-level amount of the characters who’ve demonstrated strength and wrapped up in a pretty weak story.

Steve tries, and fails, to get a job from his former assistant. He gets into an altercation with a bike courier, and talks his way into becoming a ‘walk courier’. He’s too slow, so he borrows his daughter’s bike, only to find himself completely inept at riding one. He lands himself in the hospital, where he gets abused by a mean nurse and lands in a room with a repentant millionaire, whose two annoying kids spend every second trying to claw their way back into his will. Steve gets involved, introduces the guy to Neil as a way to potentially protect himself from legal action, and struggles with his morals. The guy dies, and Steve moves on.

The episode feels like a mess. To be honest, this episode feels like episode 2 without the strong Lori scenes. I liked the casting of Steve’s older friend and the development of their friendship, but that’s mostly it. We did get Steve trying to figure out what it meant to be good, and though ultimately he took some money from the guy, he seemed to think about what would be a responsible use of the money, which was nice personal movement for him.

That said, I hope they find a decent plotline and stick with it for a few episodes. That would be, I think, a good chance to do something stronger than this job-an-episode format they seem to be falling into. We’ll see what happens next week!

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