In the six episodes leading up to this one, each story has treated the titular Romanoff bloodline like a vestigial limb —a thing that may have had purpose at some point, but as it is now is simply a curiosity. “Panorama” is the first episode to explore how royal lineage may be a problem. Both literally, as an agent of disease, and philosophically, as a kind of myopia that narrows our perception of history, and decides who among us can be great. It’s the strongest, most well-developed thesis using the show’s conceit, but unfortunately it’s also undermined by supporting stories that either falter or just kind of droopily fall away, half-heartedly. The episode begins with Abel (Juan Pablo Castañeda) idly flipping through some dating app and waxing poetic on how the all the photos of poised, beautiful women can’t possibly excite him because they do not capture how their subjects move or laugh or comb their hair. Presumably, this intro is meant to establish the lead is an insatiable Lothario whose constant urges are elevated by his poetic soul and soulful acoustic guitar accompaniment. He’s a journalist —but frequently remarked on as a shitty one, and it’s implied he should be doing something more whimsical than reporting the news. Abel is doing an undercover expose on a clinic that supposedly cures incurable diseases. It’s an elite place; a walled off compound designed with plenty of trees, plant life, and gentle, diffused natural light. But behind it all is solid stone;… [Read full story]
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