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Photo: Elephant Pictures/Stoopid Buddies Stoodios/AMC

Television

‘Ultra City Smiths’ episode 4 review: Surprising reveals and an exciting cliffhanger

Most of the Ultra City Smiths hit low points but at least there’s some progress on their father’s case.

The powers at be on Ultra City Smiths are trying their hardest to stifle the investigation into the murder of the metropolitan’s last hope. Last week, they reassigned one of the lead detectives and brought in a replacement who is more concerned with scoring with chicks than solving crime. Meanwhile, little Grace gets herself into even more trouble and Street Hustler Boy is worried about his partner who is ailing. At least his luck turned around when a brand-new suit fell into his lab, but how long can that last?

Not too long apparently because after meeting with the doctor, Street Hustler Boy discovers his lover needs expensive surgery to live. Though the news may be sad, it at least gives him a goal to shoot for with regards to the money. The musical score and scenes of the long subway ride back home with his mind elsewhere develop the somber mood and display how much he loves 34th Street Chuck. The procedure isn’t even a cure but can buy another ten years of being together. However, you can’t put a price on any additional time they can have.

Street Hustler Boy’s entire plot this episode does a good job balancing the ridiculous and serious. There are times to laugh whether it’s the location where he recruits a team to help acquire the cash or his pitiful, but hilarious, attempts to conceal his plans from Sister Mary Margaret. Then there are other times where you feel for his situation. It’s bad enough that he turns tricks for a living, but his desperation and devotion to the man he loves makes him so sympathetic.   

Elsewhere, the plans between Mayor De Maximum, Captain Krieger, and Rodrigo Smalls have hit snags on various fronts. Carpenter Smith may not be running in the mayoral election now, but someone with his vision and legacy has thrown her name into the hat. Another of the Ultra City Smiths, Donna, formerly Pecker, is looking to clean up the city like her father. Her entire experience with her soon to be ex-husband has inspired her to take a stand.

Speaking of Congressman Pecker, his musical number felt appropriate and didn’t take away from the momentum of the episode. As he speaks about his tendencies to take photographs of his genitalia, a light hearted song begins about how they are really artistic nudes rather than merely d*ck pics. The stop motion animation is so good capturing the choreography and man, do those baby dolls have moves.

ultra city smiths 4.2
Photo: Elephant Pictures/Stoopid Buddies Stoodios/AMC

The murder case the power trio tried to hijack is going well much to their chagrin. Detectives Onasis and Mills make quite the team and have generated solid leads. Unfortunately, while the pair look into some suspects, a suspicious figure tries to take one of them out. It’s such a crazy way to end the episode and the cliffhanger definitely creates the anticipation for the next episode.

Ultra City Smiths still has many great character moments. The metaphor from the episode’s title may not be the most articulate, but the idea effectively comes across and it’s pertinent and repeated for several of the characters.

The bonding moment between Lady Andrea the Giant and Trish McSapphire last week takes a turn and there’s disappointment on both sides. The gags and silliness of the series is supposed to lift the viewers’ spirits, but this is still a pretty depressing world.

The ironic coincidences and connections between all of Ultra City’s denizens continue to build intrigue and excitement to see where everything is leading to. Some interactions seem like chance such as between McSapphire and 34th Street Chuck. That brief encounter shows so much including how much Chuck’s condition has affected him and as well as an attempt by the actress to make amends with her wrestler sister. The fact that Chuck mentions he’s a fan of Trish’s work is the cherry on top of it all.

Other interesting reveals from this episode of Ultra City Smiths that should be fun to see play out are the new owner of Carpenter Smith’s murder weapon, Grace approaching her dad for help, and the Most Dangerous Man in the World’s relationship with the corrupt trio of the mayor, the police captain, and the crime lord. In particular, the last two might be more related than expected.

“The Little Baby Hand Pinky Grip Thing” is a fascinating episode with great character and narrative development, surprising reveals, and an exciting cliffhanger as we approach the end of the season.

New episodes of Ultra City Smiths drop Thursdays on AMC+

ultra city smiths 4.1
Ultra City Smiths E 3 Review: 'The Little Baby Hand Pinky Grip Thing'
“The Little Baby Hand Pinky Grip Thing” is a fascinating episode with great character and narrative development, surprising reveals, and an exciting cliffhanger as we approach the end of the season.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
All the different connections and coincidences between all the characters.
The cliffhanger is the first time I can't wait for the next episode.
The musical number actually felt appropriately timed and fit nicely in context.
It's a testament to how well the series develops it, but Ultra City is quite the depressing, bleak world.
9
Great

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