|Zho (left) makes a few things clear to J(right).|
The plot thickens with “Point of Death,” the second episode of the crime related web series Touye Pwen. This time out, the audience gets to see a decidedly different side of Zho, who seems to be emerging as the main character (if this series in fact has one). It is also made apparent that the maneuvers of the Strap Set have not gone unnoticed by others in the underworld.
Yet again, R.L. Scott uses the camera to bring viewers really up close and personal with the characters. In hairy situations, this technique brings about a certain level of discomfort. Anyone knows that it’s bad to be in such close proximity to an adversary in an antagonistic situation. Even though the characters speak in hushed tones, their exchanges never seem relaxed or casual. This makes everything feel tense. The viewer is never allowed to calmly take things in.
|Zho (right) attempts to entice Leena (left) back into his life.|
The dialogue is very succinct. It has an ear for the colloquialisms and cadences of the streets (particularly the northeastern United States) but it also has a flair for the Shakespearian. Zho’s use of the word “behooves” is both unexpectedly funny and very telling. Though he handles the situation in supposed “street nigga” fashion, his mode of speech suggests there is much more to him than being a street soldier. Then again, maybe it just suggests that he’d like to think there is much more to him than simply being a street soldier.
Leena, played by the lovely Jasmine Hester, seems to be an opportunist of the most obvious sort. She seems to conveniently go along with which ever alpha male beats her chest the hardest and roars the loudest. Again, Zho’s dialogue gives the viewer tidbits of info that suggest she is above such behavior. Her actions however, say something different.
So far, each episode of Touye Pwen seems split down the middle. One half shows us the street level dealings of lower tier characters. The other shows us behind the scenes machinations in the upper echelons. The conversation between Knight and Simone (played by the exotically attractive Monyque Thompson Scott) mirrors the deal that played out between Khalil and Luc in the premiere episode, “The Strap Set.” Like Khalil, Knight seems mysterious and Machiavellian. His calmness suggests power beyond anything an ordinary street criminal could aspire to.
Touye Pwen has a way of setting the viewer on edge without offering anything in the way of an actual “money shot.” In other hands this might be annoying, but I can’t shake the sense that R.L. Scott has something up his sleeve. All this build-up is leading to a definite conclusion. The question is, what will that conclusion be? We now Know that Zho can be a bit of hothead (that tendency is likely what landed him in prison), and that Leena’s loyalties can change directions like the wind. Where exactly is Touye Pwen taking us? I guess will have to find out seven minutes at a time.