You can't have a twisted tale of twins without a good old-fashion switcheroo plot.
The cursed switch was at the center of V.C. Andrews' All that Glitters. And by the end of the film, there were so many casualties. These V.C. Andrews series drop more bodies than Beyonce drops albums. The death count was up to three this time.
The Landry-Andreas-Dumas-Tate clan are awful people across the board, aren't they?
Who would have thought the words "Justice for Paul" would spill from the fingertips? We're talking about a man who fell madly in love with his half-sister and was committed to incest like Ruby was his religion, and worshipping at the altar between her thighs would give him salvation.
But Paul Tate was done dirty, and the sister-f*cker didn't deserve this. I want to sue!
It didn't seem possible that he would come out of this the most sympathetic character, and yet, here we are. Let's pour a sweet tea out for this man whose life was tragic until he drunkenly stumbled into the gator-filled swamps of Lousiana and died.
We can't even say the man will rest peacefully. The love of his life is still alive and about to birth twins with that walking chin with lustrous hair. He'll know no peace in the afterlife.
He'll always have that year or so that he got to pretend as if his marriage to Ruby was legitimate, and of course, that night of one-sided passion where the "D" in Paul's "D" stood for distraction. Do you think she gasped Beau's name in the heat of the moment?
Just when the lack of chemistry and interest Ruby possessed when it came to Paul suggested they could squeak by without her bumping sinfuls with her blood brother, we got that night of debauchery. T'was bold of me to assume that hitting third base on the incest could be curtailed in a V.C. Andrews series.
Ruby lost her sparkle during this film. In the first half of the film, she enabled Paul's obsession with her and sent him mixed messages for her safety and gain.
And yeah, Paul's proposal was the reasonable choice after the lecherous preacher rapist who still wanted to lay his claim on Ruby came barging into that shack.
For propriety's sake, and the fact that there's little a woman could do without a man during the time period (sexism, a ruiner of all the things), it was logical that Ruby marry her brother on paper and uphold an image of respectability.
Paul cared about her, and it would give young Pearl the life she needed and deserved. The Tates weren't fond of the idea of this, but since the least Ocatvious could do is let Paul take care of his damn daughter and grandchild, then the arrangement could work.
Only if Paul stopped using it as a chance to seduce his sister into being his real wife, of course.
In hindsight, Paul was prime for delusions. He was already working toward convincing himself that there was a shot in hell he and Ruby could carry on into old-age as a normal married couple.
In the perfect world, Paul would've elicited the help of some homeboys and hit up the French Quarters for a good time and some strange. ANYTHING to break the spell Ruby had on him. Did the man even attempt to get laid by anyone else?
Maybe if Paul focused all of the energy he spent deluding himself into believing he and Ruby were in a loving, happy marriage into manipulating himself into falling in love with someone else, he'd still be alive instead of fish food.
He's a man who wanted to be loved and was terrified of being alone, and putting all of his eggs into the Ruby basket drove him mad.
The man got disturbingly angry and temperamental at the mere thought of anything jeopardizing this life he built with Ruby where neither of them was getting the fulfillment they needed and deserved.
It was as if he felt in his heart of hearts that he would wear her down into submission. If he wooed her enough, she'd succumb to some latent feelings she had for him, and they'd live their life in happy sin.
Paul didn't give a flying f**k about his relation to Ruby. Who would have such a cavalier attitude toward that? Never once did it ick him out. He never even tried to show restraint, conflict, hell, disgust.
But then, this is a son of a man who looked as if he wanted to eat Ruby up with a spoon when they spent time together. He kept talking about how much she looked like her mother and that the Landry woman was some form of an enchantress.
Is the narrative that the healer put some sort of spell on him and seduced him? Because, hell, Mr. Powerful Rich Man, if Ruby's mother had those types of skills and powers, then she wouldn't have allowed her father to sell her child.
We never did get more background on this story. Nor did we spend enough time dragging Tate for taking a child away from his mother and leaving her destitute because the flowers and jewels he bought for Gladys to apologize for slipping his happy stick in where it doesn't belong didn't work.
When you think about it, Paul never stood a chance, now did he?
He was willing to uphold this cycle, and he mirrored Gladys in happily taking care of Pearl as if she was his own. But then Hurricane Gisselle came in like a well-dressed wrecking ball, and she blew everything to smithereens.
Gisselle couldn't wait to rub it in Ruby's face that Beau broke things off with his French fiancee and returned to NOLA. And really, it was a miscalculation on her part bringing Beau back into their lives to antagonize Ruby.
She and Paul are the ones who lost out after that.
Daphne's death and will negotiations with the opportunistic Bruce brought the twins together with their husbands. Did no one care about Daphne at all?
Pierre's death didn't elicit much reaction from the girls either. For Daphne, it was less fanfare and all about the money. The woman was so insufferable even her horse got sick of her and threw her off to her death.
Bruce made it clear he was only in it for the money. I still maintain it was his long-con that included killing Pierre.
Gisselle marrying Beau to spite Ruby was so on-brand for her, but why would you want to be a Poor Man's Ruby anyway? Did Gisselle have any depth to her at all? Teaspoons have more.
It seemed as though she only lived to have sex, be mean, and spite her sister.
And Beau had about as much personality and charm as a cardboard cutout. Why did TWO sisters want him? For what? Pretty isn't enough.
He didn't even have the good sense to figure Pearl was his kid. And then he went from avoiding Ruby to wanting to be with her after he met Pearl. But he barely interacted with his daughter for the rest of the film, so what was the point?
Also, marrying Gisselle simply because she looked like Ruby was such a copout, and for any other person that would've been a dealbreaker. Pine for me without shortcuts like a worthwhile romantic lead, dammit!
Beau using Gisselle as an identical bedwarmer isn't romantic; it's offputting. Where's the torment, anguish, and longing? Where's the burning and yearning?
He got a Ruby look-alike, sex, he's a trust fund kid, and he's pretty. Ugh, Beau, the f*ckboi, am I right?
Oh yeah, and he's also the orchestrator of what has to be the dumbest, cruelest, most selfish plans in the history of existence.
Ten seconds after Gisselle fell into a coma from a mosquito seeking revenge Beau was on the phone telling Ruby about switching places.
Beau told Ruby that her sister was in a coma and that now they could be together in the same breath. IS THIS YOUR KING, RUBY?
It was the full-chested "F**k Gisselle and Paul" for me. What about the vows, man? In sickness and in health meant nothing.
Sure, Gisselle was a biotch, but Beau knew her for years, they dated, they slept in the same bed together, and he couldn't muster up a damn to give about her in a coma?
How did PAUL respect his vows and manage to honor GISSELLE better than Beau ever did?
If there were a shred of decency between Beau and Ruby, then they would've done their charade and taken care of Gisselle, too, instead of saddling Paul with her. How hard would it have been to say that Gisselle was taking in her ill sister and niece?
They could've fooled around all they wanted and left poor Paul alone to lick his wounds.
The two of them share one sex-addled, selfish brain-cell, and it was out of commission.
The thing is, there was nothing outside of Beau and Ruby's selfishness and their unconvincing love story that supported this switch. It wasn't as if Gisselle was such a vital part of the community where her presence was essential.
All it did was make Ruby and Beau insufferable and hard to root for in the slightest. Little Pearl was growing up under the illusion that Paul was her father, and suddenly she's calling Beau "daddy."
Paul lost his family, which was the precise thing he told Ruby he was afraid of in the first place, and he went utterly mad. It's no wonder he convinced himself that Gisselle was Ruby until the day she died.
And Ruby, who used to be a caring person who expressed concern even for her monstrous sister, suddenly didn't give two craps about her and keeping up with what was happening back in the Bayou.
Hell, you'd think the lifelong guilt from the curse she had placed on Gisselle would bring about something. Instead, Ruby lost herself in playing the role of Gisselle and was a total Rubzilla. Even Beau got sick of her pulling off the act too well.
She got lost in the identity, and sadly, even with the return of her Greenhouse BFF (who she didn't even ask questions or catch up with), she never bounced back from it even after her redeeming moment.
The lack of real care when Ruby and Beau attended the funeral was a sinking point. Beau was blase and barely seemed to have a conscience, and Ruby wasn't nearly concerned enough about Paul losing his mind.
Perhaps if she had checked in with him more instead of living her happy life, then he wouldn't have gotten as bad. For him to convince himself that Gisselle was Ruby, it would've taken time a limited communication.
They basically left him out there hanging, using La Casa de Tate as hospice.
By then, you couldn't even blame Gladys for taking Pearl away.
You play stupid games; you win stupid prizes.
The great lengths they went to convince people of this switch should've bitten them in the ass. They had it coming.
Ruby and Beau's paperwork is what backfired on them. It's absurd that they didn't see it coming. On paper, Gladys had every right to take Pearl.
And after the role they played in destroying her son, it was justifiable pain and anger.
It was hilarious that they slipped in that bit about DNA evidence to remind us why it wasn't a simple blood test to take to determine maternity and paternity.
And for a bit, I thought they'd get extra creative, and Ruby would have to paint a portrait in the middle of the courtroom and rundown some random facts only the Swamp folks would know to prove her identity.
But it's crazier that the truth about Tate wasn't the first move she played. It's the gosh damn gauntlet, woman. Your child's placement is at stake; drop the atomic bomb right out of the gate.
Beau barely seemed interested or invested in getting their daughter back, and if she had followed his advice, they never would've.
I guess Octavious can separate babies from their mothers and lie about it for years, but he absolutely draws the line at lying under oath after swearing on a Bible.
It was the fatherload (um, double entendre not intended) of all secrets. It had to come out!
They got their sweet Pearl back, and Paul is all but forgotten. Ruby and Beau get some happily ever after, and Beau knocked her up again, proving that he's useful for one thing.
Pearl is intrigued by Ruby's trinket box of voodoo and secrets. I bet that cat neckbone is in there and everything. It's calling to the girl.
Maybe she'll unlatch it and learn some secrets and family stuff that the films have deprived us of so far.
Who knows? Maybe she'll put a curse on her parents that will come back around to them as Ruby's curse on Gisselle came back around to her.
Over to you, Lifetime Fanatics. Are Ruby and Beau the worst? Did Paul deserve better? Are you watching these films and reading these reviews?
Hit the SHOW COMMENTS below and sound off! The fourth part of the Landry Saga continues Sunday, March. 28, at 8/7c.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You'll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.