Claws Season 4 Premiere Review: Shifting Alliances

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It's been more than two years, but now that Claws has finally returned, Desna and her crew remain up to their fancy nails in trouble.

And Desna undertook her most recent scheme without a valuable team member on Claws Season 4 Episode 1 and Claws Season 4 Episode 2.

There remained a severe rift between Desna and Quiet Ann, with the rest of the crew caught in the middle.

Back to Her Roots -- Tall - Claws Season 4 Episode 2

Quiet Ann blamed Desna's ambition for Ann's wife Arlene being killed by The Professor on Claws Season 3 Episode 8.

Desna considered Ann ungrateful after all she had done for the ex-con lesbian, especially after Ann torched Desna's casino on Claws Season 3 Episode 10.

Lack of Choices - Claws Season 4 Episode 1

So who is more wrong in this situation? As these episodes begin to show, it's going to be Desna.

Sure, Ann, in the middle of numerous criminal enterprises, should never have allowed herself to fall for a cop. But she did, which played a large part in Arlene's being in the wrong place at the wrong time at the time of her death.

Ann, a Yale graduate before her temper took her to prison, has intelligence that was rarely tapped in her role as Desna's muscle.

Also, Desna seemed to have forgotten that everything she knows, Ann knows, because Ann was always by her side, taking silent notes.

Still Friends - Claws Season 4 Episode 2

Since their split, Ann has been kept up to date on Desna's activities by the loose lips of Jenn, Virginia, and especially Polly, who was still going with Ann to her prenatal checkups.

But Ann was also discovering how relatively good she had it as a member of Desna's crew. As she searched for any job, she found little demand for a pregnant ex-con with a massive gap in her resume.

So Ann was adrift, pregnant, and living in a trailer park, with no real prospects in sight.

Desna wasn't doing herself any favors on another front as well, trying to blackmail her longtime partner in crime, Uncle Daddy.

New Base of Operations - Claws Season 4 Episode 2

After all, Clay had just bribed the investigating officer to get everyone off for their part in helping Roller escape from a prison vehicle on Claws Season 3 Episode 10, after which Roller left for a non-extradition country.

Uncle Daddy lost Roller on the heels of losing his love, Tob. He fled town after confessing to police that Roller had killed Clint after Toby told him Clint shot at Desna, hitting Virginia on Claws Season 2 Episode 10. But Toby was the actual shooter.

This exit meant Clay had lost two people important to him, leaving him adrift. He decided to abandon any hopes of legitimacy, reestablishing his base of operations at a combination illegal fight club/gambling den.

Then a match got thrown into all this kindling, as an anonymous new ownership group, seeking to gentrify Palmetto, tripled rents at the plaza.

Boss Lady - Claws Season 4 Episode 1

Desna attempted to confront these new owners, only to figure out that they had no local office. 

Attempting to live up to her life's mission to be a boss, she decided she could pass off the rent increase to Clay by upping the fee she was charging him to utilize her pill-clinic license.

Wanting to burnish the bad-guy image he was reestablishing, Uncle Daddy refused her request. She, in turn, declined to launder his ill-gotten gains through the salon anymore.

They both opted to cut off their noses to spite their faces, to prove who was the bigger gangsta. 

Drug War - Claws

Desna chose to aggravate the situation by using her license to get into the pill game herself, selling oxycontin out of the salon.

There was only one problem. Desna had no pills to sell. Her solution was to bully Dr. Ken into letting them steal from Clay's dispensary. They couldn't even do that right as Confetta caught them as she was grabbing bottles for her stash.

But things went from bad to worse as the jobless woman with whom Desna was feuding offered her services to the man she was blackmailing. 

Ann even told Uncle Daddy that Desna had stolen her inventory from his clinic, making things even worse.

Social Influencer - Claws Season 4 Episode 2

After Clay stole the cashbox after Desna's successful sales day at Coddlefest, Ann officially became Public Enemy No. 1 among Desna's crew.

If only Desna and Ann could have forgiven each other earlier, this new partnership wouldn't happen. Ann is bound to get fed up with the brainless Uncle Daddy sooner rather than later, so there's still hope.

Dean decided to stake out his independence from Desna, but he has yet to find his thing. He tried an autism livestream, adding stripping to attract viewers on Virginia's suggestion. Later it was Zumba and yoga.

It's excellent that TPTB seek to make Dean a more three-dimensional character. Let's hope he gets there in this final season.

Still Friends - Claws Season 4 Episode 2

Polly continued to be her nutso self.

First, she torched her former lover Joe's car after discovering that he had torched the casino with Ann, not her.

Next, she found a new mark after allowing herself to be clipped by Baron Von Rykel's car. Now she's pretending to be a British heiress who had run through her fortune.

Bryce and Jenn, on opposite sides of this war, are bound to continue to face problems.

Polly's Mark - Claws Season 4 Episode 2

To revisit the crew's past misadventures, watch Claws online.

Who's more wrong: Desna or Quiet Ann?

Can Uncle Daddy reclaim his underworld cred?

Which of the supporting characters would you like to see more of?

Comment below.

Chapter Two: Vengeance Review

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Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Claws Season 4 Episode 2 Quotes

Jenn: Uncle Daddy's gonna trip.
Desna: You got a problem with that?
Jenn: Oh, no. I love to see that man worked up into a lather. After all he's done to me and my family, shit!

Desna: Your poor baby is going to have a batshit crazy mother.
Quiet Ann: At least I can have a kid instead of being a pretend mamma to a grown-ass man and some misfit women.
Desna: At least I got one of them off my tit.