The second episode of Prime Video’s Mr. and Mrs. Smith builds more of the insular world around John and Jane as they introduce two new characters. The episode also heightens the action that drives our two employees to break a sacred pact.
[Spoilers for episode two are throughout]
Our happy couple is still getting to know each other as Jane is caught going through John’s belongings before she exits to pick up breakfast. John returns the favor and discovers Jane’s particular affection for a very niche genre of adult entertainment. Upon her return from the corner deli, Jane is intercepted by Paul Dano’s character. Being the nosey neighbor, he questions who they are and what they do to afford the luxurious townhouse. We learn the Smiths’ cover occupation is software engineers. He also questions Jane about Max, her cat, because he seems to be meddling in his things. There is an obvious hint of flirtation on Dano’s part, which Jane picks up and evades. John is keen on eyeing the new stranger from the window sill.
Over breakfast, the two wonder if the company wants them to engage in sex. This is of course prompted by John, who has always been a bit more forward with the idea of committing to the acts of marriage. Jane is adamant that sex shouldn’t be a part of their arrangement. They make a pact to accumulate a certain amount of money and then go their separate ways. Just then, they receive a package detailing their next mission.
They must attend an astute silent auction and identify the highest bidder. Somehow they must administer a single dose of truth serum in this person to divulge particular information. Absolutely no casualties and no witnesses. Things you would get bonus points for doing in video games like Splinter Cell or Hitman.
Our pair arrive at the event. John’s immediate plan is, again, to split up. He takes off his tuxedo jacket to appear as one of the waiters, giving him the option to move more freely. Jane agrees, but she isn’t sold on the idea. As much as Jane resists intimacy at home, she frets on entering the field solo. After a few minutes of scanning the room, they find their target – the second guest star of the episode – John Turturro. He’s Eric Shane, a real estate mogul, with an affinity for both sexes. Jane and John prey on this characteristic to get him alone.
Things go left as the Smiths promise Shane a good time for the right price. This particular scene felt reminiscent of the wealthy suitors in Squid Game, parading their capital to feed cruel and unusual fetishes, seeing people as mere objects. John and Jane find themselves on all fours, impersonating dogs: they’ve essentially broken their no-sex pact. As Shane attempts to join the duo, each decides to inject him with the truth serum. Traumatized and confused, Turturro goes full comedy, racing back to the party and spilling these dignified patrons’ darkest secrets.
The comedic tone swiftly changes as Shane admits how incredibly lonely he is, and how the wealth he accumulated has not filled the emptiness he experiences. He even chimes about settling for a marriage he never wanted, detailing how he only loved the warmth his wife provided while sleeping at night. It’s at this moment the show truly shines. Turturro is an example of the wealth and status John and Jane seek, but it doesn’t seem to bring satisfaction.
Soon our agents’ mission becomes a race against time to keep their subject alive. The two doses of serum have left his breathing minimal, and he’s barely coherent. Unable to take him to the hospital, they race back home, searching for an EpiPen. But they’re too late as Shane expires on their kitchen floor. The grimmest scene of the series so far.
The two decompress watching old cartoons and have a hilarious conversation about the racism embedded in these original animated characters. Between the mission and the fact they already quasi-broke their pact, Jane asks if John wants to kiss her. “Not as a dog this time.” He obliges. And the two consecrate their “marriage.”
An excellent episode with a great performance from Turturro. He’s able to flex his comedic and drama chops, matching both Glover and Erskine. While still embodying the comedic flares, the episode reminds viewers of our stars’ profession with darker elements. The stakes have been raised in all the right ways.