Wrong place, wrong time. That’s where Sheila Johnson (Laine Rettmer) finds herself, as she screws up a major illicit deal. Or at least that’s one way to look at it. Sheila has her own skeletons in her closet, and even as she’s tied up and teased (not in a fun way) and threatened with violence, she never loses her cool. A room full of bad boys falls completely under the spell of Sheila as she commands the room. I suppose, as an erotic dancer, that’s basically what she does for a living, right? She commands even the toughest of men just by being there.
Episode two of anthology series ETHERIA follows up after the aesthetic masterclass of episode one with its own incredibly unique and defined aesthetic fingerprint. Gritty, grungy, and unrelentingly seedy, “Sheila Scorned” is shot in an intimate, almost too-close-for-comfort way, adding to the crowded club feeling even as we leave the club and enter the outside world (albeit briefly). Cinematographer Lowell A. Meyer (Greener Grass, Thunder Road) keeps things tight, and just a little bit off-kilter and dizzying. The exact feeling you get when your vice of choice hits you and you look around the room and take in the moment–that is what makes this episode impactful.
Sheila herself is a powerhouse, as can be easily expected from this series even this early on in the new season. She’s emphatically strong, unforgiving, hateful, and for all the right reasons. This is a woman who has had life smack her down hard, and has risen back up over and over again. Her grit is genuine, and not overly produced. In short, Sheila is an unabashed badass and as my younger sister says about 97 times a day, “We love to see it.” Yes, we do, and we love to see more episodes of the female driven series, ETHERIA.
7 out of 10