'Dirty John': How men like John Meehan use love as an excuse to hurt others
This story is as scary as the real truth, and no matter what, it is always the Debras of the world - the kindest souls, that always get persecuted.
For the first time in the series, 'Dirty John' has decided to show us the John Meehan side of the story - and it is just as surprising as Debra taking him back after everything that's happened so far.
There's so much going on in in latest episode 'Lord High Executioner' it's distracting - just the way John Meehan's whole act is. This episode, Debra falls deeper into the trap that is John's "love". Convinced of his true feelings for her, Debra got back with him in the last episode.
In this one, John tried his best to clean up his act. He's so convincing that for a second you'll wonder if he's really changed, just like Debra is. John is so sick, spewing puke and shivering with high fever, you almost feel sorry for him. Debra does too because she gets him back to her penthouse just so he can feel better - and he does. John is suddenly back to making her a zillion smoothies and cuddling her in bed. However, this time she's learnt from her mistakes - she checks the house and finds he had never cleaned up at all.
Her relationship with her children goes extremely wry this time. Veronica and Terra aren't as forgiving as she was when they kept hating on her boyfriend, at first. For a minute there, you feel really bad for Debra. There she was - successful, smart and independent - being conned by a lowlife and being rejected by her kids. The same kids who she raised and gave every comfort in the world to - there they were, judging her for wanting to believe that John could change. It feels like none of her success matters and that's exactly how John Meehan wanted her to feel.
John's manipulating days go back to his childhood, the show tells us in flashbacks. His father rewarded him for taking advantage of his sister at work and lying through his teeth at the restaurant so he could make an extra buck. Although you wonder through the episode if John is the way he is because its the only thing he knew - but honestly, it's hard to say.
His father was a major influence in his life for sure - not every day does a child chew on glass to impress his dad. However, as he grows older, he becomes a natural and poof goes the pity. This guy is so terrifying, he killed his own dad - the one who he was dying to impress.
There's also a pattern with the way that John treats his sister and the rest of the women in his life. He uses fear and manipulates it. When that doesn't get him the results, he uses their love for him against them - and he succeeds every single time. As he did with Debra, he charms her, isolates her and then tries to scare her into doing what he wants. He thinks so lowly of women that the story doesn't even mention his mother at all.
'Lord High Executioner' also brings out a similar shade of parent issues as the last episode 'Shrapnel' that dealt with Debra's relationship with Arlene. It took a hard look at why mothers mustn’t force their beliefs on their daughters. It showed us how it left Debra vulnerable to men like John because Arlene chose to live in denial. This time around, we see the ugly impact of John's father's choices on his son. However, unlike Debra who ends up being the victim, John becomes the perpetrator.
This episode shakes us up from the romanticism around drugs and addiction and shows us how the John Meehans of the world use every little opportunity they find to use it to their advantage. This story is as scary as the real truth and no matter what, it is always the Debras of the world - the kindest souls, that always get persecuted.
'Dirty John' airs every Sunday at 10 pm on Bravo.