True, this season was very tonally disjointed. Apparently (per random extra clips with Alia & crew), Chip was inspired by Kathy Bates' character in Misery and the scenes where he has her tied on the bed were direct parallels to the film. There must've been a horror buff in the writers' room this season, because I think Dory's arc seems to be loosely inspired by the South Korean film Oldboy, in which a man is held captive for 15 years in the same hotel room for unknown reasons, only to realize he's being held in retribution for witnessing a classmate's sexual encounter with his own sister as teens. So....I guess that's where the Susan Sarandon incest thing came from? Early scenes, like Dory being fed the same meal every day and marking the passage of time with the apple stickers, are also direct parallels to the main character's captivity in the film. So if you’re not a film aficionado, the A-plot of the entire season makes no sense, lol. I kept impatiently waiting for the scene to cut away from Dory. Cole Escola (Chip’s actor) did a great job with the material, but again, it was basically watching the same scene repeatedly. Alia allowed her ambitions as an actor to jeopardize her own show. Like I said, she gave herself a ton of material for an Emmy reel submission, but it actively hindered the plot and contributed nothing to any of her relationships with any other character. I never cared about her relationship with Chip, even from a psychological thriller perspective, because it was very repetitive. She tries to escape, he tortures her, she successfully escapes, he finds her, etc. And How To Get Away With Murder already did the "fucked up murderer is a secret sibling incest baby" twist last year!
I wanted to see Dory with Drew or Dory with Portia, but instead we were treated to a game of faux intellectual cat-and-mouse between Dory and Chip that no one asked for. Maybe cool for 3 episodes, but a whole season?? Media outlets and social media are lavishing praise on Cole Escola, which I'm not saying is undeserved, but the frustrating part is that this show shines as an ensemble cast, not one-man Emmy bait. I've been disappointed that John Reynolds, (especially!) Meredith Hagner, and John Early haven't gotten more recognition.
When Dory spat in Drew's face, it was a good metaphor for what her character has done to the show, haha.