Claws Season 3 Episode 9 Review: Melba Toast

This episode's title told viewers all they needed to know.

It was evident that Melba wasn't going to survive Claws Season 3 Episode 9.

What was uncertain was how she was going to die.

Caught in the Middle -- Tall - Claws Season 3 Episode 9

Despite all the shit that has happened to Desna over the past three seasons, she has too good a heart to kill someone premeditatively. 

That isn't to say that death hasn't happened all around her.

In a Pickle - Claws Season 3 Episode 9

Sometimes Desna indirectly caused deaths; other times she was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Sure, she can look all gangsta when holding a piece. But she has never had to pull the trigger for real.

So why would anyone be surprised that she couldn't do it this time either?

Related: Claws Season 3 Episode 8 Review: What Is Happening to America

Fortunately, fate continues to be on Desna's side.

Benedict's ultimatum wasn't Desna's only lingering problem.

Quiet Ann was despondent over Arlene's murder and Polly was smitten with murderous Joe.

Broken Hearted - Claws Season 3 Episode 9

Then there was the whole Dean-being-addicted-to-mah-jongg thing.

Let's face it. Melba was the more repugnant of the two Lovestones.

In his way, Mac cared for Dean. Melba just saw Dean as a potential meal ticket, to supply their getaway money.

But Melba was mourning Mac. However freaky their relationship was, she loved him deeply.

A big result of that was that Desna's empathetic heart got in the way of her best interests.

What was surprising was that Melba wasn't plotting revenge against Benedict for Mac's death.

Supportive Partner - Claws Season 3 Episode 9

Instead, she tried to be a good mother to Dean, as Mac would have wanted. Truthfully, she wanted to keep Dean in the tournament so that she could steal his $1 million prize for winning.

That didn't pan out since Dean's heart was no longer in the game and he lost in the finals.

Mah-jongg was an activity that he did with father-figure Mac. Dean's obsession died with Mac.

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Likewise, Desna's heart wasn't in killing Melba, as much as she deserved it.

By this point, her entire crew was aware of her dilemma. Ann, seeking revenge for Arlene, volunteered to do it. Roller, to take the weight off Desna, offered to do it.

But Desna thought Benedict was very specific when he told her that she had to kill Melba at the end of Claws Season 3 Episode 8. So she didn't dare to deviate from the plan.

She had failed to take advantage of a golden opportunity earlier, when Melba got trapped in a stall in the ladies' room.

So after the mah-jongg tourney ended, she marched Melba out to Ann's van where her crew waited, and Ann knocked Melba out with one punch.

The fun again after they got Melba trussed up in dead Penelope's salon chair.

Melba lit the powder by telling Ann that Benedict, not Mac, killed Arlene.

Ann ripped into Desna about all her recent lies, and the rest of the crew joined in attacking her. Before long, Desna was defending herself by pointing out the others' bad choices.

They stepped into Desna's office to continue the argument in private, which gave Melba the chance to escape. However, she ran into a busload of clowns, triggering one of her biggest fears (what are the odds?) and she got recaptured.

Nervous Laughter - Claws Season 3 Episode 9

Earlier, Roller had done Desna a solid by quietly talking with Dean after his loss and suggesting that he go make up with Virginia.

Dean walked into the salon just as Desna was contemplating killing his adoptive mother. He explained to her the emotional fallout he had been suffering after killing Zlata on Claws Season 2 Episode 10.

He convinced her to find another way. That led to her hoping to fool Benedict with body parts purchased from Polly's old prison buddy working at the morgue.

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Fortunately, that lame-ass plan never had to be implementing, thanks to Melba's memorable exit.

Set free, Melba hollered back, "Once a pussy, always a pussy," just before being struck and killed by a chicken truck.

How perfectly Claws is that?

Race Against Time - Claws Season 3 Episode 9

Remember her telling Mac not to be a "chicken pussy" on Claws Season 3 Episode 7?

Then the crew going out for chicken afterward topped it off.

All still wasn't right for Desna and Ann, however.

Arlene's telling Ann to "rebuild the kite" in Ann's daydreams was too metaphysical for me.

Actions by both Desna and Ann led to Arlene's death, but it was mainly on Benedict, and they both need to realize that.

But as Ann said at the end, it's going to take time.

Suddenly in the Know - Claws Season 3 Episode 9

There will be no rest for the weary going into the season finale thanks to the extended Husser clan.

Toby was the motorcyclist who took a shot at Desna but hit Virginia on Claws Season 2 Episode 10.

Uncle Daddy shifted the blame onto Clint, who Roller ran down, then he and Desna dumped his body in the swamp on Claws Season 3 Episode 1.

Related: Enjoy unlimited access to thousands of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video. Watch anywhere. Cancel anytime!

The trouble was that Clint's body popped back up. I guess the gators didn't do their jobs.

This left former altar boy Toby feeling guilty. So he ran off to confess.

Uncle Daddy rushed off to a nearby church, involving Bryce in the conspiracy, but shooting a priest to keep him quiet.

Surprise Encounter - Claws Season 3 Episode 9

That's too bad. I thought Clay was going to end up being a kind-of redemptive story such as Roller (I said kind of. Everything is relative on Claws.).

Then again, Uncle Daddy has always done whatever is necessary to protect his own.

But Toby was spilling his guts to the local police instead, implicating Roller in Clint's death.

So the finale should include tying up the casino storyline while keeping Roller out of prison. 

And Claws hasn't yet been renewed for a fourth season, much can't be left hanging, can it?

To catch up before the finale, watch Claws online.

Were you at all surprised that Melba was killed off?

Is bad Uncle Daddy back?

How does Desna come out of the casino storyline unscathed?

Comment below.

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