The Worst Episodes of The Queen’s Gambit: Tragic Missteps in a Brilliant Game

If you’re like me, you probably devoured all seven episodes of The Queen’s Gambit in one sitting. The show had us all on the edge of our seats as we watched Beth Harmon’s meteoric rise to chess stardom, all while battling her inner demons. But let’s face it, not every episode was a checkmate. In fact, some were downright disappointing. So, grab your chessboard and let’s take a look at the worst episodes of The Queen’s Gambit. Don’t worry, we’ll be gentle.
Fork

Fork

Release Date: 2020-10-23

As a movie enthusiast, I have watched numerous shows, and The Queen’s Gambit is undoubtedly one of my favorites. However, episode five left me incredibly disappointed. This episode follows Beth’s return to Kentucky, where she reconnects with an old opponent, Harry. The two of them play chess together, and Harry offers to help Beth sharpen her skills ahead of the U.S. Championship. While this episode is not entirely terrible, it is undoubtedly the weakest of the series. The pacing is slow, and the storyline lacks the excitement and intensity of the previous episodes. The only memorable moment from this episode is when Harry tells Beth, “You’re like a daughter to me,” to which she responds, “I’m not a daughter to anyone.” Overall, episode five fails to live up to the high expectations set by the rest of the series. It lacks the excitement and intensity that makes The Queen’s Gambit such a fantastic show, making it deserving of a spot on the list of the worst episodes.

Doubled Pawns

Doubled Pawns

Release Date: 2020-10-23

“The Queen’s Gambit” Season 1, Episode 3, is a lackluster installment in an otherwise captivating series. The episode follows Beth and her mother as they embark on a press tour, promoting her success in the chess world. However, the episode falls flat as it fails to develop any significant plot points or character arcs. It feels like a filler episode, with nothing much happening besides the usual press interviews and travel. The only memorable moment is when Beth’s mother tells her, “You’re playing better than ever,” to which Beth replies, “I’m not sure that’s true.” Overall, Episode 3 fails to deliver the same level of excitement and intrigue as the rest of the series, making it one of the worst episodes of “The Queen’s Gambit.”

Adjournment

Adjournment

Release Date: 2020-10-23

In episode 6 of The Queen’s Gambit, Beth travels to Paris for a rematch with Borgov, the Russian chess champion. However, her self-destructive tendencies get the best of her after a wild night out. The episode focuses heavily on Beth’s addiction issues and her struggles to cope with the pressure of being a chess prodigy. While the episode does showcase Anya Taylor-Joy’s incredible acting skills, it falls short in terms of plot development and pacing. The self-destructive behavior feels forced and the storyline lacks the depth and intrigue of the previous episodes. Overall, episode 6 is a weak link in an otherwise outstanding series. As Beth says, “It’s an entire world of just 64 squares. I feel safe in it. I can control it. I can dominate it, and it’s predictable, so if I get hurt, I only have myself to blame.” Unfortunately, the predictability of this episode makes it one of the worst in the series.

Middle Game

Middle Game

Release Date: 2020-10-23

“The Queen’s Gambit” Season 1, Episode 4 is a slow-paced, uneventful episode that fails to deliver the excitement and tension of the previous episodes. The episode centers around Beth attending a Russian class, which leads to her being introduced to a new social circle. However, the interactions and conversations in this new group are lackluster and fail to add any depth or interest to the story. The only significant event of the episode is Beth meeting Borgov, a formidable opponent, in Mexico City. However, this encounter is brief and lacks the intensity and thrill that was promised. Overall, this episode fails to capture the audience’s attention, and the storyline feels stagnant. As Beth herself says in the episode, “It’s all so boring.” and that’s exactly what this episode is, just plain dull.

Openings

Openings

Release Date: 2020-10-23

“The Queen’s Gambit” is a critically acclaimed limited series that follows the life of Beth Harmon, a young orphan girl with a talent for chess and a growing dependence on tranquilizers. The first episode sets the stage for a slow-burning character study that can be difficult to get invested in. While Anya Taylor-Joy delivers an impressive performance as Beth, the episode’s pacing is excruciatingly slow, and the plot does not offer much in terms of excitement or intrigue. The most memorable moments are the quiet, introspective scenes of Beth playing chess, which can be fascinating for chess enthusiasts but ultimately make for dull television. Overall, the first episode of “The Queen’s Gambit” falls short in terms of engaging storytelling and should definitely be considered one of the worst episodes of the series.

Exchanges

Exchanges

Release Date: 2020-10-23

As a movie enthusiast, it’s painful to say that ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Season 1 Episode 2 was one of the worst episodes of the series. The episode failed to keep the excitement and intensity of the pilot episode. It was a filler episode that focused on Beth’s new life in suburbia, studying her high school classmates, and entering a chess tournament. The episode felt slow and lacked the tension and thrill of the game of chess that the show is known for. Even the iconic quote, “Chess isn’t always competitive. Chess can also be beautiful. It was the board I noticed first. It’s an entire world of just 64 squares,” couldn’t save this episode from being a disappointment. Overall, Episode 2 failed to keep the audience engaged, and it’s a forgettable episode in the series.

End Game

End Game

Release Date: 2020-10-23

Season 1, Episode 7 of The Queen’s Gambit starts with Beth’s old friend Jolene visiting her in Kentucky. While Jolene is thrilled to see her old friend, Beth seems hesitant and distant. As the episode progresses, we learn more about Beth’s past and the trauma she faced in the orphanage. While this backstory is important for character development, the episode drags on and feels slow-paced. The only excitement comes in the form of a chess match between Beth and Borgov, but even that feels lackluster compared to previous matches. Overall, this episode feels like a filler episode with minimal plot progression, making it one of the worst episodes of the series. As Beth says, “Sometimes the best move is the one you don’t make.” In this case, the best move would have been to skip this episode entirely.