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  1. stagmania

    S02.E06: The Bad Mother

    I laughed so loudly. The ultimate burn. Yeah, it's really, really bad. And I started off positive on this season! But it's clear Kelley has lost the plot, and doesn't know what to do with these characters with no book to guide him. Your point that no one is doing anything is right on, but also - the relationships have lost their depth. The ladies get together to bitch at each other every episode and show up in each other's storylines, but I don't feel the sisterhood and the genuine communication between women that resonated in every scene last season. Maybe because a man is trying to replicate a woman's work. I feel so validated knowing Bonnie agrees with me that Nathan is trash. The implication is that she was hoping Ziggy's dad was not a monster but someone decent so she could convince herself that what happened to her was just a misunderstanding between good people. But honestly, I call bullshit on pretty much every scene between Jane and Mary Louise this season. Why the hell is Jane still talking to her? Why hasn't she understood this woman is out to get them? Why hasn't she moved Ziggy into Madeline's house and kept him away from the evil grandmother? Given the news about this season being chopped all to hell and parts reshot, I am really wondering what kind of scenes got filmed that we'll never see, and definitely suspect that the constant repetition of stuff like this is filler to try to cover the gaps. Overall I'm just disappointed to see the show go out like this after such a great first season. Everything about the custody battle is ludicrous, but apparently that's what the entire season is hinging on. Bonnie's big confession scene fell flat because they didn't put in the work to make us understand or care about her relationship with her mom. Most of the cast is being wasted - the kids are barely characters anymore. There is some serious weirdness around the edges that I'm now putting down to half-revealed unrealized glimmers of whatever Andrea Arnold was trying to do. I'm sure it would have been more interesting than this; at least it would have had a real point of view.
  2. stagmania

    S02.E05: Kill Me

    It turns out that what happened is they cut a bunch of material trying to erase the female director from the show.
  3. stagmania

    Big Little Lies in the Media

    That Indiewire piece explains so much about this season. What a horrible way to treat Andrea Arnold, and it didn't result in a better show.
  4. stagmania

    S02.E05: Kill Me

    Absolutely - but not when they're wealthy and live in communities like Monterey.
  5. stagmania

    S02.E05: Kill Me

    Yes, but to what end? Why would the police be interested in trying to send a battered wife or her friend to prison for protecting themselves and accidentally killing a violent abuser in the process? What DA would want to try that case? What jury would convict?
  6. stagmania

    S02.E05: Kill Me

    This one was a little weird for me. Parts of it I liked (Chloe and Ed, Jane and Ziggy, confirmation of Bonnie's past abuse), parts of it I found baffling (Renata's whole suddenly subdued vibe, and wtf was that weird threesome implication at the end with the Affair Guy as if Ed would ever), much of it is starting to fall apart on the logic scale. Primarily: The police pursuing this case to the point of tying it to a custody battle and trying to create a perjury trap. Y'all, I just don't buy it. Let's say Merrin thinks they pushed him? SO FREAKING WHAT. He was an abuser, caught in the act beating his wife, and he got shoved down some stairs when her friends tried to get him to stop. Call it justice and move on; why on earth would a PD be interested in going after a battered wife over this? All of the ladies continuing to talk to Mary Louise. Celeste's lawyer absolutely should have forbid that. I do wish the ice cream throwing scene had stayed in, though. The entire custody battle makes no sense. I said this last week but this would just never happen with the thin case Mary Louise has, and Celeste's lawyer is out here telling her to take a shitty joint custody deal with this awful woman? She has no proof those boys are being neglected or mistreated in any way and the court does not just yank children away from their loving mother for no reason. It's clearly just a sloppy way back in to the Perry fallout. I so did not buy this. Renata would not just sit there and take it while Mary Louise lobbed passive aggressive comments at her. It was like they dialed her down to half this episode and it was very jarring and abrupt after she's been in top form all season. 100% and it doesn't track for me that her lawyer isn't on this. She has a son who died in a super shady way! That is totally relevant to her claim to be a more secure guardian. This makes the most sense of Mary Louise's behavior, IMO. If she was really just there to get the boys she wouldn't be interacting with any of them; she'd be keeping her head down to look saintly. I think Ed completely understands this and that's why his choice is so hard. He can stay with her, in the life they built together that he's been pretty happy with, but it will mean truly accepting that she doesn't really love him and what that does to his self-esteem, now with the added indignity of infidelity. Or he can have some respect for himself and demand a more deserving partner, but wreck his life (and Chloe's) in the process. It's a real shit sandwich of a situation and it doesn't feel like Maddie fully appreciates the spot she's put him in. I thought that comment from Jane was so offsides, honestly, and reflective of her inability to accept Celeste's truth that Perry never raped her. You can just feel Jane's skepticism, and I don't really blame her given Celeste's initial denial of the abuse, but you can't just shove stuff like that in your friend's face. Celeste not telling her to back off actually made me kind of sad; she just seems to think she deserves to be spoken to that way. That's a reach. First of all Maddie didn't gossip; she spoke about it in her own home with her friend who was directly involved and her daughter overheard her. If anyone gossiped, it was Chloe (though she clearly had good intentions to help Ziggy). Maddie is also not responsible for every single person who finds out now and what they do with the information. There is a lot wrong with this description. Perry was beating the hell out of Celeste, in front of witnesses, right before he died. She had injuries and bruises all over her. It's not up for debate whether he was an abuser. And Bonnie pushing him would not be viewed as a crime - it was a completely reasonable defense to get him off her friend, who again, he was trying to murder right in front of her, and neither his tumble down the stairs nor his subsequent death was her intention. His death was an accident. Like I said earlier in this post, even if the detective believes one of them pushed Perry and they're all lying, why would they care? It's not like they could have known or planned for him to impale himself on that rebar just so, and there is no physical evidence to suggest anything but a fall, so the police would know it wasn't premeditated even if he was pushed. And I'm supposed to believe they are fired up about this enough to pursue a case they would never ever take to trial because no jury would convict - for a year? It doesn't track. Oh, P.S. I'm Team Red Herring re: Jane's boyfriend.
  7. stagmania

    S02.E04: She Knows

    Come on now, that's way too harsh - no one deserves a man like Nathan. Realistically, there's no way Celeste would lose her kids over what we've seen. A loving, attentive mom with a solid support network who's had a couple rough months following her husband's death? This is not a scenario in which a judge removes children from their mother. Add the fact that she's a rich white lady and there's literally no way that would happen. I think the drama is more about how she gets her shit together and gets Mary Louise to leave them the fuck alone. She calls him Dad and there's been no hint at a different father.
  8. stagmania

    S02.E04: She Knows

    People seem to find everyone on this show suspicious, thanks to the framing of season 1. I recall last year many suspected Ed of molesting Abigail and Tom the nice coffee guy of being evil. It's kind of silly - this show really isn't about gotcha twists, the storytelling is pretty straightforward because the mystery isn't really the point. I would be shocked if they had Jane's new boyfriend turn out to be a bad guy or have any kind of connection to Perry. Not only would it be wildly implausible, it would also be a cruelty to the character that I don't think this show would engage in.
  9. stagmania

    S02.E04: She Knows

    I could not believe he did that. He should have been hiding in the bedroom, anyone with half a brain would have known that. It could be this, or it could just be that Celeste is being incredibly self-destructive to punish herself for Perry’s death. I would buy either. I find the idea that Ed should just get over it a few weeks after finding out his wife has been cheating and lying to him for years a little insane. He deserves time to decide whether he wants to try to save his marriage and Maddie is being selfish, again, by not giving it to him. Especially because she’s still lying to him.
  10. stagmania

    S02.E04: She Knows

    The biggest tell that these ladies are way off their games is that none of them saw what Mary Louise was obviously up to. I can’t believe they kept inviting her into their homes - I fully expected Maddie to slam the door in her face and was astonished when she let her in. I really really want to know what the hell happened in Bonnie’s past. Her dad was ice cold to her in that hospital scene. Is her mom seeing flashbacks, or visions? I absolutely love the way Renata thinks. Shame on me for marrying a man who would be so careless with my dreams. That really struck me and it seemed to hit Gordon where he lived, too. I feel for Ed because he clearly doesn’t want to leave his family or his home, but how can you stay in a relationship where you feel so diminished and disrespected? Maddie is still so caught up in her drama that she’s barely allowing him space to feel whatever he needs to feel about it. I don’t understand why Jane is allowing Mary Louise to interact with Ziggy at all. She has no right to call herself his family and she has looked Jane right in the face and said she doesn’t believe Perry raped her. Why would you let her anywhere near your kid, especially knowing what she’s doing to Celeste? This one is really straining credulity for me.
  11. stagmania

    S02.E03: The End of the World

    An agenda she is openly telling anyone who will listen about. And she was hardly sneaking - she had the lights on, snooping in Celeste’s bathroom while Celeste was at home. She just doesn’t give a fuck who knows what she’s up to.
  12. stagmania

    S02.E03: The End of the World

    Ding ding ding! Thank you so much for saying it. The ladies are more over the top and taking it to eleven in every scene this season - which is the point. They're traumatized and lying about it and none of them are coping well. This sentiment is absolutely wild to me. They watched their friend get nearly beaten to death by her husband. They had to get involved in the fight themselves and got hurt. Bonnie killed him. They lied to protect her and are still worried they'll be caught. Celeste lost her husband. Jane discovered her rapist and then watched him die the same night. Their sons lost their father. But they're supposed to just be over all that in a matter of months? That's the kind of shit you never get over, especially if you can't or won't seek help. This episode was a bit of a filler, but I still enjoyed it. I was delighted to see Maddie and Ed go to Celeste's therapist, and I thought it was an interesting little character note for the therapist that she first went to the assumption that Ed was at fault. It's refreshing to see him stand up for himself a little, and so telling that Maddie can't deal with it at all. She still expects him to accommodate her and her feelings even in this situation, and she still isn't telling him the whole truth. I got the feeling in that scene with Ed and Celeste that he knows that, too, and it's part of his hostility. He knows there's still another secret lurking and Maddie has completely boxed him out. I understood why Celeste lashed out at him, too - she's Maddie's best friend and ultimately on her side no matter what. Plus you could tell from her comment that he would never leave Maddie that she doesn't think much of Ed in the first place. I must say I could not believe Mary Louise was still in Celeste's house after last week. Once a woman looks you in the face and says she doesn't believe you were abused, there's really no coming back from that. Celeste is just so passive, and I cannot believe she didn't warn Jane that she'd set Mary Louise loose on her. I will give Mary Louise credit for one thing: she is honest to a fault. She's not being sneaky at all; she straight up told Jane she didn't believe Perry raped her and was looking for proof. What I found unbelievable is that Jane would talk to her after that. How could you even entertain letting a woman like that into your child's life? Or her weird new boyfriend, for that matter? Poor Ziggy has been through enough. I still want to know what's up with Bonnie's mother and all these references to her secret former life. I hope they get back to that next week.
  13. stagmania

    S02.E02: Tell Tale Hearts

    Perhaps a thread should be created for people who want to speculate on the actresses’ plastic surgery and discuss their career trajectories. It’s really drowning out discussion of the actual episode here. Speaking of, I really liked this one and thought it laid the groundwork for several stories I’m really interested in and a few new mysteries. What happened in Bonnie’s past? Is her mom abusive? How did Perry’s brother die? Were Mary Louise or Perry involved? Watching Celeste regress back to defending Perry is so painful but also feels so real. He’s dead and that gives her the space to romanticize him and rewrite their history again. Whichever poster said upthread that she clearly wants to be punished is dead on - she is giving Mary Louise all the ammunition she needs to take the kids, blaming herself again and engaging in self-harming behaviors. I thought Jane handled things with Ziggy as well as she could once the choice to keep him in the dark was taken from her. They have a close bond and her lying to him was damaging it - at that point telling him was the right thing to do. And it’s better for all the boys if they can understand and define their relationship for themselves rather than hearing it interpreted from other kids. Which brings me to Madeline, who honestly is so careless that I kind of think she wanted to be caught, too. Poor, poor Ed. He didn’t deserve the indignity of hearing Abigail so casually fling the affair at her mother. I think it’s true that he knew something was up last year, but he didn’t know exactly what, or that others knew Madeline had betrayed him. It’s humiliating and emasculating to not only find out, but from his teenage stepdaughter who seems to view him with pity, and his reaction makes perfect sense. Other things I loved: Bonnie’s mom giving us the insight that Bonnie married Nathan because he’s dumb and would never figure her out (that rang so true for me), Jane and Celeste continuing to be so kind and honest with each other as they navigate this horrible situation, Chloe asking for her phone back, everything Renata said and did. YMMV but I am very happy this second season exists.
  14. stagmania

    S02.E01: What Have They Done?

    They seem to be setting up the premise that it was all Maddie’s idea in the moment, instinctively trying to protect Bonnie, and they all backed her up and went along with it. I buy it - it’s very Maddie to go straight for an easy lie and they were all in shock. Not really thinking straight. I missed this show and I’m so glad it’s back. Personally I found Meryl mesmerizing.
  15. stagmania

    S08.E06: The Iron Throne

    My lunch group was arguing about this today, it was super unclear. Apparently D&D said in their loathsome little Inside the Episode series that he’s now the Lord Commander again (of what, you might ask). I choose to believe he’s leaving the wall behind and going to live with the freefolk.