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  1. Oh, I wasn't trying to defend Ramona's bringing it up (I remember her doing but don't remember the exact context--but it's certainly in Ramona's character to throw it out to hurt her). But even if I assume Ramona was throwing out to hurt her, I just don't get somebody doing a show like this and then getting angry at something personal that they wrote about online coming out on TV. Like it should be obvious that while she's comfortable getting drunk on TV and talking about her substance abuse problems and sex, being bipolar is something she'd have been hiding from her child all this time and obviously expected to continue to do that on TV and OMG, now she has to have a talk with her daughter about it. But having money and the right background can be the difference between going to jail for a crime and not. Plenty of people who have hurt a lot more people, violently or not, didn't serve as much time as somebody found with a small amount of pot.
  2. And regardless of her motivations, it's still bizarre to me that Leah went on a reality TV show where getting drunk is part of her job and is clutching over her pearls because Ramona mentioned the mental illness she knows Leah has because she wrote about it publicly when they were on the TV show Leah has agreed to expose herself on. Who goes on a reality show feeling entitled to the show protecting her secrets from her child?
  3. And it makes the specific references when they do happen sometimes funnier. One of my favorite moments on The Americans, set in 1981, was a character responding to someone saying someone had just "disappeared" by saying "Disappeared? Is she Doug Henning?" On a show "about" the 80s it would just be all that all the time, not just an unexpected reminder of a hippie magician in the middle of a scene at the FBI.
  4. Yes, that's the one. Joan's Mom says everything's going to be unfamiliar, then adds, "And who knows what he's seen? Who knows what he's done?" Joan reminds her that Greg wasn't in combat, he was a surgeon just like he was in NY. Her mom says, "Well, there are other things that happen when men are away, especially at war." Joan tells her to stop talking about men in general when she's really talking about "Daddy." Then her mom says, "Even if there haven't been other women, he's not used to listening to a woman." And then the later conversation is where Greg's starting to tell her about going back and Joan says that if "something happened" over there and he feels the need to tell her, he shouldn't--especially not while holding her hand.
  5. True, that's a better way to put it. Though it does still mean that both women assume that while Greg was away for a year, however close or not to fighting he was--he quite probably slept with somebody else and the best thing for everybody to do about it is to not acknowledge it and forgive it. If the situations were reversed I doubt if the same assumptions would be made about Joan. Hey, I just realized that Joan and Roger had sex after being held at gunpoint and getting freaked out.
  6. Of course, we don't know for sure, but I would say that if Greg didn't sleep with anybody else it was only because an easy opportunity didn't present himself. It's already such a default for people on the show to sleep with someone else if it's unlikely they'll be caught and there's nothing about Greg that would suggest he was different or took his vows that much more seriously. Ironically, both Joan and her mother seem to take this as a possibility--and Greg too, really. Iirc--and if I don't somebody correct me!--Joan's mother starts warning her about caring too much about the fact that he's slept with somebody else before he comes home. Then when Greg is telling her that he's going back to Vietnam Joan starts to stop him, telling him that she doesn't need to know everything, assuming that he's confessing to her that he had some encounter in Vietnam. Greg says no, it's not that, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen, just that it's not the difficult thing he's telling her about, and of course Greg knows what she means as well. So for the women in this family, at least, it seems it was assumed that Greg had every right to cheat on Joan while he was away and she'd be foolish to even want to know about it. They seem to see it as a normal hazard of a husband being away for a long time.
  7. Steven Hassan is an author who writes a lot about cults--he himself was in the Moonies for years so he's very good at describing exactly how it feels to be sucked into one. I think one of the things he points out is that different people can be susceptible to them at different times in their life. As you describe here, there was a time when you were looking for something that would have made you vulnerable. He was in college at the time and his girlfriend had just broken up with him. I actually thought of him when Mark talked about realizing that Keith was lying about something because Steven had a similar moment with Moon where he heard him saying something he knew was exactly the opposite of what he always told the cult. I believe he works a lot with getting people out of cults too--one of the things he says is that just getting the person away from the cult for a little while can be really helpful because they live in a bubble where no other information is allowed to get in there. Anyway, it's because of things like this that even though I've never been in a cult I never want to say I couldn't be sucked into one--even when, as I said above, I can't imagine myself being bullied into answering texts right away or not getting any sleep. (Every time they showed one of those texts I muttered "fuck you" to the screen.) I feel like saying it could never be me would just doom myself to falling into one to punish me for my hubris or something. LOL. Next thing you know I'm finding girls for some dork in a sweatband, playing volleyball at 4AM and asking permission to eat a Pop Tart. Yipes.
  8. That's probably why they're with the other two instead--they both realized they couldn't be someone just like themselves. The found people who seemed to a bit more natural as caregivers. Yeah, I do at least give Sarah the credit of being the person who said that they got these people in, they had to get them out. I think the scene where she showed her brand was staged and that's why she looked weirdly eager to do it and barely waiting to find out if Catherine wanted to see it first. She's a better salesperson than actress.
  9. "Minimizing it" is a relative term. She saw it as putting it in a realistic context by saying yes, these things have happened, but they don't simply overshadow the important issues the protests are addressing and shouldn't be used as an excuse to ignore those issues. There's a of things that go on with a big protest movement. There's the systemic racism and brutality in policing that the protests are addressing to start, there's been brutal and sometimes unconstitutional backlash from the police and the government against protestors, there's white nationalists driving in to support the police and the police recognizing them as allies (somewhat validating the whole premise of the protests), there's property damage being done by some people at some points during protests, there's people choosing not to go into the city for dinner and the business owners who suffer for it (granted given that we're also in a pandemic that makes eating in a restaurant iffy anyway). What anyone prioritizes out of those things probably just speaks to what they prioritize in general. Bill's much more interested in complaining about looting than talking about what people mean by "defund the police." He was really somewhat proving her point by being uninterested in the actual practical policy demands of the huge protest movement going on and far more interested in signs that that liberals were looking stupid as usual on social media even if he is, in his words, "down with the cause." Capitalism has been good for him and he does not support it getting attacked unironically. It's kind of perfect how he cheers for black voters being skeptical after years of betrayal when he spent the show being the white liberal MLK warned about who prized order over justice. I also live in one of the cities listed above and it wasn't destroyed either, physically or spiritually. That's always a thing with protests--if they're polite and don't get in anyone's way, they're not really protests.
  10. That comparison surprised me since Peggy isn't somebody I'd describe as desperate for a man anyway. Joan, to be more specific, was desperate to be married more so than a man. She could have lots of men, but she was getting to the point where by her own rules she was an old maid. She wasn't pumping life support into her marriage at that point. However clearly a bad choice Greg was, at the point Joan got pregnant her marriage was not on life support. She was being a regular wife and the two of them were trying to have a child, which Greg also wanted. As for giving tacit approval to the rape yes, of course she did--as she was probably raised to do and most people on the show probably would have done as well. Saying he belonged in jail is meaningless because he would never have gone to jail for such a thing no matter what. No, she wasn't a woman in 2020 who simply wanted a child and doing it alone was an obvious choice but when did she ever pretend she wanted to be some trailblazer who just wanted a child and didn't care what society thought? She wasn't just baby-crazy, she wanted to get married and have a child, just like Betty and Trudy. So she was a married woman having a child with her husband who was going to be away for a limited period of time but then come back and have a normal life with them. It wasn't until after Kevin was born that Greg made yet another decision on his own to go back to Vietnam. Before then Joan had every reason to think her marriage was working fine. Once she saw what it was going to be she pulled the plug pretty decisively. So why not just take the fact that Joan's husband dumped her as the punishment Joan got? Because I really don't think Greg getting up on a high horse and calling her a hussy and a liar would have made Joan look bad. I'm not sure how else the show was supposed to be addressing this interesting topic of, I guess, women lying about paternity. A flashforward to Kevin doing a 23 and me in 2019 and calling Joan a lying whore? Greg coming back from Vietnam and suddenly being a wonderful father who then, in a soapy twist, turns out to somehow be biologically proved that he can't be Kevin's father and tearfully vows to be Kevin's father anyway while Joan looks ashamed? A different soapy twist where Roger blurts out the truth and Kevin looks wounded in his high chair? If Greg's being a terrible person protects Joan from the moral implications of lying about Kevin, so does Joan's being a terrible person protect Greg from the moral implications of abandoning his child, obviously. So what's the problem? Neither of them is getting away with anything or getting to be the victim. Both of them can be judged by the audience for exactly what they did. Joan's never shown as a victim in terms of her lie, as if it was something she was forced into by society. On the contrary, it's shown to be completely something she does because it lines up with what she wants.
  11. Yeah, I notice when Andy asked about how everyone else changed their drinking Dorinda immediately says how she's not like Ramona who drinks SO MUCH EVERY NIGHT BLAH BLAH BLAH. Now it's all about how it's an accusation to be mean when it's just people looking at her and seeing a mean drunk. Even when asked if she thought about her drinking when she herself turn into a hosebeast over and over she says, "Of course we ALL questioned our drinking." Please.
  12. LOL! Thank you. That was the line I've been puzzling over. I didn't read the article, but "peace" used in this context in my experience is usually a dog-whistle. That said, I'd be happy if the super rich wanting to be at their country house makes rent go down here in my war zone (aka, NYC). Dorinda's final outburst was really something. I was recently reading a certain bestseller and it reminded me a of a scene where the author, as an 8-year-old, tells her alcoholic father a funny story about playing around with slips from the bank and he gets furious and starts ranting and nobody can explain to him that he's making no sense because he's got it in his head and he's drunk. Seems like Dorinda's like that all the time.
  13. I liked how Sarah admitted how badass she felt after being able to be branded without screaming or crying...because she just disassociated from shock. So much of this cult makes me think I wouldn't have been sucked in not because I'm so super smart and un-connable but because I'm just too lazy. Being expected to give these people all my money would be bad enough (bad enough to keep me out--2500 entrance fee would be enough to turn me away even if I was interested) but being expected to work all the time and get no sleep and THEN as a "game" be somebody's slave? I was a bit annoyed at first at Nippy being asked whether he felt he hadn't "protected" his wife because it makes the assumption that his role is to protect her because he's the man. I get that he was being asked that because *of course* the men's group was all about being protective. They always are. But I liked that he said no, that he didn't know it was going on and once he did he said let's gtfo so it's not like he was Mark who ran to talk it over with Keith! His wife's a grown adult who can live with her own branding mistakes. It's amazing how easy it was for people to push back on the bullshit talk once they'd reached their limit. That cult-speak only worked when people were buying into it. Once they weren't willing to feel guilty about "betraying" Lauren by "sharing the secret" whatever it all unraveled. As cults go it hadn't reached the fear-for-your-life stage yet, it seemed.
  14. Yeah, one of the things I'm really trying to look out for what they were trying to do with her because her spying story, such as it is, is so clearly not about her being really recruited as a Soviet believer--but even that's hard to see because of course that's what Elizabeth wants her to be. Elizabeth, this super strong character who tells people how things are going to be etc. It's easy to just assume they're in agreement. But it's not like they couldn't have written her being recruited like some of the other people--people that we maybe didn't see the process but once we meet them we get who they are, people who can express how they're seeing things. It just wouldn't have really been who she ever was or who she became. So ultimately it seems like they wrote it so the story's just about exactly what Philip laid out in Born Again, letting someone else decide what's best for her. She fights against Elizabeth throughout the show, trying to assert herself as her own person, and she has the upper hand a lot until she learns the secret and gets freaked out by the mugging and decides she's too messed up to try to go forward as herself. So I'm trying to be on the lookout for times when she expresses what she thinks without it being something she would have gotten straight from Tim, Elizabeth or Claudia first. And while I don't think it comes across as clearly as it could because it's really hard to put across and the actress doesn't help, I think it makes a lot more sense for the character than a story where she was suddenly actually interested in the USSR and believed it was important to spread Soviet Communism. It seems like she's engaging with the world more, but really she's cut off from the world outside rooms with Elizabeth and Claudia. Each time she stumbles into the real world, she doesn't quite know what to do.
  15. I really enjoyed the guy! Really like his take on so many international situations. And I did like the stuff about the bugs and how paranoia was just everywhere so even intelligent people couldn't be totally free of it. Did wonder if Philip ever played on one of those typical Siberian playgrounds. There's so much not explained about his story I find it hard to believe that his dad just had a job and then died and the family...whatever. I actually have no trouble believing that Paige wouldn't have read it. She's consistently uninterested in the Soviet Union as a country, it seems to me, and it's not like Elizabeth or Claudia would ever suggest she read it. I think she just imagined her commitment to be to the life her mother had then--living in the US and doing heroic things that in some unspecified way fought evil. I mean, if she didn't know what the Great Patriotic War even was, how much interest could she have been taking in Russian history, much less history her mom didn't want to acknowledge. So when she does start actually doing some research it's on what "their people" (meaning spies like Elizabeth) do while Russia itself might as well have been India or France or any other foreign country. Even the cold war didn't seem to much penetrate--her reaction to Gorbachev visiting the US was a vague "I can't believe he's here" (um, why?) and to ask if everything's over because the summit is over. So it's not even like Hans and Tuan who are working with the Soviets to advance things they want in their own country. I think the decision she made was to enter into a sort of fantasy playworld with Elizabeth that she enjoyed until it became her actual life.
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