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LeGrandElephant

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  1. Forgot to say my original thought after watching the finale: was I supposed to be shocked and appalled that Keith wanted to reshoot some footage with a new haircut? THAT’S what they used their finale to focus on? What was the point of that? To show that Mark sucks as a filmmaker? What a boring and pointless finale.
  2. Even so, they should have shown Mark, Bonnie, Sarah, etc, finding out about all the other horrible stuff and reacting (Sarah’s “best friend” held a teenage girl prisoner for two years because she wanted to have sex with someone other than Keith!). They also should not have taken Mark, Sarah etc at their word for everything. They show Mark ranting that “no one joins a cult” but fail to mention he has joined two of them? They show them all talking about how they joined a good organization to help people but show no rebuttals about how it wasn’t helping anyone and was just making them rich? Its sort of impressive to take such a juicy story with so much info and detail out there and tell it in such a confusing and boring way.
  3. I don’t recall seeing a trailer on Hulu - where did you see it?
  4. I am so annoyed that they haven’t mentioned any of Keith’s teenage victims - victims of rape (yes “statutory” but when the girl is 12 and the guy is in his 30s that’s not a grey area) and of long-term imprisonment (which Lauren Saltman was super involved with - what was Sarah’s reaction to that?). I get that those victims probably didn’t want to be featured on this documentary, and maybe refused to give even anonymous interviews (like the episode about “Jane” that never said who she was), but couldn’t they still do an episode showing Mark, Sarah, etc, reacting to the news of those victims? Even if they just showed them reading the NYT articles about it and talking about how appalled they were, that would be a way to bring it into this documentary. I guess they could still do that in the last episode, but even if they do, ignoring it for 8 episodes while they show endless footage of phone calls and unsafe driving (Catherine, stop holding your phone up to your face while you’re driving) still shows some pretty messed up priorities for this docuseries. And at this point, I’m not really expecting them to bring this stuff up in the last episode anyway, but even if they do I’m not so sure that’s good enough.
  5. I wonder why Netflix has them out of order!
  6. Netflix has this at the end of season 9, but the numbering here and references to the year make me think it’s supposed to go at the beginning of season 9. Which is it?
  7. On the topic of Mary Ingalls and the school for the blind, I’ve read that while the books made it sound like the family covered her tuition, in actuality the government covered most (all?) of it. I don’t recall all the details anymore but a few years ago I read the (long, dense) book “Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder” and it had a lot of interesting info about what was snd was not included in the Little House books. On topic of this episode, I too was annoyed that Dr McNulty’s addiction is so over the top and unsubtle, that the drunk husband was like a character from the Simpsons, and that Beryl wouldn’t accept the apparently free home help she’s entitled to (how many non-blind new mothers would jump at that chance?) but instead was willing to have her sister give up all her time and energy again. I thought they’d end with her accepting a home aide and Beryl also coming by to help, not with Beryl having the full home aide responsibility. And I get not wanting a stranger judging you or looking for reasons to take away your baby, but when your sister is already that judgmental and actively trying to take away your baby, maybe a stranger would actually be better. I hope they show sister Frances telling doctor turner about doctor mcnulty’s terrible episiotomy judgement.
  8. I wonder if this kind of episode will have any effect on antivax people, and if they had that in mind when writing it. IIRC the antivax movement started in 1999, meaning there could now be women who were never vaccinated as children who are approaching their time to get pregnant and have a baby. The MMR vaccine is a live virus vaccine, so I don’t know if you can get vaccinated once you’re already pregnant. Will anyone see this episode, realize their parents never vaccinated them against Rubella, and go out and get vaccinated before getting pregnant? Since Rubella is known to cause birth defects, and was apparently well known to back then, I did wonder why no one said anything when her two older children were diagnosed with Rubella during her pregnancy. Are we supposed to assume it was so early in her pregnancy that she wasn’t aware of being pregnant yet? The doctor said the midwives hadn’t missed anything, but since Val had seen her at the doctor’s office with her kids (did we see that scene in the past? I don’t recall), it seems like someone should have caught that. Though I’m not sure what they could have done about it back then. It made me grateful both for vaccines and for modern prenatal care - now they have all these 3D ultrasounds and stuff and I’m guessing, though not totally sure, that they could see a heart defect like that on the 3D fetal anomaly scan.
  9. Since movie tickets aren’t that much of a big-ticket item, I’m guessing that once someone wins the tickets they can just keep running the raffle and keep giving out more than one set of tickets. But yes, it would have still made more sense to run it like a traditional raffle. I know the daughter was being oblivious but I thought that was actually a bit harsh, since it seemed no one had tried to say it nicely to her first, and the mom had apparently been hiding all her issues and refusing to ask for help. Why not start with more nicely saying your mom is overworked and sick with her own serious medical problems, so you’ll have to either go back to the maternity home or to your own home, she can’t be taking care of you right now. And then if she still refuses, THEN get all snappy with her. The mom caused a lot of her own problems by being mean to the people who were just trying to help. She could have asked the nuns to help take care of her mother, instead of yelling at them when they tried to help. She’s lucky to live in a “welfare state” that has an “incontinence service” - amazing, they have a free government service just to come in and do laundry for old incontinent people? I don’t feel so bad for that woman being overwhelmed if she was just refusing to take advantage of all that amazing free help they seem to have.
  10. I was confused - what was the resolution with May? They’ll keep caring for her but not adopt her? They’ll be her legal guardians (is that different than adoption?) but not her parents? It cut away quickly after Esther asking them not to adopt and there was no further conversation about what they agreed or didn’t agree to. Is it still up in the air or is it settled? I thought they all really botched the meeting with May and Esther. They should have had a conversation beforehand about her being shy and speaking English. The mother shouldn’t have gotten so intense so quickly and they all should have sat down and had a picnic until she became comfortable, not ran away the second she was shy. I blame the adoption worker, who should have done a better job preparing all the parents for that. If it had gone better maybe she would have signed the papers and asked if they’d send her photos and updates and let her visit again in the future. I know open adoptions weren’t standard back then but the Turners are unusually progressive and open and kind, and Esther is already depending on their goodwill by begging them not to adopt even though she won’t even be in the country or able to care for May and knows she would probably lose in court. The better solution is to have them legally adopt but depend on their goodwill to stay in touch. (And it would be nice if they could figure out a way for May and maybe the other kids too to have Chinese lessons, but that is asking a lot especially in that era.) They could have recapped the backstory more. Do I remember a scene in a past season where an orphanage worker says May is always waiting by the door for her mother, who keeps coming back and then dumping her again? And they cut out a scene talking about how Angela doesn’t know she’s adopted too?! What a terrible cut. Did I miss a scene, this episode or the previous one, showing Lucille and Cyril being in a fight? That came out of nowhere for me. I’m pregnant now and I couldn’t handle the storyline about the dying baby. Once they knew it was rubella and he’d definitely die, I fast forwarded the rest of that plot. Too much for me.
  11. I agree, Sarah casually mentions that she didn’t realize the brand had those initials until she had showed it to “one of her slaves” but they don’t say how many “slaves” she had, how she pressured/recruited/treated them, how bad their collateral was and how much of it she passed up the chain and what she thought that was being used for, etc. I can totally see why a DA wouldn’t charge her with anything. Morally, judging her is more complicated because it sounds like she DID do some pretty bad stuff, but then she changed her mind and she did a lot of work and took a big personal reputation hit and some big personal risks in trying to fix it.
  12. I'm so curious about this! So was the idea that they'd be seen in a naughty sexual way, or that they'd be seen and it would just be totally blasé acceptable, like seeing the shorts under someone's tennis skirt when it flies up during a game? If the latter, then it sounds far more practical than the short skirts I wore in the late 90s and early 2000s!
  13. I think the "collateral" makes that not so clear cut. I'm sure there must be BDSM clubs where everyone really is consenting, but this case is different. If someone says they were branded and became a sex slave of their own free will but the person who did it to them is holding blackmail material over their head, can you really say it was done of their own free will? Also I'm pretty sure there are laws against slavery even if the person in question "agrees" to be a slave. You can't legally sign away certain rights even if you choose to sign a contract saying so. But, in the end, it seems like a lot of what they were convicted of were financial and procedural crimes (financial fraud, immigration fraud, identity theft, etc) - charges that aren't directly based on the creepy sexual "not against their will" stuff. Yeah, I think she is guilty of illegal things for that, though to a lesser extent (e.g. it sounded like she quit before any of her slaves actually got branded, and maybe she can claim that she never intended to actually use the blackmail material and stupidly didn't believe anyone above her would either - when she asked for her collateral back it sure seemed like she didn't get what the point of it was). But, it's not uncommon for prosecutors to go after the "big fish" and not prosecute the ones who did lower level crimes and are willing to cooperate as witnesses. This reminds me a lot of prosecuting a mob boss (who carefully avoided getting his hands dirty where anyone could see) and the few top kingpins - the DA is going to be perfectly happy not to charge some low level flunky who came to them with evidence, even if they are also technically guilty of crimes. We saw Sarah asking everyone to submit evidence of illegal activity that they witnessed *or took part in*, and none of them seemed to be very worried they'd be prosecuted. They know they're needed as witnesses against the big fish.
  14. India’s text seemed to be asking Catherine to visit - why wouldn’t Catherine jump at the opportunity to visit and talk to her in person?
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