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S01.E10: Day Twenty-Three

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Because I'm really shallow, one of the biggest reasons I hate Leah is because her manner of speaking and the way she moves her mouth irritates the hell outta me.

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All in all, I really enjoyed this show. I watched it with my niece and she seemed to like it as well. The whole experiment thing is interesting but I don't like the reasoning behind it. I've always been a sucker for the stranded-on-an-island trope, though. I liked all the girls and how diverse they were in backgrounds and personality. It made for an interesting watch. I adored Dot, though I suppose that's because I unfortunately identified with her the most. I like Leah precisely because she is rather unhinged. It makes for a great story.

As for the Twilight of Adam, I'm in. I really did not see that one coming. It's kind of giving off "Maze Runner" vibes with the whole girls vs boys in isolation thing. I don't think that it will be exactly like "Lord of the Flies" just because they're boys. 

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I have to say I really enjoyed this show and I'm excited for season 2. I do hope we get some answers. I actually thought that Gretchen's meeting Nora was completely set up, I thought when she said "he's my son" that was a lie. But who knows. I wonder where the boys island is. Were the girls and boys on the same island, just at opposite ends or did Gretchen somehow commission 2 islands? 

I felt the same way you guys all feel about the girls, I liked and disliked them all at different points. I didn't like Toni at all in the beginning but she became a favorite by the end. Fatin and Dot were awesome. 

I did get a little annoyed at Toni and Shelby when they decided to have a hookup in the woods instead of bringing back the fruit to the other girls who were literally starving to death. I also really wanted poor Martha to change out of that bloody shirt after killing the goat.

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5 hours ago, MaggieG said:

I actually thought that Gretchen's meeting Nora was completely set up, I thought when she said "he's my son" that was a lie. But who knows.

That is probably the only thing about Gretchen I'm interested in finding out. I don't know which I think it is. Do we have any idea the order in which she met the girls/their family? Maybe it is true and meeting Nora gave her the idea, or maybe everything that happened to Nora's BF was true and Gretchen just made up the bit about being the kids mom to get to Nora, or, I wouldn't put it past her to have set up her son to harm the BF to get to Nora. I wouldn't put anything past Gretchen. I think she has a one track mind and doesn't care who she destroys to prove her (false, gender doesn't determine if you are a good leader, or survivor, or just generally better person) theory. 

 

6 hours ago, MaggieG said:

I did get a little annoyed at Toni and Shelby when they decided to have a hookup in the woods instead of bringing back the fruit to the other girls who were literally starving to death.

Seriously! I can understand pigging out on some fruit first before bringing the rest back, but save the canoodling for later ladies. You're supposed to be proving you're better then men and that isn't helping lol. 

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On 1/12/2021 at 3:13 PM, Riplet68 said:

I enjoyed the show, but am not happy they didn’t answer ANYTHING!  All the “mysteries” they introduced had no resolutions. We have no idea what happened to Rachel’s hand, Martha and Norah, why Shelby is so unhinged all of a sudden.  They may have wrote themselves into a corner with Rachel’s hand. For it to be healed a significant amount of time needs to have passed. Yeah, shark attack can explain some things, but not the time elapse. 
I didn’t catch what they were talking about with “3 hours” after Leah fell in the trap.  Can anyone enlighten me?

I think they said something about all their boats being in use and it would take 3 hours to get back to the island to take care of the Leah problem. After seeing the ending, I assumed they were dumping the boys on their island.

The mysteries are a part of the fun of this show so it didn't bother me at all that so much was left open ended. I think it's because they had already blown my mind several times with the girls backstories so I felt like the deep questions of who these girls are were answered by the end of the season. The rest is just ya know, set up for the next season(s). The showrunner said she has several seasons planned out so even though it wasn't a sure thing, I think they had faith in this show and it was gonna get renewed unless it truly bombed horribly.

I don't think Gretchen was lying about the son. The prison guard mentioned the last name Klein when talking about the boy Nora wanted to see and Gretchen's last name is Klein. Unless we're thinking she bribed the guard to not let Nora in and use her last name. I don't think so though. I feel like the story with the son is Gretchen's villain origin story.

It would be funny if all these rich investors were also funding a higher power who was watching over Gretchen and her team to see how far they'll let things go as a sort of prisoner/guard experiment. That one woman she had dinner with seemed like she enjoyed playing games. So by trying to prove women should be in power, Gretchen is proving the opposite by being a horrible woman in power in the experiment within the experiment.

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9 hours ago, CloudySky said:

I don't think Gretchen was lying about the son. The prison guard mentioned the last name Klein when talking about the boy Nora wanted to see and Gretchen's last name is Klein. Unless we're thinking she bribed the guard to not let Nora in and use her last name. I don't think so though. I feel like the story with the son is Gretchen's villain origin story.

Good catch. I admittedly didn't pay as much attention to Gretchen's scene's so I missed the name thing. I had no idea that was Gretchen's last name lol. So, if that really was her son, yep, sounds very villain origin story to me too. 

9 hours ago, CloudySky said:

So by trying to prove women should be in power, Gretchen is proving the opposite by being a horrible woman in power in the experiment within the experiment.

That is the main issue I have with the whole "experiment" side of the show. I am curious to find out where the writers take it because right now, yeah, Gretchen is just proving that women can suck just as much as men if given power. I wouldn't mind if that is the take away by the end, that power is a corrupting agent to humans in general, regardless of gender.

I still can't quite understand her choice of test subjects if she's trying to prove female superiority. All of those girls have some serious issues. Did the boys she chose have similar issues? Or is the point she's trying to make that women are better at overcoming their damage in a life threatening situation? IDK, all I got out of it is that Gretchen is a quack. 

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On 1/27/2021 at 3:19 PM, Mabinogia said:

I still can't quite understand her choice of test subjects if she's trying to prove female superiority. All of those girls have some serious issues. Did the boys she chose have similar issues? Or is the point she's trying to make that women are better at overcoming their damage in a life threatening situation? IDK, all I got out of it is that Gretchen is a quack. 

Yes. Her "experiment" is completely stupid and proves nothing. What happens if the Twilight of Adam island actually does do better? Is she prepared to make her grand speech in front of her imaginary audience about how her experiment definitively proves that women are not suited to leadership and should take a back seat to let men rule forever? No? Then how can she possibly argue the opposite if the Dawn of Eve island pulls ahead? Clearly her fingers are on the scales in every way, and she'll never let the "experiment" play out fairly if it looks like it might contradict her agenda, and that will be obvious to anyone who looks at her results. Nothing about her methodology or even premise has the slightest whiff of legitimacy to it. Co-operation and leadership in our infinitely-complex, diverse society has nothing to do with what specific individuals are suited to survival on a deserted island. I find it ludicrous that so many characters are on board with this idiotic, cruel, and deeply immoral plan that serves no purpose. It takes me completely out of a show I was otherwise quite enjoying!

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I had the weirdest dream about this show last night. In it, the "experiment" was all a cover for what was really happening, which was that some rich assholes were paying Gretchen a lot of money to provide them with "girls in peril" entertainment and this was what she came up with. Obviously that doesn't fit in with the boys' island but it was a dream, it's not supposed to make sense. 

The sad thing is, I think it was my mind trying to figure out where she was getting funding for this and thinking that rich men would rather pay to watch pretty young girls struggle for survival than pay to let some nutter try to prove women should rule the world. lol

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On 1/30/2021 at 12:11 PM, Mabinogia said:

I had the weirdest dream about this show last night. In it, the "experiment" was all a cover for what was really happening, which was that some rich assholes were paying Gretchen a lot of money to provide them with "girls in peril" entertainment and this was what she came up with. Obviously that doesn't fit in with the boys' island but it was a dream, it's not supposed to make sense. 

 

Honestly, all of this being some kind of Hunger Games style livestream for rich weirdos to watch for their own amusement kind of makes more sense than Gretchen's nonsense "experiment" to prove that women are better leaders than men. 

I heard about this show via word of mouth, and for the most part I thought it was very compelling. The mysteries were intriguing and it kept me guessing (and still is) but mostly I got really invested in all of the girls and their backstories and struggles and how they came together on the island. I think my favorites were probably Dot and Fatin, but I really liked all of the girls and found them all to be really interesting well drawn characters, even when they were making terrible mistakes or were being really unlikable. Even Nora, who was not only the mole in this horror show working for Gretchen but also dragged her sister into this mess (even if she wanted to "help" her) I ended up feeling for a lot. Gretchen was clearly manipulating her grief over her poor dead almost boyfriend and her worry for her sister, to the point that I don't think that it was a coincidence that Gretchen ran into her at the jail waiting to see her son. I am guessing that she knew who Nora was and sought her out to join her experiment. I am really glad that there is a season two confirmed, because I really want to see more about what happens on the island, and how the girls are doing now that they're off the island but still stuck in this creepy experiment, I am really invested in their stories. Even Leah, who is really hard to like a lot of the time, their teenage angst feels very real and tough. The acting from the girls was all really great as well, even if its pretty clear that they're in their 20s, they sold the confusion and frustrations and wild emotional swings that comes with being a teen. They all felt so real to me, and were all so district and memorable, and its great to see so many complex teenage girls as main characters.

Also, did they deliberately send that shark after Rachel somehow? Leah was about to out Nora as the confederate, and conveniently a shark attacks Rachel? I'm sure Rachel will be thrilled with what her sister signed her up for. 

This "experiment" is clearly garbage and makes no sense, even beyond the horrific ethical violations that should get this thrown out of academic circles instantly, but that's probably on purpose. Gretchen is very obviously the bad guy here, with her son going to jail for actually killing Nora's almost boyfriend in a hazing gone wrong as her villain origin story, so I am curious to see if they are going somewhere else with this, like there are secretly other forces pulling Gretchen's strings or she is the one being experimented on or something. It really seems bizarre that no one really comments on how obviously fucked up this whole thing is, and that no matter how much they try to guilt the girls or throw money at their families, this is all basically a massive lawsuit waiting to happen, if there are not actual criminal charges filed, besides the women Gretchen met with to secure funds from, and Lihn for about a second. She is just such a massive hypocrite, going on and on about how much she wants to help women and create a better kinder society where women are in charge and patriarchy is bad, while doing so many of the same things that she says she stands against. Yeah, when I think of feminism, I think of basically kidnapping and abusing teenagers to make some nonsensical "point" about how women are naturally better leaders and build more cooperative communities. I did wonder if there was a boys control group, which we find out that there is, even if Gretchen has clearly already decided what what the end of this experiment would look like, considering their called "Dawn of Eve" and "Twilight of Adam". Considering how unethical and manipulative Gretchen is, I wouldn't be surprised if the boy island is way worse off than the girl island, like they get less food or more hazards, just so that she can "prove" how right she is. 

Its really kind of interesting that she is showing herself to actually be a lot like her son, abusing and brutalizing someone they have power over the second they get the chance, even if they themselves have experienced terrible things themselves. 

Edited by tennisgurl
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I finished the show and it was good entertainment. They could have said a little more about who is funding the experiment - finding deserted islands, convincing governments to allow them to use the island, maybe murdering pilots? The cliffhanger was a bit much since we still don't know what happened to all the girls. I am assuming Nora and Martha are dead but adding another mystery to this is a bit much. By the time the second season comes along, I will probably be uninterested. 

Nora was not only an annoying character, that actress is soooooo bad. Maybe they want to make her "different" which is silly when you want to give someone a diagnosis but don't speak about it, but the actress cannot do it at all. She comes across a very bad impersonation of Kerry Washington - who is already bad enough. It is also inconsistent with the flashbacks when she seemed to be a happy little girl, all about words and pleasing her parents, not an awkward teen who cannot speak without making weird faces.

The other actors are good except for "Gretchen" (can't remember the actress name). She seemed a little too villainous. Overacting killed it for me

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I really liked this even though it was a show about teenagers, not something I generally enjoy. I ended up liking or at least sympathizing with most of the girls. I liked Dot the most even though she was in on it in some capacity. I didn't care for Nora or her halting speech but everyone else I got to like at least a little bit. I see how Leah was off-putting with her obsession over the author but I really liked how skeptical she was. I felt some affinity with her over that. I couldn't stand Shelby at first but then felt sorry for her and ended up impressed by her. I really liked Marty and Fatin and learned to like Toni and even Rachel a little bit, too. I thought Nora was a bad actress and it took me out of the story. I hope she is dead in Season 2.

I dislike the comments about how the girls are "damaged" or not particularly good subjects for an experiment like this. I think a lot of the struggles that the girls went through are pretty much something that almost all girls experience in some way or another. I guess that makes all of us damaged? I feel like it's re-victimizing victims. They can't help being preyed on by predators or learning about how their fathers are hypocrites or trying to measure up in some way that is no way achievable. I feel like what they showed is just the reality of life for girls and women so to call them damaged is really harsh. As to not being up to the challenge, we're talking about girls who are incredibly smart (Nora), talented cellist, basketball player, diver and dancer (Fatin, Toni, Rachel, and Marty), pageant winner (Shelby). Dot took on adult responsibilities way before she should have had to. She even did something that many adults would have a hard time with. Leah was the only wild card and she was in a school for talented kids even if we didn't see her talent so much. Or was she a writer? In any case, they were all elite in some capacity or another. Talk about having to measure up to unachievable standards. For Christ's sake what more do you want from them. I feel like Gretchen, lol, arguing against not diminishing girls' capabilities.

I didn't see the shark coming. The whole time I thought it was going to be that axe. I thought it was Chekhov's axe and was nervous every time I saw it.

I didn't mind the crazy experiment part of it as much as other people seemed to. It was obviously meant to be over the top and not actually a viable experiment but rather an extreme reaction to an unfair society. I will say that if one were to do an experiment like this you would need not only a group of girls and a group of boys but a mixed group as well. In my opinion, the success of each group would depend more upon the individuals in the group rather than the genders of the groups but that's probably too rational, ha. If they wrote the boys as well as they did the girls this season I probably wouldn't hate spending time with the Twilight of Adam group. However, I am way too invested in the girls stories, so I would prefer to spend more time with them instead.

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1 hour ago, DoubleUTeeEff said:

I dislike the comments about how the girls are "damaged" or not particularly good subjects for an experiment like this. I think a lot of the struggles that the girls went through are pretty much something that almost all girls experience in some way or another. I guess that makes all of us damaged? I feel like it's re-victimizing victims.

I see what you are saying but part of why I hate that Gretchen chose them is that I feel like she is very much re-victimizing them by selecting them specifically because of they were easy prey. She exploited their weaknesses. She took someone who suffers extreme paranoia (there is no way Leah's level of paranoia is normal and healthy) and put her in the middle of a conspiracy. 

Oddly, when I think about it, I think she did Fatin and Shelby a favor by removing them from their controlling parents and allowing them a chance to explore who they want to be.  Actually, I guess, other than putting their lives in danger and fucking with their emotions and heads, the experiment helped them in a twisted way. 

The one I feel this was most bad for was Leah who is mentally unstable, Rachel who lost a hand and possibly Martha and Norah if they are indeed dead. So, back to the nope, this was a horrible thing to do to anyone, but especially vulnerable young women who deserve better than to be fucked with by some demented scientist. 

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16 hours ago, Mabinogia said:

see what you are saying but part of why I hate that Gretchen chose them is that I feel like she is very much re-victimizing them by selecting them specifically because of they were easy prey. She exploited their weaknesses. She took someone who suffers extreme paranoia (there is no way Leah's level of paranoia is normal and healthy) and put her in the middle of a conspiracy. 

That's definitely a good point about Leah. I'm not sure Gretchen saw that one coming especially since Leah figured the whole thing out. She did exploit these girls but I think she thought their "weaknesses" were things to be overcome. And a lot of the girls did overcome them on the island, for better or worse. Shelby came out of the closet, Marty faced her past, Rachel made peace with swimming or the water (unfortunately for her hand), Dot learned to step back when she was burnt out, Toni learned to chill and I'm not sure what Fatin learned. Maybe how to have real friendships with other girls?

I just feel if this were a group of boys, there wouldn't be so much questioning what makes them special and why they would be capable to be leaders or create a functioning society. Even though I guarantee all of them are victims of toxic masculinity, would anyone describe them as damaged? Or would they be impressed by their ability to overcome adversity? I mean, Marty was injured so badly that she had to learn to walk again and ended up competing with adults she was so good. I feel like girls and women get beat up by the world and then are told that makes them unable to fully contribute, not something that happens with boys so much even though boys get beat up too.

16 hours ago, Mabinogia said:

The one I feel this was most bad for was Leah who is mentally unstable, Rachel who lost a hand and possibly Martha and Norah if they are indeed dead. So, back to the nope, this was a horrible thing to do to anyone, but especially vulnerable young women who deserve better than to be fucked with by some demented scientist. 

I am 1000% in agreement that this experiment was immoral, unethical, evil and a horrible thing to do to anyone whether they are vulnerable girls, vulnerable boys, or even stable adults.

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5 hours ago, DoubleUTeeEff said:

I am 1000% in agreement that this experiment was immoral, unethical, evil and a horrible thing to do to anyone whether they are vulnerable girls, vulnerable boys, or even stable adults.

Very thoughtful post. Interesting points. It makes me more curious to see the boys island now, to see if Gretchen went with the same types. 

The girls were: victim of sexual abuse, prey for a sexual predator, an orphan who spent a good part of her teens as a caretaker to a dying father, a closeted lesbian with some serious self loathing issues, and the others who have lesser obstacles to overcome. 

Now you've got me very curious how I will react to the boys if they follow the same character paths. I honestly don't know. I do know that I would consider a teenage boy who had become obsessed with an adult who used them, a gay teen who is full of self loathing due to his overly judgy religious father and a guy who had been sexually molested and blocked it out as damaged. 

I do think the girls worked through a lot of their issues and overcame them. The best thing about the show is how these teenage girls grew stronger over the course of the show. They evolved, which not all shows are willing to do.

In a way I wouldn't have hated the "experiment" quite as much had that been Gretchen's goal, a sort of intense, life in peril therapy rather than trying to prove women are better leaders by putting a bunch of random teens on an island to fight for survival. It would still have been wrong and she's still bordering on being a psychopath or sociopath, I can never remember which one is the one that lacks empathy and sees other people at useful tools. 

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