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The Crazed Spruce

S01.E11: Pledge Allegiance

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Sarah and Paul start to make headway in their relationship; Ellen surprises everyone by coming home earlier than expected; Danny accidentally makes things harder for Corinne, leaving her with a tough choice about some of the people in her life.

 

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Ok, so I have thoughts. I'll start with the mess that is the Corrine/Danny/Adam stuff. The actors are ALL doing an amazing job with the material. Seriously, solid A+ work from all of them involved. However, the writing and the plot in general makes me uneasy. I think that the show wants me to sympathize with the main characters of Corrine and Danny in her affair. I think that we're supposed to see Sarah as the loyal best friend who is doing good. I think we're supposed to also not support Adam in his ultimatum.

However...for me personally, I am fully on Adam's side with the ultimatum, probably because we, as viewers, have more context on WHY Adam should be wary of all the Coopers. With how Sarah 100% defended Danny and made Adam the bad guy during their meet-up (she spoke very softly to Danny and was gentle with him, but she was more brash and curt with Adam, even threatening to arrest him for punching her brother) and how we know that Sarah is very, very likely lying about Josh's biological father (obviously nobody but Sarah knows this; not even we have confirmation on this, but we have a very good idea), and with how Sarah has been constantly meddling in the mess that is Corrine/Danny, despite fully knowing Corrine's feelings, Adam has every right to say "hey, I think the entire Cooper family is the problem here". Because he really isn't wrong. And I get that him offering up an ultimatum is wrong, because he can't control who Corrine sees and all that. But he also can't help how he feels.

Not that I think Adam should stay with Corrine, especially since she's still lying to him. He should absolutely ask for a divorce or at least separate from her for a while. Corrine has admitted her feelings to her best friends, which means she isn't being honest with the two people who are actually involved. Which means this is just going to keep stirring until it explodes. Adam is a great guy, from his appearances here. He deserves way, way better. And I think I'm supposed to feel bad for Corrine, and the actress is doing her VERY VERY best and I'm sure I'm more of an outlier, but...I feel very little sympathy toward her. Even knowing all the backstory of Danny, and Danny/Corrine. I wish I felt more sympathy, but I do not. The actress gets me close, but then I think about just the character and her actions and I don't feel so bad. 

Danny's not much better either. You know he won't be leaving Corrine alone, not with his subdued response to Sarah telling him to stay away from Corrine and Adam. Not to mention the look he gave Adam when they met up, as if HE was wronged and as if HE had a reason to punch Adam after Adam threatened to hit him. Buddy, you caused this upon yourself. Adam has every right to hate you. Obviously, violence isn't the answer, but Danny practically snarling at Adam's response was not the right call.

Danny's most interesting plot is him dealing with the abuse from Ellen. You see, THAT interests me WAY more than an affair storyline or a political storyline. Sure, Ellen NOW acknowledges how wrong she was, how sorry she is, and how she doesn't expect forgiveness. But she's only been out of rehab a day, and was only in rehab for...what, a couple of months at most, maybe even less? She has plenty of time to lose her cool and go back to her old ways. So good on Danny for not readily trusting her and still being affected by her return. 

Maya's storyline was actually very touching. Of course she sees the best in her mother, even though her mother clearly had more than one bad day out of 10. I mean, not having food in the house for a week at one point? Having screaming matches with her boyfriend? And god knows what else she did? It sounds like she had at least a couple of bad days, not just one. 

Thank goodness Sarah and her journalist boyfriend broke up. Fine that Paul is trying to change and all that, but I also hope that Sarah continues to remember that he still abandoned her and Danny for 18 years. Danny and Sarah have screwed up parents; no wonder both have made bad choices themselves.

Grover still remains awesome, especially with his dog, and it was nice seeing him interact with AJ.

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One thing I like about this show is how it focuses on the characters. Sarah, Danny, Corinne, Grover etc are so real. All of them have some serious issues and I feel like the writers showcase these issues well and in a realistic manner. The actors are outstaning too.

Danny's breakdown after his mother apologized to him for the abuse was heartbreaking. Kudos to Luke what a great job he did. His scars are too deep, understandably a meezly apology was gonna bring all his pain back up again. Realistic to abuse victims. Can't believe his mom thought saying sorry to him would help. Coming from her to him it felt like she was abusing him all over again. He needs to get some help by going to therapy just like Grover did. Maybe then he can have some peace and start to move on with his life. 

Aww Grover learning to love again persay. He needed to care for something after losing his wife and the grief he's lived with. Tito is the best way. Tito's not only adorable but he's a dog who completely depends on Grover, that's what Grover needs.  He's definitely starting to heal, slowly but he's getting there. Good show for showcasing what grief can do to a person when someone who was your entire life is lost. To show the healing process is important so I'm glad the writers have done that with Grover. 

Phew I'm so glad that Sarah and Weston broke up! I hated that coupling that came out of nowhere. Luckily it didn't last long. I highly hate insta love stories this one was wrecking my patience. Not that Sarah was in love with him or anything yet she jumped into a relationship with him too fast + had deep feelings for him just like that huh? Thank you for ending them pronto & respectfully writers. 

Speaking of Sarah, good for her giving Paul another chance and for giving Weston that interview. She's getting a lot of character development when it comes to her dad. I appreciate it. 

The Corrine situation is a mess. Kudos to her for realizing that Danny(for now was a none sense fling because of their past)Not that it matters too much she still cheated on Adam. I felt like him asking Corinne to stay away from Sarah was unfair. He was efinitely trying to control Corinne. It's not Sarah's fault that Corinne cheated. She's Danny's sister of course she's gonna defend him. She may not like what Danny did but he's family. Adam is just a friend/acquaintance she won't take his side over her brother's in a fight. Though Corinne and Adam staying in a marriage that's already over is not a good idea. It can turn abusive in a blink of any eye not to mention what it will do to Josh. Best to just give up. The only way I see this marriage survive is if Adam really can forgive Corinne & move on. As it stands now: he can't. I hope they separate in the next episodes.

What a rollercoaster this ep was. 

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5 hours ago, tvwatchergordis said:

The Corrine situation is a mess. Kudos to her for realizing that Danny(for now was a none sense fling because of their past)

I don't know if she actually believes that, though. She said this episode that she was in love with Danny, and loved Adam, so she acknowledges that she has feelings for Danny still...but then downplayed it with Adam, making it seem like she wasn't still in love with Danny. Sure, she may be trying her best to believe that herself, but she's already acknowledged it and then lied straight to her husband's face. Denial or not, Adam has every right not to trust her word. 

6 hours ago, tvwatchergordis said:

I felt like him asking Corinne to stay away from Sarah was unfair. He was efinitely trying to control Corinne. It's not Sarah's fault that Corinne cheated. She's Danny's sister of course she's gonna defend him. She may not like what Danny did but he's family. Adam is just a friend/acquaintance she won't take his side over her brother's in a fight. Though Corinne and Adam staying in a marriage that's already over is not a good idea. It can turn abusive in a blink of any eye not to mention what it will do to Josh. Best to just give up. The only way I see this marriage survive is if Adam really can forgive Corinne & move on. As it stands now: he can't. I hope they separate in the next episodes.

I get this completely. I know what Adam did was wrong himself, and he's hurting but can't control who Corrine sees. And he doesn't know the whole story himself. So Adam doesn't know that Sarah has been persistent in keeping Adam/Corrine together, no matter the cost. And no way Adam will ever get past this...and he honestly shouldn't, not when there's still lying happen between the two of them. 

But I still think Adam is the lesser of three "evils" (not that Danny and Corrine are villains by any means, but they're very complex people with a lot of baggage that also are hurting the people around them). What he asked for is based off of what Corrine and Danny did to him, and it sucks. Poor guy is getting his heart broken, and it'll happen again once Sarah tells the truth on the parentage of Josh. 

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I wish they would stick with the idea that Corinne and Danny were behaving like stupid teenagers, that it truly was bullshit, and regrettable, and not that they are OTP or starcossed lovers, etc. I would actually respect that as a story, because I think that's a real thing, and not some stupid TV fantasy. What she said to her students about Romeo and Juliet was hilarious to me, partly because it's a reading of the play that certainly wa not how it was viewed when I read it in high school, but I think it's actually got some merit! It would be fantastic to uproot some of these romantic tropes, and tell a story about people who fucked up because they fucked up, not that their fuck up was actually The Road To True Love.

 

For me, the lying is much worse than the actual infidelity. Adam needs a partner who is self-aware and who respects him enough to be honest. I don't think he's handling it very well, but I also get that where he's coming from, he's been blind-sided, he can probably feel that she's bullshitting him and not really acting with integrity in their conversations, and it's pushing all his buttons because of the underlying "I was a rebound" scar. It would help if they'd developed his character more before this, and the fact that they didn't kind of makes me think they were planning to discard him, and they are actually going with Corinne and Danny as OTP. I really  liked Danny's fiance, but we didn't even get that much development of Adam, or his relationship with Corinne. He was just the placeholder in the background, who smiled as he walked by and who we heard was a good dad.

 

I think it was wrong for mom to force herself on Danny. Even moreso that she did it in a public place where he would be creating a scene if he didn't give in to her and let her speak to him, and where his response was going to happen without any privacy. I have found it helpful to hear people acknowledge how much they fucked up, but the number one rule when you've been violent is not to force yourself on anyone anymore, for any reason. Any kind of rehab that didn't teach her that, is quite ridiculous. 

 

They seem to be glossing over dad abandoning them. I think it's fine for Sarah to treat him like any other asylum seeker. But the whole "bygones!" attitude toward him as a father strikes me as some serious bullshit. Though, she has the same attitude toward her abusive mother, so it's in character. I just think the show is endorsing it too strongly.

 

I don't know what to make of the idea that no food in the house for a week = 1 day out of 10 was rough. They seem to be going halfway on most of these stories. On the one hand, it's fine to show that kids sometimes love their parents no matter how badly they behave. But to then kind of make it a case of "so all is forgiven and also let's just minimize it as soon as we can" seems like a story that you'd write if you actually were looking to get off the hook for any kind of accountability. I'm not opposed to people reconciling even after major fuck ups. But the show seems to be completely confused about what makes that a healthy choice vs just a furthering of abuse.

Grover needs to get some info about how to raise a puppy. You don't leave them alone in the house with free range to destroy everything! Put them in a restricted area until they learn house rules!! 

 

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14 hours ago, Lady Calypso said:

With how Sarah 100% defended Danny and made Adam the bad guy during their meet-up (she spoke very softly to Danny and was gentle with him, but she was more brash and curt with Adam, even threatening to arrest him for punching her brother)

That's not how I read the incident with Adam, Danny and Sarah at all. Adam was the one who almost escalated things to violence on first sight and Sarah was the one that shut that down for both their own goods and she even made sure to tell Adam that she was on Corinne's side in this incident.

 

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Adam has every right to say "hey, I think the entire Cooper family is the problem here". Because he really isn't wrong. And I get that him offering up an ultimatum is wrong, because he can't control who Corrine sees and all that. But he also can't help how he feels.

I get why he feels this way, but once you're at the point where you're trying to control who your SO can meet, that's the stage where you need to let the relationship end imo.

 

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Not to mention the look he gave Adam when they met up, as if HE was wronged and as if HE had a reason to punch Adam after Adam threatened to hit him. Buddy, you caused this upon yourself. Adam has every right to hate you. Obviously, violence isn't the answer, but Danny practically snarling at Adam's response was not the right call.

Danny did bring this on himself, but he seemed very apologetic when first confronted. His tone only kind of changed when Adam threatened violence.

 

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Maya's storyline was actually very touching. Of course she sees the best in her mother, even though her mother clearly had more than one bad day out of 10. I mean, not having food in the house for a week at one point? Having screaming matches with her boyfriend? And god knows what else she did? It sounds like she had at least a couple of bad days, not just one. 

I wonder if Maya's mom is going to end up moving to Greylock or if this is the end of this particular plot?

 

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Grover still remains awesome, especially with his dog, and it was nice seeing him interact with AJ.

Grover is really becoming the standout of this show.

 

57 minutes ago, possibilities said:

I think it was wrong for mom to force herself on Danny. Even moreso that she did it in a public place where he would be creating a scene if he didn't give in to her and let her speak to him, and where his response was going to happen without any privacy. I have found it helpful to hear people acknowledge how much they fucked up, but the number one rule when you've been violent is not to force yourself on anyone anymore, for any reason. Any kind of rehab that didn't teach her that, is quite ridiculous.

This. She really shouldn't have done that in a public place. Perhaps she wanted (or was even advised in rehab to) avoid going to his motel room since she was already told not to return or use Sarah as vehicle for a meeting, but surely there was a better way.

 

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They seem to be glossing over dad abandoning them. I think it's fine for Sarah to treat him like any other asylum seeker. But the whole "bygones!" attitude toward him as a father strikes me as some serious bullshit. Though, she has the same attitude toward her abusive mother, so it's in character. I just think the show is endorsing it too strongly.

She seems to be trying to fix their relationship in private but amongst others her attitude towards him hasn't changed much so I'm not sure if she's simply keeping perspective on him or keeping things private or simply fronting to her friends.

Edited by Diapason Untuned
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3 minutes ago, Diapason Untuned said:

This. She really shouldn't have done that in a public place. Perhaps she wanted (or was even advised in rehab to) avoid going to his motel room since she was already told not to return or use Sarah as vehicle for a meeting, but surely there was a better way.

Probably not going to see her son the day after she got out of rehab was the best course of action. You know, maybe give him more than a few hours to process her return before bombarding him in public to put on an apology that seems to make HER feel better more than him.

Seems like the people at the rehab centre who let her go probably did so WAY too early. 

5 minutes ago, Diapason Untuned said:

That's not how I read the incident with Adam, Danny and Sarah at all. Adam was the one who almost escalated things to violence on first sight and Sarah was the one that shut that down for both their own goods and she even made sure to tell Adam that she was on Corinne's side in this incident.

Obviously, Sarah needed to bring the situation down before it got violent. Telling Adam that she'll have him arrested is not a good way to get the situation to calm down. And also, as much as I get that Sarah is Corrine's best friend and not Adam's, telling the guy who was wronged that she was on the cheater's side? Again, not exactly a way to de-escalate the situation. But I think Sarah has not been acknowledging fully the actions of Corrine being completely wrong. It's good for her to be supportive, but it's also good to not handhold her and imply that Corrine did nothing wrong. She keeps trying to protect Corrine, but Corrine is an adult who can handle whatever repercussions that come her way. Sarah has basically interjected herself into a situation when she should be stepping back. 

But Sarah, as a character, bothers me in general. 

10 minutes ago, Diapason Untuned said:

I wonder if Maya's mom is going to end up moving to Greylock or if this is the end of this particular plot?

She could choose to stay with her dad and then her mom can show up later, if there's a second or third season. 

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1 hour ago, Lady Calypso said:

Probably not going to see her son the day after she got out of rehab was the best course of action. You know, maybe give him more than a few hours to process her return before bombarding him in public to put on an apology that seems to make HER feel better more than him.

Seems like the people at the rehab centre who let her go probably did so WAY too early. 

This is a case where the need for drama on TV outweighs what's the right thing to do, I suppose. 

 

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Obviously, Sarah needed to bring the situation down before it got violent. Telling Adam that she'll have him arrested is not a good way to get the situation to calm down.

I didn't read that scene as Sarah threatening to have him arrested so much as if he punched someone on a public road in broad daylight he was gonna get arrested regardless.

 

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And also, as much as I get that Sarah is Corrine's best friend and not Adam's, telling the guy who was wronged that she was on the cheater's side? Again, not exactly a way to de-escalate the situation.

She said that to him after Danny had already walked away and the situation was already calmed down. 

 

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But I think Sarah has not been acknowledging fully the actions of Corrine being completely wrong. It's good for her to be supportive, but it's also good to not handhold her and imply that Corrine did nothing wrong. She keeps trying to protect Corrine, but Corrine is an adult who can handle whatever repercussions that come her way. Sarah has basically interjected herself into a situation when she should be stepping back. 

The same thing happened with AJ. This group of friends seem very ride or die for each other.

Edited by Diapason Untuned

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18 hours ago, Diapason Untuned said:

Perhaps she wanted (or was even advised in rehab to) avoid going to his motel room since she was already told not to return or use Sarah as vehicle for a meeting, but surely there was a better way.

Write him a letter and put it in the mail. He can decide to read it or not, when or wherever he wants to. 

 

I wonder if rehab let her go, or if she checked herself out against advice, because it got too uncomfortable for her to face her bullshit.

Edited by possibilities
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17 hours ago, Lady Calypso said:

I don't know if she actually believes that, though. She said this episode that she was in love with Danny, and loved Adam, so she acknowledges that she has feelings for Danny still...but then downplayed it with Adam, making it seem like she wasn't still in love with Danny. Sure, she may be trying her best to believe that herself, but she's already acknowledged it and then lied straight to her husband's face. Denial or not, Adam has every right not to trust her word. 

I get this completely. I know what Adam did was wrong himself, and he's hurting but can't control who Corrine sees. And he doesn't know the whole story himself. So Adam doesn't know that Sarah has been persistent in keeping Adam/Corrine together, no matter the cost. And no way Adam will ever get past this...and he honestly shouldn't, not when there's still lying happen between the two of them. 

But I still think Adam is the lesser of three "evils" (not that Danny and Corrine are villains by any means, but they're very complex people with a lot of baggage that also are hurting the people around them). What he asked for is based off of what Corrine and Danny did to him, and it sucks. Poor guy is getting his heart broken, and it'll happen again once Sarah tells the truth on the parentage of Josh. 

I hate what Sarah did. I for the most part like her character but her trying to play God with people's lives isn't right. I get that she was trying to protect Corinne. Yet, she made it worse for everyone by lying,  The truth is gonna come out & the fall out is gonna be ten times worse. Danny and Corinne made this mess, Adam and Josh are caught in the middle, Sarah's lies will implode all of their lives even more. SIGH. IA about Aam he's the lesser of the evils in this case and he's the one who will be hurt the most. First by Corinne cheating then by finding out Josh isn't his. 

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