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Does My Heart Have Pain Receptors?: The Relationship Thread


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This is where we can puzzle out and wonder and everything else about how the characters deal amongst themselves.


Like: Does "John Woods" even love Molly? In the way that a many-years married man loves his wife? The same for Molly- is there a genuine love for "John"? Sure, she's haunted (figuratively and literally) by Marcus, her dead husband, but does that mean she can't love John?


Sam and Molly- one of my favorite new positive female friendships on tv. How will they move forward after this incident?


Julie and Ethan and Molly--One helped design the child and one was tasked with raising him as her child.  While we've seen that Ethan has bonded to Molly, she has seemed reluctant. Is the reluctance solely due to the 'what if' of her lost infant? Also, what part does John play in the women's  relationships, after the obvious?


Harmon Kryger and Gordon Kern--more alike than they'd ever admit or just semi-enjoying a mutually beneficial partnership for the time being?


Alan Sparks- Boss of Evil as well as Daddy of Disposable Morality. How are we supposed to actually feel about him when he can order a hit on friends, yet is like Mr. Yatsumotos's goo around the illusion of his daughter as a young girl? Are we supposed to have mixed feelings?  What are we supposed to think/feel about Anya, the ex-Mrs. Sparks? She has already said there was a rift between Alan and her before they lost Katie, so why did she just go along with the secretive stuff (before the Young Katie reveal)?


Charlie and Ethan--I think they are, next to Sam/Molly, one of the more honest friends this show has. While there is the occasional social goof (on learning Ethan had a nightmare: "Awesome!"), there is genuine concern for the kid and goofy humor ( the "dance of my people" bit in episode 3.)


There's more, like Molly/Illusion Brother-In-Law , that were sort of glided over, so feel free to talk about them here!

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This is where we can puzzle out and wonder and everything else about how the characters deal amongst themselves.


Like: Does "John Woods" even love Molly? In the way that a many-years married man loves his wife? The same for Molly- is there a genuine love for "John"? Sure, she's haunted (figuratively and literally) by Marcus, her dead husband, but does that mean she can't love John?


I know this is kind of a rhetorical question, but as the series has gone on I'm beginning to wonder this myself. Their feelings for one other seem to run hot and cold or to serve the plot. I think they do care for one another, but I don't think they're deeply in love or necessarily each other's first priority. Since Molly has become obsessed with her alien baby she has gone off numerous times, risking life and limb to get said baby with hardly a thought about John and Ethan. John allowed her to go off alone to confront Sparks, even after warning her numerous times of how dangerous her quest for the truth was. And after nearly dying at ISEA instead immediately going to see her family she runs off with Yasumoto's man to save her "baby."

John is kind of the same way. As stated before he allowed Molly to go off alone to confront Sparks and to meet Kryger despite knowing how dangerous her mission was. And if I'm remembering correctly after she returned from meeting Kryger he asked her how it went like she'd gone on a job interview. Though he did show serious concern after she sent him a virtual text to basically say goodbye, when she does come back to him after missing for several days and nearly dying, he leaves her to it, to continue her dangerous mission, so that he can look in on Ethan, even though Ethan is in good hands with Julie and Odin (though he's not so good hands, but John doesn't know this.).

I do wonder though, once all this mess is over if their marriage will last. I also wonder how they even hooked up and fell in love in the first place.

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I've mostly lurked on the forum, as I tend to have a different view of the show than most.  But I think, beyond the writing, I've never thought Goran and Halle had any romantic chemistry.  I've never been able to tell if that was intentional, though.  Because as it stands, I've thought since early on that John was more or less a rebound for Molly, and John was the one mostly invested in the relationship.  I feel like if John wanted to end the relationship, Molly just wouldn't be that broken up about it.   


One thing I've appreciated about the show was the evolution of the relationship between Ethan and Molly.  Molly struggled to accept him as family, as their child, which made complete sense to me, especially since John basically forced the issue.  And ironically, once they found out that John was not the father, John promptly lost interest in the offspring, and was even annoyed with Molly for obsessing over him. 


So you have two people with no interest in "children" that's not theirs.  John's reaction wasn't all that surprising, but it was interesting that the show went there with Molly.  I thought it was refreshing to have a woman, even one who wanted to be a mother, not be automatically maternal towards every "child-like" entity.  I don't have much issue with her obsession over alien child because it's such a tangled mess of emotional/mental manipulation from multiple parties, that the alien seemingly has her DNA, it has protected/warned her during key moments, and the nature of extraction.  Molly's coping rather well, all things considered. 


I really like Sam and Molly's friendship, and it's a shame that it's on the back burner.  I like Kryger and Gordon well enough, but I just never cared that much about their interactions, and frankly would have preferred to see more Sam in the mix.

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Enero, I wasn't posing the 'Does John love Molly' question as a rhetorical. In fact, from how the writers have had them act, I am quite serious about the question. ( As far as questions about pretend people can get serious. *g*)


I also wonder how they even hooked up and fell in love in the first place.--  YES! There have been flashbacks to Molly and the Alien!Marcus, illusionary 'What if' Dead!Marcus/Living! Marcus-baby, memories of hide-and-seek with Ethan, and other surrounding times/moments, but not how this couple fell in love enough with each other and decided to marry. I am missing why I should want this marriage to survive this MMO of a crisis. John seems to guilt or railroad a decision, unless it has to do with Molly's actual job. Molly is being bombarded with lies and information at every turn throughout this series, to date. She can't even fully trust her father to watch her son!


Molly has come down with the Lie-to-protect-you Syndrome, which I hate in otherwise smart folks. John may have been meant to be the typical Type A, Driven Scientist, but he comes off looking like a douche or the most unsavvy adult in this show, even more so than Molly, imo.


I want to see some righteous scientist-fu when it comes to Ethan, though. Julie and Charlie, hopefully, teaming up to help save Ethan ( he eventually figures out what's up inside him), then 'botnap him and go live secretly together, or something sort of predictable like that. Oh, and with Sparky, the little robot that Ethan saved from the park.


I do wonder if Yatsumoto knows about Ms. Dodds' deeds. Then I wonder if she knows what he knows.

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Julie and Charlie, hopefully, teaming up to help save Ethan ( he eventually figures out what's up inside him), then 'botnap him and go live secretly together, or something sort of predictable like that. Oh, and with Sparky, the little robot that Ethan saved from the park.


I would totally watch that spinoff.

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(Brought over from the E12 episode thread)

Maybe it's because nobody's slobbering all over him with their "you need your mommy" routine.

When he asked Molly if they were arguing about him, DH said "give him a hug!".

^I know, right? Here's a robot equivalent of an eight year old, who has an astronaut mom and knows that his dad built him in a lab. Still, he wants to try to be like people who look like him/kids and wants to fit in with his family.

Not long after Ethan was brought into his family, his mom had a 13 month space mission, Julie became a closer big sister/surrogate mom, he's having trouble interacting with kids he does get to meet, mom comes home and is acting weird. Then some woman asks dad if there is a kill-switch in his son, which has dad lunge and yell at the woman. Around the same time, he finds a dead bird and Mom looks like she thinks he killed it, then there's going to school and getting side-eyed by everyone but one little girl. Then Dad calls him a toaster. Then, as far as school goes, he is kept out more episodes than not. 

He has been used by his grandpa to make money and when he found a way to not be manipulated, he was yelled at for the entire affair and blamed for the financial losses of grandpa! So he ran away, but then got cattleprodded by scary MIB SWAT team. After all that, Ethan meets Julie's new date--in the lab. Which leads to "Odin" emotionally manipulating, in essence, an eight-year-old to eventually look like the (cutest) hardened Robot Exterminator man has had the misfortune to cobble together. He's been told lies to isolate him from babbling about what he and Odin talk about.  Molly, and John have other plates spinning and yet aren't shown with Ethan outside of transition scenes where one or the other has to leave Ethan. Julie introduced Odin into the "family" and left him around like an infinity scarf, for all the concern she showed until the last episode. Julie and Charlie couldn't actually be adults and protect Ethan, either as a child or as their life's work, by talking about "Odin". (IIRC, Charlie supposedly had info on "Odin", but Julie blew him off, as if Charlie couldn't have found anything and it was all just overprotectiveness/jealousy.)


So when Julie had the 'If you can be loved, you can love' speech, I was glad that Ethan was still a hopeful eight-year-old  and not some jaded 'botkid with no critical thinking programming.


I hope that the season ends, for Ethan, with someone unequivocally telling him that they love him while hugging him.  Kid needs a metric ton of hugs after this season, to date. Goes back to school and teacher asks the 'What did you do while you were gone?" "I had a guy plant a bomb in me and was ready to frame me for the death of many, if not all, of my family." ::crickets and dropped jaws::

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From S2E1 thread:

Nitpick - I can understand Molly having bigger fish to fry if there is indeed an alien invasion at hand, but had she given any thought to seeing or getting Ethan back?mi know she had her fantasy reality about spending time with him, but he did not inspire her escape and she didn't have one thought about him when she did get out. Hopefully this will change in future episodes.


ITA. In keeping the Bad Aliens away, she's protecting Ethan in general, but yeah.  She also refused to see the body of her other son (Marcus? Named after her first husband?). While I understand, Molly is just taking for granted that the very people she's lying for are on the up-and-up with her. I think I would try to figure out some way to check on him. Plus? I don't think anyone has told her that Ethan was double-secret kidnapped. That Molly believes that Ethan is in some lab somewhere getting deactivated, destroyed, or some other equally traumatizing thing.   


After the tough 13 + months Molly's been through, I can see where not digging into an obviously dangerous mystery would be the go to response. Yet? This is Molly "My baby!" Woods.  If she doesn't get back to that soon ( an episode or two), then I will wonder about how unreliable an narrator we have this season.

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Okay, I get that someone felt we needed to be in Molly's head in order to understand her actions/ thought processes/ whatever. Yet it super didn't work for me because the premise-- Molly has trust issues--seemed flimsy, at best.


Granted, we aren't supposed to talk about S1/Fight Club, but those of us who watched and generally enjoyed it, remember it. Wwe generally remember Molly trying to build bonds and trusting folks left, right and center for no obvious or discernable reason last season. Even the father who misused her son for bar bets, yelled at Ethan for not continuing the scam and then allowing his pregnant daughter to go off into a literal dark and stormy night to find Ethan, who had run off.


Last season she was trusting friends that kept lying to her, or who admitted to putting her in bodily danger! Assassins who tried to kill her on orders of the aforementioned "friends" ended up being running buddies with Molly for a chunk of the season. Mostly because one assassin got tired of the one ISEA bigwig barking at him ( to super-simplify things.) The Owen Yeoman shrink character was also sent to kill her and/or the Offspring, but Molly had no problems going to secluded places with people she barely knew and shouldn't have trusted. It wasn't even the tension of "is this person a real ally". It was Molly, against her better judgement throwing herself at the current plot contrivance so the story wouldn't bog down.


The biggest reason Molly is in the situation she is in this season was that she trusted Tobias and lied to Congress for him. If not for that, none of the season would track the way it did. So it was built on her trusting a pre-marriage friend.


And the preview scene of a wounded JD asking "What have you done to me?" didn't help my opinion on that.

  (Only a spoiler for a scene in the previews. If you saw the previews, you probably saw this.)Also, Carnival Molly feels she needed to be a better wife and mother?  IIRC, S1 Molly knew she was imperfect, but was working hard to make the family a real family in addition to doing a job she loved so much. The Molly/Ethan scenes were super, imo, and helped sell their characters' bond. I cannot take this late S2 retcon of Molly, even if it is supposed to be guilt and self-doubt about what happened since she came back from the mission. That the marriage of Molly and John was rocky due to Molly's actions or inactions. Yes, CarnivalPop was 'you're like everyone else on the planet', but it was from a "corrupted" source, her cheating father.


I wish the trope of telling the unconscious person the innermost thoughts/confessions/stuff they really need to be conscious to hear would stop. Julie really needs to tell Molly what she said while Molly was unconscious, but I am mostly sure that we won't get that scene, since we "just got it." Regardless of whether Molly deserves to react to it, whether Julie needs to deal with consequences Molly may feel needs to happen, the needed payoff scene, I feel, will not happen. We got Julie confessing that molly was correct, so we all just need to move on to the upcoming whatever.


At least last season, there were moments where I believed there would be cool moments of emotional payoff, not necessarily happyhappyjoyjoy, but stuff seemed to build to some payoff. This season has felt as disconnected from emotional payoff as Molly has been from Ethan and Adhu.

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At least last season, there were moments where I believed there would be cool moments of emotional payoff, not necessarily happyhappyjoyjoy, but stuff seemed to build to some payoff. This season has felt as disconnected from emotional payoff as Molly has been from Ethan and Adhu.

I was just mentioning on the episode thread how I really don't care who killed John. I think this is mostly due to the disconnect with him and the murder. Though I can appreciate how John has been mentioned and at times even discussed in almost every episode, I didn't feel a sense of devastation amongst the characters about his death (Molly was immediately thrown into the chase for the hybrids plot, Ethan's memories were erased before he could go through the full stages of grief, Julie acted as if she just didn't care, even though she was supposed to be in love with him and Tobias' was too new of a character for us to care about his grief, which he didn't have anyway) and thus I failed to care much about it.

I agree Julie should've been able to make her 'I was wrong confession' to a very conscious Molly. Though the ladies will never be BFFs at least this would of allowed for vindication on Molly's part and even the start of a tentative alliance to take down the rogue humanichs and hybrids.

Edited by Enero
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Though I can appreciate how John has been mentioned and at times even discussed in almost every episode, I didn't feel a sense of devastation amongst the characters about his death


Exactly this^. Like I said, everyone posting was disappointed we missed out on what had to have been an epic attempt by Molly to bludgeon Julie to death and beyond at John's funeral! They missed that potentially insane fight that could, if done right, equal some of the great night-time soap lady fights! But no, we have to hurry and forget Season 1 and start with Season 2, no questions answered, rightthissecond!!


Charlie dealing/ wrestling with Lucy's blackmail and how he didn't even realized that Lucy could plot that way? A quick confession and sloppy CYA at Julie's place-- movin' on!


Molly meets her grandchildren and possibly great-grandchildren? Others scared of the hybrids acknowledge they are talking about annihilating Molly's blood relatives? That would be too heavy for a summer action show that is leading to Aliens vs. Robots pew pew!! Besides, if you can think of that question, you already know how sad Molly's going to be and how angry and determined she is going to end up!


Terra seeing her grandmother take a bullet ( or however many) for her, doesn't give Terra pause in her plotting to Kill All Humans. To see Terra wrestle with  terrifying the tech that was just doing her job, just like Terra was doing. No; there may be reflection later, but she can only be a (seemingly) mustache-twirling super-villain along with Ares. Apparently when the hybrids shed their former bodies, it's not something that's weird-feeling or scary the first time or whatever. You shed hair and flesh and fluids, but you are right on schedule to maim and gunch the evil humans. Nothing else to see here.


Ethan doing more as his memories return fully, and dealing with emotions and not having painful emotions? Just have him smile at Julie and have her call him Rabbit for the nth time. There's your emotions. Why delve into the question that both seasons seemed to promise? To see what makes us human and why should we stay relevant as the major species?


Things were a bit wooden ( as it were) last season, but we felt why this group of people belonged together and would be so ride-or-die for each other.  Ethan was kidnapped, Julie did the 'napping, but was absent from a small number of episodes for no currently known reasons, Charlie's been banging the ethics drum to an empty room, Adhu ran away from the Nice Couple and basically hid even as he was dying. He only really had Molly to comfort him, as his family had to also be in hiding. ( No word on the non-aggressive mourners/ survivors, of course.)  John is dead and JD is a stranger, as Toby is turning out to be in Molly's eyes.  Unless there is some miraculous writing to bring the "family" together in order to stop/delay the bloodshed, I don't think I will be too interested in a Season 3. All that isolation that was deemed necessary has extended to me. I was willing to love the reboot, too.

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I share your frustration.  I started out very interested in the season, despite changes, and it's been downhill for a few episodes.  Even still, I was willing to go on the ride until this episode.  It wasn't that it was obvious filler.  I could even get beyond the silly attempt at retconning Molly as a bad wife/mother (season 1 clearly demonstrated that she treated Ethan more human than anybody, including John, Julie, or Charlie, and John was an ass of a husband, IMO).  I would have been perfectly fine with Molly dying, even knowing full well it wouldn't happen.  Because I don't care about anyone else on the show, and the only adult character who hasn't lied to/lied on/treated Molly shabbily is JD.  But I can't even care about that because he's a stranger. To beat a dead horse about Sam - she and Molly were supposed to be close, having known each other for well over a decade (I think they were friends before she married John).  I'm actually more annoyed that their friendship was squashed than John's death.  The show wrote season 1 John in such a way that I could see Molly divorcing him.  Or just wishful thinking on my part. 


They had a great opportunity with Lucy to further explore the Humanich storyline, and it went south.  They had a great opportunity to explore the "hybrids are as human as we are" storyline, but Adu was a non-factor for several episodes, and only came back into the mix right before they were attacked.  So while it was sad, I didn't care that much about his death, either. I think Molly's evolution could have been interesting, but they paired her with JD, she needed more of an established relationship with someone to ground her.  The isolation was so unnecessary. 

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On a more positive note, Pierce Gagnon/ Ethan has sold just about all of his big moments, imo. His incredible pain over John and Molly and uncertainty with Julie? Heart-breaking to me. That he can sell not only entitled brat, but make it freaking creepy? Good job, young sir! He and Halle have such a nice presence, you can believe they're mother and son.


Ethan/Lucy has been wonderful, spooky and yet, root-able. I wanted to have the fun dynamic of physically young older brother with the physically mature younger sister. Emotionally, this sort of seems to be the case. It is sadly lost in Lucy's (understandable) monomania and scorn for everyone else. Lucy and Ethan's good bye scene had me tear up for Ethan being told that he's always going to be an outsider in his own family ( essentially) and that Lucy was willing, through a combination of programming and hatred for her bosses & creators, to walk away from unconditional love from Ethan, who had only wanted to spend time with Lucy and feel a kinship to his last link to John. ( I am guessing about Ethan's mindset, but I would think it might be hovering around the edges.)  


Ethan and Julie and Charlie have been intriguing and wonderful, in that order. Seeing Julie try on actual parenting was delicious for me. She faced a temper tantrum and found her control a bit wanting, but she apologized for that, so I grudgingly respected that. Grace Gummer's sending heart eyes so freakin' hard at Pierce that you almost don't need visual effects to see them. Julie and Charlie's stark terror at realizing that this little bot was not only suicidal but capable of leveling the entire building they were in? Nicely done, in that the emotions were played just right. Charlie, the fun uncle and BHF, has taken some heavy real talk scenes with Ethan and done himself proud. The 'there is bad and good in every group' speech is older than dirt, no doubt, and it probably wasn't the only one spoken on TV this summer. Yet, I was invested and hoping Ethan was picking up Charlie's point.


Almost forgot: the most chilling scene of the season to date? Ethan's non-reaction to the elevator, Otis (history nerd hee!), free-falling with Julie and himself. To date, we aren't sure who was behind that and Ethan is still a viable culprit.

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