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David T. Cole

Enlightened

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I wonder what the early days of Levi and Amy's relationship were like—and why the hell he can't quit her.

Some people really get hooked on that up and down of a relationship. They mistake it for passion when really it's just co-dependent manipulation on both sides.

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That was truly the most unlikeable she's been so far, I don't think there was a single redeeming moment for her except for giving those children the presents at the very end. And even then I was waiting for her to screw that up.   

 

Her mother continues to be cold. Denying Amy the car she barely seems to use when hers won't work, or not even offering to drive her to work, instead making her wait in the pouring rain at the bus stop, was pretty bitchy. She really doesn't seem to like Amy very much. I think she wants her the hell out of her house.

 

I didn't blame her mother one bit, because her reason was perfectly valid: Amy wasn't insured to drive her car.  Hell I wouldn't let her use my bicycle - she might plow it into a Mercedes while ogling an injustice or something.  There was no reason Amy couldn't leave earlier and take the bus, or buy insurance for that matter.  And I can imagine that her mother does want her out of the house.  I'd want her out of the house too.  She's a fascinating character but she'd be a nightmare of a roommate.  The kind of roommate who would use up all your expensive shampoo and then lecture you for being mad at them when there are homeless people who can't even wash their hair.

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I can imagine that her mother does want her out of the house. I'd want her out of the house too. She's a fascinating character but she'd be a nightmare of a roommate. The kind of roommate who would use up all your expensive shampoo and then lecture you for being mad at them when there are homeless people who can't even wash their hair.

There's an "Everything Else TV" thread called TV Characters You Love… That You Would Hate in Real Life. For me, that's Amy Jellicoe. In fact, I wouldn't want to spend 5 minutes with any of these people—but they're great fun to watch.

Edited by editorgrrl
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The kind of roommate who would use up all your expensive shampoo and then lecture you for being mad at them when there are homeless people who can't even wash their hair.

YES. I have had that roommate and man, it's tough to take. They mean SO well but they are SO irritating. 

I have a hard time with Amy's mom but then I try to think of the shit Amy probably put her through when she was a go go party hard corporate sleeze. I'm sure she wasn't any easier to be around and I'm betting her mother came in for a good bit of scorn from Amy in her old life. Helen seems to be in a perpetual flinch around Amy and she obviously doesn't trust her. 

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On the one hand I felt sorry for Amy because she thought Sandy was a friend, and on the other hand if Amy didn't buy into all this intrusive fixing-other-people b.s. she wouldn't have wanted Sandy for a friend.  (And I just now realized how ironic the show's title is, which must have been deliberate.  I'm as dense as Amy.  Damn.)  Poor Krista looked like a trapped animal when Amy was yammering on about the yoga, but Amy must see that look on a lot of faces so she probably doesn't recognize it for what it is, she thinks it's a normal interested expression.

 

How her mother hasn't clubbed her senseless with a gardening trowel yet is a mystery.  If I came home to a Sandy, I'd be reaching for the pepper spray.

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Ok, I have to say that Amy grabbed my soul with this one.  For all the crazy that she still seems to be, her not neglecting Tyler for lunch, even when he gave her a pass, was just perfect.  Good for her. 

 

The dynamic of the nerd area (is that what everyone is calling it?) reminds me of my very first job coming out of a vocational computer school in 1981.  It was just like that.  So much so I went to check how old Mike White was to see if we were similar ages to fit that time frame, but alas, I am about 8 years older.  Anyway, that brought back some memories.

 

Too bad she couldn't do the homeless shelter job, now there would be a group of people her new outlook on life might be accepted.

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Too bad she couldn't do the homeless shelter job, now there would be a group of people her new outlook on life might be accepted.

You know I thought this too initially but on rewatch I'm more inclined to think that being around people who are very invested and deeply caring about their work might have been a harder fit for Amy than it appears. As someone who is still pretty superficial and thoughtless she might do more harm than good. Though it might have been a nice reality check and made her a less superficial person. 

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Add me to those perplexed by the reaction to Amy. I just read the IMdB boards on this show. Granted, the troll factor there is generally high - but there was a uniformly unsympathetic view of her character. It was as if the comments were a press release from the fictional Abaddonn higher-ups. Perhaps it is my contempt for appointed authority which allows me to side with Amy and my contempt for her employer trumps being squicked-out by her loose-cannonism.

 

She does show signs of borderline-personality disorder. But imagine the impact on a child of growing up in a house where the father committed suicide. The voiceovers are so tender and poignant. She literally asks herself if she is an agent of positive change or a creator of chaos. It might strike some as generic naval-gazing, but we should all have such a facile and automatic reflectiveness. She TRIES to be good but knows she is flawed - and even notes in her VO how the road to hell is paved.

Edited by Gumby
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You know, that's a great point. It probably would not have been a good idea to let her loose amongst people who are already having a rough time. At least her co-workers can get away from her. She's more suited for fundraising or something like that.

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Ooh - I hope that's not a spoiler.

 

I forget which episode, but Mom runs into a woman she has not seen in decades, and eendures several minutes of talk about and pictures of the woman's successful daughter and the grandkids. Finally, Helen alludes to a major building project their husbands had had in the works: "Can I ask you why [your husband] pulled out of that deal?". The woman says it was so long ago she doesn't remember.

 

Later Helen has flashbacks: Christmas - where the sisters appear to have a loving and happy relationship with Dad. Another of on of the girls coming into Helen's rosegarden and telling her, "Mom .... there's something wrong with Dad....".

 

She goes over and over her conversation with him where she asks, "Oh, I am sure it's not as bad as all that. Aw. What is the worst thing that could happen, really. The very worst thing..."

 

So not only did the family lose the Man of the House while young, it was they who actually found his body in the garage. That is pretty much the very worst thing that can happen (to a wife and girls). Which is why, I believe, White had her repeat the phrase at another point in the episode.

Edited by Gumby

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I couldn't stand Sandy either - which is exactly what was intended. I like we were given one false lead after as to her deepest character. I think she is actually "worse" than Amy. Amy shows herself to be self-centered, but because of some mental disorder, and with redeeming qualities and occasional self-awareness. Sandy, I felt, had healthy self-esteem and confidence which ultimately proven unjustified. That is a quality I find more off-putting than Amy's annoying chaos-causing.

 

I love how complex and true these characters are. Has not everyone here known a Sandy. 

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I didn't blame her mother one bit, because her reason was perfectly valid: Amy wasn't insured to drive her car.

Me three. But I did keep wondering when she'd tell Mom, "OK - so just DRIVE me there, then!".

 

Again, her mom's an enigma, and on the cold side - but she did find her husband in the garage while her daughters were home. I imagine she must have a kind of PTSD or something.

 

BTW - interesting that the book Helen was half done reading was about how religion treats gays!

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Among her challenges might be ADHD, so she knew that sitting at a computer 8 hours a day would kill her. She had managed to remain there for 15 years, and in fact advance because I imagine there was some human interaction. Outwardly, she is "crazy" after a break with reality - and that the exile of demotion had led her to hate her now-persecutors. I believe that instead, she had escaped Stockholm Syndrome and that it is the "normal" people who have the problem. It reminds me of this beautiful, beautiful ad: Genius.

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Non-episode threads are full of posts about any & all aired episodes.

Speaking of the girls finding their dad in the garage, I read that Amy's sister Bethany originally had a storyline in season 2, but Mike White had to write her out when HBO reduced the order from 10 episodes to 8. I can only imagine what kind of relationship Amy & Bethany had!

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I love Mike White so much, and love everything I've seen him in. Do you know what kind of personal troubles he was having while writing this series? It would probably explain the melancholia of his character.

 

I was referring to the breakdown he had several years earlier that he attributed to the inspiration for the show and the main character.  He lost all control when confronted with yet another artistic feud with a corporate type.   He wound up losing it in a phone call and made the female executive on the other end cry to the point of sobbing.

 

He hated what hollywood had made him become and took time off for meditation and reappraisal of his life.  He came back with a similar attitude toward life as the main character and put these new attitudes into her development and that of this series. 

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It's always been odd to me how much we value lying as a society. I'm not saying it's a bad thing - a world where everyone was honest at all times would probably end in a nuclear ball of fire - but it's still weird that we can value truth and lies at the same time, and almost equally.

 

THAT is what I love about the character thank you for spelling it out for me.  She is AUTHENTIC.  Not pleasing, not nice or polite but honest.  It is refreshing to see such honesty in a society where we all lead such buttoned down "...don't say this in this group or that in the other." for fear that we might embarrass ourselves or make someone else uncomfortable.

 

That is the critque I think the writer is making.  She shows the "half-life" that everyone else in the show  is leading and that we are too, held back afraid to just be themselves.

 

I also think the extreme blowback that she seems to instill in many people is EQUALLY interesting and says more about them than it does about her.  She is threatening to people in large part because of her honesty.  She has moved outside the unspoken playing field and it scares the heck out of people.

Edited by CheersEnthusiast
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CheersEnthusiast, I had no idea about that! I found this 2011 Vulture interview with Mike White:

Do you see yourself at all in Laura Dern’s character, Amy Gillicone?

 

I see myself as someone who’s made a lot of bad decisions. The last show I did [the 2004 short-lived Fox comedy Cracking Up], I kind of had, I guess we'll call it a nervous breakdown. I was like, “Fuck you all” and then basically shut down the show. And then out of it I started reading these kinds of Buddhist-self-help books. And that's kind of what Amy has at the beginning of the season. I like the idea of someone who is real and not a saint, but has these moments of clarity and insight. Because I think that's true in life. People kind of stumble their way through life a lot of times. But then you have these moments where you want to be more aware and try to not make the some mistakes.

 

According to a 2011 New York Times profile

[A]fter a dispute over test screenings, White sent an angry, late-night e-blast to Fox executives, complaining about the handling of the show. To his surprise, he wasn’t fired, but soon afterward, while writing a script, he experienced a full-blown panic attack.… The next thing he knew, he was being checked into Aurora Las Encinas, a psychiatric hospital. “And I’m like, look, I’m not crazy! I’m stressed out! So, I run away—I literally run back to my car. And I check my phone, and there are, like, 10 messages from work.… All these people who had been making my life a living hell were weeping and saying, ‘Just don’t worry about the show, just get the help you need!’ ” Within three days, the show, by chance called “Cracking Up,” was canceled.

 

“In a way it was kind of Buddhist,” he says of the breakdown. “It was the worst thing that could have happened. I embarrassed myself in front of all these important people, I proved myself to not be strong enough to figure this out. I felt weak and lost, like a screw-up, and at the same time, coming out of it, I felt like I’d been given a huge gift.”

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From the interview in New Republic: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/111959/can-mike-white-change-television-tk

 

 

 

White’s own nervous breakdown came in 2004. He was working on a Fox show called—in a stroke of poetic irony—“Cracking Up,” about an aspiring psychologist who moves into a wealthy family’s house when he is hired as a therapist for their son. The network was in the midst of transitioning from the wilder, subversive days of “Married with Children” to a line-up designed to retain the 20 million viewers who were tuning in for “American Idol.” Every day was a power struggle between White and the network. “They kept trying to turn [my show] into something else,” he said—a wholesome family comedy, whereas his own vision was a bit darker and weirder. He was stressed all the time; he had panic attacks.

 

And then he found out that Fox had tested the pilot against a later episode, and the pilot—more in line with White’s vision for the show—had tested better. But the network, as White tells it, hid the results from him. “I got my hands on this thing and I went crazy,” he recalled. “I felt like they’d made my life hellish under the guise that I was the kooky artist who didn’t know what people wanted.” So he wrote a fax and CC’d all the top network executives involved in the show. You’re liars, he told them. You don’t know what you’re doing. “I was like, you failed!” he said. “You should fire yourselves!”

The fall-out only heightened his anxiety. He heard that he had made the network president cry. Then he had a panic attack so intense he thought he was dying. So he called his father, who encouraged him to get psychiatric help. “Next thing I knew, I was being checked into a real mental health facility, with people shuffling down the hallways,” White said. He jumped into his car and fled. Within days his show was cancelled, and White was left reeling from the suddenness of it, struggling to make sense of what had happened. “The single-mindedness of feeling like my self-worth was wrapped up in the perception of success or failure kind of just spun me out,” he said. “At that point,” he added, “I was like, how could I get so psychologically bad over a failed Fox sitcom?” He started doing yoga and reading Buddhist self-help books. He became a vegan and taught himself to meditate. And the idea for “Enlightened” was born.

 

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I thought the point of the episode had much more to do with friendship and relationships.  The way they can seem one way to you at times and actually be another. The effects of letting jealousy run rampant and the nobility of letting such low, petty things go--thinking the best of your friends and giving them the benefit of the doubt.     

 

The point of Sandy's drawing in the book, in my mind, is to enable the writer to demonstrate how she actually thinks and feels about the people in her life, including Amy.  She draws beautiful things with the names of people in her life because she thinks so well of them.  Perhaps she butts in because she sees the good in people and what they're capable of? 

 

Something else which is interesting is this: had Amy sent the text then Sandy would never have finished drawing the flower.  Everything which both of them took away from a friendly, needed experience would have been ruined.  Why was this preserved?  Because Amy was actually able to recognize and let go of one of the crazy reactions she has which take her over about half the time and wind up ruining the good impact she would truly like to have on people and events.

 

As for Helen's reaction to Sandy.  Well, in my opinion, Helen does her best to wall herself up from life and from interactions with other people.  Amy says as much when she says that "we can't all just be happy with flowers," or the like.  To me it's good to see Helen shaken up and to be upset about someone intruding.  Helen lives within walls that she's built from her own fear.  Further, Helen doesn't like anyone intruding into the reasons and problems behind her reactions to life, but she is perfectly willing to turn the spotlight on Amy's difficulties, as she does when discussing the nature of her friendships.  

 

Interestingly, however, Helen leaves flowers for Amy while she does this.  I think the writer is pointing toward a question again, asking us "Okay what do the flowers that Sandy draws and Helen leaves mean?"   

Edited by CheersEnthusiast
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Well said. Your Amy reminds me of the man in his ad whose tag-line is, "IS HE MAD -or is everyone else".  I thought I had already posted it, but I guess not. 

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Five takes on being alone. Amy has a nightmare and calls Levi for comfort. Tyler stays late with Amy to help her wade through a pile of data, and he lets his feelings show. Dougie celebrates his promotion with a night at a bar, and Amy convinces Harper to join them. Helen gives a frank answer to one of Amy's questions. Seeking a resolution, Amy goes back to Levi's.

 

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Helen gets lost in the past when she recalls her deceased husband and runs into an old friend at the grocery store whose husband used to work with him. Meanwhile, Levi vents about Helen's meddling in his failed marriage to Amy when he drops off a photo album.

 

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Wow, I don't know what to say.  This episode was all kinds of dark. 

 

It was also all kinds of extremes.  The opening scene with the flowers (gorgeous cinematography) and the birds singing, and then the car pulling up, how jarring was that.

 

The flashbacks of partying or gardening, her choices for the weekend, more extremes.

 

The flashback to the hiking trip where they are happy, to the sad motel room and her just sitting their quiet and crying.  Utter sadness. 

 

The old couple, the young couple, what they were, what they could be.

This episode was a roller coaster of emotion.

 

Ouch, that really hurt.

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Ok, I wasn't thrilled with this episode.  I don't know why, except that I feel that it might have hit a little too close to home.

 

The one point I did appreciate is to remember that mothers are kids too.  It's only been recently that I have come to grips with that little fact, and it's pretty powerful.

 

As much as I didn't like Amy throughout the episode, I appreciated the last scene with the kids.  At first when I saw her shopping, I was like, you are so stupid Amy, your friend Krista will not appreciate this gesture.  But no, it was for those kids who just lost their Mom.  That was a bit of a switch and tug.

 

Do NOT like the dude that is the boss.  At all.

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After convincing Levi to make a life change, Amy gives a presentation at Abaddonn that management laughs off, but she then uses a computer password that Tyler discovered to start the process of taking down the company.

 

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Amy, eager to expose Abaddonn's unethical practices, turns to an investigative reporter for help after she hacks into and prints off executives' e-mails.

 

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Loneliness and Partnership.

 

Amy's somewhat obtuse nature when it comes to understanding other people comes out most strongly with Tyler in the car.  The direction is excellent, showing Tyler's trembling hand and good acting as well communicates a deep, lonely pain.  Amy's babbling and her "concerns" seem silly then vain while we're watching Tyler.  Amy just has a block where she cannot truly connect with other people.  THAT is behind her loneliness.

 

Then we have Amy with her willingness to use manipulative means to get what she wants, contrasted with her desire to do "good" in the world.  "I'm not like whoring her out am I?"  She says with a smile and a laugh, as if just saying the words absolves her somehow.  She finally does the right thing when confronted with Dougies behavior at the night club.

 

Dougie makes me a little sick to my stomach.  He's stuck at a perpetual age of 13 and can't help himself, but he still makes me somewhat ill.

 

I don't fully understand or buy Amy's view of the whole affair at the end of this episode.  I wonder is the viewer meant to understand here?  Or is that we're meant to see Amy unable to resolve the true difficulty and she simply runs to the default setting she took on in therapy?    

Edited by CheersEnthusiast
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Everyone is crazy.

 

There's just loud crazy (Amy and her borderline issues) and quiet crazy (Abaddon, Krista, the HR manager).  With Amy we find her unable to truthfully deal with her decisions regarding Dougie and her attempts to manipulate him almost bordering on delusion.  Instead the entire problem is reduced to his lewd behavior when there were two sides to the story.  

 

Abaddon is crazy.  We see HR handling one issue of decency regarding it's employees--sexual misconduct--with a thorough investigation and a good deal of time and resources spent.  At the same time it's spying in a completely indecent way with its employees by putting them under an oppressive system of surveillance and harrassment resulting in a great deal of turnover and worker dissatisfaction.  But, "It's just business."  Abaddon is at war against itself and a hypocrite in its morality.  The workers go along typing in the information which harms their fellow workers out of a quiet desperation that keeps the whole crazy thing moving forward.     

 

Speaking of "quiet desperation", Krista lies to Amy directly to her face.  When Amy confronts her about it Krista claims an inability to deal with Amy and then starts calling Amy crazy.  

 

I wonder.  I mean that's the stock answer right?  Amy's the crazy one?  But consider the contrast the writer puts forward: last episode Amy manipulated Dougie by pandering to his lust.  She can't really deal with the morality of this and Amy denies she's done anything wrong in a repressed, almost delusional way and Dougie's sexual harrassment becomes the "real" problem.  This episode Krista lies to Amy (manipulates her) to keep her quiet and when confronted with this she starts labelling Amy as being the problem.  Krista, just like Amy, cannot directly confront her own negative behavior and must turn it completely into Amy's problem.  The truth is they're both reconciling their behavior in similar ways--both by being hypocritical.  The only difference is that one person "rocks the boat" and the other is happy to manipulate and evade to buy their life of "quiet desperation".

 

Krista and Abaddon have similar styles when it comes to addressing conflict.  Their style may produce a more quiet atmosphere but it comes at the price of producing a great deal of denial, hypocrisy, indecent and irrational behavior.  A crazy bargain when you think about it, but it's a bargain that everyone makes so that makes it okay....right?            

 

But in the end the story does not truly deal with ANY of the hypocrisy critically.  With the image of Amy wildly waving the protest sign it leaves off with a scene of affirmation.  It's almost as if the writer is saying "Yeah everyone's crazy, life's crazy...ain't it wonderful?"     

Edited by CheersEnthusiast
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Ooooofffff.  This episode is like a punch to the stomach.

 

"What is the worst thing that can happen?"  Fortunately, most of us don't have to face the answer to such a question.  Helen has had to do just that.  And really it's just so horrible she really can't deal with it.  She still spends her days haunted by it.

 

"But Helen that was 20 years ago."  Not for Helen.  For Helen it's still fresh with her, the pain of losing her husband.  

 

And it keeps her from risk and it keeps her from living in the way that trauma can.  And really none of us have an answer for that, for finding life again after such horrible trauma.  

 

Don't forget there are people out there who've had to deal with such horrible things.  Maybe they may watch this episode and not feel so alone in their grief.  The writer makes no point with the story, presents no affirmation or meaning.  In the end he does as we all must and simply present the scene and: "till their grief is fled and gone, we do sit by them and moan."  (On Another's Sorrow, William Blake).

Edited by CheersEnthusiast
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Amy certainly can "switch" very quickly and she does so here but not without cause.  The scene in the conference room really is the "volta" for the entire episode and really for Amy's entire character.

 

The mendacity of Krista and Damon are brought to the fore and then put in conflict with Amy's character.  Rather than allowing Amy to make her presentation out of kindness or even compassion it's revealed Damon just did so to make Amy an object of ridicule.  Krista pretends to be kind to Amy, but the look of resentment and contempt on her face at the conference table as Amy begins her presentation is unmistakable.  At least Krista's friend Janice is more honest about her disrespect for Amy and it makes me like her approach more than Damon's and Krista's.  At least we know she isn't going to stick her knife in from the back, metaphorically speaking, Janice makes it known to Amy that she doesn't like her and will simply stick the knife in from the front.

 

The things said about Amy after her speech are merciless.  There is a certain disgust that I share with Amy when it comes to mendacity, especially the sort which masquerades as if it comes from the heart.  Of course this falseness is often seen as an incredibly useful tactic in this day and age where you don't actually have to have qualities of character like courage, grace, love, etc; you just need to play the "polite" part.  It enforces itself with ridicule of the type seen here.  It's refined in junior highs and high schools across the country, as Amy herself points out and is often strangely encouraged these days in many settings which are otherwise deemed "professional".    

 

Everyone in the conference room with the exception of Amy and Janice (with the exception of her ironic speech on "CleanMeds"), remind me of Brother Man and Sister Woman from "A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", but now freed even from the restraints of pleasing Big Daddy.  

 

Amy's response to the whole affair is to metaphorically "burn it all down".  I understand the hurt and the pain the character is feeling, but the knowing decision she makes to hack e-mail addresses is--as we've come to expect from Amy--a glaring overreaction.  But it only makes her character more interesting!  

 

What purportedly began as a "peaceful and loving" attempt to alert the company to ways they're harming people has now become a full blown, no holds barred war of destruction.  She tells herself that she's really doing it all for good and against an evil company when really she's doing it because people whom she thought were her colleages or friends treated her abominably in a conference room.  But such distinctions are often difficult for her, as are categories.  She projects and splits and pivots is now one person, one attitude, now another.  Other people, other objects also are now one thing to her then suddenly the opposite either horrible or wonderful but nowhere in between.  The company=the boardroom for her somehow and she carries that tempting, but false approximation forward into her new campaign.

 

The combination of completely positive and completely destructive aspects of Amy which White manages to combine in the character are enthralling.  Here she is striding down the hall in her yellow skirt completely human, compassionate and loving now suddenly pouring gasoline down the hallway.  Chilling, truly frightening because we sense she is truly capable of ANYTHING including running over whatever or whomever would get in the way of a vaguely reasoned but intensely felt "purpose". 

Edited by CheersEnthusiast
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It doesn't seem like this is even possible but I think Dougie might have been the only person in the episode who wasn't using someone.  (I don't count Amy since she volunteered to be used in order to manipulate someone.)  Tyler was using the yoga girl to get closer to Amy by helping her, Amy was using pretty much everyone, and the yoga girl was planning to use Dougie since the main thing about him that interested her was his position in the company. 

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For me it's someone who ignores the social rules vs. someone who follows them, and the person who follows them is always going to lose that battle.  We aren't supposed to say, "helping me out once does not make me your indentured servant so get the hell away from me you crazy bitch."  We make excuses.  We soften the blow.  We evade.  Amy does not follow any rules except the rules she makes up in her own head, and she feels free to call out other people for breaking her rules, but she doesn't bother to even learn anyone else's, let alone follow them. 

 

The company's spying-on-workers program is nothing new, it's just made more efficient with the use of current technology.  A million years ago when I worked in a factory before college we were expected to produce x amount per day, and when anyone produced more than x the bar was raised to that level, and so on and so on.  Fall under the x amount too often and you were out.  Raise the bar often enough and you might make it to supervisor.  I'm pretty sure that a lot of places of employment work like this, either figuratively or literally.

 

As for Amy - I thought she finally had a breakthrough when she told the girl she'd be an idiot to date Dougie but no, she wasn't actually aware that this advice would have consequences.  So it wasn't "my ambitions be damned, I'm going to do the right thing," it was more like "I'm going to do the right thing and continue using this girl to deflect Dougie's not-unreasonable request that I actually do some work.  What could possibly go wrong?"

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I had a lot of distractions watching this and it was too depressing to watch again, so -- did he ever say what was the worst that can happen?  Like, the worst was he'd lose his job or they'd lose the house?  Or was that question unanswered?  Not that I expect the answer to be something where you'd think "oh well then sure, suicide was inevitable" but I just wonder.  And I don't think it was wrong of her to ask, because sometimes that question can in fact ground a person who's in a panic spiral.  Once you name the worst that can happen, you can maybe start to come up with a plan to cope with it. 

 

Anyway nice writeup CheersEnthusiast, I never have those kinds of deep insights about shows. 

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For me it's someone who ignores the social rules vs. someone who follows them, and the person who follows them is always going to lose that battle.  We aren't supposed to say, "helping me out once does not make me your indentured servant so get the hell away from me you crazy bitch."  We make excuses.  We soften the blow.  We evade.  Amy does not follow any rules except the rules she makes up in her own head, and she feels free to call out other people for breaking her rules, but she doesn't bother to even learn anyone else's, let alone follow them. 

 

First, thank you for answering my post.  I think that's the great thing about this show is it brings up issues like this and these issues make us think.

 

Now Krista lied she did not "evade, make excuses or soften the blow"--she lied. And she did so twice to Amy.  

 

It is a "social rule" not to lie to others.  Amy knows this rule, Krista knows this rule, everyone knows this rule.  We can all be hypocritical about this rule from time to time but it doesn't mean the rule isn't there.      

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Hey thanks for replying to me, too!  :)  I think in this case it's a necessary social lie, like "I wish I could come to your Tupperware party but I already made other plans."  Because this is Amy - you can't say no to her, she'll keep coming at you and coming at you until she gets what she wants.  She will not obey the rules of social behavior and that includes accepting answers like (figuratively speaking) "I made other plans."  You either actually do what she wants you to do, or you lie and say you'll do what she wants you to do.  Those are your options. 

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I watched too many of these in a row and now I can't remember what happened specifically in which one (and what to avoid mentioning as a spoiler), so I'll just say, I have loved the soundtrack all along, but it was especially wonderful in this episode. 

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The mendacity of Krista and Damon are brought to the fore and then put in conflict with Amy's character.  Rather than allowing Amy to make her presentation out of kindness or even compassion it's revealed Damon just did so to make Amy an object of ridicule.

They were pretty awful to her but then Amy would suck the life out of anyone who treated her with kindness and compassion, and use it against them to get what she wants. Even treating her badly doesn't get rid of her, so just imagine what kind of a nightmare you'd create for yourself if you were kind and generous. She'd call at all hours of day and night to ask for "little favors," try to force you to throw a "party" for your friends who might be in the market for scented wax tarts, invite you over for dinner and while you're there would you mind assembling all this stuff she bought from IKEA, and on and on and on. Sometimes in life it is a me-or-you survival situation, and Amy is one of those situations.

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Amy receives a letter from Levi, who’s still in Hawaii and has been bristling under the constraints of Open Air, its holistic philosophy and his bodily-function obsessed roommate Tony. To cope, Levi escapes with a pair of fellow malcontents, Travis and Danielle, for a night of drugs, alcohol and debauchery at a nearby hotel. After pushing himself to his hard-partying limits, Levi decides he’s ready to return to Open Air and give rehab one more chance.

 

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Not satisfied with the lack of progress in finding evidence against Abaddonn, Amy decides to use someone close to the CEO to get to the information. Therefore Tyler is tasked with approaching the secretary of the CEO to gain access to her computer, but ends up getting closer than first intended.

 

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I figured this would go the way it did, but then one of my favorite movies is 28 Days.  (Which Diane Ladd was in!)  If this were a real place I would be completely willing to fake having a drug problem so that someone might ship me to rehab in Hawaii.  But I imagine that if you are actually trying to kick hard drugs you're too busy feeling awful to care about the lovely scenery.

 

Anyway.  I always feel so bad for all the poor lost druggy souls in these kinds of shows and movies who are hoping to turn a corner and then they don't.  They remind me of a line from Sid & Nancy: "This is just a rough patch, things will be much better once we get to America." / "We're in America.  We've been here for a week!"

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Am I the only one still doing this? Because if everyone else has dropped out of the rewatch, I think I might just stop here and pretend she never finds out that Tyler was using her, as we all know she will. (No spoilers, just years and years of TV.) Of course, by then he'll be in love with her but she won't believe it, blah blah blah, making it all the more tragic.

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Did Amy ever pay off the $25K bill to the Hawaii retreat place?  I might have a little more respect for the character (and for the premise of the show) if Amy faced the responsibilities of real life.  She mooches off her mother, yet wears a new dress to work every day -- and then she does no work.  Instead she breaks law and induces others to abet her criminal activities at great risk to themselves (she literally caused a colleague to lose his job for something she did).  Amy is a narcissist, and the cartoonishly portrayed CEO was right that she feels but does not think. 

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I just binge-watched this series on Amazon prime this past weekend and am so bummed that it will not be coming back!  I really enjoyed  the plot twists, the character development and the thought-provoking dialogue.  I really wanted to meet Amy's sister and find out why she is estranged.  So. Sad. 

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A real drug addict would not have put all the drugs in a baggie like that.. The pills would have been in pill bottles looking like a prescription and the coke would have been hidden in his stuff better etc, perhaps in  a pants pocket or inside his toiletries or inside a book jacket. Very fake if you know drug addicts, they worry about losing their stash when away from home so they often put back up in other places etc. 

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Mike White is going to be on the upcoming season of Survivor.

 

Quote

The cast, which again seems very young, includes several famous-ish people:

Mike White, the Hollywood screenwriter, actor, and creator of HBO’s Enlightened. He previously appeared on two seasons of The Amazing Race with his dad, Mel.

https://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv/2018/05/survivor-david-vs-goliath-survivor-37-theme-cast-reports/

 

Maybe he's not getting writing or acting gigs so he's doing reality TV?

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