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The Romanoffs

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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So it's about a bunch of middle-class poseurs, eh? The ones who actually sat on the throne were either perverts or morons or both. (Yes, Peter the Great was a perv.) I was hoping that someone would do a thing on the false Dmitri, the only proven imposter to sit on the throne of a major country, but I guess I'll continue to wait.

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Amazon Prime has a really good Russian series about Catherine the Great.  It would be a good intro to the Romanovs and Russian class system. 

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On ‎8‎/‎9‎/‎2018 at 3:17 PM, Notwisconsin said:

So it's about a bunch of middle-class poseurs, eh?

A show about the actual Romanovs might be interesting.  This?  I'll watch the first episode and see, but I have doubts. I get a "John from Cincinnati" vibe.

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On 8/9/2018 at 1:17 PM, Notwisconsin said:

So it's about a bunch of middle-class poseurs, eh? The ones who actually sat on the throne were either perverts or morons or both. (Yes, Peter the Great was a perv.) I was hoping that someone would do a thing on the false Dmitri, the only proven imposter to sit on the throne of a major country, but I guess I'll continue to wait.

For some reason the spelling didn’t register and I assumed it was about the actual Romanovs and got excited and now I am sad!

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I've always had a fascination with the Romanovs (I recently saw Anastasia on Broadway and 1) it was amazeballs and gorgeous and 2) it revived my interest/curiosity again about the family) so yeah, I also had a bit of excitement that got fizzled out. But I'll still watch it specifically because of some of the guest stars. 

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I watched the first one, which was beautifully photographed, but I didn't like the story or casting.

Spoiler

We were shouting at Hajar (who was from the first time she saw him was making goo-goo eyes at the wastrel Greg, who was twice her age and gross) to stay away from that loser.  Icky yuck poo. 

But the apartment was glorious.

Edited by Totale
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One episode in, and save Hajar and fam - I don’t like any of these people.  

 But WHOA was that her (Arushka?) plan all along??? The changing of the will, her nephew, “continuing the lineage?” That’s next level chess moves right there! 

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On 10/13/2018 at 6:14 PM, Totale said:

I watched the first one, which was beautifully photographed, but I didn't like the story or casting.

  Hide contents

We were shouting at Hajar (who was from the first time she saw him was making goo-goo eyes at the wastrel Greg, who was twice her age and gross) to stay away from that loser.  Icky yuck poo. 

But the apartment was glorious.

Did you really just react in disgust at Aaron Eckhart?? :o 

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12 hours ago, noveltylibrary said:

Did you really just react in disgust at Aaron Eckhart?? :o 

He's 48. The actress playing Hajar is 25.  I mean, ick.  25 year old women getting all googly-eyed at men twice their age may be 53 year old Matt Weiner's fantasy, but I'm a male older than him and it's not mine.

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I liked it, for the most part. I’m digging the Russian classical music in every episode so far, ha. I like the 8 separate vignettes concept. And I literally laughed out loud when Michael pushed his wife off and then she said “you idiot!” (although in real life I’d be freaking out more if I was her and running away screaming for my life as fast as i could. At least she had her pepper spray. 

Also, I don’t condone cheating but heck yes I would have brought Noah Wyle back into my cabin if I had been her. Especially compared to bald guy. I liked seeing him in suspenders again. 

But I could do without all the smoking! My lungs hurt just watching all these folks with their cancer sticks. 

And no, I never watched Mad Men, so I didn’t have to deal with watching all the smoking on that show.

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On 8/20/2018 at 8:48 PM, MVFrostsMyPie said:

I've always had a fascination with the Romanovs (I recently saw Anastasia on Broadway and 1) it was amazeballs and gorgeous and 2) it revived my interest/curiosity again about the family) so yeah, I also had a bit of excitement that got fizzled out. But I'll still watch it specifically because of some of the guest stars. 

The movie Anastasia is one of my favorites with great performances by Ingrid Bergman, Yul Brunner and Helen Hayes. I have the limited edition Blu-ray and it's wonderful. When I watched the first episode of The Romanovs, the formal ball on the cruise ship reminded me of the Russian Expats living In Paris in the movie who were mired in the past. It was fascinating and quite sad at the same time. And yeah, the act by the little people was just bizarre. 

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I enjoyed episode one more than I thought I would. I didn't know that Aaron Eckhart was fluent in French, so that was a nice surprise. I had a feeling he and the nurse's aid would end up together in the end. There were sparks between them from the first conversation (and I appreciated the subtlety in their growing relationship.)  Since the sky turned purple at the very end as it did when her husband passed, are we to assume the matriarch passed away that evening?  (Sorry to be describing people in general terms. I did not catch the characters' names upon first watch.)

The story was well done. I enjoyed it, and I look forward to watching the rest of the episodes. 

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I think he did his mission in France so that may be why he speaks French so well.  FTR, I don't believe he is LDS any more.

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On 10/15/2018 at 11:44 AM, suzeecat said:

That little person vignette on the cruise ship was one of the strangest things I think I have ever seen!

And I guess accurate.

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I came here looking for feedback on the third episode. Wtf was that?! I feel like I wasted 90 minutes of my time but I'm also weirdly fascinated by what I just watched so I'm not sure if that means this was a successful episode or not.

What was the deal with the little girl going into the wardrobe? Was CH's character just out of her mind? What about the director suddenly speaking fluent Russian? Did she just memorize those lines to fuck with people? She knew that woman was Russian and would be able to understand and possibly interpret for everyone. What was the deal with not tell CH's character about the bar? Why did some people pretend to not speak English around her? What was the point in any of this? How did CH's character miss all of the crew and camera equipment during the final scene? 

I love that we get classical music from Russian composers in every episode. It's my favorite part about the show. I've been lukewarm on all three episodes so far but I'm continuing to watch. The first episode was easily the best IMO. I really like the relationship between Hajar and her employer. The only thing I really enjoyed about the second episode was the aftermath of the wife surviving being pushed during the hike. That shit was comedy gold. All of the jury duty stuff was just frustrating and boring. 

I'm still intrigued by the idea of seeing an anthology series about descendants of the Romanov family but I'm not sure that this first crop of episodes has delivered the way I thought it would. That being said, I'm seeing this through to the end. I like the locations, music and actors and am giving Matthew Weiner the benefit of the doubt that the best is yet to come. 

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Uh, that third episode sucked. WTF, indeed.

Also, the director didn't actually even legit believe she was a Romanov descendent, she said she just pretended to be, to get the job. I thought the premise was at least someone in each episode legit thought they were a descendent.

Ugh, I think I'm also just annoyed there was a supernatural element. Or maybe it was "all in her head". Either way, it was all a waste of my time.

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I keep watching these expecting them to be good and then feeling duped for wasting 90 minutes.  Maybe if they were half as long the cost/benefit would be there, but currently, I'm feeling ripped off.

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I wanted to watch this because of the cast but after 40 minutes of watching just about everyone be rude, racist, or both I was ready to give up. Then it just got worse when Greg decided to try to guilt trip Hajar out of accepting Anushka's apartment. His temper tantrum about "that apartment is mine!" made me roll my eyes. No, it isn't. It's Anushka's apartment and she is allowed to do whatever she wants with it. And then he slept with Hajar to get her to tell Anushka she couldn't accept the apartment? DUDE.

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On 10/17/2018 at 10:30 PM, tvmom said:

Since the sky turned purple at the very end as it did when her husband passed, are we to assume the matriarch passed away that evening?

Good catch. I didn’t notice that but will go back and check that detail out. Still, even without seeing that sky I also felt Anuska was going to bed for her final sleep knowing that the family would live on. Greg wearing the (great?) Uncle’s jacket while Hajar was inthe rocker said to me that the family was going to continue on with their heritage and traditions. 

Edited by Mindthinkr

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I am only through the first two episodes, but in both episodes by the thirty minute mark I was checking how much time was left which is never a good sign. My lord these are some awful people. Too much adultery and smoking! The smoking was ok on mad men because of the era, but seriously I don’t know a single adult who smokes cigarettes regularly. I find it annoying. I don’t know if I’m going to keep watching; these stories are not compelling enough to put up with these characters.

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On 10/19/2018 at 8:40 PM, Avaleigh said:

I came here looking for feedback on the third episode. Wtf was that?! I feel like I wasted 90 minutes of my time but I'm also weirdly fascinated by what I just watched so I'm not sure if that means this was a successful episode or not.

What was the deal with the little girl going into the wardrobe? Was CH's character just out of her mind? What about the director suddenly speaking fluent Russian? Did she just memorize those lines to fuck with people? She knew that woman was Russian and would be able to understand and possibly interpret for everyone. What was the deal with not tell CH's character about the bar? Why did some people pretend to not speak English around her? What was the point in any of this? How did CH's character miss all of the crew and camera equipment during the final scene? 

I love that we get classical music from Russian composers in every episode. It's my favorite part about the show. I've been lukewarm on all three episodes so far but I'm continuing to watch. The first episode was easily the best IMO. I really like the relationship between Hajar and her employer. The only thing I really enjoyed about the second episode was the aftermath of the wife surviving being pushed during the hike. That shit was comedy gold. All of the jury duty stuff was just frustrating and boring. 

I'm still intrigued by the idea of seeing an anthology series about descendants of the Romanov family but I'm not sure that this first crop of episodes has delivered the way I thought it would. That being said, I'm seeing this through to the end. I like the locations, music and actors and am giving Matthew Weiner the benefit of the doubt that the best is yet to come. 

I could have written this post -- I thought the exact same things you've said about each episode. This is not turning out to be at all what I thought it would be. . . . it hasn't turned me off to the point of giving up yet, but I'm definitely sitting at the "not sure" table . . . 

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Just finished the 3rd episode....WTF???  Did David Lynch direct this?  I kept thinking “this is some real Twin Peaks-level  of BS going on”. 

I liked ep 1 the best, and 2 was ok (even if I was able to predict the whole story).  But this 3rd one...I won’t even bother tho re-watch to try to make sense of it.  90 minutes of my time (and Christina Hendrick’s) wasted!

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I’m watching and I’ll probably stick out the season.

So far episode 1 was my favorite. Much like Mad Men, most of the characters were awful, but it was a compelling story.

Ep 2 was nightmarish (moreso than ep 3, for me)—quite possibly because it was more “real.” My favorite part was when the wife drove off and Cake’s version of “I Will Survive” played us off to the end.

Episode 3 was all kinds of weird. I “liked” it better than Ep 2 but I’m not usually that into the horror-ish stuff. Thankfully this was closer to Alfred Hitchcock (Under Capricorn and maybe Rebecca and Marnie) than Wes Craven, but still.

I do love that all of these are so cinematic—the budget must be crazy. And as always, the use of music is a high note (pun slightly intended). There is overall a touch of Hitchcock to these, and I’m here for that. I could do without Weiner’s obsession with adultery.

Waiting for the thread (aside from the obvious) that will tie all these people together. John Slattery HAS to return—I can’t see him limited to that minutes-long appearance on episode 2. 

Spoiler

I mean I think he does—there’s a scene in the preview that I don’t recall from any episode—but I’m curious what that will end up being like.

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3 hours ago, ivygirl said:

 

Waiting for the thread (aside from the obvious) that will tie all these people together. John Slattery HAS to return—I can’t see him limited to that minutes-long appearance on episode 2. 

  Hide contents

I mean I think he does—there’s a scene in the preview that I don’t recall from any episode—but I’m curious what that will end up being like.

I think he has to as well:

Spoiler

CH’s character was reading his book from the cruise when she was doing research in her room.  I wonder if the book will keep showing up.

 

So far, I’m thinking what we are supposed to learn is that all the people who think they are descended from the Romanovs are a-holes.  Including the director even though she later said she had just pretended.

So, third episode, my guess is it was all a set up to get the performance they wanted from CH.  They didn’t count on her having a heart attack or whatever from fear, like we think Mrs. Investment did after dinner.

Edited by TexasGal
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I'm watching the first episode right now. I can't stand people who keep wishing for the death of an older relative. Especially someone who has married into the family.

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I don't understand how Christina Hendricks gets any work at all.  Anything I've seen her in she adopts the same mannerisms she did with her Mad Men/Joan character. She has no range at all.  It's just a Joan in a more modern costume.

I assumed, after she witnessed the ghostly girl, that the CH character was the descendent of the Romanovs. 

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7 hours ago, TexasGal said:

Christina Hendricks discusses episode 3 (obviously, some spoilers):

Geez, could they have at least titled the article differently?!? 

I’ve seen the ep, so I wasn’t spoiled, but for people who haven’t... 

Thanks for putting it in the spoiler tags :)

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10 hours ago, ivygirl said:

Geez, could they have at least titled the article differently?!? 

I’ve seen the ep, so I wasn’t spoiled, but for people who haven’t... 

Thanks for putting it in the spoiler tags :)

I almost didn't, and then read the link.  That was pretty bad!

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On 10/21/2018 at 2:15 PM, ivygirl said:

I’m watching and I’ll probably stick out the season.

So far episode 1 was my favorite. Much like Mad Men, most of the characters were awful, but it was a compelling story.

Ep 2 was nightmarish (moreso than ep 3, for me)—quite possibly because it was more “real.” My favorite part was when the wife drove off and Cake’s version of “I Will Survive” played us off to the end.

Episode 3 was all kinds of weird. I “liked” it better than Ep 2 but I’m not usually that into the horror-ish stuff. Thankfully this was closer to Alfred Hitchcock (Under Capricorn and maybe Rebecca and Marnie) than Wes Craven, but still.

I do love that all of these are so cinematic—the budget must be crazy. And as always, the use of music is a high note (pun slightly intended). There is overall a touch of Hitchcock to these, and I’m here for that. I could do without Weiner’s obsession with adultery.

Waiting for the thread (aside from the obvious) that will tie all these people together. John Slattery HAS to return—I can’t see him limited to that minutes-long appearance on episode 2. 

  Hide contents

I mean I think he does—there’s a scene in the preview that I don’t recall from any episode—but I’m curious what that will end up being like.

He does return, Amanda Peete was on the View last week promoting this show and she and him have an episode, they showed a clip.  So when I saw him on the cruise epi, I was like...."cool, they're going to have crossover", and they didn't, and I was sad.  

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On 10/23/2018 at 4:11 PM, TV Diva Queen said:

Ep 2 was nightmarish (moreso than ep 3, for me)—quite possibly because it was more “real.” My favorite part was when the wife drove off and Cake’s version of “I Will Survive” played us off to the end.

The music supervision for this show is outstanding, so I was not at all surprised to note that the music supervisor is Alexandra Patsavas (Grey's Anatomy put her on the map, I guess, but her being a genius that even inspired Little Snappy to go into that part of the business kept her there).

Anyway, this may be a small "easter egg" but one that if I'm correct and it was a very obscure nod versus total coincidence was all kinds of awesome ... the first non-classical song played in Episode 2 was a REALLY CATCHY pop ditty called "Shop Vac" by Jonathan Coulton ... who created and runs the annual "JoCo Cruise" which is ... tah dah ... a "theme cruise" for, well, pop culture geeks (Little Snappy and I had been planning on going on the 2020 cruise together to celebrate respective 60/30 birthdays but she's getting married instead so there goes money and vacation time) ... anyway, Matthew Weiner is one of the guests on the 2019 cruise. 

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On 10/15/2018 at 8:26 AM, Totale said:

He's 48. The actress playing Hajar is 25.  I mean, ick.  25 year old women getting all googly-eyed at men twice their age may be 53 year old Matt Weiner's fantasy, but I'm a male older than him and it's not mine.

When all 92lbs of her gets out of bed with him, we see his saggy old tits..which made the age gap seem even worse. Ugh.

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Loved Episode 4—a very well constructed story. However, it felt like the Romanov/Romanoff angle was a little more forced here.

In the scene at lunch, I noticed that the daughter gave off some Betty Draper vibes—once they described her outlook on life, that made some sense.

I caught another little Easter egg this week—the Jeopardy! question we overhear refers to the Hoover Institution... which happens to house the archives of—ta dah!—the Romanovs. I took a class in the archives one summer and got to see some of the items. One of them was a diary. The class all gasped when we opened the diary and a pressed leaf fluttered out. Seeing something so fragile and personal, while knowing the brutal end, was so poignant.

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Just watched Ep 3. WTF was that? It made no sense. We’re they all possessed? Crazy? Was it some weird forced method acting technique? If they weren’t expecting her to die at the end how in the world was that scene going to work? All the other actors played along and played dead but what if she hadn’t dropped dead, she would have just been standing g there looking around, the scene would have been ruined? How did she not notice the cameras?  As a story it wasn’t satisfying, at least Ep 1 and 2 (while a bit boring) made sense. Ugh, why am I still watching this?

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Just watched the fourth episode. It was okay. I'm starting to lean towards the idea that this show isn't all that great. I liked that the husband's reaction was like, 'no big deal, I've known all along and this doesn't have to change anything' but most everything else was pretty boring. The Romanov connection was an afterthought and the characters were forgettable. I can't believe that Diane Lane bothered with such a nothing part. I'm assuming she'll pop up in another episode. 

John Slattery is always good and I liked the scene where he's explaining that he's constantly seeing what his life could have been. He was playing the same character from episode two, right? Both guys wrote books on the Romanovs IIRC. (I think it was the same book.)

The actors playing in the flashback scenes looked nothing like Amanda Peet and John Slattery. 

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3 hours ago, Avaleigh said:

Just watched the fourth episode. It was okay. I'm starting to lean towards the idea that this show isn't all that great. I liked that the husband's reaction was like, 'no big deal, I've known all along and this doesn't have to change anything' but most everything else was pretty boring. The Romanov connection was an afterthought and the characters were forgettable. I can't believe that Diane Lane bothered with such a nothing part. I'm assuming she'll pop up in another episode. 

John Slattery is always good and I liked the scene where he's explaining that he's constantly seeing what his life could have been. He was playing the same character from episode two, right? Both guys wrote books on the Romanovs IIRC. (I think it was the same book.)

The actors playing in the flashback scenes looked nothing like Amanda Peet and John Slattery. 

The actors looked so different, I was really wondering if that hinted at distorted memory. Oddly enough I also thought that the husband’s response was also imagined— he seemed so “shrug” about it. I guess I have to go back to rewatch to see if that still makes sense.

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10 hours ago, ivygirl said:

The actors looked so different, I was really wondering if that hinted at distorted memory. Oddly enough I also thought that the husband’s response was also imagined— he seemed so “shrug” about it. I guess I have to go back to rewatch to see if that still makes sense.

Yes, I think the scene where she confessed to her husband was just imagined.

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I had high hopes for this series considering it was from Matthew Weiner, but each of the four episodes I watched was a waste of time. I guess I won't subject myself to any more.

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I absolutely think that the scene where the husband "knew" was imagined. From what I could figure out (and I admit it was a confusing episode for me, though also one I really liked because of the familiarity of so many of the sites), the only person who ended up "knowing" was her daughter or at least as I inferred in the final scene. 

Plus, for me, that final scene was fantastic thanks to the use of Aimee Mann's "Invisible Ink" to wrap it up ... again, I worship at the shrine of music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas.

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On 10/19/2018 at 8:40 PM, Avaleigh said:

I came here looking for feedback on the third episode. Wtf was that?! I feel like I wasted 90 minutes of my time but I'm also weirdly fascinated by what I just watched so I'm not sure if that means this was a successful episode or not.

So far, I absolutely love episode 1, 2, 4 and 5.  Masterfully put together, just as Mad Men was, kudos to Mr. Weiner.  Every episode plays like a movie and has enough effort and money put into it and that it feels like one.   Look at the wardrobe, the house on episode 5 was to die for.  Someone else commented on the music, both classical and popular.

Casting for all characters on the 1st episode was perfect, as was that amazing apartment.   I have been in apartments like that in New York and Paris and they are even more splendid in person.   The aunt played the arrogant, self centered older lady to a T.  Reminded me of my grandmother and her stories of old money when she was little, and her dignity and pose, despite being broke for most of her adult life.   I looked up the actress and saw that she's been around for a while.  The actress who played Hajar was beautiful without the scarf.  Best line from the episode "even hypochondriacs get sick".

I also felt that the 3rd episode was a waste of talent.   The whole dream within a dream thing lost me.   

On 10/20/2018 at 9:09 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I wanted to watch this because of the cast but after 40 minutes of watching just about everyone be rude, racist, or both I was ready to give up. Then it just got worse when Greg decided to try to guilt trip Hajar out of accepting Anushka's apartment. His temper tantrum about "that apartment is mine!" made me roll my eyes. No, it isn't. It's Anushka's apartment and she is allowed to do whatever she wants with it. And then he slept with Hajar to get her to tell Anushka she couldn't accept the apartment? DUDE.

I think he slept with Hajar because he felt attracted to her because she was a truly interesting person.   When Hajar and her mother come back with the news of the pregnancy, he's actually relieved that he doesn't have to deal with his high maintenance girlfriend.  Girlfriend was nice looking but who needs all that drama.

True, the racism was repulsive but it's meant as a backdrop for the aunt softening up later and for opening up to Hajar and eventually feeling such a connection to her that she bequeaths her most precious possession to her. 

Edited by AmyBre
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On 10/29/2018 at 9:27 AM, TexasGal said:

Yes, I think the scene where she confessed to her husband was just imagined.

I think her husband knew but didn't care.  He seemed happy and settled into his upper middle class life and didn't need any disruptions.   I liked the dialogue at the cafeteria inside Bergdorf Goodman where a simple burger costs $23 and a coffee 12 bucks.  A friend explained that the pricing is done to keep the riff raff out.  If you can pay that much for those staples, then you are one of us and get membership.

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