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S03.E02: Hot Tub Club

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On a day off, Sam teaches Ruth how to gamble. Bash struggles to take care of an ailing Rhonda, and Arthie and Yolanda face an intimate dilemma.

Original air date: 8/9/19

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Whelp, as soon as I saw how much fun Sam and Ruth where having throughout the majority of the episode, I knew it was going to end on a sour note.  Really not sure what to think.  Obviously Sam really doesn't know how Ruth thinks or feels, so if she really doesn't think of him in that way, he needs to accept that.  At the same time, I don't expect him to just flip a switch and no longer have feelings for her anymore, so I do feel for him on that level.  Still, maybe they just need to keep things professional, if he isn't capable of having a non-romantic friendship with her.

Speaking of romance, it looks like this episode was all about the new couples learning how to communicate and fully understand how relationships work.  Arthie realizes that she needs to get out of her own head and open up to Yolanda physically, while Bash realizes that he needs to be there for Rhonda when she isn't feeling well, and can't just bounce.  Oh, Bash.  His family really did a number on him.

Definitely looks like Debbie is going to have a rough time going back and forth between Vegas and LA, and not being able to see her child for more than a day or two a week.  And, hey, that was a bearded Toby Huss as the passenger at the end, right?!  I wonder if we'll see his character again.

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Sam is not usually forthcoming about his feelings, so I was surprised that he admitted he was in love with Ruth and told her that they should give it a try.

Poor Debbie. Working moms have a hard enough time, but missing milestones like your baby's first steps is majorly guilty inducing.

Bash and Rhonda showed how little they know each other and how much they need to work on communication. I give Rhonda a little bit of a pass because you're often not thinking straight when you're sick and in pain. I'm glad she just straight up told him that she thought he was going to stay because that's how her family shows love. Bash, on the other hand, panicked because he doesn't know how to deal with sick people or Rhonda, let alone Rhonda when she's sick. Considering how fucked up his family is, it's a wonder that he turned out halfway normal.

But the person I felt most sorry for in that situation was Carmen. She got dumped by her roommate and her BFF and when Bash finally showed up, it was to ask her to take care of Rhonda, not to hang out or catch up or ask how she's been doing.

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Bash and Rhonda seem to need to learn a lot about each other. Poor Rhonda just wanted a little bit of comfort from Bash, and he bolted. And he ran to Carmen, who just wanted to catch up, and he screwed that up too. Bash has a lot of issues to overcome. I will say that it was great to see Carmen/Bash scenes again. They're still one of my favourite friendships on the show, and we got to see Carmen tell him off a bit (much deserved). Hopefully, Carmen gets more to do this season.

It's clear Bash/Rhonda won't work out (for various reasons) but hopefully, Bash can learn a little something about relationships along the way.

Arthie/Yolanda's relationship issues worked well to watch it play out onscreen. It's great to see their budding romance go through some turbulence, but nothing earth shattering.

Wow, they really went all in on Sam/Ruth this episode. It was a bit sooner than I expected, but then again, it's been building up since last season and I guess there's a lot more drama between them for the next eight episodes (such as Ruth's boyfriend and other things). I'm sure they'll get together soon enough.

Poor Debbie. The scene where she finds out her son walked for the first time was heartbreaking.

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BOS FROM HALT AND CATCH FIRE!!

Edit: Jeez, was that all they gave him? (Guy on the plane with Debbie—was a major character in four seasons of a great AMC show. Expected to see him get more material.)

That Sam/Ruth scene was brutal and I actually *don’t* know how I’m supposed to think she feels about him. 

Edited by kieyra
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14 hours ago, kieyra said:

BOS FROM HALT AND CATCH FIRE!!

Edit: Jeez, was that all they gave him? (Guy on the plane with Debbie—was a major character in four seasons of a great AMC show. Expected to see him get more material.)

Toby Huss is a busy guy; he might not have had more time for what was basically a cameo. I always love seeing him, no matter the role.

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On 8/9/2019 at 5:06 AM, thuganomics85 said:

Obviously Sam really doesn't know how Ruth thinks or feels, so if she really doesn't think of him in that way, he needs to accept that. 

I think he knows she does think about him that way and is frustrated at her unwillingness to take a shot, as he puts it. She was flirting with him and gratuitously touching him throughout their day together, and obviously they were in sync. This entitles him to nothing, of course, and she is entitled to not pursue it for any reason or no reason. But as they are close friends, I think they have the kind of standing with each other that he can at least put it on the table, explain his feelings, tell her how it feels/looks from his end as far as how she sees him, and see what she says. Ruth is definitely trying to have it both ways, and again, that is ok. She wants to enjoy her chemistry with Sam, flirt, be around him, be special, have that connection, but not actually have the romantic relationship, and she has obvious excellent reasons to resist crossing that line, the ones she told him being two - the big age difference, and her not wanting to ruin what they do have. It really is a good conflict. I liked that he got a bit defensive and challenging when she mentioned the age difference, but then the rest of the time is trying to keep fit and prove to himself he's not gone to seed, with mixed results, such as in the tennis game. And while Ruth still sees him as the hookers and blow guy, obviously the Sam we're seeing has matured somewhat and is enjoying Vegas in a different way than his previous degenerate habits. Really, the obstacles are very strong. Ruth is not wrong. If Sam were younger, I think she'd have less trouble, and if the friendship chemistry were less strong and he meant less, she might have less trouble giving it a shot because there would be less to lose.

I'm really glad they mentioned the age gap because last season I felt they wanted to ignore it, which, for a feminist show, is kind of a tiresome thing as they wouldn't ignore it with the genders reversed. Rhonda was into him, just frustrated by how he overlooked the possibility of an emotional as well as physical connection. When the girls saw his old dating video, some of them cat called about they wouldn't toss him out of bed. It seemed as if GLOW were working too hard to make him viable in amongst a lot of younger women in a way they wouldn't an older woman with a lot of younger men. So far I like it much better this season as the show is saying, yeah he's older, and it's a real thing. 

Edited by DianeDobbler
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On 8/9/2019 at 3:06 AM, thuganomics85 said:

Whelp, as soon as I saw how much fun Sam and Ruth where having throughout the majority of the episode, I knew it was going to end on a sour note.

I'm generally not a shipper on shows, so I'm really interested in them going down this road. I'd rather they be friends.

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So I guess Bash is not gay, like a lot of people here suspected. Well maybe he's Bi. That would be nice. You usually don't see Bi people on TV.

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I think Ruth was in the wrong here. Her boyfriend couldn't make it to Vegas, so she decided to use Sam as a stand-in. Which is a shitty thing to do to her boyfriend, and to Sam, knowing that Sam has feelings for her.

I also think Debbie was in the wrong to be so hostile to the flight attendant, who seemed to be sympathizing with Debbie about only getting to see her kid once a week. Debbie interpreted her comment as, "You're a bad mother," but I don't think that was a reasonable interpretation.

Debbie made a choice to spend most of her time away from her baby. Missing a milestone or two comes with the territory. She still has every right to be upset about the situation, but in usual Debbie fashion, she dealt with her anger by lashing out at a convenient target.

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I'd rather Sam and Ruth be friends. 

Sam is not a person who is built for a long term relationship.  Trying to change that for Ruth won't work out well for either of them. 

I actually am glad he said something to her when she got in the hot tub though.  He could have said it differently, but he was right, as much as Ruth was trying to deny things and tiptoe around it, they were just tempting fate with her making that move. 

Was also a nice parallel between the two of them with the gambling and flirting.  Sam has her gamble his money, so its not really "him" gambling.  Ruth flirts with him and has him a boyfriend stand in for the day, but in the end claims its not REALLY what she wants from him.  Both of them using others to justify their own true desires. 

Bash and Rhonda, I guess I am confused.  I was under the impression he is gay and the whole marriage was just a sham and not consummated.  This episodes indicates both of those assumptions seem to be wrong.  But on the other hand, was SO glad it wasn't pregnancy and she really had a migraine. 

Debbie was a bitch to the flight attendant.  But likely this was transference on Debbie's part, being frustrated over her situation and taking it out on her.  The whole "I missed my kids first steps" thing......ok its heartbreaking, but is the OLDEST cliché in the "absent mother on TV" handbook. 

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3 hours ago, Blakeston said:

Debbie made a choice to spend most of her time away from her baby. Missing a milestone or two comes with the territory. She still has every right to be upset about the situation, but in usual Debbie fashion, she dealt with her anger by lashing out at a convenient target.

I agree - even if she were a stay at home mom, that doesn't guarantee that she would have seen Randy take his first steps. It could have happened while she was in the other room or while someone was babysitting because she was at the grocery store or running errands. I get that being in a different city is guilt inducing, but she was a total bitch to the flight attendant because of her own guilt, not anything that the flight attendant said or did. Debbie made certain choices and she was totally out of line to be so rude to a woman who was just trying to be nice.

2 hours ago, DrSpaceman said:

I'd rather Sam and Ruth be friends. 

Sam is not a person who is built for a long term relationship.  Trying to change that for Ruth won't work out well for either of them. 

I don't want Sam and Ruth to be more than friends because I don't want to see one of those cliche "he's a broken man who just needed the love of a woman to turn things around." Sam has A LOT of issues and dating a woman half his age isn't going to fix that.

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Do we know the ages of Sam or Ruth?

There was a reference in season one to Sam aging terribly, so I've been assuming he's maybe 50. (Marc Maron is 55 in real life, and I think he looks pretty great for a 55-year-old, so I don't think the character is supposed to be that old).

And I would guess that Ruth is in her early thirties. That's a significant age difference, to be sure, but most people wouldn't consider it that big a deal - now or then.

On the topic of Bash's sexuality, I'm not prepared to rule out the possibility of him being gay. There are plenty of gay men in this world who were once married to women, and were able to perform sexually in their marriages. It wouldn't surprise me if he was thinking about Florian while he pounded away at Rhonda.

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1 minute ago, Blakeston said:

And I would guess that Ruth is in her early thirties. That's a significant age difference, to be sure, but most people wouldn't consider it that big a deal - now or then.

Unless the genders were flipped. Then the (older) woman would be seen as slightly pathetic or delusional, or creepy, or being taken advantage of by a young gold-digger.

(Sorry, pet peeve.)

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I am still pretty sure that Bash is gay or bisexual. Plenty of gay people have married the person of the opposite gender before, and been able to perform sexually, as long as they can make themselves get into the mood even if they arent into their partner. Bash`s family really did mess him up, no wonder he is seemingly with intimacy so much.

I really felt for Debbie realizing that she missed her kids first steps, but I thought she was a bit harsh with the flight attendent. I dont think she was trying to give her a hard time for not being with her mom, I think she was trying to emphasize with her. I mean, this is what Debbie wants to do. But Debbie isn't wrong that its usually women who are given grief for spending time at work at the cost of time with the kids, even if they have another parent right with them. 

On the one hand, if Ruth really isn't interested in Sam romantically, then she should certainly tell him that and Sam should respect it. I dont blame her for not wanting to be with him, considering they work together, and Sam has a decent amount of issues, even if he has gotten better over the last few seasons. But on the other hand, Ruth does seem like she likes him romantically, and if she isn't she sure does act like that, which seems rather unfair to Sam. I guess its good that its out in the open now. And it is probably telling that Ruth didn't really bring her boyfriend up when she was listing why she couldn't be with Sam.  

Edited by tennisgurl
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On 8/9/2019 at 4:00 PM, kieyra said:

BOS FROM HALT AND CATCH FIRE!!

Edit: Jeez, was that all they gave him? (Guy on the plane with Debbie—was a major character in four seasons of a great AMC show. Expected to see him get more material.)

There was a half-hour sitcom recently (I forget the name) about pilots and flight attendants on a commuter flight from Las Vegas. Some characters were regular commuters, so you'd see them often (well, I assume often, I only watched a few shows, and they recurred). I wouldn't be surprised if he shows up more often.

On 8/11/2019 at 11:09 AM, Blakeston said:

I also think Debbie was in the wrong to be so hostile to the flight attendant, who seemed to be sympathizing with Debbie about only getting to see her kid once a week. Debbie interpreted her comment as, "You're a bad mother," but I don't think that was a reasonable interpretation.

I don't think the flight attendant was judgmental on the way to LA, to my recollection she didn't know Debbie only saw the baby once a week until she was on the return flight. At that point, I personally heard a tone and judgment. Debbie could definitely handled it better - she is not a favorite of mine because of the way she tends to handle things. But I don't think she misinterpreted anything. I agree with Debbie that the wings were definitely a crappy present for a baby.

Edited by Clanstarling
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On 8/9/2019 at 5:06 AM, thuganomics85 said:

And, hey, that was a bearded Toby Huss as the passenger at the end, right?!  I wonder if we'll see his character again.

I hope we see him again. I mean he isn't a huge actor but he seems too good to be wasted on just a couple of lines. He was awesome in Halt and Catch Fire, plus he was a war hero, he killed fity men. Ok tha was Cotton Hill but that was probably his best character.

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I think I sort of prefer that Sam and Ruth remain friends - I like that dynamic between them better. However, I did like that Sam was completely up front with her about how he felt - he really put all his cards on the table. Not sure I could have resisted that kind of honesty myself, especially after spending a fun day together. I think Ruth is edging in that direction, but she still has serious reservations about romantic entanglement with him.

The Bash/Rhonda marriage is more interesting than I thought. I wasn't actually expecting him to consummate things at all. I still think he's gay or bi, but he seems to be making an effort despite his deficiencies. I like that they wrote him as befuddled and messed up by his upbringing rather than just thoughtless. It's nice that they've kept him as a fundamentally sweet natured person who tries to learn from his mistakes. Carmen was right to tell him off - hopefully they'll patch things up - their friendship is fun.

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On 8/10/2019 at 3:34 PM, DianeDobbler said:

I'm really glad they mentioned the age gap because last season I felt they wanted to ignore it, which, for a feminist show, is kind of a tiresome thing as they wouldn't ignore it with the genders reversed. Rhonda was into him, just frustrated by how he overlooked the possibility of an emotional as well as physical connection. When the girls saw his old dating video, some of them cat called about they wouldn't toss him out of bed. It seemed as if GLOW were working too hard to make him viable in amongst a lot of younger women in a way they wouldn't an older woman with a lot of younger men. So far I like it much better this season as the show is saying, yeah he's older, and it's a real thing. 

I realize that a potential relationship with Sam needn't be permanent, but if Ruth wants kids eventually, he won't be the person to have them with.

On 8/12/2019 at 4:51 PM, Clanstarling said:

There was a half-hour sitcom recently (I forget the name) about pilots and flight attendants on a commuter flight from Las Vegas. Some characters were regular commuters, so you'd see them often (well, I assume often, I only watched a few shows, and they recurred). I wouldn't be surprised if he shows up more often.

Was it a show about commuting between LA and Vegas? (Just kidding,) It was called LA to Vegas!  It was a fun show and worth checking out.

Edited by ItCouldBeWorse
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2 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

I realize that a potential  relationship with Sam needn't be permanent, but if Ruth wants kids eventually, he won't be the person to have them with.

Was it a show about commuting between LA and Vegas? (Just kidding,) It was called LA to Vegas!  It was a fun show and worth checking out.

Well, you can see how I'd forget the name, it clearly is obscure. 😂

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Was anyone surprised that Sam told Ruth that he loved her, instead of that he was very attracted to her/wanted to be in a relationship with her?  Does he even know what love is?

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15 minutes ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Was anyone surprised that Sam told Ruth that he loved her, instead of that he was very attracted to her/wanted to be in a relationship with her?  Does he even know what love is?

I don't remember being surprised. 

Why he wouldn't know what love is - at least what love is for him? The definition can vary from person to person.

Edited by Clanstarling
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1 hour ago, ItCouldBeWorse said:

Was anyone surprised that Sam told Ruth that he loved her, instead of that he was very attracted to her/wanted to be in a relationship with her?  Does he even know what love is?

I think in this case Sam actually does love her. He's come to value her as a person and enjoys spending time with her, as opposed to someone who is a quick lay. I was surprised to see him lay down his cynical armour and declare himself honestly though.

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Everyone keeps talking about Ruth bringing up the age difference, but to me, the more important argument she made against dating him was that he’s mean. He has been, and continues to be, kind of an asshole, and frequently specifically to Ruth. I think they are better off as friends, but honestly because Ruth deserves someone that is nicer to her like her camera man boyfriend and not some screwed up temperamental tortured artiste.

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Please can we not, with Sam and Ruth? They would be awful together, and their dysfunctional drama is something that could easily ruin this show.

I like them in scenes together, and think Alison Brie and Marc Maron have an unlikely, lively chemistry. But no romance. And please, no 'Ruth has to save Sam from himself after Vegas gives him too many outlets for his vices.'

I still think Bash is fooling himself, and being able to have and enjoy sex with a woman doesn't mean he's not gay. He's just deeper in the closet than I thought he was. He's just such a little boy, but he's trying his best.

The stuff with Arthie and Yolanda was cute. Not only is Arthie embarking on her first relationship, and first sex, but she's coming to terms with the fact she's gay as well. 

Debbie struggling with the travel and being away from her son brings it all crashing back down to earth.

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Loved how Debbie checked out the wings and was like... why are you giving my 10 month old baby a sharp, pointy object? 

I was expecting Bash and Rhonda's marriage to be rather chaste, at least initially. I appreciate that there was some equal opportunity nudity given all the unnecessary female nudity in seasons 1 and 2. I also appreciated how it was a way to check in on Keith/Cherry and Arthie/Yolanda as well. 

How many bustiers does Melrose own?

That Bashful vanity license plate. XD

Love that they decided to pair Yolanda and Arthie up. This makes their characters way more interesting.

It was nice that Sam made Ruth have some fun... without either of them falling into a gambling addiction. But I'm still not interested in seeing them date.

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I hate the change in Sam/Ruth since S2. Now everything seems to hinge on that ship versus the ensemble and I hate that so much.

On 8/9/2019 at 3:04 AM, ElectricBoogaloo said:

But the person I felt most sorry for in that situation was Carmen. She got dumped by her roommate and her BFF and when Bash finally showed up, it was to ask her to take care of Rhonda, not to hang out or catch up or ask how she's been doing.

Agreed. Honestly, I used to ship Bash and Carmen a bit. I still ship them as friends, and loved this scene. He's treated her badly and (gah).

On 8/9/2019 at 3:01 PM, Lady Calypso said:

Poor Debbie. The scene where she finds out her son walked for the first time was heartbreaking.

I agree. That broke my heart, and with lots of nuance too. I loved that nothing was simple.

On 8/9/2019 at 4:00 PM, kieyra said:

BOS FROM HALT AND CATCH FIRE!!

Edit: Jeez, was that all they gave him? (Guy on the plane with Debbie—was a major character in four seasons of a great AMC show. Expected to see him get more material.) 

BOS! "Halt and Catch Fire" is one of my favorite all-time shows ever. And he was breathtaking. So people, please check it out. Sniffle. I loved it so much. Perfect show that was better and better season to season, ending on a spectacular final season.

On 8/10/2019 at 12:34 PM, DianeDobbler said:

And while Ruth still sees him as the hookers and blow guy, obviously the Sam we're seeing has matured somewhat and is enjoying Vegas in a different way than his previous degenerate habits. Really, the obstacles are very strong. Ruth is not wrong. If Sam were younger, I think she'd have less trouble, and if the friendship chemistry were less strong and he meant less, she might have less trouble giving it a shot because there would be less to lose.

I'm really glad they mentioned the age gap because last season I felt they wanted to ignore it, which, for a feminist show, is kind of a tiresome thing as they wouldn't ignore it with the genders reversed. Rhonda was into him, just frustrated by how he overlooked the possibility of an emotional as well as physical connection. When the girls saw his old dating video, some of them cat called about they wouldn't toss him out of bed. It seemed as if GLOW were working too hard to make him viable in amongst a lot of younger women in a way they wouldn't an older woman with a lot of younger men. So far I like it much better this season as the show is saying, yeah he's older, and it's a real thing. 

Wait, but Sam has already shown he is STILL the hookers and blow guy, and he's still downing every substance he can. Him bringing Ruth into his world (in a PG way) to me doesn't excuse him, it just makes him seem like a gateway asshole.

Meanwhile, I just can't on the age issue. Here's an idea for a "feminist show" -- how about they sidestep it entirely? Why does Ruth's boyfriend have to be such a nonentity wet rag compared to Sam?

I'm so tired of it. Mark Maron is 55 and looks late 50s. Alison Brie is 37 and looks 30. Sure, it's legal. Sure, it's commonplace in media but should it be the norm? Yet it is. Yet if the ages were reversed, people would be acting like it was this huge deal. I hate everything about it and always will.

Mark Maron is a talented actor. He also looks older than his character, which, fine. But meanwhile, we already have posters talking about how weird beautiful Geena Davis looks. Society is not equal on these issues, unfortunately. Women always pay more.

On 8/11/2019 at 5:38 PM, kieyra said:

Unless the genders were flipped. Then the (older) woman would be seen as slightly pathetic or delusional, or creepy, or being taken advantage of by a young gold-digger.

(Sorry, pet peeve.)

THIS!! Here, it's supposed to be seen as subtly comforting, as if she's "changing/improving" him (I hate this trope so goddamn much) so because of his heart of gold, he's worth it. Gag me.

On 9/16/2019 at 10:32 AM, Danny Franks said:

The stuff with Arthie and Yolanda was cute. Not only is Arthie embarking on her first relationship, and first sex, but she's coming to terms with the fact she's gay as well. 

Debbie struggling with the travel and being away from her son brings it all crashing back down to earth.

Those were some of my favorite parts of the episode, and beautifully presented. Same with Debbie being both a queen bitch and yet heartbreaking over leaving her child right before his first steps.

I'm enjoying S3 but I'm still living in constant frustration at the show's palpable framing of Ruth/Sam as a thing. It's just so tired to me in every single way. And it just feels unearned. I would love this if it was a friendship. Love it. But instead I'm back two episodes in with Alison Brie doing her best to act wide puppy-dog eyes at Mark Maron and I just don't see how this does anything but harm the show's core. It is every single trope the show has tried to circumvent. Gah.

I'm still watching but I hate that I can't enjoy it the way I did in S1 when I never ever imagined Ruth would fall for Sam, and now each episode is ruined for me a bit because I just live in fear of them acting on something I find boring, cliched, and so tired plotwise. 

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