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S01.E01: Episode 1

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This episode broke my heart. The way those officers browbeat Marie and made her retract her statement was disgusting. I also hated the way the hospital staff was so cold and uncaring while they took care of her. 

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Wow. This show is incredible. That was so uncomfortable yet I could not stop watching. The hospital scene-ugh, my heart broke. “If you have suicidal thoughts, here’s a number.” Poor Marie.

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This was frustrating to watch, I knew as soon as the detectives arrived and made this girl repeat her story AGAIN where this was headed. That said they made their point about a half hour in of what was happening to this poor girl so it started to drag for me but I’m going to go to ep 2 to see if it picks up speed. 

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Wow. That was so realistic. I was raped earlier this year in the middle of the night and I remember that I was worried that I wasn't reacting the way they portray on TV (upset, crying, visibly traumatized, flinching at being touched, etc) and was actually afraid that people would doubt me because I wasn't reacting in that stereotypical way and seemed 'fine' and was more detached than anything. Fortunately I had amazing detectives (both men) and hospital staff and family so it didn't prove a problem but I could see how it might be given the wrong people. And here is this series featuring a much more vulnerable and isolated person who is having that actual problem. It broke my heart.  I am totally in on this series.

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That was brutal.  How anyone can watch this and not understand how the victim is repeatedly violated is beyond me.  No wonder rape victims were (are?) routinely disbelieved.  I do wonder if it would have happened as it did had the foster mom (Elizabeth Marvel, you weren't a good president, either!) not imposed her own unresolved feelings/hurt ego that she wasn't the first one called to call Marie's honesty into question. 

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This was so heartbreaking and infuriating to watch.

I've never been assaulted, but I would imagine it would be extremely difficult for people who have endured this in real life to watch. So many people are victimized all over again when they try to do the right thing and report.

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4 hours ago, Cheezwiz said:

This was so heartbreaking and infuriating to watch.

I've never been assaulted, but I would imagine it would be extremely difficult for people who have endured this in real life to watch. So many people are victimized all over again when they try to do the right thing and report.

I was thinking the same thing it was uncomfortable to watch as an adult who has never experienced something like that. I can't imagine how much worse it must have been for a 17 year old, going through it on her own with basically no support.

Also who knew that the actress who played Tim Allen's kid could actuallybact beyond corny one-liners. Although I guess with the number of people who have played kids of Tim Allen on tv eventually one would do something good.

Also anyone know when this story is supposed to take place. It is based on a true story but is it taking place in the time of that story. The only indication I got was Marie using a flip phone, but that could have just been because she doesn't have a lot of money.

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There were years shown on the show. I missed some of them in the second episode but went back to check as the technology moved to iPhones. Marie’s rape was in 2008 on the show and in real life.

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6 hours ago, Cheezwiz said:

This was so heartbreaking and infuriating to watch.

I've never been assaulted, but I would imagine it would be extremely difficult for people who have endured this in real life to watch. So many people are victimized all over again when they try to do the right thing and report.

I’m sure you meant for the good of possible future victims, but there is no “right” thing to do for the victim. If a victim doesn’t want to report the crime, they are not “wrong.” People are allowed to react to a trauma however they see fit, providing it’s not  illegal. 

Edited by Frisson
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I wasn't sure I was going to watch this show, but hearing about the praise of the first episode, I had to give it a shot. 

Such a hard first episode to watch, but also so very powerful. I really felt bad for what Marie had to go through, how many times she had to open herself up to people who didn't even believe her, and how she was slowly broken down bit by bit by the detectives, especially that one detective, until it came to that breaking point.

Seeing Marie's one foster mom talk to the detectives and tell them that she essentially thought that Marie was blatantly lying? Awful, awful situation all around.

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6 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

Also who knew that the actress who played Tim Allen's kid could actuallybact beyond corny one-liners. Although I guess with the number of people who have played kids of Tim Allen on tv eventually one would do something good.

All of us who watched her hold her own against Margo Martindale and Timothy Olyphant on Justified knew she could act.  She's very talented.

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2 hours ago, meep.meep said:

All of us who watched her hold her own against Margo Martindale and Timothy Olyphant on Justified knew she could act.  She's very talented.

Yeah, I was going to say who cares about that silly little show. That was just a gig. We already knew she was the real deal.

Not to downplay any assault but I feel like (just by watching and listening to accounts of others) reporting the assault means you are forced to relive the ordeal over and over again. Poked and prodded mentally and physically for information. Not knowing how to act or feel.

I remember when my mother was punched by her boyfriend. She went and reported and got a restraining order. He also continued to stalk her. The police did nothing. He actually has to do something physically to you before we step in. I know she felt so helpless. He finally went to jail because he's a scumbag and was bound to end up there anyway. But, man my heart always goes out to victims. The criminals take so much more away from you than anything physical.

I hope there aren't a bunch of think pieces about how the depiction of rape was too realistic here or it could influence others to attack. If people see something like this and think hey, I want to do that, they need serious help far beyond any tv show or movies influence.

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I actually stopped watching this episode after about 15-20 minutes because Marie's story was so heartbreaking.  That girl had no one on her side.  I picked it up in Episode 2 and I'm glad I did.  I was still watching the show at 2 in the morning because I couldn't stop.  

I'll take the rest of my comments to the appropriate thread. 

ETA:  If you want to see an alternative handling of a rape victim, watch Season 3 of the BBC show Broadchurch (also on Netflix). 

Edited by Quilt Fairy
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Another rape survivor here. I was 110% detached from the whole thing. Didn’t cry. It’s like I was hovering above my body in the days after. I was later diagnosed with PTSD and spent my late twenties mired in alcoholism. There is no one way to handle stress or tragedy. I’m glad this show is shedding light on this, and I’m horrified that this poor woman had to actually endure this. This is why I didn’t report. This is why millions of women don’t.

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ETA:  If you want to see an alternative handling of a rape victim, watch Season 3 of the BBC show Broadhurst (also on Netflix). 

I think you mean Broadchurch, and yeah that was quite interesting and really showed the difference between British rape victim response and American. It's also a really good show, all three seasons.

I've now bingewatched the entire series (Unbelievable, I mean) and it is totally worth the watch even if it gets a little real at times.  I was sorry when it ended because I didn't want to stop watching it.

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12 hours ago, Frisson said:

I’m sure you meant for the good of possible future victims

Yes, this is exactly what I meant. I can completely understand why some people simply can't go through with reporting, given how callously they're treated, and how rarely it results in conviction.

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On 9/15/2019 at 8:12 AM, Kel Varnsen said:

Also who knew that the actress who played Tim Allen's kid could actuallybact beyond corny one-liners.

OMG she is an amazing actress. She was in a season of Justified and she basically stole it from TImothy Olyphant and Margo Martindale.   And that was like five years ago. 

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15 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

I actually stopped watching this episode after about 15-20 minutes because Marie's story was so heartbreaking.  That girl had no one on her side.  

That is what really stood out for me especially in her last interview. It made me think about how if they had arrested a suspect, that suspect would be advised that they could have a lawyer present during questioning. And if the cops tried any bullshit like if you take a lie detector and are lying we will arrest you, the lawyer could point out how it is bullshit. But the actual victim had no one like that, which was super shitty.

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That was just horribly brutal to watch, poor poor Marie. Not only was she horrifically violated, but she was betrayed by the few people who are supposed to care about her, and the police who are supposed to get her justice ended up gas-lighting and browbeating her into taking back her confession. The cold hospital staff (heres a number she feel suicidal) the foster moms who told the police she must be making it because she didnt act "right", like there is some kind of rape survivor handbook on how to appropriately act to trauma, to the cops basically telling her the story that you can tell they had already settled on as the truth, how she made it up for attention, it was just so hard to sit through how many people let her down so terribly. I can totally understand why so many people dont report sexual assault. It seems like the cops were just looking for holes to poke in her story, like she was the criminal and not the victim. They made her repeat what happened to her again and again, and instead of understanding that a traumatized teenager might not get all the details right, they just looked for a reason to throw her away. 

Its a tough watch, but I was engaged the whole time. 

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On 9/14/2019 at 9:34 AM, Frisson said:

The foster moms don’t come off very well. We don’t all react the same to tragedy, and these women seemed to need the “right” reaction.  I would be devastated to know that people I thought I could trust told the police I wasn’t reliable. 

Oh...... she is a horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible woman.  She made me viscerally very angry.

If anyone believes "victims have the obligation to report", please think of and remember this show.

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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On 9/15/2019 at 10:31 AM, Frisson said:

I’m sure you meant for the good of possible future victims, but there is no “right” thing to do for the victim. If a victim doesn’t want to report the crime, they are not “wrong.” People are allowed to react to a trauma however they see fit, providing it’s not  illegal. 

This show is the perfect proof of how reporting can turn out horrible for the victims.

On 9/15/2019 at 8:44 PM, againstthewind said:

This is why I didn’t report. This is why millions of women don’t.

Exactly.

13 hours ago, Kel Varnsen said:

That is what really stood out for me especially in her last interview. It made me think about how if they had arrested a suspect, that suspect would be advised that they could have a lawyer present during questioning. And if the cops tried any bullshit like if you take a lie detector and are lying we will arrest you, the lawyer could point out how it is bullshit. But the actual victim had no one like that, which was super shitty.

It's very realistic, also.

Something funny I just learned about Kaitlyn Devers - she was the girl scout on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" who had her first period at Larry's house!

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
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13 hours ago, Ms Blue Jay said:

Oh...... she is a horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible, horrible woman.  She made me viscerally very angry.

And that she seemed to decide on her own to get involved in exactly this way. Like it's not even like she was talking to the police and said something that hinted to the police she had doubts and he asked her about. She decided on her own that Marie wasn't following the script in her head for how she wanted her to act and then CALLED THE POLICE to accuse her of lying and derail the entire investigation. Just put a stop to it because she's that arrogant about her personal musings about an event that happened to somebody else. And then still claimed she hadn't told the police she was lying as if that's not exactly what she did. 

Edited by sistermagpie
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On 9/15/2019 at 7:26 PM, Quilt Fairy said:

I actually stopped watching this episode after about 15-20 minutes because Marie's story was so heartbreaking.  That girl had no one on her side.  I picked it up in Episode 2 and I'm glad I did.  I was still watching the show at 2 in the morning because I couldn't stop.  

I tried but couldn't handle Episode 1.  I'm going to try what you did and see if I can pick up in Ep 2. But not today.

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On 9/17/2019 at 12:51 PM, sistermagpie said:

And that she seemed to decide on her own to get involved in exactly this way. Like it's not even like she was talking to the police and said something that hinted to the police she had doubts and he asked her about. She decided on her own that Marie wasn't following the script in her head for how she wanted her to act and then CALLED THE POLICE to accuse her of lying and derail the entire investigation. Just put a stop to it because she's that arrogant about her personal musings about an event that happened to somebody else. And then still claimed she hadn't told the police she was lying as if that's not exactly what she did. 

I wanted to throat-punch that woman so hard. 

Edited to add: and Patrick Star, too. 

Edited by MagnaMater
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On 9/15/2019 at 1:49 PM, meep.meep said:

All of us who watched her hold her own against Margo Martindale and Timothy Olyphant on Justified knew she could act.  She's very talented.

I never watched that, but she was also excellent in “ Short Term 12” with Brie Larson.

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During the 2nd interview (I think, I lost count), I was like... and this is why women don't report when this happens. I viscerally despise those detectives so, so much. My heart is just breaking for Marie. I just finished episode 2, but I had to come and share my grief for poor Marie here.

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On 9/14/2019 at 9:34 AM, Frisson said:

The foster moms don’t come off very well. We don’t all react the same to tragedy, and these women seemed to need the “right” reaction.  I would be devastated to know that people I thought I could trust told the police I wasn’t reliable. 

I read an article about them and one still blames her for it. She says Marie needs to take responsibility for how she acted in the days following and that's not how one should react. WHAT THE HELL? She didn't learn a damn thing.

I'm familiar with the story because j watch a lot of true crime but this still  was difficult to watch. That questioning by the detectives infuriated me. 

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On 9/16/2019 at 11:21 PM, tennisgurl said:

the foster moms who told the police she must be making it because she didnt act "right", like there is some kind of rape survivor handbook on how to appropriately act to trauma, to the cops basically telling her the story that you can tell they had already settled on as the truth, how she made it up for attention, it was just so hard to sit through how many people let her down so terribly.

The first foster mom (who was present in the interrogation) told that she had been raped by her boyfried, so she didn't need to read any "manual" but compared her own behavior with that of Marie and made a conclusion that her own way to react was only possible.

Unfortunately, that is a very common way to behave: if somebody is f.ex. childless and somebody else that she has no child either, the reaction is often to beliveve that the other has just the same feelings as oneself - instead of listening to the other in open mind.

But this step mom seemed also be a person who wanted to "help" others in order to feel herself a good person but who had no capabilities how to treat teenagers like Marie and could only criticize and condemn her according her (limited) experiences and values.  

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I was riveted but so upset by this. I've had experience with this firsthand, without being more forthcoming, and the girl's treatment from the cops to her own friends and foster family broke my heart.

Just... I was so upset I could almost not continue. I will anyway, because I'm invested and want to see her vindicated, but Jesus H. Crackers. What horrible people.

And worse, they "meant well" and I'm sure on some level even believed that. So grotesque. 

The only good thing I took away from this was great drama and vindication for Kaitlyn Dever, who I've loved since "Justified" (I hear she was on sitcoms or something, but talk to the hand, she already had my vote since "Justified" S2).

I'll try to keep watching. This episode makes it hard, honestly, but I'm invested, so... 

Edited by paramitch

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On 9/17/2019 at 11:51 AM, sistermagpie said:

And that she seemed to decide on her own to get involved in exactly this way. Like it's not even like she was talking to the police and said something that hinted to the police she had doubts and he asked her about. She decided on her own that Marie wasn't following the script in her head for how she wanted her to act and then CALLED THE POLICE to accuse her of lying and derail the entire investigation. Just put a stop to it because she's that arrogant about her personal musings about an event that happened to somebody else. And then still claimed she hadn't told the police she was lying as if that's not exactly what she did. 

Right? I listened to the podcast from This American Life after watching the series. Both foster mothers are interviewed. It really came off like Peggy (Judith) had some issues with Marie to begin with, because she jumped to conclude that Marie was lying. The so-called "evidence" of Marie "acting weird" was incredibly weak.  I mean how are you supposed to act? Being detached seems to me like a classic coping mechanism after trauma. The other foster mother at least had the grace to admit they may have fed each other's suspicions. As of the time of the podcast, with all the facts known, Peggy was still complaining about Marie's weird behavior.  Unbelievable (pun intended).

I suppose I should allow that Peggy lived with Marie for a couple of years, and I only know her from a few quotes on a podcast, and a fictionalized version of her life. So maybe there's background for Peggy making those conclusions.  But if she really, truly had doubts, she should have tried to talk to Marie. NOT gone to the police. That was simply officious.

In the podcast, it is stated clearly that her phone call is what caused them to stop investigating the rape.

Edited by peggy06
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11 hours ago, peggy06 said:

I listened to the podcast from This American Life after watching the series. Both foster mothers are interviewed. It really came off like Peggy (Judith) had some issues with Marie to begin with, because she jumped to conclude that Marie was lying. The so-called "evidence" of Marie "acting weird" was incredibly weak.  I mean how are you supposed to act? Being detached seems to me like a classic coping mechanism after trauma. The other foster mother at least had the grace to admit they may have fed each other's suspicions. As of the time of the podcast, with all the facts known, Peggy was still complaining about Marie's weird behavior.  Unbelievable (pun intended).

I suppose I should allow that Peggy lived with Marie for a couple of years, and I only know her from a few quotes on a podcast, and a fictionalized version of her life. So maybe there's background for Peggy making those conclusions.  But if she really, truly had doubts, she should have tried to talk to Marie. NOT gone to the police. That was simply officious.

In the podcast, it is stated clearly that her phone call is what caused them to stop investigating the rape.

It wasn't just the foster mom who talk and hinted to the police. The other foster mom who had been shopping new sheets with Marie, called Judith and said that she acted wrongly, i.e. she wasn't outwardly depressed. Yet, in the shop Marie had wanted "my sheets", the same ones as her old ones which the foster mom thought was weird.

In any case, ultimately the responsibilty lay on the detectives's door. One must admit that the case was difficult: there was no physical evidence of the rape. But they also ignored the marks in Marie's hands - would she have done them to herself or not? 

In short, the detectives simply stopped to be interested in the deed but tried only to undermine Marie's credibility, evidently because who she was (not only her step mom's hints but her file in the child protection). 

In many ways it was a classic case: to draw a conclusion too early and then to search only things that support one's thesis, not also the ones that could show it to be false.

Even the second time, the final interrogation was terrible to watch. They never even let Marie to tell what she did remember (and what was shown to us): how she freed herself from shoe laces that had tied her hands.

And the other detective acted in a bullying way that, I strongly suspect, could led to also false confessions in other cases.  

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On 9/15/2019 at 2:49 PM, meep.meep said:

All of us who watched her hold her own against Margo Martindale and Timothy Olyphant on Justified knew she could act.  She's very talented.

Also, I was introduced to Kaitlyn Dever in a movie called Short Term 12 (which also stars Brie Larson and Rami Malek, pre-Oscars). Dever was *fantastic* in it, the role is somewhat similar to her role here as “Marie”. 

It’s still available on Netflix, for anyone interested.

Edited by VagueDisclaimer
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On 9/15/2019 at 2:49 PM, meep.meep said:

All of us who watched her hold her own against Margo Martindale and Timothy Olyphant on Justified knew she could act.  She's very talented.

That's what I remember her from, too. 

I was so pissed off as I watched this. They coerced her into saying that she'd lied, and then when she tried to correct them, told her that she could be charged for lying. WTF? 

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We binge-watched a bunch of first episodes last weekend.  Mr. Wordsworth wanted to see the rest of this show because he was so upset about what happened to Marie.

Unfortunately, there are men who kill, cheat, steal and lie.  If women are the equal of men, it means that women are also capable of killing, cheating, stealing and lying.  And women can and sometimes do lie about sexual assault. 

In this fictionalized version of the story, a vulnerable victim with virtually no support system behind her happens to get detectives that are willing to ignore binding marks on her wrists in order to get this case off the docket and medical professionals that aren't that helpful in treating her.  I wanted to know why none of her counselors or even one of her foster mothers showed up for subsequent meetings with the police. It is very easy for a troubled teen to be dismissed, especially when a mother figure questions her credibility.


 


 

 

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2 hours ago, Wordsworth said:

In this fictionalized version of the story, a vulnerable victim with virtually no support system behind her happens to get detectives that are willing to ignore binding marks on her wrists in order to get this case off the docket and medical professionals that aren't that helpful in treating her.  I wanted to know why none of her counselors or even one of her foster mothers showed up for subsequent meetings with the police. It is very easy for a troubled teen to be dismissed, especially when a mother figure questions her credibility.

Are you asking if the show changed the facts about this because Marie couldn't have gone through what she goes through on the show? Because according to reporting about the case it happened just like this. She had little support system, she got detectives willing to ignore the binding marks (or write it off as her faking it) and no medical professionals were of much help. Her foster mother called into the police and told them she was lying. Her counselors and foster mothers were never invited to any subsequent meetings with the police. The police called her and asked to meet again, then two officers picked her up and brought her in to accuse her of lying. When she later told the people at the group home she'd been pressured into recanting they brought her to the police station and then waited downstairs while she talked to police and was warned not to take a lie detector test because she'd be kicked out of the home.

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I just discovered this show.  I read the book that it is based on "A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America" two years ago.  Even though I already know what to expect, the show is still thoroughly enjoyable, we stayed up until 2 am last night binge watching.

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This episode was so hard to watch. The way Marie was treated is why so many victims don't report being raped or assaulted. They are traumatized all over again by having to verbalize the horrible things that happened to them and then people (whether it's the police or people they know in real life) question whether they're telling the truth.

It was also really frustrating to hear Marie's foster moms say that Marie's reaction was off. There's no right or wrong way for a rape/assault victim to react afterward. Some people will detach like Marie did. Not everyone cries right away and they shouldn't be judged or accused of lying just because they don't break down in front of YOU or they don't want to talk about such a painful thing with YOU. If they have PTSD or they are compartmentalizing, they may not react right away which is a coping mechanism. Reacting to trauma is like reacting to grief - everyone has their own way of dealing with it and it's not anyone else's place to judge if it's right or wrong. Just because they don't do it the way you do doesn't make it wrong or suspicious.

On 9/15/2019 at 11:49 AM, meep.meep said:

All of us who watched her hold her own against Margo Martindale and Timothy Olyphant on Justified knew she could act.  She's very talented.

She was amazing on Justified and she was only 14 at the time!

On 9/15/2019 at 4:26 PM, Quilt Fairy said:

If you want to see an alternative handling of a rape victim, watch Season 3 of the BBC show Broadchurch (also on Netflix). 

I was thinking about this as I watched too. The kind and gentle way that the detectives and the medical team handled the rape victim on Broadchurch as they questioned her and examined her was a stark contrast to the way Marie was treated. It made me so sad for her.

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo
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