This article has some content you might find disturbing!Reason Verbal descriptions of a school shooting, and of a violent sexual assault.
Has American Crime Been Showing Us Warning Signs With Taylor All Along?
And more not-quite-burning questions sparked by the latest episode.
On top of everything else she's going through, Anne's history of mental illness is now online and in the public domain? Who leaked her records?
The consequences are so fucked up that it almost doesn't matter, and my immediate reaction is to point an accusatory middle finger at Leslie, but now I think it was the cop Michael LaCroix asked for help in the last episode.
Whoever the culprit is, it's an appalling move, because while Anne is not afraid to own her past, the attempt to discredit her angers Taylor and sets the terrible events of this episode in motion. However, it also serves to galvanize Sebastian, who contacts her and offers his help; with Evy's family taking the settlement, Anne needs all the support she can get. So, I hope it leads to Team SebastiANNE (sorry!) joining forces and taking down those responsible.
Leslie's undeniably in over her head, but does she frantically wash her hands this episode?
Physically, no. Metaphorically, yes. With shit hitting the proverbial fan over Eric's return to school, as well as the legality of Anne's records appearing online, Leslie tries to deflect a lot of it onto Coach Sullivan by making him talk to the reporter: "You represent the team; you are standing up for your boys."
It backfires, though; Sullivan senses blood in the water and accuses her of leaking the documents, which she denies, but the shift in their power dynamic has definitely turned. Advantage: Coach.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how passive-aggressive is Terri's workplace?
11. And she's having a shite day.
Any time your boss drops by for a casual chat and closes the door with a reassuring "It's nothing bad," you should know it means your ass. Terri barely misses a beat when he tells her that she should "reduce [her] profile"; the only telltale sign is her quivering lip but I still almost fell off the sofa in shock (and I'm off to construct an altar to Regina King). I've heard a lot of shit in my time in the office but that harshness stunned me.
Is it wise for Eric to have an anonymous hookup with a married man?
No. This is never a good idea.
I came out at eighteen -- all attitude and hair and Gitanes and Emily Dickinson -- because I had a boyfriend and thought it was the coolest thing ever, and everyone should know about it. One of the first pieces of advice I received from an older and wiser gay friend (early twenties seems older and wiser when you're eighteen) is: never get involved with a married man. And I wish someone could give Eric that same guidance, but there is no positive environment for these students -- no gay/straight alliance or LGBT group. Leyland acts like Eric is the first gay kid ever to walk through its doors. What must it be like for other queer youth there? It's horrible. It makes me even more thankful that I attended a progressive high school where even macho straight guys could cop to celebrity boy crushes: "Michael Hutchence," this tough dude would say in the smoking area. "I'd do him right here." Even in Dublin in 1991, you could get lucky and find kindred spirits.
But this isn't an episode of Glee. And Eric is in serious trouble. He barely manages to escape his assault -- and it's a powerful physical performance by Joey Pollari, especially when the attack goes from benign to vicious in .02 seconds and is all done in a single shot.
So in real life, if you ever hear the words "I got a wife and a two-year-old at home, and I can't face-- I need a little time to be me"? Run Run the fuck away in the opposite direction.
How great is Connor Jessup?
I've run out of superlatives to describe him, so I'll just repeat myself by saying this is the most impressive performance by an emerging actor since Timothy Hutton in Ordinary People. (Okay, maybe since Leonardo DiCaprio in What's Eating Gilbert Grape.) Everything he does here is outstanding.
Were the warning signs with Taylor there all along?
The textbook answer is yes: he was acting out of revenge and feelings of complete rejection. That's why he went to the school with a gun. He's had his masculinity threatened physically by Eric, with the assault, and verbally by Evy; that's why he wanted some power back.
Maybe Taylor's wish to have a rough sexual experience with Eric was a sign that there was something deeper and more destructive going on with him underneath, and he wasn't allowed enough time to process his feelings after that encounter. Or he snapped since he couldn't stand to see what was happening to his mom, or because depressive psychosis may be genetic and he's inherited it. Although I can see his legal defense pointing to the Oxys as causing a substance-induced psychotic episode, in which case Becca Sullivan is going to be in serious trouble for dealing the pills.
But I was always worried about Taylor: his lack of support structure, his inability to articulate his feelings, his thin grasp on reality, and then everyone turning against him. But I never suspected that it would play out this way. Although, in hindsight, it's not a surprise. Eric turned all his rage and anger inward and chose to overdose; Taylor went external and...then a plank in reason broke.
If only he'd walked out another door, then none of his would have happened, and he could have gone home and tried to put the pieces of his soul back together. But no.
Did scientists really detect gravitational waves or are those just ripples of Lili Taylor's brilliance travelling back through space and time?
Well, someone should put Taylor's performance as Anne Blaine in a math formula, because I can't explain it. In a career of great work, she's never been better than in the diner scene that closes the episode. Even when she's acting WITH THE BACK OF HER HEAD she's amazing. All her movements here are astounding: her quick thinking as she realizes what her son has done; her hands shaking as she hides the gun; the confusion on her face as she lies to the cops on the phone; her urgency in getting the patrons to leave the diner; and then the agony of listening to the sirens of the police cars knowing everything has changed forever. And all this happens IN. ONE. SHOT.
Are you okay after this episode?
I'm not either.