Moment that makes you most concerned for JT’s mental health
Did we really have to see the left-overs?
Sophy says: I mean honestly. It’s just dangling there. Like. I don’t.
Couldn’t Natalie at least have eaten everything on her rope??? Rude.
Rin says: I’m usually not that susceptible to gore and the like, but this just makes me want to gag.
It’s way too realistic for its own good.
Moment that makes you most in awe of JT’s mental awesome
“1946. He was 70 when he died. The body’s kept ageing ever since, so he’s pretty old.”
Sophy says: The body keeps ageing??? THE BODY KEEPS AGEING???
I was already enamored of the idea that some of the dead are confined at random to the earth, existing infinitely in a world they can’t touch or taste, a world that can ignore them at best, harm them at worst. It was a nightmarish thought, and it was quite understandable that such an existence would make many of them indiscriminately vengeful. But then you factor in that THE BODY KEEPS AGEING??? That’s truly distressing, isn’t it? The idea of simply getting older – and older and older – with no end in sight. You become less and less capable, but no less present, less alive with every struggled breath but never quite dead enough not to feel pain and loneliness and the absence of meaning much of anything at all.
The brilliant thing about this scene is how it sets us up to sympathize with Natalie, even as she stuffs her bloody little face with human nom-noms. Because wouldn’t most people do anything, cannibalism included, to not be this poor bastard? To not wind up trapped in a forever-body so useless it won’t even allow you those old luxuries you remember not-so-well, such as hearing and seeing things, standing in traffic for laughs, scratching ‘Help me’ into the wall…?
Also, burning the message into his hand? Genius.
Rin says: My first reaction was I do not want to see what a 135 year old man looked like. I just don’t need to.
Turns out he wasn’t as creepy or deteriorated as my mind imagined, and I’m thinking that’s a big plus for all of us. I saw like. Melting flesh or something. You can thank me later for sharing that tid bit.
I feel like Sophy really connected to this portion of the episode. Just ageing and ageing and ageing.
Sophy says: It’s true
“What are you?”
“Your best friend. I mean, you… you thought it was good, I was… special.”
“Yeah. It’s great. Just don’t leave me behind, okay?”
Sophy says: One of the great things about Jack Thorne’s writing is how rich it is. He manages to do a whole lot of things at the same time, which is what makes scenes like this so thrillingly full to the brim that you don’t know where to start with the gushing.
There were two big reveals in this scene; Mac’s dad, and Paul’s power, and both had been heralded earlier in the episode, which is what enabled all this information to tumble out in a way that felt natural, rather than dump-like. Paul’s power was first uneasily encountered when he dropped the dead bird into the bin only to have it fly out, good as new. That scene is a stepping stone to this scene, in which he heals the cut on his friend’s arm. But the brilliant thing is that there was even a stepping stone to the scene where he heals the bird, which was the constant presence of dead birds throughout the first episode. Because of the bird/bin scene, we’re not left thinking it’s implausible or corny that Paul would be moved to place his hand over Mac’s arm like that. And because of all the birds that fall from the sky around this town, we’re not left thinking it’s a contrived, cheese-fest when there’s one at Paul’s feet, ready to be inadvertently healed. In much the same way, Paul doesn’t come off as too much of a special snowflake with his glowy hands of love and his ability to burp up moths, because we’ve seen someone else do all this before. It’s incidental now, which means that the primary focus of the scene – the relationship between the two boys – is not overshadowed by crazy powers and whatnot.
Mac’s dad, too, was given a casual intro before he appeared, and it was one that made the shock of his abusive nature all the greater. When Paul lies to his mum and says he stayed at Mac’s house, he gets her off the phone by telling her that Mac’s dad is making them breakfast. Because, you know, that’s the kind of thing that happens in safe, happy houses where he is safe and happy and his mum doesn’t need to worry about him. We remember that little lie when Mac-Daddy storms into the room and knocks his kid to the ground, and it sharpens the moment to an ironic point. On another level, the misery that is Mac’s family life resonates with us all the more, as it is in such contrast to his sweet, sunny disposition, to his tendency to see the funny side of things. He jokes, even as the depth of his suffering becomes clear to us – “they’re probably fighting right now over who doesn’t get custody,” “Did you know, in Inuit culture, if you don’t like your parent, you just crawl into another igloo and find a new family?” – and when reality came crashing into the room, he was right in the middle of being silly about hips. Up to this point Mac has been so focused on merriment and we have been so focused on the shit that’s going down in Paul’s life, that we kind of get blind-sided with this new information – Mac has a life, too, and okay, maybe it’s not supernaturally shitty… but it is shitty nonetheless.
AND THEN. On top of all of that, we’re processing the fact that Mac’s dad is the detective, just like Sarah’s husband is the history teacher, and so the show continues to gather its characters together into a claustrophobic little lump.
AND… that’s before we even get to the part where this scene is all about Paul and Mac and what they mean to one another. For all his apparent dippiness Mac hasn’t entirely missed the signals Paul has been putting out about saying goodbye; he is aware of the risk of being left behind by the one person he can rely on right now. This is where Paul gets to see how much his best friend needs him, and it’s part 1 in a triptych of ‘You’d better not cut me out of your life’. Next, it’s the self-harm scene with his mum and her bald confession that her ‘okay’ is his ‘okay’, and finally, clandestine kisses with Jay and the promise of more to come. How is he supposed to walk away from all that?
This is very thoughtful writing, and that’s what makes this show such a smooth ride.
I’d also like to show some love to the acting in this scene. Dan delivers on the naked vulnerability front, really making the most of “I think mum’s left him… us… him.” And when Paul objects to the part about them fighting over who doesn’t get custody with “They’re not”… it’s a simple line, but he delivers it with such a determined tenderness that I just. Oh.
These boys. ♥
Rin says: That’s the most I’ve seen you write in one chunk. I don’t think I can add much more to that, other than yes, yes, yes?
Honestly, being able to convey such a strong bond/friendship over the course of only two episodes is pretty impressive. We have no other option than to sit back and watch on as our heads come to gently rest in our hands.
Oh, that Mac
So here’s what you missed on The Fades!
Sophy says: BAHAHHAH BEST PREVIOUSLY ON EVER. He is the cutest thing. Not many actors/characters could pull this off as successfully as he does. I feel like it brings levity to the proceedings and is a great way to get your mythology straight with the viewers – it is pretty complex thus far, so I can see how a refresher is a good thing.
As in the pilot, Mac has many other awesome lines, eg. I SMELL OF CANDLE WAX… but this took the cake.
Rin says: I loved this. It was such a nice surprise because I next to never watch the Previously On… (unless it’s a new season) because I’m pretty sure I can remember what happened the last episode. But this! This added a whole new dimension to the show — it was light and funny and fun! Lots of fun. It’s the perfect way to inject a bit of that into the scope of The Fades when everything else is hanging leftover arms and regurgitating moths.
Reasons Lily should be in the opening credits.
“Hello, Mac. Goodbye, Mac.”
“Hello, retard. Goodbye, retard. There’s vomit that needs clearing up.”
Sophy says: OH MY GOD HER FACES. BEST. I JUST.
FOREVER AND EVER
Rin says: AND EVER AND EVER?
This was my favourite bit of Anna because of the joy you see written all across her face at getting to torment Paul. I flat out spat-laughed at her when she said, ‘goodbye retard.’
Sophy says: I know right!! She just torments with such gusto. You can’t help but find it charming.
“There is nothing more pathetic than needing someone.”
Sophy says: I was really excited about this scene, because as much as she was, you know, hurling abuse at someone, I still felt like we were seeing the softer side of Anna, maybe, perhaps. Or at least we were seeing the reason for her hardness. Honestly, in the midst of all the comical mud-slinging, there was a real poignancy to There is nothing more pathetic than needing someone, and when she finished by telling Mac he really was a “pathetic freak” and he stood up and told her, simply, softly, that he knows that? The look on Lily’s face was divine. Needs moar.
Rin says: I am so looking forward to seeing Anna develop over the series, and slowly reveal herself more and more.
…. that sounded less perverted in my head.
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. REVEALING MORE OF HER CHARACTER.
I’m also wondering if they’re toying with the idea of Mac/Anna. I’m not sure how I feel about that quite yet, but I do want more scenes with them together because with just this one scene we’ve seen more of what really goes on in Anna’s head.
And whilst on the subject of Anna’s head, how pretty does it look in the moonlight?! GOODBYE GOODNIGHT!
Sophy says: HAHAAHAHAH RIN YOU HUGE PERVERT.
And yeah, I got the impression they might be going for a bit of Anna/Mac, just based on the fact that she noticed his needing. Which means she notices him, in general, more than she’d like to admit. I’d be happy to see their relationship explored, just as long as there’s no rush to pair everyone off – that’s how shows get really stale, really fast.
Also I’m scared that if Anna’s ever happy she’ll get killed off. So. No happiness, please.
“Paul. Please. Fuck off.”
Sophy says: JUST. HER FACE. AND HER FEET. AND JUST. ALL OF THE LILY.
Rin says: I wonder if she kept those shoes from her days in a girl gang. urban. retribution. thriller.
Rin says: I had to? I don’t care, you can’t stop me?
Plus the amount of twincest discussion that occurred after this reminded me fondly of Skins.
Oh incest It’s illegal
Sophy says: WHY WOULD I STOP YOU??? WHY ON EARTH????????????
“You look like a wet flannel.”
“Good, that’s the look I was going for.”
Sophy says: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. THEY’RE LIKE. I DON’T KNOW. THEY MAY AS WELL HAVE A MILKSHAKE WITH TWO STRAWS.
I mean really.
Also wet flannel. Can’t.
Rin says: They’re having sundaes.
Like. Proper sundaes. Not the ones you get from McDonalds.
And Paul did the fun way of drinking with a straw.
And. And. Then he messed with him about the dead girl sitting behind him and he just LEFT HIM there to his own devices. Oh you boys.
“Me and Mac discussed who our ideal girl was the other day. We decided Queen Amidala, crossed with Marion Ravenwood, Princess Arwen, Ororo Munroe – or Storm as she’s commonly known – and George Lucas.”
“Yeah, well, the sex wouldn’t be up to much, but the pillow talk would be amazing. We also had Alan Moore on the list but we decided his beard was too big. Anyway, my point is… was… is… when we were discussing our female mash-up… there was only one girl on my mind. You.”
Sophy says: HIS BEARD WAS TOO BIG??? I totally would have made out with him after that too.
Rin says: THIS WAS REALLY CUTE AND EASILY BECOMING THE SHIP OF THE SHOW?
I think what made it work is that the awkwardness wasn’t too over the top and embarrassing. It was sweet and endearing and totally realistic. You can see this being something he’d start to discuss after having a few drinks.
Sophy says: This boy is very good at awkward. I also really liked his “Technically, that is the way I feel about it, yeah,” when they were discussing the dance earlier.
Most traumatising/frightening/why am I watching this again?
Come on kid, did you really think you weren’t going to die?
Sophy says: Okay that last cap is pretty horrifying, but I think I was more queasy over the squashed, bloody soccer ball than anything else. And the way it just nonchalantly dribbled back to the kid’s feet. Vile.
Rin says: ………..
It has no eyebrows.
IT HAS NO EYEBROWS.
Sophy says: Wow. Nice self-insert there, Mr Thorne.
Head In Hands
If I was inspired I could do mime.
Sophy says: This was… so beautiful and sad and sweet and amazing.
Though I almost accidentally put the caps under ‘Moment that makes you most concerned for JT’s mental health’ for casting Eura Snyder in this role.
Rin says: Hahah Eura. Oh Eura. /pointsbread
This was a really lovely scene (until she tried to electrocute him), because it made you feel all of the innocence that was taken from this girl. And how she couldn’t feel anything. She could only pretend to. And this is exactly what Sophy was talking about earlier with certain scenes being a setup for what happens later. After watching this you know that Natalie isn’t just a 12-year old boy eating monster. It’s a lot more complicated than that, and it’s these types of scenes that make you see things from the other side. Nothing in this show is black and white. And that’s exactly the way we like it.
Sophy says: Rophy would totally do this. In fact we will do this next time we see each other. Does it still count if it’s planned? Of course it does
Rin says: We’ll pretend to forget
And if we swap enough times with lots of drinks, it’ll be easy to forget
Our pants came off.
Churches are hot.
Sophy says: Guhhhhh. Love looks so pretty.
Rin says: The lighting is beautiful, and I love how the moonlight lights up the colours of the walls. Greens and blues <3
Also that first cap almost looks like it could be drawn. Like from an animated disney film. (That’s a compliment.)
Sophy says: FINAL THOUGHTS???
One. when Paul was cutting himself it was JUST LIKE THAT TIME HAYDEN PANETTIERE LOPPED OFF HER TOES. Only more cautious.
Two. Creepy pictures of Sarah being mental are creepy.
Three. Neil doesn’t get enough love in these recaps. And Professor Snape had better not kill him.