Author Topic: That's not my mother! -- Episodes 134 & 135  (Read 3859 times)

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Offline Luciaphile

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That's not my mother! -- Episodes 134 & 135
« on: April 27, 2006, 09:17:38 PM »
Fashion notes first . . .

Elizabeth has dressed for dinner. Oh my. I'm sure this was the height of chic in 1966, but it's doing Joan Bennett no favors. I'm guessing it's black. The sleeves are sheer and then they're gathered at the wrists with a ribbon or something. The body of the dress is a shift. There's also additional material that gathers at the neck. It also hits her one inch below the knee which is a difficult length to carry off.  There's draping. It's - hmmm- the lady was pretty darn petite, but the dress makes her look like she's massive.

Then there's Laura who looks massive herself. She's also got a mod little number. Very flowing, very ugly chiffon. It's a print of sorts, probably chosen on purpose for the whole business of the flames. Wide sleeves. Same length as Bennett's. Same effect.

Laura inexplicably appears in another evening dress in the second episode. Okay, perhaps not so inexplicably. I gather that Millay was pregnant at the time and perhaps wardrobe was called in to find something that made her look a bit slimmer. They succeeded. Her second evening dress is a black plain shift. Nothing too fancy, but very slimming. She's also got a double strand of pearls. Too bad Bennett didn't get to change her clothes too.

To continue the theme of What Not to Wear, Carolyn's ensemble is also quite ugly. She's got on a long sleeved dress, which would be fine except that there's a giant stripe on each side of it that criss crosses at the neck. Oy.

Onto the show . . .

The acting for both of these episodes is excellent all around, with special kudos going to David Henesy who has a ton of dialogue and needs to run the gamut of emotions from A to Z. Millay continues to have that fey quality, but also gets to stretch her acting chops a little by combining that with icy disdain and indifference. Moltke, easily the weakest of these performers, does a good job. And Edmonds and Bennett are very very solid. John Sedwick directs both episodes. Malcolm wrote the first and Ron tackled the second.

It is the evening of Day 25. The Collinses (sans Carolyn) are preparing for a formal evening with the soon-to-be-ex Mrs. Roger Collins. David is a mass of nerves. Elizabeth tries to calm him down but it's no good. Roger's poking at the fire and David wants to have a go at it, but gets the "you're too young."

It should be pointed out that for this arc of the show all mentions and depictions of flames, be they matches or full-fledged infernos are chock full of significance.

David innocently--bless his little heart--believes that Laura is coming to Collinwood to stay and that his parents are going to be reconciling. It's probably a good thing Roger is tending to the fire and not drinking when this is mentioned or he'd be spitting out a mouthful of brandy on Liz and her evening gown.

Elizabeth (who probably feels as strongly on the subject if not more so than Roger) runs interference. She sends the little tyke off to wash his hands.

I think Roger is more or less trying to handle things in a mature, amicable fashion. As long as Laura keeps her mouth shut vis--vis the hit and run, and takes David off his hands, he's copasetic. But that said, the man conveys the impression that he'd rather eat ground glass than reconcile with her.

The big and newest concern seems to be Laura's living arrangements. They seem to think it will be a scandal if she continues to stay on at the hotel. Neither Elizabeth nor Roger wants her at Collinwood, but feel this is the right thing to do. It makes no sense to me. She has been staying at the hotel in town for over a week under her maiden name. If Roger and Laura are openly pursuing a divorce, why the hell wouldn't she find her own accommodations?

Upstairs, David has washed his hands with actual soap! The hair has been brushed. The shirt has been changed from a polo to a dress shirt. There is a tie involved.

It seems weird that I'm typing this because usually when I think of David Henesy roles on DS he was one of three things: psychopathic, possessed, or terrorized. Here his David is for once a genuinely happy, normal kid. He's got a cute smile. He's really quite sweet. And then the nerves take over. David, it turns out, has been having recurring nightmares about his mom being engulfed in flames. Vicki tries to shake him out of it.

Downstairs, Laura arrives. I kind of like Roger here. I mean, lord knows, he's a creep a lot of the time, but he's trying to be civil. She seems to think he wants to get back together, despite his statements to the contrary. Judging by his reactions on learning she was in town again and his response to David's Parent Trap fantasies, I don't think that's the case. The man has made a mess of his life, but you get the sense that he is well aware that he made a huge mistake in getting involved with her.

She seems more receptive when he pretty much puts his cards on the table. He wants a divorce. He is totally cool with her having custody of David, but suggests that some time and tact will be needed to get around Liz. Lastly, he wants to make sure that Burke is not a factor in any of this. I don't think Burke is. She is totally focused on David. Everything else is just interference, which is another indication that all is not well with the lady.

Vicki comes down and is introduced. She's very friendly with Laura and willingly goes up to get David. Of course, first she has to peel him off the ceiling. He has now gotten it into his head that he will not being seeing his mother, thank you very much.

Downstairs Elizabeth and Laura act very pleasant and civilized toward the other. Everyone says the right things. They're all so very friendly. The tension is palpable and it's all great fun. Then David and Vicki appear. David looks at Laura and sees flames surrounding her. He becomes extremely agitated and runs tearing out of the room. Laura just stares into the fire.

Vicki goes after him only to hear David announce "that's not my mother!"

So Laura's now in her new dress getting rejected by David. I hate the way that they started reprising the last few minutes of the show in the next episode. Very annoying. David is quite firm that Laura is not Laura. Vicki, who would probably kill to have a mother of her own, doesn't get it at all. He is quite adamant that the blonde woman downstairs is not his mother. Vicki finally relents and David goes back to his preferred method of communicating with his mom (the open window in late December).

Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Roger, who have fairly good cause to distrust Laura are busy apologizing for David. Good behavior first, I guess. Laura seems sad and melancholy. Everyone tries to reassure her, but she just stares into the fire.

David meanwhile stares out his window to talk to Mom. He stares out the window and she stares into the fire. This is how they communicate. If indeed they are communicating.

Meanwhile Elizabeth seizes this opportunity to get a general delay in the handing over of David. She and Roger invite Laura to stay at Collinwood. It's really quite funny how polite they all are and yet how intensely they dislike each other. Laura does not appear to like this idea one bit. Roger comes up with the idea of using Matthew's cottage. Liz seems doubtful. I don't get why. The man may have been a lunatic, but it always looked fairly clean to me. Hell, he baked his own muffins. How bad can it be? Laura appears to agree.

In comes Carolyn who is thrilled to see her. Now I get that Carolyn is young and naive; she was probably sheltered from the more unpleasant details of her uncle's marriage. That said, she seemed to be aware of the fact that Laura was last a resident of a mental hospital. She also had a grasp on the fact that the Roger Collinses were not the happiest of couples. So why the big hello?

David, poor little tyke, is yelling at his unseen mama to leave him alone and he's crying.

Elizabeth presents her sister-in-law with the key to the cottage and the promise of sending Mrs. J down to clean (oh, I'm sure she'll love that). Roger and Laura make their very strained, very civil goodbyes. You get the feeling that they are both counting the minutes till the marriage is over. So Laura takes off with Carolyn to inspect the cottage and Roger seizes the opportunity to stress how wonderfully improved Laura is. Vicki brings up some concerns about David's reaction and he smoothes that right over.

David's reactions are growing more extreme. Elizabeth tries to soothe him, but he's not really in a receptive state for that. When he learns she's going to be living on the estate, well, the tears are flowing in earnest.

Matthew's cottage is pronounced charming and instantly habitable. Carolyn brings up Burke and gets the Freeze from Laura. She's more concerned with being able to see David's room from the place. She also wants to move in instantly. Carolyn's hormones do a dance for joy because now she has a bonafide excuse to go and see Burke. She volunteers to go and pack up Laura's things. Laura nearly slips. I gather she pretty much planned on getting on the estate for good because the lady is all packed.

David meanwhile gradually gets talked down from the nervous hysteria. Henesy and Bennett have marvelous chemistry together and you can almost believe they are really related. Were it not for the fact that David has no pillow whatsoever on that bed, it would be a flawless scene. Liz leaves him sleeping. Unfortunately, the kid's not going to get much sleep, not with Laura's disembodied voice exhorting him to come to her and all.
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Offline Nightfall59

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Re: That's not my mother! -- Episodes 134 & 135
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2010, 07:06:04 PM »
I just wanted to say that these recaps have been a great accompaniment to watching the early episodes again. Too bad Luciaphil didn't continue all the way through.  It's all been amusing, entertaining, and spot-on.

I've skimmed through some of the other Idle Thoughts and, even though I'm a big Barnabas fan,  Luciaphil's take on the old boy makes me laugh my head off.   [hall2_grin]
"Not without you. NEVER without you."
Barnabas to Julia, 1970