I have watched Wilmington 4 times now. The term “emotional whiplash” was being used and I am hard pressed to find another term that is as effective as that one. Unlike a roller coaster of feelings, this is different.
As always the focus of my after the show blog isn’t about the topic of the day or the feelings that rise to the top the quickest but the stuff that bubbles under the surface. Things that I end up thinking about later. This doesn’t mean I am ignoring the big stuff. It also doesn’t mean I am avoiding the hard conversations. I am leaving those for my friends who will discuss them with dignity and introspect. Like Connie here, I don’t always share the same views but I love her writing and deductions. Being open to how others see things is important. It helps expand our own perceptions. I encourage you to read hers.
I started on the path “Life is a Stage” as it was so prevalent through the episode. Upon waking this morning, I read a beautiful blog from Outcandour who shared much of what I was thinking but, of course, said it much more eloquently with no goofy or distracting gif’s.
There was something else I thought about during this episode and it may seem like a stretch, and for me this time, I am o.k. with that. The reason? This episode was a lot. I truly could go off in a million little pieces.
I find myself in the world of self-examination. As we are most definitely fallible and perfectly imperfect humans we often care more about “being right’ than “making things right”. Those little arguments that have the potential to become big ugly things.
The most obvious in the episode, Wilmington, is our beautifully cracked set of numpties Roger and Bree. Instead of admitting fault, taking responsibility for the events that sparked the argument or even swallowing one’s pride in order to make amends, both parties chose to escalate the confrontation. Even pushing one another further into the fray.
These are 100% human reactions. We may prefer to think we are better than that but mostly, we aren’t. When our feelings are hurt, we can lash out in an attempt to cause equal amounts of pain. If we succeed in this, we feel validated. Our feelings of vindication can be short-lived if we start thinking of the situation with a calmness later on.
There is this weird mind game we play with ourselves. We are convinced there must be right and wrong in every argument. When very often, arguments take place because both parties are right. They simply are having a difficult time expressing their points or they are choosing not to listen to one another. Naturally, there are the times when each person is completely out to lunch and there is absolutely no point in engaging them at all. During those times, it’s entirely logical to hit the “bless and release” button.
Feelings of betrayal, anger, embarrassment and shame all overshadowed the other emotions that brought Roger and Bree together. Those of us watching from the outside, the ones not feeling the pain from the inside are able to think through this situation with clarity and assign blame in which we believe are the appropriate places. I think if we are to recall a time when our emotions were at a fever pitch, we could empathize more with both of them.
Claire, Claire, Claire. At first, in regards to Mr. Fanning’s ummmm…issue. She knows she is right about what is going on with him but she doesn’t push the issue too far. Instead of being right, she just plays nice, takes a step back and blends in, as is expected. She isn’t particularly happy doing it but Claire isn’t always reckless. Until of course, being right means saving a man’s life. Then, there is no stopping the woman.
Even though Governor Tryon and Murtagh never share the screen together, the conflict between the two is ever present. We have two very clear sides. Tryon, collecting his taxes (heavily and wastefully by all appearances) and Murtagh with his Regulators. They are a fed up tax paying band of brothers willing to set the Governor and his men straight by stealing those taxes back. Tryon is right, dammit! There is no wiggle room. There will be no voice given to the Regulators in the Governor’s presence. Whereas the Regulators have said time and time again, they are willing to pay taxes. Fair taxes. Taxes meant for the things taxes are meant for, not to line the pockets of aristocrats and certainly not to build palaces and pay for the Governor and his friends to live in luxury. Which to anyone, with any sense in their head, is indeed fair and just.
Jamie has the opportunity to do right by his friend/godfather. Yes, Murtagh was breaking the law, however, the lines of rightness are blurred here. He knows Murtagh is going to get a stretched neck if he continues on with his plan of robbing the redcoats. Jamie is aware the excessive tax money is being used in an unjust way and also doesn’t blame Murtagh for the things he is doing either. In the grand scheme of things, what happens to Murtagh will affect Jamie, emotionally. This is something he isn’t willing to deal with later. He loves the man and wants to do right by him. This is the choice he has made.
We move to the last scene where the opposite has taken place. There is no right here. There is no world where any of this right. Bree’s rape where an inn/tavern is full of people, men and women alike. Sitting. Listening. A young woman being brutalized. There is no movement to make this right. No one dares. It speaks to much deeper dialogue. On a smaller scale, in our every day many of us do this. We see situations, moments in time that give us pause. We know there is little we can do to change the outcome…so we do nothing. The outcome doesn’t affect us directly, so we do nothing.
How often have we seen things in society which we rail against those who stood by without offering assistance? Who held up a video camera to record the events but didn’t intervene? These are moments we wish we would be different, we like to think we would be the ones to stand up and say something, we hope we are the person that would do the right thing.
There are times and circumstances when being right and making things right are the same thing but it takes some serious food for thought and self-examination to see when we simply want to be right, feelings and outcome be damned.
Until next time,
Sher (ABOotlander founder)