「Show Me The Way」
So this episode was basically like watching the events leading up to Kelly Clarkson getting her spot on American Idol. It was entertaining to say the least. Mars Brightest sets the stage where CandT and Angela will butt heads for the first time. But right now, I’m less concerned with the idol competition and a lot more interested in taking a look at character backstory, relationships, and overall tone.
Carole and Tuesday, as we know, each come from entirely different backgrounds. We just learned in this episode of Carole’s origins. As far as she can remember, she’s from a refugee camp on Earth and has never known her parents. She heard they left her on the steps of a church when she was just a babe. Although the information wasn’t directed towards her, Tuesday doesn’t take this news lightly. She realizes she’s relied on her counterpart for weeks without ever wondering who she actually is. There’s a particular scene I really enjoyed. Tuesday, coming from a wealthy home and never being without, stands in the dark as she watches Carole laughing nonchalantly with Roddy and Gus. Carole stands strong and true to who she is no matter what she faces, never letting her flame die out. Tuesday on the other hand has difficulty finding that warmth within herself. I don’t blame her although I do think her upbringing has encouraged her to take her surroundings for granted. She’s learning though which is important in itself and she’s shedding those layers becoming more assertive. Carole is my favourite of the two because of her style and flare but Tuesday is definitely experiencing the most personal growth. I wouldn’t go as far to say their friendship is rooted in a deep bond. It’s more like two toddlers playing in a sandbox because they just both happened to be there. It isn’t at that ‘ride or die’ stage but this episode was a step in the right direction for them.
As for Angela, we’re getting a little more backstory. There’s always been a hint of resentment coming from her whenever ‘Mama’ was involved. She’s a child star who’s been forced into the world to make up for her parent’s shortcomings and failures. It’s a harsh reality she lives in but as I’ve mentioned previously, I still couldn’t sympathize – until now that is. My perception of Angela has definitely shifted after understanding her pride and built persona are results of the emotional, psychological, and possible physical abuse she had to endure growing up with her Mama. Unlike Carole, Angela probably needs to hide these traumas because she leads a public life. She isn’t going up on stage of her own volition but because of the immense pressure she’s had to endure. I’m sure some part of her wants to be at the top but she’s been conditioned to think that way.
As we go further into the episodes, I’m fondly reminded of the pacing we found in Cowboy Bebop. We’re never going to receive a long overarching backstory explaining why the girls are the way they are. It’s always going to be bits and pieces, said words, or brief silences which will hint to past traumas, mature themes, etc. Adult themes are handled in very subtle manners, often veiled with a comedic tone. Gus’ alcoholism and possible gambling addiction aren’t really brought in as a concern but as a character quirk. Angela’s Mamager never really names her illness but does allude to it when she speaks of her addiction and regulated medication. And if you pay attention, there are many other mature themes barely grazed upon. These are small details each affecting the way we perceive the various character relationships.
Each episode is essentially a complete story going from point A to point B and within each we’re rewarded with little snippets of information we’ll be able to thread together in the long run. This might change now because of Mars Brightest but I don’t think the competition will take up the rest of the series. We’re barely a third of the way through which means there’s a lot more performances, failures, and miracles coming up!