「With or Without You」
It’s not as though this episode is a breath of fresh air but it definitely brought back the feeling I had when I first watched Carole and Tuesday jam on the couch, which now seems so long ago.
Carole and Tuesday’s backstories, their relationship with each other, and their various mishaps were creating this cocoon of a world where come rain or shine, they were safe as long as they had each other. Their world became my world so even after a horrible performance or a difficult rejection, I knew it’d be alright because they were there to support each other.
But when the Mars Brightest competition arc came along, it lacked in innovation and was rather disappointing. Because the competition was based heavily on current reality television shows, I wasn’t compelled to watch. And when Carole and Tuesday chose to sing the most generic pop song I could imagine for the first round of performances, I was even more disappointed. Their music has been hit or miss with me and their choices of song when performing at larger public events aren’t particularly captivating. Where was the magic? Where was the passion? The performance was adequate but not mesmerizing. Had they gone up against a different competitor, I doubt they’d have made it past the first round.
If you read my last review, I hoped they’d return to the stage with a bang. The music so far hasn’t been up to par, not from them nor their competitors. I assume there’s a reason for this. If every episode of Carole & Tuesday were to wow us, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate a moment like this one. In this second performance, they come on stage vulnerable, scared, unsure, and consequently the sound they produce is raw and honest. This is what first drew me in way back when.
Their performance isn’t the only redeeming aspect of the episode. Angela makes some pretty bold decisions herself. She stands up to her mother who she thinks might be the culprit behind the acid gift, she confronts her manager, even though it results in a rash decision but all for good reason. She wants to win against CandT fair and square. I’m confident now that the gracious appearance she had at the end of her performances was a genuine one. She still has a horrible attitude at times which makes me love to dislike her (note how I’m not using the word ‘hate’ anymore) but I’m trying to give her the benefit of the doubt.
And the show finally provides us with a real challenge, one outside of Carole and Tuesday’s control. It turns out Cybelle was the very least of their worries. Her actions actually lead them to perform fantastically, so all I have is gratitude towards her. She also brought them closer together. In light of the horrible events, Carole expressed her concerns to Tuesday warning her that if she continues to act as passively as she did with Cybelle, situations like these would come again. Carole is the person who encourages, perhaps challenges, Tuesday to become a better version of herself. But for Carole, Tuesday has touched a part of her she’d never opened up before. Just mustering up the strength to give Tuesday her birthday gift becomes a feat in itself.
It’s not difficult to imagine what she was feeling as she watched her friend disappear in the blink of an eye. It happened so quick, even I felt a pang watching her chase the car down with all her might.
The next episode will mark the first cour of the series and I have a feeling the real story has only just begun.