「Don’t Stop Believin’」
What an episode.
Honestly, ever since episode 20 ‘Immigrant Song’, I feel like the show’s overall quality and story arcs have had more sustenance. I find myself thinking about what will happen to Angela or Valerie next. I even find myself thinking of the next possible song and what style it’ll fall into. Jazz, pop, rap, rock? I’m not ashamed to say that my grumpy humbug phase is now long gone. This isn’t to say I don’t still have issues with some of the tropes we find in Carole & Tuesday, but none have succeeded in overshadowing the story.
This episode wasn’t as poignant as the previous one. I can’t imagine anything will leave as much of an impression as Angela’s end credit scene in Episode 22. Her POV was gripping and provided us with a powerful perspective, one of an addict. It’s no secret that youth are affected with addictions of all sorts, abusing of substances like opioids, hallucinogens, and alcohol but I didn’t think the series would dive deep into the topic. In earlier episodes of the first cour, many harsher topics were brought up but never explored. So it’s actually refreshing to have some depth overarching from one episode to the next.
I know I sound like a broken record, but I’ll say it again. Angela’s unfortunate series of events result from a lifetime of pressure. From a young age, she was put into the limelight and told to shine as bright as she could. When her career in acting began to dwindle, she looked to singing, a place where she thought she could find happiness again. But what she didn’t realize is that the strings manipulating her throughout her acting career carried over into her musical career. It’s a sad truth but the ‘soul searching’ she was doing was clouded, once again, by a team of producers, managers, and public relations team. It’s no wonder she woke up from her state entirely void of thoughts and feelings. She fed the monsters around her until they depleted her of all her energy. At this point, she believes there’s nothing left she can give, nothing left to fight for… until Carole and Tuesday that is.
I feel like Angela’s had the short end of the stick most of the series. She’s the one with the harsh manager, the rigid music producer, the death threats, and the addiction problem. And Carole and Tuesday, although struggling in their own way, really didn’t have many obstacles once they came together. Perhaps the contrast is there to point out that friendships and true honest relationships are necessary in order to get through this thing we call ‘life.’ Before they’d met, it wasn’t as easy for either of the girls to survive their hurdles, but now together, it’s as though they can do anything.
And that’s just what they’re doing. They come up with this insane plan to ‘wow’ the people of Mars by bringing all the artists of the Red Planet together under one roof, singing one song, on New Year’s day (which conveniently happens to be the 50th anniversary since colonizing Mars).
Gears are moving quickly and things are coming together smoothly. They’re using Instagram’s servers to live stream the performance, they’ve got Crystal, Ertegun, even Desmond on board. And, their timing is just right.
I have two concerns, however. The first is Valerie and Spencer. What will come of them? Will Valerie come clean, or even have the time to do so? And the other is whether or not whatever Tao did was in the interest of this Miraculous 7 Minutes we’re about to see next week. Will his actions affect the outcome of this plan (I doubt) or deter people from voting in the election by airing out the Intergalactic Head Office’s dirty laundry?
There’s definitely a bit of idealism pushing this group forward but without it, where would the world be now? Peaceful protests start with actions such as these. In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono had a Bed-In for Peace. Today, I and 500 000 people chose to join the Montreal Climate March. Watanabe’s work is a clear demonstration of past and present movements that can help change the world for the better.
This series could inspire our youth, especially since most spend their time glued to Netflix, perhaps even teaching them that actions speak louder than words.
Is that what you’re getting at Watanabe?