Wait, wait, wait… Where the hell has Melanie been all season?
Like we’ve seen her, sporadically, but we haven’t seen more than her getting high, and her in her maze. What has she been up to this season? It turns out, in the ultimate joke, is that those Jon Hamm lessons that we’ve been taught, the once about delusion, and insanity, have all been pertaining to her! Now we’re never told this, but it’s all there. An idea that grows into insanity, delusions of reality, learning her own personal definition of what’s right, and what’s wrong. Every lesson Jon Hamm has to teach, has now seemed to have infected Melanie.
It begins small. After loosing Oliver again, she recluses herself, getting high in her room, spending her time just trying to feel nothing. But unless you’re a psychopath, you can only feel nothing for so long. She speaks about how the absence of a love one is a distraction to the things that matter. How that when people go to war, their loved ones slowly go crazy with distraction.
Melanie then spouts poetic about the two saddest words in the English language, “Vacant Lot”. She’s not sure why “Vacant Lot” are the saddest words, but I think they speak more to the loss of her loved one. This void that, while isn’t unfillable, but still remains empty.
Her mental state breaks down more when she see’s Oliver. She doesn’t believe that it’s him (which is half true), and even if she did believe him, she is not the person she once was. But Oliver knows better, and shows her in her younger state, probably when she lost him the first time. This seems to break her a little bit, as now she’s more accepting, and is now more susceptible to influence… like the Shadow King?
She keeps having these thoughts and vision, seeing Oliver, getting high. Melanie then has a conversation with Kerry, where Mel is talking about how Kerry might not be real, and the people she fights are probably not real either. Or maybe Kerry is real, and Cary isn’t. Maybe reality is just a choice for someone who’s delusional. Mel speaks on how she’s been trying to save the world all this time, that she lost sight of the fact that matters the most… that it’s all in her head, and there is no world but what she things. This conversation is shot in such a way which make it purposefully disorienting, and dizzying, and is a great metaphor for her state of mind.
Clearly, Melanie’s kind of lost it, but how does one get to this point? I’ve mentioned how the fact that the distraction of a lost loved one can cause it, and the Shadow King clearly doesn’t help, but I think it has more to do with the fact that she’s gone through so much pain, that there is no going back. If you remember her from season one, she was a wonderful, strong, amazing character, and now she’s the background villain of this season, and I think the loss of Oliver, and David have broken her to the point of delusion.
We get a little bit more with Kerry an Cary, as they start to enact David’s plan. Their part of the plan? Bring a weapon to a restaurant parking lot with a blue car. They have a little discussion about how Cary isn’t going to be there forever, and how one day, she will have to take care of herself, but Kerry is confident that she “would stab death twice in the heart before he got you,” which is the most endearing thing I’ve ever heard anyone say. I love this little conversation, it brings so much growth to these characters in such a small amount of time.
The other half of the episode deals with Lenny, now free, and new with a body, decides to live it the hell up! She’s now ready to party, and get high, and have sex, and do it all repeatedly! The party scene that happens is great, because there a great use of speed shots, and kaleidoscope imagery as she gets more messed up from the partying. But the more we get into it, the more we find out that she’s haunted… like literally haunted by Amy within her body. Lenny feels bad about taking Amy’s body… kind of and wants Amy to know that if she sticks with her, she has some “Caligula level shit planned out” because it’s been literal years since she’s been able to actually let loose, and have fun. Or Amy could leave, but she’s not ready to leave. Amy wants to know if Lenny is a good person, in a “Good Will Hunting” “It’s not your fault” type way, and it’s actually getting to Lenny. Lenny doesn’t think it matters, because she doesn’t matter, but that doesn’t answer the question if she is a good person. We’ve never really known Lenny. We kind of have, right before she died in season one, but It’s making me ask if she is a good person. We never thought of her as one, but it seems like there might be something there, because she doesn’t say no.
Amy and Lenny have another conversation later, and we find out Amy’s state of mind, and that she’s not always around, and she can only be herself in dreams. We also learn that Lenny actually likes David… like, Like Likes! Maybe even loves! She’s willing to do her role for David, because it’s David who needs it, and I kind of love that it’s more information about a character we don’t know as well as we think we do.
This is a good episode overall, but it doesn’t really move the plot forward much. It’s more setting up for the final confrontation, as we keep seeing more pawns getting into place, from both sides. This chess game is getting more and more intriguing as time goes on, but I’m super anxious to get to checkmate, and see what that means. An eleventh episode was added this season, so I’m thinking the next episode will be a conclusion, and episode 11 will be an epilogue of sorts… Boy, I hope that doesn’t mean this series is about to end, that would not be ok with me!