“So you’re just gonna swoop in and save me?”
“I guess so.”
“Des, no one can save her from herself but from you.”
This episode of Mary Kills People essentially revolves around Mary’s need to be saved or, at least, around those who love her more and their wish of saving her.
Ben, to be honest, has already saved her. We have already written it and are redrafting the concept.
He has never saved her because Mary’s life is in danger as the risk, for Mary, was always calculated.
Whenever Ben’s path crosses Mary’s, one chance opens up to have a way out of the spiral of ambiguity and danger from which she seems instead. Inevitably she is drawn and sucked.
“You do not have to do it anymore, case is closed.”
This he told her on the beach in the finale of the first season when, showing her the damaging picture he did not attach to the proof, as much he hadn’t attached all their conversations, he proved to have perfectly understood the truth about the nature of her activities and the connections between Mary, Des, Grady and the terminally ill.
He made a choice.
Something in Mary struck him so much that he chose to believe there were something good and right in what she was doing, so much that it worth it protecting her. Saving her from Grady, from an indictment, no matter what.
Mary deserved to be saved.
Eight months have passed and Ben has not changed one iota.
He finds her out on the subject as he investigates a house, seeing her stealthily sneaking a very suspicious bottle of rum in her house. She asks him to throw the man out which he obeys not battering an eyelid.
When the reason for everything is unveiled, his reaction is one of those that makes his armour shine, the Knight that he is.
“I will deal with Olivia…It’s what I do… Go home. Live your life”
Had the mould to have a person like Ben been broken and if he was not so hooked by Mary, there would be a line out of that camper. Granted.
Because Ben does not reproach, he does not criticize, he does not judge. Her goals understood or not, he simply accepts Mary and is aware, perhaps more than her, of how the situation is really messed up and dangerous. He has the means of saving her, pull her out of the mess she has slipped into.
By asking her to follow him to the station, once again he gives more profound facets than the obvious ones to the meaning of rescue her.
Not only trying to protect her from Olivia but the chance of taking another path, doing the right thing, crossing that line back.
How strong is Mary’s temptation to surrender to the way offered by Ben? How intense is the desire to trust him?
“Maybe I ran into him for an option”
She tells Des with the need to be true deep in her voice.
The story, for now, takes another turn when the episode ends with Travis dead in the back seat of Mary’s car.
Travis died because Des poisoned him.
Des, who Annie catches dashing off. Des, who with his strong ethics, has never had a doubt or a perplexity about what is moral and what is not, about when to break the law is not to do something wrong and what limit instead does not go wrong … He poisons Travis so that Mary can’t kill him by herself..
Another rescue, certainly different in the dynamics, but totally identical in the ultimate goal to save Mary, Not only from an imminent danger, but more and more from the impossibility of being saved.
There is a common urgency in Ben and Des’ attitude towards Mary. The will to protect her from the thought of being alone to face what she has to face.
Two really different personalities, two forms of love that are not really comparable, yet, at the showdown, both do not hesitate to question their beliefs, to expose themselves, to keep her safe from that feeling of never recovering, with which she seems to inevitably dance like someone, fascinated by the flames. She stops, instead, in place of fleeing.
Mary is safe. For now.
Ben has to deal with the ruinous course of his investigation.
Des has to face demons that his conscience won’t allow him to hide from himself.
But Mary is safe.
Thanks to Des and Ben she returns home and hugs Jess because nothing is worthier than family in her heart.
We don’t know for certain if Mary is or not aware of the value of her friends actions, of why they put so much at risk.
We do not know how much she realizes that all the care and the courage and determination, have been for her.
Simply because in their eyes she deserves it. In their thoughts she has a right to her chance of happiness.
There is such a tenderness and a vulnerability in Ben and Des, when Mary is involved, which, while in the story it amplifies her own vulnerability, in our eyes it gives credit to Jay Ryan and Richard Short of an intensity a depth and a balance of interpretation that only the ones most capable of empathy can find within themselves.
As for Mary … Mary has never been saved before. From noone. Ever.
She had to help her mother to commit suicide to stop her suffering.
She had to raise her sister because without a father and with that mother, who else could’ve taught Nicole to live?!
She was so motherly with Kevin who maybe filled her dinner table, but certainly did not clear her mind of worries.
She is so used to not letting go, not counting on anyone, only trusting her strength and options. She does not even know how to handle either Des’ generosity or Ben’s momentum.
She has always been alone. To think she has to get by herself has always been natural to her.
Loneliness has been her strength.
Words are not enough here to tell how Caroline Dhavernas is masterful in making this woman alive and true from within, so incredibly concealed but multifaceted.
Everything about her palpitates Mary’s pulse and there will be no recognition for which she will not be proudly deserved for one of the most beautiful tv characters we’ve seen in a while..
Mary is alone which she thinks is the only way to go.
This is why Brendan and Germaine upset her so much by undermining her certainties.
“We were each other’s twin flame.”
It does not matter that they are no longer together in a romantic sense. It does not matter that they were not perfect for each other. There are neither perfect people nor perfect relationships.
What exists, in this season even more than in the previous all the characters seem to whisper it insistently to Mary, what exists is the consoling force that comes from bonds, the cathartic power that comes from not feeling alone.
One of those quotes printed on posters and postcards which says that
‘You Cannot Save People. You Can Only Love Them.’
It’s all in Ben and Des’ choices. In Brendan and Germaine’s, all in loving without guarantees but still loving, the message of salvation that everybody wishes Mary to get and to treasure, to give meaning to the pain around her which sometimes seems too much for her too.
Pain, like mess, cannot be avoided.
However it can be shared because you are not alone.
“There are certain people that just keep coming back into your life no matter what happens.”
We must be good at choosing when to give them a chance to stay.
Edited by Lisa
The Judas Cradle – Morning Glory
We are all alone, together.
“This show is special. Heart so naked. We are all alone, together “.
Honestly, we know that he is a poet, it is true, though Greg Bryk must have felt really inspired by this wonderful show, to define it so beautifully with so few but incisive words.
He made them all stand in a tweet. Great poet. Inspired.
Like all of us.
How can you not feel inspired by a show that under the pretext to perform death, tells so much truth about life?
It whispers it. Gently, with notes in the background and precious words.
It paints it. Barely visible with light strokes, in lights and reflections, in looks and details.
These two hours of the season finale pass truly fast on the screen and pass within you. They invest and caress you at the same time. In the end, we all stand as Mary, eyes staring at the boat going away, brightly, blinding.
We feel alive.
It happens rarely that in an entertainment production such as a television series, there is enough to nourish the soul and heart with true feelings with deep emotions. Something indeed capable of overcoming the television screen barrier and touch us. Really touch us.
It’s rare but it happens.
As for Mary Kills People.
All alone, together.
They strive so much to get along alone, all the characters.
They do their best, work hard with a mixture of awareness and cynicism, which they have in common, paradoxically
Trust, loyalty, connections.
Throughout the story during previous episodes, it seemed clear to each of them that trust is painful, too much. Better to give up, do not open yourselves, do not rely on anyone. Even the ones who love you hurt you just as those who may not know you either.
Des and Mary. Mary and Ben. Ben and Frank and Jess and Naomi.
Each of them retain fragments of truth, hidden. Everyone feels alone.
In the first part of this Final Act, Mary embodies more than anyone else the paradigm of this disrupting, unnatural solitude.
Hats off, a deep bow, kudos, and a permanent sense of gratitude for the skill with which Caroline Dhavernas breaks into the soul’s hidden aspects of this complicated woman, making her poignant, passionate, so inherently human.
Mary did not trust Ben, Des wanted to betray her, her family is unable to approach her, Annie leaves her.
Fabulous, fantastic, admirable, Morgan, who has no need for too many bows to fathom her, in that detatched hotel room, Mary more lonely than him who is going to die.
From his abyss of despair, now that finally he can feel peace, Morgan reads Mary’s pain and understands.
The comforter becomes comforted and that pain that tears apart, hidden in the inner, finds solace in being narrated.
Staying with Morgan in quiet rest, Mary realizes that loneliness hurt her, much more than the people around her.
The thought of being always alone facing life, choices, events.
Lonely and therefore defeated.
Mutual comfort that Morgan and her are able to share in the most dramatic moment which gives Mary the awareness to admitting that there is no future, no hope, alone.
In the solitude that terrifies and surrounds death, Mary gets in a flash that the way out exists but the path must be ridden together.
When Mary leaves Morgan’s hotel room, she is no longer willing to give up.
She is ready to fight because living is hard, perhaps more so than dying.
When you do, when your “right” is what is wrong for everyone else, surely it is even harder.
Though there is no doubt, no more hesitation in Mary’s actions, once she understands which is the road that can be walked, but not by yourself.
Life is chaos and chaos must be ridden, not controlled, though alone you’re defeated on the outset.
In one shot Mary saves Des, saving trusting him. She recovers Annie, keeps Jess back close, opens to Nicole, trusts Ben.
She relies on Ben.
When she puts in Grady’s hands the needle with which he will inject her with pentobarbital, Mary puts her life in Ben’s hands.
Before trusting him, she decides to trust feelings he has for her.
Because love is true. Love does not lie and Mary felt something with Ben and she doesn’t want to believe it was only the “great sex”, counting on something that no one can ever guarantee but that exists if you feel it and believe it.
Mary does not fall, she remains standing, holding on to those thousands of fibres that connect us with each other, in Hermann Melville’s words.
She wins her battle triumphantly and with her, everyone understanding that you are alive if we open ourselves to others, win. That trust is not madness, it’s courage. Sometimes it is worth it…. “Or else the monsters win”.
Des, Annie, Jess, Ben, Nicole. All of them win with Mary.
Grady is the loser.
Grady who had stigmatized the power coming from emotional detachment, the strength coming from rational lucidity – only Greg Bryk could make him with that admirable expressive versatility – He dies.
The lone invincible fails in the same moment in which emotional distance is not enough to be in control and going further, he succumbs in an unfamiliar battleground.
So narcissistically obsessed, not to be underestimated and yet he ends up allowing Mary’s courage to surprise him, stunned just enough to change the story.
Of course we have already said it and all our heroes have experienced it: trust is risky, dangerous.
Yet, sometimes it is better to risk to be hurt than to hurt.
Des understands it immediately and shares his painful awareness with Ben in an unforgettable dramatic moment, both so tormented by their inner conflict, so torn by the battle going on in their hearts, against themselves, not to be really able to confront one another.
Unreachable and memorable, Richard Short and Jay Ryan in the opening moments of Des’ place.
Priceless is Ben’s tenderness in deciding how to live with his conflict and save Mary.
Of course, when he find out she is in danger, he rushes to save her.
“And then you were there,” she whispers in relief.
Maybe she had not realized how much Ben protected her even before, and perhaps she does not realize it fully even on the beach, when with a smile that would make anyone succumb, recommends Ben to not fall in love with his next target.
Ben, close to her, to protect and save her, because he failed to attach his private conversations with Mary to the investigation. He could not confide to Frank how close he’s come to the real Mary.
He told Des he did not know her at all, only because he felt betrayed by discovering the truth from Frank rather than from her.
He knew, in his heart, he felt something deep, something beyond sex, just as Mary did, and her confession to Des, in the car, gives him reason to his instinct.
Ben is all conflict in the season finale, torn by what he should do and what he would do. Everything got worse by what he got.
Thank you, thank Jay Ryan for dedicating all of himself to Ben and for doing it with such a generosity to give him to the audience so true.
There isn’t much of Ben’s conflict in his words, it’s all in facial expressions and looks, in sighs, jaw shrinks, arching eyebrows… A riveting show of rough and real humanity in a fictional character.
Everything: nervousness, indecisiveness, guilt, hope.
Sweetness and love, no, he does not conceal them all.
He pours them all in his goodbye – momentary – heart melting kiss.
He is not a man of many words, Ben. Rather one of few significant gestures.
He calls and meets her to give back the compromising photos found at Grady’s.
One more proof of how much he wanted to protect and save her even from herself if needed.
A serious pretext, just as his expression while waiting on the sand.
However, she reaches him, she smiles, and he can do nothing but tell her he cannot think of his life without her being a part of it.
Not a bad cop because of his behaviour toward Mary.
Far from it.
He knows how to give high value to his work, so much strength to his ethics, he has no doubts to distinguish what is right from what is legal, what is wrong from what is illegal.
Just like Mary does.
He makes his choices doing it with a firmness that is maybe his most beautiful surprise, often disguised by weakness.
Though, on that beach, in the strange light of an uncertain sunset, he knows he has been right.
To bet on the others is risky.
When the reward is a smile and a hidden promise …worth it.
Ben’s desire to a connection, his tender happiness understanding that he reached his goal, that it was not wrong to count on it, are a fantastic assistance to give a real meaning to Des’ words.
Wonderfully, he pulls the strings of the tale, whispering the moral of this story that had the ambition to tell the life, as it pretended to show us the death.
“No man is an island. We are all connected ”
Mary Kills People is all in these words.
Mary,Des and Annie goals. Ben, Jess, Nicole, wishes, and why not, Kevin and Louise’s too.
To find, to give, to share. Comfort, emotions, moments.
Each patient with stories and experiences, beautifully add meaning to the tale.
Not least Morgan, whose friends celebrating the farewell, united on the beach, remember what it means to be part of someone else’s life.
All alone you lose.
Together you win.
It takes courage.
Not to be just a burning boat astray.
Edited by Lisa
It is a weird thing, trust, a delicate feeling. Whether you give or receive, you have to handle it with care because it takes very little to damage it and only a little more to break it.
When that happens, when you stay there, knowing that something that could have been will never be, fragments strike you like the reflections of sun on the water caressed by wind.
It is such a precarious feeling and it is said to be easier to love than to trust and to have someones confidence is an honor more precious than being loved.
Raised with Wolves’ absolute protagonist is trust.
Trust that you would give but too much pain keeps you from daring.
Trust that your logic would never give but the heart has already granted, no matter what.
Trust that has always been there, you’ve just never thought to call into question and that, however, is likely to crumble apart, crumbling even you.
I don’t want to sound corny though, watching Mary Kills People one episode after another, I am invariably struck by how much and how well everything contributes to a riveting, engaging narrative.
Examples are in every scene, proving mastery and dedication of all the professionals who contribute to wrap such a beautiful product.
Grady waiting for Mary framed by water transparency or Ben talking on his cell with the picturesque lake on his back, are just two examples of the will to engage the viewer in sharing not only a tale but the emotional warmth of the scene.
You can breathe harmony and mutual understanding behind the narrative, even in conflicts.
The continuity of direction by Holly Dale, undoubtedly ensures consistency to the canvas, from background to single details. Characters, scenery, lines, lights and sounds, everything spreads real emotion, rough, conflicting and uncertain, just like those in real life.
The most intense tones are those generated by conflicts and hardest conflicts are those within each character.
Trusting another person means giving that person the power to break your heart and hoping they won’t.
This hope is so fragile in Des… He is determined to avoid Mary, to give her the chance to break his heart.
Fear of betrayal, by the only person who counts on him, is so big that he prefers to play himself in the role of the villain, compromising its principles and let it all go to hell, not to have to test his friend loyalty.
Ben, on the contrary, wants to conquer Mary’s trust, intimately gratified by her cry for help.
Deserving, perhaps, even more than conquering, aware that he had tried to betray her confidence before earning it.
Then he says what he shouldn’t say, does what he shouldn’t do, goes where he shouldn’t go, as he didn’t know whether it is strongest the desire that Mary trusts him, or the confirmation that he can trust her.
His feelings for Mary, the irrational instinct to protect her from her own vulnerabilities, are so strong and pressing that, for Mary, he is willing to go to the limit of what his ethics allows. Maybe he would be ready to cross some limit too because of Mary. After all, Ben is aware he has got her and understands her reasons. However, knowing what Mary is doing, he disapproves, though, as only one who loves can do, he is ready to accept it…Indeed, he has already done so, almost earlier than Nicole (Hats off to Charlotte Sullivan’s extraordinary skill, delivering a character so complete and complex, with just a few brushes as an expert painter).
Ben accepted Mary without wonder and shyness, he doesn’t let what Mary does to be a reason to hold back his desire to be there for her.
He doesn’t allow Mary to be defined by her mistakes…
Ben’s ability to see the good in Mary is amazing in spite of the truth of what she does, which is, for him, burning, crystal and inescapable.
Ben seems ready to do anything for Mary. He admits with candor to Frank at the district.
For some reason she chose him. Him, the son of a happy couple who share a serene retirement in Florida. He, who was brought up on good and right, cannot hold back.
He cannot remain emotionless to what he saw in Mary, when, alone and desperate, she came knocking on his door.
That evening, two solitary beings took refuge in one another.
He is so sure of the vulnerability he saw behind her strength. A strength that only fear and pain feed.
He is so sure as to follow his instinct leading him to her side. He moves us most with the sincerity and tenderness with which he proposes the trip to Florida with Mary or with looks and the sweetness he reserves for her,later, at every Nicole sympathetic allusion.
This is why the disappointment of then, it hurts so much ….
That’s why Ben does not have the clarity of mind nor the calm to understand that Mary is going to tell him exactly what he has just found out.
Mary’s “I want to be honest with you” has a tremendous, unappreciated value.
Mary confirms his instinct, Mary trusts him.
But in Ben’s ear, on the pontoon, there is only the cry of pain of his broken heart and Mary’s sincerity, the reciprocated trust, is lost in that echo of pain.
Ben was freaked out by Mary’s vulnerability and fell in love.
Jumping to conclusions during the phone call, believing everything he had imagined about her suddenly wrong, miserably shatters the confidence he felt, the trust he thought she deserved.
Even before being betrayed by Mary, Ben is betrayed by the collapse of his expectations. Doesn’t wait, doesn’t listen, he overreacts.
It’s too painful to think that Mary is not as fragile as she looked in his arms.
In front of her, he was incredibly himself.
Too much pain to think that she has not reciprocated.
It is not the thought of a Mary “worse” than he thought to crush Ben’s heart and logic,
it is the horror at the thought of exposing himself, to have been true in front of someone capable instead of pretending emotions, fragility and involvement.
Once undermined the trust in Mary’s emotional honesty, there is no room for his feelings.
Ben goes away, leaving Mary torn and lonely.
That’s how Mary has always seen herself. How she always felt.
The immensity of pain inside her to suggest that such an immense sorrow could not be shared, could not be understood and loneliness was the remedy to survive.
Keeping all this pain inside, though, because your sister does not deserve it, your husband would not understand (and that’s how he became an ex) and taking this almost clinical detachment from any emotional involvement, makes you tougher, preventing you from trust issues, pushing people away, even daughters.
The fear of allowing the ones she loves to come too close to her runs deep and corrodes her soul like a burning fire.
Mary can only rely on herself.
An indelible pain which will never die, as she says, has been caused by those who loved her most.
She is no longer used, not capable and too afraid to trust. She would not trust Ben and she is committed to strenuously keep him away since the beginning, at her wake up in the motel.
She slams in his face that he cannot be trusted because he is the one always working, the one pretending.
She shows coldness, distance. She knows how much any weakness could cost.
And trust would be for her an unforgivable weakness.
The temptation to break her haven of loneliness’ barriers is great, the price is likely to be very high.
Mary would like to give up, oh how she would.
Close her eyes, shoulders enclosed by his arms as when he taught her to aim, protected.
“To properly aim you have to control subconscious”, he said.
Surrounded by him, her inner demons silent at last, she felt herself, without fear and the shot was direct and precise.
I wonder what she thought.
Taking a deep breath, the warmth of Ben on arms and back, she must have thought how everything would have been easier, in that warmth, finally protected.
However Mary seems to resist there and later, during the walk.
Yet, Ben’s protective desire to crumble Mary’s solitude broke through, the sincerity of his feelings not unheard.
She needs just a little encouragement by Nicole as she had already settled inside her that Ben and what he means, is worth the risk.
Sadly just to hear his voice in delivering her real name, it’s enough to know her choice was late.
Nothing ever easy for Mary.
The resolution to confide, to share everything with Ben, not just the loneliness, is a difficult and important step, so bitterly reviled by the simple lack of timing.
Not enough strength to grab Ben, to stop him, yelling at him that what he found out was exactly what she went to tell him. That it’s what she meant her “to be honest”.
He should just listen to her.
She is so resigned to being disappointed by those who love her that she doesn’t even try, does not believe it.
It is easier to keep protecting herself, to see in Ben’s reaction a cold pro calculation rather than his disappointed irrational bitterness.
Easier to whisper to herself “I told you so,” and letting him leave, rather than risk of not being trusted once she explained.
Rejecting because of the dread of not being accepted.
Expectations play a role in the episode secondary to that played by the trust.
Ben and Mary, they wound each other because of the fear of being hurt, because of hesitation in believing, afraid that trusting each other will mean to concede too much into their vulnerability.
To protect themselves, expose both of them to a bigger pain.
To trust means exposure to risk of suffering, of course.
Those we love can hurt us more than anyone else, even not on purpose.
What Ben and Mary must both ask themselves, from the depth of their solitude, is whether the warmth of the presence of each other in the other’s life is worth the risk of getting burned.
Edited by Lisa
“There is beauty in the Inevitable”
It’s impressive that each episode of Mary Kills People takes the audience to a gradually deeper level of knowledge of the events and characters.
It is as if they had shown us a large canvas from the beginnning, already complete, which the evolution of the story makes us focus right down to details.
We could easily define this third episode as the best seen so far, except that, as said, it helps to create a bigger picture, every detail to enrich the overall vision so, at the end of the six, each one will be quite an important chapter of the wonderful story.
In “Wave the white flag” reactions to events are like layers of an onion on character’s skin, fallen away, one after the other, exposing all the emotions, the truth, the reasons which move each one of the protagonists in this choral tale.
Meeting Irene and Declan in the opening moment, Mary and Des are enchanted by peacefulness and love they perceive as an aura around the tight-knit couple. The shared happiness they exhibit in spite of everything has a special value for Mary who’s maybe feeling the vibes of an old nostalgia for never having experienced something even close to that emotion, softened by the knowledge, mixed with hope, that maybe sometimes, somewhere, it truly exists.
The overture sequence Lime and Coconut alone brings about praise and plaudits to the wonderful Holly Dale for the skill with which she introduces lights and contrast, peacefulness and chaos and anticipates much of the episode’s tone, ‘tuning’ viewers as to what is about to happen.
It is a narrative choice which is really very effective to put so much sunshine and serenity – the fantastic music score helps a lot – at the beginning of a story that is rather turbulent and confused as though the grey of the sky rocked by the wind before a storm.
The cinematography also admirably tells of this conflict, from the exuberance of Irene and Declan’s garden, to the coldness of the beach where Mary meets Ben for the first of three contacts, each one more illuminating than the others.
Characters are stretched like violin strings, moment by moment, raw nerves at every clash they share.
That instinctive awareness, misty but strong, in all that is happening today will complicate tomorrow life.
They each do their best to keep the helm and not get carried away by the storm, not always easy though.
Far from it.
It is not always even possible.
Des knows it when he sees the routine that has been scrupulously built and shared with Mary, creak under the weight of unexpected events and Mary’s dramatic reaction to them.
Bravo, from deep down, to Richard Short who introduces us, with unusual and uninhibited skill, a character multifaceted, true and credible both in sarcastic tones and in the dramatic moments, all intensely and brilliantly delivered.
Frank knows it as much as he knows Ben and is able to read his soul sooner than the colleague reads his own feelings. His affection is so sincere that he has not the courage to intervene, but you could lose yourself in the depth and intensity of Lyriq Bent’s eyes when, at the hospital, he puts in his stare all the sincere concern, without judgments or convictions, for what Ben is living.
Jess knows it. Jess who does not see any hope for her heartfelt need of certainties.
The people she loves seem so ready to hurt her. She sees the storm everywhere around her, not only in the sky.
Even Grady knows, the merciless Grady, frenzied and moody figure created by the talented genius of Greg Bryk. Things could get messy from time to time and his coldness and maniacal ability to control each factor may not be enough.
Mary knows of course. Oh yes, she knows …
She has already lost more than a protective layer, maybe she never had so many, feels the storm coming more intensely because she lives the storm inside, holding it within, even before impacting events that trigger it.
Mary is storm.
Ben is the one who notices it.
Ben who fits into the story so deviously, a liar and who reveals a conflicting personality at the very least so fascinating, a moral so pure as to make him tenderly vulnerable.
Ben reads Mary.
He reads the hidden implications in the innermost defenses and he is bewitched.
He knows so little that he should not get her so well, he could not.
But Mary has exposed herself to him. She was softly herself when she saw only a chance encounter, a sudden contact, intense, though not dangerous.
In his fake, dingy apartment, Ben was someone to tell everything to without fear, knowing that he would not have time or no other to witnesses her narration.
The storm that Mary hurls at Ben is truly and deeply destabilizing. Whatever happens, it changes you forever.
Ben makes no effort to do his job honestly. He is honest.
He is investigating Mary, does not tell fibs to himself nor justify himself to her.
He is consistent in his soul even as he is overwhelmed by the swirl of emotions that Mary arouses. No armor but certainly reminds us of a knight of yesteryear, always ready to do his duty and to protect Mary without thinking for a moment.
Although Mary is the one who errs.
Even those who make mistakes deserve protection.
Even those who are fragile make mistakes and Ben saw the fragility of Mary. He perceived, felt, touched every moment Mary was close to him.
The fragility and the conflict.
The fragility of Mary, Ben cannot resist.
The most beautiful scene of the episode, the narrative moment that changes the whole story is definitely in the hospital when Ben, anything but lost, has no hesitation in grasping the arm of Mary and writes his number to be called for anything. For anything at all. The sight of Mary shocked, yet another perception of her fragility, gives him the strength to take a step that is kind of an irrevocable choice.
Moved, touched, bewitched by this messy creature who he didn’t ask to meet but has, Ben feels he wants to be there for her.
He decided to do so.
To reach Mary, later, at the motel is only a consequence of the steps taken in that corridor.
He does not respond with words but by kissing her when she asked why he had reached her.
With tenderness and intensity of what seems like the first kiss, which they missed in the heat of their first encounter, he tells her he is there because he cares about her, because the attraction has quickly given way to something more engaging, more intimate, deeper.
The conflict that Ben will have to live, for those steps in the hospital corridor and the sweet hugging at the motel, does not currently have any importance.
What matters right now, is that the raw, fragile Mary feels lonely.
He wants her to know she is not alone.
Maybe Mary fell asleep in Ben’s arms after making love. Maybe she’d have dreamed of a lush garden and the color of the flowers, the warmth of the sun on the skin and the happiness in the heart …
Edited by Lisa
WOMEN BEHIND CANADIAN TV: TASSIE CAMERON
Bridget Liszewski | March 14, 2016 | Canadian TV, TV News | No Comments
Those who are fortunate enough to earn success from working in the harsh business of television have a right to give back, says Rookie Blue creator Tassie Cameron. Having served as showrunner on the cop drama for six seasons, winning the WGC Showrunner Award in 2011, Cameron says that she not only sees it as her responsibility to mentor younger writers, but it’s something that she gets a lot of enjoyment from doing. A prime example of that is the recent announcement that her new production company, Cameron Pictures Inc., will be producing the new Global series Mary Kills People, coming in January 2017 from Tara Armstrong, winner of the 2015 Shaw Media Writer’s Apprentice Program.
A graduate herself of Canadian Film Centre (CFC), prior to creating Rookie Blue, Cameron wrote on shows such as Flashpoint and The Eleventh Hour. She is currently shopping her new project, 10 Days in the Valley starring Demi Moore, to networks. The show will feature Moore as Jane Sadler, an overworked writer and single mother, whose 5 year old daughter is taken from her bed in the middle of the night.
Cameron recently spoke to The TV Junkies as part of our Women Behind Canadian TV series to discuss the strategies she uses when filling out a writers’ room, as well as how those choices get reflected in the characters that come across on the screen. She also discusses her new ventures, and the benefits women can get from supporting one another.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
The TV Junkies: You’re at the point in your career where you are the one now putting together writing rooms, but what was the gender makeup of rooms you were in early on in your career?
Tassie Cameron: My first real job was on Degrassi and that was pretty equal, 50/50. I then went on to Tom Stone, a show for CBC that was set in Calgary. That was my one and only experience being the only woman in the room. It was a bunch of alpha male writers and me – and was run by Andrew Wreggitt, who was one of my first real mentors and to this day, remains a close friend of mine. I was definitely the token girl on that team. One of the main characters on that show was a woman from Toronto; it was a fish out of water story of her being out in Calgary and I think they wanted to replicate that experience by hiring a city girl from Toronto to come out and provide a female perspective on cowboys and Calgary and life out west. That was the only time I’ve ever been the only woman in a room. And I loved it. I loved the guys I worked with, and it was complete baptism by fire. But since then it has been much more equal, both in the rooms I’ve been in and the rooms I’ve run.
TTVJ: Your writers’ rooms, especially on Rookie Blue (where 74% of the episodes were written/co-written by women), tend to have more females than males. Is that a conscious effort on your part and what strategies do you use when filling out a room?
TC: I wouldn’t say it was conscious, in that we weren’t going for 75% or anything. Although I think those numbers are super-cool, and I’m proud of them. I think consciously I’m aware of the challenges that women face in this industry. So on that level, I’m always trying to find new female writers to work with, to mentor, to help get their careers off the ground. I think that’s reflected in the numbers on Rookie Blue. I’m conscious of it on that level; but I’ve never said ‘Oh the room needs to be 50/50,’ and never made those rules for myself.
That said, I’d be very surprised if I ever designed a room that didn’t have a couple of women in it. That just seems completely unlikely to me, partly because so many of the writers that I love working with are female, and so often I’m working on shows that have complicated, strong female characters in them. So of course you want to be staffing your room with strong, complicated female writers. But I’ve never made a rule of it.
TTVJ: Speaking of “strong female characters,” Rookie Blue gave us such a wide variety of them and yes, they had guns, but they had all these other layers to them and viewers really saw them, flaws and all. Do you attribute that fact to having so many women in your writers’ room?
TC: Absolutely. When you sit around with writers like Sherry White, Semi Chellas, Esta Spalding, Adriana Maggs, Noelle Carbone, Ley Lukins, Karen Moore, Katrina Saville, Shelley Eriksen… These are amazing women with vast ranges of experiences, and the one thing that unites everyone is a strong sense of humor. So in an effort to amuse each other, we all get very honest; and those very honest stories often find their way into our characters. So yes, I think having strong, complicated and honest women in your room means that your female characters are going to reflect that.
TTVJ: What responsibility do experienced writers have to young women who are just starting out in their careers?
TC: We have a huge responsibility to help people along, to mentor them, to make sure young writers are getting their names on scripts, to make sure they are getting paid properly, to make sure they are getting the opportunities they need to rise up to become the next generation of television writers. It’s something I take very seriously. Partly just for job insurance. When they are all running shows and I’m 100 years old, maybe they will hire me.
Honestly, I had incredible mentors that helped me every step of the way – men and women, writers, producers, executives. So I guess I’m just trying to pay that back as much as I can. And not just with women. There are obviously some remarkable male writers out there and young guys I’m trying to help out. It’s not a gender thing; it’s about helping talented people that need a break, and it just so happens that a lot of the people I’ve been able to work with have been women.
I think it’s also important to model a collaborative approach to this, versus a competitive approach. My closest friends in this business are all women I’ve worked with, people who you might’ve thought were your competition but we never let it go there–an incredibly collaborative group of women who have never let the competition thing get in the way and who help each other out on everything. I think it’s crucial to model that for other young women starting out in the business. You don’t have to be a cutthroat, insecure person to get ahead. You’re going to get way further ahead if you have supportive, sympatico friends who will help you get there.
TTVJ: Often when women are put in leadership positions we can worry about how we’re going to be viewed. Do you worry about that at all and what’s your leadership strategy?
TC: When I was young somebody said something to me that always stayed with me. ‘You can run a creative enterprise in two ways: fear or love.’ And for me? Fear is not an interesting place to work from, creatively. While I can see how it works for certain people, for me, the writing room needs to be very safe, very collaborative, and very honest. And I think my relationships with directors and actors and crew work the same way. I hope that I’m inspiring people to give me their best because we all care so much about each other and about our collective project, and not because they are scared of me. It wouldn’t be true to who I was if I was trying to scare people.
TTVJ: You’re now running your own production company, and developing a show by a young woman, Tara Armstrong, with Mary Kills People. Is that something you want to keep doing with your production company, specifically look for shows from young women?
TC: I love working with other writers and I love finding new talent and trying to figure out what the right material is for them to be developing and how I can help. I love being surprised by voices that are so different from mine and stories that are so different from stories I’d ever think of telling. I find it incredibly gratifying to work with emerging writers; and if I can be useful by producing with them, well then, why wouldn’t I do that? Tara is exactly the kind of person I want to be working with–hard working, intelligent, with a fiercely unique vision and a strong point of view–and I have been enjoying it immensely.
TTVJ: You’ve had to pitch multiple series to networks in the past and you’re actively pitching a new series at the moment. Can you share a little what that’s like and if you ever feel like you’re getting treated differently during that process because you’re a female?
TC: I don’t feel that I have been treated any differently in the pitching process, not at all. In fact I was at HBO today and there was only one man in the room: seven powerhouse women, and one very lovely, brilliant man. I’ve never felt like it’s a big liability. I think what I do feel is that I’m grateful to be a female writer and not a female director. Those are the people having a really challenging time breaking into this industry–female directors and female writers of color is really where the work needs to be done.
TTVJ: What advice do you have for young women looking to get into the television industries in these behind the scenes positions?
TC: It helps if you have a great script and a great sample. So sitting down and writing a strong original sample that really represents your voice and what you want to say, without necessarily worrying about whether that script will ever find a home or get made, is a huge piece of the puzzle. I think a really strong sample of original work is crucial.
Beyond the usual pieces of advice, a sense of humility is a helpful thing. Don’t be afraid to take a job as a writers’ assistant or as the assistant to a showrunner or producer. Almost every single person that I’ve had as an assistant—and I mean someone who’s literally picking my kid up at daycare–has become a writer with me, if that’s what they wanted to be in the first place. Become a coordinator and then become a junior story editor, then go from there. There are ways to prove yourself in those jobs that really make a difference and make you somebody that people trust and somebody people will take a chance on. If you’re smart, motivated, hard-working, and talented, the world really will take notice.
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Born in Whistler, British Columbia, this young artist already boasts credits as actress, writer, director and producer.
As actress she began to work very young. Known expecially for The Fog, Bridges and Sanguine, she currently plays the recurring role of Samantha in “Between” and Jess in “Mary Kills People”.
As Jess, in both season of Mary Kills People Abigail is playing Mary’s teen daughter who learns that the people closest to her are not what they seem.
2015-2016 Between (TV Series) Samantha
2015 V Morgan Is Dead (TV Series) Laura
2014 Warehouse 13 (TV Series) Claire (15 years old)