“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