Before the Season finale of Mary Kills People airs on Monday, we lingered on how Jay Ryan told his character, Ben, and his growth in season 2.
“Once Mary enters Ben’s world, it’s turned upside down again.
She has a power over him that breaks all laws and gravity. She really is more in control of the relationship this season.
This season his undercover work is more offhand and he’s playing outside the ring a little bit, he doesn’t expect to see Mary at all.”
“He’s putting the events of Season 1 past him.
Frank has told him that Mary’s trouble and he’s going to get in a lot of trouble too if he goes down that path, but he does.”
Mary and Ben are two people that like to play outside the rules.
They play outside the realm of their occupations, and live on the line a little bit. Ben’s a lonely guy, he’s got his tail between his legs a little bit. I guess Mary is dangerous and he likes that about her, and it makes him feel more alive.”
Being undercover, you engulf yourself in the world of the person you’re trying to take down.
You’re both human, so emotionally you get attached, but at the end of the day you have to arrest them–but that doesn’t stop those feelings. I think he’s a little confused if his feelings for Mary are real, or if they’re just a placebo effect of him doing his job.”
from The TV Junkies – Mary Kills People Actors on Ben and Mary Relationship and the Season 2 Power Struggle – Kelly Townsend – January 16, 2018
Ben – is a man of many masks. He likes to hide behind roles, and that makes him feel safe and secure – but as he delved into Mary’s world a bit more, those masks slipped away.
“They say in the moment
before you die
you see your life,
a spat of film strip,
the bad and good,
nightmares and dreams,
unfolding before you.
Your first dog.
Your first cigarette.
Your first love.
A friend who became a stranger.
The tree you planted
when you were five.
These moments come up
and grab you.
Live and steady.
And then they let go.
Receding into the past.
Before parting ways,
your body is weightless,
hovering in place for what
feels like an eternity.
This is so you have
enough time to say goodbye.
But you don’t realize it.
Because it’s all of a moment.
A speck in time
in which you exist.
And then not.
Just a moment.
Before it’s all over.”
Justin Giallonardo, MaryKills People Season 2 Ep6
I guess if Mary Kills People has its fatal flaw as a show, then it’s a passionate, fool love for what makes life meaningful.
This season finale, astoundingly poignant, pulls the strings of both seasons’ tale, links by hand all characters encountered on the stage. Actors and extras of a higher story of which maybe they were unaware.
All gathered together like Brendan’s friends saying his goodbyes in the woods, each one with its verses, each one with its fragment of life lived, to build the message, the legacy of this wonderful show.
Why Mary Kills People is a show captivating for the audience, involving intimately things we do not know or want to talk about.
What we know is that only something which has involved intensely in its genesis, can involve in turn.
What we rather want to highlight is how every single component, every single detail contributes to compose this valuable tapestry, the more precious, the more rare.
So let us stand up to applaud anyone who took part in this show. The 3 fantastic, surprising directors – the level to which Holly Dale had left the bar last year seemed unattainable – to the writers, poets of intimate feelings as ancient elegies rather than just simple screenwriters. To musicians, able to tell with notes and songs what could not be said with words. To photographers and editors leaving us speechless. To costumes, make-up, prop department, location scouts, who set them up, to the guy who brought them a cup of warm coffee in the cold of Ontario autumn…
All those who helped make this show true, above all others.
True but at the same time, poetic.
To the actors, all of them, generous interpreters of characters and personalities. Soul donors. Their talent second only to the devotion with which they have been committed to make Mary, Des, Ben, Nicole, Jess, and Olivia, Brendan, Germaine, Heather, Noemi , Betty …all true.
All of them: Caroline Dhavernas, Richard Short, Jay Ryan, Abigail Winter, Charlotte Sullivan, Rachelle Lefevre, Salvatore Antonio, Karen Le Blanc… All.
To those two brave women who have defied the custom, ignored the easiest way, choosing as the first project to link their name to a story so out of the box, challenging, revolutionary…
Thank You from the heart, Tassie and Amy Cameron.
If Life were a person, Mary Kills People would be its epitaph.
The love verses telling the meaning of an existence.
The season finale did nothing but confirm feelings and emotions that kept us company throughout the whole season.
As in the procession in the woods, protagonists marched for us with their fragment of story as their legacy.
They marched for us and for Mary.
The entire season was designed as a path of awareness for each one of the characters, from Mary to Des, to Jess, Nicole and Ben.
The patients who we saw dying in the episodes made their farewell a testimony of values, leaving to Mary and Des but also to Nicole and Ben and finally to Jess, a message as a sort of responsibility, arousing not only emotions but deep reflections in each character’s inner being.
During this last day in the finale, we see all protagonists committed, in one way or another, voluntarily or involuntarily, to make life-changing choices, deciding how to fill, frame by frame, that footage that will flow before our eyes in the last moments, choosing how to give worth to life.
It is all in choices and awareness in the path that brings everyone together in the end, in a clearing in the woods, in the light of candles surrounded by marigolds.
Jess, with the delicate but intense touch of Abigail Winter’s talent, surprises us positively, confirming an esteem that is unlikely to be questioned.
She finds out the nature of Mary’s clandestine work. She finds out it in the most brutal way yet she does not bat an eyelid. Her acceptance, which reminds us once more that nature of love is to love, not necessarily to save or understand, is second only to Mary’s candor in opening up to her.
When the situation is desperate and you put a lot on scale, it is not worth wavering and holding back.
So Mary can be sincere and honest and true in confessing her daughter that there is all of herself in what she does and she does not know why nor can she be different – Bravo at the poignant artistic moment of Caroline Dhavernas that goes beyond stealing us a tear. Beyond acting, beyond awards, beyond TV or maybe giving a new definition of TV entertainment just as the whole show did.
Jess does not need anything else. Nothing more than to know who her mother is, to be able to love her completely, to understand that she is really loved in turn.
Jess and Mary choose without fear of being themselves and their choice leads them to stand side by side to face together what happens.
Nicole has not always understood Mary’s motivations. Quite the contrary.
Not just because Mary had kept them hidden at first. There, Nicole had been quick and ready to get a clear idea of her sister’s actions but why the reasons, she had not always been able to share.
Embracing enthusiastically Des’ project of the hospice, Nicole too takes her position beside Mary, choosing in turn.
If to be Mary’s sister, if to have the only family left in Mary means to be part of Mary’s life as much as you want her to be part of yours, Nicole is there, she does not hesitate anymore.
With enthusiasm, positive inclination, involvement and “vibes”, Nicole’s path leads her to look forward enriched by her experiences thanks to Mary.
Des … Des is the person who has changed more since the first season.
Eight months of reflection and rethink have given him a great advantage on the way to the awareness.
He has the clearest ideas and the deepest doubts.
He knows exactly, in every moment of his adventure with Mary, what he is doing and why he is doing it. His awareness gives each of his actions a more meaningful and deeper value.
We must bow to Richard Short, so extraordinarily the Master of this eclectic and multifaceted character, to give him nuances that in the writers’ room they dared not even imagine.
The choice of Des, therefore, with the greater awareness that the events had given him, is more a confirmation than a new choice.
A confirmation linked to a discovery.
The confirmation that he does not need a painful, intimate past to embrace with passion the choice to do what’s good, in a way perhaps still illegal, perhaps unconventional but with no shadow of doubt or fear, right, noble, appropriate.
Choosing what he believes is right inevitably means choosing Mary, is his own fatal flaw. Because Mary is not always aware. Mary is not always fearless. Mary does not always proceed with straight and understandable trajectories.
On the contrary…
Mary is a whirlwind of emotions. Her apparent coldness is just the garment she uses to cover, protecting herself, an unthinkable vulnerability that comes from an extraordinary emotionality.
Mary is passion, strong and generous in everything she does.
Getting rid of Olivia while staying with Ben, who she loves, seems like a possible goal rather than a mirage. Mary throws herself all without hesitation. She risks and is terrified, not by Olivia, but by what she herself put into play in that operation. However she does not hold back.
When in that car with Olivia’s words, the microphone records that Mary has let Grady bleed to death, it is not the failure of trying to indict Olivia without incriminating herself to tear Mary’s heart and to deliver the knowledge there is always a cost to be paid for the choices made. The bill comes when you least expect it.
Mary, in the car with Ben, is annihilated by pain with no hypocrisy of wanting or being able to justify, because when two people who have pretended and hidden so much from the beginning do decide to be sincere, they change and do it to a true and deep level with no limits.
There is no space, therefore, to drown the truth that brutally tears away what was between them, as the tape that holds the microphone is torn painfully and abruptly from Ben.
Could Mary have chosen differently?
It does not matter.
Planning with Ben in the woods, she chose knowing how much she was putting at risk, though trusting if the plan had worked, so many questions would have been silenced, so many shadows gone, maybe forever.
Wearing the wire in Olivia’s car, she realized at the highest price that the only way to dispel the shadows is to turn on the light, as she had done with Jess.
How she did not succeed with Ben.
If she was ready to pay the price for such a high risk. If she was ready to face such a loss, we believe not.
On the contrary, we believe that the story has still much to tell precisely because it’s Mary who has still so much to say, to understand and to achieve.
So generously committed to helping others give meaning to their life or death, whether one wants it, (fantastic how the two terms express the same concept when related to value and meaning), so taken by sublimating the meanings of others lives, as much as the right to choose how to die can be read as a compensation due for having to separate from affections, Mary unfailingly overlooks her own meanings, wishes and emotions that would enrich with softening tones, that final footage flowing in front of their eyes in the last moments.
Brendan’s farewell ceremony, his death, is almost a warning to Mary – we allow ourselves a standing ovation as deeply as Salvatore Antonio has let the character penetrate within himself to become so intense and extraordinarily touching – a standing ovation to Vlad Alexis too, for making his Germaine intense and truthful, so to highlight Brendan’s character details and nuances.
to remind Mary that death is not always or entirely serene. Not just about marigolds and candles. Sometimes it can be painful and unfair.
Betty’s death was fair and desired, her life had been full and in her eyes, done.
Brendan’s death is right and serene, since he cannot avoid it, he chooses how to live it, filling it with the richness of his affections and fullness of what he has experienced.
How fair, how serene, in comparison, Cho-cho San’s death, on the stage of Madame Butterfly which so surprisingly moved Mary?
Cho-cho San does not want to die. Cho-cho san should not die.
However when the girl’s life had emptied of what gave her meaning, she had no choice.
Because a life without meaning, it is not life.
Cho-cho san challenged her society, the conventions of her world and questioned her belief…
because of Love.
Lost her love, she can die.
She chooses love to give meaning to her life.
It is surprising that it’s Ben the bearer of the most important message for Mary.
Ben, who for so much time we had difficulty to place. Maybe, or maybe not.
Ben who was there in the shade, uncertain whether to jump to the middle of the stage.
Ben who pretends so well that you never know how much you can trust him.
Ben who does not seem to understand fully and then surprises you by accepting everything at once, redesigning everything because of Mary.
Because he loves her.
Love is worth it being on Mary’s side and we faint every time we see him telling her at that table between a mismatched cup and a doubtful Des, with an intensity that only Jay Ryan could put in that look, overwhelms words saying much, too much more.
Ben fell in love and love gave a different meaning to his life. Love for a woman, not just for what is right and fair
Love made him accept so much, indeed love made him understand so much, accepting was a consequence. Because of love he chose to live with little doubt that there is not necessarily white and black but also a little grey, as all the voices kept whispering on each side of this stage, Love is acceptance.
But in that car, from that cold wire, what Ben heard, went beyond doubt, stained grey of an indelible black.
Ben heard that he has been used. There is no other way to say it.
Used and betrayed.
Love that fills life is not a love that uses. It does not betray you.
On the squalid patio of his camper, Ben – he will understand us and excuse us, Jay Ryan – is Cho-cho San.
While in a clearing they celebrate love that makes peaceful the farewell from life, in the unreal silence of his own clearing, Ben shouts louder than words of Brendan’s poem: death makes no sense if you have not filled your life with meaning.
It matters very little that there is his bourbon or Olivia’s pento in that bottle.
Of course it counts for Mary. It will count a lot for her because the pento or the bourbon will decide the colors of many frames of her footage in her future.
There is no tomorrow if there is no love.
Pento or bourbon that it is, in that bottle Ben chooses to drown.
Edited by Lisa
“The tragedy of this life is not that it ends so soon … but that we wait so long to begin it.”
‘Come to Jesus’ is the perfect title for the day that this fifth episode of the season of Mary Kills People tells us of.
Certainly a total revelation for Ben and in many respects for Des but for Mary more than anyone else.
Just as though they had been given the opportunity to look at a different perspective of their lives, during a single, hectic, intense day, we see our characters experience and show us, unexpected versions of themselves.
Ben smoking, barefoot on Mary’s terrace. Ben thinking about the day before at Joshua’s and talking openly. Ben disarming when confessing to be ready to protect Mary as far as he can, even if it will cost him his job.
He no longer hides. No longer does he pretend anymore. He has chosen resolutely that he wants Mary in his life.
With Mary he is himself and he has never been himself before.
Mary offers the life that he never thought he could live when work took all his dedication.
His parents, idyllically close-knit, is a tough comparison to live up to. How extremely rare and difficult it would be to meet that person, the only one who lights up your eyes, who snatches a smile and steals your thoughts. Always.
Then Mary came.
She, who was so ironically wrong so must necessarily be the right one. The one that gives meaning to every single thing, to have removed sense from everything.
The one with which it is nice to start and finish each day, no matter how difficult it could be.
Des ends up saving Olivia’s life and reflects on how good Mary and he do when they manage to stay out of trouble, when the death they bring into patients’ stories is as good as their salvation, just as for Larissa’s grandmother. Probably for Mary’s mother, Joy, too.
In the name of what he believes in, in the name of what is pure and right at his eyes, Des feels ready to look confidently to the future.
Maybe for the first time he is not afraid to get involved, he is not afraid of relying on his abilities. He had become aware that he has “wasted” himself in the past, on too many occasions.
This time his project is too right to be afraid of failing.
Then there is Mary.
When you are strong, counting only on yourself, you have set the rules that help you to be who you are.
If suddenly these rules are turned to dust and you find yourself pleasantly upset by the events, a man next to you in the morning when you had just said to have messed up everything, making it impossible, being open and honest with each other when both of you were sure it could not happen, the love and trust to seize a place that you had promised to never leave them.
When these are the promises, even the worst day leaves you with a smile because everything has become so beautiful, it must turn right and fine.
Looking at the facts, Mary’s situation is not simple at all of course. Police totally in her tracks. Olivia who is likely to be a threat worse when she is at their side than when they had her against them, plus an open investigation on Betty’s death, at the hospital.
What’s more, Jess has chosen this moment to grow and learn that those you care about the most, you must love them because you want it, just because you care, without trying to understand them at all costs.
In the same way you must understand that the love others feel for you in turn can be so strongly protective, seeming difficult to understand and share.
Mary who would like to help her understand, starts sharing, does not have time, events are faster, once again, and dictate different need for her actions.
So, in a hurry to Olivia’s place, to save her, of course, because Mary and Des are the good guys, perfectly aware of what is worth to make their line mobile and what is not.
Then, almost as well as running into Ben’s arms, because something on that day was too good to think that it could not be repeated.
However risky it may be and how high the stakes are, Mary must believe that a solution exists.
She must be determined to believe for her, Ben and Des, there is a chance to fix the unhopeful routine which has came along with them for too long.
Mary needs to ask more to life. To have more.
She experienced the reassuring peace of not being alone in the morning, the strength that comes from sharing. She was moved by grandmother’s exhortation of Larissa – Remember to always love as deeply as you can – and frightened not to have done it in time on her turn, terrified thinking that with Jess it might be too late to repair, to keep her close.
Strong in her new awareness, Mary can no longer ignore it.
To open to emotions is to expose oneself, obviously. With Jess, with Ben. But without exposing herself, not giving them the opportunity to get close, to be touched by them, get warmed up by them, what else counts?!
This is why this time, in her thoughts, it is really worth risking.
Eight months ago, with Grady on one side and the police on the other, risk had been very high, the stake so high as to make the plan itself terrifying, kind of make it or break it. Mary’s cold calculation and Ben’s feelings, rewarded her boldness.
Today the situation suggests that it is not too simple.
Stakes are exponentially higher, with Des who has already been in jail and Ben putting his job and integrity at risk.
Yet the greatest risk of failure in the plan Mary will explain to Ben and Des, is neither prison nor work.
The three of them are betting something that would change meaning of their lives.
Once they get which things really matter, – how many facets to Come to Jesus, to this title! How many meanings to every little gesture, every expression and every word on this day! – After they taste how beautiful a life worth living can be – even Larissa’s belly throws a message of awareness and expectation about the future! – After they have displaced this veil of discontent and resignation and to have tried what it means to hope and trust, neither Mary nor even Ben and Des, can think of giving it up.
Des has his project, the means to finally be proud of himself. Ben has Mary, his redemption from such loneliness, the warmth of finally being himself. Mary has broken walls and barriers and wants to fight for the contact, too long denied. With Ben, with daughters.
We’ll know in the season finale if the plan to defeat Olivia and mislead police will be successful.
What will happen next? It’s just another beautiful ride to share.
What will be the price to pay? Will it be a price worth paying?
Nicole’s word of warning to Mary, in the opening of the episode, sound now with deep, meaningful nuances
“You just have to decide at some point, how much are you willing to lose for all this”
Edited by Lisa
Talking about Mary Kills People Greg Bryk brilliantly said: “This show is special. Heart so naked. We are all alone, together “.
We have already said it and today, after the tenth episode, the fourth of this wonderful second season, we feel like saying it again. Greg could not have chosen better words to define this show capable of telling feelings, emotions and conflicts so deep and intense. So true.
They are all alone, exposed and wounded, in this Ride or Die.
Des has to deal with the awareness of having made dirty, without remedy, something that he considered pure and ennobling.
The hand that destroys the line of good and evil perfectly knows all that has broken cannot be repaired neither on the table, nor in life.
Moral integrity was swept away in one stroke, like sugar.
You cannot free yourself of your actions by stripping as you do with clothes, nor by destroying the poison after the bad use has been made of it.
There seems to be no consolation to Des’ sorrow.
Ben is tender in his need to know that Mary is not as bad as he tells her, that she is not lost forever. He is too upright, too pure even to think of being in love with a person who is perverse and immoral. He struggles from within to slam the door to Mary, even if you see in his eyes he believes her when she claims not to have killed Travis. However, he cannot allow her to make his life murky, he moves in the right and the line Des has swept away has been for too long everything he referred to, what he has devoted his life to and he does not feel ready to wipe it away without a reason.
Always moving in a world filled by pretence and lies, the certainty of what was right was his compass which allowed him not to feel perverse in turn to deceive so openly to others.
Mary’s vulnerability touches the deepest chords of his being and he must be force himself, telling her “Go”, driven by the need not to know himself lost in turn.
Mary’s compass has never been the law, what is written on paper. Yet what she has done has always been motivated by a deep-rooted sense of right.
“We did what we had to do” are her favorite words, as Des tells her, because what they have done to patients has always been, without a shadow of a doubt, for the good of the patients themselves.
With Travis’ death Mary’s certainties crumble like the glass of pentobarbital on Des’ chopping board, shattered by the awareness of not having acted for the good.
It is obvious that she always thought she acted for the best but not even the need to protect her daughters is to mitigate the guilt of having made a mistake.
Even just not to trust, maybe, because the alternative offered by Ben could be valid.
Mary acted following her only known rule, never trusting and the price to pay was very high this time.
Coping with the immorality of the accomplished gesture is not enough.
Losing Ben without appeal, renouncing the only, maybe selfish, source of happiness, the only breach open in years of solitude, is perhaps the worst joke.
She, who had always felt for the others a bit like Germaine’s giraffe, capable of “achieve things out of reach”, now does not recognize herself, she does not know if the game was worth it.
They are all broken, our protagonists, victims of the acts that they were forced to perform.
The turbulence experienced by Jess and Naomi, the difficulty of obtaining from the reciprocal relationship what they seek to make, it creates a picture of greater despair and distrust.
Then comes Joshua.
“Joshua Yang, 21, dying of bowel cancer” is all he has to say about himself.
Des even accuses him of not being up to the other “patients” met so far:
“No, no, no, no, no. You know what, Josh? .I’ve met a lot of people in my time, and they’re largely inspirational and spiritual. They face the end with fortitude. They cherish the time that remains.”
Yet it is Joshua, for whom despair had made him not able to fight for what it is worth, the one who seems cannot suck the little bit of marrow left to live.
Joshua dies and with his death saves everyone.
Mary and Des come back to deal with the raw awareness that saving others is concrete in loving them. In making the gestures needed to give meaning and dignity to other’s life, and death.
At the bedside of Joshua, where on one side parents rips our hearts, especially this mother with that painful image of a modern “Pietà”, gives account and honors the pain of the loss of those we love, Mary and Des find themselves back, returning to be true to themselves – Thank You Brendan .
They find the main way back, maybe not always straight, maybe will not cross only legality territories but it is certainly the right path, the only one worth travelling.
“He is why we do this“
They are not alone, this time.
Courage, determination and the pain of Joshua don’t save only Mary and Des. In the most unexpected moment and way, they save Ben’s life and feelings, giving him all the answers he had not been able to find by himself.
Instinct pushed him to Mary, ethics to pursue her and Joshua’s death silences any doubt, frees him from any hesitation.
It is not only Joshua’s pain and despair that heals our character’s wounds. These are the gestures with which Joshua, before dying, gives meaning to his short life, makes it complete and happy, making it impossible for Mary, Des and Ben to ignore the boy’s legacy.
With no more discouragement, the meeting with Kaley gives Joshua the strength to say goodbye aware he had not lived in vain. What a great, noble, generous service Des makes him, as providentially Cupid, despite the grip of pain around his own heart.
Joshua opening his heart to Kaley, being true to his feelings no matter what because, as Racine wrote honoring tragedies’protagonists “Qui n’a plus qu’un moment à vivre, n’a plus rien à dissimuler,” he rekindles in Mary and Des the awareness of the solemnity of their task. No matter that their commitment is renewed on the ground, in a bathroom, rather.
For Ben, now that he has truly understood, now that he has made a choice he cannot ignore, all that remains is to give value to this choice, honoring Joshua’s message of hope.
The words Mary and Ben exchange sitting on the steps in Mary’s backyard, are the most passionate declaration of love which we have been allowed to be witnesses to in a really long time.
“I just watched you kill someone”
“I’m never gonna stop”
To say it with the words of another postcard quote: Love is Not “If” or “Because”. Love is “Anyway” and “Even Though” and “In Spite of”
Priceless the whole moment is sweetly commented by the wonderful You by Kyson:
No man’s an island when he’s had this conversation
No man’s in forest even if he tried to be one
I’ve seen your insights, it’s colorful
But you’re not an island if you try to be one with me
Edited by Lisa
“You must have lived to be able to die”
The first season of Mary Kills People had already taught us so much about life by pretending to talk about death.
After the first two episodes of this second series, it is affirmed, without fear of being denied, that it’s life that is the true protagonist of this brave series, properly ambitious in teaching is what living really is through showing us the thousand aspects of dying.
All of Mary and Des’ patients love life intensely.
If they did not love it so deeply, it would not count as much the way they choose to leave it.
Each of them, instead, gives extreme value to their last moments as a seal to the way they lived.
It is powerful and significant that Cho Cho-San is entrusted with the task of moving Mary into her first experience at the Opera.
The woman who renounces to live when what gives meaning to her life fails…
Because you must have lived to be able to die.
You must have allowed the ink of emotions to fill the pages of memory. You must have left indelible imprints in others lives. For the eternity.
There is no “Finale” if there has not been the story.
Des and Joshua meeting is intense and suggestive. One of those meetings which left their mark and you have to watch it again and again. Even if Richard Short and André Dae Kim steal a tear from you every single time or maybe because of it.
We are in awe of Des’ deep wisdom when he encourages the boy to live life. Death, after all, does not have to be an escape from life.
“There’s still time for you to learn and grow”.
Time does not count, but intensity does.
It’s never too late, as Joshua believes, to live, or better, to share love.
“Tell your parents. Tell Kaley-Christin-whatever-her-name-is that you like her …. Just go and live a little more. “
Here’s what life is.
Here’s what Mary Kills People wants to tell us about with Estelle’s farewell to life or the one of the Opera lover who knowingly tells Mary: “Love does not kill. It’s life itself “.
Time does not count, events do not count. Only people count. Just being “connected”, bound to each other (Ah Morgan, Morgan, how much you taught us!)
To understand that you are not alone is the key which gives fullness and meaning to life. The sense of happiness ultimately.
Everything that happens has a different value if shared. Who is able to be happy alone? The richness of the past is in the memory of those with whom we lived it.
Estelle teaches this to Mary and Nicole, telling them how she shared with her sister her entire life, making it incomparably precious.
The moment the woman gives to Mary and Nicole is unique and precious too.
Estelle, like other patients of Mary, entrusts her the last message, the last word of the story.
And it is almost a warning, very strong. It reaches Nicole clear and direct. Nicole cannot ignore it, can do nothing but to live it. Immediately.
Estelle’s last moment touched Nicole. Baton has been passed. Neither her life nor her death have been in vain.
Nicole cannot disregard Estelle’s legacy, it cannot be ignored.
Rather, she honors her by trying to get to know the inner Mary, to understand her even.
Wishing to be able to help her sister very strongly because in the end everyone, even the strongest, needs someone to help us.
“But at the end of the day who’s helping you?”
It’s not easy however to help Mary.
Her mother’s inability to get help in life, left her as the best chance to help her to be in death. This feeling has maybe killed in Mary what shakes Jess, enliven Nicole and enlighten Des.
To trust and be trusted.
Acting like the lone wolf that Nicole scolds her for and to refuse at all costs to show her vulnerability, is what makes Mary the most vulnerable, exposed to risks and fears that are too big to be faced alone.
After removing Des and keeping Nicole at a distance, it’s Ben, met in the most difficult and dangerous moment, to embody a warning perhaps even stronger than the message of Estelle herself.
At Mary’s side in the uncertainty of the situation is emerging the wish that it is not too late for her to understand. It is never too late to learn. To live. To stop thinking she must be so inevitably alone.
“Why did you ask me here, Mary?”
“I did not want to be alone.” Ben & Mary, Mary Kills People, Season 1, Wave the White Flag
Edited by Lisa
The first season of Mary Kills People sensitized the audience, for better or for worse, on the “end of life” conflicting themes, rights and choices of terminally ill people, emphasising the inevitability and the imminence of the departure and the opportunity to face it with dignity.
The second season takes those conflicts generated during the first one and pulverizes them within the opening minutes of its premiere.
The strong perception that we had during the previous season, strengthens into certainty in this one.
Mary Kills People stands as one of the most original and valid products in the current TV productions landscape, for its contents which force a new definition of the word entertainment and how such contents are narrated for, with a combination of literary and directorial qualities and the acting talents so hard to match.
“A friend once told me that life can make you strong or it can break you. There is not much in between. “
Mary knows something about how you must be strong not to be broken by life.
Just eight months after having extraordinarily unraveled the complex affair that saw her at the centre of the police investigation, close to being indicted and a victim of the threat that Grady represented, we find her intent on her usual business.
Intent but alone.
She has to be. She needs to be for her trip to Mexico to get her Pentobarbital, facing all the risks, from contacts with underworld to customs controls.
Alone she is ready to face one of the most complicated cases she ever faced.
Des is back and he wants and needs to get back on with their business, though it’s soon crystal clear for our Mary that she is once again, unfailingly, alone.
The Des who has returned to Mary’s life after 8 months is not a new or different Des. It was obvious in the first season that there were signs that showed us a Des animated by solid moral sense. Solitude, silence and prison, have rather given way to enlighten those aspects of his personality which he so lovingly and brilliantly managed to hide through his sarcasm and irony.
Bravo to Richard Short who knows how to permeate the character of Des with a number of nuances impossible to find in any script.
This time, however, there is no space either for irony or for sarcasm. Des’s moral qualities are forced to show themselves, roaring, at the first opportunity.
Victor is a terminally ill man, though, Mary warns him:
“Betty and Victor want to die together.”
It is all here, disruptive and overbearing, Mary’s revolution.
This brilliant storyline immediately shows us the villain of the moment – such a villain! Rachelle Lefrevre is so at ease in Olivia’s shoes that she seems to have always been there in the shadows.
The clash between Mary and Olivia promises to be one of those not to be forgotten. The preview on Olivia’s doorstep is a captivating taste of what history will reserve and we are all intrigued.
However, what makes Mary Kills People a provocative and revealing series, undoubtedly raising the bar with respect to the first season, is not on Olivia’s threshold but rather at Victor and Betty’s.
Listening to Mary and Des debate the issue, we are all, inevitably and very strongly, with Des. What he says is true because he evidence shows that he is right, when he expresses his moral scruples for example, reflecting on Betty’s situation and when he lays risks for them.
He is right because it is simple; Betty is not dying therefore Betty must not die.
So, does Mary really think and act like a criminal?
Was Frank right on the phone with Ben and she’s just a psychopath who enjoys others’ death?
We know this is not the answer. We know there is more.
Dark, difficult to understand and perhaps even more difficult to justify but we know there is more.
“Maybe one day, scientists will find a cure for dying and we can live forever.”
Cambie’s words are singular. Intuitive even if unaware. Revelatory for those who want to pry Mary’s intimate thoughts and find a reason for her choices, her decisions, her actions.
Betty is not a suicidal aspirant. She has lived a happy life next to her Victor and does not want to live without him.
Des called her a “Perfectly healthy individual who happens to be a bit sad.”
“We should not be the ones to decide that Betty’s suffering is any less than Victor’s.” Replies Mary
“But he’s dying! She’s not. “
“Suffering is not always physical.”
This exchange between Mary and Des at Victor and Betty’s house redefines meaning and value that Mary gives to what she does.
“I have no interest in any life without my husband.”
Betty’s statement is simple, decisive, has no hesitation nor, as we know, second thoughts. This wonderful characterisation is given to us by Karen Robinson and thank you to her for making us cry, for reminding us so much that Betty’s life was happy. A life less than happy would now be unacceptable to her.
For Mary it is the memory of that girl, the daughter of a sick woman who is sick of unhappiness.
“Suffering is not always physical.”
We always knew her thoughts, she never hid it, never.
Mary is a doctor but she wants to be more. She wants to be for her patients what she felt she has not been for her mother, able to make her happy.
Death is not only the means to accelerate the end of those who have remained in nothing but physical pain.
Mary accepts death as an instrument to give meaning to life when life no longer has one.
After all, to be called Life, it must make sense.
Sometimes it seems an unrealisable utopia, a life in which everything is perfect.
Sometimes you struggle, as Mary does everyday, to give value to what you have.
Sometimes it has been so much that anything else would debase what has been.
For Betty the choice redefines dignity, in living, not only in dying.
“Maybe one day, scientists will find a cure for suffering and we can all live happily.”
So champagne and pentobarbital become a modern hemlock that heals Mary’s patients from the illness of life.
It’s right? It’s wrong? Is it shareable? It does not matter for now.
We are not in a hurry to understand, nor right to judge.
We are here with Mary, ready to take her by the hand and go where she will lead us.
“In 100 years, they’ll look back to now and say that the most popular form of torture was refusing to let people die.” (Morgan, from Mary Kills People, Season 1 Episode 5.)
Edited by Lisa
If we had to be really honest, when we created Lost in TV we might have called it Lost in Jay Ryan, because Jay struck us in a peculiar way, he made us to find each other and kept us united.
Now that it’s his birthday, it’s natural for us to talk about him.
And we thought to “celebrate” him with you, without claiming to be complete, quite simply with a reel to make a toast to his talent, his honesty, his choices.
A bit of Jay Ryan, a bit of what he did, a bit of what he thought, a bit of what they told about him, a bit of what struck us.
MARY KILLS PEOPLE
“Bringing his radiant energy and joy to a role that slowly peels back its fascinating facade and reveals a deeply layered and rich dichotomy of contradictory emotions, Jay Ryan is more than simply riveting in MARY KILLS PEOPLE, he is downright addictive. It will be easy to see how and why Mary, as phenomenally portrayed by Caroline Dhavernas, falls immediately under his character’s spell, which subsequently leads to a taut game of cat-and-mouse.” Tiffany Vogt, from Shining The Spotlight on Jay Ryan, SEAT42F
(Mary Kills People)… “it’s a serious and stylishly watchable drama, thanks mostly to Dhavernas’s capable performance of a morally ambiguous person with too many dangerous irons in the fire, and Ryan’s portrayal of a hurt-and-handsome lawman struggling to do his job, even though he’s in love with his suspect.” Washington Post
“…Tassie and Amy Cameron assembled a divine team and are true and hungry storytellers themselves. But at the end of the day everyone was on the same page, out to make a work we all believed in lead by the phenomenal Caroline Dhavernas — what more could you really ask for.
…The role of ‘Joel’ came with a responsibility that shocked me when I read the final pages of Tara’s script. I didn’t see it coming and that ‘edge of your seat’ feeling was just as exciting to read as it is to watch this series. Also knowing that it was allo to be helmed entirely by one director (Holly Dale) over the entire project was very appealing. There were very clear visions of what we were making from the beginning.” from Shining The Spotlight on Jay Ryan, SEAT42F
“People are talking about [having more women in the lead] in the industry like, ‘Yes this is what we should be doing’, but this is actually one of the projects that has managed to pull it off and create something amazing, and successful and fresh,” Why Jay Ryan ditched Beauty and the Beast for Mary Kills People – NZ Herald Entertainment
About his character:
“It wasn’t wrapped up in the six episodes about who exactly he was and I was never sure if I was going to get to play him again. We wanted to play that ambiguity in him. I like that about him, that you never knew who he really was and there wasn’t a lot to say who he was or who he used be.” Kiwi Jay Ryan ageing gracefully as Hollywood drama star, Stuff NZ Entertainment
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
“The original theme of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is don’t judge a book by its cover. Love what’s inside.”
About Vincent… “It’s like playing two characters, the two extremes of someone’s personality or moral compass. All characters that I play have the good and the bad, and for me, this is just the extreme. You can’t have one without the other and we all have this wild part of us which we keep hidden and maybe only show in our darkest moments, or to our most loved ones. For me, it’s the complete gamut of the character.” from ‘Beauty and the Beast’: Jay Ryan May Be An Animal, But He’s Romantic at Heart – the Huffington Post
“There’s this whole thing about, “Oh, you’re too good-looking to play a beast.” Sure, that’s what they were after and that’s what they cast, but I’m very much about being true to what a beast can be. For me, his beast is on the inside. It’s not about the physical. It’s about the demon that is within him. It’s quite opposite to what the beast usually is. Everyone thinks the beast should be this creature, but beasts don’t advertise. You don’t know who a beast is. The nicest looking person can be that serial killer, or whatever. They’re more dangerous to me. It’s more relatable to an audience to deal with the beast within us. ” Jay Ryan Talks Beauty and the Beast – Collider
TOP OF THE LAKE
“Being an actor is tough. You take what you are offered. You can’t be too picky in the early days but finally I’ve got my chops up and people have seen me in a different light.
“A lot of that has to do with Jane (Campion) casting me in Top Of The Lake. That was a real page-turner for me in my career. It got me in front of certain people who I really wanted to work with.” Kiwi Jay Ryan ageing gracefully as Hollywood drama star, Stuff NZ Entertainment
“I really would like to see where the Mitchum Brothers from TOP OF THE LAKE ended up a few years down the track after the end of Season 1. I had the opportunity to return for Season 2, but the scheduling didn’t work out traveling between Toronto and Queenstown. I’m cheekily hopeful. There’s a lot more story there, I remember Jane Campion toying with some ideas about those two characters’ futures when we shot the first season.” JR on Top of the Lake, from Shining The Spotlight On Jay Ryan, SEAT42F
“When I read Kev on page for the first time, I had an instant idea of who he was, he jumped off the page for me, and I knew the character was within me strongly already. It’s not something I have to play really.
“All of Kev’s reactions, all that sort of stuff just happens naturally, I just jump into him.”
But he sees their differences too.
“Kev is me if I had stayed in West Auckland basically. I grew up out west and if I’d stayed there and if I wasn’t an actor, I’d probably be there and have an apprenticeship, and maybe had a couple of kids and a house or something.”
From Stuff.co.nz – Go Girls Stars Tackles Your Questions:
Toni asks “One of the best male Kiwi actors we have, Jay, what made you get into acting in the first place?”
Boredom of childhood. I truly think that’s what got me acting, making s**t up in my head, working the imagination, make believe and all that crap. Yeah I guess it all started there.
Kirsty asks “Do you have close friendships with women like your character or are you mostly a bloke’s bloke?”
From my very early teen years I was raised in a house full of women (possibly a little McMann style). So yes, I have some very close female friends. They are the best friends to have – they smell better, they are a lot easier on the eye and generally can give a more constructed emotional response than “Yeah, Nah”.
“I was lucky enough to actually go into a surgery and witness a caesarean being performed, which was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my life. What I will never forget is the image of this baby’s face, eyes closed, totally silent, and then without its eyes even opening, you can see it’s face change and register that it’s in a new world, and it breathes in air.”
“We’d have these 2-week-old babies, and they’d come on set for about 10 mins. And they’d be covered in jam to make it look real, so these babies are really slippery, super fragile, and I’ve got these latex gloves on. So I’m freaking out trying to remember my lines, and trying to hold them properly. And the live babies are between an actress’ legs, so it’s kind of uncomfortable. And then they call action, and you’ve gotta keep it all together.” NZHerald.co.nz It’s all in the delivery
A day in the life of Spider – Jay Ryan
What about his sensitivity as producer?
Looking forward to watching Sunday Fun Day, which had its premiere last July at Auckland International Film Festival, enjoy Tuffy and Schnipples
We wish this ride through Jay’s career left our readers a little more in love, enchanted and intrigued by this guy who, totally and permanently, bewitched our hearts.
Happy Birthday Jay.
Angela, Elisa, Federica
A special thanks to @JulesCrem who helped us to find gold dust…