Firefly Lane Season 1 Episode 2 picks up with a high school-aged Tully heading to a party with her “boyfriend” Pat.
It’s clear that Tully will do anything to fit in and keep up her “cool” persona including drinking way too much. But when Pat comes on a little too strongly, she does her best to push him off.
We see Tully get raped as she desperately pleads for Pat to stop. After the act, as she lays in the forest broken, Pat tries to justify his vile actions by victim-blaming and saying she asked for this by leading him on.
It’s a heartbreaking scene but one that helps illuminate Tully’s decision to sign off on Marah’s birth control form for Planned Parenthood. As someone who had their choice taken away, Tully likely thinks that she’s doing a good thing for a young girl who wants to be protected and informed.
Obviously, that’s not the way Kate sees it. Instead, she flips out on Tully for going behind her back and crossing the line. Her reaction is valid too as she feels like once again, everyone is choosing Tully over her. Even her own daughter couldn’t confide in her. And at a time when her life is falling apart, this is yet another instance where she loses control.
Kate’s anger carries on for much of the episode, which drives Tully crazy; she’s very dependent on her best friend to be there for her.
On Firefly Lane Season 1 Episode 1, Johnny returned from New York and visited Tully first. He informs her that he got the job and will be going to Iraq soon, which she’s slightly upset about.
He reminds her of something she said during a coke-binge in the 80s that he believes still rings true today: “People like us can’t live regular lives. When we try, it kills us.”
Tully laughs it off, but there’s a hint of truth to the quote as both Johnny and Tully haven’t really found much success in the 9-to-5 lifestyle; they both feel suffocated.
We see Tully and Johnny’s relationship on a deeper level in both the past and the present. During the coke-infused party back in the day, Tully injures herself dancing on a table, which almost leads to the two sharing a kiss. In the present-day, they still banter like an old married couple. There’s certainly an enormous amount of chemistry here for a girl and her best friend’s ex-husband.
Johnny pays Kate a visit eventually and it seems like they’re pretty amicable exes. He mentions in passing that they divorced because she flirted and developed feelings for a PTA parent (maybe Travis?) but it’s unclear if that was the catalyst. Since divorce is such a big and serious decision, there likely had to be something else contributing to their fallout, especially since they’re on such good terms and seem to support each other in their new career endeavors.
Kate starts her new job as Kimber’s assistant and it offers the series a few moments of levity: think middle-aged woman consoling a bratty 29-year-old with a “major hangover” who asks her to express her pooches glands. All in a day’s work, right?
Kate, however, also proves that she can walk the walk by saving Kimber during a meeting with her boss and providing her with a good article pitch about modern dating. See, despite the gaps in her resume where she dedicated her whole life to raising Marah, she did stay “in the loop.” Once a good journalist, always a good journalist.
While dealing with the dog, Kate also has a run-in with a photographer, who later asks her to “test the lights” and calls her beautiful. It’s a special moment and quite possibly the first time that Kate has felt “seen.” She’s so used to being in Tully’s shadows that she doesn’t even realize her own beauty. But, she’s reminded of it when the photog sends over the headshot.
In the flashback scenes, Kate’s brother, Sean, comes back from the navy and it’s a happy moment for all. Everyone parties in the newsroom till the wee hours of the morning, and Tully gets the scoop about his older boyfriend, who he believes is the one. Sadly, at the time, coming clean about being gay could get him discharged, so Sean is forced to live in secret. He considers telling Kate the truth, which means Tully has kept his secret since seeing him and Robbie making out. However, he decides against it when Kate keeps asking about his “girlfriend.”
As a journalist myself who has spent quite some time working in newsrooms, I can’t help but notice that they don’t seem to work all that much. I guess back in the day, you didn’t have 24/7 news stations focusing on digital, but they really are going hard in the workplace.
It’s in this moment that Kate also realizes that Johnny can see through Tully’s allure; he sees a girl that’s deeply saddened. This moment leads me to believe that while he had feelings for Tully once upon a time, he also loved her because she was so broken. And it’s a different kind of love than the feelings he developed for Kate over time.
In the present, Tully once again hooks up with Max, the 29-year-old former one night stand, who we learn is an EMT. We don’t really know much about Max yet, but he seems good for Tully in the sense that he’s “normal.” Hopefully, she doesn’t push him away like she’s pushed away everyone else.
During their brief chat, Tully informs him that her mother died when she was 15. But something about that doesn’t strike me as true. Of course, her mother had plenty of vices and questionable boyfriends, so her death wouldn’t be surprising, but the way Tully said it made me think that she meant “death” metaphorically as in “she’s dead to me.” Regardless, I can’t wait to find out more because Tully’s troubled childhood informs her current person.
By the end of the episode, Tully and Kate make up after Tully throws rocks at Kate’s window just like she did when they were young girls on Firefly Lane.
And then, the series introduces yet another timeline two years into the future.
Kate is looking out at the horizon when Marah approaches her and they think back fondly on “Aunt Tully.” It’s a cryptic scene, but the somber tone of their conversation and the black outfits suggest that Tully passed away.
There are many avenues that can be explored here, but thinking back on what we’ve seen and how Tully briefly considered jumping off her building balcony in the pilot episode, I’m inclined to think it was suicide.
And it all brings me back to the quote from the 80s that Johnny mentioned upon his return: “People like us can’t live regular lives. When we try, it kills us.”
Was the series teasing Tully’s death throughout the episode with her reckless and destructive behavior? She avoided a regular life because she was running away from her demons and was too afraid of commitment. Did it finally catch up to her?
There’s also the very real possibility that the series is trying to fool us with comments of Tully, but it isn’t actually her funeral. Weigh in with your thoughts.
‘Feel Good’ Season 2 Packs Quite the Punch
In Season 2, the final adaptation of comedian Mae Martin’s (they/them) semi-autobiographical comedy, Feel Good takes on much more content in its short six episodes, packing quite the punch.
We’re guided deeper through the traumas of the primary character Mae and left wondering how they’re able to stand on their own two feet after years of childhood grooming, drug addiction, and parental toxicity.
The light answer to this is humor. As it’s joked often throughout the episodes, “comics are supposed to be sacks of shit.” Through light-hearted comedy and the power of laughter, Mae’s story is dissected. However, at times, big topics are rushed and viewers are left grasping at strings, wishing there were more episodes in the season.
Following an unfortunate relapse in Season 1, we’re immediately thrown into Mae’s life in Canada, as they’re about to reenter rehab. They’ve only been away from England for a couple of months, but with the fresh wounds of the breakup, both George (Charlotte Ritchie) and Mae aren’t healed and are still stuck in their desire for each other. I mean, Mae still has George’s photo on their nightstand!
While in rehab, Mae reconnects with an old “friend,” Scott. When he’s first introduced we’re left wondering who he is and what his role is in Mae’s life. As an addict and queer comedian, there’s much more behind Mae’s curtain of trauma than initially presented in Season 1. Much more trauma that’s led to rash behavior, and Mae’s conversation with Audrey, easily foreshadows this.
Intertwined with the main storyline, Mae’s also navigating their non-binary identity. Mirroring Martin’s own coming-out as non-binary, Mae’s figuring it out, explaining that they see themselves as more of a Ryan Goslin or Adam Driver.
Again, with only six episodes to squeeze so much storyline into, Mae’s rehab stint only lasts 15 minutes into the first episode before they’re running out the door back into the arms of Scott.
As Mae’s stumbling through life in Canada, George is also trying to keep her mind focused on things like saving the bees. At an event at her school, she meets Elliot, a bisexual, polyamorous man with who she bonds. He’s the nice guy, maybe too nice for George. He’s one of those men who are self-proclaimed progressive and ultra-feminist, trying to mansplain the harm in porn’s presentation of women and how sex needs to be a safe space for connection.
And as Mae knows, that’s definitely not how George likes to be treated during sex. Thankfully, George and Mae reconnect, and Elliot is quickly out of the picture with Mae and George recreating their first meet-cute, hoping to restart from a fully healed wound.
As Feel Good is written by a queer person, the portrayal of queer sex is finally construed in a realistic and non-hypersexualized manner. Mae and George run through various role-playing scenarios as they are falling into what seems to be a healthy relationship.
Realistically, their timeline is rushed, but Mae needed some stability before they faced the bigger demons hiding under the bed.
The show cleverly depicts Mae’s moments of withdrawal and trauma responses through a high-pitched ringing sound. As if we’re inside Mae’s head. Originally, Mae experienced the ringing sound when they were with George, as George was a replacement drug. But, in this season, the ringing sound appeared whenever the past tried to resurface.
Mae told Audrey that they had a hard time remembering the past, that it was all like a jumbly tumbly mess of Tupperware containers. But, as the episodes progress, each Tupperware slowly found its way to its matching lid.
It becomes clear that Scott isn’t just an old friend, but a man who used to abuse and take advantage of Mae. After Mae’s kicked out of the house at a young age for drug addiction, they move in with Scott who presents himself as a safe haven and gateway to Mae’s comedic success. When, in reality, he’s a pedophile who’s grooming them.
When a woman calls Mae to talk about Scott, presumably about the things he did to both of them in the past, Mae’s reminded of the trauma they had compartmentalized. A doctor suggests Mae might have PTSD, and with George’s help, they begin the journey of confronting the harmful past.
Meanwhile, through all of the personal traumas, Mae’s working through their professional success after being signed with an agent and fulfilling their dream of TV comedy. However, Mae finds it challenging to reinvent their success from the original standup virality that got them the agent in the first place. As mentioned earlier, with comics, the butt of their jokes is their own trauma.
Unfortunately, as Mae hasn’t healed from their trauma, there’s no way they can make light of it yet. As their career goes for a bit of a downhill turn, and they have a hard time performing for an audience, they begin to seclude themselves and withdraw from the world.
In a much-needed getaway, Mae, George, and Phil take a trip to Canada in order for Mae to confront Scott.
The scene in which Mae directly tells Scott they never want to speak to them again, although a bit anticlimactic, was retrospectively a strong scene that finalized Mae’s character arc in the perfect ending to a witty, raw, and endearing show.
The final episode leaves Mae leaps and bounds beyond where they had been before on their road to recovery. And just as Mae’s love for George grew healthily from a need to a want, our need for a Season 3 resolved itself, and we feel good saying our final goodbyes to Mae and George, knowing fully well they are on their way to a fresh start.
‘Elite’ Season 4 Review: New Students, New Mystery, Same Scandalous Drama
The wait is almost over.
On June 18, Elite returns for its fourth season, but aside from a few new faces and a new principal hellbent on making a difference, things at Las Encinas haven’t changed much at all.
In fact, things are more dramatic than ever.
The premiere of Elite evokes the same feelings as the start of the school year — there’s a rush of excitement for what’s to come.
The series indulges in more of what has made it such a success: scandal, parties, threesomes, love triangles, intrigue, crime, and sex. So. Much. Sex.
I always forget just how many vivid sex scenes there are until I get pulled into a new season, but I’m very quickly reminded.
The first day of school for Guzman (Miguel Bernardeau), Samu (Itzan Escamilla), Ander (Arón Piper), Rebeka (Claudia Salas), Cayetana (Georgina Amorós), and Omar (Omar Ayuso) is bittersweet. While they may be getting another shot at repeating their final year, their classmates Carla, Lu, Nadia, and Valerio have moved on to bigger and better things. It’s a bummer to lose such a great group of characters, but you almost don’t feel their absence when the new crop of students takes their place, flips the world upside down for current students, and simultaneously ushers in a brand new mystery.
The new mystery anchors the story, and like in seasons past, it plays out with flashbacks that lead up to the fated moment.
However, unlike in previous seasons, we find out pretty early on who is at the center of the mystery with the how remaining the big question mark.
But there’s no question about whether the Blanco family is involved.
As Ander tells the investigator, the toxic family’s arrival “tainted everything.”
Benjamin (Diego Martin) is the extremely rich new school director. He comes in like a bulldozer with big plans to rehabilitate Las Encinas and its reputation after a tumultuous few years that led to two student deaths. He begins his reign by setting his sights on Samu and Omar, who he doesn’t believe belong at the elite school.
It’s honestly surprising anyone wants to send their children to get an education there at this point.
Benjamin doesn’t waste any time making changes, but with his focus solely on “discipline, excellence, and achievement,” he fails to realize that his family’s arrival brings the bulk of the drama.
Immediately, you begin to wonder how Benjamin plans to fix a whole school if he can’t even control his own children — Ari (Carla Diaz), Patrick (Manu Rios), and Mencia (Martina Cariddi).
Benjamin has a fraught relationship with his youngest, Mencia, who has brought the family pain in the past and continues to rebel and defy her father at every turn.
She has a genuine connection with new girlfriend, Rebeka, but the relationship stirs up even more problems for Mencia as Benjamin disapproves and thinks Rebe is a bad influence considering her mother’s reputation as a drug kingpin.
Little does he know, Mencia has gotten into a world of trouble all on her own.
While Rebe’s relationship with Mencia grows into one of the purest this season, following Samu’s betrayal last season, she’s understandably closed off and cautious with her heart.
Ander and Omar are still going strong but find their relationship is tested in unexpected ways when they invite Patrick, Benjamin’s son, into the fold.
Patrick knows the power he wields over them and intentionally meddles in their lives, but there’s also much more to him than meets the eye.
Ari is Benjamin’s star child who respects and listens to her father, but to her peers, she’s the resident mean girl who is oftentimes uptight and has a chip on her shoulder.
She catches the eye of both Samu and Guzman, which fractures their budding friendship. These two have always fought over women, but last time, Samu was being protective over his best friend, Nadia, who Guzman is still dating when the season commences.
Nadia appears only via video chat from her New York apartment, and their relationship allows the series to explore the trials and tribulations of a long-distance relationship that’s tested as temptation lurks right around the corner for Guzman.
While Guzman stands a chance with Ari based solely on social class and standing, Ari and Samu connect unexpectedly in an academic setting.
Who will the love triangle favor in the end?
Additionally, the school has attracted the youngest royal heir in Europe, Prince Philippe (Pol Granch). The series flips the classic “princess and the pauper” narrative to “prince and the pauper” as he connects with the school’s janitor Cayetana, making all of her fantasies come true.
But as the saying goes, “be careful what you wish for” as this fairytale quickly turns into a nightmare when it’s revealed the prince has a dark secret, and Cayetana’s past secrets with the late Polo and Valerio come back to haunt her.
Overall, you know exactly what you’re getting into when you press play on the fourth season. The writers have managed to deliver yet another incredibly intoxicating season about a group of lost souls looking for a purpose and tapping into the extreme lengths they’ll go to numb their pain.
Elite hits Netflix on Friday, June 18 with eight brand-new episodes.
*This review is based on the first four episodes of season 4 that were available to the press*
WATCH: Mel and Jack Talk Starting a Family in ‘Virgin River’ Season 3 Trailer
There’s plenty of baby talk going around in the Virgin River Season 3 trailer!
Netflix dropped the trailer for the upcoming drama on Friday, June 11 and it doesn’t waste any time answering the question on everyone’s mind: does Jack survive?
It’s quite an obvious answer considering there is no show without Jack, but if it’s been keeping you up at night, the good news is that he does.
Of course, that doesn’t put the question of who shot him to rest. (And we have some theories you can check out right here!)
As he recovers, he’s blessed to have Nurse Mel by his side.
With their romance finally heating up, the nosy locals in town begin asking questions about their future — is marriage in the cards? And what about babies?
Mel’s history will definitely come into play, especially as it was always her dream to have a child. But Jack is a new father to twins (at least we think they’re his) with his ex Charmaine.
Luckily, Charmaine is no longer hung up on him as she’s found a new man who is there for her and the kids!
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