When Hollywood Gets it Right.
I started this post in March of 2020, but I only had the title in the drafts. No words to accompany it, just the title.
Ozark comes back for Season 4 this Friday. I wanted to rewatch the last few episodes to be ready for the next season to drop.
I was rewatching the opening scene of the ninth episode in Season 3 and I remembered. I remembered why I wrote that title and probably why I didn't write anything else.
March 2020, I was still reeling in grief. I was playing scenes like this one, but from my real life over and over, ironically, like a damn movie in my head. Replaying each manic conversation, trying to dissect it to see if I could find that tiny window of opportunity for healing that I might have missed. Questioning every single decision I made and every decision I didn't make. Listening to old voicemails that sound identical to this cab ride "conversation"on repeat trying to find meaning. I wanted to understand, to know what we did wrong, what did we miss, why did we lose this battle?
Clearly, I wasn't in a place to reflect and share this back then.
Season 3 episode 9 is one of the saddest episodes of television. The opening scene is the most spot on depiction of Bipolar Disorder, specifically the mania, that I have ever seen. (Silver Linings Playbook hit some scenes on the nose, as well, if you are curious and looking for other Hollywood depictions that aren't far off from what our reality was.)
Later in the episode, the conversation between Ben and Wendy in the van shows the humanity behind the disease. Ben's desperate desire to not have a broken brain and Wendy's anguish knowing that he isn't going to change.
Ben is a kind man, he is loved, and he wants nothing more than to stop fucking up. He wishes more than anything that he could fix his broken brain and be what he needs to be to live in the world.
It brought me to tears the first time and still each and every time I watch it. I appreciate storytelling like this because it brings to life something that only a few of us will witness in our own realities. I am hoping my book will bring to light these moments that so few see, but I don't know if I can ever get this spot on. (obvious trigger warning with this one--so watch with care.)