Monday, June 20, 2011

Law & Order CI “Icarus” Recap & Review

All photos by NBCUniversal

It begged to be done – it HAD to be done – a ripped from the headlines episode which paralleled the news stories of Broadway's disaster-ridden production of “Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark.”  And it could only be done against the backdrop of New York City.  Using the metaphor of Icarus flying too close to the sun and ultimately to his death, along with repeated references to hubris, casual viewers may think that the episode was simply trying to make a statement about the reasons behind the real life disaster of “Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark.”

I think it’s deeper than that. Maybe it’s Goren himself who is the Icarus character. Possibly his own hubris is what is preventing him from seeing the truth about himself. He may be a genius at solving crimes, but his overconfidence in this ability may be clouding his judgment on solving why he is filled with anger, or why he thinks he doesn’t need the help of the shrink. In a way, Goren is in a labyrinth of his own making, and one that is more like a puzzle or maze than one with an easy exit. We can only hope he will make it through his pilgrimage of discovery, and get out of his maze before the final episode of the series.

Here is the recap:

Marc Landry (Billy Magnussen) arrives late to prepare for the opening of “Icarus” to find his understudy, Bryce Calder, in costume and the director. Amanda Rollins (Cynthia Nixon) gushing over Bryce. They make the quick change over to get Bryce out and Marc in the rigging. Amanda seems worried about Marc’s performance but he blows her off. Roger Porter (Michael Panes),  the dramaturge, offers Amanda a salad but she wants a drink. Afterwards, Amanda gets on the phone with producer Evan Korman (Christopher McDonald) and complains about Marc’s performance. He complains back that she ripped out 200 seats to build a labyrinth and it’s cost him money in ticket sales.

Adam Winter (Eion Bailey) brings in a bouquet of flowers that someone sent to Marc, which include peacock feathers. Adam says Amanda complained about the Minotaur number, and they sing it together.

As the play goes on, Amanda and Adam talk about the performance, and Amanda is being overly critical. Marc, as Icarus, is in his rigging and approaching the prop of the sun, and the rigging breaks and he falls to his death,

Detectives Bobby Goren (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Alex Eames  (Kathryn Erbe) are called to the scene to investigate. Goren makes an adjustment in the labyrinth as he walks through it. They were called in as the rigging was sabotaged. They speak with the stage manager, and she tells them the aerial rigger, Donald Cogan, was responsible for the rigging and he checked it. The cut in the rope may have been subtle enough so as not to be obvious. Marc wanted the final check.

The detectives speak with Donald who denies that he or his team did anything wrong. He says Amanda is a perfectionist and safety is a priority. Eames mentions all the accidents that have plagued the production. He says there were kinks. Goren sees a photo of Donald with his sons and they find out Donald is divorced.

Roger Porter, the dramaturge – the director’s assistant - enters and tells the detectives that he helps Amanda shape the vision. He adds that Amanda says she will cooperate fully and he also offers his help. Goren asks where the last place Marc would have been before his performance. Roger shows him the dressing room and he says Amanda is a genius. Goren notices the flower arrangements with the peacock feathers and mentions that the peacock feathers are bad luck in the theatre, and he wonders if someone was trying to jinx Marc. Roger has no idea who sent it.

The detectives speak with Amanda who says the incident was like a terrible dream. She says they are like family as they have been working on this for two years. Goren notices that Greek mythology is a recurring theme in her work and she comments she is drawn to the classic stories and how human nature endures. He mentions the labyrinth as how Daedalus built the labyrinth to imprison the Minotaur. He complements her presentation of it on stage, and she says it represents a pilgrimage to discovery and a journey for the truth. Eames says this is their job in a nutshell.

Back at Major Case, Eames speaks with Captain Hannah (Jay O. Sanders) about the show, and he says ticket sales have doubled. They are now looking at financials and anyone with a sheet. He tells them to re-interview everyone. Eames is reading Marc’s tweets and he seemed to be very upset about the other accidents, particularly one with a cast member named Gwendolyn.

Back at the theatre, Amanda is upset over the lights in the sun and barks orders to Roger. Evan and Adam approach and Roger says he wanted to make sure they had clearance from OSHA. Evan wants them to focus on the memorial but she wants to focus on her work.

At the Erlanger Theatre Aerial Riggers Workshop, the detectives speak again with Donald and after the press him on the previous accidents and issues with his divorce and child custody, he admits that he was paid $50,000 by Evan Korman for the previous accident as he wanted a spectacular screw up. He never asked him to sabotage Marc's rig but he knew when Marc fell that Evan would cash in.

Later, in Evan’s office with his attorney, th detectives confront Evan and he calls the accusations insane. They tell him about Donald’s affidavit with the previous accident with Gwendolyn. He continues to deny any involvement. Goren continues to press saying that the accidents boost ticket sales. He says all he has is his reputation but there is not enough money in the world to shame the Korman name.

Back at Major Case, the detectives speak with Hannah who thinks the producer killing off a cast member is a little melodramatic. Goren says the DA’s office is looking into the place’s insurance agreements. Korman was in his office from 6 to 9:45 that night. They have nothing to tie Cogan to Korman. They get word that the bouquet with peacock feathers was ordered by Bryce Calder – the understudy.

The detectives speak with Bryce who said he sent the peacock feathers as a joke but said Marc probably didn’t get it because he is a moron. Goren thinks Bryce resented that Marc got the role over him. Bryce says they wanted a name. He tells them that Marc was late and when Marc showed up, he left and went to Sardi’s.

Goren and Eames speak with a server at Sardi’s who said Bryce was there that night and many from the audience came in after the show and were freaking out about what happened. Marc was bitching that he was supposed to go on that night and a critic was showing up, and that could have been Bryce in that rigging. Michael DeWitt from the Times was in Sardi’s 3 nights ago cozying up with Amanda and a waitress overhead Amanda say that a big cast change was in the works.

Goren and Eames speak with DeWitt. He tells them - off the record - Marc Landry was dreadful and getting killed was the best thing that happened to his Broadway career. He adds out of respect, he is not going to review that performance. Amanda said the show was ready and she would get a better review if Bryce was in the lead. He assumed that night Amanda was overruled on the cast change. He mentions that Adam Winter was also insecure about his transition to Broadway and he doubts Amanda could make the change without Adam on board.

The detectives speak with Adam who admits he wondered why DeWitt was in the audience. He says Amanda sees what she wants. She also wanted to replace Marc but Evan would never had let that happen. Amanda also had problems with the sound. Adam lights up a special cigarette and Goren grabs it and sniffs it, saying it is pleasant. It is clove. Adam says Amanda is on a downward spiral, she has no husband, kids, or life outside work and that night, he smelled alcohol on her breath, even though she has been in AA for 20 years. He says she is giving the eulogy for Marc this afternoon and they should watch out. After Adam leaves, Goren speculates that Amanda must have thought she would get Bryce on the stage that night and instead Marc shows up. Eames wonders if Amanda cut the rigging. Goren thinks Amanda has a lot riding on “Icarus” and Eames suggest they visit the memorial to see how heartbroken Amanda really is.

At the memorial in Times Square, Bryce and another cast member sing the song about “hubris” while Amanda mouths along. When Amanda gets up to speak, she appears drunk and emotional. Evan cuts her off and Amanda fights back, saying she was not finished. Eames says they should have sold tickets to this.

With Amanda in interrogation in Major Case, drunk,  the detectives press her about Bryce. She says she doesn’t understand, and mentions the labyrinth and that someone must have given him a “clue.” She tells her attorney she has nothing to hide. Goren accuses her of staging the accident to avoid DeWitt’s review but she denies it, saying the actors are like her children. She admit that Marc didn’t listen to her as he did not trust her. The attorney stops the interview.

When Goren and Eames leave the room, Roger is there and says he is going to take Amanda home. Goren asks what put her over the edge, and he says it was the egomaniacs in the business. Goren tells him he is a very loyal assistant and Roger corrects him, saying he is the dramaturge. Roger says Marc was screwing someone and he kept it on the QT. The production was putting him up at the 4 Seasons and a month into rehearsal, Marc requested another apartment at the Premiere Club for his mother but she never showed up. Amanda comes out of the room and orders Roger to come on. As Amanda and Roger walk off, Eames asks about the comment about Marc getting a clue and Goren says he has a thought but wants to test the theory first with an old friend who teaches mythology at Columbia.

Goren speaks with Cleo Andrews (Patti Smith) who says Icarus is her favorite metaphor for failed ambition - hubris. She mentions a “clew” which is a ball of thread or yarn and Goren says it was a ball of yarn that Daedalus gave to Theseus to help him escape from the labyrinth which angered King Minos who then imprisoned Daedalus and Icarus in the same labyrinth. She asks if he is sure she needs his help, and he says he needs her help on the labyrinth he saw in Amanda’s office. It goes in a circle with one path, not difficult to navigate. Cleo adds some versions it is more of a maze or puzzle, with choices of direction. Goren said the killer thought they had no choice. Cleo says she knows whoever it is, he will find them.

At Dr. Paula Gyson’s (Julia Ormond) office, Goren is there for his session. He is talking about a dream where he thought he was in England and there were men on a bridge with him and they were wearing military uniforms and they were walking the other way. He is hoping she can tell him what it means. He tells her the water the bridge was crossing was turbulent. He thinks she will tell him it means he is at a difficult crossing and that the guys in uniform are NYPD. She says she is struck by the fact he wanted to discuss the dream today and that he wants her to know her opinion matters and she asks now who is asking questions he knows the answer to – instead of discussing what happened at the end of the last session. As he stares at her, she reminds him a week ago he walked out of the session, furious, and today she is not sure what is on his mind or why he came back. He says it is on his mind, and he apologized for losing his temper. She thanks him, and says it is fine to apologize but they should try to reconstruct what happened. He said he overreacted, and she says the something powerful came up, something important, and asks why he turned so quickly. He said they got their wires crossed. She asks if that has happened to him before, and he seems annoyed that she’s implying this never happened to her. She says he became enraged because he thought she suggested he was hitting on her. Goren says he does not know what her angle is with her, is she trying to get him to fail or to fall for her. He doesn’t know if she is trying to get her to behave crazy so she can call the NYPD. She says he does not know the rules of engagement and says they should talk about that. He says he feels anger. She replies that last week he was flooded with it, fight or flight. She asks what is underneath the anger – and he says, “More anger.” She says underneath that is fear, fear that she will betray him and humiliate him and she must be up to something more than to get him to know his own mind and that’s why he runs. She says deep down if they do this work, he is justifiable terrified of what they might discover.

Elsewhere, Amanda speaks with Evan and tells them the police think she killed Marc. He does not think she did it. She needs to know when the performance will be back up. He says they might not be, Roger comes in and apologizes, saying he gave her an Ambien and thought she would be asleep. She is upset that Evan called Roger. She walks off.

Goren and Eames are at the Premiere Club checking on Marc’s apartment. He was not there often. Goren detects a smell and Eames sees a few matchbooks. Goren finds cigarette butts from Adam Winter’s clove cigarettes,

With Adam Winter and his attorney in Major Case interrogation with Goren and Eames, the detectives question him about a possible intimate relationship with Marc. Adam denies it but Eames says they have security footage of him in the elevator kissing Marc. Goren sarcastically suggests Adam cold have been giving Marc mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Adam admits he was up to Marc's apartment to work on his performance. He said he was the peacemaker between Marc and Amanda. He says actors are people pleasers. Adam did see Marc the night he died and they shared the limo to the theatre and it must have been a new driver as he drove around the same block three times. Goren hones in on the three times and Adam says he had to yell at the guy to get him back on 10th Avenue.

The detectives speak with the driver who said the actor distracted him. He then admits that Amanda convinced him to drive Marc around in return for tickets, but then she called him and told him to get Marc to the theatre right away.

Goren and Eames go to Amanda’s and she is enraged because Evan is closing the show. She tells them they should leave. They tell her they know she told the driver to make Marc late. She says she’s thrown herself into her work to the exclusion of all else. The day before Marc died, she had it. He would not take direction and she stormed out of the theatre and drank her lunch. Roger had to pick her up. Goren mentions she changed her mind, and tell her that her assistant called to tell the limo driver to be on time. She says she did not tell him to. She tells them she needs a drink – a diet soda - and she storms off. Eames wonders if Amanda is lying or if her assistant – the dramaturge – Roger made the call, and wonders why. Goren wonders if he wanted to fix it for Amanda or for someone else in the production that had the most to lose.

Back at Major Case, Goren and Eames speak with Hannah to suggest Marc was killed to kill the show. They got the DA’s report back on the insurance and found there was a force majeure clause specifically linked to Marc Landry. In an injury or death to the lead actor, there is a full payout to all the investors, and no one would lose a dime. Two days before Marc was killed Evan was on a half hour conference call with insurance agents going over all the details. Goren said it was the only way to stop the bleeding and he had someone on the inside to do the job. When Hannah asks how they can prove it. Eames says with the help of a lot of egomaniacs with inferiority complexes.

Later, Goren suggests to Evan that Roger looks up to him and they thought if they put them in a room together that Evan can get Roger to confess. Eames enters with Roger, who says that the police said they have new evidence about Marc’s death. Goren looks at Evan and confirms that they do. Goren tells Roger they found his fingerprints on the rig. Evan says he told the police there must be a good explanation and asks if there is anything Roger wants to tell them. Roger says he may have touched the rigging at the stunt rehearsal. Eames tells him Roger did call Evan’s office several times and when Evan says he is sure Roger only meant to heart Marc, not kill him, Roger gets upset and says that is not true. Goren says they think Marc’s fall was only to injure him and sideline the production, and asks Evan if those were the instructions he have Roger, and mentions the clause in the insurance policy. Eames mentions the rider which allows the investors to recoup all their money. Goren presses Evan on the production being a disaster, a money suck catastrophe, and a career ender. Goren then brings up Evan's father and what an embarrassment that would be. Even says all production have problems, but Eames counters those are is not front page news, and that he is the laughingstock of Broadway. Evan  blows it off and they turns to Roger for an explanation, and when Roger says he doesn’t know what he’s supposed to tell, Goren says Evan wants him to back his play because Evan is his boss. But Evan corrects him, saying Roger works for Amanda. Goren says that is a lie, that Roger was hired by Amanda.

Amanda appears and says that is not true. Eames tells them they doubled back with Amanda after hearing about the force majeure clause and that Evan insisted she hire Roger. Evan tells her to go to a meeting and dry out. She says she is sober. She says her choice for dramaturge was expensive and if she wanted to take out the theatre seats for the labyrinth she would have to make sacrifices so she agreed to hire Roger. Even admits that he referred Roger but if Roger killed Evan that had nothing to do with him. Goren turns to Roger and says they though he may have killed to support Amanda’s vision but now they know he did it for Evan. They googled him and show he has 6 shows credited with Evan as producer. Goren also taunts Roger that he is a Yale graduate – a dramaturge. Gore brings up the profit angle but says Roger is an artist who lives in a world of make believe, but this is real, this time someone is dead and Roger’s fear of failure got them there. Evan begins to clap for Goren’s performance, but Goren goes on to say that Evan killed to save his reputation and Roger killed because he wanted to be a producer and share a marquee with Evan. But Even scoffs at that, saying that Roger is no producer as he has no balls. Roger glares at him and then says it was Evan’s idea to stage the accident and it would be best if it just end and the investors get their money. Roger says there is no proof and says he is calling his attorney. But Roger tells him he recorded all their conversations and he has all the instructions. He wanted to make sure he got it right and yells he wanted to do a good job for him. Evan calls him a little prick and makes a move to Roger but Goren holds him off. Evan calls him a lying cheating criminal. Roger says he learned from the best. Goren asks what made the two of them think they could get away with murder, and he cuffs Evan as Eames cuffs Roger. Amanda looks on and answers Goren, saying, “Hubris.” Goren tells Evan, “Show's over “ and as Roger and Evan are taken away, we focus on the image of Icarus as we fade to black.

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ReviveLawandOrderLA said...

When I say the word "Icarus" I think "iCarus", like an iCarly episode.

Which this episode was excellent! I think Cynthia Nixon really brought it out more than anybody! She's the reason the SVU 9th season premiere was enjoyable, despite it being a weakly written episode, Neal Baer.

It first I was ticked about the show ending but as I see it close out, I'm glad LOCI got the chance to end, and correctly at that... I'd probably be more angry if the show wound up like the Mothership and LOLA.

Besides, I'm curious to see what roles VD'O, KE, and even Jay Sanders pick up next.

But back to Icarus: it was just wonderful, nice to see that Goren and Gyson are back talking.

Out of the 10 years of LOCI, it was one of the best. In this order I think season 7, season 10, and season 4 were THE best of LOCI!

Taliba said...

Totally agree on the director role - was it better written than some others (say, that mother of the young medical researcher) because the writers simply have dealt with more directors than ambitious mothers, or was it the acting?

The idea of a series of sessions with a shrink for Goren originally seemed a promising idea, but so far it appears they've wasted their effort. Goren has issues, most probably going back to being the good son of a schizophrenic mother - how do you develop trust in people who may start responding irrationally at any moment? The doctor realizes he has problems with intimacy and trust but refers to their doctor-patient relationship as an "intimate" one. No wonder he's confused and scared - she's the pro here, and she seems to be over her depth - she says she doesn't understand what's going on with him. Two out of seven sessions they've spent on the relationship between the two of them, even though she knows there's a major relationship in his life that he finds it almost impossible to talk about. (And she really doesn't see the connection??)

Also, she's mentioned at least twice their possibly working on issues in the future, as if she's assuming this is going to be open-ended process - something insurance companies just don't go for anymore. I'd begin to mistrust her, if only for that reason - it looks like she's using the 7 employer-mandated sessions as a free trial offer for long-term therapy, unless she has something useful planned for the final one.

And then there's the work vs love imbalance, referred to in past sessions and throughout the current episode: the composer says Amanda (= "she who is be to loved") has nothing, no husband or kids, outside of her work - and the camera focuses on Eames. Amanda later says the same about herself to Goren, and he says he understands what that means. During her speech at the memorial service, when she says that everybody aspires to something higher, to be loved, the camera switches to an attentive Goren, as though it seems to him that she's speaking directly to him. He knows there are problems in his life, maybe even where they lie, but the doctor doesn't seem to know how to help or even be in control of the situation.

Everything depends on the final episode, where some pattern or meaning will become clear in retrospect, and the doctor advertised as brilliant will have been seen to have played a crucial role, or Goren will have to make sense of what's been happening, in his life and during these sessions, on his own. The episodes have been good, whether the shrink sessions turn out to have lived up to their potential or not.

Music Wench said...

I think this season is superb. Didn't think of Goren as Icarus for some reason but I can see it.

I don't expect Goren to be 'fixed' by the end of all this. I do expect he will be more enlightened about himself. I do think he will be forced to look at himself and what lies underneath all of that anger.

Can't wait on one hand but am so sad to know it's going to be the last one ever. *sigh*

janethyland said...

This is the best season,consolidating the best of balcer and the best of Leight.

It would be trite to expect any conclusion. Im hoping for ambiguity and open ending.

Its all up to Brancato and what he decides as consultation with Wolf.

maculae said...

Regarding the final, Leight wrote the final beat/aria and Balcer rewrote the final script. Should be good.

Taliba said...

I wonder how long the ending was up in the air? On Sunday I happened to have a TV available and watched Icarus there, where it was followed by a preview of the last episode. Maybe I wasn't paying good enough attention, but I had the impression that at the end, Goren strides out of his psychiatrist's building as though he'd slain at least a smallish dragon, and Eames is smiling at him. In the preview posted here, Goren just walks out, Eames seems to signal "let's go" or "the car's over there" - definitely more ambiguous. Has anyone seen the preview on TV? I only saw it once, maybe it's actually the same as the one here?

The psychiatrist sessions were billed as a way of allowing Goren to move on with his life, this preview refers to the final chapter in Detective Goren's career with the NYPD (the wording's approximate), he wanted to talk about a dream where he and the men in uniform were moving in opposite directions ... At some point at least, the (collective) author was planning for a big change. While probably trying to keep alive the option of more years of G&E doing exactly the same thing they used to do in Seasons 1 and 2 in case the show was renewed at the last minute. A lighter, brighter LOCI. Sponsored by Marshmallow Fluff.

janethyland said...

maculae, according to Leights tweet Balcer did a rewrite, leight did the final scene and psyche scene.

We dont know how many rewrites there were. Nor do we know what happened after the rewrites when it went into production. Things get changed on the hoof.

We do know there were reshoots, so things got changed again.

Then it goes to edit. The showrunner, Brancato, has the final say.

Leight did say the finale was "closure of sorts for him and Balcer".

Most of all we dont know who actually wrote the final episode. Credit goes to them when it rolls.

So the most we can know is that the Finale was a collaborative effort under the control of the showrunner who is ultimately answerable to Wolf.

Taliba said...

According to the blog On Location Vacations they were reshooting the final scene last Friday, when it was clear the show was really ending - and there was thus no need to leave an opportunity for Goren to show up at work as usual next season? If so, the final result may be less ambiguous than some people might like. We'll be back to checking the vegetation to determine the order in which the scenes were shot, it looks like.

janethyland said...

well Leight is responsble for the last beat scene so Id expect ambiguity. he is master of that..see his ending to Lights Out.That was a knock out in itself,like a punch at the audience...brilliant.

However the article suggests ambiguity anyway....could be the last scenes shot are not the last scenes of episode. Its all in the usual!

Taliba said...

"Who won?" (I googled it - I don't have your background in TV.) Could be something like that, but this is American TV, and Americans don't go for ambiguity.

I never saw The Sopranos, I was out of the country for a few years when it was on, but I remember reading the commentary on its ending - most people as I remember it considered it a cop-out intended to allow for a possible follow-on rather than appreciating it for being "artistic." Anyway, we shall see how they handle CI's termination, soon enough.

Music Wench said...

I'm with you, Janet. If Leight wrote it, chances are it's going to be ambiguous. LOCI isn't typical of American television. It's exceptional.

We'll see how it turns out. No matter how it ends, I will be very sad to know this is the last one ever.

janethyland said...

Leight has Europe in VDO!
Balcer does too.He has commented on that in an article. Thats what makes it unusual for USA but accessible for us I guess.Global?

janethyland said...

Part 1

“Icarus” shows us a world of division, from the disobedient flying boy of the inept pantomime/play, to the feuding within the theatre “family”, to the divided self of Goren in his therapy session as he considers “fight or flight”. All are places of conflict and tension, the warring opposites.

This world of division or duality threatens stability, is adversarial and contrary. The Greek play should be a tragedy “where the audience is crying” and the music is “dark and afflicted”, but instead it’s a ridiculous comedy where the lead “is getting laughs” and the music is “happy”. The hero should be a serious actor like the understudy, but instead it’s a silly sit com star. The composer doesn’t know if he’s a “guitar hero or a lyricist”. Likewise the memorial service which should be a solemn tribute has become a hideous comic performance with drunken eulogy. The heterosexual rock star and Mark are at war with their homosexuality.

Amanda’s theatre “family” is a nest of back-stabbers with actors and producers in opposition. “Producers lie for a living, sabotage their own production but cover their tracks so there is no proof, killing off an actor to kill the show, egomaniacs with inferiority complexes”. There is even a twitter campaign for actors against producers. So Amanda fights Evan and Mark fights Adam, and one will even kill the lead character to save his reputation. Its like being at war.

This is extreme combat, obsessing over money or reputation or artistic vision. They have no other life and no balance, full of envy and ego, ”throwing themselves into their work to the exclusion of all else”. And the episode itself is a conflict of extreme styles, between its serious><reality is the detectives work “in a nutshell”, with helpful friends showing them the way, a “single path going in circles or a puzzle with choice of direction”, which brings us back to Goren’s riddle in The Consoler. I think he got that riddle from that friend too.

The ridiculous play of Icarus is a farce, not “visionary”. It reminds me of the workers play “Pyramus and Thisby” in Midsummer Nights Dream. Both are amateur and “missing the mark” or “right tone”. Both are worrying about the mechanics (the Dream players are even called “the mechanicals”!).Both are staged in Greece. Both are badly staged illusions, illusions that the audience see and accept. But the other illusions and acting of the people in the case file are sophisticated and not so obvious. Shakespeare was making comments about dramatic illusion in his play, LOCI is making comments about detecting illusion in life, including its own production.

janethyland said...

part 2

Goren too is divided, at war with himself. He might know about restoring order in the crime story, but he doesn’t know himself and is cut off from levels of awareness that hinder his work, dodging his own fears and monsters in labyrinthine rationalizations, living the work-obsessed life. Its an extreme that threatens his balance. He tries to run and now he tries to hide in a dream mirage of men walking the other way on a bridge. Its not a good session. Gyson isn’t showing sympathy or her usual undivided attention. She seems fidgety and preoccupied, annoyed. The session is about avoidance by “flight or fight”; two opposing survival choices. The “Divided Self” of Depth Analysis is one that is out of balance, extreme. It creates antagonists, monsters, enemies, this paranoia of “women who might betray or humiliate”, and idealistic heroes too. All are illusions.

It creates extremes like the hero and its antagonist, opposites that go together. Hero and Nemesis, the one who rises (Good) and the one who falls (Evil) are a product of the divided self. For, though they are centuries apart, the story of Icarus and the story of Goren are the same, the “hero’s journey” that Bernard describes in “Slither”, his life “the stuff of legends”. Then Goren had an outer antagonist in the form of Nicole Wallace. Now the antagonist is internalized in his psyche and the investigation is inside. We have moved on.

The point of the myth is the fact Icarus defied Daedalus and flew too high into the sun which was extreme and not the” right” path. Daedalus told him not to fly too high or too low, but to take the “middle path” between the extremes, the middle way. (Its the same point made in the Parsifal stories, whose name means “through the middle”.)But Icarus was ecstatic from the experience and flew too high because that’s what heroes do, they go beyond the norms into the extremes of life, and the further they go the further they fall. Hubris is the leveler that brings them back into balance, into “right order”.

Goren is lost in illusions, disorientated by life experiences, fearing the mysterious centre where psychological monsters lurk, hoping for insights that will lift him out of his own confines, wings of consciousness, holding onto the clew/clues that will help him, however umbilical. Gyson will help him inwards in his psyche as his professor friend helps him outwards in his work. He is going to need help both ways.

With Gyson there to balance him, Goren begins to lift himself up. All that imagery of flying creatures in previous episodes brings us here, to this absurd flying boy of the myth…and to the life-battered Goren who is about to take a leap of consciousness, and fly. Maybe he will realize that his mother isnt all good and his father not all bad. Those extreme views have shaped and stagnated his life, are an illusion that may not be real if the truth is somewhere in the middle. Likewise, maybe Goren will fall from the heroic ideals we burden on him as we discover he is a man like any other. Our delusions will fall with his, and put us “right”.

Either way, we are now at the centre of Time Square, and at the centre of the magic mandala rug, a still point for turning. There are no more globes or maps in the episode. They are no longer needed. I think we have reached our destination….. 9pm,Sunday 26th June on USA.

Music Wench said...

Love reading your thoughts on this show again, Janet. Yes we will reach our final destination.

I'm glad Leight and Balcer get to contribute to the ending as well.

Here's hoping there is closure for all of us now.

Taliba said...

Interesting, janethyland, especially about Parsifal.

I have my doubts about Goren's family dynamics being the cause of his problems, though. He long ago recognized his mother's shortcomings - in one episode he establishes contact with a young girl being abused by her father by saying he had a bad family, too. And he says to Gyson that his mother did her best for him - it sounds like he's forgiven her, not that he considers her a perfect mother.

And his father? The man who really wasn't his father? Is he really the man who was responsible for the anger he expressed about Vanessa's father, the user, who only took and never gave? He had been bitter for a long time about the man he had grown up considering his father, but the fury seems out of proportion - his mother had gotten her own back, in her own way, after all. When Goren starts venting about Vanessa's father, he suggests it is actually about his own, but how much can we trust his insight?

What if the anger, the disgust, he feels is directed at himself, and how he has allowed Eames to run interference with the world for him all these years, for nothing but the pleasure of his company (with breaks)? Just the captaincy she gave up after she organized a way out for him that might allow him to return someday (rather than a hearing where he would have burned all his bridges with an angry outburst) was worth thousands a year, not to mention the pride her family would have felt at having a captain in the family. The saloon owner may have reminded him of himself more than he wanted to admit - an Irishman with a love of literature, not awfully practical (unlike Vanessa and Eames), who even tells Goren "he knew he liked him, somehow" (when Goren recognized the Fitzgerald quote). Anger at another is much easier to deal with than anger at oneself, and his time with Gyson is almost up. Time for a blinding insight that will miraculously solve all his problems is running short.

janethyland said...

I read yours on the blog too, Musicwench.Great thoughts.

Lovely video of VDO and erbe saying fond farewells on USA.