Well, now I just feel bad. Over the course of the first three installments of this show, as Ivy’s story kept falling into shreds, the family fell apart around her, and even the partnership of the detectives working the case seemed to be disintegrating, I saw Ivy as the eye of this hurricane. It was as if she was somehow manipulating these dysfunctions to suit some nefarious intent on her part. Hell, I even started calling her “Poison Ivy” in last week’s review. But now I can’t help but feel a bit ashamed of myself. Victim shaming is a real and terribly unfair privilege of the people looking in from the outside of situations like this. And after watching this penultimate episode in the series, I wear my guilt on my sleeve. Mea culpa. With all of her eccentricities and seemingly manipulative outbursts, it’s been easy to forget that Ivy was and is a victim. She was taken at the age of thirteen by an adult who may or may not have been a stranger. She was kept by this man who may or may not have held her in a basement for most of the following thirteen years. At the very least, he removed her from her family. She had acquired some manner of post-traumatic stress or else a severely arrested state of development. Maybe even a combination of both. She has suffered. Of course, life hasn’t been rosy for the people around her. Mom and Dad are both guilt-ridden over their respective extramarital affairs, and Ivy’s reemergence has only served to help shine a light on these infidelities. Mom slips a bit in this episode and seeks shelter in the arms of her sometime flame (Ivy’s old school headmaster – ewww), but withdraws from him. Dad has ended things with his girlfriend as well. Both breakups are sticky and heartbreaking, but Christina and Angus really seem determined to rebuild their family. What’s been evidenced from the beginning of the first episode up to this point is that these are two people who needed to be forced back into a room together. Their reunion with their missing daughter only catalyzed that inevitable confrontation. It looks as if they are determined to find each other again, but their union will remain besmirched by the heartache their actions have brought to others. Her sister’s long-suffering fiancé Craig finally reached his breaking point during this episode. Emma has been trying to put a freeze on everything in her life as she readjusts to the notion of having a sister again. It’s reminiscent of Mom’s insistence that everything remain exactly as it was when Ivy was abducted. Emma just can’t seem to find a way to be an adult around her big sister, and Craig’s well of patience has finally run dry. Emma’s disconsolation over his vanishing act can only be compounded by her feelings of guilt for shelving him these past couple of weeks. Ivy’s friends from before her abduction aren’t exactly faring well either. Former boyfriend Tim continues to determinedly dismantle his marriage vows to Yazz. Sure, the sudden return of one’s first girlfriend (practically from the dead) would shake one up a bit and force some nostalgic introspection. It would probably even force one to reexamine some dormant emotions. But this complete and utter shutout of Yazz is hopelessly immature. And to make matters worse, he leaves her in the weeds behind the bar just so he can lean on a fence post in a meadow practicing his poses for some emo band’s album cover? Dick move, Tim. Ivy’s best friend Eloise is the only one to find some peace this episode. That’s right, poor, pretty Eloise and her ongoing path of self-destruction is the only one to find some measure of peace with Ivy. It’s a miracle she has been able to survive long enough to share this tender moment with her long-lost friend. Of course, that peace is shattered by the intrusion of DI Elliot and DS Lisa, who arrest Ivy over the matter of a discovered body squirreled away in the basement where Ivy claims to have spent the past thirteen years. Don’t take it personally, Eloise. We can’t allow anyone to get too comfy on this show, now can we? Lisa’s discovery of White’s brother’s body, the evidence which proves Ivy’s involvement in its concealment, and the subsequent proof of Ivy’s perjury finally bring the investigative partners back into an alliance with each other. Lisa’s suspicions are proven to be well-founded. Elliot’s abortive attempt to interview Ivy last episode helps to confirm their collective suspicion. They also become united in their frustration over Ivy’s sudden refusal to talk to them. The fact that it takes Ivy’s mother Christina to crack the girl’s silent act may be frustrating for the detectives, but it’s a triumph for Christina, who finally seems to be able to move along with life after a thirteen-year emotional stasis. The story Ivy tells of the death of her only ally during her captivity is… well, captivating. It paints a truly demonic portrait of her abductor, reminding us exactly who the bad guy is in this story. And lest we forget, he still has ten-year-old Phoebe in his possession. How can all this possibly be wrapped up in a single episode next week? This episode was not so much a pause as it was the necessary deep breath before plunging into next week’s finale. The pieces were shuffled around the board in preparation for the endgame next week. And at this point, it’s anyone’s game. As distrustful as I’ve been toward Ivy and her motivations, this episode helped to shatter many of those suspicions. As I look forward to the finale, I can’t imagine how this story will be resolved. Is this new feeling of trust and sympathy for Ivy a false sense of security? Is my guilt over victim-shaming Ivy up until this point a psychological manipulation of series creator Marnie Dickens, which will only lead to a triumphant “I knew it!” in the final episode? Are the emotional resolutions of this episode set in stone, or will there be new seismic shifts as we race to the end of the story? Is it Thursday yet? Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.