How appropriate. The show returns to this knock knock joke from the beginning of the season in “Ten Thirteen”, this time telling it in a Meg context as she sits on a bench with Evie. It’s a dumb joke that also plays as a nihilistic statement, as an encapsulation of many of the storylines of the show. It’s the central statement of Meg’s storyline, one that has become increasingly prominent as time has progressed.
And as it has progressed, Liv Tyler has become better and better, her character going from softer and kinder to steelier and more callous. I don’t know if I completely buy the character shift–although if you think about it, it’s not too drastic–but there’s no doubt that Tyler’s performance is yet another to add to the show’s growing Emmy consideration list. On the topic of the shift, regardless of my feelings about it, it’s also clear that the very point of the storyline is both how Meg may have and may not have changed. The episode fills in more of her backstory, focusing on the day when she was snorting coke in the bathroom as her mother died at the restaurant table just outside. It also covers a fairly long period of time for her in order to set up what should be a (literally) explosive season finale.
The idea with Meg is that she’s not a huge fan of the way the GR goes about things, nor is she a fan of Jarden being labeled a “Miracle” town. Life is just pointless, she believes. It’s a joke. What she wants is essentially for war to break out, for things to go beyond all that “mysterious bullshit” and descend into chaos. It’s a terrifying turn–how about that school bus scene?–played extremely well by Tyler, and it’s an interesting extension and counterpoint to the GR philosophy.
One of the most important scenes of the episode involves Meg and Isaac early on, the latter telling the former the cold, hard truth: “No matter what I say, you’re going to be disappointed because it’s not going to fix what’s broken on the inside.” As much as the show is about how we deal with loss and uncertainty in a post-Departure world, it’s also about how we cope in everyday life. It’s not like the Departure fundamentally changed who everyone was. Sure, there are some elements of that throughout the series that we see. However, what we keep coming back to is the idea that loss and uncertainty are inherent in the life experience.
-More cool music choices this week: When In Rome’s “The Promise”, Grandmaster Flash’s “White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)”, and Olivia Newton John’s “Magic”.
-Any connections between Tommy and Darren?
-Predictions and/or hopes for next week?
-Apologies for the late review. I had something going on until around midnight last night, so I didn’t get to write until this morning.
Photo credit: The Leftovers, HBO