Monday, October 29, 2007

Lil's Therapy + Moving 'Case' = Strong Outing

Lilly Rush may now be certified (as in certified NOT insane and mentally fit to do her job -- somebody alert Scotty!), BUT I'm not so sure that she's mentally fit to do her life. We know she puts up a brave front to protect herself, but could it be that brave front that is holding her back? Imagine if you will, a Lilly who used her counseling sessions wisely and got a lot off of her chest. She'd be dealing with what happened to her instead of pretending it never occurred. At the end of her mandatory sessions, she'd be a mentally healthier person. BUT admitting to her emotional difficulties exposes her vulnerability, trust issues and everything else that she despises with the very fabric of her being. Pretend as she may, this isn't going anywhere, especially since, as the therapist pointed out, she doesn't have anyone in her life to turn to for help. That nightmare we witnessed last week focused on one central question; "Is there anyone we can contact for you?" Truth is, there isn't. Her mother's dead, her sister's on the run, her father left when she was just a child, and she manages to sabotage any semblance of a romantic relationship that comes her way (using work as an excuse to avoid intimacy with Kite and kissing a childhood sweetheart to escape from Joseph's impromptu "I love you"). And then there's Ray -- the live-in-the-moment aforementioned childhood sweetheart who blows into town providing companionship, but negates the commitment that makes it all too real for her. But that doesn't work either because he ALWAYS wants her to run off somewhere with him and she wants to hide behind the protective arms of her J-O-B. Yes, Lilly needs a support system and she needs to stop protecting herself because in the process, she's ultimately doing more damage. Poor Lil.

This week's counseling session was an interesting case study on the character of Lilly Rush. She started out as her usual cool, calm and collected self, but the moment the therapist suggested that Lilly take stock of her life, she began to get fidgety. She became nervous, unsettled and visibly upset. So, what does she do? She quickly shifts to "detective mode." She begins questioning her therapist about that "15-year old" picture of her daughter and accuses her of fixing others' problems because she can't fix her own as if she's accusing a suspect of murdering a victim. It was Lilly 101 - deflect and then turn to what keeps you emotionally grounded. Lilly's detective act is her emotional center; it's where she draws her confidence and strength. This was a brilliant scene for so many reasons, but the biggest is Kathryn Morris' performance: Her subtle shifts between these emotions, the fidgeting, the tears that began to swell but quickly retracted, and the final reflective glance as she turned to walk out that office for the last time. It was all too brilliant for words.

Interesting and moving case this week (and it had a lot of competition from the Lil stuff). There were shades of Finding Forrester and Akeelah and the Bee (both excellent movies) in Terrance's story. Instead of a genius knack for literature and writing or spelling, Terrance was a math genius. The problem was, in his neighborhood, that talent is easily exploited for gambling, cracking safes and robberies. Terrance may not have wanted to get involved in that life, but half-brother Mike and his low-life father kept sucking him back in. Chances are, if it weren't for "The Bird Man," Terrance may not have seen the good that his talent could do in the world. Augustine took him under his wing (no pun intended) and taught him about math and its ties to flight and engineering, but he also presented the choice that Terrance ultimately had to make. In the end, he made the right one. It's too bad that half-brother Mike didn't. It all led to a believable, albeit sad, murder. Combine that with the Lil stuff and Cold Case moves to 6-0 on the season.


LillyKat said...

Really nice write-up, tvfan. Loved the Akeelah and the Bee mention - totally agree! I also enjoyed your analysis of Lilly. Although I liked this ep, I will confess the therapy session left a lot to be desired for me. It seemed to ring of the same ol' same ol' with Lilly and her perpetual state of inability to deal with anything. I thought we were going to see her PAST this deny, deny, deflect, deny pattern. The woman is messed up, but the messed-up-ness is never dealt with. Instead, we just continue to get reconfirmation she IS messed up. And for me, that starts to become boring, predictable and formulaic. I compare this to something like The Closer, where we see Brenda GROW and CHANGE in the process of what she goes through. With Lilly, she's just stuck somewhere back at the end of the third season, where they set her up to want to change only to have her still be in her same pattern. Either the writers don't know what to do with her or no one wants to take the chance to actually move her forward. For me, nothing is in depth anymore, just recycled Lilly denial. I get why Kathryn feels Lilly is going to up and off herself. LOL!

TVFan said...

Excellent point LillyKat. She does seem to be stuck in this pattern. I wonder if the writers are afraid to take her out of it because they believe it's what makes her interesting. As you mentioned, The Closer was able to successfully do this with Brenda. I didn't think about this, but you're so right. They need to think outside the box a bit and find a way to have her grow and still remain interesting.