It’s the anniversary of Darren’s death (Matilda, Genevieve, and Nicholas’ dad) and this forces everyone to confront how they really feel.
|Episode Title||Emperor Scorpion|
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Darren’s Anniversary – Nicholas, Alex, Genevieve, Matilda
It has been one year since Darren’s death, and Matilda is leading the charge! First, a group moment of silence, which Alex is allowed to stay for, paired with writing a letter to Darren, reciting it, then throwing it into the fire. For almost everyone, these tasks are easy. However, for Nicholas, the letter is a bit of a struggle. Though, for everyone, how to feel about Darren’s death is hard.
For Matilda, the struggle deals with hoping he is proud of her. Then for Genevieve, the issue is that, with Darren dead, it really puts a nail in the coffin for her mom. Since now, the keeper of stories about her mom is gone. So, while saddened by her father’s death, it is even worse thinking how this makes her mom’s passing all the more real.
As for Nicholas? Well, when raised thinking your dad is trash by your mom and then learning he is lovely, it causes a bit of internal conflict. Add in not being raised to worry about his feelings, and it makes the ceremony tough.
A Good Night, Indeed – Genevieve, Matilda
However, after the ceremony, things aren’t so bad – at least for Genevieve and Matilda. They open up to each other about dating, boys, Drea, North Korea, and penises, and Matilda seems all too ready to guide Genevieve on her journey to losing her virginity. Which, without a mom or dad, and Nicholas not being the best for that, Genevieve appreciates. Even though it is clear this is going to be awkward.
A Guest In Their Grief – Penny, Nicholas, Alex
Due to Darren leaving Penny and her bad-mouthing him ever since, Nicholas has had a difficult time balancing how his primary caregiver feels, his dad is, and then his two sisters. Thus, Alex realizes that Nicholas has pretty much suppressed his own feelings for others’ benefit and some form of peace. However, the time has come for boundaries and to express his feelings, Alex feels.
So, perhaps for the first time, Nicholas pushes back against his mother bad-mouthing his dad and opens up that he feels awkward since he feels like a guest in his sisters’ grief. This is just enough progress to turn Alex on and for them to have sex. However, what really sweetens the night is Alex reassuring Nicholas can speak up for himself without losing anyone. Which is shown by Alex still being around and despite how offended Penny was by Nicholas defending Darren, her calling him the next day.
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
I don’t like talking about these things because my opinions change, and I don’t wanna be locked into my words.
Matilda Stepping Up As Big Sister
Since Matilda and Genevieve’s relationship often features a bit of tension, it is always nice when Matilda sets aside how she thinks Genevieve feels about her and gets to be a big sister. One that can give advice, be affectionate, and continue to expand the idea of what people with autism are capable of. Especially when it comes to expressing emotions and their role in a family unit.
Alex Breaking Through To Nicholas About His Abandonment Issues
While you can say Nicholas is selfish and self-centered, it is presented less so as a character flaw and more so part of his struggle with his mom in this episode. For it seems when around Penny, she sucks up all the energy and focus in the room, thus leaving Nicholas with none. However, in LA, Nicholas can make things about himself, and while there is some guilt about it, and fear people may leave for doing so, I think Alex sticking around is proving that there isn’t a generation curse.
What I mean by that is, with Nicholas, I think he fears what happened to his mom could happen to him. That he could love someone deeply, and yet they still are able to abandon him. Hence, he tries to keep this power dynamic with Alex where he is the annoying one and almost always prepped for Alex to leave.
Yet, with Alex not doing so and affirming that everyone loves him too much to leave, I think LA might be less of an escape from Nicholas’ norm and a realization that what he found normal wasn’t healthy. Thus, he has to rebuild and rethink his relationships to move forward. Not just with Alex but also his sisters.