Sophia meets Gail, a fellow vintage retailer who isn’t fond of her altering clothes rather than preserving the stories and memories they hold.
Episode Focus: New Memories vs. Old Ones (Sophia and Gail [Melanie Lynskey])
As you can imagine, Sophia isn’t the only one with a vintage store on eBay. However, when it comes to Gail of Remembrance, what she is selling isn’t just the clothes, but the story which comes with them. You see, with Gail’s mom leaving her, through death, when she was a baby, her mom’s old clothes was all she had. Through the stories of the romanticized version of her mom, that was how she connected with her. So, when it comes to vintage items, she sees old memories which continue to live on even when their original owners have passed.
As for Sophia? She sees money and new memories. Hence why she cuts, alters, and makes something new out of something old. All with a pair of scissors and some thread. Gail doesn’t like this what so ever. Yet, over the course of a day of them hanging out, they come to like one another and Sophia even opens up to her. She notes to her, and reveals to us, her mom left when she was 12 and took everything. Seemingly to never be heard from again. Perhaps clueing us in as to why she may not like bridges. For bridges take people far away.
Though likely a one-episode stint, I quite liked Lynskey as Gail. She was the kind of weird that didn’t seem like a caricature, you know? Like the type of weird which comes from pain and trying to figure out a way to cope. Sort of like Sophia in a way. Which is perhaps why I like the way this show uses its guest stars. The best ones know how to chip away at the lead’s insecurities and reveal pieces of them to us. With Nathan’s mom Teresa we got her longing for her mom and approval, with Rick you get to see her softer side. One which, to me anyway, sort of represented her ability to connect with people who could do her no harm and no good. Something to sort of counterbalance how she treated Carol in a way. Showing she could deal with having a boss, but not one so overbearing. Plus, it revealed she is not someone made for sales.
Heck, even through the old woman we sadly haven’t seen since the first episode, that also showed her longing for a mom. Hence why she took that slap and didn’t fight back. Also, why Dax matters in a way. Sophia isn’t necessarily against reality checks every now and then, it is just she can’t take them too seriously because, when it comes to her business, she is on her own. Much less, as Mobias (Jim Rash) was part of proving, and Jay spelled out for us, Sophia is very much about proving people wrong. She beats out her own rhythm and doesn’t really need others to believe in her. She believes in her and knows her style, her dance, her song, is so alluring that people will eventually come around. Well, at least the ones who have the sense to do so.