As Nonnie comes to terms with her sexuality, new character, Pastor Mike, has many thinking about the way they’ve been acting.
|Writer(s)||Kari Drake, Jace Richdale|
|Dee||Ashley D Kelley|
|Pastor Mike||Michael Ian Black|
You Can’t Spell God Without Dee: Patty, Dee, Nonnie, Donald
While Patty is off trying to get baptized, and deal with her sins, Nonnie is going through it. Between Donald directly, not in a teasing or full-on assumption way, asking if Nonnie is gay, it got her thinking. Add on her conversation with the young lady in the last episode, then Dee, one of Patty’s competition, saying she has a vibe, and giving Nonnie her number, and she is really messed up. But, to make things worse, she comes out to Patty, by a kiss, and gets rejected.
Leading her to reveal this Patty we see, who vents a lot about her life and how things are going, that’s nothing new. Patty has been like this since she has known her.
I’m digging Nonnie’s coming out journey. It’s awkward, difficult, includes stereotypes of queer people and the uncomfortable idea of people figuring you out before you figured out yourself, and just seems very close to the heart. Add in it being pushed, yet again, changing the outside doesn’t change the inside, and it makes you want to forget all the bad things about this show and try to live in the good. Which this episode does quite better than the others.
Take Me To The King: Bob A, Patty, Pastor Mike, Brick, Magnolia, Christian
Despite being a southern boy, Bob seemingly wasn’t much for religion. It isn’t clear why exactly, but he hasn’t gone to church in a long time and when Pastor Mike talks about having discernment, Bob rolls his eyes. That is, until he lays hands on him and begins to read him like a book. Really pushing him to get his act together, especially in terms of his relationship with his son.
Which starts out difficult because Bob is open about it being rooted in selfishness. He needs Patty baptized and so he needs to get past Pastor Mike’s abilities so that he’ll baptize Patty. Leading Brick to be immediately turned off. So, to try to heal and fix things, Bob does what his father never did – invest time in learning about his son’s hobby. Which, unfortunately for Bob A, means learning wrestling from Bob B.
As that happens, to be less selfish, Patty decides to hook up Christian with Magnolia as a means to try to heal things. Problem is, Magnolia wants revenge and Christian should have been named Lucifer – for he is clearly the devil. I’m talking about him pushing the idea of him and Magnolia making Brick and Patty jealous, right after Patty says he should date Magnolia. That includes trying to tempt her to kiss him.
And it all comes to a head at Brick’s wrestling meet where Patty does end up jealous and, because of Bob A yelling about Brick penetrating his opponent, it’s a wrestling term, Brick’s ankle getting sprained.
Let’s bypass the nonsense and focus on faith. Being that religious characters, like Republicans, aren’t seen often in a good light, much less as three-dimensional people, you have to appreciate what Pastor Mike brings to the table. He notes with Angie he has a past, one which included jail visits, so he isn’t some square who never did anything in life. Also, while a fictional character, so keep that in mind, there are those who truly have gifts of discernment and may not know all the details, but get the gist. Who don’t use their powers and influence for riches, perhaps fame, but simply to be in service.
Which, of course, brings us to Bob A. Being that he is southern born and raised, him being very agnostic with faith was something interesting. For on top of faith being usually treated as a niche topic, questions of faith also gets ostracized a lot (or maybe it is just in the stuff I watch?). So while there isn’t a deep exploration into Bob’s troubles with believing a god will see him through his troubles, as with most deep subjects on this show, it’s nice that it was brought up but I wished it went deeper.
Self Care v. Selfishness: Angie, Pastor Mike, Patty, Christian, Brick, Bob A
While Bob A doesn’t get much out of being baptized again, at the very least his effort to get to know about wrestling, and his son’s passions, lead to them reconciling. Well, that and Patty’s baptism leading her to drop good ole boy Brick to satiate her lust for Christian aka Lucifer.
But, as Patty heads on down to the highway to hell, she passes her mom who finds herself pulled over. For with her sleeping with someone, her sponsor to be specific, she realizes she has a problem. If she isn’t using alcohol or drugs to distract herself from misery, it’s sex. So she looks for counseling from Pastor Mike and he basically says, we need to find the “you” from before all this. As in, who was Angie before sex, drugs, and alcohol became idols in her life she turned to as the darkness came. Something she doesn’t quite have the answer to yet.
And so you realize everyone is coping with something in an unhealthy way. Be it because they lack faith, a moral compass, or didn’t have a healthy relationship with a role model. Patty turned to food because her mom was trash, dad absence, she wasn’t religious so she couldn’t lean on faith, and thus she took the path she did. Which, as I write that out, I wonder if that is problematic to say – That lack of faith was a factor in her binge eating. For faith can be so much more complicated than this episode shows. After all, some believe their faith helped cured their cancer, not the chemo treatments, so to say Patty wouldn’t have binged of food if she had faith seems wrong in a way.
But judging other people’s coping mechanisms does require a need to reflect on your own and think about why they chose that one in particular. Like Bob A. His coping mechanism is remaking people into their best selves, because he grew up feeling like he wasn’t accepted. So, to live vicariously, he made Coralee into someone worth recognizing, Patty, and probably was distant from Brick because he didn’t need his help in doing that. The kid was alright without him.
Then, speaking to the heading of this topic, it really pushes you to wonder what can really be considered self-care? While touted as selfish, because he does get something out of it, does that mean what Bob A does isn’t a form of self-care? What about Patty? Instead of whining and venting over what she doesn’t have, she is now showing initiative and going after it. While not in the best way, can that not be seen as self-care? Or does self-care only get differentiated from selfishness when someone doesn’t feel neglected and hurt by you protecting and healing yourself?
I’m starting to think either I’m giving this show too much credit or I’m going too deep on something simple.
Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments
- Angie slept with Bob B when she was 17.
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- What are the chances that Bob B is Patty’s dad?
- If Angie has been 33 days sober, does that mean it has been 33 days, in the show’s world, since the mother/daughter pageant for WMBS?
- I don’t know much about toupees, and how they stay on. So, how is it when Bob A wrestled Bob B, and was dunked in a pool of water, that toupee didn’t come off?
- Dee representing what I’m sure many wished this show was advocating.
- Nonnie coming to terms with her sexuality and showing how complicated it can be when you aren’t someone who just knew.
- All the thoughts and ideas Pastor Mike brought to Bob A and Angie’s storyline.
On The Fence
- Patty following in her mother’s footsteps now that food isn’t the only option she has to deal with life.