As Tyler and Kirsten enter Severn City Airport, now named The Museum of Civilization, encounters with old faces trigger old memories.
|Directed By||Helen Shaver|
|Written By||Patrick Somerville, Sarah McCarron|
Life Is Full Of Complicated Relationships – Arthur, Clark, Tyler, Elizabeth
To understand the present, we have to go into the past, and there we find Clark struggling with his friendship with Arthur. From what it appears, the longevity of their friendship is the main thing that coerces Clark to hang out despite them clearly growing apart. If not, despite him verbalizing otherwise, Clark being jealous of how effortless Arthur makes his life seem.
Though you could add in, with Clark dedicating himself to being a CEO whisperer, his off-and-on relationship with Tim, and losing Miranda as a friend due to Arthur’s divorce, maybe Arthur is the only friend Clark has? Which, considering the quality of friendship Arthur provides, Clark is angered by this. Why? Well, because Arthur can’t even remember Clark has been 9 years sober and invites him to a bar. Never mind, just being around Arthur makes Clark want to drink, do drugs, and damn if he doesn’t find himself waking up, coming down, and getting riled up because Arthur asks him to leave.
Thus leading to Clark going off on Arthur and not realizing he is doing so in front of Elizabeth and Tyler.
Art Can Imitate Life, But Life Better Not Imitate Art – Clark, Elizabeth, Tyler, Kirsten, Miles
20 years have passed, and all that has done to Clark is make him very paranoid about the outside world. So, as Tyler warned, those who get in can’t get out. But when it comes to the Traveling Symphony, it should be noted Clark was uneasy about them coming. But with Elizabeth believing they should open themselves up more to the outside world, if just for the sake of the growing number of children, she championed their arrival.
However, what Clark was hoping for, or expecting, was subpar performers. What he gets, when he coerces Tyler and Kirsten to perform, to prove they are who they are, is a performance that makes the idea of them playing Hamlet, a play in which the king is killed, a little too worrisome. So, he speaks of wanting to shut it down, but Elizabeth won’t have it.
Though, it may not just be Tyler and Kirsten’s performance, which were pages of Station Eleven. It could also be the memories which flared up in that room as Miles, Clark, and a hidden Elizabeth watched and listened. For while none of the adults in the room read Station Eleven, Clark encountered Kirsten when she was a child and Tyler? His words easily could represent his relationship and feelings towards his mother, as he and Kirsten build-up to the line Tyler holds dear about there being no before.
You Got To Get Better At Saying Goodbye – Sarah, Kirsten, Tyler, Elizabeth, Clark, Miles, Alex, Brian
With passing Clark’s test, Kirsten is allowed to join the rest of her troupe, who fills her in on what happened with Sarah, and you can see the oft-charmed Alex has already attached herself to Elizabeth. Which makes Kirsten’s new connection with Tyler confusing, as he guides her to see Sarah, who just had a heart attack.
Now, how is Sarah doing? Fine. Tired, heartbroken, certainly weary, but she seems fine. However, she is also of a mindset of being ready to die, and after the performance of Hamlet, she wants to say goodbye. Naturally, Kirsten isn’t for this, but Sarah believes it’s time, and Kirsten really needs to learn how to say goodbye to people better.
This might be something she’ll have to do soon since Tyler has his handheld device, and after a heated confrontation with Clark, and a reconciliation that doesn’t heal old wounds with his mother, he blows up the tower. In doing so, the Museum of Civilization, which contains examples of our technology, with little cards noting what’s what, gets destroyed. Also, with it being seen as a signal, the Undersea are now on their way with who knows what devices at their disposal. Never mind, with Brian knocking out Tyler and considering how they acted when Tyler was attacked before, there might be blood spilled real soon.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- What was up with Miles’ wig and makeup?
What Could Happen Next
- The Undersea destroying Severn City airport, possibly sacrificing themselves in the process
- Members of the Traveling Symphony dying as the Undersea or Bandanas attack
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
The past is safe. Everything else, changed.
— Tyler aka David aka The Prophet
The Scene In The Tower Reenacting Parts Of Station Eleven
We spoke of the editing when it comes to Kirsten interacting with herself or reflecting on the past in terms of narrative. This episode has that same quality as Kirsten speaks of the past and meeting before, and perhaps there being a realization between Clark and Kirsten they are familiar. Granted, 20 years have passed, but it’s like something triggered in his brain and made it, so the scene was giving a nice nod to their shared history.
However, what they shared doesn’t compare to Tyler and Elizabeth, maybe even Clark. For as Tyler plays out his role as Dr. Eleven and talks about whether things are like how they were before, and we see his mother listening and his uncle’s eyes taking note of his every move, it helps you realize why he strongly adheres to the idea there is no before. For to acknowledge that the woman who raised him, the man associated with his father, didn’t change, if anything, they doubled down, is hard to believe and accept.
Why? Well, because it leads to the question of whether he, Tyler, can change? Is he still trapped in that helpless position he was as a child, or now can be considered the man who, knowing what he knows, being capable of what he is today, may have saved that man’s life vs. just being a bystander to his death.
Alex’s Desire To Seek Outside Influences
It’s comical, yet sad, how much Alex wants to attain the attention of someone outside the troupe and earn their praise. Yet, even with her clutching to Kirsten upon reuniting, it hasn’t really changed things. Alex wants to experience new things, meet new people, and break the wheel of routine that is her life. Plus, lest we forget, one of the things the Museum of Civilization does and advocates that the Traveling Symphony doesn’t is an education about the past. So much information, and a sense of structure the Traveling Symphony can’t provide, it seems to be alluring to Alex.
Though, as said previously, Alex is at that point of her life where she wants to see how other people live and see whether what is the norm to her is what is best for her or not. Something that can’t be done with visits to places that she’s often seen but hasn’t gotten to settle in. Never mind all of the world that is unknown to her and yet so inviting.
You could submit Elizabeth doesn’t come off as the warmest of mothers. It was noted she was highly focused on her career, even if it wasn’t necessarily where she wanted it to be, and she sacrificed her relationship with Tyler in the process. But, the thing about family relationships is, when you make sacrifices, especially in time, there is hope that there is an understanding of why you did what had to be done.
Such is the case with Elizabeth, who, I feel, hoped to explain to Tyler one day all the complications of her life so that he could understand his father, her, their relationship, and why Elizabeth did what she thought was best. And to really hit the nail on the head, with seeing Elizabeth talk to Tyler, in spirit, at the place she assumed he died, it shows he might be the last significant relationship in her life.
After all, while Clark has Miles and seems happy, Elizabeth pretty much is surrounded by people and yet alone. For at this point, perhaps similar to Sarah, her heart has been broken to the point of not being able to love as she once did.
Understanding Clark Further
In a way, Clark has been a bit of a mystery because of how much he was defined as Arthur’s friend. Even in terms of establishing what would evolve into The Museum of Civilization, you can see him trying to prove himself a bit. And I think in this episode, we could see why. While Clark may claim he was never jealous of Arthur, I’d submit he was at least envious. Maybe not of Arthur’s success but the ease of which people and things came to him.
Hence, Clark had to leave the theater and pursue working in corporate, for with every less way he had a need to question his life while being beside Arthur, he took it. Heck, being gay probably was a bonus since he wouldn’t have to compare his girlfriend or wife to Arthur’s! Yet, I think now, in year 20, you can see that insecurity still rear its head. He gave people a home and some sense of civilization, yet he questions if he is liked. Because of him, we’re not made aware of any infections, attacks, nothing.
But, power more so reveals a person than strengthens them, and that is certainly the case with Clark.
Station Eleven Directory