The world shifts for both Emma and Lyn as two major events mean they have closed a chapter in their life and are ready to begin a new one.
The End of an Era: Lyn, Johnny, Lupe
Being that Lyn is very much spiritual but not necessarily grounded in any particular religion, she goes to Lupe for guidance, cleansing, and sees her as a trusted figure. One who she pays to wipe her soul of obstacles and whatever is holding her back. Of which includes Johnny.
That’s right. Lyn breaks up for Johnny and she believes it is for good this time. As for what caused the breakup? Well, seeing Karen struggle is part of it, but also the realization that Johnny is willing to wreck more than just Karen’s life for Lyn. He is willing to leave the shop, coerce Mari to deal with taking care of their dad and the bills, all just to escape the neighborhood and be with Lyn. Start fresh. A burden she can’t bear and she is upset with Lupe for making her feel like she can’t just bare that burden and be happy.
I don’t know what kind of spiritual cleanse happened, but it certainly provided Lyn clarity huh? That Johnny has and always would be an obstacle because they represented what might have been the best of a rough childhood. And while nostalgia is a good thing for the sake of memories, reenacting the past is an obstacle towards obtaining a fulfilling future, is it not?
Or to make it sound less spacey, Lyn and Johnny were what was comfortable to each other and without a challenge. Something both have long avoided for Lyn had ideas but no focus. So she decided the easiest thing to do was live off her looks. As for Johnny? Lyn was fun, carefree, and didn’t necessarily hold him to any real standard. He was just her Johnny.
But it can’t be like that now. Even if you take Karen out of the picture there is Mari, Johnny’s dad, Lyn has the bar and Eddy to worry about. They aren’t carefree kids with no responsibility anymore yet were trying to recapture that. Making it so everyone in their life got let down and burdened with preparing for a life without their much-needed assistance.
Which meant for Mari, no one taking their dad to get his kidney’s flushed, Karen having to figure out how to be a single mom, and Emma losing it over taking care of the bar. Not to forget Eddy, who needed Lyn to be a bridge between her and Emma, not having the ally, or at least translator, she needed.
I Don’t Stay Where I’m Not Wanted: Emma, Nelson, Eddy, Cruz
With it seeming like the final days, Emma meets and sleeps with Cruz, possibly in an attempt to get her out of her system. However, with her sleeping over, so is another seed planted which could push her to stay. Maybe see what could happen. However, with Cruz bringing up what she should do with the bar, talking about how it is a safe place and all that, Emma shows she isn’t that different from Lyn.
That is, she may be more responsible and may have her stuff together, but she has issues with being held accountable in a relationship. Meaning, Cruz, taking note of their closeness, trying to convey her feeling and perhaps needs and expectations becomes an issue. For Emma is always so wound up in the stuff she has to deal with, she doesn’t seem to like to make time to deal with the crap of people she doesn’t have to. Especially because request sound like demands in her mind.
After all, Emma is a bit screwed up because of her grandma and her mother sending her away. Yet, it becomes quite clear why her mom did in a way. You see, Vida’s bar is perhaps the one safe place for the lesbians of the community, or just women who don’t want to deal with the machismo nature of the neighborhood. Such is seen when it comes to how aggressive Nelson is about getting the building, as Emma talks about selling to someone else, alongside, after a fight with Emma, we seeing, later that night, Eddy getting assaulted.
Not just any simple kind of fight where she loses or wins and that’s it either. A man, who didn’t appreciate her embarrassing him and cutting in when trying to talk to her friend, at another bar, beats Eddy into a coma.
There is a lot of conversation about why people need safe spaces. You get a prime example in this episode. The need to be able to be oneself without the need to look over your shoulder, having to worry about being assaulted or accosted, is high. For whether it is white people, men, or other groups, they put you on edge and threaten, at worse, your sense of safety, and at the very least, your mental health.
For just look at Emma. Being in an environment where she believed she couldn’t love openly, it has made it where she finds it immensely difficult to be in a real relationship. Have sex and mess around, not an issue. But stick around to the next morning? Be talked to like someone who has your best interest and asks of you to have theirs in mind? She isn’t capable of that.
Like Lyn, it seems her relationship with her mom made it so she just doesn’t have the tools to handle a good relationship. Maybe to even recognize and nurture one. Perhaps even to the point of not being able to handle friendships. Because, despite how friendly Lyn is, do you see any friendships there? What about Emma? She knows how to forget business relationships but personal ones? Even with Cruz’s friends, unless she had a few drinks, that’s an active struggle.
A Breakdown To Rebuild: Emma, Eddy, Lyn
With Eddy being put in the hospital comes the need to get real. Emma selling the place, to whoever, means the lesbian community, her community, has one less safe place to be themselves. And, as Emma does a lot, she takes responsibility for that. Pushing you to understand why she keeps people at arm’s length. For despite her icy exterior, Emma is a bit of a softie. However, I think there is a certain amount of recognition in how much work it takes to make things right so Emma avoids hard work of a personal nature.
Hence why she is willing to work so hard for a company she has no investment in past getting a paycheck. It’s impersonal and so all she needs is skill. Instinct and feelings aren’t there. With the bar and the neighborhood though? She can’t just rely on logic and skill. She has to think about other people, people like Eddy, and that is exhausting. Yet, she may just realize that as exhausting as it is, it’s also fulfilling.
And as for Lyn’s growth, what she needs is responsibility. Not in the form of Emma loaning her money then walking away, but a real partnership. For it seems no one ever really expected much out of Lyn and so she ended up with guys like Johnny, Juniper, and even got comfortable in taking advantage of people. At least until they were done with her. However, as much as Emma has tried, she can’t walk away with no return.
Hence why she seemingly has become willing to give Lyn and their relationship a real second chance. All the while we FINALLY learn that little girl in the pink dress? That was the ghost of Vida.
Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs
I only set you right, you set things straight.
- Learning the girl in the pink dress was Vida.
- Emma and Lyn getting what stood in their way of progressing out of their minds or lives.
- No mistake was made, Mari is completely absent in this episode.
On The Fence
- Eddy, unfortunately, being used as a wakeup call for Emma.
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