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'The Red Road' fan react: You don't get to choose what you are

Season 2 | Episode 5 | “The Hatching” | Aired Apr 30, 2015

We are drawing perilously close to the end of The Red Road season, but it seems like things are just starting to happen. In fact, tonight’s “The Hatching” unloaded a lot on us in terms of plotline, so I’ve plucked out the most important scenes so we can take a closer look.

Jean goes to the shed.
The context:
This scene comes on the heels of Jean throwing her meds out. She goes to her shed to “meditate,” a practice she believes will help her control and manage the voices. While she’s there, the sequence that unfolds is both disturbing and moving, yet I can’t tell what is real or not.

What happened: While the timer ticks down, Jean sits in her chair and hallucinates she’s suffocating with a bag on her head. Her screams are interrupted when the neighbor knocks to deliver a box with the nest in it. The birds nest is dripping in paint sludge, and the eggs are smashed and broken, except for one, which is black.

Why it’s important: This scene is pivotal to Jean’s struggle because it illustrates how tentative her understanding of her own illness is. It vindicates her in many ways, but it also rearranges what we know about the reliability of her memories.

Jean explores this throughout the episode as she tries to sort through what is real and what is not. Somebody probably really did deliver a box with a nest and a black egg. And it seems that her dad really did put a bag on Bryan’s head. But with only one episode left, it’s unlikely that we’ll have time to sort it out. This characterizes her dad in a new way. Jean’s revelations uncover his responsibility for a lot of things she thought were all in her head.

Jean finds the vent.
The context:
Jean and her parents have lived with her schizophrenia for most of her life, and we’ve looked to them as a source of objectivity. Tonight, however, we find out that everything we know about what Jean’s father has told her could be a lie.

What happened: After a confrontation with Jean’s father, Harold tells Jeans what he suspects about him, and this triggers memories from Jean’s childhood that she believed were imagined.

Jean heads to her parents house to search for clues and discovers a vent that has been walled up. This contradicts her father’s earlier denial that such a vent exists and confirms Jean’s childhood memories of hearing her father in his study.

Why it’s important: This storyline represents the instability in the relationship between Jean and her parents and calls into question everything we know about them. This, in turn, is cause for a reevaluation of many things Jean claims to remember.

Now that we know her dad is a bad guy, intent on controlling his children by any means, we can better trust Jean and her memories. Jean realizes, whether it’s true or not, that the voices she hears have been her parents’ all along, and her hallucinations about suffocating with a plastic bag are actual memories about her brother.

Levi is chief of the Algonquin on

Junior listens to the story of Mac’s death.
The context: Junior has been mourning Mac and the death of his values ever since he learned Mac may have been in business with Levi.

In fact, the only reason Junior agrees to go with Levi to Connecticut is to exact revenge, which he botches. Junior only manages to graze Levi with a knife, but it’s enough for Levi to send him to the woods to be guarded by his goons until he can figure out what to do with him.

What happened: Junior rescues Mac’s killer from a trunk, and they try to escape. Junior is forced to listen as the man confesses, rather matter-of-factly, about how he mistakenly killed Mac. As the man tells the story, you can see a weight settle on Junior’s shoulders, and it might be the saddest I’ve ever seen him.

Why it’s important: This vindicates Mac from all the suspicion surrounding his ties to the casino and soothes Junior’s disappointment over Mac’s “betrayal” of the Lenape. Junior is now free to mourn Mac properly without the shadow of accusation hanging over his grief. It also clears his conscience about leaving that man to die in the woods.

This creates further complications for Marie, however. It’s clear now that Mac had no intention of building a casino on their mountain, and the harder she pushes for it, the further away she moves from Mac’s vision for the tribe.

Kopus saves the day on
Phillip throws Jean
The context: When Phillip realizes Junior is in real trouble, he asks Harold to go after him, but Harold is preoccupied with the Walpole water problem. When Rachel reaches out to Harold as well, he realizes that the situation needs his attention, so he heads to Connecticut to speak with Levi. As a result, he is arrested and spends the night in jail.

What happened: For all intents and purposes, this is probably THE most important scene of the hour. In a moment of desperation, Jean turns to Phillip for help when she can’t find Harold. His reaction is shocking and deeply sad.

Jean performs as Phillip’s conscience, shouting, “You care about people. You’re a good person. I know you.” She serves to remind him of his humanity; that he is not the animal that he pretends to be and that others treat him as.

But he rejects her, violently shutting her down emotionally and physically. Phillip’s reaction to Jean suggests that he is battling with himself.

Why it’s important: Phillip has been in an internal war with his own morality all season, and in that moment, Jean personifies the struggle. He pushes her away, saying terrible things to her, but she never relents. She refuses to believe him when he says he doesn’t care.

Phillip’s anger at Jean is also a vehicle for his own helplessness. Because he’s on parole, he can’t leave the state, and feels powerless in the fight to save Junior.

That is until Jean appears, and narrates his own better instincts. Even though he tells her no initially, he does go get Harold, and they team up to save Junior—his better instincts won. We have Jean to thank for that.

I hope this is foreshadowing for a stronger relationship between the two, but I bet the budding connection is between Harold and Phillip, not Phillip and Jean. Either way, I want to see more of this Phillip.

What were your favorite scenes?

The Red Road airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on SundanceTV.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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