Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Selfie 1.12: "Stick in the Mud"

“It just goes to show, sometimes people can surprise you. After a lifetime of following my sister around, she was finally following me back. And she was right, we weren’t kids anyone. So it was time to start acting like an adult.”
- Eliza

Not toget all sad on you but this is the penultimate episode of “Selfie” ever. This is one of our last adventures with Henry and Eliza and I’m a bit misty-eyed that we are losing them so soon. As I’ve probably said in the few episodes I’ve covered, I really think Karen Gillan and John Cho have amazing chemistry together (be it platonic or romantic). These two definitely need to do some work together in the very near future, preferably with some comedy…and Charmonique! Anyway, on to the episode. Eliza gets into the elevator and is greeted by Henry who is very happy because that day is the day Saperstein announces the annual 10k. Henry’s won every year since it started and his silhouette is on the annual company poster. As they head to the meeting they get stopped by Charmonique who is none too pleased that Eliza’s sister keeps calling her. This leads to an admission from Eliza that her family is alive and well and her big sister, Bethany, was the golden child that Eliza could never live up to.

Henry suggests that maybe Bethany has changed and matured since they were kids and that sometimes challenging people enter our lives when we least expect it. That’s certainly the case for Henry. Saperstein announces that instead of a 10k, they will be doing a mud run, led by Freddy. Henry isn’t going to do it but Freddy (and Saperstein doing weird exercises while talking to their bodies in the elevator…the men on this show sometimes weird me out) goads him into signing up. Freddy even offers to train Henry before the big race. That doesn’t go well at all. They are clearly competitive and not just because they both put a premium on Eliza’s time and attention (even if Henry is woefully loathe to admit his feelings) but because Freddy just sees Henry as old and out of touch in general.

Eliza isn’t having a whole lot of luck with Bethany either. Eliza cleans up her apartment and makes it look like she’s super successful (which she is) and put together (which she’s not so much). Things are still tense between the sisters and Bethany doesn’t really understand why Eliza dislikes her so much. Not having any siblings, I can’t entirely relate to Eliza’s feelings but I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who felt they lived in the shadow of their older siblings for one reason or another. Eliza’s mood turns even less sisterly when Bethany reveals that she’s pregnant. Eliza feigns excitement at becoming an aunt but she rants to Henry the next day at the office. She believes her sister got pregnant (and is due right around Eliza’s birthday) to further spite Eliza. Henry points out that it is ridiculous but it does seem to go to a deeper issue with Eliza’s feeling of self-confidence. For all of the beauty and social media savvy, she really is just insecure, hoping to be noticed and appreciated for who she really is.

The day of the mud run finally arrives and Henry and Freddy are still snapping at each other. Eliza, who was in charge of refreshments (which basically means stealing stuff from the break room and buying beer) brings all of the inappropriate stuff she found. You don’t need to give runners a keg of beer, honey. Bethany shows up with fruit and water and everyone is happily prepping for the run. Freddy and Henry have now got a full-blown rivalry going during the race and when they are nearing the end of the course they get into a big fight and argument about how they see each other and that they both feel like the other is undermining them. At least they got their feelings out. It earns them a second-place tie in the race. Charmonique won in an upset. But come on, as soon as you saw her head off, you knew she had to win. At least Eliza was happy for her friend and she even blow both guys a kiss for their tie. Yeah, Henry really needs to get his head out of the clouds and realize what is right in front of him.

Most importantly in this episode, Eliza finally confront Bethany about her feelings of inadequacy. We learn that when the girls were young their parents divorced. Eliza admits she felt it was her fault and that Bethany blamed her and then went off to college (Eliza didn’t quite understand the concept of going off to college but that’s okay). Bethany explains that it wasn’t fair and she understands that now but it wasn’t either of their faults (and neither was the divorce). Bethany came to tell Eliza she was pregnant because she wanted her child to know all of its family and she promises to be there for Eliza when the time comes. They need to grow up and start treating each other as equals. The fact that Eliza was able to make this realization and put it to use by finally calling her mom at the end of the episode speaks volumes about how much Henry’s lessons are having an effect, even if he wasn’t directly involved in the life lesson being taught. He had his own lesson to learn this week.

As I said at the start of the post, I am sad to see this little show go after the next episode. I don’t think ABC gave it a fair shot. It was a quirky show and yes the title probably turned some people off but if you gave it a chance, it really grew on you. Maybe it hit too close to home for much of the core age group and that’s why the ratings just weren’t there to support it. At least we got to see this far into Henry and Eliza’s journey. We can be thankful for that.

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