In the third episode of the second season of Dead Like Me, George realizes she’s tired of being the odd one out. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Dead Like Me.
Well, I rather liked this one!
- This is the first episode in the second season that really feels great to me. The show hasn’t really given me the sensation that it was moving forward until this point, and I’m grateful for the story here. I’m all into stories about loneliness and how people choose to deal with that. And that’s what we see from nearly every character aside from Rube.
- Seriously! Obviously, “Ghost Story” references George’s growing sensation that she’s always been a ghost in her life, but it also applies to Reggie. To Joy, who’s dealing with her divorce and selling her house. To Daisy and Mason, who are struggling to find meaning and happiness as reapers. It’s a very clever title because it’s so varied in this sense.
- So, let’s start with George first! I actually think that a great deal with us might be able to understand what George feels here: a consistent inability to fit in. And it’s not something that she observes only in the context of Happy Time. She doesn’t fit in with the reapers. She didn’t fit in with her own family when she was alive. Same with school, work, her personal life… it’s ubiquitous for her. Hell, it’s been there in every single episode that has a scene at Happy Time. When George hears of the company’s annual retreat, it makes no sense for her to even try to attend. She isn’t a part of this group, and there are few things in the world that would be more uncomfortable for her.
- Which… lord, y’all, I’ve been in quite a few corporate environments before, and hanging out not in the office is generally kind of terrifying unless you’ve already made friends. For me, I’m very particular about the people I choose to be friends with. That’s something that’s only happened in the last ten years once I came out. Growing up, I was so desperate for any sort of friendship that I wasn’t picky at all. But once I started realizing I was gay and an atheist, or when I was more aware of how my race and my class status affected how others perceived me, I couldn’t afford to be friends with just anybody. However, when you’re at work, you don’t get to choose who you’re around. You just have to cope. So, an outside function with a bunch of people you probably wouldn’t choose to be around in the first place? Hello, social anxiety, it’s nice to see you again.
- The writers don’t try to say that George is ~just like everyone else.~ Instead, we see how she confronts her own unwillingness to open up to other people. I admit that I laughed real hard at all her sarcastic commentary during the opening of the retreat. CRABS AREN’T ANIMALS. Oh my god, I totally despise team-building exercises at work, and I have worked at THREE different places where we had them. They never made us feel closer as a work unit. Instead, we just grew more terrified of each other.
- Anyway, where does this get George? Delores is spot on: George ends up relying on her sarcasm to distance other people, and then she is (once again) the one drawing attention to herself in a negative manner. So the writers give her a monologue that IS SO FUCKING GOOD. Holy shit, that whole stray cat bit is BRILLIANT. And it’s only the first of two killer monologues in “Ghost Stories”! Oh gods, what a fantastic scene and a satisfying bit of character development for George.
- Meanwhile, Mason loses his Post-It. How had I never considered the fact that this could happen? I guess if Rube hadn’t followed George, Mason could have just asked him to write it again, but is there some sort of system in place here? I guess I expected this whole reaper business would have a more complex bureaucracy in place, but it stops with Rube. Regardless, this gives the writers a chance to stick Mason and Daisy together, who break into Rube’s apartment in an attempt to find Mason’s assignment. I’m confused, though. Why didn’t they seek out Rube’s ledger? Why try to find another Post-It note? I highly doubt that Rube makes two copies of each assignment, and this seemed like a perfect chance for the show to reveal what kind of information Rube gets along with the week’s deaths.
- Still, it was fun to see Daisy and Mason hang out in this context. I’ve never seen Daisy act so concerned before! But I also noticed that the two of them seem to be growing closer. Not in a romantic subtext, granted, but at least Daisy isn’t revolted by Mason’s presence! The two of them are such lonely characters, and I found it appropriate that the two of them spent time with one another to temporarily push that loneliness away.
- And loneliness rears its head in the Lass household. Joy does her best to try to sell her house to an expecting couple, and that made me sad, too. Joy is left to do this all by herself. I don’t see Clancy around to help her, and Reggie isn’t exactly making things easier for her.
- Initially, I assumed Reggie was just trying to scare the interested couple away by saying that George visited her. Granted, I think that is still a part of her behavior, but the more I think about it, I really believe she’s also telling the truth. She knows George is the one calling. She is aware that there have been too many weird coincidences and occurrences in the past year, too. Plus, we’ve seen her constantly looking out the window as Georgia walked away from the house. Is this something that Reggie will bring up to her mother?
- My favorite part of this episode is Rube’s ghost story. I love how his story is manifested in the actions of the other characters. I love that Rube gets mad when people interrupt him. It’s one of those scenes that really defines how good this show can be when it gets it right.
- A damn fine episode, y’all.
The video commission for this episode is now archived on MarkDoesStuff.com for just $0.99!
Mark Links Stuff
– I have been nominated for a Hugo in the Fan Writer category! If you’d like more information or to direct friends/family to vote for me, I have a very informational post about what I do that you can pass along and link folks to!
– I have announced what the next books I am reading on Mark Reads will be, as well as updated y’all on the events, cons, tour dates, GOING TO EUROPE OH MY GOD, and general shenaniganry going on in my life. I have a similar post up on Mark Watches, detailing the next two shows I’m doing as well as the return of Double Features, and I finally explain what happened with my Vimeo account. Check these posts out!
– Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now published and available for purchase! It’s available in ebook AND physical book format, and you can also get a discount for buying the ENTIRE SET of digital books: $25 for 7 BOOKS!!!
– Video commissions are open, and you can commission a Mark Reads/Watches video for just $25!