In the eleventh episode of the second season of Dead Like Me, I’M REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE BECAUSE OF REASONS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Dead Like Me.
Oh my god, just a heads up. This is a trigger warning for talk of abuse, which must happen due to Daisy’s storyline. Just wanted y’all to know!
- So let’s talk about some of the other plots in this episode before we get to the heavy shit.
- Rube is back! And he’s not taking any questions. Oh lord, it’s so clear why he won’t. The man has been distinctly impersonal when it’s come to his own life, and he’s not about to start to open up to his fellow reapers aside from Roxy. I think it’s important to recognize why that is: Rube is the only person whom Roxy opens up to about her own past. He’s always invited to her death anniversary, and I believe he’s returning the favor in a way by trusting her. That’s why she keeps it a secret from the other three reapers, too.
- On top of that, George would tear him apart if she found out that he was seeking out his past. I would hope she’d be more thoughtful and sensitive about it, but at the same time, she has dealt with Rube’s lessons over the course of season one. Why wouldn’t she be upset about Rube being hypocritical?
- I don’t know if the show will ever reveal Rube’s secret to the rest of the group, and I don’t think that I’d need it, either. If George ever does find out what’s going on, I’m going to hope that the two of them will be able to understand one another better.
- Goths. Goths. Oh my god, there are goths, and these girls clearly watched The Craft, and then devised an entire lifestyle around it, and I deeply appreciate it. I really don’t think the show is being too joke-y with the way they’re portrayed! Obviously, there’s a lot of humor being played here because of Joy interacting with Reggie’s new friends. But they’re young girls! And they’re experimenting with what they love and what they think is appealing. What I love here is that Joy understands this. She sees Reggie trying to be social and trying to have friends, and she supports her. She doesn’t do it perfectly, but she’s being so genuine here!
- To a point. And that is important as well. When Reggie uses her sister’s death in a game, Joy flips out. There’s a length to which Joy is willing to let Reggie be herself, and it’s clear that Reggie’s comment really hurt Joy. How could she not take that personally? Granted, she’s exceptionally rude and vicious to Reggie’s friends in response. Oh god, I feel like everything Joy and Reggie have worked towards was thrown down the drain in a single scene. I really hope this doesn’t make things worse, but IT WAS SO AWKWARD.
- I have no desire to ever really talk about it in detail, but I was homeless once for six weeks. I am especially sensitive when it comes to portrayals and depictions of the homeless, so let me just preface anything I’m about to say with that. I am a killjoy for narratives about being homeless, and I understand that might not be your experience or your view on things. So! This episode starts out reflecting on the fact that a lot of people die without names, without graves, and without funerals, and it’s touching to me that George wanted to make sure that Arthur Simms died with his name. I think the story could have continued in that direction, but it takes this really bizarre turn when George and Mason pretend to be Arthur’s relatives. Like, it becomes less and less about Arthur’s death, and more about how grossed out George is by the whole process. I don’t know, I guess I just don’t find George very likable during any of the scenes dealing with Arthur Simms’ burial? Sure, Roxy makes a few unfortunate statements, too, but she never expresses that same distaste that George does. But this is all my perception of things! It’s the first episode this season that has a plot that I am, for the most part, uninterested in.
- Actually, I also didn’t like Delores’s white savior bullshit, either. I love her character, but that doesn’t mean I like everything about her.
- Anyway, I think all my weird feelings about “Ashes to Ashes” comes from the fact that the vast majority of this episode isn’t funny or lighthearted. The show very suddenly veers to this dark place, and it affects how I perceive the entire thing. Which isn’t really a criticism in and of itself! I’m just saying that this episode is emotionally all over the place, and I’m still trying to sort my feelings out.
- I know for a fact, though, that I absolutely despise Ray. Thankfully, I’m positive the show isn’t trying to make me like him. I was worried about that during the first half of the episode, but by the end, it’s clear that he’s meant to be perceived as fucking horrifying.
- So let’s just spell this out: Ray is an abuser. Eric McCormack plays the role of someone who uses emotional and physical threats perfectly, which is why it’s so disturbing. I have been in a relationship with a man who acted just like him: furious and violent in one second, apologetic and sweet-as-pie the next. It’s classic abuser behavior, and you can also see how Daisy follows along with it. It made me sad and scared for her because I know that I could not see the signs either. And maybe she does! When I say I couldn’t see the signs that my boyfriend was an abuser, what I mean is that I totally did see the signs, but I refused to listen to them. While on tour in March, I finally read Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear, which I honestly recommend if you’ve ever had to deal with stalking, abuse, rape, or anything that involves people ignoring your consent. It helped me sort out decades of trauma in a matter of a few days. So I believe Daisy’s intuition sent her the signs that this is wrong, but her own insecurities and fears caused her to deny them. Oh my god, I really hope she finds a way to be honest about this and get out of this relationship. Like, right now. Because that man is controlling and manipulating her, and the entire reality TV scene is one of the most upsetting things I’ve ever seen for Mark Watches.
- Mason sees the signs, too, and he even calls Ray out to Daisy when he brings up the fact that Ray hurt Daisy during the taping. But the problem here is that Mason cannot set aside his own jealousy to just help Daisy. She doesn’t need him to tell her that he doesn’t like her anymore, to call her names, or to act disgusted with what she did while she was being abused. You’re not helping at all! Hell, Mason, you’re probably making it worse.
- I’m guessing we’ll see more of this in the future, so I hope Mason will be able to separate his personal feelings for Daisy from her from what needs to happen. Jesus, Daisy, my heart hurts just thinking about this episode. 🙁
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