The White Lotus

Started by PinkTeeth, August 09, 2021, 04:49:22 PM

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wilberfan


Jeremy Blackman

Well... that felt just about right.

Spoiler: ShowHide
Armond arguably went out in a blaze of glory (although I wouldn't characterize it that way). The real tragedy is Rachel's story. Just... absolutely soul-crushing. And the thing is, Shane is dumb enough and willingly oblivious enough that he'll never have to worry that he's actually tormenting her.

I did not anticipate the late-breaking redemption of Olivia. And somehow it was convincing enough to move me.

The Tanya/Belinda goodbye was perfectly chilling. Wow.

I have a hot take, though. Belinda gave her card to Rachel and invited her to reach out. Then she agreed to meet Rachel. Then she let Rachel bare her soul only to shut her down and twist the knife. It's not as if Rachel's pain was trivial. And it's not as if Rachel was excessively needy or imposing on her, really. From Rachel's POV, she was being brave and accepting help from someone who offered it. (And remember that she tried reaching her close family members first.) What Belinda offered in response was a betrayal of trust. Monstrous behavior, in my opinion. In customer service you have to "pretend" to a certain extent, but what Belinda does goes beyond the call of duty into outright deception. I know most people see Belinda as the hero of the show somehow, but her motives here (and even with Tanya, as I've touched on) are worth re-evaluating.

Slightly hotter take: Belinda doesn't know how to set boundaries. She willingly crosses them with Tanya, over and over, only because she has something to gain. There isn't any sort of real friendship there. Note Belinda rolling her eyes after she exits every interaction with Tanya. When Belinda meets with Rachel, there is clearly nothing for her to gain. So I guess she can't be bothered to have even a basic level of human empathy for this clearly suffering person, not out of exhaustion, really — more as a moral statement. Are we supposed to cheer? I certainly didn't.

Okay this is kind of a devil's advocate position, but I'm curious what people think.
Living life big time

Reelist

I like all your Belinda takes, makes me want to watch again and reassess her character. On the surface, she seems very pure at heart.

WorldForgot

Alexandra Daddario's performance in this finale was stellar. And I enjoyed how Olivia/Paula/Quinn's arcs all developed. JB, I do think you're onto something. No small coincidence that they represent opposing angles to what a benefactor's influence would mean for their career or "escape" therein.

wilberfan

My take on Belinda was a little different, I guess.   My read on her was always that she was a genuinely compassionate person--so compassionate, in fact, that she relaxed boundaries (especially with Tanya) that she shouldn't have.

A friend of mine and myself both read the dead-eyed Rachel/Belinda meeting as Belinda having been devastated from being dumped by Tanya and in that moment having nothing left for Rachel. (Another example of, perhaps, not setting another boundary?   Belinda should have said, 'I'm sorry, I can't meet with you now...could we schedule another time?' )

Jeremy Blackman

LIGHT SPOILERS

That's a good objective reading of it. There's just something in the performance that leads me to read things differently. Mostly it's the way Belinda exits most encounters with disdain and resentment after pretending to be your friend.

I think her personality is being actively corrupted by her job. She's the type of person who would probably have a lot of compassion were that well not being constantly depleted throughout her work week. Almost like she's an introvert pretending to be an extrovert. Clearly there's a mismatch that goes even beyond the wealth inequality and the awfulness of the job itself.

So here's my best guess as to what's really going on. I think she does have a compassionate impulse that activates when she sees someone suffering. But then she's immediately over her head and not equipped to deal with any of it. She offers to help Rachel with no ability to do so.

Belinda begins to help Tanya out of genuine compassion, but that relationship is instantly dysfunctional. Belinda is not equipped to befriend a guest or even remotely interested in doing so. She seems to suffer through every conversation with Tanya, with only brief flashes of genuine interest. It's only the promise of a transaction that makes it tolerable for her.
Living life big time

wilberfan

Quote from: Jeremy Blackman on August 17, 2021, 06:11:07 PM
I think she does have a compassionate impulse that activates when she sees someone suffering. But then she's immediately over her head and not equipped to deal with any of it. She offers to help Rachel with no ability to do so.

I like this...