asmahan wrote:What is it about this particularepisode that somehow crosses the line though??? Seriously? Miriam's death wasn't handled in a particularly gratuitous manner, the Stephen/Becky scene was also not graphic, very brief and was meant to garner sympathy for Becky... Nothing remotely as violent as Spike's hit on Lorraine, for example. Undeniably, it's valid to analyze the gender politics of the series, whether or not Lynch/Frost are trying to "say something". Personally, I don't believe any of the scenes so far have been genuinely exploitative or gratuitous.
Honestly, I didn't think so either. For me the introduction of Richard and him threatening that girl was the most upsetting scene when it came to women. But I think, for a lot of people, the line was Sylvia. Sylvia is an older woman, Richard's GRANDMOTHER, and he chokes her, yells at her, threatens her son, steals from her, and calls her the C-word. That's abusing a woman, abusing an elder, a step above abusing his mother, terrorizing her, and using foul gendered language. That scene is like a checklist of terrifying, abusive things and I can see how it was too much for some people. Especially when its preceded by introducing Sylvia as the caregiver for a now-injured son, and followed by that conversation with Ben that establishes she's a) divorced, and b) Ben is apparently (APPARENTLY, because maybe his ethics break will include being willing to use his influence to take measures against Richard now?) not able or willing to defend her.
All of this with the added trauma of watching poor Johnnie witness this, try desperately to help his mother and be restrained from it. (Which may be a metaphor for how the whole town, including Ben, is restrained by ethics, fear, or corrupt interference from stopping Richard.)
And it's Richard. We already saw Richard attack a woman and leave her for dead this ep. (And I was grateful we didn't actually see him attack Miriam in the trailer). Previously we've seen Richard threaten rape on two girls in the roadhouse, and run a young child over in the street. It's a distinct possibility that Richard is the result of the season villain raping the most popular female character on the show. We learned he has Chad interfering with attempts to bring him to justice.
Richard is just an upsetting character, and this was his most upsetting scene. This was the most upsetting scene in the ep for me (Johnnie put it over the top there.) I don't want just anyone to get Richard. I want COOPER to get Richard now.
Because Richard is a bully. Richard is afraid of Red, Richard is paying off the cops to keep the good guys off his tail, but Richard violently terrorizes, assaults, threatens, and kills woman, children, the elderly, and the disabled even if they are in his own family. And one of the reasons I love Cooper is he is immune to bullies, and disgusted by guys like Richard.
*Ahem* But anyway. Richard's basically a character that embodies the horror of misogyny, domestic abuse, and small scale tyranny. He's a wild, rich bully with no empathy. He probably tortured animals as a child. In a scene with violence against a woman, the effect is amplified when the perpetrator is a guy like Richard because you know the motive is he's trying to secure his own power by robbing that woman of hers. It's perfectly understandable that people find that upsetting, and that it may seem gratuitous since so far Richard isn't really involved or connected to the main Cooper plot. (Except, of course, by his first name and the possibility that the most popular female character from the original series was raped. Which is just more upsetting.)