|Alas, poor Debbie. We knew her well.|
The best laid plans of mice and men....this is what torture feels like:
So on Thursday, half-way through episode 8 of DIG, my phone rings. It's my husband, coming back from a business trip, and he's at a MARTA (Atlanta's weak attempt at public transportation) station in sitting in a dead car with a dead car battery.
And HERE'S why good parenting matters: for about 1 minute, I struggled with what to do. I mean, DIG is on. SOMETHING'S about to HAPPEN. Peter and Emma were in the creepy room about to discover something. Certainly my spouse could wait 30 minutes for me to find out, and then 30 more minutes for me to drive there. He'd been traveling all day--what was 1 more hour?
But no. I was raised to be dependable and responsible and keep things in perspective and do unto others as I... So. Whispering many many swears and dirty oaths, I switched off the TV, woke my child, and we drove to Brookhaven to get him...the whole time I'm listening to live tweets about the show going off, on my phone. Torture. Worse than water boarding.
Because when I got back, I saw somebody important had died. I immediately stopped reading all the tweets and told my people--NOBODY TELL ME!!! And then the next day I stayed off the Internet, at least the portions of the Internet that could have DIG-related information. I couldn't even go support Jason Isaacs, who went to Washington, DC to argue with Congress about giving more money to Arts education programs for children. That was three (THREE) things I heart a lot: kids, art, and education (okay, 4 if you count arguing with politicians)...and I couldn't even go look to see how it was going. In case he or somebody tweeting on his page said something. NOBODY TELL ME!!!
Later, Ori Pfeffer (Golan Cohen) saw where I'd tweeted before my torture began that I hoped they didn't kill him off, and he let me know it wasn't him. And that was JUST like teaching 2nd graders, because that was totally not even following directions, Ori! I said NOT A WORD.
At any rate, about 9.30 PM on Friday I got to watch it finally. And so here are my thoughts:
1-I think the most important thing about show #8 is to say how upset I am with the writers, yet in complete, gobsmacked awe of them. I'm just now able to look in their general direction again after they killed off Debbie. DEBBIE!!! Listen, I was attached to Debbie, DIG writers. I felt a spiritual connection to her--Debbie was a complete fuck up just trying to get it right, and she had a pure heart. If she wore patchouli, wrote bad poetry, and drank wine, she and I could have totally hung out and been BFFs.
And NOW there can't even be a "Don't EFF With Debbie" DIG spin off. Crap. I'm still in mourning.
And yet, THIS is a fine example of what good writing is--you kill your darlings. Because the story demands it, and it's going to evoke such a powerful emotional reaction in your audience they won't even know what to do with themselves, and even years later will tell people, when they speak of it, when they remember your story: THEY KILLED DEBBIE. And how dare they!
Which is all to say: I'm so in love with the DIG writers right now I can't even see straight. I'm so mad about Debbie, yet I'm so completely head over heels with them for making that bold choice. This is like one of those completely dysfunctional romantic relationships--no matter how many darlings they kill off, I'll always answer the 1 AM booty call and tell them to come over, without even a second thought. (If their car dies at 10.30 PM in the middle of an episode of DIG though, I'd spend about a minute mulling it over.)
2A-So Debbie died. At that stinkin' little twerp Josh's hands. See! I knew it, I KNEW it! Life Tip: Don't trust ANY genetically-engineered creepy little kids, Internet. This scene was NOT my favorite (for obvious reasons) ... but it was amazing writing. So much was going on in the scene--this is how you get audiences to connect with Story...we'd been given just enough character-building background on Debbie to care and want her to win. She'd been through SO much, had lost so much. There was more spunk to her than first met the eye. And so there she was, after a really nasty, brave fight with real Evil. And now it's quiet, she's got her boy, and she's finally starting to feel like there's some hope. Meanwhile, Josh is in the backseat pulling out...a knife.
Oh my god. I think I need to have a memorial service or something just to emotionally move on.
When I re-watched, knowing what was coming, the scene where Debbie leaves a message for her mom on the phone? Wrought tears from me. THAT was my favorite scene from this show.
2B-Also, Debbie discovers the genetic engineering--ultrasounds in files of women at the compound. Fay was one--she bore a Josh. Which basically means she may have killed her own kid. The other lady from the compound, Sandra, her body was used. Basically, the women were vessels for birthing the High Priest. (How many Joshes ARE there??) I think this current Josh is Josh #3. I thought he was still #2, but it was pointed out to me that #2 died in the car chase when Charlie was shot. No matter. (A) I can't count, and neither could Debbie, and (B) HOW MANY JOSHES ARE THERE??
I think just 3. Let's hope, for the sake of our planet, just three.
3-Peter and Emma (and Margrove and assistant) (Debbie has to die, but that pissant little MARGROVE is still running around! Life = Unfair) go to the Sisters of Dinah convent to look for treasures--Margrove to look for gold and riches; Peter and Emma to find a way to save the planet.
But listen: I did 3 hours of research on Dinah and her story because I thought there would be a Dinah was raped connection...20 websites, 3 hours, 2 for writing. And Dinah wasn't in the story (periphery, maybe)...but oh, ha! I get it: Sisters of Dinah...SISTERS...nuns. Of course. In episode 1 or 2 (I think) Peter walks through a bunch of nuns--foreshadowing! (PAY ATTENTION.)
At any rate. This convent is where John Donaldson made the crazy VHS tape. It's also where the Temple Mount treasures are buried...or it leads to them. Symbols are all over the place in it...Aramaic, Coptic, Canaanite. It's an ancient place. (Why does Peter never seem to use his semiotics background knowledge? Hm.)
The 2 most important things about this episode are:
(1) What crazy John Donaldson wrote on the walls. What I picked up was: WHO'S ORDERING THE ORDER? (and then some stuff about The Apocalypse.) So I asked @DIGonUSA...Who's ordering the Order? (Because you know who this is, right? Somebody's giving orders to the Order of Moriah. Figure out who that is, and you'll know which bad guys to go nab so the planet doesn't blow up.)
(2) The Temple Mount treasures. Always follow the money (I do this, whenever I talk about public education reform--want to know why something psycho's happening? Follow the money.)
I don't know who's doing the orders yet. I suspect Ruth Ridell is involved--not her, per se, giving the orders. But she's the go-between for somebody who is.
4-Ruth puts out a hit on Lynn. Because Lynn IS trustworthy, yay! And Lynn is asking a lot of questions. Like going to the weasel-y little camera security guy and getting proof the cameras were down the night Khalid went to the Ambassador's party. That camera guy totally ratted out Lynn, after she asked him NOT to. (Follow. Directions.)
5-Lynn retraced Khalid's steps with the camera information. What I would like to say about this is to offer a Public Service Announcement: Do NOT climb tall chain link fence gates. Lynne did this in high heels. Once, I did this in flip flops. Things worked out for Lynn, but I broke my left foot's fifth metatarsal, almost in the Jones fracture area.
That's all I could think, as she climbed the gate: Lynn, girlfriend, you are NOT dressed for that.
6-Emma's Agent Wilson now. Because she's a quick on her feet thinker and came up with that lie when Zohar asked who she was...OR she has a big reason she doesn't want Professor Isaac Zohar to know she's an archaeologist who knew Margrove. Hmm. I still don't trust her for some reason. I'm going to go with 70% trust, 40% wariness. Maybe 80/30...I have to cover myself in case I'm wrong.
7-The Essene IS a good guy! In a sort of religious guy mafioso kind of way. Listen--everything they're doing with the Essenes is all researched-based. Those guys were serious. They were peaceful and vegan, but they were protectors/guarders/keepers of secrets. And they were prepared to do battle in the Sons of Light v. Sons of Darkness epic battle.
I don't think they were going to hurt sweet little Red the cow. I didn't see any knives out then...it may have been some sort of dedication ceremony of sorts. Essenes just didn't kill animals. They only used the skins of animals that had died naturally. I'm not sure what they were doing with the cow, but I'm 99% certain it wasn't a sacrifice (the 1% is to cover my ass in case I'm wrong). And I'm 99% certain because Shem the Essene tells Peter to be careful as he's shooting or he'll hit the cow.
8-So now Rabbi Lev's goons have the cow again. Ain't that how it always goes? You make your plans, your plans seem to be falling into place, and KABLOOEY. Somebody's car dies, somebody steals back your cow. Life's crazy like that.
9-Poor Avram. He's a bad guy who doesn't know it. And Rabbi Lev is probably going to punish him for his fuck up...he was supposed to kill the Essene. Had Avram killed Shem, none of this would have happened. But now Avram has to go back to the Yeshiva, which is a Jewish private school that studies all the religious texts. Basically, Rabbi Lev called Avram a pansy little school boy. (I hate Rabbi Lev, and I hope God smites him at the end. And I hope Ruth and Tad Billingham are smited too. And Josh! Oh my god, DIG writers, please smite Josh!)
10-This is what DIG (on USA!) does to you--has you wishing, out loud and in public, for the death of a kid. But in my defense, he's not a REAL kid. Plus, he killed Debbie. For that, he must die.
Did you know that, on YouTube, you can go and watch episodes of showrunners Gideon Raff and Tim Kring talking about each episode, after it airs? I did not KNOW this!! Crap! I've been operating as a complete loose cannon, a rogue out in the field, lacking critical classified information. I don't know why I wasn't aware of these, but now I've watched them all and understand even more. You can too, if you want.
Or! You can go read about how I tried to pull a Lynn and broke my left foot about 3 years ago: My Left Foot.