Dispatches from Elsewhere: Lee
April 16, 2020 3:33 PM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

"Lee is you if you ever had a regret so big you just couldn't shake it, no matter how hard you tried."

"Lee is you if you finally have the chance to make amends, to put things right. Only now, all you are... is afraid that you're in over your head, that you can't pull it off, but afraid, most of all, that even if you do, it won't change anything."

Official summary: The gang reflects on their experiences; Peter and Simone go on their first date; Janice faces an unexpected decision; Fredwynn is convinced there is more to the story.

Dispatches From Elsewhere goes behind the curtain and changes the game for everyone (Liz Shannon Miller for TV/AV Club; rating: A-)
Why would someone want to make a game like the one we see in Dispatches From Elsewhere? Especially a game that made no money for the creator, sold nothing to the player and would require a whole lot of work? In the very specific case of this show (because remember, this is based on a real thing [L.A. Times]), the answer to that question comes in “Lee,” in which we get to know the titular woman responsible for creating the entire experience which brought together our fab foursome—while also witnessing our fab foursome falling apart a bit.
posted by filthy light thief (5 comments total)
 
Man, Simone and Peter’s date was so hard to watch. After all the magic and fantasy, to be hit with cold reality was a real gutpunch. And then Janice loses her husband. The show has definitely taken a turn now.

But...A cremation urn full of M&Ms in my living room is now a wish list thing.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:29 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


It's what Dad/ Mom/ Grandma/ Grandpa would have wanted.

And/or you might be a goth kid.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:22 PM on April 16


Peter and Simone's assessments of each other both had some hard truth. Peter has decided who he'd like to be but hasn't doesn't the work. He's mostly inert. Simone has some very real, justifiable fears but hasn't yet found the courage to build up the good parts of her life to outweigh them. What was the line the show said about courage and weakness not being mutually exclusive? Nice writing.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:04 AM on April 17


Peter "mistakes numbness for safety. Efforts to protect himself with routine have trapped him in a prison of his own making."

Simone is "Terrified of her own vulnerability. Doesn't seem to realize that strength and weakness are not mutually exclusive."

Simone's reality is one where fight then flight is appropriate, and used far more often than Peter can imagine. He's the epitome of clueless white male privilege, missing not only the more obvious looks from the two guys outdoors (who might beat up Simone and Peter, or worse, because that is her reality), but also the waiter or server who brought the wine and asked "For... madame?"

I felt like Simone (possibly/ probably rightfully) ended the date, and the potential of future dates, not just because she feels the weight of fears more than the lift of hopes, but because dating Peter would mean a lot of work on him. Which makes this episode more painful that she was willing to cut the cord now, but also healthier than the idea that Peter could magically gain sufficient awareness to not make their couplehood a chore for Simone, or the idea that such chores are Simone's lot in life, not only as a woman, but doubly so as a trans woman, dating a man who is oblivious to the world around him, and the dangers it poses to those who he cares about.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:02 PM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I liked how Peter's line about how the guys were looking at Simone because she's pretty seemed cute and naïve the first time he said it episodes ago, but was clueless and dismissive when he said it here.

The writing on this show is layered and nuanced, it's not just banter or plot service. I really appreciate that.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 2:00 PM on July 1


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