Monday, October 5, 2015

The Exposed Life of Caroline Stanbury, Lady of London S2E4

They could have been anything you like, sweetheart. 
You paid for them.

Caroline Stanbury: The Early Years

Episode 4: One Royal Hangover

More Meaningful Title: Sophie Lets Her Freak Flag Fly!

This episode is so layered I can barely handle it. Let's take a moment to try and absorb everything that is happening all at once. First, it’s important to note that Europeans – including the English – party hard after their children are in bed. Americans are unaccustomed to this because they make their life all about their children resulting in disastrous effects on their marriages and friends. The party gets more raucous and Caroline wearing a unicorn costume (they call it a 'onesie') poses astride a prone man, lying exhausted on a settee wearing a tuxedo. Do you have a visual? 
It's okay, I will wait...
You good? You sure? Ok, let's get started.

First Layer: Caroline was just playing around posing for a picture, making weird neighing noises. The man lying on the couch is not complicit in any way. He enjoys it for a moment then becomes bored then becomes uncomfortable, each feeling lasts three seconds. Please note, Uberfollower and lack of self-esteem-haver Lady Julie is taking the picture.

Second Layer: The man on the couch is Juliet's husband, Gregor, a reasonable and hard-working man. Juliet complains to Caroline that this 'crosses a line' while pointing an accusing finger.

Third Layer: Caroline leans towards Gregor's face and whispers "you know you want it". Why do women – Caroline being just one – act inappropriately with other women's husbands? The answer is complicated. Caroline always needs to be the centre of attention, hence taking the picture in the first place, and probably needs to imagine at all the men are secretly in love with her in order to keep her very fragile ego intact, hence the pseudo-flirting. I imagine that Caroline has done this before and more than one red-faced, drunken Englishman has taken his chance with an illicit kiss, something Caroline can then use against them in the future. Luckily for Juliet, Gregor is too smart to fall for this shit.

Fourth Layer: It is important to remember that Caroline would never have done this if she respected or valued Juliet as a friend, instead she makes things worse by incorrectly stating that Gregor 'loved it'. Lady, you are a witch.

'DO I LOOK EVEN REMOTELY SEXY?!?!?' - Caroline Stanbury (pleasesayyespleasesayyes)

There will be a tremendous amount of discussion about what should have happened. Here's my take: When a woman behaves like an asshole, let her. If this was a Jane Austen novel (and I always encourage you to imagine it is) her outrageous behavior would be quietly noted by the other women and she would be slowly ostracized from the group in future outings. But that was back when women had self-respect and a common understanding of human decency. Instead, we get Ladies of London.

The party breaks up into two rooms and most of the players go to bed. Gregor – for some weird reason – wants Juliet to clear the air with Caroline and so, like a lamb to the slaughter, she is verbally assaulted by both Caroline and Sophie, heretofore known as the 'Stanbury sisters'. For a hot minute Caroline is worried that she may have gone a step too far and proceeds to bore the world at large by re-framing the story until it no longer resembles the truth. But like the sociopath we know she is, Caroline recovers quickly and the following day at brunch (in Juliet's disgusting confetti-strewn post-NYE hotel room) she both retracts her apology to Lady Julie and calls Juliet 'crazy' for being polite to her guests. Remember that thing I talked about where Caroline accuses her accusers leaving them off balance, here it is again. As expected, Lady Julie emotionally collapses a second time, Juliet is back on the defensive and Caroline is now back in the power position. Required reading for this portion of the episode is found here.

How Caroline Stanbury feels right now.

The person Annabelle who had previously encouraged Lady Julie to accept Caroline's seemingly earnest apology the night before has heard enough and walks out to enjoy New Year's Day in the land of normal people, if she can find any.

"Glitterfoot" def. a disease of the wealthy and hungover, not contagious

I'm going to gloss over the middle bit because Caroline is boring when she is failing and that is exactly what is happening to Gift Library. We have a drop dead date regarding a debenture for added drama (get it? This show inspires me to poetry!). If on January 31st she cannot meet her creditors she will go out of business. 

*sound of toilet flushing wads of cash

In the talking head segment Caroline says that no matter what happens, her husband will catch her when she falls, or some shit like that. To her face, Cem says 'you have lost your personal motivation in the business'. Then I laughed maniacally into the dark void of my own soul. I guess for a 'Turkish dude' who speaks English with a very apparent Russian accent and business dealings that require him to travel bimonthly to Kazakhstan – a former Russian satellite state – he would know all about 'personal momentum'. I wish they would just admit he's an armsdealer and get it over with. My prediction is that his business. and maybe their relationship, does not withstand the increased scrutiny of the show.

Marissa appears in Hustler The London Sunday Times with a hot dog and - quelle surprise! - Caroline makes fun of it. She's just jealous she didn't think of it herself

Caroline Fleming returns to Denmark to visit her dear grandmother who has a plum-coloured car that matches - wait for it! - the trim on her adorable cottage home. She also plays the piano and makes sassy remarks. If she can shoot a rifle with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth a la Betty Draper, she will be my perfect woman.

Have you ever seen Betty Draper and Caroline Stanbury in the same room?

But do not despair, Dear Reader, that all the excitement has passed us by because a strange astrological triangulation occurs and Lady Julie, the person Annabelle and Juliet meet for coffee to discuss ... their mutual dislike of Caroline Stanbury! It appears there was an off-camera threat made by Caroline to Juliet and Gregor. Something about driving them into the ground. Or running over them with a car. It's unclear, sadly; but juicy enough to upset Juliet when Lady Julie mentions it in front of the person Annabelle, in a cowardly attempt to deflect attention from her own Caroline-induced pain. Juliet is correct to be upset because Annabelle is egging the situation on without having any skin in the game. Annabelle clearly still hates Juliet from their dust up last season. Juliet would be wise to demur and keep her infernal mouth shut but she instead she loses her temper and pops off with a bunch of nonsense. Again. And Annabelle is smug. Again.

Next Week: Clean Up Your Mess (in which Juliet speaks Spanish?!?!)

Food Caroline Talks About In The Episode:
   1.      Brunch – she eats none
   2.     Romantic dinner with her husband - she ingests nothing

Food Caroline Actually Ate in This Episode:
1. Nothing.

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