20 October 2015


Early Edition: The Personals

Easy Level: Would you save this relationship?

Season 1 had a Christmas episode and this could have been its St. Valentine's Day episode. I've just checked, though, and it actually aired in April. Not that I can protest too much in October.

The last time The Paper brought Gary and a compatible woman together, things didn't end well. But that was mostly because the woman realised that she couldn't be in a relationship with someone who gets tomorrow's news without taking advantage of his gift. Fair enough, I guess. No wonder Gary doesn't want to tell his new flame about The Paper, though I think she would be a lot more understanding and supportive.

"Restoring art is my way of . . . trying to crawl into the paintings
and make myself part of their world."

Hey, Emma, would you like to hear about how Gary crawls into something else and makes himself a part of other people's worlds? LOL!

Emma couldn't be more perfect if she tried. She's pretty, sweet, loyal, cultured, selflessly dedicated to something higher than herself, and most importantly, very forgiving of Gary's unexplained erratic behaviour. The only time she gets upset with him, she has every right to be, but still doesn't make him pay for it with an emotional storm. The only negative thing about her is how hung up she still is on her last boyfriend, although he has been dead for seven whole years. But that's something both she and Gary have discussed, and they've agreed that they want to fight for their own relationship. So I wouldn't say that the writers are giving Gary an obvious graceful exit when The Paper gives him the sort of tip every serious boyfriend would love in advance . . .

Difficult Level: Would you save this relationship?

So Emma clearly chooses her long-lost ex-boyfriend over Gary after she and Gary have been together for a few weeks. So what? (Team Gary for the win!) As Gary's good friend Marissa points out, he already prevents bad news from happening to others on a daily basis; why shouldn't he prevent bad news from happening to himself? Now I add that just because Emma would make that choice in the early days of their relationship, it doesn't mean she'd still do so after a more meaningful amount of time. Even couples who have been married for decades and who wouldn't dream of separating now were not always so strongly bonded together. Hang in there, Gary! 

Having argued all that, I must admit there are hints all throughout the episode that Gary is merely a restorer of the painting of Emma's life . . . as he has been of the lives of all the other people he has saved. None of these strangers ever see how much of their earthly happiness, and sometimes even their eternal salvation, has hinged on his crawling into their worlds for a couple of minutes. But this episode also hints that if he doesn't want to crawl out, he really doesn't have to.

Your Turn to Be the Hero: What would you have advised Gary to do?


Brandon said...

It was nice seeing everyone reflecting about The Paper's agency rather than just taking it all for granted; I thought that was a good discussion, brief as it was, since it shows that they still haven't the faintest idea how The Paper works, and that that can matter in how they respond to it.

It was also interesting seeing Marissa for once arguing that Gary should use The Paper for himself.

Enbrethiliel said...


Marissa is usually the one pushing Gary to go above and beyond; so when it is she advising him to do something good for himself, that option seems more reasonable. The same counsel coming from Chuck would sound very different!