I find it fitting to title this post after the song that was featured in this episode (Dreams by Fleetwood Mac). The theme of this episode is loneliness (the word used many times in the song). We all experience it sometime, and the main four characters experience loneliness in some way. We have Madeline who fears that she’s losing her daughter, the daughter she raised while no one else was there to help. We have Renata, who might be successful career-wise but doesn’t have any close friends. We have Celeste and her issues with Perry, and no one to turn to for help. And we have Jane (with Ziggy), who is up against the cruel world.
I’ve noticed (with rewatching this series) that a lot of the big thematic parts in the book are downplayed a lot in the book, or it might have been my imagination. One of the big plot points in this episode is, you guessed it, Amabella’s birthday party. We see Renata go as far as extend an olive branch to Madeline by spending this exorbitant amount of money (a freaking trip to Disneyland) so that they can come to her daughter’s birthday party, and she’ll even invite Ziggy to the party as well.
Madeline, being the stubborn person though, refuses to admit defeat (even when her daughter advises that a trip like that might actually be fun). But with everything going on, especially with the possibility of Avenue Q being canned, she says no. This was when I started to kinda feel bad for Renata. She’s super successful with her job, but doesn’t have any close friends, only followers. There’s also her sleaze-ball of a husband, Gordon. More on that later.
Disney on Ice happens, I would think that there would have been more to the scene rather than just the bus ride to the venue. Also one thing I thought would make a big plot point would be the vanishing of Harry the Hippo. There was a big ol’ emotional breakdown in the book. With all eyes of the townspeople going to how irresponsible Jane is (ugh *eye-roll*).
All Jane wants is the best life for Ziggy, even if she’s exhausted with the world around her and sick of the people (minus Madeline and Celeste).
They did save the drama for Jane’s dramatic reveal with the family tree project. We learn that she was raped by a man named Saxon Banks, and he is the father of Ziggy.
The fact that Jane doesn’t want his name included in the family project upsets Ziggy and he storms off and this is when Jane tells Madeline the story of Saxon (which she never told anyone before).
Madeline also has her own issues in this episode, mostly with her oldest daughter. Abigail decides to live with her Dad since Madeline is forcing her to make decisions about her future. Abigail is inspired by Bonnie and just kinda wants to do her own thing. Even though I absolutely dislike Nathan, Bonnie was an okay character throughout the book. I never had any issues with her (especially towards the end).
Lastly, we have Celeste and Perry. The abuse continues to the point where Celeste threatens to leave him if he touches her again. This prompts the much needed therapy session where they talk about the violent behavior but err more on the side that’s it’s mutual (when we all know it’s one sided). And then Perry admits that he fears losing Celeste and suddenly becomes a victim in the eyes of the therapist while Celeste feels shame.
Though they are the hottest couple in town, people talk and speculate. Nothing is perfect in this world. Celeste is strong though and she will pull through.
In the next episode we learn more about Saxon Banks, Ziggy’s alleged bullying continues and Celeste goes back to the therapist.
Thanks for reading! See you all next time for Episode 4.