April 20, 2003

Community Catharsis

It's nearing the end of the season...and having seen Sandy Lopez on screen for a grand total of 3 times in the 15 episodes shown so far...the Sandynistas were all beginning to get a bit worried about seeing our favorite firefighter again. Would TPTB do a vanishing act on this story line as well?

We did finally get one of those "Kerry still has a life" moments with a short one-sided phone call in Episode 14. It was the type of thing we had all asked for early on in the season...just to let us know that Sandy is still in the "big picture".


Peanut41: I think Kerry wanted others in the ER to overhear her conversation. Or at least, she wanted them to know she was talking to Sandy. It would not be in keeping with the character for Kerry to stand up and make an announcement - "The alderman must be smoking crack because we do not now nor will we ever make a 'cute couple'." But it is very Kerry-like for her to find some "subtle" way of clearing up the misconception. Loudly talking to Sandy about their late supper plans would do the trick.


After several weeks of re-runs and intense speculation...we finally got our reward. Episode 15: "A Boy Falling Out of The Sky" gave us two and a half minutes of K/S screentime...the Sandynistas were beside themselves. And I'm sure there was a collective thud of jaws hitting the floor. Mine did. The writers finally gave Kerry and Sandy the type of scene that all the other couples get...one which shows us how they are outside of the hospital, dealing with the inevitable problems that every couple encounters in their relationship. The reactions to this scene were mixed, yet I think overwhelmingly positive. It gave us a lot to talk about:


Incognito1: Ok, the scene last night w/ K/S was the longest yet for as long as I can remember!! So, thank you, TPTB!!! Now I have to say somethin' in regard to the conversation between the couple. Firstly, I'd like to point out that the director managed to capture the realistic atmosphere of how a couple who's been together for quite a while is in communicating AND being w/ each other. Of 'coz the performance of the 2 actors did the job - fab one too! And I totally understand the reaction of Sandy when Kerry almost nonchalantly asked her to carry the baby this time around! It wasn't fair to Sandy because she was not at the same point as Kerry was in terms of wanting to get pregnant, and may never be. And people need to understand that being a woman doesn't mean she must get pregnant and have a child in order to feel like one! That's not a prereq. to being a woman, if you ask me. There are some women who love kids but prefer not to "carry" them! So, I thought Sandy nailed the reaction perfectly when Kerry continued trying to "convince" her about the "joys" of being pregnant! Well, I hope this opens the door to adoption, so we can finally find out what happened to Kerry's childhood!

Peanut41: Sandy's reaction: I totally understand. And I take what she's saying at face value, no hidden messages or underlying fears. She simply has no desire to carry a child or give birth, a feeling I can completely relate to. (Her comment about this lack of desire making her something less than a total woman I also understand - you do find yourself asking "What's wrong with me? Why don't I feel the way almost every other woman I know feels?") But she did strike me as somewhat ambivalent on the whole subject of having children. By asking Kerry if she thought there was something missing, I interpreted that to mean that she might be perfectly content if they didn't have children - not to say that she doesn't want them, but she doesn't appear to need them in the same way Kerry seems to.

About Kerry: She looked absolutely beautiful in this episode (although she did look a bit bedraggled in the mugging scene). In her scene with Sandy she was nearly as luminous as the Ep. 7 "We're having a baby" scene. I was afraid that her answering "Yes" to Sandy's question about there being something missing might play as an indication that there was something missing between them. But I didn't get that sense at all. Clearly, what is missing for Kerry is children, quite specifically. And I also don't think that Kerry was consciously, intentionally trying to emotionally blackmail Sandy (though "Not even for me?" was not fair, and Sandy was right to call her on that). I think she truly believes that Sandy would feel differently once she was actually pregnant, that she would experience the same awe and wonder that Kerry had experienced during her sadly all-too-short pregnancy. But I do wonder about her last comment. "None of it is fair". Does she mean her miscarriage and Sandy's unwillingness to try herself? Or is there something else? Of all the comments in the scene, I think this last one is the most weighted with unspoken significance.

Juliana: I took Kerry's "None of this is fair," to mean it wasn't fair she lost her baby. And I have to agree. When we first got that spoiler, I thought it was the worst piece of poetic injustice ever. Still pretty dirty IMO, the miscarriage anvil, to be that obvious and negative about 40-ish womens' hopes for families.

Regarding Sandy's feelings...your post was very informative Peanut. I always assumed that a woman who did not want to carry a child at all would just be happy with herself. I didn't know such a woman would experience any second guessing or wondering what might be wrong with her.

Serenade: I have to admit I was getting downright annoyed during the Kerry/Sandy scene, because I just don't trust the writers not to be mean to me (yeah, it's personal), but at least they aren't dropping this story line. This is a pretty realistic portrayal of the situation, all things considered; I just wish they hadn't ended it on an unhappy bickery note.

Piney: I haven't read any of the spoilers or after-showing comments ahead of this post. Thought I would express my impressions from last night's showing and then read back. It was great to see Kerry and Sandy at home. Relaxed, in full comfort mode. Kerry with a favorite book and Sandy in neither work nor dress clothes. Affection, ease, and accomodation. After that I just have one question. WHO TOOK THE REAL KERRY AND WHAT HAVE THEY DONE WITH HER? I am very disappointed that the writers put incongruous words and actions on a well established character and worse it is totally unsupported as a personality shift. The Kerry I have seen all this time would not have asked Sandy to have their baby (They hadn't had this conversation?!?) and once she said "no" would not have pushed or begged. That was so demeaning to her character--a character that I enjoyed. She was growing and finding her fuller self with Sandy and some perspective on her job and ambitions. Then, this season she is back to ladder climbing and emotional vulnerability. Where does this overwhelming desire to have a child come from? So much that she would put it ahead of respecting and understanding her partner's needs? Sheesh!

It doesn't pay to get invested in characters in a novel or a serial show when the writer pays so little attention to a character's continuity. This isn't a Kerry I liked. We aren't given an opportunity to understand it or what it means to their relationship. Pffft.

PowderSkier: I had the same reaction as Juliana and Fallon_Ash to Sandy's reaction. I felt like there was a very deep reason behind the "I can't." Like maybe something serious had occurred to her in the past related to pregnancy and she couldn't handle it either physically or emotionally. Had she had an abortion? Attempted to carry a child in the past in a previous relationship but miscarried herself?

The first time I watched the scene, it bothered me a bit that Sandy got up so abruptly to end the conversation. Her "I don't got time for this" approach to leaving a problem without completely talking it through. But in hindsight, I got the feeling that she really just needed some space to digest what had just happened. Kerry really sprung this on her unexpectedly. And when Kerry tried the "Not even for me" ploy, she felt it was best to walk away before one of them said something they would both regret. Like Mangababe said, "give some space to defuse the tension."

Erised: But I DO think that her manipulation this time was an occasional weakness. Kerry is still trying to get over the miscarriage. I don't think she asked Sandy knowing that Sandy would say no FOR SURE. I think she felt that there was a chance that Sandy might at least consider it. Because Sandy never said no for sure before (because the discussion was never necessary), there's still a small chance that Sandy might consider it.

Kerry's emotional blackmail was done in the spur of the moment...the same way Sandy outed Kerry at the ER in the heat of the moment. Kerry's desperate behaviour was not planned.

I also think that as soon as she said it ("Not even for me?") she realized that she was not being reasonable.

We wanted some context and discussion...well, THIS is it. Not all couples lay out every issue on the table in black and white from the get-go. Life is often about dealing with issues -- and new issues -- as they arise.

Piney: E, Juliana, thanks for the comments on my comments. I think it was a matter of how things hit me at the time. I don't trust too many of my impressions at the moment. I am a little occupied and just plain "off" with all that is going on around us. I hope we see more about these two. I miss the near absent storyline and rather snooze through the rest of ER anymore. Wish I had more to offer on this--it just isn't there. Maybe I should reenter the world of spoilers and try to generate some enthusiasm.


I think Piney's comment is fairly representative of the Sandynistas as a group. As the world around us changed rapidly; our enthusiasm for Kerry and Sandy was tempered by the lack of screen time for our favorite ER doc and her IFF, weeks of re-runs, and the concerns we all have for the events taking place around the world.

Television has always served a dual purpose...to entertain and inform. And when reality shifts in such a way that we are all glued to the news casts 24/7....it inevitably happens that we develop a real need to return to the realm of pure entertainment. Indulging oneself in fantasy and speculation becomes a welcome escape from harsh reality. The Sandynistas are patiently waiting for the last few episodes of ER's ninth season...with hope that we'll get to see a little more screen time for our favorite couple before the season ends.


Mangababe (Editor)


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