gemified | June 21st, 2011 - 12:00 am

You Can Never Go Home Again

By Gemma Jacob

Anyone But Me has never shied away from “big emotions.” In fact, it often takes the emotions that we have all felt and holds them up to our faces until we can no longer turn away from them. This season has been no different. If Season Two (minus a few notable exceptions) presented us with a relationship that was solid in its foundation with two people who above all else knew that they loved each other more than anything, S3 has proved its antithesis. Instead we have been shown relationships where no one knows their footing and the characters are just as unsure of themselves as they are of each other.

Take our three central protagonists, Vivian, Sophie, and Aster, for it would be difficult to tell you whose story S3 has focused on most so far as their story arcs are interwoven. None of these characters are certain of where they stand with each other. Sure, Vivian and Sophie appear to have formed a strong friendship but there are feelings that neither of them understand and haven’t yet discussed. Vivian and Aster have not seen each other or even talked to each other, and they are just as unsure of what it is they are feeling. Vivian misses Aster, without a doubt, but she did kiss Sophie. Aster’s behaviour could be put down to her impulsiveness but she knows that what she did hurt Vivian deeply and she hasn’t forgiven herself for that.

I can only hope that the various bodies are waiting for the full season to be completed before the praise starts to be shouted from the rooftops for S3, especially for the performances of Rachael Hip-Flores, Jessy Hodges, and Nicole Pacent in their respective roles. The writing on ABM has demanded better and richer performances from each of these actors and they have more than delivered.

Ordinarily I am not an advocate of seeing too much of Sophie but I think her storyline with Ben (Jesse May) will actually make me like Sophie more, and not just because it keeps her away from Vivian. When a character gets to have a story with a character that we are not familiar with it enables the viewer to see them in a different light. With Jonathan it was very much an adolescent romance but with Ben you see how much she was hurt by whatever went on between them. The Vivster fan in me wants Sophie to still be in love with Ben, but the part of me that likes Sophie (yes there is a part that actually likes her), wants Ben to just leave her alone and let her get over him. It is obvious that she still has feelings for him, and sometimes you need to be the bad guy and cut that person off for their own good.

I do not know what is going on Vivian, well I do, and it needs to stop. Getting changed because Sophie is coming over? No. I realise that the kiss that no one is talking about happened for a reason, and it could be that there is something between these two. However, neither of them is sure enough of their feelings to see where that could possibly go. I know that when Vivian was talking to Sophie saying that feelings you have for the old person can interfere with the person you are supposed to be with, and I know that she was talking about Sophie and Ben, and also her relationship with Aster, but I can’t help but think she could be talking about her and Sophie too. Sophie was the first girl that she liked “in that way,” and that will always count for something. I think there will always be that “What if…” in Vivian’s mind and until she figures out whether it is Sophie she wants then there can be nothing but heartbreak for everyone involved.

Now that Aster has finally decided that it is time to head home I thought perhaps this would be the end of all this non-Vivster madness. Her return home does not seem to be reason for “Caster” to believe things are over though. I suppose that today, such is the technology that relationships can span countries and even continents. Aster has certainly proven in the past that distance is not a problem for her, so Carey should not be surprised if she was to one day show up on her doorstep. There’s also nothing to rule out a visit from Carey on the East Coast, NY has some wonderful architecture.

I am more than happy that Dr. Glass is back, not just because we get to see Liza Weil, but also because she is one of the few people left in Aster’s life who she actually listens to and trusts. For someone with a degree in Psychology, I have never really been much of an advocate for therapy. I always look at those sorts of things and believe that is where your friends should step in, although I fully admit to having the best circle of friends ever in existence – and that’s not an exaggeration. However, there is something to be said for being able to talk to someone and know that they have no other agenda other than to make sure you are the best version of you that you can be without all the often messy complications that exist when you are a person’s friend. Dr. Glass never lets Aster get away with not asking herself the hard questions because she knows she is ignoring the answers. If anyone is going to help Aster figure things out then my bets are firmly placed on the good doctor.

With the storylines initially sown in S3’s premiere episode sure to be brought together in the final part S3 I have no idea what waits in store for us. More significantly, I am not entirely sure I know what I want to happen. Would I like for there to be a happy VivSter resolution all neat and tidy before the show goes into hiatus again? My blood pressure and the Team VivSter cheerleader inside me screams, ‘Yes!’ However, would that be the best for these characters? I simply do not know.

It may be that too much has happened that they cannot be the happy solid couple that I so enjoyed seeing last season. Aster feels older now. Vivian still isn’t sure where her heart is. They have both changed. I am uncertain if that means they can be what they were to each other again, but I hope that it means they can still be more than they have been this season.

I highly doubt that an easy resolution will be reached in the season finale, even if Vivian and Aster come to their senses and realise that they are supposed to be together. I would like to think that when two people know, then they just know. There is a certainty of youth where no matter how difficult things get allows them to truly believe that things will work out as they are supposed to. I hope they have not lost that. However, I know the people writing the script are too fond of drama (and apparently torture) and I trust them far too much with this story to believe that they would go for a quick fix.

Whatever happens in the next episode, though it may break my VivSter loving heart, I know I will be unable to tear myself away. At the sight of those dreaded credits I, and every ABM Fan around the world, will scream, “Nooooooo!” at their screens in the knowledge that the long wait for more ABM lies ahead.

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