Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hex, Season 2, Episode 5: With a Little Help From My Friends: Part 1

 After the machinations of last week, Ella ended up being sectioned as delusional and mentally ill. Her ranting in the hospital isn’t helping anything especially since, as we saw when she joined the school, the school is technically her legal guardian and has signed her other to be institutionalised for 28 days.

This she, rather naturally and honestly, blames on the very guilty Thelma.

At the school, awesome headmaster David is not happy with any of this – especially not with demon-priest Jez searching through Ella’s things and pushing for further institutionalisation. Something he’s also taking up with the governors and making it clear he is less than happy with the attempts to sweep everything under the rug. He hands in his resignation, leaving the school in Jez’s hands. He asks Leon to visit Ella to help reassure her.

The school has also arranged for Ella to have a private nurse – which, of course, Ella doesn’t trust even slightly.  Thelma encourages Ella to take the chance to rest – but Ella points out they’re going to poison her while she’s there and Thelma needs to get her out. Demonic nurse is, indeed, demonic and continues to force poisonous St. John’s Wart on Ella while she’s helpless.

Roxanne, in Jez’s thrall, tries to make sure Leon and co won’t visit her or have anything to do with her. Something Leon not only disapproves of, but slaps down completely. Thelma sees this is a good sign – so decides to pay a visit to Leon’s dreams. There follows the worst attempt at seduction ever in the history of cunning romance and, after Leon’s cowering in his bed hiding from Thelma, she resorts to just talking to him and encouraging him to visit Ella (and ignore Roxanne).

Leon tries to interpret his very odd dream with Tom the next day but, despite talking himself out of it, he does visit and is fobbed off by demon nurse. Showing surprising determination, he sneaks in and catches demonic nurse taking orders from Jez banning visitors. And if he wasn’t suspicious – demonic nurse causing his note to spontaneously combust will do it. He finds Ella and sees what a state she has been reduced to – but evil nurse quickly has him evicted.

At school Jez tries to reassure and, when that fails, intimidate Leon. Of course he’s as reassuring as a politician and as intimidating as a garden gnome, so that works. Then Roxanne tries to add her own little acidic note to push him away from Ella – which Leon rebuffs and loudly comments on her having sex with Jez (much to Thelma’s immense delight).

Time for another Thelma dream – where she lays out the action plan: get Ella out (Leon’s job) and find Ella somewhere to hide (also Leon’s job, well she is a ghost). Leon has a friend who was expelled for dealing drugs who will hide her – at least Thelma’s forward planning.

She goes to let Ella know of their crafty plans – but Ella is well and truly losing it under the influence of the St. John’s Wart. To add to Thelma’s suffering, she ends up hiding under the headmaster’s desk when Jez and Roxanne have sex on it. Poor Thelma.

Time is running out as the St. Johns Wart has left Ella thinking she needs to be in the hospital – but the master plan is advanced. Leon, dressed as a nurse (a female nurse. Don’t ask) sneaks in, helped by Thelma using her ghostly presence to drop passes in front of him.

Thelma confronts the demon fairy nurse – and gets blown backwards (proving her supernatural nature in that she can see Thelma) and then Leon arrives, demanding Ella be released. And eh gets head-butted and, yes, the sight of a nurse head-butting someone is rather disjointing. It does distract her long enough for Thelma to zap her with Ella’s zapping rod – turning her into an actual tiny, glowing fairy (hey she didn’t lie, she is a fairy. Pretty sure fairies head-butting people is also rather disjointing) which they then bottle.

Getaway completed, and Ella taking to Max’s house, but Ella’s still very much under the influence of the St. John’s Wart which she craves. Max pours it down the sink, much to Leon’s shock – but, as he points out, she’s an addict (he’s a dealer he should know) they don’t know what it is and they can’t get more, so she’s going to have to come off it at some point.

There follows some extremely dramatic and painful withdrawal (I am glad to see, withdrawal is rarely covered in a way that shows how messy and painful it can be – but it’s over in 1 day) – and the next day she’s coherent while Max and Leon arrange for her care – which is both touching, sweet, realistic and kind. I like it, Leon’s virtually a different character.

At the hospital Jez is most perturbed to learn that Ella and demon-fairy-nurse are both absent – and I love to see him perturbed.

Ok big big big mental health issues. And the biggest of them all is the treatment of Ella. Restraints, forced medication, complete dismissal of anything she says, little in the way of oversight over her treatment and her care. This is all horrendous and abusive but, as we so often see, the implication is the reason why all this is wrong is because Ella is sane. Doctors and nurses see her treatment and are not overly perturbed; while David is upset that his school has sectioned her, he responds by quitting – which is a lovely principle but also completely absolves him of responsibility for Ella’s care after he signed on as her guardian. For once, I’d like to see one of these shows that cover a character being abused for being presumed to be mentally ill and us to have the message that it’s utterly wring to treat anyone this way – not just the protagonist because they’re sane really.

And Roxanne – while she is so very very loathsome and a part of me loves her being called out, I cannot be happy with her being sexually shamed in the school hallways. Especially since, with her sleeping with a teacher/priest who is using and manipulating her very overtly, she is another victim