“Elephants have been known to die of broken hearts if a mate dies. They refuse to eat and will lay down, shedding tears until they starve to death. They refuse all human help.”
Will you be alright with Sister Bernadette?
I admit that for a long time, I found 2x04 rather puzzling. The Turnadette scenes were minimal and appeared at best to be cliché, and at worst, out of place. Why, when the previous episodes were so richly layered in ways that illuminated the complexities of the characters, should this episode be so direct? How is it that the same nun who had earlier sewn buttons on Dr. Turner’s coat in secret, is now shown to openly and publicly nurse his son back to health?
But this episode called for an entirely different way of looking—not at the scene, but outside of it; it was not about what was presented, but what wasn’t. The answers were there all along, but in the outskirts. As demonstrated in the story of Ruby’s baby, this episode was about breaking and entering. Ruby’s challenge was not to fix her baby, but her own beliefs, thereby welcoming her baby into her life. Similarly, Sister Bernadette’s struggle is to fix her position in a family. She (Shelagh) is the child who needs a home.
These questions are raised again in 2x08, an episode that shares structural and narrative similarities with 2x04. The issues touched upon in 2x04, such as the friendship between Sister Bernadette and Timothy, are multiplied (doubled) in the final episode.
Moonlight, 1889, Henri-Joseph Harpignies. French (1819 - 1916)
top of the lake, ep. 7
Gladys Cooper by Sarony, 1910
From the Hull Museums
Jan Vermeer - Glass of Wine (1661).
Turner, Fishermen at Sea │Aivazovsky, The Black Sea at Night
(via Le voyage créatif)