***SPOILERS. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.***
To paraphrase a line from the movie Mean Girls, I have been personally victimized by the month of June 2016. Thus far:
- My cousin Joe died of pancreatic cancer on June 8th. He was 26 years old.
- On Sunday, June 12, the day of his funeral, I woke up to the horrible news of the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando, Florida.
- That same day, I heard a 17-year-old boy from the Michigan town where I work jumped off a pier and accidentally drowned. He was the second boy from his high school to die this year. The other boy had been murdered.
- Then Anton Yelchin, the Jewish Russian-American actor from the new Star Trek franchise, lost his life in a freak accident, pinned against a brick wall by his own car. He was 27.
To quote Winona Ryder’s character in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, “Take me away from all this death.” I am so sick and tired of young people in their teens and 20s losing their lives. It’s all too raw with me.
I probably shouldn’t have watched Season 4 of Orange Is the New Black, then.
XXXXXX MAJOR SPOILER FOR OITNB – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! XXXXXX
I didn’t know going in that the show was going to kill off one of its major characters. One of its major, beloved characters. She was a lesbian character played by a lesbian actress, adding an extra layer of poignancy to a terribly sad dramatic development. It’s hard enough to get good LGBTQ+ representation on TV, much less representation portrayed by actually LGBTQ+ actors. I don’t want to overemphasize the point, but it’s an ongoing problem.
Silly me, I finished the season on Tuesday the 21st. I was already in tears when I approached the series finale of Person of Interest. But I had to know how it would all end, who would live and who would die.
My hopes for a happy ending for Sameen Shaw and Samantha Groves a.k.a. Root had already been crushed into the dust with Root’s death, in the episode that aired June 7th. At the time, I shoved that information into a corner of my mind and walled it off, unable to deal with the pain caused by Amy Acker’s character when my real-life family member was literally on his death bed in the hospice house.
At the risk of repeating myself, I find it stressful and depressing that television and books have dealt us so many awful endings for same-gender relationships when, to me, it seems important that young LGBTQ+ people see representations of life getting better after the hell of high school. I desperately want that for them. As the body count of fictional LGBTQ+ characters rises, my nerves increasingly feel raw and frayed.
The Positive: Sameen Shaw lives.
The Negative: She lives without the one single person she ever cared about in her life, and The Machine’s goodbye to Shaw (in Root’s voice) was heart-wrenching.
More Positive: Lionel Fusco lives. I honestly would have been crushed by the thought of Fusco’s son being fatherless. As the only living character on the show to have a child, I was really rooting for him. I’m glad he made it.
Unexpectedly Positive: Finch lives.
But not just lives!
But also…goes back to Grace Hendricks!
She thought he was dead!
I cried like a baby when Grace looked up from her painting and saw Harold’s face.
Expected, But Still Not Good: Reese didn’t make it. He sacrificed himself to upload the code that would shut down Samaritan, the bad machine. Like a certain other character portrayed by Jim Caviezel, John Reese voluntarily died so the world could go on.
I figured Finch, Reese, or both would die in the series finale. Anticipation doesn’t make it feel any better. John Reese and Joss Carter were my ultimate OTP of OTPs, and now they are both in their (separate) graves. I’m sad.
But happy for Grace and Harold.
But still accepting donations of hugs and warm beverages.