Sunday, May 26, 2024

Sisters, Sex and Smoke: Vida’s Third Episode Tangles Everyone Together

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Welcome to S1E3 of Vida, in which we see nearly every character in full nudity, chaos erupts, and family ties begin to form/strengthen.

This week we break from tradition and don’t open on a Mari scene. Instead, it’s one of the most graphic lesbian sex scenes I’ve ever seen—like, Below Her Mouth level. And it involves Emma, with a dating-app hookup named Sam.

Lesbian Content™

Sam is a cute andro hipster who, after Emma sits on their face (but they also top Emma, shoutout to the switches), waxes poetic about this indie band who just played Coachella. They tries to get Emma’s Spotify profile in order to share it with her, but Emma has no plans to see Sam again, so she snaps a photo of the playlist and leaves.

At home, guess who else just walked in. Lyn, obviously, because she spent yet another night with Johnny. Two important things happened in their post-coital scene: Lyn snapped a selfie of herself under his arm, which has a distinctive tattoo, and posted it on Instagram (?! so dumb); and Johnny dug himself into a hole talking about Lyn’s new sex moves and new body, specifically her breasts, saying that he liked these new boobs even though he also liked the old ones. Lyn was like, wtf and left.

Anyway with the two sisters at home, they have an incredibly realistic sisterly moment. Lyn asks Emma where she’s been, and Emma shows her Sam’s dating app profile picture. Lyn smiles wide and says she knew it (i.e. that Emma is queer), and that she supports her no matter how she identifies. Emma says, “I don’t identify as anything, I’m just me,” to which Lyn responds, “Ok, I’m just saying, your sister supports you.” It’s a tender moment but it’s also laced with a specific kind of defensiveness and one-upmanship that siblings often have. They talk about how they never say anything in their family; Lyn declares they should say stuff more. Then she asks to borrow money to “get by” and Emma is like, grow the eff up little sister. Unfortunately, Lyn later finds a pre-approved credit card of Vidalia’s that hasn’t been activated, and pockets it, so. That’s not good.

Then Emma gets back on her anger horse and busts open the cabinet in the study to which Eddy has not given the key, in order to look at all the books from the bar. Which are actual paper books/files in a big jumble.

Meanwhile, Eddy is still grieving hard, laying alone in bed and looking at her wedding pictures on her phone. My heart aches so much for this character. Later, when Emma is yelling more things at Lyn about how they are not getting any money out of their inheritance and are in fact likely to lose money, Eddy comes out of her room to defend herself. She says that she and Vida always figured it out; they were going to use the loan to fix all the plumbing, but then she got sick. “And then who cares about pipes and shit?” Eddy shouts. “She was fucking dying!” MY HEART.

Infinite broken heart/cry face emoji.

I think this finally broke something in Emma too, because she softens a tiny bit toward Eddy. But the bonding moment she shared with Lyn at the beginning of the episode does not last. Carla, Johnny’s pregnant fiancé, sees Lyn’s Instagram photo with Johnny’s arm over her and comes storming into the bar, demanding that Eddy tell her where Lyn is. Eddy lies and says she hasn’t seen her. More yelling happens, then both Lyn and Emma come out to confront her. Emma is her best self, saying that it’s disrespectful to cause a scene for Eddy, who just buried her wife. She understands Carla wanting to kill Lyn, but that it’s not right to do it here. Carla apologizes to Eddy, then waves a sonogram photo in front of Lyn, saying she’s messing up 3 lives, not just 2. Emma repeats something she’s told Lyn before: that she causes chaos everywhere she goes. Harsh but kind of true?

The Lyn-Johnny dynamic is treated with a nuance not often seen in pop culture. I kind of hate both of them but also almost empathize. They’re both in the wrong, but as Lyn points out to Carla, Johnny gave her a ring, not Lyn. At the same time, Lyn laughingly complains to Emma about how “tacky” it was for Carla to bring her that sonogram photo, as if she had no right to be hurt and angry. She goes off on how stupid monogamy is in what comes off as a weak attempt to justify how irresponsible she is.

When she gets a text from Johnny to meet up again, she doesn’t realize that he’s trying to break up with her. They sit on the hood of his car overlooking the city. He tells her how much work he did to take control of his mental and physical health, his education, his life after she left; she confesses that one of her asshole boyfriends pushed her to get her breasts done, and that she can never say no when people want her to be something specific to them. But now she’s stuck with these boobs and these choices, and she’s all alone.

Mari also confronts Johnny about his cheating when he comes into their father’s house in the middle of the night so as not to wake Carla after his tryst with Lyn. She jabs all the truths at him about how wrong he is and how gross his excuses sound. Their father comes in and defends Johnny, saying he’s a grown man and for Mari to leave him alone. UGH THE PATRIARCHY. Unfortunately, the patriarchy keeps doing its work on Mari later in the episode, when she attends an activist meeting led by Tlaloc, the dude who she got all starry-eyed over last week. He asks her to stay late to help work on posters, and she blows off her friend to do so. Then he tells her he likes her hair, kisses her once, and unzips his pants. And Mari gets down on her knees. This scene devastated me almost as much as every time Eddy cries.

Doesn’t respect women.

Speaking of Eddy crying, she goes to fix the sink of one of her tenants and ends up spending the afternoon with the tenant’s mother, Doña Tita, who collects nice shoes and believes in the importance of speaking lovingly to plants. It’s not water that makes plants thrive, she says, it’s the conversation. Then she tells Eddy that we die 3 times: once when we take our last breath, once when they put us in the ground, and once when the last person who knows us speaks our name for the last time. Poetic but heartbreaking.

That night, Eddy and Doña Tita sit on the roof and smoke a cigar Vida had been saving for a special occasion. Eddy talks about all the plans she and Vida had: to remodel the bar, to reconcile with Emma, to tell the girls about their marriage, and to bring the whole family back together. Eddy and Doña Tita breathe smoke puffs into the night, and the camera pans to Emma, blowing her own wisps of smoke from a cigarette on the balcony below them, hearing everything.

Love, family, and friendship amidst the chaos.

Welp! That’s it for this week, it was a lot I know. Come back next week for more drama! Preview says, keep your eyes peeled for Cruz… 😉

Images Courtesy of Starz

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