10 thoughts on “Season 5 Recap: 5×08 Rebellion

  1. I have a few random thoughts, but first a question for you, TeeJay. How the hell do you quote dialog verbatim and extensively? I can remember what was said generally, but I usually end up paraphrasing. Do you have a photographic memory like Shaun? Or access to scripts??
    Anyway, in this episode we have Shaun at his most frustrating in full view. I wanted to shake him, over and over. Of course, he’s stubborn as hell, and his ASD doesn’t help on that score. When he picked up on Monica’s comment about settling, I actually yelled, “For chrissakes, Shaun, listen to people who care about you, rather than a random woman in the hospital hallway.”
    Like Park, for example. He’d heard about Shaun’s meltdown in the pharmacy; no surprise there. Like most workplaces, the hospital is a hotbed of gossip. We saw that back when Lim was denying her PDSD issues and Andrews imparted gossip about someone having some sort of meltdown. Or like Glassman. I can picture Morgan giving him a reality check, as only she can. Or Jordan. Or Asher. He and Lea have plenty of friends and support.
    Speaking of Lea, I completely agree that that final scene didn’t feel right. Yes, Lea had a point about his going back 2 years. In fact, I expected that awful comment about how he couldn’t fix his autism to show up. I can see her point, but it wasn’t on an I want to break up with you level point . I’d love to see a discussion where she explains why she was angry and hurt and allow him to absorb that. He could then tell her why the thought of it brought out all his insecurities. It would probably be an argument, but hey, couples argue. Some argue a lot. These two have argued before and have resolved it.
    I also agree about Shaun’s need for therapy and I hope that happens. Back in season 1 Glassman wanted him to have a life coach. Shaun definitely didn’t want one, going so far as to sleep in the hospital;’s broom closet and ended up slapping Glassman. Shaun was actually right about the life coach – he does just fine in day to day living. But he does need therapy.
    As an aside there’s a funny, impromptu interview with Richard Schiff where he talks about the making of the slapping scene.
    Freddie Highmore did give a nuanced analysis of Salen’s character, but in that recent interview with him and Hill Harper, he unequivocally said it was “Salen’s fault”. Hill countered with a vigorous defense of Salen. I thought it was funny that, though they weren’t “in character” each took the point of view of their respective characters.
    Thanks for another strong and detailed recap!.

    • Do I wish I had a photographic memory or access to actual scripts! No, I’m not that lucky or connected. I basically pull up the episode as I write the recap and go through it scene by scene, typing out the dialogue I find noteworthy. There are websites where you can get transcripts of the episodes (which I believe are reformatted versions of the closed captions), but it’s just as fast or maybe even faster for me to type out the dialogue as the episode replays.

      Honestly, I felt like Shaun was actually getting over the whole thing way too quickly. My own fanfic was maybe a little too much the other extreme, but you’re right that he would be better served by listening to people who care about him rather than strangers. Then again, he might think his friends are biased or may be lying or sugarcoating things for him because they care about him. This was a sticking point with Lea just recently, remember? She lied to him to protect him. He also inquired with Glassman in the cafeteria if he lied to him just to soften the blow. I think Shaun tends to paradoxically trust strangers more than his friends in some situations, because they usually have no reason to lie to him.

      But you’re right, there should have been more support from friends. I was hoping for a little more supportive Park conversation, but apparently the writing team decided they wanted to move this along quickly rather than go slow-burn. Fair enough. Maybe there’s more punchy stuff to come for season 5.2 that they had to make room for. Or they want to focus on Shaun coming to terms with Lea now having been the one to put an end to their marriage plans.

      The whole Lea explosion just came totally out of the blue. She had every right to be upset, and it certainly wasn’t a healthy discussion they were having right there, but it felt like she was making an elephant out of a mosquito. But, you know, sometimes emotions get in the way and make us do things we later regret. We’ll see how this plays out.

      The way I see it, the life coach thing in season 1 was something else entirely. Glassman felt Shaun basically needed someone to help him function in life as a person with autistm. And you’re totally right that he doesn’t actually need that. He does just fine with managing a job and a household and his income budget. What repeatedly throws him out of whack is all that childhood rejection trauma which isn’t necessarily tied to his autism. Okay, maybe it is tied to it in the sense that it’s rooted in his autism, but it’s an independent thing that people can also experience for reasons other than autism.

      Do you happen to have a link to the Richard Schiff interview you referenced? I don’t think I’ve seen that.

      As for Salen, I don’t think anyone other than Salen is discounting that this whole thing was ultimately her fault. It’s an intesting conundrum because she never intended for anyone to get hurt by what she was doing. Every company on earth is constantly trying to be more efficient with money and budget. But it gets tricky when that can put lives at risk, or even just be detrimental to someone’s health and wellbeing. Salen was certainly overdoing it, but it didn’t come from a place of malice. I know lots of people really hate her guts. I’m not a fan of her mindset, but I still believe she’s not an evil or malicious villain. She’s too callous, no doubt. Perhaps I’d go as far as saying she’s not a good person, but “hate” is a bit strong a word for my taste.

      • I agree with the lack of friend support. If you re-watch the episode Park’s comment on women being shallow and that she would date someone like the patient only if he had money really triggered something in Shaun’s mind. He relates to people who are different and especially with Lea lying to him. Why say that in front of Shaun, Park? Why say that at all? That was unlike Park.

  2. So I usually don’t read recaps (because I want to forget details and re-discover them during my re-watch) but I was curious what your thoughts were regarding this epi so here we are. First I really appreciate you pointing out Shaun’s stimming. I haven’t noticed but it makes the whole buildup of the episode so much better. I think he’s definitely in trouble and as you said, all roads seem to logically lead to therapy, so we’ll see what happens (will they have the guts to go there? I hope so. I know Shore is definitely capable of the dark and gritty, but he also tries to keep TGD on the lighter side) I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought the final Shea scene was a bit abrupt. And I’m sad we didn’t get to see the immediate aftermath of Shaun’s meltdown. But alas… it is what it is. Thanks for the great recap and discussions!

    • You are very welcome, and I thought the stimming scene was super interesting. It just feels like he’s on a total spiral now, particularly with that huge bomb that Lea dropped on him last episode. Let’s see where they take that. As you know, I’m a big advocate of actually getting Shaun into therapy for those big and ever-present rejection issues, but I also get that he would be resistant to it, wouldn’t want to relive all that trauma. You’d hope they’d have the guts to go there if they really wanted. I’d love to believe it would be so good for Shaun in the end, but no idea if the writers have a similar direction in mind.

      I very much felt like Lea was totally blowing things out of proportion. I have ways to rationalise it, sure, but just…. I dunno. Overreaction much, Lea?

  3. I’m glad you pointed out the harsh things people say about Shaun’s behavior. It’s as if people want him to behave like someone without ASD and criticize him when he doesn’t. I actually like this show because I try to understand how he perceives everything and the way he reacts differently. Yes he is sometimes difficult and he has his faults but we must understand because of his ASD the world is difficult for him and he makes a lot of efforts to navigate in it the best he can. At the end I understood why he would ask that question to Lea, it made sense if you got into his mind. Moreover, we’ve seen her struggle (and I think it’s normal and that’s why she made the mistake) so I too as a viewer wonder if his ASD isn’t too much for her and never do I question her love for him. And I think in that exchange neither did Shaun. I too don’t understand where her outburst came from. She felt attacked and she has the right to her emotions but like you said she knows him so even if she was understandably hurt walking out, saying maybe they shouldn’t get married and moving out was a bit extreme. For me it was pure : we are are a drama show and we want to make their journey difficult and that’s the storyline we found.
    In the next episodes it would be nice if they had an honest discussion where she admits that she loves him with all her heart but that sometimes his ASD overwhelms her and where Shaun admits that his ASD does make it difficult for him. I think they both have insecurities to work on and both need therapy. I hope they both try to patch things up. We want to see a wedding.!

    • Yes, fully agree. There’s a lot of people particularly on Twitter who are vehemently advocating for Lea, insisting that Shaun regularly wrongs her and that he has no right to treat her the way he does. But a lot of that stems from his autism and the way he sees the world. I’m not saying you should always give him a free pass for these things, surely there are things he, too, can work on, particularly if they want to have a long term relationship or marriage that works.

      I really hope they don’t cheat us out of the deeper discussions about these deeply rooted issues for both of them in the coming episodes for the sake of drama. I know the structure of the show doesn’t really allow for these deep dive conversations, but I hope at least we can get a few glimpses of that. And I’m also fairly positive that a wedding will be coming. Eventually.

  4. I finally came and read take on “Rebellion” after I got my act together (way too late for my own good!) and finished my own post…

    Aaaugh, the pencil stimming! I didn’t look closely enough, and just thought he was twirling it around in his fingers! But of course you’re right. And you bring up a great topic of discussion in wondering if Shaun’s “boxing” of his toy scalpel is part of his overall effort to deny the day-to-day significance of his ASD. It would be a great little component to explore in the back half of the season—or, better said, a great component to a much bigger topic that I truly hope they explore soon.

    Also—we had the same thought on the GOLDEN GIRLS comment… I even had in my notes “Please tell me this was a shoutout to Betty White!” Until I realized, as you did, that this episode was written and shot long before she passed. Ah well…

    “Can we have that? Please? I know it’s a little cliché and tropey, but come on. An episode with Shaun talking to a therapist with flashbacks to his childhood would be epic. I’d watch the hell out of that.”
    –SAME!!!!! I’d be riveted.

    Cheers, Tina!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.