Thursday, May 27, 2021

REVIEW: 'Everything's Gonna Be Okay' - Nicholas Begins to Question How He Processes the World in 'Carolina Sphinx Moth'

Freeform's Everything's Gonna Be Okay - Episode 2.09 "Carolina Sphinx Moth"

Nicholas is having a rough day and finds solace in Suze, which leads Genevieve to test Nicholas.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Freeform's Everything's Gonna Be Okay.

"Carolina Sphinx Moth" was written by Allison Lyman & Josh Thomas and directed by Rachael Holder

Nicholas tried his best to make his relationship with Alex work. It's the hardest he has ever tried. It wasn't enough. Alex still felt distance and an inability to care about what he was going through. Alex became a part of the family. Matilda invites him to her wedding because it wouldn't feel right if he wasn't there. He belongs in this space. He never felt welcome. He never felt like people created space for him to exist and have his perspective carry just as much weight as everyone else's. All of this is devastating to Nicholas. He is completely shocked by this development. He thought that things were going well with Alex. They love each other. Their lives are fine. They are on the same page. That wasn't true. Suze hopes to provide empathy by sharing a story from her past. She explains how she and Drea felt the same emotions but displayed them in different ways. As such, it was frustrating because it felt like someone didn't care because they weren't doing things how another viewed as acceptable and normal. Of course, the argument is basically reduced down to Drea having autism and that being the explanation for why she sees the world differently. As such, it is suggested that Nicholas may have autism as well. Everyone initially scoffs at that idea. Nicholas doesn't believe it. Genevieve doesn't believe it. Matilda doesn't believe it. When actually engaging with the conversation though, they start to entertain the idea. It offers an explanation for irrational behavior. Now, Matilda lambasts the idea of people using the perception of this diagnosis in order to get away with their bad decisions. That's offensive to people who have been diagnosed with this condition and are continuing to live with it. Moreover, Nicholas hates to have this conversation with her because she is so happy with her engagement. She is planning for her wedding. She is moving out of the house as well. It's a happy celebration. She doesn't need to be the center of attention. People always revert back to that though because they understand that she processes the world differently and needs that attention. They offer her independence while always worrying about how much she needs. They are considerate in that way. They can't avoid their own standing in the world in order to make way for her all the time. She is relatively healthy and stable at the moment. As such, it's fitting for others to be in crisis. Nicholas doesn't entertain the notion of possibly having autism as a way to explain his behavior with Alex. And yet, that argument still forms. He forges a connection with Matilda because they both try so hard to be people in society when it seems effortless to everyone around them. They always believe that others must act this way as well. They certainly do to an extent. It's perfectly fine for members of this family to be socially awkward. Moreover, it's fine to explore different versions of autism. It's a spectrum after all. The people of this community aren't a monolith. They react in different ways. That also makes it difficult to trust a test found online and administered by Genevieve. She tries her best to be impartial. She doesn't want to influence Nicholas whatsoever. But all of this is done without any expert supervision and consideration. Nicholas takes that step though. Sure, he is terrified by social interactions and having to fill out a lot of paperwork. He is distracted and stressed. He wears being gay and having ADHD with pride. This family supports people on the spectrum as well. It's also unclear what the show is hoping to achieve with this discussion. It may be used to explain Nicholas to a greater extent. It's a process to engage in a conversation that reshapes his actions across the series. It also takes the story further away from Alex, who was also valid in walking away because his emotional well-being wasn't respected and nurtured. That too is crucial and seems a little overlooked in the ambitions of the story at the moment. But again, he is a part of the family. He's not involved in the conversation about Nicholas potentially having autism. He simply collects his things from the house which only further puts into perspective just how little space he felt he could occupy in this place. The show still presents a reason for him to be seen in the future engaging with this family. His path may lead back to Nicholas. This story requires self-reflection. It's more than Nicholas has ever been willing to do in the past. That too may be enough emotional progress to suggest growth. It may not be enough to win back Alex. That too must be an engaging conversation. The ambitions are set high. The story will have to deliver in a satisfying way in the finale.