Friday, 3 May 2013

Bomb Girls - You're safe here now.

Bomb Girls: 2x12 Blood Relations.

Each of the women of Bomb Girls has their own story of coming to Victory Munitions, and each of them is changed differently by being there, but consider Kate’s story, the way everything began - a young woman escaping a terrible situation, abuse and oppression, finding a new home in the boarding house and on the factory floor. This is the promise of the factory and the very specific way in which the war affects these women: apart from the hardships, the worrying, the rationing, the fear, they are building their own independent lives, they are no longer confined within the limits of the private sphere but have a stake in the future they are helping to defend. It’s not a battle that they have won for themselves, but a constant struggle against conservative forces and self-doubt, against the idea that all of this is merely temporary, that once the war is over and the soldiers come back home, things will return to the way they have always been, and all the freedoms they are earning for themselves will be taken away.
Lorna provided her struggling family with bread on the table and a roof over their head, and has risen to a place of respect and power within the factory, even though we’ve often seen the limits of that power, the way the exclusively male management pushes back. Betty never loses sight of her goal of owning her own home, even though she lives in a society where she has to work twice as hard for things that are self-evident for her male co-workers. Vera found her self-esteem after a traumatic event and made the unlikely and amazing move to the upper floor and the higher ranks of the VicMu secretaries, against the disapproval of Carol, who never fails to point out that she is from a different social class. Gladys has learned to move between different social spheres, but it was never without conflict, and she too has found the self-confidence to escape the path that her parents laid out for her. But Kate’s story entails this idea of a new home and a new life in the most literal way, because her old home wasn’t much of a home, not a safe place, not her own place, and her new identity isn’t a fake one, but a more real and true one than what her father forced on her with his violent words and beatings.
Bomb Girls is the story of a family emerging from the shared experiences at Victory Munitions, a family that isn’t based on blood but on a choice that each of these women made. Forming a family isn’t always without complications (remember how Lorna treated Kate when she was the new girl, all the suspicions and prejudices she had against Gladys), but all the more moving because of how far the characters come in the process, and how much they end up caring for and loving each other. Sometimes the chosen family replaces a broken biological one; sometimes the experiences and lessons learned in the adoptive family of VicMu contribute to the way characters relate to each other in their literal families. Bomb Girls is about finding a home and struggling for the freedom from the suffocating ideas of what a woman ought to do and the freedom to consider more options how to live a life than ever before.
The obstacles that have to be overcome are manifold. Some of them are very personal ghosts haunting the characters, and finding the words to articulate wishes, overcoming fears and finding the self-esteem to chase them is half the battle. Others are external forces – other people’s prejudices, the father who hesitates to sign over the trust fund even though the brother had control over it when he was years younger, the woman on the other side of the counter insisting that the way to a home and happiness is only through marriage, the factory manager who withholds a promotion, the police detective who insists that women are corrupted when they take part in society and become part of the public sphere and should be “corrected” when they deviate from what their fathers expect them to do (so that running away or fighting back – what Kate did - becomes more of a transgressive behaviour than Vernon’s severe physical abuse).  There are the more obvious monsters – Vernon, the men who threatened Betty – but the individuals representing powerful institutions are doing their own kind of awful damage. Not giving up, insisting, knocking on that door again and again and breaking it down if it doesn’t yield, sometimes paying a painful price - is what makes each and every one of them – Vera, Lorna, Gladys, Kate, Betty – heroes, even if they are just trying to live their lives, as Betty said, even though it should not require heroism to carve out a place for themselves and find freedom and safety.

Vera fought hard, both to regain her confidence and to prove that she is an extremely competent secretary (watch her basically run the entire blood drive on her own in this episode). She is fiercely supportive of her friends, battled slut-shaming co-workers at the factory with her superior wit, manages to work alongside Carol without trying to murder her on a regular basis, and broke up with Marco when she felt that their relationship was becoming toxic. Vera makes choices about her own life, and she doesn’t let anybody else shame her into making different ones. Marco clearly wants to win her back, and as the episode progresses, she realizes that she wants a serious relationship with him, but only if he proves that he has changed after almost losing everything to his lack of judgement and misguided pride. She isn’t going to accept a half-serious offer to “pop by” later – “Can I say no to that? Why yes I can. I don’t need a midnight man.” – but at the same time, she also doesn’t want to lose Marco completely, and when he proves that he can do better, can make an effort, and has paid more attention to her than she thought (when it turns out that he was the one buying her the dress in her favourite colour, not the “half-pint” soldier – “You’re cutting his meat there, Vera? “ - she was flirting with), she gives him a second chance (and, like Clifford said – Marco should make his second chance count).
Vera: Well. Let me tell you about girls, Quincy. It’s like your brother, flying over the Sahara. You need to know what you’re gunning for. You have to like her for her, not just because she’s available, and you let her know she’s the special one, because if you don’t, she moves on.
Vera can have it all. She can make her own choices and be with the man she loves without compromising them. She can work with the other secretaries who are probably, like Carol, from very different families, and prove every single day with her dedication and her genius that she deserves every single promotion she’ll get. And maybe she can even make peace with Carol – who, in a way, is only so very angry because Vera was part of the group of people who took Gladys away from her, and, once peace is offered (“They say the tide is turning, that the battle we’re fighting might finally end different, you ask me, isn’t it time, we change things here too?), gladly jumps at the chance to gossip with her. It’s only the beginning of a great friendship.
Gladys: I’m stronger than I look.
Gladys proved that being a good spy doesn’t necessarily mean giving up on the idea that some people can be saved; that friendship is still valuable and necessary even though Clifford thinks that some people can be sacrificed for the greater good. She helped him achieve his goal – to catch a known fascist red-handed, plotting against Victory Munitions – and in exchange he tells her what he has been protecting all these months, what the top secret weapon developed in the factory and delivered through her father’s war rations is. Before he can share that knowledge, she almost manages to blow both of them up with it – and it turns out to be RDX, a plastic explosive that is currently helping to turn the tide in North Africa, where the Second Battle of El Alamein is about to become the first decisive victory of the Allied Forces against Nazi Germany.
The frustrating thing is that in spite of all her efforts, she can never tell her parents, she cannot use this heroic act as proof that they should take her seriously. All they see when they meet Clifford at the hotel is an attractive and charming man who might be on the list of possible suitors for their daughter – because neither of them realize that she and Clifford are fellow spies (or at least, a spy and a spy in training). They play it like a screwball comedy, and Gladys loses no ground to him (“You do know that I’m standing right next to you” – “I’m just saying your parents have nothing to worry about” – “I’m sure coming from a virtual stranger, that’s a great relief”), but on a more serious level, this is the difficult aspect of deciding to live a secret life: regardless of what her accomplishments will be in the future, she won’t be able to share them, and she won’t be able to use them as arguments against all these deeply rooted prejudices that women are too emotional for warfare. Gladys has worked hard to get where she is now, and it’s still a struggle to be taken seriously.
Clifford: you have a rare gift. You can navigate different worlds. Your intelligence, your patriotism, it hasn’t darkened your spirit, like some men. Half my job is hiding what I feel. The shell never cracks. But I’m fighting for a time when I won’t need secrets. I only hope I’ll remember how to live without them.
The subtext of the conversation is that Gladys should understand secrets all too well (and so do Betty, Kate and Lorna). They’ve all had to keep secrets in the past – Gladys and Lorna merely temporarily, about their work and their feelings – but for Betty and Kate, secrets were (and still are) essential for survival. Clifford is keeping national secrets during times of war, but these women are keeping them until their time finally comes, and it’s a struggle separate from (if connected to) the war. He offers Gladys to become like him, a keeper of secrets with the weight of the world on her shoulders, and we aren’t quite sure how she will decide – she nervously fingers the letter at the end, wondering if she should give it to Lorna – but what happens when the secrets are revealed?

The return of her mother should be an exhilaratingly happy occasion, another win against the brutality of Vernon Rowley, but it also immediately makes Kate worry. They walk right into Betty’s meticulously planned hen party and suddenly Kate has to explain that particular miracle – and realizes that she’ll have to tell Ivan as well, and that each of her secrets is connected. Her mother also reveals to her that she had a call from the investigating detective about Vernon’s death (“He thinks it was foul play, and he wants the truth about your father’s death.”), and now that Kate is no longer hard to find – Ivan’s announcement in the paper made sure of that – it’s only a matter of time before he turns up in the factory. There’s a sense of time running out for Kate, and the only other person who picks up on it is Betty, but they never speak about it before it all goes awry, it’s just a series of increasingly panicked looks.
She reveals her story to Ivan bit by bit, as much of it as she feels she has to, first that her father lied about her mother’s death (“What kind of man lies about that”, Ivan asks, and there is a strange lack of compassion in how incredulous he finds it, he fails to realize what it must mean for Kate to have had a father like this). She tells him that “I hate to tell you this… but my name is not Kate.” – never “I’m not Kate”, because she’s struggled hard to become her, and then Akins steps in and tell her that a detective is waiting to talk to her.
Detective Brody sits opposite her, a cut-out of the wedding announcement right in front of him, and asks her about how her father fell, why he fell backwards if he wasn’t a drinking man (“Sir, none of us likes it when a man dies alone, but when my father went, it was just him and his maker.”), that he could not have been alone since he was covered with a canopy tarp.
Brody: He didn’t die alone. Someone was with him. Someone who wanted to cover it all up. You’ve gone a bit pale.
Kate: I gave blood today.
Then Lorna comes in just as he is about to leave and catches that he calls her Ms Rowley, and something falls into place for her because she remembers that name from the letter that Vernon sent, the one accusing Betty.
Brody: You didn’t know her real name either.
Lorna: Real name? Lot of girls come from other places, reinvent themselves, so long as they do their work, don’t cause trouble…
Brody: Marion Rowley is the daughter of a street preacher who died under suspicious circumstances.
Lorna: Kate’s a good girl, Detective Brody.
Brody: What a sight, before the war, who would have thought women could work like this.
Lorna: We’ve proved we’re as capable as men.
Brody: Yes. I’m starting to think you’re capable of just about anything.
Lorna knows what the factory means to the girls, what an opportunity it is for the girls to start a new life there, become someone new, not weighed down by where they came from. This is her home, and she is proud of it, and protective of those in her responsibility, but when the Detective looks down at the factory floor, he sees the results of a changing society, women breaking out of the roles that were assigned to them before the war, and he considers it a threat.
Lorna realizes how dangerous that letter in Betty’s file is, and I think this is also the moment when she sees all the connections – if she only assumed things about Betty and Teresa and Kate before, knowing that the letter was about Kate gives her a piece of the puzzle she didn’t have before. So she walks into the office and takes it out of Betty’s file, but Akins catches her in the process, and delivers the letter to the police.
It’s a quick and unstoppable escalation. Kate shares more with Ivan (not because she wants to, because there is no way out of it – while whenever she told something about herself to Betty, it was always a choice). He proposes that they leave for Winnipeg.
Kate: I know I threw a lot at you.
Ivan: Do I call you Marion now?
Kate: No, Ivan, I’m still Kate, to everyone who matters.
Ivan: And the cop. Why does he think your dad’s death was suspicious?
Kate: I don’t know. Honest.
Ivan: Was your dad even a veterinarian? Was he?
Kate: You saw the scars on my back. He was supposed to be a man of god. And I’m ashamed, of everything. Where I come from. And if you knew you wouldn’t blame me. I’m still the same girl.
Ivan: You’ll be a Buchinsky soon.
Kate: I just want our life to start.
Ivan: So we take the train to Winnipeg. New job. New home, it’s a lot cheaper there.
Kate: Run away?
Ivan: It’s not running away if you’re going home.
Kate: Let’s do.
Ivan: Yeah, everything’s gonna be better once we’re out there.
She can’t articulate her other fear of him, the detective still prying about her father’s death (this is a secret that she still keeps), but the way that this conversation immediately turns into a defence of her identity is significant. She is “still the same girl”. She is “still Kate, to everyone who matters”. When Betty saw her scars on that first day, she promised to keep her safe; when Ivan saw them (and this is a slight complaint I have about the season, that all of this took place off-screen, Kate’s struggle with intimacy), he doesn’t seem to have asked about them at all. There’s also a sense here that he doesn’t really respond to how difficult her childhood and youth must have been, he just assumes that becoming someone else again (a Buchinsky), and going away, will solve the problem (and of course she agrees – she’s trapped, cornered, and there is no conceivable way for this to end in anything but a tragedy).
This is how it should be: when Lorna tells Bob what happened, his first thought is that the preacher sounds like a lunatic. Kate has scars on her back from her father’s abuse and her mother can testify to Vernon’s cruelty. Betty and Kate were fleeing from him when he fell, and the only crime they committed was covering it up. But Lorna knows that the Detective isn’t on their side, that he will never interpret the facts that he has in a way that will help either Kate or Betty. “We women, the jobs we do, he thinks it perverts a girl. He’s a man who hates us. I need to talk sense into him.” He is a man who hates them, a man in a position of power. Lorna tells him that Vernon was “a twisted soul”. Brody responds that “He was a pious god-fearing man. And every father has the right to protect and correct his daughter.”
It’s disgusting, but also true: the system is geared against Kate and Betty. Brody considers Kate’s decision to leave and lead her own life as more of a crime than Vernon’s abuse, and he takes Vernon’s side not based on facts, but because he was a man, a preacher.
Before Kate can leave with Ivan, Brody catches up with her. Trapped and cornered, she would rather take her chances with Ivan, but it’s already too late for that (and Betty is already at the station). When Ivan hears what Kate is accused of, his attempts to only see the bits and pieces of her that match with his ideas fail. “I don’t even know you”, he says, as she’s taken away.

Ivan never knew Kate, in part because she didn’t let him know her (and there’s that parallel to Betty’s “She really knew me” when Teresa left), but also because he never really tried. When they are interrogated, their stories match perfectly, even though they never spoke about it after it happened. They tell all the same lies. Kate could have left if she wanted to, she’s a grown women (what Gladys said, because she didn’t know). Betty saw Kate’s scars, that’s the kind of person Vernon Rowley was. They both don’t know about the letter (“What letter?”). Their body language during the interrogation is different and reflects who they are and how they always act under attack: Betty is defensive, barely hiding her outrage, Kate seems contained, but in the end, her voice almost sounds like a threat, because she fought hard for her freedom.
Brody: You loved her. She was your obsession. But daddy stood in your way. You had a grudge. And here’s a girl who knew would do your dirty work.
Betty: What kind of monsters do you think we are?
Brody: Women hold our moral centres. But what’s been asked of you in this war, stripping all of this away.
Betty: You can’t prove a thing.
Kate. You can’t prove a thing,
Brody: Watch me.
Brody’s argument against women participating in the public sphere – it corrupts them – was used for centuries, to keep women from voting, from holding jobs, from occupying any kind of position of power. That Brody uses this argument against Kate is perverse considering what Vernon did while she was following her rules, while she and her mother presumably “held” his moral centre. The war isn’t stripping that away, it just undermines the certainty that the way that things have always been done, the way that power used to be distributed, is correct, and that scares people like Brody – except he still has the power to express his ideology by punishing Kate and Betty for the transgressions that he perceives they committed (because for the crime itself, he has, at best, circumstantial evidence).
The judge at the first hearing sets bail at $7,000 for each of them, but Lorna got Gladys in time, and she steps in, giving her hard-fought inheritance to free her friends. It’s her money, not her father’s, and in the face of a justice system geared against women, this kind of support is the only chance they have (and Gladys understands secrets, even though she never knew Kate’s).
Ivan: We’re not going anywhere, Kate. The wedding’s off.
Kate: You don’t mean that. I changed my life for you.
Ivan: And when you had the chance to come clean, you only lied more. I don’t even know what to call you.
Kate: Kate. You call me Kate. I gave you my heart.
Ivan: Just go. Kate. Just go, and I’ll be better.
Ivan thought he knew Kate, he had an idea of Kate in his head and Kate did everything to pretend that his idea of her was right, but now that everything is at stake, he is telling her to leave, and more than that, he denies her that name that means everything to hear. I think Kate really wanted that life, because it promised normality and safety, but now that he knows her secrets, he doesn’t want to be with her anymore – while there is one person who knew all of them all along, someone for whom she didn’t have to pretend. Ivan’s love was conditional – he wanted the nice girl with the normal family. Kate can’t run away because this is her home. She came back here because she realized that she had family – she had Betty, waiting for her.
Their escape from prison is a temporary one, time is running out. They’re lying on the bed again, facing each other (with a heart-shaped space between them).
Kate: Ivan won’t see me. He says I’m no good.
Betty: He’ll come around.
Kate: Why should he? He’s right, I’m a liar.
Betty: We didn’t kill your dad. It was an accident. 
Betty needs Kate to understand this; that they didn’t kill Vernon, that Kate carries no guilt for the death of her father. She takes her wrist in her hands.
Kate: They’re after us hard, Betty. There’s no way to play this where we come out looking good.
Betty: Should never have asked you to stay. You wanted to leave when he died and I wouldn’t let you. I’m sorry. 
They didn’t speak at the hearing because of the accusation – seeming to be close would have implicated them more. But this also shines a light on Betty’s body language during the interrogation: She blames herself for not letting Kate go, for wanting her to stay. But she never forced Kate to do anything, Kate made a choice not to leave without Betty.
Kate: Growing up in that awful caravan, I never thought that I’d have a future. But in the last year, I’ve lived more than I ever dreamt. I found a real home. And I met a man who was good to me, and I found a friend, Betty. A real friend….
She takes Betty’s hands in hers and pauses, not because she hesitates, but to make it clear how much she means it, to underline it.
Kate: …Who loved me. 
This is where everything changes. Betty didn’t have any hope left the last time she told Kate she was in love with her (“and a girl who already has”), she told Ivan only a couple of days before that she thought Kate (“our Kate”) had never felt loved. Ivan was good to her but Betty loved her, unconditionally, and against all hope – but knowing that Kate understands her feelings, maybe did all along but never had the words to express is, changes everything
What Betty does next is utterly selfless and the bravest thing she has ever done, and it’s not an act of defeat but of hope. She loves Kate, and more important than a future together or having that feeling reciprocated equally is keeping her safe, doing whatever she can to make sure that Kate is safe and happy. She made a promise to her before they even knew each other well: “You’re safe here now, I’ll make sure” – safe from whoever left those scars on her back – and going to the police the next morning, before Kate wakes up, is keeping that promise. Kate knows the moment she opens that letter (“You’re safe here now. Love, Betty”) and runs after her, and Betty hears her shouting her name through the glass when she makes her confession.
Betty: I went to see the preacher, to tell him to stop harassing me at work, and he got mad. He… attacked me. Had me on the run. I went into this alleyway, up a fire escape, he was right behind me. Grabbing me, hitting me.
Brody: And then what.
Betty: He fell.
Brody: And your friend Marion?
Betty: My friend Marion was not there. I’ll swear to it.
It’s not a lie. Betty is telling a new story, the most important story she’ll ever tell. This is her truth. And Kate Andrews is finally safe.

Lorna and Gladys, who is toying with the letter of resignation behind her back, look down at the factory floor, and this is how much this place means to them – it transformed both of them. It changed Lorna’s idea of a family to include all of the girls she is responsible for to the extent that she would risk her career for one of them, in a way made her open her home and make a place at her table for Ned. It made Gladys believe that she could be more than the wife of the man carrying her family’s fortune, that she could maybe play a viable part in this war rather than drifting around in her parents’ (and later, in her husband’s) house all day long. The factory changed all of them, but what saved them again and again was friendship, loyalty, love.
Gladys: The turning tide. How did Churchill put it?
Lorna: Now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end.
Gladys: But it is, perhaps. The end of the beginning.
Random notes: 

I’ve spent the past few days admiring the incredible creativity of every single person involved in the Save Bomb Girls! campaign.

Season finale not series finale season finale not series finale season finale not series finale.

I really like the symbolism of donating blood in a bomb factory, this completely different way of contributing to the war effort (saving lives rather than building necessary but ultimately destructive bombs) – and it’s just another technological advance that changes wars, and a new way for people on the home front to participate (becoming part of it in the most literal way).

Betty’s idea of a good hen party: competitive bouquet tossing (“like basketball!!”) and drinking. Sounds good to me.

I know that the vet/vet thing was played as a joke (and it was a pretty good one), but there is also the bitterness of “Vernon was a pacifist”, the sheer hypocrisy of it.

As much as I love Gladys, the thought of someone accidentally tumbling a whole bunch of plastic explosives into a bonfire carrying the responsibility for winning the war on her shoulders is slightly frightening (same goes for Clifford – he should consider going back to spy school).

Marco basically spends half the episode aggressively brooding while leaning against things, which he’s perfected to an extent that he could almost win a fight against a certain vampire with a soul.
Lorna: You don’t worry you’ll get hurt?
Sheila: I’m not going to stop to see a man just because he’s one of the things out there that scares you.
Lorna realizes that she can’t fix Sheila’s life (or rather, that she doesn’t have to fix Sheila’s life, because her daughter is strong and smart enough to live her own life – she knows every step to drawing blood) and invites Ned to join them for dinner. It’s a beautiful symbolic scene, considering Lorna’s connection with cooking – there is no better way to show that she is considering Ned family than to make a place at her table for him (and Ned also represents the idea of change and progress, the modern medicine she was so sceptical about, that is now helping to win the war and improving Bob’s chances of being able to walk again).

Apart from the beautiful Churchill quote at the end of the episode, the anecdote about how exhilarating it is to be shot at and missed is also one of Churchill’s, plus there’s the fictional historical fact that Clifford supported Churchill against Lord Halifax.

In 1940s Canada, the solution for an asthma attack was a cigarette and if you've lost a tenth of your blood, why not replace it with a couple of pints of stout, so I think we know where Bernard Black is headed once time machines are invented. 


Anonymous said...

Thank you for your BG recaps. The last few episodes sounded so full of hurt that I dare not "watch", but reading your thoughts here keeps me up-to-date. The silver-lining is only that BG was granted full season, not cut midway (of this season). Great show. Great analysis.

(a lurker)

Lady Canuck said...

So beautiful. The Betty and Kate part really broke me a little though. I really want to see the rest of their story... (where could it go from here?)

Your essays have added a richness to my viewing of bomb girls. Thank you.

cathy leaves said...

@ Anon: Nonono, even if it hurts, don't miss the brilliant acting, I can't really do it justice with mere words. (also, thank you. And yes, it's a silver lining, so is the film that we can still very much hope for, and I wouldn't bet against the fantastic people running the campaign for a third season)

@Lady Canuck: Thank you for all your support and encouragement. Writing about the show is a labour of love but being able to discuss the episodes with like-minded and wonderfully articulate people here has really made this into an amazing experience. And I was pretty heart-broken while writing the last bit (and postponed it until the very last minute...) Where could it go? An ambituous feminist lawyer gets Betty free and denounces the system that charged her? Or even better yet, a spectacular prison escape, orchestrated by all the girls (Marco can come too). Either way, I hope we'll find out next year!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all of these, they have enhanced my enjoyment of this amazing show.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for these beautiful, thoughtful and intelligent responses to the work we've done. It's very gratifying to think that all we're aiming for is being recognized. Sincerely, Michael MacLennan

cathy leaves said...

Thank you for giving me something so incredibly brilliant to write about! I've looked forward to writing the reviews every single week, and engaging with the show and other people who care about it as much as I do has been incredibly rewarding. You've created something special here that is close to the hearts of many people and won't be forgotten.

estherambhac said...

Well I'm going to miss so much these amazing analysis (I hope that it won't be forever!)

I completely agree with you, especially with the blood motive (Sheila knows how to handle it).
I also like the juxtaposition of Betty's and Ivan's relationship with Kate.

Betty never judged Kate's past, nor tried to understand it. She just supported her with all her love. When Ivan learns about Kate's past, he asks a lot of questions and eventually ends up with an asthma attack, all that stuff is overwhelming to him. It is true that he learns about all of that in less than 24 hours, because Kate's intention was to keep her mask forever, the only one knowing about her past being Betty.

I think I don't have anything else that I want to add, your analysis are just awsome, and I will miss discuss my favorite show.

cathy leaves said...

Thank you! I loved reading your comments over the course of the season, and I sincerely hope that this won't be the last bit of this amazing show that we'll get to see and that I'll have the privilege to write about.

Anonymous said...

Bomb Girls was/is a fine Canadian work. there is no longer any necessity for me to turn on the TV Monday night. I questioned at the time the wisdom of moving BGs to spot opposite CBC's Murdoch. Two good Canadian shows on two different channels at the same time,complicates viewing for those who cannot tape one and watch another. Murdoch has developed a steady following. By year three with reruns of BG, i am sure the rest of viewers would have caught on as they did with Murdoch. Bad suss to CTV for shortsightedness. Proves big programmers for the networks don't know us very well. barbara mclauchlin

cathy leaves said...

I am not a Canadian viewer, so everything I know about the scheduling is just theoretical research, but I did wonder about the choice to move the show to a different and more competed time slot after a hiatus. As an international viewer, it's frustrating that it seemed like the only thing that mattered was the ratings of the initial original broadcast (not the online views, the US audience, DVD sales, online campaigns). But that's an old story - I absolutely love the format of television shows, the way they resemble novels more than any other form of visual narrative, but the distribution model and the focus on ratings is absolutely outdated and needs revision.