Quentin: "Did you know that doesn't actually help?"
Kenya and Stahma sit, listening to Alak -- "This is Raider Radio, broadcasting from the top of the Arch..." -- and Kenya tries to comfort her as her son plays some old Artie Winston jazz, "recorded in Las Vegas long before it became a prison."
Kenya: "Listen, that Arch survived the terraformers, he's fine."
Stahma: "Moms freak out. He's a baby."
Kenya: "He's getting married. Drink up."
Stahma: "Okay, tell me straight. Was that the worst idea?"
Kenya: "Have you met Christie?"
Stahma: "Fine. I just want Alak to be happy."
Kenya: "That's cool. You're a good mom and wife. But listen, you haven't said one sentence since we sat down that wasn't about one or the other. You're in the Need/Want and you're pretending you've never known either."
Every time I hear Stahma's response -- "I don't want you to get me wrong..." -- it's sounded a little less crappy to my ears, but still crappy in that "You feel me" way. Is she mirroring? Is this about making Kenya like her more? Or is she demonstrating a willingness to meet humanity halfway after the whole marusha blowup? Because Stahma Tarr chooses her words very carefully, and those are not Casti words.
I trust the actress obviously, and she does put a stunted, stilted twist on it, so clearly it's not just a line in the script she's saying, if you know what I mean. It's just that at this moment in this particular scene, that's an odd place to stick another layer. Biggest goddamn smile you've ever seen on her face.
Stahma: "I love my life. I love my boys, both of them."
Kenya: "Interesting word choice. But also, there's a but."
Stahma: "More like an also. I do feel like I'm in service to them. And I do want other things."
Kenya: "When was the last time that you did something just for you?"
Is it a need? Or a want? It sounds like a sales line, but Kenya is actually interested in the answer. Not just the when, but the what. Not just how "in service" Stahma is, but also: What is Stahma Tarr, without her boys? How do you even picture that?
"I was quite good, at... The closest word in your language would be poetry, I think... In Casti, it's not written. It's spoken, or sung."
There is something very Castithan, very marusha, but also very Stahma about that. You know, you never write down what you can say and you never say aloud what you can say with a look. Why wouldn't their version of that art be performance, written on the breath, where nobody can judge you for it that wasn't there, or even just a moment after?