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Fear Of Commitment

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Wing Chun: B- | Grade It Now!
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Fear Of Commitment

Courtroom. The State's Attorney having, apparently, concluded his examination, it's Marty's turn; he asks Lisa whether she's divorced. The State's Attorney objects on the grounds that it's irrelevant, but Marty says that it "goes to living arrangements." The judge allows it, and Lisa says that she is divorced. Marty asks when her divorce was finalized, and she says it was last summer. Marty asks whether she's been dating anyone since then. The State's Attorney's all, "So?" The judge tells Marty to get to the point. Marty gets up to make his big dramatic move, and as he strides toward her, he asks, "Your mother can be...eccentric. Maybe a little embarrassing at times?" "Eccentric." Sure she is. She's just eccentric. And Ted Kaczynski's just outdoorsy. Lisa replies, "She suffers from a debilitating mood disorder." Marty suggests, "Having her live with you when trying to date would be a major inconvenience, wouldn't it?" Lisa, removing her coat, informs him, "I've tried having her live with me before, several times. It doesn't work." "'It doesn't work'?" Marty repeats skeptically. Lisa impatiently explains, "No, she stops taking her medication, she loses control, and she disappears." Cut to the judge, making a major whatever face, complete with head cock. Marty leans over the witness stand, peers toward Sally, and asks Lisa, "Does she look out of control to you?" Lisa dutifully checks Sally out. Sally smiles tentatively. Lisa lowers her voice and dismissively tells Marty, "She's on her meds now." Marty counters, "So sometimes she does take her medication!" "She's only been taking them for a week," Lisa huffs. Marty smugs, "But as long as she's med-compliant, she's not a danger to herself, or --" Lisa interrupts, "She doesn't stay med...[more loudly, to the judge] She doesn't stay med-compliant!" Marty tells Lisa, "That wasn't my question. Have you known your mother to be a danger to herself while med-compliant?" After a beat, Lisa admits, "No, not usually." Marty moves away from the witness stand, asking, "And you think that locking her up in a psychiatric facility would be better for her than living with you?" The answer is obviously yes, so I have to wonder, would he really ask that? Really? Would even Sally's public defender suggest that it was Lisa's responsibility to house and care for someone with as long a history of mental illness as Sally? Perhaps Sally might enjoy living with Lisa more than she would being committed in a mental hospital...okay, definitely she would enjoy it more. But is the question really which option would be more fun for Sally? Lisa's not a psychiatrist. Even if she were, she has a full-time job and is not in a position to care for Sally to the extent that Sally requires -- which Lisa (getting testier) points out: "I can't take care of her." "Can't, or won't?" needles Marty. "She tried to kill herself when she was with me!" Lisa sputters. Marty calls that "unresponsive"; I think it's very responsive, to say nothing of persuasive. The judge, sounding bored, instructs Lisa to answer the questions. "Well, tell him to ask them!" Lisa exclaims. The judge says, "Miss Lockhart." Lisa looks like she's barely managing to compose herself. Marty offers her a glass of water, which she declines. Poor Lisa. I know that feeling of being so frustrated at people's stupidity and their failure to exhibit some sense of the amount of work and care and passion you put into something -- be it a family member's health and well-being, or some other long-term project; you feel so enraged that you're not sure whether you need to scream some bad words or punch some pillows (or people) or cry. Maura Tierney is really acting her ass off in this episode.

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