I gather her journey could have been easier with the support of that church group, but those religious types are always playing an angle.
She was almost rooked in the deal.
Yeah I indeed got hung up on the word “move” but completely correct in the observation that a pawn occupies 7 spaces if it finishes a queen and she occupied the spaces of seven episodes. It may have even been intentional!
Playing that out one can attach more significance to the unrealistic last bit of her leaving the car moving in a completely different direction …
‘7 spaces, 7 episodes’ is worthy English Lit 101 level essay shit, seems valid to me.
Just finished it.
I l;ike the way she visualized the game at the end. Thats sort of how I always played, so I liked it - a good representation of the thought process.
Depsite the accliam for the set design, I see they still used period-incorrect modular phone handsets.
And despite Jolene’s protestations that she wasn’t a Magical Negro, she totally was a Magical Negro. Proclaiming it isn’t so doesn’t make it not so.
I kept looking for signs that she wasn’t, but I’m not really sure what they would have been. An old friend shows up to help when the protagonist is at rock bottom. The friend drops some wisdom that turns things around. That friend happens to be African American.
Story wise it could have been the old janitor coming back to see her one last time before he dies, or some half-sister she never knew she had, or whatever. But the character who does come back is her only African American friend, not one of several African American friends.
I’m still conflicted.
I know it isnt fair to the actors, but the trope is real in Hollywood. If Jolene had been around in even one other adult-era episode for continuity, that pretty much would have eliminated my opinion on her “magicalness”. But she shows up, works her magic, and effectively disappears. She doesnt even get a face to face (or even over the phone) congradulations for Beth at the end.
OK, I finally saw this over the weekend, weeks after everyone else did, and have a few comments, if you’ll indulge me.
Someone mentioned the modular phone handsets and I noticed that as well. Also, I wondered about the chess magazine she stole from that drugstore. It seemed implausible that the store would stock that magazine. (The local high school didn’t even have a chess club, so who’s buying the magazine?) And I also wondered about her trouble funding her Moscow trip. Surely, someone would have put up the money for the trip? If not the US chess federation or the federal government or some random philanthropist, perhaps the newspaper where Townes worked.
And I’d like to think that rather than Magical Negro, Jolene was there as Beth’s oldest friend. (She had an awesome car, by the way.)
A “magical negro” has no real wants and needs of their own, existing only to help the protagonist. Jolene seemed to have her own, complex life - in fact, part of the point of the character as that all in all, she was doing better than Beth. She was Jolene’s oldest friend and the closest thing she had to a sister, and was there for her in her time of need. Nothing magical about it.
Don’t let my wife hear you say that - she HATED my Corvair! (Tho mine was a 62 - early model. Jolene’s was a late model - I think those were seriously sexy cars.)
If you like old cars, Corvairs are likely the cheapest way to get into old cars. You can get a good daily driver for well under $5k. Super easy to maintain and fun to drive. And the “unsafe at any speed” stuff is BS. Sure, Corvairs are more dangerous than ANY modern car, but no more dangerous than any other 60s car. If you are concerned about safety, look for a 69 hardtop with a telescoping steering column, headrests, and shoulder straps.
I was curious about whether you were correct about this last costume, so I Googled. Vogue has an article in which the costume designer explains the costumes. She says, “At the end, Beth wears the white coat with the white pants and cap. The idea, of course, is to convey that she is now the queen on the chessboard and the chessboard itself is the world.”
So good job noticing something that I completely missed.
If I remember correctly, in the final match in Moscow she promotes a pawn to Queen as well.
We just watched this over the past week. I too have some issues with Jolene showing up at the end, but there was really no one else from her past to play that role in her life. It was cliché, but I’m willing to overlook it for the sake of fairly good storytelling. But Jolene’s life really was a bit magical.
My biggest issue with the story was that there really were no consequences to her heavy drinking and drug use. She had some miserable nights, and it may have cost her in her first match with Borgov, but she probably would have lost that game anyway. Her relationship to drugs and alcohol kind of came and went, until she didn’t need it anymore and then magically disappeared.
But that’s a relatively small concern in an otherwise great story. Well acted and captivating.
There are often no consequences to heavy drinking and drug use - at least not in the short term. You hear of all the times that there are. But functional addicts function. And there have been exceptional people who have addiction issues - music and literature is full of them: Keith Richards - the poster boy for functional addict. But Hemingway, Dickens, Freud, Churchill, Grant - even Thomas Edison - were heavy users or addicts. Part of what is seductive about these substances is that you can often ride them to your own ends - until they start riding you.
And Beth’s medication addiction appears to be benzos. You can still get shit done, you can still think, you are just relaxed about it. For me, that means there is a clarity. I can completely see how they would be helpful in a situation like competitive chess for some people. (They also apparently impact the visualization centers in the brain. I’m sure in most cases this is NOT good. But for some people, it probably could allow you to play out a visual scenario like chess) However, I know better, I get a max of ten every six months, and use them WAY sparingly for anxiety that is going to start a spiral that could end in hospitalization - usually only needing another ten after they expire with some still in the bottle. Benzos are reportedly hell to kick. But in the 1950s and 60s, valium was handed out like opiates in more recent times - especially to “hysterical” women - the vast majority of whom functioned fine, just with less “hysteria.”
Almost all promotions in tournament chess are to a queen. (I did see one to a knight once, because it gave check.)