It’s time for another instalment of Crazy Lady Watches Normal People, or, as many would probably argue – Crazy Bitch Thirsts Over Paul Mescal. You’ll be pleased to know that I’m still very slowly weaning myself off from my weekly Thirsty Thursday sessions and replacing them with Grey’s Anatomy, but I’m still not quite ready to retire my new DVD just yet. Plus, you know, I need material for this series of posts sooo…
Anyway, continuing in sequence, today’s post focuses on episodes 7 and 8 of Normal People, which documents among other things, the realisation that Connell and Marianne’s breakup was due to a misunderstanding, and the incredibly eventful trip to Italy.
IMDB Synopsis: “Marianne and Connell are seeing other people and realise (too late) that their break-up was due to a misunderstanding.”
The first time I watched it, I spent the majority of this episode trying to work out what sort of time frame we were dealing with. Obviously, things weren’t that complicated and it became clear the earlier scenes of Connell partying with his friends were shortly after his and Marianne’s breakup, while the rest of the episode continues with a few time jumps where we see them as friends – albeit with plenty of awkwardness.
In between the scenes of Connell back in Sligo, we see what went down at the end of episode 6 from each of their points of view. I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say, once again: YOU GUYS NEED TO FUCKING TALK TO EACH OTHER. Honestly, it’s just a frustrating scene to watch, and the two of them are just too stubborn to actually talk properly. Meanwhile, Connell’s back in Sligo and very nearly ends up banging Miss Neary, his ex-teacher when he runs into her at a nightclub. Awkward.
Following (yet another) awkward encounter at the supermarket when Marianne’s back home for her father’s anniversary mass, she and Connell agree to be friends, and we then jump to a few months later where they meet for coffee. The awkwardness has definitely lessened by this point, but there’s still a hell of a lot of tension. Who fancies seeing another drunken Snapchat from this episode?
Anyway, it’s in this scene that we get the revelation that Jamie, who’s now Marianne’s boyfriend, is into inflicting pain in the bedroom, and Connell’s clearly not okay with it. The contrast between the sex scenes of her and Connell and the very brief one with Jamie is instantly recognisable, being awfully uncomfortable to watch.
Skipping forward again, both Connell and Marianne are announced to have achieved scholarships, and we instantly feel joy for Connell, who’s worked his perfect little ass off to get there and now gets to reap the benefits of free tuition and accommodation. We then see Marianne celebrating with her friends by having a dinner party – again, as I mentioned in my previous post, what students have dinner parties?! I think we should all take a minute to appreciate Marianne’s dress in this scene though – it’s gorgeous.
Of course the celebrations are interrupted when Connell shows up at Marianne’s flat having been mugged, and he’s drunk AF. We get another little snippet of Jamie being a wanker – the “fucking lowlife scum” comment clearly being aimed at Connell though he says otherwise – and once the rest of Marianne’s friends leave, Connell tells her she could have a better boyfriend, followed by the bombshell that he’s started seeing Helen, a medical student. For fuck sake Connell. I can’t say I blame Marianne for bursting into tears at this point, I’d be gutted as well. Right at the very end the penny drops that their breakup was due to what the episode guides refer to as “a misunderstanding,” but we can probably all collectively agree that it’s down to a result of them both being STUBBORN AF.
Favourite Scene: Definitely the scene where Marianne and Connell meet for coffee. The exchange that ends with “pretty sure we fucked each other” just brings with it a hell of a lot of sexual tension and I’ll be honest, if I were in Marianne’s shoes here, I’d be hurling myself across the table at him and Jamie could fuck right off.
Music Highlights: There weren’t really any songs that stood out to me in this episode – although I think the one that plays over the end credits was quite a good fit, it’s got this dreary ominous feel to it that fits so well with the final scene.
IMDB Synopsis: “Connell visits Marianne at her family’s summer home in Italy, where tensions between her and Jamie are at an all time high.”
Shit the bed this episode was a rollercoaster of emotions. First of all I love the fact that as a result of getting the scholarship, Connell has had the money to go travelling with Niall. Of course showing up at Marianne’s family’s holiday home isn’t going to go smoothly, especially with Jamie there. Also, I don’t quite understand why Peggy is third wheeling. I’m not sure I’d willingly go on holiday with another couple but each to their own. I suppose it’s staying in a fancy Italian villa for free soo…
I’ll be honest right up front and say I don’t like Helen. By this point, we haven’t actually met her properly, but just by her phone call with Connell you get the idea that she’s a bit of an asshole. Yes, I’m biased, but I’m just putting it out there. Anyway, the scene where the two of them ride bikes to the shop is just a joy to watch – there doesn’t seem to be any awkwardness and they’re genuinely having fun. Also, I’m still searching for a black dress like Marianne wears in this scene so if you know of anything, hit me up.
Hands down though, the most stand-out scene from the whole episode has to be the dinner scene. Jamie cements the fact that he is indeed, a twat, by getting progressively drunk and making comments about Connell’s background – a personal highlight being “Thank fuck for scholarships.” In a way, I get why he’s being a dick – as Peggy puts it to Marianne, “Jamie’s an asshole but he fucking adores you” – he’s pissed that his girlfriend’s ex has showed up and there’s obvious sexual tension between them. Had I been in Jamie’s position, I can’t say I wouldn’t have acted the same. I get drunk and make inappropriate, passive aggressive comments following the tiniest inconveniences, so… I kind of get where he’s coming from. At the same time though, I’m on Marianne’s side, and Jamie’s a prick. Also, I know Peggy briefly confronts Marianne during this whole thing, but if she really is her best friend like she says, she would have stood up for her when Jamie was being a wanker. She had no problem suggesting a threesome in an earlier episode, so surely standing up for her friend when her boyfriend is being a piece of shit is the least she could do? Ugh. I don’t like Peggy.
Anyway, as it inevitably does, the shit hits the fan during the dinner scene resulting in a blazing row between Jamie and Marianne, where Connell has to hold her back from lashing out at him. I mean, Jamie deserved it so…
So Connell takes Marianne out to the pool area to calm down and the hug he gives her is just… fuuuuck. Inevitably, she asks to sleep in his room that night, to which he agrees – not particularly the smartest idea but, fair play. The subsequent scene is just packed with sexual tension so thick you could cut it with a knife, and if anything you’re actually a bit gutted that nothing happens beyond the kiss…or was that just me?
Favourite Scene: My favourite scene has to be the dinner scene – it’s just so well acted by all involved, and the tension throughout the whole scene has you on edge the entire time.
Music Highlights: 100% it has to be the song that plays over the final scene – Nerina Pallot’s cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart. The song itself is just intense and full of emotion, and again it fits the whole scene perfectly. It was added straight to my Spotify account.
What did you think of episodes 7 and 8? Let me know in the comments!