I intended “Via Dolorosa, Part 2” to be the final segment of the “Ian” tale. I really, really did. Just in the last episode’s commentary, I boasted how quickly I was zipping through time. No turtle-esque, overly detailed pacing, nossir.
Well, okay, this week I couldn’t help myself. Ian’s story is just too character-changing, and there were beats that simply needed to be played, and… in the end, only about two or three days pass in this installment. In fairness, that’s still better than 99% of ASF episodes. But it wasn’t what I wanted for this miniseries, so I’m still disappointed in myself. Nevertheless, if readers are into Ian’s tale, I don’t think they’ll feel the same disappointment. At least, I hope not.
Spoilers, as always, are ahead.
Ian has run the gauntlet and he’s still enduring some pretty traumatic situations. The Danielle scene… I fought myself on that, I have to tell you. The debate in my mind was pretty angsty. I knew I wanted her to be this despicable, for Ian to be this degraded by someone he… well, not trusts, he’s not an idiot enough to trust Danielle.
But I needed Ian to be hurt even once he got home, even when he thought he was safe. Because he isn’t. And it’s horrible to do such a thing to a young man who’s been through this ordeal, but he must be broken down and the pieces torn into little shreds in order for… ah, but that would be telling.
Meanwhile, Danielle’s awfulness keeps finding new lows. She is a master at this. Hey, I didn’t want Taggart to get all the kudos for being a scumbag. He’s good, no doubt about that, but Danielle has the homecourt advantage here. She raised Ian, seduced him, and took control of his life; once Ian fell for Daphne, she sensed him getting away from her. Danielle didn’t like that. She needs to prove that her influence over him is absolute. Also, and this is not to be underestimated, she enjoyed the risk of it all.
Pragmatically I needed Ian to get to that funeral, because I’d already established that old gentleman who got through the security at the cemetery back in #6.01; he was described by Cameron as having been seen by “my son,” and thereby causing a ruckus. Now in that episode, I intentionally showed the man through Hannah’s eyes, where she saw him at another grave far away as vulnerable and touching, a fellow mourner. Once Cameron and Nick suddenly claimed he was a danger, Hannah blew up and perhaps the readers were on her side at the time.
Thanks to the dovetailing timelines, we’re now watching this through Ian’s POV and getting a far better rationale for why this stranger was seen as a possible threat. Ian conveyed this to his father (and also, presumably, was quickly whisked home before Hannah saw him). And thus a new chapter in the Vaughan/Nichols war may have just begun.
One angle I certainly wanted to explore was what the heck happened to the iCafe/Sorcery opening, considering Ian is a partner/owner, and Daphne a hostess (and Julie also had a job there, but… there hasn’t been a Fiore seen anywhere in this miniseries, so we’ll have to wait and see what’s up with that).
Of course, Tristan was at the wedding too, and thus bringing him and Ian together seemed a natural. This was a bit of housekeeping that was necessary to update readers, letting y’all know that the opening has, of course, been moved up to April. Which will be just at the end of the “six weeks” timeline, for those keeping track at home. (In other words, no one but me!)
In addition, throughout the miniseries I’ve been using these dovetailing stories to connect episodes with one another. Hannah’s episode had a hint of Daphne in it; Daphne/Tyler’s episode had plenty of references to Ian; and now we’re in Ian’s POV, where we begin to look at Becca, Jason and, yes, Tristan. The benefit of the Tristan connection is that he’s peripherally involved in one of the few cliffhangers not related at all to the massacre. I’m anxious to get to that because I think we all need a slight break from wedding-related plots.
Finally, there’s Daphne. The Daphne/Jason scene was referred to in an earlier episode, when she told Tyler that Jason had revealed that she was the reason Tyler had been so badly hurt. But I wanted to show it, both because it’s important for Daphne, for Jason–who is showing far more anger and frustration than he ever has before, and of course this trauma will be changing him as well–and for Ian, who of course overhears the tale and has second thoughts about visiting Daphne at all.
Even the dried flowers he buys her, the ones that were lost track of and Daphne won’t actually receive until she leaves the hospital (and then tosses them out, even after we see Ian spending such care in picking the flowers and partiularly the laurel leaves), get a mention. And it all goes back to Daphne/Cameron/Ian’s first meeting waaay back in the third season, where Cameron told the story of how the mythical nymph Daphne had her life destroyed by Apollo’s relentless pursuit of her.
Another mention of Cameron I’d like to make. He’s been the most pleasant surprise in the miniseries for me. I’m not trying to make him a good guy, honest. I’ve said it before, but I have to repeat it: he’s not a good guy. He’s a complex bad guy who loves his children, but apparently is too enmeshed in his power grab to get out of the business that’s thus far caused Ian’s near-destruction and Becca’s shooting.
(Simon has gotten off scot-free so far, and perhaps that’s because I admit he’s a cipher and it’s a pity to waste any good trauma on him when no one will care. He won’t be a cipher for long, but that development will have to wait for next season. Biiig plans for Simon, trust me.)
Exactly how I’m dealing with Part 3 of Ian’s tale is currently being fought over in my mind. It may get its own third part, but I might split it with the Becca/Jason story, if I can manage it. The more efficient I can get, the better.
What are your thoughts on these developments? Please do get in touch by the comments below, Facebook, our message board, or the mailing list.
As always, thank you for reading, thanks for your patience, and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and a very very happy new year!