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How many chances will the universe give Grace?  

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(@charles)
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Nov 30, 2018 2:56 am  

The universe gave you ... yes, you Grace ... a miraculous second chance. You were given a chance to reunite and be forever united with your previously lost husband and son. But the universe may not be finished when it comes to examining your inexplicable behavior, Grace.

You were given a miracle ... a miracle. And what do you do? You continue to squander this miracle by going out of your way to satisfy your own selfishness and self-serving pettiness.

You chastised Ben for not telling you about 'your daughter' being arrested for shoplifting. He didn't tell you because he was trying to bond and build trust between him and Olive. You knew about the trust issues between the two, but you never attempted to help resolve those issues, did you?

When Danny told you about Olive's shoplifting, and when Ben didn't, in your mind, you were given the perfect excuse to personally attack the legitimacy of Ben's manhood. In his own home, no less. Is it really Ben's home? Or do you consider it your home, Olive's, and Danny's?

Perhaps, Grace, your thinking when chastising Ben, was that Danny is more responsible when it comes to being a father for Olive than him. Is that what the "you weren't going to tell me about my daughter" rant to Ben really about? That Olive is solely your daughter, not Ben's daughter?  With a caveat that Olive's "daughtership" is fully transferable based on your decision?

Which means it's okay for Olive to tell you that Danny's her dad, too. But when it comes to Ben, Olive's only "your daughter." I know. It sounds petty because you are you, Grace. You don't seem to realize it, but you have been given a once-in-a-universe miracle, courteous of the universe itself. Ben's back. Cal's back.

Without Ben, Cal would not be alive. If Ben hasn't volunteered to be on Flight 828, and if Cal hasn't stayed with him, Cal would not be alive. Without Saanvi's medical research, Cal wouldn't alive. Cancer in the form of leukemia would have taken Cal from both you and Ben. The universe has given you a second chance, Grace, a miracle.

And what have you done to deserve this miracle, Grace?

Have you given thanks to the universe lately. If not for Saanvi, when Cal was recently hospitalized, you would have made the decision to end Cal's life. Remember? Of course, you don't. The only thing you can remember is when it's time to blame Ben.

Did you ever have any followup conversations with Ben regarding his theory about Cal's unknown life-threatening medical problem? That's what parents do, Grace. They communicate, especially when it comes to the safety, health, and welfare of their children. It's part of the thread that woven into the fabric universe itself.

Then when Ben was not home, and Cal was under your direct supervision, what happened, Grace? You were too busy throwing a surprise backyard barbeque to pay attention to Cal. He was your responsible. Not Olive's. Not Ben's. It was your responsible to take care of Cal, Grace. Your's alone.

Maybe you weren't paying attention, but the universe was.

Cal left a note saying that his Dad needed him. Then he walked out of the house unnoticed. Got on a bus. Traveled across town. Helped save the lives of tortured hostages. Ended up in the blast radius of an explosion. Brought home safely by his father.

And what do you do Grace? You blame Ben for Cal leaving home. You don't blame yourself. Then you blame Ben for risking Cal's life by not immediately bringing him home during the hostage rescue operation. You didn't care what happened. You simply blindly and angrily blame Ben for bringing Cal home alive? Really? Why?

And you definitely never questioned yourself about your own responsibility when it came to endangering Cal life. You simply didn't care anything about Cal's safety until he was with Ben. He could have just as easily been killed en route to meet with his father than after he had met him. 

Then you blame Ben for not being the same as you remembered him 5 and a half years ago. He can't be the same, Grace. The world around him has changed, especially you. He didn't just show up after being rescued from some unknown remote island. He was lost in an unknown place somewhere between the outer limits and the twilight zone.

None of what happened to Ben and Cal on Flight 828 seems to matter to you, does it Grace. You have selfishly chosen to remain clueless when it comes to reasoning and logic. The only thing you've subconsciously ever wanted since Ben's return is for him to be out of your life. This is why you predictably kicked him out of the home you once shared as a family. No more sexy math for Ben

But what would you do if the universe decided to once again take Ben and Cal from you forever, Grace? What if they were to suddenly disappear into thin air? Would you enroll in survivors group therapy again?

You've been given a miracle. The universe has given you a second chance to be with Ben and Cal. The universe brought your husband and son back to you for a reason. It's up to you, Grace, to take advantage of the miracle you've been given.

The universe may not give you another chance. And why should it? 


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(@828fan)
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Dec 1, 2018 9:19 pm  

Grace was already narcissistic before Flight 828 disappeared, then she fell into severe depression. It's my strong suspicion that Danny works for the Singularity Project and was ordered to get close to Grace and Olive. He might even be the Major. The voice that told Belson to double the charge to 80% could definitely have been his. 

I think that Danny has been coaching Grace into giving in to her worst tendencies regarding her family, especially Ben. He's known all along that her husband and son would be back and that he needed to insert himself into her life as deeply as possible as quickly as possible, and that he needed to discredit Ben in Grace's mind.

Ben hasn't given up on Grace yet, Lord knows why, so she might get another chance. It depends on how far she takes her possessiveness with the kids and her attempt to discredit Ben. But it also depends on how much she's willing to grow up and accept responsibility and blame. Right now, she acts like an immature child who thinks the world should revolve around her and nothing is ever her fault or her mistake.

Their marriage was already in trouble before the flight, the experiments or Danny. And Grace chose a vacation to paradise, where they could pretend they didn't have any responsibilities, as the way to fix it. Not marriage counseling. Avoidance is a longstanding pattern with her.

My experience with watching other married couples has been that couples who worked because one spoiled the other when times were good, but then collapse when there's a crisis, are never able to recover and don't make it in the long run. I've seen it several times in real life, where one of the spouses is the real child of the family, and if something happens so that the other partner can't give the adult baby their full attention, the marriage no longer works.

Everything they've shown us about Grace and Ben's marriage suggests that it was that type of relationship. Maybe they'll be endgame after 5 or 6 seasons of being on and off, having individual growth and then finding each other again.


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(@charles)
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Dec 3, 2018 1:51 pm  

I'm in complete agreement that Grace is narcissistic. Everything's always about her. Danny knew that as soon as he  first laid eyes on her:

GRACE: But I know they’re just being polite. I don’t know. It’s weird, but, sometimes, I just I wish that someone would just say to me, “Gee, Grace, you look like hell.”

Danny would quickly give Grace exactly what she had asked for:

DANNY:  Gee, Grace. You look like hell.

From that very starting point, Danny understood exactly what it took to twist and mold Grace into anyway he wanted.

 Avoidance is a longstanding pattern with her.

Absolutely true, from my POV.  She avoided telling Ben about Danny ... until she got caught, thanks to Olive. She then avoided any responsibility for not telling Ben about her secret by immediately providing him with sex for the first time since his return. 

Once her Danny secret was out in the open, she told Ben that he didn't know Danny and would never have to meet him. Of course, she knew with absolute certainty that Danny wouldn't magically disappear from her life without crossing paths with Ben. And then there are her trust issues with Ben:

When Cal was hospitalized:

BEN: Grace, the government didn’t release all the passengers. Some they sent to a a farm upstate, and I think they’re experimenting on these people, and Cal is somehow channeling what they’re going through up there, – and I need to—

GRACE: BenBen. Listen to yourself. You sound crazy.

BEN: I-I know, but I need you to trust me.

GRACE: How? I don’t even know who you are anymore. You used to be the guy who would yell at anti-vaxxers on TV. You think holistic medicine is a joke. You read every single scientific article to try and find a cure for our son. What happened?

This is the exactly same thing she said when she later kicked Ben out of their house.

GRACE:  I thought I could just ignore the last five years of my life, that we could just start over right where we left off, because you were the same even if I wasn’t. You’re not the same. I just I don’t know you. And I don’t I don’t think this is right anymore.

Her life? As if Ben doesn't have a life. Ben's not the same? She doesn't know him? She refuses to take responsibility for the recent changes that have taken place in her own life. Nor is she willing to reconcile how both her and Ben have changed.

 [marriages] collapse when there's a crisis, are never able to recover and don't make it in the long run.

Excellent analysis. Since Ben's return, the dysfunctional couple has been faced with one crisis after another. Olive's shoplifting arrest. Danny popping in and out. Death benefit repayment. Cal's illness. Ben losing his job. Cal running away to help his father at a shootout. 

I'd like to see Ben and Grace's marriage work. Especially for the sake of the twins. But unless something drastically changes, the chances of them ever being a happily married couple are slim to none.


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(@828fan)
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Dec 3, 2018 6:08 pm  

Great fleshing out of details, Charles. Cal's cancer and the 5 year disappearance are the biggest crises Ben and Grace have had to face, and both events have left their marriage in trouble. Ben's mom even noticed that the Jamaica trip was meant to save their marriage.

Ben uses avoidance, too. It's their way of avoiding the big argument they desperately need to have. They need a blow up, or at least an intense, brutally honest discussion, in which they both listen to each other, in order to clear the air. And it's obvious that they never do that.

Ben takes Grace out for her romantic dinners that he says she needs, he spends extra time at work, he loses himself in research- the intellectual guy's version of endless home improvement projects that keep him busy and unable to listen to the wife. You can't argue that someone is ignoring you when they're working or trying to save your child's life. Grace did have a point with that complaint. He gets to be the good guy, but avoid the confrontation he doesn't want to have.

And we've watched him do the same since he came back. He lets her walk all over him, then goes out to the garage to research the mysteries of Flight 828. Grace and Ben have been together so long, and been through so much, they should be able to communicate effectively as equal partners, and juggle the rest of their lives. Ben does communicate effectively with Mick and Saanvi and coordinate complicated operations, so we know he can do it. The fact that he has shown that he can work effectively with other people means that he established this pattern with Grace when he was young and didn't know any better. Now it's along the lines of a bad habit that he can't get out of. 

Grace is a diferent story, since, as we've talked about, her narcissistic patterns can be seen in her other relationships. Even poor little 10 year old Olive had to take over catering to Grace when Ben and Cal disappeared. I don't know if you can rein in a narcissist once they've given in to their most selfish tendencies. I've never had any luck with it in real life, but TV shows write unrealistically all the time. It takes constant vigilance to keep the narcissist in line.

But that's why I don't particularly want Grace and Ben to stay together. I don't think she can change much, just calm down and go back to her pre828 level, when she and Ben were already on the rocks. If Danny has real feelings for her, they seem to be a better fit. Grace also runs a successful business, which she built with Danny in the picture. That suggests that they're functional together overall, despite all of the machinations that have been going on.

But who knows, with Danny and Grace. She really seemed pretty together, before the plane came back, and it seems like Olive went through tough times but was back on track. We don't know enough about Danny to figure out yet if he and Grace understand each other because they're alike, so it's fine, or if he has evil intentions and is using her, or if the show is going to follow the TV trope of it starting out with him using her but then he developed real feelings.

Personally, I think evil Grace and evil Danny together would be hoot. She's made to be a supervillain's spoiled wife.


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(@charles)
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Dec 5, 2018 3:55 pm  

Ben uses avoidance, too.

I hope we'll get flashbacks into Ben and Grace's marriage. What their relationship was like when they first met. What their relationship was like before Cal was diagnosed with leukemia. We know they met in college, at Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C. That they both moved to New York after graduation.

We also know they were together for 15 years before Ben and Cal's disappearance. Jeff Rake has made this particular storyline about the problems in their relationship. As an addicted fan, I want to know more about what made their relationship what it is.

The fact that he has shown that he can work effectively with other people means that he established this pattern with Grace when he was young and didn't know any better. Now it's along the lines of a bad habit that he can't get out of. 

Exactly. If they were ever truly in love. There had to be something that attracted them to one another. And there also had to have been a means of orally communicating the reasons that caused them to marry. Maybe the only reason they got married is because Grace was pregnant. Promising each other they would  live together forever isn't something Grace and Ben ... nor the showrunners ... should take lightly.

Grace also runs a successful business, which she built with Danny in the picture. That suggests that they're functional together overall, despite all of the machinations that have been going on.

True. But here's where I'm somewhat confused. Grace established a village around her. Lindsey helped with Olive's soccer. Justin fixed the kitchen sink. Rob kept her sane at work. Grandpa Steve gave Olive driving lessons. So, what exactly did Danny do?

The timeline isn't clear as to when Grace received Ben's death benefit payment, paid off all the bills, and took out the HELOC to start her small business. Where Danny fits in hasn't been explained. Did he financially contribute to Grace's successes? Or did she contribute to his? 

Personally, I think evil Grace and evil Danny together would be hoot. She's made to be a supervillain's spoiled wife.

LOL. I think you've hit the nail squarely on the head ... with a sledgehammer, Cathy. The only way for that to work, in my opinion, is for the showrunners to hire you as a writer. The storylines you present are far more titillating than the apparent direction in which the current storylines are headed.


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(@charles)
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Jan 25, 2019 9:50 am  

Grace now knows and accepts what she once refused to know while blaming Ben for not telling her what she didn't want to know because she had earlier dismissed what she now knows as crazy talk.

It's only a matter of time before the Major uses Danny to exploit Grace's weaknesses ... which are numerous. And make no mistake about it, Danny remains her greatest weakness.

During the last confrontation between Ben and Danny, she could have asked Ben to stay and Danny to leave. Or she could have asked both to leave ... or stay. Instead, she allowed Danny to stay. Ben wanted to go scuba diving with Grace earlier in their marriage, she refused; but had no problem when it came to doing the deed with Danny. (102.14)

She has repeatedly closed her eyes to the blessings bestowed upon her by the universe. There are many reasons for her to open her eyes to the blessings ... and dangers ... happening around her. As Paul Douglas has commented elsewhere, "Grace has a slow learning curve."

NOTE: Grace's scuba diving adventure with Danny left her physically and permanently scarred. How exactly did Danny's wife Nina die? In a premeditated "outdoorsy" accident, perhaps.


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(@charles)
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Apr 5, 2019 1:57 pm  

It would appear the universe has given Grace another chance to be a caring mother and loving wife by allowing her to become unexpectedly pregnant with a baby whose father has not yet been named. The universe has apparently decided that Ben, Cal, and Olive are no longer Grace's only priorities ... the baby now becomes her first and main priority before anything else.

The universe continues to be cruel to Grace.


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(@charles)
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Sep 17, 2019 8:12 pm  

I absolutely love Athena Karkanis as an actress. It's too bad that I can't say that about her character Grace Stone. Why? It probably has something to do with how the character is universally portrayed through dialogue.

BEN: So, this guy do you love him?

GRACE: I love you, Ben. I never stopped. Not for a moment. Not for 5 1/2 years. Okay?

BEN: I love you, too.

GRACE: I know you do. And we’re picking up right where we left off before we were so rudely interrupted.

In Grace's own words, she's the one who said, "we’re picking up right where we left off before we were so rudely interrupted." That was 103.26. And then in 110.23, Grace said, " [TO BEN]: From the moment that plane landed, you wanted to walk back into this family like no time had passed. And I get that, because for you, it hadn’t." WTH Grace, weren't you the one (101.9) who stated the universe had given you and Ben a second chance? "Earth to Ben. You all came back to us. You are sitting here right now, baby. [LAUGHING] A miracle just happened!"

Of course, in Grace's self-centered universe, "happiness is just an illusion filled with sadness and confusion."

BEN: Grace something happened to us on that flight. It keeps happening. Some people are seeing things, hearing voices.

GRACE: Ben, are you hearing voices?

BEN: You just said you were ready to believe anything.

 

That was 106.7. Then in 112.11, it was:

GRACE: I just can’t help but think that if we’d been living under the same roof, then Cal wouldn’t be missing right now.

BEN: You’re right, but that doesn’t mean you should start blaming yourself.

GRACE: Actually, I wasn’t, but it kind of sounds like you’re blaming me.

BEN: No, no, no. I’m agreeing with you. I’m blaming us.

GRACE: Do you think that I want to be separated?

BEN: Grace, you kicked me out.

GRACE: And you went with zero objection because you knew that you had put your need to save every other passenger on that plane ahead of the needs of your family.

But what were the exact words Grace used in 109.20 when she kicked Ben out?

GRACE: I thought I could just ignore the last five years of my life, that we could just start over right where we left off, because you were the same even if I wasn’t. You’re not the same. I just I don’t know you. And I don’t I don’t think this is right anymore.

"I don’t think this is right anymore." Don't think this is right anymore? WTH? Ben would later return home and Grace would surprisingly discover that she's pregnant. Perhaps, the universe used a needle to prick a hole in the condom Grace and Danny were using? Now that Ben and Cal have a set time to live, maybe ... just maybe, Grace's character has finally used up all the chances the universe has given her.

Ben is not the same. Grace is not the same. The reason the universe or whoever or whatever returned Ben to Grace was definitely not for the purpose of them "starting over right where they left off." Either Grace doesn't understand the universe in which she lives ... or her character is simply living on borrowed time.


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