What is teen Olive about?
The Olive character seems to be giving mixed signals as to what's going on in her mind about going forward after the plane arrives.
She seems happy that Cal is back. No problem there. The one thing I wonder about is in the "We hate meatloaf" scene, she insists that Cal is still alive. She does not, however give any indication that she thinks her dad is still alive. This is supported by the fact that as time went by she accepted Danny as her father, although he is not married to her mother (another good discussion) basically saying my biological father is dead.
When Ben comes back, she is obviously conflicted but comes to accept Ben but does give up on Danny as a father figure. As I calculate it, the "father figure" thing was at most 3 years, maybe less. That's not a long time compared to the time she was bonded with Ben, 10 years. I just think there is something more to the Olive-Danny relationship that a father figure. I obviously do not know what. Does she really think she can have both Ben and Danny as fathers? In real life that simply cannot work when it comes to parenting a child.
It's not clear to me what she wants her mother to do. Does she want her to divorce Ben and marry Danny? Does she want her mom to make a clean break with Danny and commit to Ben. There are mixed signals on that in my mind. If she wants her mom to go with Danny, how does she think that is going to work? In the context of the theme of the show, of what importance will be Grace and Olive be living with Danny? If she wants the family to stay together, does she devote herself to one father?
There are probably several more dynamics to the Olive character but as far as what we know now, she is probably the second most mysterious character on the show. What is her goal and purpose in all this?
Olive is definitely conflicted. The only time she missed her father is when he and Cal first disappeared. Since then, she has virtually had nothing to do with Ben. It's as if she didn't want to be around him. Of course, she treats Danny as if she can't live without him.
It's also not clear to me why Danny is currently more important to her than her own biological father. Based on dialogue and the narrative, Olive and Danny's relationship doesn't appear normal. In fact, as a relationship, it appears to be more lewd than a "father-figure" loving one (105.21).
It's not clear to me what she wants her mother to do.
My sentiments exactly. This is what makes the Olive character so irrationally unclear. Perhaps it has something to do with her being in therapy twice a week ... for years now.
To this viewer, it appears that Olive has become a Realist, not like her Mom, the Idealist. She accepts reality as it is and reacts to it; she doesn’t think about the consequences. It appears that she has no long-term plan.
The big problem now is that Olive has this ingrained method of thinking after the five and a half years. The smart, adorable, amazing girl they keep prating about may find that Realism isn’t going to work, as she runs into Idealists such as Ben and Michaela, who work for others as well as themselves.
I respectfully disagree that Olive has become a Realist, Paul. She reacts to situations, but doesn't manage them accordingly.
For example, she told her mom that Danny was her dad, too. This is not the behavior of a Realist. It's delusional child-like thinking. Danny has absolutely no parental rights when it comes to Olive. None. Nada. Zero.
Ben is the one who's more of a Realist. He understands there are problems, and is using sound reasoning and logic to solve those problems. I agree that Grace is an Idealist. But reality will soon smack her in the face, and forcefully awake her from her non-realistic fantasies and daydreams.
I hope the show's writers remember that Olive is in therapy ... twice a week. This is an important part of her ongoing storyline.
Olive's therapy sessions will hopefully reveal what's going on inside her chaotic teenage mind. She appears to be abnormally obsessed with Danny. She also refuses to engage in simple daughter/father activities with her biological father, Ben.
Olive seemingly contacts and engages Danny without her mother's knowledge and approval whenever she decides. For example, during her shoplifting incident, she called Danny to pick her up without getting Grace's approval beforehand. She also recently invited Danny to dinner without letting her mom know.
Is Danny a father figure to Olive? Or he is a playmate? Olive behaves like Danny has more family rights than her biological father, Ben. After Grace kicked Ben out of the house, Olive went to Danny for solutions ... not Ben. How does Olive really feel about Ben?
And as close as she is to Cal, she never told him about Danny or asked his opinion. Olive is unilaterally making decisions that could tear her family apart. For me, the solution is simple. Ben and Grace together need to sit Olive down and explain the ground rules.
Both Ben and Grace have spoiled her and treat her like an adult. She's not. She's a child and should be provided with boundaries that protect her and her family's safety. Whether she agrees or not, she can't invite Danny to the family home whenever she wants.
Olive recently said to her father Ben after her brother Cal had returned home safely from his dangerous calling where he traveled alone to the mountains of upstate New York to rescue Ezekiel James Landon, " Dad, you could’ve told me. You could’ve trusted me." "Cal told me a long time ago."
Turned her back on him by refusing to ever have any father/daughter time.
- No ice cream.
- No walks in the park.
- No driving lessons.
- Was always too busy take a drive and talk because of school homework.
Did not treat him like most appreciative daughters do their fathers. Olive has always intentionally overlooked the little things.
- Told Grace it was time to let (Ben?) go. (105.26)
- Called Danny instead of Ben when she got caught shoplifting. She texted Grace to come and pick her up, but was surprised when Ben showed up.
- Never told Ben about her mountain climbing training with Danny and their planned overnight trip to climb Arcadia next summer.
- Knew about the callings before Grace kicked Ben out of the house.
- Invited Danny over for dinner to solve all of the family's problems instead of pleading Ben's case to Grace.
I don't know about about anyone else, but it's not possible for me to believe this newly minted version of Olive. She goes from treating Ben like "l hate being around you" to "blaming him for not trusting her?" What's that wise-old saying? 'Don't **** on my pant's legs and expect me to believe it's raining.'
Olive is about being infatuated with her mothers lover. The more she gets Ben to tell and trust her the more she can use that to set things up to discredit Ben. Just like she did making Ben keep the shoplifting secret knowing that would infuriate Grace. Do you remember the heartfelt words Ben told Olive about how he loves the current Olive just before she asked Ben to keep that secret . This girl is heartless and shrewd beyond her years. It is obvious that talking to Ben about the peacock and asking Ben to trust her is just another ploy. There is the chance the writers are trying to get Olive out of the corner she has been painted in. It is going to be awful hard in three episodes.
You and I are in 100% agreement, ChuckB.
I do remember. It was definitely a shrewd move on her part. She knew before asking Ben to keep this secret it was impossible for him to do so. To make the situation even worse, at the Bluemercury, she passed Danny off as being her real father. And later told Grace that Danny was her dad, too.
Since Ben's return, she has always went out of her way to minimize his presence in her life. Olive has maliciously erased the 10-years she had lovingly spent with Ben as a child from her "collective consciousness."
All because she is more infatuated with her mother's lover than she truly cares about her own biological father's deep devotion and sincere feelings for her. This is not a storyline that can be easily reconciled.
There is the chance the writers are trying to get Olive out of the corner she has been painted in. It is going to be awful hard in three episodes.
I think you've hit the nail on the head. After the show's writers only received a 3-episode extension with a season total of 16-episodes instead of working with an expected 22-episode season; they have scrambled to make the pieces fit into the puzzle, and have unintentionally lost a few of the important pieces needed to complete a puzzle that makes sense to an attentive audience.
Where is Olive's thinking at this point of the story? She has a history of ignoring Ben's advice and has shown a propensity to favor Danny when things go wrong for her personally. She has also shown that it's okay to openly rebel against Grace when it comes to satisfying her own personal wants and desires.
Yes, she is concerned about her family. But in her mind, Danny's family, too. Ben and Grace both have had no problem indulging Olive's lies and wrongdoings (103.15)(104.17)(110.23). Going forward, Olive's behavior and actions involving Danny and others could be fatal for members of her family.
She's in therapy twice a week. Why? Will the reason(s) ever be revealed? Will Ben and Grace sit down and have an honest discussion with Olive about the family's safety and well-being? Or will Grace keep saying, no matter what happens, that Danny and Kevin are both good for Olive? And will Ben simply continue to argue that it's best to give Olive more freedom to do her own thing ... in order to gain her trust?
The question remains. What is teen Olive about?
Just quickly. Olive and Calvin’s birthday is in April. Guess what. She will be 17 and guess what else. In New York, 17 is the “age of consent.” She can bunk up with whomever she wants. If she wants to share the sheets with Danny, she can.
Thanks, Tom. To be honest, the situation as it involved Olive and Danny's relationship, "age of consent" never ever crossed my mind. I was always repelled and disgusted with their relationship as being inappropriate and morally reprehensible.
How writers manage the Olive/Danny relationship going forward will be crucial. Either they will clean it up ... or make matters worse. Based on what has transpired up until now, I don't see how they can realistically clean this abnormal relationship up without making it worse.
If this was a "real world" situation, as parents, what would/should Ben and Grace do ... collectively and or separately? As I father myself, I would strongly voice my concerns (without any shades of gray) about my 17-year old daughter's future and well-being.
... just cause she could legally sleep with Danny don't make it any less weird.
As it's stated sometimes ...
“Have you heard the saying, 'sex sells'? Well, I'm the supplier.”
The great thing about fictional television is that we get the opportunity to interpret (or in my case sometimes misinterpret) character interactions differently. Even better, when we're willing, just like you always do, Schroeswald; we can share and discuss our interpretations rationally and civilly.
Sex along with politics, religion and race are always controversial topics. And more often than not, these are also heated controversial topics. So far, the showrunner and writers have adequately managed the show's controversial topics. How the topics of sex, politics, religion and race are presented in season 2 will be interesting.