The Vale of Tears
Episode 3 of Scenes from a Marriage starts with Jonathan back home, inviting Mira back after her trip away. In her absence, Jonathan has rearranged the living room, while Mira comments how Poli is away for the time being. A year has passed in total since the previous episode, and Ava is even being taken to school by Poli sometimes too.
Mira is flying high with her career, and in fact she’s on the verge of another promotion. With an increase in money, it also means she’ll have to relocate to London. Jonathan immediately lays down the law, telling her that there’s no way Ava will be going with her.
Mira tries to get round this though by suggesting Jonathan and Ava move to London instead. That way they could continue to share custody of their child. “It’ll be a great opportunity for Ava,” Mira says, missing the irony of uprooting her child from a whole life she’s built for herself. Mira clearly doesn’t understand, and in fact she scoffs at Jonathan when he brings up this very fact.
It turns out Ava and Jonathan are actually sharing the office space together downstairs, with their beds separated by a single bookshelf. “The house is too big now,” Jonathan shrugs.
After Mira destroyed this marriage by cheating on her husband, this natural progression has only seen Jonathan and Ava grow closer together. When Mira notices all this – and the state of the barren bedrooms upstairs – she realizes that traces of her are disappearing around the house.
She’s pretty upset by this though, playing the pity party card and claiming there’s nowhere out there for her to feel secure. She’s made peace with this, claiming it’s a sign of strength. After listening intently to what she has to say, Jonathan open up about his morning pages at work, reading them to her.
Mira suddenly leans forward and starts kissing Jonathan, prompting the two to get hot and heavy. So now Mira has cheated on Poli too it seems.
Anyway, Jonathan pulls away and tells her to stop, bringing up what happened a year back when Mira first left. It was torment for him; his own personal hell. It’s also a small blessing in disguise, given Ava fell ill with a fever and he was forced to look after her for days without so much as thinking about Mira and what she’s doing.
Mira claims it was a nightmare for her too, trying to find common ground with her husband. She missed him and never stopped loving him, apparently. It’s difficult to know with her to be honest, given what we’ve seen across these 3 episodes. Anyway, she eventually hugs Jonathan and convinces him to let her sleep for the night.
As they lay in bed together, Jonathan’s phone starts buzzing. It’s his lover, and when Jonathan answers the phone it’s clear this woman is not happy that Mira is still there.
Well, the heated conversation devolves into Jonathan breaking up with her. Smoking a cigarette at the back door, Jonathan comments on their regretful past and decides to play her a voicemail he received this morning. It’s Poli, and well aware of the two being together, he mentions Mira’s suffocating suspicions and paranoia. According to him, he’s absolutely fine with the idea of the two getting back together.
When Jonathan puts Ava back to bed, following her little interjection in the middle of all this, the episode comes to an end with this marriage in limbo.
The Episode Review
Scenes from a Marriage returns this week, solidifying just how unlikable these two characters actually are. Jonathan’s nonchalance and lack of emotion toward this breakup makes him a difficult character to get behind. We do hear about his ordeal from a year back and how hard it was but we don’t see any of that. Instead, we’re just told about it instead.
Then we come to Mira, who’s, quite frankly, an awful character. She’s acted beautifully by Jessica Chastain though but this woman is a toxic, manipulative mess. She’s clearly uncaring and selfish but she also plays the pity party card and constantly turns conversations about herself and how badly she’s been doing. And yet, through it all, she’s the one who walked out and has cheated on her husband. So how can we get behind her?
Between this and the drawn out dialogue, Scenes from a Marriage has very much been a love/hate affair. Personally, I’m in the latter category but mostly because these two are just so damn unlikable. Hopefully there’s some material in the coming episodes that change that because the show is beautifully shot and the acting is excellent. It’s just a shame that the script and characters themselves are so poor.