Episode 4 of Scenes from a Marriage begins with Mira arriving back at the house, on the phone to Ava and calming her down. The family are moving, with boxes littered around the place full of gear ready to go. Ava has been seeing a therapist lately, reinforcing how much of a stress this has been for her, and it’s all too much for Mira, who decides to take a pill to help her headache.
The pair are about to sign their divorce papers, dividing up the furniture and other items around the house. Mira decides she wants a green couch, despite saying originally she didn’t want any of the living room furniture. Jonathan backs down, unwilling to get involved in an argument, and allows her to have it.
Instead, the pair get talking about what divorce means and wind up sleeping together. It’s definitely break-up sex for Jonathan as he implores her to sign the divorce papers after. For Mira though, her feelings go a lot deeper. She’s hesitant about signing the papers and suggests they leave it for a bit. Jonathan though, has had enough. With raised voices, the two begin to bicker again as Jonathan implores her to sign given she’s been deliberating doing this for long enough.
This back and forth continues, eventually moving over to the topic of Ava and her lessons at school. Given Mira’s decision to put Ava in ballet and jazz classes, she’s taken aback when Jonathan tells her they owe $2500 because of it. Mira wants Jonathan to tell Ava she needs to choose one of those classes to drop, but he refuses to do so. After all, if Mira was the one who chose this then she should be the one to tell Ava.
Jonathan’s frustrations comes from this weird limbo between breaking up and being together. He believes it’s far more traumatic for all involved, which explains his passion and frustration toward her deliberation. However, Mira has been laid off from work. It’s clear she blames Jonathan for this, pointing out how she couldn’t go to London.
As the two talk, Jonathan calls out Mira’s toxicity and cackles, claiming it’s a miracle she lasted as long as she did at that job. It’s a really low blow, and one that Mira bites back with an equal amount of venom. She points out how awful he is bed and his asexual lifestyle. Mira even berates him for using the shower after having sex… as if cleaning up after yourself is bad?
Anyway, after this initial bout of arguing, things simmer down. Mira and Poli have actually broken up, and she intends to tell Ava next time she sees her. They had a pretty vicious fight prior to this, with Poli pressuring her into having children or threatening to break up. Wow, this Poli seems like a real piece of work. Anyway, after trying for a while things just fell apart between them.
Mira decides that she wants to get back together with Jonathan. He’s absolutely incredulous to this though, pointing out that he doesn’t have feelings for her anymore and hasn’t for a while. There was a time where he’d pray to God for her to return but those moments are over.
Mira’s walls crumble, she pleads with him to take her back and eventually breaks down into tears on the green sofa. Seeing her like this, so vulnerable, is enough for Jonathan to suggest they get rid of the settlement papers. The only reason he was so adamant on her signing was because he wants to have another child. But not with her.
More fighting soon ensues, with Mira eventually taking the key to the front door and smocking Jonathan numerous times. As he tentatively gets back to his feet, walking away, Mira decides to sign the divorce papers. “You should have done that a long time ago,” Jonathan says nonchalantly, as he walks away from the house. Just as he does, the moving truck shows up.
The Episode Review
Well, that was a pretty intense episode and incredibly well acted too. Say what you will about the characters but here there’s actually a consistent self-contained story coming in the form of those divorce papers. Given how sporadically Scenes from a Marriage jumps about, the dialogue in this helps to piece together a timeline of what’s going on.
Mira and Jonathan are in a very different place now and while Mira left to try and better her career for a “younger model” boyfriend, her entire life has fallen apart while Jonathan’s has started to brighten up. Mira really goes through a myriad of different emotions in this episode and seeing that translate across to the screen is beautiful to watch.
I haven’t been the biggest fan of this show over the weeks, partly because of how unlikable both these characters are. However, there’s no denying that this chapter is the best of the season so far. There’s a good ebb and flow, a consistency to the dialogue and all of it crescendos to that devastating silence at the end when the pair sign their divorce papers. It’s great stuff and hopefully next week’s finale will follow suit.