The Lines Between Us
Episode 3 of The Republic of Sarah begins with Greylock completely cut off. The townsfolk are confused, unsure how the US can do this “legally”. Sarah confirms there are two steps to becoming a country. The first includes simply calling yourself independent, the other includes other countries agreeing to their independence. I guess we’re going to see more of our 194 countries across the world right? No.
Instead, Sarah remains determined to try and convince the US to see their struggles. This includes putting pressure on the governor to reconsider. Given she’s a history teacher with specific knowledge in borders and countries, I guess she knows all about independent countries right?
Grover begins packing up his things from the house, while Sarah keeps hitting roadblocks during her phone calls. She decides to move past money and talk morality instead.
Now, in the midst of all this but most important topic is the one Sarah pushes aside as the least concern. Remember last episode when the mining company saved the town from a blackout and is currently paying for their power? Well, with the border shut then they’re unable to bring the miners inside.
Danny brings these concerns to Sarah but she simply shrugs them off. Instead, the Governor decides to bring the SWAT team in to reinforce the border. There’s been protestors and she’s dead set on reinforcing the line before things turn ugly.
In order to deal with this situation Sarah is going to *checks notes* use a boat to illegally enter the US and grab supplies to bring back to Greylock. Sarah’s not going herself though, and instead sends AJ in her stead.
That evening, a massive fire breaks out. It turns out Grover has burnt his house down and decided he’s the only one to destroy it. With the whole place ablaze, firemen arrive to try and put the fire out.
Meanwhile, Sarah learns that AJ is in prison after she was caught smuggling goods. Things become even more dramatic when the governor opens up political asylum for anyone who wants to leave Greylock. As one would expect, a whole host of residents decide to pack up their things and leave.
Sarah believes that the protest is what’s turned her hand, so they decide to lean into that and stage a huge protest by the border. In order to do so, they’re going to step over the border. “Lines on a map are not what define us”, Sarah defiantly proclaims.
The protest inevitably gets violent but it does help spur up the people to rally to their cause. On the back of this, the border is reopened and the governor’s resignation looms on the horizon. Sarah bursts into the governor’s office and decides they should agree to a truce. This would also include opening the northern border and setting the country plans into motion.
As a consequence to all this though, Bella is forced to attend a boarding school. Within this ensuing drama, there’s a whole subplot involving Danny and his fiancé. Specifically, how Sarah hasn’t been informed on everything. By the end of the episode though, there’s a nice moment where Sarah is introduced to Piper as this family starts to patch up their differences.
The Episode Review
Honestly, I don’t know where to start with this one so apologies for those who are enjoying this story. Before diving into this week’s rant, the character development and the players in this town are easily the highlight here. There’s been a lot of work put into setting up these different relationships and the writers have obviously got a knack for writing likable characters. Unfortunately they haven’t got a knack for writing a coherent and logical story.
“Lines on a map are not what define us,” Is a nice bit of dialogue in theory but doesn’t hold much weight in the real world.
This situation with Greylock isn’t a simple land dispute, this is a brand new, unrecognized country. Sure it may be slightly immoral but do you think the border between North and South Korea can be resolved by simply walking over and staging a protest? No.
Can the Palestine situation be resolved by just walking over and protesting? No. Could I just happily get the ferry over to France from the UK and not expect to be stopped at the border? Of course not, that would be ridiculous.
This fantasy fluff that’s been presented feels like it’s been written by people who have never been outside the US. It completely brushes over the real issues of becoming an independent sovereign country and that comes from getting the UN’s approval – not America. Aside from a few nods about Canada, no other country has been mentioned in agreeing to this republic becoming a new nation.
And it’s not like it’s difficult to find either. If you google “how to become a country” there are a litany of different articles about the topic but none of that has made its way into this story which feels incredibly lazy.
It’s actually not that difficult to fix either. You could have easily have news reports at the end about world leaders recognizing Greylock’s plight and debating about whether to take this to court or not. Literally one added scene would go some way to fixing some of the structural issues. Some – not all.
If this show is dead-set on showing the trials and tribulations of a new country, it’s not deep enough nor does it have the panache to pull it off. Instead, The Republic of Sarah steamrolls over any sort of nuance and turns the situation into a binary yes or no problem rather than a morally conflicting one.
This story completely crumbles under any sort of scrutiny or logic.