The Son season 2 episode 6 entered the night facing a rather astronomical challenge: Building on the story that was there. With multiple time-frames, emotional undercurrents, and high degrees of jeopardy, that was not easy.
In tonight’s “The Blue Light,” it was fairly clear that most of the peril was going to revolve around Phineas. We applaud the writers for even going here and taking on a subject like sexuality in a Western — given the start of Pride Month tonight, it did certainly feel appropriate. We saw in this episode Phineas accused of sodomy, and through that Eli and everyone else worked in order to get him out of this situation. This is where an “arrangement” was attempted, one in order to ensure Phineas was okay.
As for the other man at the center of this relationship, unfortunately, nothing was going to be any different. Sally came to him bearing a letter, claiming that there was nothing that could be done for him. Yet, she wanted to offer him a sense of peace … but there really wasn’t one that could be offered to him. This entire story was really an indictment of the mistreatment of the LGBTQ community in the early 20th century, but then also to go along with it the differences in social status. Phineas was able to get what looked to be a lighter sentence, just because of who Eli was and the people he knew.
Yet, it was possible that a different sort of punishment awaiting Phineas: Fear. That’s what he saw in the form of a noose outside the door, and that is the struggle that likely was going to be awaiting him moving towards the future. Then, there’s also the punishment of having to be someone who he wasn’t.
Elsewhere in this episode
Eli found himself at the center of yet another scandal, this time over apparently his own inaction. His life is one geared around politics, and his decision to bring in Pete came apparently with ramifications. Eli, effectively, was accused of being “weak” — one of the last things in this era you want to be accused of.
Meanwhile, in the past Eli found himself in the midst of another lesson — consider this the parable of the blue light, the name for this episode. This was a light that could heal his pain — yet, it was one that he also clutched on a little bit too close. The moral of this story was that, apparently, a “soft heart is weakness.” This tied back to where Eli was in the present after the accusations of not getting the job done, desperate to both prove himself but also continue to lay claim to his empire. Here’s a lesson: It’s probably not a great thing to state your case for anything under the influence of alcohol. He went to Ingrid, desperate to recover who he was. He wanted nothing more than to clutch that blue light and find some sort of hope and healing … but that is apparently no longer there.
Instead, what we got in the end of the episode was Ingrid being lost in the fog, a hallucination of what Eli wanted but could never quite have. Yet, this set up a battle between Eli and a metaphorical blue light, a chance to take his power and stand up for what he wanted.
Why aren’t more viewers watching or paying attention to The Son? A big part of it may just be due to the long wait between seasons, or its status as a show on Saturday night. One way or another, all of these end up hurting it. None of it does take away its fascinating, twisted narrative or the stories that, regardless of the era, find a way to feel topical.
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