OK, it’s not unusual for actors to pretend to play musical instruments as part of a role. It’s not even unusual for characters to be less than convincing that they are playing an instrument for a given role. We’ve all heard about how the Monkees didn’t play their own instruments (turns out they could play musical instruments, just not the ones they were assigned on the show).
But man, I don’t think it has ever been as obvious as it is in this episode that Jenna Ortega is most assuredly not playing that cello, and not just because there are clearly other instruments being played as well.
The fun part of all things Wednesday is that she remains Wednesday no matter what anyone tries to do to her. Tell she can’t join the exclusive club for the cool kids, and she not only doesn’t care, but she managed to untie herself. Tell her she has to go into town where the Normies live for a big make nice festival in honor of town founder Joseph Crackstone, and she’ll go and sell fudge at the pilgrim-themed park, but she’ll spend the entire time telling German tourists (in fluent German) why fudge is a bad idea. Tell her not to go into the room to inspect the old artifacts, and she’ll go anyway. And tell her to play the cello for the dedication to a town statue in honor of Crackstone, and not only will she continue playing when all else goes to hell, but it’s pretty clear she had Thing set up the destruction.
It is clever when Wednesday says her hands are clean when pressed on her role in the destruction of the Crackstone memorial.
The thing is, Crackstone was no saint. He hounded and murdered the oddities of his old community, with only one young woman (a possible ancestor to Wednesday) escaping. A religious fanatic, Crackstone is the sort of guy whose deeds have been papered over and sanitized while people like Wednesday, representing a minority group, wants people to remember Crackstone’s darker side.
Man, this sounds…so darn relevant to today’s America, where people fight over history while trying to maybe pretend that the heroes of a bygone age were some sort of flawless people and ignores their darker tendencies for a lot of reason up to and including local tourism. Must be a coincidence.
As it is, for all Wednesday is seeing visions of Crackstone, she’s also, sort of, being nice to people. Yes, in part it is to get what she wants, but helping Enid get a date with her gorgon crush Alax was nice as Wednesday’s saving Eugene the beekeeper from some bullies.
Man, she’s efficient, isn’t she?
Down side: some homeless man squatting at the spot of Crackstone’s massacre was playing with a camera when the monster showed up, and his camera got some photos of the thing. The Sheriff already suspected a student at the school. Now he has what may be photographic proof.
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