Party of Five’s “Speak for Yourself” was all about finding your own voice, even if, sometimes, finding it is only half the job. You still have to figure out what to do with it. Emilio, Lucia and Valentina went through more or less the same journey, with very different results.
For Emilio, his music, his band-mates, have been his family as much as the family he was born to. And he years to be part of that, not just because he wants the success, but because he loves creating, and he loves his friends. So he’s trying to hold onto what he had with both hands, because he doesn’t want to admit that he just isn’t that person anymore, he’s changed.
Yes, he left the band because he had to. Because his siblings needed him. But his face when Lucia was speaking about their parents spoke of a different Emilio, of a different perspective. Maybe he still loves creating, and he still loves the music, but perhaps Emilio just needs to find a different path towards getting his art out there. Maybe the Emilio that belonged in that band, with those guys, just doesn’t exist anymore.
And that’s harsh, but it’s life. It happens. We change, sometimes in an instant. And it’s hard to imagine someone in Emilio’s position being able to just …sing about silly things and rejoice in the life of gigs and groupies anymore. At least, hard to imagine him doing just that. Emilio might not have arrived at this conclusion yet, but he needs more.
Lucia, however, knows it. She found her voice and spoke for herself, and her words touched everyone that heard her. Lucia wants to help – she’s always been the one with information, always the smart one, but now she’s putting those smarts to good use. Now she’s discovering that there’s more to being intelligent than passing exams and doing well at school. And for the first time ever, Lucia feels truly proud.
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That’s not all she feels, though. She also feels the weight of what still needs to be done, the weight of all that’s left to do, to change. And that’s both a great thing and a hard thing for a 16year old to focus on. Lucia will have to find a balance between being this passionate advocate, and just …living. That’ll come, hopefully, with time, and more of this brilliant show.
Which leads us to Valentina, or Amanda, as she wants to be known. Except Valentina won’t admit that part of the reason she wants to be Amanda is the same reason Natalia expressed at the end: Being Amanda is easier. Less baggage, less pain. For Valentina, her reasons to be Amanda are …more black and white. She wants to be like the kid her mom is spending time with. That’s it.
Except Valentina is 12 and not very adept yet at understanding, well, herself. Feelings are rarely as straightforward as she believes. You don’t do things just for one reason, and as bad as avoidance is, sometimes, you just need a little space.
Of course, Valentina will have to come to a place where she realizes that Amanda Davis is just …a mirage. Amanda Davis’ life is simple, but that’s because Amanda Davis isn’t real. She has nothing, and no one, and that can seem simpler, but it’s also sadder. Much lonelier. For Valentina to truly connect with people, to love and laugh and yes, even feel pain sometimes, she has to be Valentina. There’s no other choice.
Life hasn’t deal the Acostas an easy hand. And yet, here they are, getting through it, little by little. Because that’s what families do. That’s what this community does, day in and day out. When it’s semi-hard, when it’s super hard and when it’s almost impossible. Take one step and then another and then another. Never give up.
What else can we do? What else can they do?
Things I think I think:
- I feel a bit bad for Emilio, I do. But I’m also just reminded how quickly he could have turned into THAT asshole.
- Though I guess he had his family to keep that from happening.
- DON’T APOLOGIZE.
- Use that for everything, Lucia.
- “Another bus is driving off, people I love leaving me behind.”
- Okay, now THAT hurt me, Emilio.
- Valentina is killing me.
- Beto, you can’t live up to everyone’s expectations.
- I like that it wasn’t even a question Emilio would say yes and this would all happen.
- The house of cards crumbles, Val. It always does.
- Beto’s ‘I can’t believe she bought that’ face is priceless.
- We all knew you liked Natalia, Emilio. We all knew.
- And we kinda dig it. It feels real.
- Lucia kinda broke my heart. Okay, more than kinda.
- “Cruelty IS the point”
- It feels like Emilio realized something bigger.
- Beto, you were always going to fail. That’s what racism is.
- Allison is not my favorite.
- “I smile all the time. Inwardly.”
- Maybe you’ve all just grown in different ways, Emilio.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think about “Speak for Yourself”? Share with us in the comments below!
Party of Five airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Freeform.