Party of Five 1×08 “Dos y Dos” does the same thing the show has excelled at doing during its first season, pack an emotional punch, while also dealing with the bigger issues of identity, sexuality and how to find the middle ground between expectations and reality.
Considering what it is, what it was always called to be, the show was always going to live and die by whether it could take on these subjects in a realistic way. Eight episodes in, with two to go, the answer is a resounding yes, Party of Five not only understands what it means to struggle between two worlds, it also understands there isn’t one answer to the question of identity, or even sexuality.
Answers are ever-changing, ever-flowing, and we must all found our own, just as we must all find our place in this world.
So, let’s go a little bit into the identity issues, as we talk “Dos y Dos”:
WHO YOU REALLY ARE
In many ways, it feels like the show has taken a while to get to this point, to Emilio’s identity crisis, to Val finally admitting all she wanted to be was that girl, the one that got to spend time with her mom, and not any other girl, to Lucia’s sexuality, and yet in so many ways, it hasn’t. There have been clues all along, enough that there isn’t really that happens in this episode that really shocks us.
And that even includes Ella’s revelation.
But the thing is – and the trigger warning at the beginning of the episode proves – this show isn’t here to surprise us. The immigrant experience, the human experience, isn’t compelling because it’s shocking, instead it’s often compelling because it isn’t. We understand. We’ve been there. And that’s why we can relate.
More importantly, there isn’t one immigrant experience, or one human one. We all live life differently, and we all live the issues of our times in different ways, that depend so much on our circumstances. Relatability doesn’t only come from seeing a situation that is 100% like something we’ve experienced, it comes from seeing someone go through emotions that feel familiar.
Because that’s the thing, circumstances might not be the same, but emotions, emotions aren’t as complicated as we’d like them to believe.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME
The other big message of this episode is about this need, that I feel is very personal to the latinx community, to be not just good at something, but the best at everything, always. Like we’re not enough unless we can do absolutely everything that’s asked, or even expected of us, and do it well.
Which ties back to Lucia and Sully, and the way Lucia was looking at this woman as someone she didn’t only want to be like, but wanted to be with. Now, I don’t believe for a second Lucia would have voiced those desires without the alcohol, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t feeling them.
But Lucia wouldn’t have held back because of labels, or because her feelings were directed at another woman, no. Lucia would have held back because Sully was older, and her mentor, and that is indeed relatable. Just as Sully’s rebuke, as harsh as it seems right now, is the right thing for her to do.
Lucia is, in many ways, still a child. She has so much to learn, to live, to experience. And perhaps, the most important lesson of those she has yet to learn is that she doesn’t have to be everything to everyone, all the time. She only has to be Lucia, and find the people who think that’s enough.
Things I think I think:
- The trigger warning is so important. SO big. It means so much to me that the show would risk giving away the “surprise” to make sure people can put their own mental health first.
- Does anyone else suffer from second-hand embarrassment? I do, and it makes it super hard to watch TV sometimes. Like when Emilio walked in as Valentina was dancing. Like THAT. For a second there, I thought he was gonna make a public fuss and I was already preparing, mentally, for that embarrassment.
- Also, Valentina is a child. Everyone seems to forget. A literal child, and yes, this is wrong, and yes there are so many issues behind it, but she’s a child.
- Aka you need to actually talk to her and not just nod at her sob story. She has every right to feel the way she feels, that doesn’t mean her way of dealing is constructive.
- Lucia is being too awkward. I mean, Lucia is always awkward, but this is too much even for her.
- “Ruined the first night of his new life” is a little bit of an overreaction, Ella.
- Priests are always so very good at not giving you exactly what you want and twisting that into a lesson.
- Is Lucia jealous?
- “To freedom”?
- “I don’t think I can sing songs about a life I’m not living anymore.”
- Val is being awfully hard on Emilio.
- Lucia looks THAT good hungover?
- Also, yes, we always knew Lucia.
- Natalia is my favorite. She is.
- “Aren’t my people your people”?
- I SHIP EMILIO AND NATALIA, OKAY?
- I SHIP IT.
- Honestly, I like Ella too.
- Not so much Val right now.
- Sully is on point.
- I relate to this car arguments so much.
- Sometimes it feels like Beto has enough trouble to have to deal with Ella’s, and yet – her issues are real, and she isn’t just her issues. She’s a person.
- Val is a kid. She needs her mom.
- They all do.
- I don’t think I ever related so much to the big brother on the original Party of Five. I’m not sure if it’s just me growing up, the background or Brandon, but Emilio is my favorite.
Agree? Disagree? What did you think of “Dos y Dos”? Share with us in the comments below!
Party of Five airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on Freeform.