I saw my scene Tuesday and wrote about it. Friday put my impressions in a different perspective. So here’s both, about Carla, with observations on Friday first.
Playing with Fire
When Carla realizes she can’t go through with marrying Frank, she tries to tell him “gently”. She wishes to spare his feelings and protect her business. It doesn’t go well. She must tell him she loves Peter in order to convince him. Frank then rapes her.
Mercifully for us, they only show before and after. But it’s enough to see it was done in cold fury, not passionate anger: to debase and dominate her. Don’t mess with me, lady, he’s saying in the cruelest way there is.
“I’ll do anything for you”
He leaves her on the floor, and goes to his car where he prepares to run down Peter. It’s the same spot where he “protected” Carla by saying he’d been driving when Carla, in the same car, struck Stella. “I’ll do anything for you,” he told her at the time. She didn’t think about the flip side of such ‘devotion’.
Carla plays on the knife’s edge of attraction to “the bad boy”, wanting to exert control yet have a strong man at the same time. With Frank, it backfired in the most horrible violation of her person. No one deserves that. I hope he is caught and stopped.
Tuesday (before Frank rapes Carla)
Frank has everything a woman could want: he’s handsome, suave, has money and good taste. And, meeting Carla’s apparent tastes, he also has a strong streak of control freak and possible psychopathic tendencies. However, he is missing the one thing that is the deal breaker for her: a wife. I have wanted to write about Carla and her obsession with other women’s men for a while. She gave it to me on a silver platter Tuesday.
I like Carla. She would scare me in real life. At the safe distance of a tv screen, though, I find her complex, strong and interesting. But the little speech she gave Peter Tuesday, about how she knew he really loved her, not Leanne, because of The Kiss! Get real, lady, I said to the tv, he’s a man and he’s got a pulse. Of course he returned your kiss. He’d probably do more than that if you pull a stunt like that again. It does not mean he “loves” you or that you “love” him or that the two of you would last more than five minutes together. It means he’s a man and he’s not dead yet – that’s all!
Her unattached lovers and husbands have all been murdering lunatics with control issues, starting with Paul Connor. Her “undying love” for Paul’s brother Liam only was revealed when Liam had impregnated Maria and was marrying her. She rebounded to an unmarried man, Tony, another murdering lunatic with control issues. A quick interlude trying to mould Trevor into suave, wealthy businessman. Then bouncy bouncy to Peter who has problems saying no to pretty women. That’s how he ended up married to two of them at once.
He’s now trying to be a responsible husband and father. Just let him be. But no, she won’t until she’s managed to split him and Leanne up and cause Simon to lose another mother. Then there will be five minutes of let’s play house. If Peter continues to be “good Peter” she’ll quickly tire of him and enforced motherhood. If he goes back to “bad Peter”, she will not tolerate playing second fiddle to alcohol or other women. I actually can’t see her playing second fiddle to anything, including his son or his business. She’d have Simon packed off to boarding school and Peter as yet another “partner” in the factory. That way, she’d be in control. Until another married man crossed her path…
Back to Friday (after the rape)
I hope Maria can help Carla heal, and that they can help each other. They’ve got a lot of history for women who aren’t friends. Their recent lives are entwined through the same men. Carla should have called the police, but it’s karmically good that she called Maria.