‘Station Eleven’ miniseries episode three recap


Eleven station


Season 1

Episode 3

Editor’s Note

4 stars

Photo: Warrick Page / HBO

“I don’t want to live the bad life and then die,” Arthur yells at Miranda. As a feeling, it is so harmless that it is universal. Who doesn’t want to spend their years on this planet living the good life, whatever that means? Shouting during a fight, however, words sting. You are the wrong life. You give me the wrong life. When I die, you will have wasted my life.

The third episode of Eleven station is called “hurricane”, which is a different natural disaster from the pandemic that ends civilization. When Arthur dies, he will be mostly separated from Miranda. If he had to comment on his own death, he might even say he lived the wrong life. “Hurricane” is the story of how the couple went from strangers through a season of love to cold resentment and ultimately the tender moment of reconciliation when Miranda hands Arthur a copy of her book. Oddly enough, the episode doesn’t challenge Arthur’s premise that a life can be good or bad. Miranda and Arthur found each other and parted ways when they shouldn’t have.

Now we know that we should not expect time to advance chronologically over Eleven station. In the past, jumps and knockdowns have given the previous scene some context, like seeing Kirsten locked out of her house and then seeing the same house overgrown with tall grass. That’s not really what’s going on here. The falls and the scales of chronology confuse more than they illuminate; they make it harder to understand why these characters who loved each other couldn’t help but question that love. Time goes by as if we’re looking at a memory, sifting through the shards, but in the end, I still didn’t understand why they weren’t together. So instead of faithfully following the episode, I rearrange the events in their true order.

In 2005, Miranda took a job in a logistics company. “I remember everything,” she says in the interview – that’s one of her strongest qualities. In 2020, she still has that job, and she’s good at it. She is intelligent, capable and assertive. It takes things from their point of origin to their end point along the path they must take. When her boss, Leon, asks her where she sees herself in 20 years, she replies that she will work for Leon or die. He thinks she’s funny. It turns out to be true.

It turns out she’s been drawing Dr. Eleven since before she met Arthur, which happens shortly after. “You’ll know your end point when you reach it,” she recounts from her detached perspective, occasionally delving into the astronaut’s voice throughout the episode. But Miranda doesn’t recognize Arthur as her end point. When he approaches, she blows him. He’s late to a birthday party for Clark – the man who will call Miranda to tell her Arthur is dead – and he would like to buy the astronaut she drew as a gift. He’s already a famous actor, but Miranda doesn’t like movies. He offers her $ 1,000.

Their chemistry is easy and Arthur convinces her to join in the fun. Along the way, he interprets his work to gain her confidence. It’s cheesy, but falling in love too. “He’s alone, not unhappy. Adrift, a little exhausted, but his heart is warmer and lighter than they think because he is wearing the suit for protection. Maybe he describes himself, but Arthur seems open, so maybe he’s guessing the depths behind Miranda’s elusive conversational style. She is friendly without making any effort. Always just below the surface of her charm, the doubt is palpable. As the party draws to a close, Miranda tells Clark that the symbol she scribbled on a cocktail napkin – the same symbol tattooed on Kirsten’s hand, the shape of the dried reed she finds in the forest – is drawing a sentiment: “Cut and Run.” Her father was a sailor and she grew up avoiding gusts in the Caribbean. She wakes up on Arthur’s sofa bed the next morning and says she has to go, but she can’t force herself to cut the anchor.

Instead, Arthur and Miranda get to know each other in the warm embrace of a cozy home in the winter. They trade stories in the ordinary way, poking fun at Arthur’s work – he makes a stupid movie about the Pentagon flight – and talk about their childhoods, which overlapped on the Mexican island of Holbox, where the Gulf meets the Wed She still says she has to go but doesn’t. Miranda has a fierce desire not to be known and a contradictory urge to remove the costume she is wearing to protect herself, at least for Arthur. She still spends the night; she threatens to leave. She agrees to stay ten more minutes and probably ten more until 2007 and they are together at a glitzy Hollywood premiere. The actress Arthur would marry next, Elizabeth (Caitlin FitzGerald), approaches Miranda to assure her that nothing is happening between them, but Miranda does not read the tabloids.

Later, in the seaside house they share, Arthur tells someone on the phone that their marriage is simply a legal bulwark against the paparazzi, but then makes sure Miranda hasn’t heard. She spends her time in the pool house, working on Eleven station, which she does not allow Arthur to see. He feels abandoned when he’s home, but he abandons her for months to make shitty movies. She’s not sleeping, so they’re not even together at rest. Miranda is a loner, but Arthur is alone. They fight to hide in their work. She’s still at Leon’s disposal, rushing to Perth with a few hours’ notice. This is when Arthur expresses his deepest fear: “I don’t want to live the bad life and then die.”

It goes from bad to too fast. During an unbearable dinner, Elizabeth calls him Art (the fucking nerve of this woman) and reveals (Innocently? Slyly?) that Art Took her on a tour of the pool house, including Miranda’s unfinished business. The guy either wants the marriage to end or he considers it to be already over. Miranda leaves the table with a fanfare, performing an insane monologue from one of Arthur’s films and spilling a glass of wine. In a kind but pitiful attempt at consolation, Clark tells Miranda that’s what Arthur does when he’s afraid of love, but Miranda blames the astronaut. “I think this book ruined my life.” She packs her backpack and lights the pool house on fire – another flourish.

But between this past and the plague, she begins the book again. As she promised Leon, she remembers everything. Arthur’s words become Dr. Eleven’s. I don’t want to live the bad life and then die. She brings Arthur her copy just after Leon signals her to come to Malaysia. She even leaves a copy for the son he shares with Elizabeth, now another ex-wife. She and Arthur are making dinner plans for her return – “I’ll be back” – but he’ll be dead later that night and she’ll never come back.

In Malaysia, the flu is growing rapidly. His pitch meeting is canceled and people are wearing masks. Leon, who will soon be coughing, arranges for Miranda to escape on an oil tanker, the only way out. On her way to the docks, she is lucid and methodical in the manner of Jason Bourne. She calls Arthur to tell him that she was wrong and that she is coming to find him. On his side of the world, there is still time to live the good life. But as she is about to board the shuttle, Clark calls her to tell her that Arthur is gone. She falls and loses the key to the boat, but even if she hadn’t, would she really have used it? Sail aimlessly on the seas for a year to return to a coast that no longer holds the promise of a righteous life? Its survival efforts are half in vain from this point on. She searches for Arthur’s name on Instagram and watches a post made by Kirsten.

No one knows how to behave, so they try to feign normalcy. Miranda’s pitch meeting is rescheduled, I guess because even in the end people will feel pressured to get things done. She tells a painting of people whose loved ones are about to die that the man she loved has already done so. “And I went to work instead.” Now she is going to die in the midst of a bad life, the words from her book, some of which once belonged to Arthur, ringing in her ear. “I’ve already found you nine times, maybe ten, and I’ll find you.” There is a knock on his door. When she opens it to Dr. Eleven, it’s not surprising. Time loops in Miranda’s work as in the show. She left Arthur and brought him her book years later. She said she would come back, and maybe somehow she will. And I will find you. “There is no rescue mission. We are safe. But of what ? Not the pandemic, but what about the hurricane?

Arthur is in the eye of our storm. He’s framed Kirsten and her heart attack connects her to Jeevan. The book he gives Kirsten links her to Miranda and the vagabond. We hear snippets of the book’s dialogues and see quick flashes of its pages, but we don’t know its history. Dr. Eleven floats through space during the series premiere, but here he is on Earth, offering Miranda a bitter end to solace. We are safe. Maybe that’s what he gave Kirsten when she was alone on the road with him. I found it, my house. Perhaps Arthur, whose whole body smiled when Miranda promised to return, leafed through the book before taking the stage that night. Maybe he was carrying Miranda’s words with him, and they gave him peace. You will know your end point when you reach it.


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