Carole & Tuesday Episode 7: Show Me the Way

I wonder how you’re feeling
There’s ringing in my ears
And no one to relate to except the sea

With Cydonia now over, Carole and Tuesday are once again scrounging, looking for an opportunity that will launch them into the spotlight. The next idea, approved by both Gus and Roddy, is to enter Mars’ American Idol knock-off, Mars Brightest (1). But as they prepare to enter (the episode’s conclusion, in which the girls find out they’ve made it from the local round to the final eight, is a foregone conclusion), so, too, does Angela, who did not have to compete initially—she receives a special invite into the competition. But as distant as she seems from the duo, they each share a commonality that is on display in episode seven: past hurt propelling them into the present, with a bright future they each want to grasp.

Preparing for the important parts of being on TV (with Laundry Guy!)

Who can I believe in?
I’m kneeling on the floor
There has to be a force
Who do I phone?

The series has walked a line with Angela. She is initially portrayed as arrogant and bratty. Those characteristics remain, but she’s always brought in from the edge, never quite allowed to become a character the audience hates. She’s not talentless, for instance; the girl can sing (2). She may be prideful and arrogant, but she’s also treated at times less than human. She’s not particularly nice to those around her, but has respect for and some love towards her mom. That last relationship is emphasized in this episode, especially when Mama asks Angela to return home. She refuses, later reminiscing about what led her away: “Mama’s angry voice…and hand.” An apologetic mother is not quite enough to bring Angela home, and there’s a sense, too, that the abuse may have been particularly rough—Mama is a transgender woman, much larger than Angela, a difference is size seen in a picture of her when she was younger and Mama was pre-transition, a strong man that could have hurt her terribly.

We already know of Carole’s past pain, but her story is filled in better in this episode. During the talent competition, she tells the judges about her time as a refugee on earth, and the abandonment by her parents at the door of a church. The reveal is a story which Tuesday knew nothing of, and that shakes her mightily. Already anxious about performing, Tuesday hides her face behind sunglasses so that she won’t be noticed as Ms. Simmons’ daughter; Carole’s story makes her realize that she’s plunged into this life without thinking. She’s partnered with someone who trusts her, though she knows little about her, and they’re going toward a goal that will change their lives in ways she know not.

For Tuesday, that’s absolutely frightening.

Oh won’t you show me the way
I want you show me the way

Thankfully, Tuesday is not on her own. She has Carole to help guide her, to “show her the way.” And that way is to learn to be self-confident, to trust in who she is (3). Tuesday takes a step forward in that by becoming vulnerable with Carole and deepening their relationship. And the more she learns to be herself, the more Tuesday will be able to grow—perhaps even into one-half of a singing contest winning duo.

Tuesday channels Spike—also a Martian, let it be known. (4)

I wonder if the same will happen for Angela, too, because she’s also one of an invisible duo—not with Tao, but with Mama. Maybe this is her story, too, not as an antagonist or symbol of the heart being taken out of music, as one also seeking to find her way.

Oh won’t you show me the way
I want you show me the way

(1) It feels like the name came directly from America’s (Mars) Got Talent (Brightest).

(2) More Christina Aguilera from Mickey Mouse Club than Britney Spears

(3) Carole notes that Tuesday smiles when she performs—on stage is where she’s meant to be.

(4) Martians Spike Spiegel and Carole Simmons both say the phrase, “Whatever happens, happens.” Perhaps that’s a beloved saying on Mars.


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