In a fascinating turn of events Chance Season 2 Episode 4, "The Coping Mechanism," became a kaleidoscope image of how parents influence, defend, or protect their children's psychoses.
When Christina and Chance discuss their daughter's potential expulsion and assault charges, Nicole's mother worries that it's their fault that their child has turned out this way.
It's probably just a mother's guilt, but this thought is ironic as we find out later she doesn't even know just how much Chance's past might have influenced Nicole.
Even Pepper's mother, the girl whose nose Nicole broke, suggests that maybe her daughter's faults are a result of her own issues -- and yet, she promises to defend her to the end.
The parallels between these families are stark. Though I doubt the Atkinsons have a history of stalking, it seems that both sets of parents are going to have their daughters' backs despite what the girls might have done to each other.
Nicole seems pleased to have a catalyst to point to when Chance reveals his past to her, but she's furious that he's lied to her for so long and let her think that she's was alone in her compulsions. Their commonality and Chance's promise to work together through their issues doesn't seem to be enough to relieve her anger.
Nicole: So what are we? I mean, is it some kind of brain disease?
Chance: No, it's, uh... It's a propensity to compulsion. Think of it as a genetic predisposition.
Nicole: To being fucked up?
Understandably, Chance is furious with D after finding out that he had suggested violence to Nicole as a solution to her problems. I think it can be agreed upon that D has good intentions for the most part, but this may have crossed a line.
Chance makes it clear that D is never to give advice to Nicole again, and should probably stick to lessons on knife-throwing over parenting. It's difficult to reconcile the sensitive and kind version of D that we get with the man who also breaks necks in the blink of an eye, but that's part of his appeal.
Lorena: You ever kill anybody?
D: Nobody anyone would miss.
D's current storyline with Lorena sets my heart aflutter. He offers her prenatal vitamins in the grocery store and she finagles a date out of him, giving us a glimpse at his adorable nervous side.
Something tells me Lorena is the only one that could bring out these qualities in D. Even after she finds out that he's killed people, she initiates a date with him. She's been nothing but nonchalant throughout every interaction the two have had.
Lorena is badass and she has quickly become one of my favorite characters. Her lack of fear is new and enticing as a viewer.
D: Barrio Cazadores. Your tattoo, the hunters, Tijuana gang. You affiliated?
Lorena: It was another life.
D: Is that where your baby's daddy is?
Lorena: You don't take girl's out a whole lot, do you?
D: No. How'd you become a murderer's maid?
With Lorena being pregnant and all of D's sudden parental advice, something tells me this may be the show's way of prepping D for the role of father-figure to this baby.
Speaking of putting kids in danger: Lucy what are you doing?! In this episode, we discover that our sassy little friend has a bit of a crush on Winter. After a little chit chat at a coffee shop, Winter learns that Lucy is a mom and his eyes light up in the most sinister way.
Winter: You know, I'm actually speaking at a thing... that you might like. It's a conference on mixed reality.
Lucy: Oh! Um, yeah. Uh... It's just with work and my kid, it's a little hard to get away for last-minute stuff.
Winter: You're a mom.
Lucy: Yeah, the single kind.
Later, when Winter takes Lucy out she tells him they have to keep it on the down low because it's against office policy. Lucy's naivety in this situation is frustrating; from her characterization thus far in the show, I would have thought she'd know better -- even if she doesn't know that he's a serial killer.
Winter: I feel like we're getting away with something. I mean, you're sure this is okay? Us going out like this?
Lucy: I'm actually not sure because it isn't. But if we just keep this on the DL, we should be fine. I mean, it's not like we're hurting anyone, right?
Winter himself has an interesting story arc this episode regarding his own mother. Chance & Hynes deduce that Winter's description of the boy pushed in front of the train from his childhood was actually a retelling of what his mother had done to him.
Chance goes to meet with this woman, Amy Debbs, whose address is 123 Crazy Town, and she explains that the Lord told her to kill her son. This lady obviously has some serious psychiatric issues, but it does explain where Winter might have gotten his violent tendencies.
Chance decides to test Winter by forcing him into a near-death experience in the ocean, or "a limit experience, as swim philosophers call it."
After Chance saves Winter from drowning, he believes he's forged some trust between the two, but Winter quickly lets him know he wouldn't have done the same if the roles were reversed.
Winter: You saved me.
Chance: You'd have done the same.
Winter: I would like to think so. But I don't think so. I've done some things I know are bad and, and I don't think I would take them back, even if I could. How do you feel about saving my life now?
Throughout the episode, Chance drew many parallels between himself and Winter, a clear strategy to create a bond between them. However, his points are so believable that it's not out of the question for Chance to actually feel a bit of a kinship with this man.
Hynes later scolds Chance for this brazen plan and how large of a risk he took.
The two turn on the news to discover that more bodies have been dug up by authorities -- presumably victims of Winter. Chance may have gotten Winter to talk, but did he also get him to kill?
You forced this guy to a breaking point, Doc. Pushing him to an extremity, like you said, and he may tell you secrets because of it, but -- but what else? What else might you have pushed him to do? Do you even know?Hynes
This episode we were introduced to Winter's assistant, Lyndsay. An older woman with an extremely soft spot for the guy. She is hellbent on pinning the break-in on Hynes and getting justice for Winter.
Lyndsay either has a creepy obsession with being a maternal figure to Winter, or she has some seriously heinous ulterior motives. Winter knocks her down, literally and figuratively, and reminds her she is not his mother.
Lyndsay: You know, trespassing is a crime.
Winter: Yeah, I know that. What am I gonna tell 'em? That Detective Hynes broke into my house and rearranged my shirts? I wouldn't even have known he was here except he stole my rock. I would tell me to fuck off.
Personally, I had little need for these scenes and I'm at a loss for why writers found this character necessary. She seemed to appear out of nowhere in the show and contribute very little to the plot or Winter's characterization. If she is not a significant piece of the puzzle down the road, I'll be pretty disappointed.
Episode 4 tied up another loose end regarding a parent/child relationship -- Carl's recent need for cash. Carl's story develops further as we find out he was ostracized by his family after coming out, and now his son has returned years later in need of money to help his dying mother.
The commentary on this specific father-son relationship is unclear, but the loss of a family unit sheds some light on Carl's path and why he might have become so attached to D as a surrogate son.
It's obvious that these parental roles have come to the forefront of the story on Chance Season 2, a far cry from the more seductive darkness of the first season. I'll be interested to see how these relationships play out and if the show highlights the genetic component of psychological illnesses.
Chance: She broke a girl's nose.
D: I didn't tell her to do that. Just showed her how.
Chance: Yeah, you showed her how, all right. How to get fucking suspended and probably expelled from a public school. How to go to prison for assault. She's 16, D. She's a child.
D: A confident member of the tribe who isn't afraid to stand up for themselves. Who's ready to deal on her own with the reality of the world.
Chance: What are you, a life coach? Listen to yourself.
D: This isn't a half-empty glass. This fucking glass is full. If she was my kid, I'd take her out for fucking ice cream and nunchucks.
Which relationship is your favorite? How are you feeling about these new characters? What's Chance's next move? Comment your thoughts below!
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Kassie King was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in December 2017. Follow her on Twitter.