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Surprise. Alaska isn’t the perfect dysfunctional queen that the men in her life made her out to be.
To say that everyone around Alaska was imposing their own views of who she was, or who they wanted her to be, on her would be an understatement. That is why her being revealed as the rat was such a slap in the face to them.
In the Colonel’s eyes, as Sara so bluntly pointed out, Alaska could do no wrong. Even with the facts staring him in the face, he wasn’t willing to accept that Alaska went against the code.
It isn’t until Takumi spells it out for him, that the truth of the matter is it all makes sense, and she is the most logical explanation, that the Colonel finally is willing to see it.
The Colonel’s reaction to Alaska being the rat behind Marya and Paul’s expulsion is extreme, to say the least.
Alaska didn't do anything to him. In fact, both Mayra and Paul are Weekday Warriors so technically speaking, her actions actually took out some of his enemies.
If the Colonel is honest with himself, his anger has nothing to do with the fact that she ratted on Marya and Paul. It is because she shattered the image he had of her. He can’t cope with that.
In my review of Season 1 Episode 1 and 2, I posed the question, is the Colonel is in love with Alaska, and his extreme reaction to her being the rat just helps to prove my case further that he is.
The Colonel held Alaska up on a pedestal. She was held to a higher standard than anyone else in his life, and when she couldn’t meet those standards, it disrupted the very fabric of his existence.
Pudge’s reaction is much more in line with a normal, healthy, reaction.
He understood that Alaska made a mistake, but at the end of the day, she is still Alaska. One mistake doesn’t negate all the good qualities she has.
Alaska was left with very little choice after she got caught by the Eagle. She could either go home or help bring down someone else breaking the rules.
The Colonel should know better than anyone else how important it is for Alaska to be at Culver Creek.
Culver Creek is her chance to get out of the small hole in the wall town she has grown up in and make something out of her life. Without Culver Creek, she will be stuck.
He isn’t willing to see that though. In his eyes, he wouldn’t have made the same decision. The Colonel has Dolores to come home to, though. What does Alaska have?
Have the Colonel or Takumi even taken the time to find out from Alaska the real reason she doesn’t want to go home?
For her to be willing to spend her Thanksgiving alone on campus and eating a Thanksgiving dinner from the diner, rather than be at home with family, there has to be something.
Just because she doesn’t live in a trailer, doesn’t mean her life is somehow better than the Colonel’s.
Dolores was able to see that after knowing her for 24 hours. Unfortunately for Alaska, everyone else around her only sees what she wants them to see.
I know you care about people in need. That girl right there, she needs you right now. She’s lonelier than you think.Dolores
Sometimes it almost feels like Alaska has bipolar disorder.
We watch her go through these manic highs where she is giddy and impulsive.
Breaking into Pudge and the Colonel’s room, taking a canoe down the river in only hopes that it will go where she thinks it will and drinking out in the open in broad daylight.
All her highs are followed by turbulent lows, though.
We saw this when she slammed the door in Pudge’s face. We see it again when she leaves Jake, convinced she is no good for him. And again when she pushes Pudge onto the floor.
It’s easy to write her off as just eccentric but it just feels like there is more to it than that.
Pudge being so willing to give up on her after she turns him down is frustrating.
I’m all in. No matter what you tell me, I would never walk away from you.Pudge
Yes, Alaska has played him feverishly hot and icy cold, but Pudge has followed his instincts up until this point.
For Alaska to come into the room with such an extreme shift in her personality after talking to the Colonel, he should’ve seen that something was up.
It is hard not to think that some of his willingness to accept her rejection at face value comes from the conversation that Takumi and the Colonel had with him.
Pudge was being told over and over again that Alaska was using him because she didn’t want to be alone and that he was stupid if he thought there was more it than that.
At some point, it is hard not to just let yourself believe the worst.
If Pudge wanted uncomplicated though, he should have stuck with Lara.
Lara made it simple and easy for him. She liked him; she wouldn’t hurt him, and she would take care of him. She is solid ground while Alaska is a raging river with violent rapids.
Pudge willingly hopped into that river without a life vest though, and with that choice, comes all the unpredictability that is Alaska.
Wishing you had stayed on dry land while the current sucks you in is all in vain. The only thing you can do is relax, stop fighting the current, and let it take you where it may.
Maybe you’ll end up with a broken heart, but at least you felt something real along the way.
Dr. Hyde may have been broken when the love of his life Diego died, but he wouldn’t go back in time and pick someone else because of that. The time he had with Diego was enough for him.
Maybe that’s what it is, the labyrinth. What if it’s suffering?Alaska
Love is love, no matter how long or how short it lasts.
Through the first four episodes, Looking for Alaska has done a great job of creating perfectly flawed characters. There is not one character that is all good or all bad. Just like life.
We are all the sum of our parts, not defined by one single thing.
Even with the supporting characters, they have built layers.
We are set up to hate the Eagle as the stern authority figure charged with punishing the students of Culver Creek.
Watching him awkwardly flirt with Madam O’Malley, the French teacher, or reminding Alaska that she has to take responsibility for her own actions, it is impossible to see him as the villain.
Even Jake, who you want not to like because he is the adversary in Pudge’s quest for Alaska’s love, you are left rooting for to get a happy ending because he is just a stand-up guy.
Being able to build these characters in such a dynamic way over only four hours is the sign of a hugely talented writing team.
-Stand out music moments: Young Summer’s cover of “Take Me Out” and “To Be Alone With You” by Fleurie did a great job at taking us into the despair and loneliness that Alaska was feeling.
-Favorite throwback: Mortal Kombat for the win. Alaska was right about not being able to play with it muted. It isn’t Mortal Kombat without the soundtrack of grunts, kicks and punches.
Also watching the students at the basketball game was a great throwback to high school in general.
Attending sports events in high school is almost like a rite of passage. Even if you are like Pudge and hate sports, it brings out your inner school spirit and helps connect you with your classmates.
-Watching Dr. Hyde’s fantasy of Diego being in the room dancing with him, intercut with the happy moment at the Martin house, was devastating. Dr. Hyde is such an incredible character.
Over to you, Fanatics. What was your favorite moment from these two episodes?
Would you have forgiven Alaska for being the rat if you were the Colonel?
Comment your thoughts below and don’t miss my review of Episode 5 and 6 coming soon.
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Meaghan Frey was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in September 2020.