I mean, has anyone thought about how what’s happening with Even looks from her perspective. He stops taking his meds (most likely), drinking and smoking more (common self-medicating practice), then tells her he’s leaving her presumably for someone he barely knows. I would be very concerned for someone’s mental health too if I saw all those signs. She has also not been a witness to the interaction that we the audience have seen, so she has no idea of the kind of emotional connection we are witnessing. Of course she thinks he is going through a manic phase and that his “love” might not be real. I’m not saying that she is correct in thinking so, but I can understand how someone would.
Regardless of all that information, she attempts to speak to Isak. She doesn’t blurt out Even’s issues in text or anything and she’s not rude on the phone to Isak, which says to me that she’s trying hard to be sensitive and help out. Has anyone asked why a 19 year old girl seems to be the only one in Even’s life (Isak excluded) who seems to care about his well-being? Where is his family? How long has she been trying desperately to keep someone that she loves safe? As someone that has spent night’s scouring the streets for a family member with bipolar before, and days in the hospital, I assure you it is a thankless task, done out of love, fear and desperation.
So we get to the night in question, where Even’s mania gets too much and Isak calls Sonia. She is already on the phone finding out Even has been picked up by the police. This is clearly not her first time with this sort of situation. Did anyone else notice how tired she looked? Bags under her eyes, frustration all through her body? I happen to think that SKAM are doing a fantastic job portraying not only the boys, but a loved one way out of their depth, similar to Isak’s father.
Sonia was cruel to Isak, I know that. I honestly think that was her frustration and anger that the incident could have been prevented, mixed with hurt that someone she loves is now in a very bad place mentally. I don’t think she is intentionally controlling at all, I think she is frustrated, out of her depth, and hurt. Yet, she’s still there trying to help him (whether the right way or not), while no one else is.
Sonia leaves a bit earlier than usual to pick up Angus from school, telling Apollo that she has some errands to run. She wants to buy some flowers or chocolate for Gen, she was too shell-shocked to think about buying anything for her yesterday. She will leave them at the nurse’s station. This morning after breakfast she rang the hospital and was told that Gen is still not able to receive visitors but she is improving slowly and is in a stable condition. She does not ring Tom, and asked Tom yesterday not to ring her. His energies must be focused on Genevieve and Lilah, and no one else!
Of course, one of the first people she sees when she arrives on Genevieve’s floor is Tom, keeping vigil on the hard plastic seats in the waiting room. It is almost as if he is waiting for her.
Tom: It was so good of you to come. Sonia smiles weakly. She and Tom are sitting at a corner table in the hospital cafeteria, sipping bitter and anaemic coffees that have an aftertaste redolent of boiled dirt. Tom asked her if she would prefer to go to his rooms to talk but they are on the other side of the hospital in another wing, so Sonia said no no no the cafeteria would be fine, and also the thought of being alone with Tom fills her with apprehension. She steals a look at him over the rim of her coffee mug. He seems older and sadder than when she last saw him, deep lines between his eyes. Sonia: Who’s looking after Lilah while you’re here? Tom: Gen’s mother. She’s staying with us until Gen gets better. Sonia: Do you get along with her? Tom: Yes. She adores me. I saved her daughter’s life, after all. Tom smiles at his coffee, his eyes still sad. Sonia is confused. Sonia: I thought you said it was a man walking his dog who pulled Gen out of the lake- Tom: That’s right. It was. But that’s not what I’m talking about. Gen never told you how we met? Sonia: No. I don’t think so. Tom: That’s not surprising. She gets embarrassed talking about it. Anyway, she came to me 5 years ago because she had a very aggressive and malignant tumour the size of a baseball in the lower left lobe of her brain. Sonia: Oh my God. You’re telling me that Gen had brain cancer? Tom: That’s right. The type of tumour she had is about the worst type you can get. She probably had two months to live, three months tops. I’d never operated on anyone with that type of tumour who’d survived. But something told me Gen was going to make it. And of course she did. I couldn’t let her get away after that. She was too rare and special. Sonia: I- I don’t know what to say. I had no idea. Oh, Tom. Tom is sitting completely still, staring at his coffee. After a few moments he takes a deep breath. Tom: I’m sorry. It’s been a very emotional couple of days. Hey, did I tell you how well you’re looking? I almost didn’t recognise you with that beautiful new haircut. It really suits you. Sonia: Thank you, Tom. How lovely of you to notice.
She slides into her usual seat at the breakfast table. Angus beams as he shovels his cereal into his face, freckles gleaming like tiny stars.
Angus: Where’s Daddy? Did he stay at the hotel? Sonia: Yes. But I had to come home because I missed you all too much!
She would love to turn around and see the looks that Apollo and Constance are giving each other right now. She can almost smell Apollo’s desperation to know why she came home without Roy. He bangs a plate of waffles down on the table and stands beside her chair, every fibre of his being bristling in an agony of unsated curiosity.
Apollo: Did you have a nice night? Did you see a show? How was dinner? Sonia: We went to see a jazz band at The Basement. It was very enjoyable. Dinner was lovely. Roy had the duck. I had the Vichyssoise.
She speaks evenly. Her hand holding her spoon barely trembles.
Apollo: Did you go anywhere else? What time did you get back to the hotel? Constance: Let Mrs Goddard have her breakfast in peace, Apollo! Apollo: I was only asking. Unwad your panties, Miss Crabby Pants. Sonia: It’s okay, I’m going to have to dash off now anyway, I have an appointment to get to and I didn’t realise how late it was… Angus: Awww. Does that mean you can’t give me a lift to school?
His shoulders slump and the light drains from his face. Sonia hesitates for a fraction of a second.
Sonia: I’m so sorry, Angus. But I’m going in the opposite direction.