“I don’t ever want to see you again...”
So I’m still trying to process how I feel about the pregnancy plot line they’ve handed us in Episode 1. Clearly, my initial reaction was one of massive irritation (and it still kind of is), mostly because unintended pregnancy plots are fairly cliché and I had hoped Outsiders (which generally is able to offer some pretty outside-the-box story lines) would be better than that.
I remember back during Season 1 – right after the first time Sally Ann and Hasil got together – I was worried that they were going to go this route and I was pleased that the rest of the season went by without any sort of mention of it. (The only exception to this was Haylie’s pointed question to Hasil about Sally Ann being pregnant – and his denial – and now I’m thinking, “How in the hell would he have known or not known?” because clearly – as we can see now – he didn’t know at all.)
Okay, so aside from it being a cliché, it also really bothers me because it makes it clear that the writers are allowing the needs of the plot (and their desire for heightened drama) upstage character work. Is this really the only way they can think to get Sally Ann and Hasil back together after their disastrous time on the mountain? Is there no other way for Sally Ann, on her own time, to realize the depth of her feelings for Hasil, and vice-versa? (What makes the writers’ fingerprints on this decision even more clear is that G’win, who had unprotected sex with three different men many, many more times over the same period, is not pregnant, and I doubt they’ll decide she should be, as her plot line is more centered around her new role as Bren’in and her attempts to bring her people back into harmony under her leadership.)
Here’s my final issue with this whole thing: we all know about Hasil’s background and how as an orphan he felt neglected and overlooked. We know the depths of his feelings and what he’s willing to sacrifice for those he loves. And of course, he would want to feel like part of a family, given that he’s felt slightly apart even from members of his own clan for most of his life. Given that, it’s so clear that once Sally Ann tells him about the baby, he’s going to be all in like we’ve never even seen. And, of course, he loves Sally Ann, but my fear is that his feelings for their child will essentially subsume everything, making her the vehicle for their newly-created family, without him ever really coming back to her and his feelings for her and her alone, apart from her role as mother of his child.
Also, did it strike anyone else how weird it was that Hasil just seemed to give up entirely when she told him she didn’t want to see him again? I mean, he did leave the bird on her porch, which was sweet, but coming from Mr. Leave-Me-Alone-Now-Why-Would-I-Want-to-Do-That-And-Why-Don’t-I-Talk-to-Your-Brother-Too-While-I’m-At-It, it just doesn’t seem like the relentlessly caring mountain boy we all know and love from Season 1. Again, it’s almost like the writers don’t care about writing him out-of-character as long as it fits in with the needs of the plot they’re advancing.
Anyway, I’m going to hold out hope that the writers are able to make the whole pregnancy plot work. (Although the actors really do spin so much gold out of what they’re given… honestly, everybody was so great in this episode, I was really blown away.)
So now I guess the question is how she’s going to find a way to tell him. Now that G’win’s forbidden the Farrells from leaving the mountain and he’s been rejected by his girl, it seems like Hasil’s not planning on going anywhere, so it may be up to Sally Ann to venture up the mountain on her own, which could be an interesting development. (And I guess it might explain that promo picture of Sally Ann in what appears to be Hasil’s cabin.) I guess we’ll see soon enough.
Also, please please please, Outsiders, can we finally give Sally Ann a last name? It’s getting kind of embarrassing at this point… Thanks!