Russian Cheese

Russian Doll S1E4: 'Alan's Routine'

Posted by  Been
Russian Doll

Kirk: So I thought one sentence near the end was a very interesting take to me. Him saying that he liked all those days repeating. In particular,the fact that he kept packing for that trip and then showing up to get dumped every day just blows my entire mind.

Been: OMG mine too. Like I admit I would probably take an approach slightly closer to Nadia's with less ketamine and homelessness because the thought of doing The Exact Same Thing every single time including GETTING DUMPED is just numbing to me.

Kirk: I mean I honestly get the doing the same thing. I would be trying to min-max those days and just varying things a little bit to try to work out my best possible case. My best possible case does not involve getting dumped every day. Like... I can't... I just... I can't! I don't get it.

Been: It's some kind of self-flagellation masochistic "i don't deserve better" thing. I have to assume it is anyway, because he must believe it's a sort of punishment? Or something?

Kirk: Yeah, I agree because I just can't think of any other reason to put yourself through those terrible things again and again.

Been: Also seeing him - I should mention for all zero of our readers that 'he' is Alan who is also Elevator Dude from the last episode - anyway, seeing him walk through the dullest worst day ever really makes you appreciate Nadia's chaotic approach a lot more.

Kirk: She definitely has a significantly chaotic approach to the way that she's going about her days and what she's trying to accomplish. I don't feel the two of them are opposites, per se, but I think that they represent two very different viewpoints.

Been: I think it's really smart to show two people embracing the impossibility of the situation in completely opposite ways while still sharing the same calm resignation.

Kirk: That's true, it's an interesting look at how two different people could react very differently to similar circumstances. I won't quite call them the same circumstances because there's a lot of context there about the days they are repeating but they are awfully similar.

Been: They both have pets. *pause* They both die. *pause* That's about where their apparent similarities end.

Kirk: Well, it's the repeating part that's the relevant similarity there.

Been: But within the day they're repeating....

Kirk: ... very different days.

Been: Do you think they'll work together to find a solution?

Kirk: I think that they will work together for a solution. I don't think that they will work WELL together for a solution. They are not exactly closely aligned personalities.

Been: They also have pets that reflect their personalities, in my opinion. Nadia has a cat that refuses to stay home and follow rules. Alan has a fish that swims in a largely empty tank and may or may not be dead.

Kirk: That might be an interesting point. The missing fish and ring show that there is some amount of change similar to Nadia's injuries and the wilted flowers. So I'm interested to see where those are actually going now.

Been: Yes! I had forgotten about the wilted flowers. Those and the ring and fish are the best clues we have that something in the timeline does continue on.

Kirk: Yeah, it's interesting because the ring is the first thing that has had some sort of continuity that wasn't alive. I was sort of vaguely conjecturing that it was going to be something related specifically to biological life but that ring definitely seems otherwise, unless it's a red herring in the whole carbon-based something.

Been: The beauty of the show is there IS a mystery to dig into and search for clues to and try to unravel but you don't need to do that at all to just become immersed in the show and enjoy the hell out of it. It exists entirely as a character show aside from the weird elements that must be solved.

Kirk: I agree with that for most people who are not me. I can't not dig into a mystery like that.

Been: Most people who are not Kirk also don't like pictures full of words, though.

Kirk: That's fair. *laughs*

Been: No, I'm teasing. But it is a show that can hold up to prying into the fabric of it or just sitting back and observing it.

Kirk: I've almost never met something that I didn't want to pry up the corner and see how it worked. Which is why all the tools were locked up when I was growing up.

Been: I just want Oatmeal to be okay.

Kirk: I agree.

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