Emotionally Invested

(Note: Please read in a somewhat sarcastic tone, as I am not being entirely serious.)

This week’s blog has nothing to do with my art or my business and everything to do with the betrayal I recently felt.

On evenings when my schedule happens to be free at the same point that my mother’s schedule is free, we often spend time rewatching a favorite show. Sometimes it is Gilmore Girls. Other times it is Blacklist. Our preference varies from romantic comedies to suspenseful dramas. Every once in a while, we’ll be adventurous and try something that neither of us has seen before. 

Most recently, our show of choice was Grimm

Now, my mother had seen Grimm in its entirety when it was on, but I had only watched random episodes here and there, as it began airing while I was in college. I wasn’t as invested in catching every episode.

First, I have to say I was extremely glad I hadn’t watched Grimm while it was on, because I don’t know how fans handled the cruel cliff hangers and taunting end screen messages each season. I lost count of the number of times we’d say, “This is the last episode for the night,” only to find ourselves repeatedly saying, “We have to at least start the next episode, so we know what happens!”

Over the course of the first five seasons, character arcs developed, plots became twisted, and drama unfolded. By the beginning of the 22nd episode of each season, we were ready for something big to happen and leave us hanging until the start of the next season. 

Which brings me to the betrayal. (I’ll try not to spoil too much, but really, if you haven’t watched Grimm by now, the statute of limitations for spoilers is long past.) We’re working our way through the sixth and final season, and things start to pick up around episode 10. I’m thinking to myself, “Ah, they’re building up to the mid-season break.” This thought is supported by the “To be continued…” that followed episode 11 or 12. 

Then, we watch episode 13, and as the story is racing along, main characters keep dying! And these are I’ll-stop-watching-the-show-if-this-person-dies characters. 

But it’s Grimm, so that can be fixed. Plus, we’re just 13 episodes in. We still have about half a season left! Or so I thought. 

About halfway through the episode, my mother remembers something: season 6 only has 13 episodes. Does she tell me this? No. Should I have deduced from the episode title “The End” that it was the final episode? Probably. But previous seasons had conditioned me to believe that each season of Grimm had 22 episodes, and I like patterns and consistency! For all I knew, “The End” simply referred to the end of the storyline from the first half of the season, not the end of the entire series!

So, when the episode started wrapping up, I was thoroughly confused by the huge jump in time to “20 years later.” Still, I wrote it off as just showing how that particular plot played out, then we’d be back to present day in the next episode. But no, the next screen that came up was a black one that read, “The End. Thank you.” Then ‘thanks’ started fading in in several languages, and the final credits rolled. 

I was stunned. I had been emotionally invested in this show, and I was not mentally prepared for it to be over. 

The art of storytelling is what I’d classify as my special interest, and, over the years, I’ve found that it’s easier for me, when something ends, if I know approximately when the end is coming. The reason I think this sudden mid-season end caught me off guard so much, is because it’s a lot like how endings come in life. Unexpectedly. 

Typically, I have a good sense of how a story is going to unfold, because I’m good at recognizing patterns and common storytelling techniques. I probably should have seen the abrupt end coming based on the fast pacing of the first 12 episodes, but I didn’t. 

In real life, it tends to be more difficult for me to see how an event is unfolding or understanding why. At the same time, I’m probably better than most at recognizing patterns and ‘predicting’ what’s going to happen in certain instances. It’s a strange dichotomy of experiences. 

When my mind is racing through possibilities, I often remind myself of Matthew 6:31-34 (NLT) - “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your Heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.” 

I also think of Romans 8:38-39 (NLT) - “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I don’t know what you believe, but these verses are hope for me when days are long and storms are raging, when I’m not sure of my next step or wonder if I’ve taken the wrong steps. As I get older, I struggle to know how to ‘adult’ (sorry to anyone cringing from my use of that as a verb), but these verses remind me that I don’t have to have everything figured out. Some would disagree, and some have figured out how to manage this thing called life pretty well, at least in the eyes of the world.

Eventually, life ends, and some lives end unexpectedly. Worrying about that just steals from the time you have left. And whether it’s the plot of a story or your real life, whether it’s expected or unexpected, when you’re emotionally invested and the credits start to roll, I think what matters most is what comes before… 


(If you like fairytales, cop dramas, and suspense, I highly recommend Grimm. Just remember that season 6 only has 13 episodes!)

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