Holes and Gaps – Starting Over, 02-01-05
By: Cori Linder
Our past often shapes our identity. However, many of us look back through rose-colored glasses, forgetting it is often the most challenging or negative experiences that can teach the best life lessons. Removing these glasses lets us truly see ourselves so that we can change our future.
Denise wakes up refreshed and deliriously happy that she no longer has to endure the pain of acting like her house nemesis, Candy. In the last few episodes it seems that Denise is especially brutal in her relations with Candy, and in today’s episode, Denise really cracks the whip.
In group, Candy acknowledges that there’s more to femininity than just the physical—there’s confidence, inner beauty and emotions that help to define it. Iyanla declares Candy has completed her first step to “Define Femininity” and now must learn to “Transcend Taboos,” one of which is that if you are assertive than you are a bitch. Don’t let the world define you, says Iylana who then produces a box labeled “tabu fabu.” Only, we must wait until later in the show to find out what it contains.
Candy is given her next assignment: For the next 5 days, she cannot clean the house, make her bed, wash dishes, cook, etc., for her roommates will be responsible for it all. Now, for many of us, this would be pure heaven, but for Candy, it’s hell. Iyanla believes that it is through dust rags, mops, and sponges that Candy acts out her anger. Well, no more, and we begin to wonder where her anger will go…onto Denise, perhaps?
Rachael meets with Iyanla who has noticed considerable gaps in Rachael’s life story due to deep emotional pain and denial. How can a girl not acknowledge her blackness in an all-white family, Iyanla wonders. She then leads Rachael step by step in remembering her childhood.
Meanwhile, Dr. Stan works with Renee. Her problem seems more multi-dimensional and that her lack of self-esteem plays a big role. Renee admits she feels unintelligent and uses her physical appearance to compensate for her mind. She claims she is stupid, but Dr. Stan tells her otherwise and puts her in contact with an education consultant to discover her learning style.
Back to Rachael…The experience of remembering the details of her past is obviously painful. She finally realizes she was homeless, abandoned, and in denial. Her story is enough to make nearly anybody cry, however, she seems more shocked than mournful.
It is always particularly amusing when Denise and Candy are confined in the same room. Denise is ecstatic at the sight of brooding Candy amidst clutter. “Welcome to my world!” notes Denise. “Let everything be a mess…and you’ll love it!” This is Denise’s mantra.
Candy meets with Iyanla and realizes she continually cleans the house to camouflage her anger. An experienced ‘Starting Over’ viewer already knows that Iyanla is silently plotting how to unleash the anger. Finally, the explosion occurs—only in a soft feminine voice. Candy is mad, mad, mad, and sick and tired of how everybody treats her. “Girls who wear makeup are whores!” she says repeatedly, recalling her father’s words. Her emotional breakthrough manifests itself on the poor pillow she’s beating.
For those of you who thought Marcus, the 24-hour physical trainer, disappeared along with Sommer, he’s back. Believing that exercise is a good stress reliever, he shows Bethany and Candy how to power-punch. “Wow, this feels good!” exclaims Candy. She is glowing.
Rachael is continuing to piece together her past. She finally realizes that even though she started to exhibit good behavior, her aunt still did not want to care for her. It was only when Rachael was successful that she was “good enough” in her aunt’s eyes. Rachael now acknowledges that she has suppressed a lot about her past.
The drama involving Denise and Candy ensues. “Armies of ants are coming,” shrieks Denise in glee. Denise delights in the fact that she gets to be the corrections officer and put Candy under arrest. It’s a wonder that Candy hasn’t hit her by now.
The “tabu fabu” box is revealed, and the games begin. The ladies of the house must argue why something (breastfeeding in public, dating your best friend’s ex, etc.) is or is not taboo.
On a positive note, Rachael talks with her long lost friend and discovers she was loved. After a day of having to face her sordid past, this revelation is most comforting.