Olivia

Here’s a wild notion, Bart, one that I’ll offer you for free:

DON’T HAVE AN AFFAIR THAT IS 95% TALKING ABOUT YOUR WIFE.

I mean, obviously that intel is part of what Cathy is after, but come on dude. Bart also isn’t really catching onto any of this like he could be. Let’s see, this young woman looks exactly like your wife, clearly despises your wife and makes not-so-veiled comments about your wife and children, has a paper-thin story about secret half siblings, and says things at romantic dinners like “Bart, my love, soon all mystery walls will crumble”. He also says that Cathy reminds him most of Corrine when she’s being a bitch, so let’s just say that Cathy and Bart have been having an affair and Corrine will be back in town soon and MOVE ON.

Because Bart isn’t the important part of this section, oh no. That title belongs to someone else, someone whom Cathy sneaks into Foxworth Hall one day to visit. Cathy uses the old wooden key that Chris carved for their escape years earlier, and she goes on a Thursday, the day that the servants all have the day off and go into town. Cathy takes advantage of the empty house to wander its halls and look at all of the rich furnishings and art and everything that she and her siblings weren’t allowed to see, and she finally arrives at the little room where Olivia sleeps. Olivia isn’t the giant in a gray dress that she was when Cathy was a child, she’s sick and old and nearly bald. She recognizes Cathy and is immediately openly afraid, but Cathy realizes that she can’t get the satisfaction from this that she’d hoped for–time has stolen her revenge.

She’s Cathy, though, so she pulls herself together enough to pull out a switch (like the ones Olivia used) and start her litany of Olivia’s sins. She tells her that Carrie is dead now and that it’s Olivia and Corrine’s fault and pulls out a box full of Carrie’s hair and taunts Olivia with it. She also taunts her grandmother with her ancient jealousy towards her father-in-law’s second wife Alicia, and Cathy smugly tells Olivia that Chris Sr. was NOT Malcolm’s son as Olivia had always secretly feared.

Ummmm….

Well. This is awkward.

Cathy yells some more, condemning Olivia for her abuse and her twisting of religion and can I also mention that while this is going on Cathy is doing pirouettes around the room and hitting Olivia with the braid of Carrie’s hair? Because of COURSE she is. Cathy threatens to both use the switch on Olivia and to put candle wax in what remains of her hair, and Cathy doesn’t like the person that she is as she’s making these threats. She strips Olivia and hits her once with the switch, but as soon as she’s done it she regrets it, and immediately runs to clean Olivia up and put salve on the wound. Naturally, since Olivia is old but still a monster, she gives the weeping Cathy a good old “knew you didn’t have it in you” look (she isn’t able to speak) and Cathy dribbles some hot candle wax into Olivia’s hair before she can’t stand it and leaves. But! Cathy realizes she left Carrie’s hair behind and when she goes back to get it, she catches Olivia looking at it and crying. That, Cathy thinks, is her pound of flesh.

Ugh, Bart. He comes by with lots of presents and tells Cathy about what someone (he suspects a servant) did to Olivia. Later, he asks why Cathy has never said that she loves him and she points out that while he tells her that he loves her, he makes no move to get a divorce and actually be with her. Oh but when Corrine comes back after losing 20 pounds and getting a facelift, he’s suddenly all for his wife once again. What a piece of trash.

Cathy and Jory run into Corrine one day in the post office and it’s as awkward as you’d think, though sadly short. That evening Cathy sits and looks towards Foxworth Hall, thinking about how she might be pregnant, and is feeling pretty triumphant when she sees Bart coming through the woods to her house–and then the wind knocks over a vase of roses and Cathy wonders why the wind is always trying to tell her things.

Yeah, it’s saying “THIS IS A BAD IDEAAAAAAAAAA”

So turns out she is pregnant, and when she tells Bart he’s predictably less than thrilled. Blah blah he loves her but also Corrine and why does anything have to change and then he realizes that Cathy planned this whole thing, like, welcome to the plot, Bart. They don’t reach an accord and Bart storms out. Cathy, Jory, and Emma (her housekeeper) go to Richmond, where Cathy has a dressmaker make her a custom gown, one that Cathy provided the sketches for. A dark green velvet dress. She also gets her hair cut the way Corrine had worn her own fifteen years before. Cathy tries to invite Chris to go into Richmond with her on another trip, but he refuses until she gives Bart up.

It’s the night of the big Christmas party at Foxworth Hall, and Cathy dresses exactly like Corrine did all those years ago and kisses Jory goodbye. There’s a letter from Paul on her table, asking her to give up her plans and come home to see Henny before she dies (and a letter from Henny telling Cathy to give up the past and forgive and forget) but though Cathy is deeply sad, she can’t stop now. She drives to Foxworth Hall, remembering a Christmas long ago in the attic, when she’d dreamed and wished of someday looking just like her mother and of controlling her own life. Just like tonight.

 

Coming up: THE END OF PETALS ON THE WIND!!!!!

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