Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Almost Nothing is Absolutely Marvelous

Galpão, a huge delicious looking chocolate cake is being cut. A set of hands scoop it up and put it on a plate where another piece is already waiting. I have just started seconds ago and I already feel like taking a break and going to my fridge to see what’s in there. Good start. Luckily, the camera zooms out and we see Clara, which is enough to keep me in my seat. Clara starts babbling to Verônica about that musician guy that was hitting on her, how she thought they would get involved. Verônica is all ‘Yeah, no.’ Clara replies that he was so gentle, so into her, what more do you want and more of that. But Verônica was in that place where we have all found ourselves in at times, which is that they seem like the perfect partner, but you’re just not feeling it. By the way, I find that frustrating as hell when that happens, because if they seem like the perfect partner, wouldn't it be so much easier if you were feeling it? Anyway. So, Verônica says she wants to be excited, she wants butterflies, but since she had none of those, she totally friend zoned him.

Clara brings up Marina without bringing up Marina and asks her ‘What about the opposite? When the least expected person shows up like a hurricane, turns everything upside down and puts everything on the line?’ Verônica knows she’s talking about Marina because Verônica has eyes and asks if that’s what happened to Clara. First Clara is all ‘Who, me?’ and sort of surprised that she’s is totally aware of this, but when Verônica excuses herself and claims it’s none of her business, Clara decides that confirming it to one more person isn’t going to matter anyway because so many know already and that it makes sense she knows since lately the Galpão has been their location of choice to engage in their hand holding, hand kissing and eye-sexing activities. She answers that it’s alright and that since they both work there all day, it’s logical she noticed their totally couply behavior.

Verônica replies that since Cadu and Clara have been married for so long, it’s normal for things to be shaken up and relates to her own divorce. Clara affirms that marriage is very difficult, how she has a family, a wonderful history, but that she still thinks every day about what things might have been like if she wasn’t married. Well, Marina would have gotten laid a lot sooner, that's for sure. Clara might have jumped right into that bathtub instead of driving Ivan to judo class. Also, can you even imagine what Angra would have been like? That episode would have certainly been hit by the censor hammer, let’s put it that way. Someone should write an alternate universe fanfic about that. In English. And then write in the comments where I can find it. Or if someone already did, write that in the comments too. No, I’m not kidding, please do that.

Moving on to the actual scene instead of interesting alternate timeline scenarios, Verônica asks Clara if she thinks she wouldn’t have wondered the same thing if she had been single. In other words, you'll always wonder what life would be like if this or if that. Every choice you make could set you on a completely different path and you’ll never know what your reality would have been like if you had taken the other option. You’ll always end up wondering what if, no matter what you do, even if you think you made all the right choices. Clara ponders this for a moment when suddenly her phone rings and shakes her out of her thoughts. It’s Marina, sitting in a chair like a total boss. She has a proposal and she won’t take no for an answer. That makes it more like an order, doesn’t it? Clara agrees and says that when Marina orders her something, she can’t say no and that she can’t imagine anyone could. Marina admits that her skills of persuasion are indeed very well evolved due to years of experience, but that ironically they haven’t been able to get her the one thing she most wants in life yet. Clara says she doesn’t even have to ask, because she thinks she knows what she means and of course she’s talking about Clara herself.

Marina then invites her over for dinner which she will cook herself, which is I guess why she said she won’t take no for an answer since apparently her cooking skills have been neglected because of all that persuasion practice. Even though just seeing Marina is reason enough for Clara, Marina in the kitchen is something Clara has to see this with her own eyes, so she happily accepts. Throughout this whole conversation we see Verônica in the background and the focus shifts to her every time she knowingly eyes Clara who’s acting like every teenager in love, complete with ‘head in the clouds’-sigh after she hangs up. Clara should be surprised that someone doesn’t know, instead of the other way around.

So, dinner, Marina walks in with a huge pot of something heavy looking, sets it on the table and they make some more light hearted jokes about the whole ‘Marina in the kitchen’-thing while giving each other loving smiles. When Marina is about to reveal her creation, she does that thing where you wave air to yourself with your own hands, because Marina is a tiny bit nervous and it’s totally cute. She then does the vocal equivalent of a drum roll and lifts the lid, causing Clara’s mouth to drop open in mock surprise because how on earth did Marina know that spaghetti was her favorite dish? It’s a joke, of course, since spaghetti is one of those dishes considered ‘easy to make’ and ‘quickly done’ although I freely admit I find it very tasty and I’m sure the favorite dish of many. Clara’s reaction however makes it clear she’s joking and Marina embarrassedly admits she was cooking lobster and totally following all the instructions to the letter but it turned into indigestible rubber anyway. This forced her to go to plan B, spaghetti and tomato sauce, the only thing she actually knows how to make. During Marina’s rant about how she came to this, Clara is staring at Marina like a love sick puppy. Not only does she find embarrassed Marina totally adorable, she finds it just as adorable that Marina entered an actual kitchen to cook her dinner and she recognizes the importance of the gesture.

What she also recognizes, is how awful the spaghetti is that Marina just made. While she’s chewing through the first bite, she tries to come up with a way to say that it’s not that bad, but is having considerable trouble. Luckily Marina finds it just as awful, doesn’t need a little white lie to praise a skill she knows she doesn’t possess anyway and basically leads the charge when they say in unison that the spaghetti tastes like crap. They laugh, it’s a nice story to tell the grandchildren, after all. Marina apologizes for her double culinary failure, but Clara can’t be bothered much. Just the fact that Marina tried and made the effort matters way more to her. They have a toast to health and find that at least they have good wine. They also have some more eye-sexing.

The scene was very cute, they are both totally smitten. The mood was good and relaxed, happy to make self-mocking jokes, comfortable enough to be honest about how terrible the food was, which is not something to be underestimated. It takes quite a bit to be able to skip a polite ‘it’s nice’ because you don’t want to offend the host but instead it was comfortable enough to make silly mocking jokes about each other and that requires an almost full dose of ‘being totally at ease with yourself and each other'. So, a happy, loving atmosphere, all is good in Clarina-land. Except not really, because before we know it, both the scenery and the mood change radically.

They are sitting on cushions on the floor, Clara is staring at Marina, waiting for her to say something while she takes a sip of her wine. Both their faces are serious, no smiles anywhere in sight. The blissful vibe at dinner is totally gone. ‘When?’ she asks finally, ‘I just want to know when.’ Since Clara doesn’t seem to find this question coming out of absolute nowhere after all the fun they had at dinner, they have been on this subject for a bit and this is not the beginning of the conversation. I can’t help but wonder what we missed and how they got to this point, if Marina planned to bring this up or some comment triggered it and changed the mood. How did she bring it up? What was the comment that might have triggered it? I feel deprived of very important information and I’m not amused.

The girls are not amused either, Marina demands to know when she’s finally going to have some sex. Ok, not really. More accurately, she asks when they can finally live all that they are feeling, which sounds way less superficial but this is my recap and I can be superficial too, so deal with it. Clara has been waiting quietly for Marina to speak. She knows a hard question is coming, she probably already has an idea of what the question might be, she knows the conversation is a tough one. Clara is looking right at Marina while she waits for what Marina has to say. She doesn’t fear it in the sense that she already has an answer. She doesn’t because she can’t say when, but she does at the same time, the one it has always been. It’s hard for her, she has a husband, a son, it’s difficult. Her situation is difficult. She’s not afraid of the question. She doesn’t like it, since she would love to be able to have an answer Marina wants to hear, but she’s not afraid. In her eyes, she doesn’t have anything to hide, her answers are legit. She’s not making them up, they are genuine concerns for her. She’s ready to face the question Marina is going to ask of her, because she knows she has a legitimate answer. She’s also looking right at her because she does know Marina doesn’t have it easy and she thinks she deserves to ask the questions. She’s totally willing to hear her and answer anything she wants to know about where they stand, but she’s also sure about her own arguments.

Clara responds that it’s difficult for her, very difficult. She closes her eyes and leans her head back against the wall while she speaks. It’s the only answer she has, but she understands very well that Marina doesn’t like hearing it and she wishes she could tell her something else. She avoids Marina’s eyes while she answers, because she can’t look at them right now. They make her want to give in, but she can’t give in. She doesn’t like it, Marina doesn’t like it, but right now, Marina’s eyes make her feel bad but there’s nothing she can do about it. She avoids them. Her reply also almost comes out as a rehearsed line. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean that Giovanna sounds like she didn't deliver the line well. I mean that Clara the character is saying her lines, the same lines she’s been saying for a while now, because they haven’t changed much. Even though they still hold a lot of truth and can be in no way disregarded, to Clara this is the explanation, but she’s been saying the line so many times she seems to have gotten a bit lost in the meaning. Not so much in the meaning it holds itself, but how it compares to what Marina is going through.

She’s of the opinion that their situations can’t be compared. They are both in a difficult spot, but to Clara, hers is defining, whereas Marina’s situation is something that can be overcome, it’s not what makes or breaks the situation. She is confident about her reasons and rightly so but what she’s also confident about is how their situations compare to each other, which isn’t as accurate as she believes. Marina knows by now that Clara is seeing it 70% from her own side. Not that she’s not willing to see Marina’s side, just that right now she’s simply not able to because she’s not totally aware of everything. She’s under the impression she knows enough about Marina’s situation, so she thinks she’s comparing them fairly, objectively. Marina has realized something. Not that Clara is overestimating her own hurt and pain and her own situation because granted, it is a tough situation to be in, but that she has been underestimating Marina’s. She knows she has to open Clara’s eyes to a few things so here we have the first time she’s really pushing back.

While Clara responds, Marina looks kind of like she’s thinking ‘Not the ‘it’s difficult for me’-line again.’ She breathes out heavily when she responds that she knows that it’s difficult, but Clara interrupts her. She knows it’s not easy for Marina and she wants to be understanding, but it comes out a bit harsh, she still thinks their situations can’t be compared, hers are bigger obstacles. Sure, Vanessa is afraid of losing Marina, but Marina doesn’t have anyone pressuring her. Marina squeezes her lips together while Clara speaks, in that way you do when you are hearing the same argument again but knowing there’s more to it than that and when you’re basically disagreeing because of what’s not being considered.

Clara continues to say it’s different with a husband and a son. It’s Marina’s turn to interrupt Clara when Clara mentions her son, she holds up her hand even. She answers Clara with a very steady voice, basically laying down a baseline, as in, let’s get something clear. She explains that when it comes to Ivan she’s completely understanding. She wants there to be no doubt about that. When it comes to Clara’s son, she understands everything and she’s not throwing counterarguments against that at all. What she’s talking about is the husband.

She knows Clara is in a difficult spot, she’s not diminishing that, but she wants Clara to see her side of the story, wants to get Clara on the same page. She’s been nothing but understanding, but she thinks Clara can be more understanding towards her. Marina is full of misunderstood frustration and she’s having trouble keeping the tears in and unable to keep the frustration out of her voice. She doesn’t feel heard. She wants to get her point across without diminishing Clara’s situation, but she is very desperate to get Clara on the Marina page, because she’s tired of the insecurity, it hurts not knowing when or what or even if anything is going to happen. She’s been relating to Clara’s situation, but lately she’s come to realize that Clara hasn’t been relating enough to hers.

When Marina says the word husband, comparing him to Vanessa, Clara turns her head slightly while shaking her head. It’s clear in Marina’s tone that she’s going to bring an argument that in her opinion will counter Clara’s and Clara’s gesture indicates she’s convinced there’s no argument against it. When Marina says that jealousy between women can be even more intense than between a man and a woman, she drops her hand on the table kind of desperately, as if the gesture is adding ‘please, understand this.’ After Marina is done talking, Clara frowns, albeit minimally. She’s slightly taken aback and replies that she never thought of it like that. She’s kind of surprised, because it does make some kind of sense to her and she hadn’t looked at it from that angle but she’s still not completely convinced.

Marina continues. ‘You know that when a woman feels jealous…’ she pauses halfway, searching for a word or a way to emphasize her point before she continues, ‘she really feels it, very strongly.’ Her tone voice is steady, passionate, she’s pleading her case. She’s trying to convince Clara of something she believes in, something she desperately needs Clara to see as well. She finally seems to, because this appears to be a small eye-opener for Clara, evident in the look she’s giving Marina. She even nods slightly in agreement, almost without realizing it. Marina on the other hand is struck by a desperate kind of sadness. Finding the love of your life, knowing the love is returned but still being unable to be with them while feeling that if they understood better, the pain can be taken away sooner if you could just make them see. Marina takes a deep breath and releases it again.

‘When a love is lost, there’s nothing that can give comfort.’ Marina’s voice is sad, desperate, she’s hurting, but it’s also filled with conviction, because she knows she’s right.

Marina continues and says that maybe a bigger love could, then looks down at the table for a moment, before looking Clara straight in the eyes while she continues, ‘But a great love like this, you can’t find it everywhere.’

Clara is still looking at her the same way, like in her head she’s connecting a few dots and now she sees Marina’s situation clearly for the first time. She realizes what else Marina has to deal with, what she overlooked. Two things are at play here. The first is that Marina has a best friend who is dealing with a lost love and nothing can comfort her. Seeing a friend in pain cause of love is never fun, but on top of that, knows she is the cause of it, she’s the love in question, so she could even do something about it but is clearly not able to, because she lost her heart to someone else. The second is that she’s dealing with the pain of not being able to be with the love of her life while knowing she is loved back, being in the dark about when and what, plus simply being jealous because Clara is still with Cadu instead of with her and it’s no fun at all when she thinks of them together.

Clara realizes that Marina’s pain is immense and that she’s been underestimating it. The jealousy she feels is one thing, but the other is that she can’t be comforted. The only thing that could give comfort is a bigger love, but like Marina stated, a big love like this is rare and she’s not going to find it. Marina said it as a statement, not a question. There’s no doubt in her mind that the immense love that Marina feels for Clara is returned just as much. A great love like this is a gem you have to cherish, because there’s not going to be one like it ever again. Marina is reaffirming that to her, Clara is the one. She’s also correctly assuming that it’s the same for Clara. Clara now realizes how much exactly Marina is hurting, cause there is no bigger love than this. She’s simply not able to be comforted because there is no greater love than this.

Clara releases a sigh, looks down at her watch. She has to go, she says. It sounds a bit like an excuse and it kind of is. In that conversation, at that point, there’s no need to look at your watch unless you have a reason for it to be time to go which means no matter what time it is, it’s always time to go. She likely feels slightly embarrassed because she overlooked such an important thing and has a hard time dealing with Marina’s pained and confronting look. She wants to get out of this situation both because of the embarrassment and she also needs some time to process this new bit of information she’s been given. Clara gives Marina a reconciling look, hoping to take some of the edge off of the mood, but Marina is not done yet. She’s not happy that Clara chooses this moment to leave and she’s also not happy that she has to leave at all. She has already put some pressure on her but she’s willing to go one step further and let her know exactly how much pain she’s in and that she’s reaching a limit.

Without looking, Marina says ‘Go, but I don’t want to see you leave anymore.’ She even raises her hand kind of dismissively when she adds ‘I won’t even look back.’

She now eyes Clara directly, knowing her pain is evident in her own eyes and this is one of the rare moments she needs Clara to see it. She adds ‘I can’t handle seeing you leave anymore.’, staring Clara down to bring the message really across.

Clara is not nearly as confident about her own arguments as she was a few moments ago. Her head is even angled slightly downwards, she’s almost looking at Marina through her own eyebrows because not only does this hurt, she also wasn’t expecting this conversation when she accepted her dinner invite earlier. Marina keeps her gaze firmly on Clara, meaning she has no intention of backing down right now and when Clara realizes there will be no reconciliation on this matter tonight, she relents and whispers an uncertain ‘Bye’. Marina echoes this, but she looks down shortly right before she says it, she’s a little disappointed. She would have preferred to hear Clara say something along the lines of ‘I see what you mean and I’ll be more considerate.’, ‘I’ll hurry it up a bit and get some divorce papers going.’, or ‘You’re right, screw fidelity, where’s your bedroom?’.

But Clara says none of that, Clara is leaving. She slowly gets up and starts walking away. Halfway she turns around again, hoping Marina will turn her head towards her anyway, but she doesn’t. Clara is internally battling some thoughts about going back or thinking of something to say. But nothing she could say would make the situation any better, since the only things that would make it better is either being with Marina, which she can’t do, or giving her a definitive timeframe, which she can’t give her. She can’t walk back to her either because she’d want to comfort her but that too requires either giving her answers she doesn’t have, or it would result in her breaking her vows, so that‘s not an option either. Nothing she could do would help at this very moment, unless she’s willing to cross the line or give herself a deadline, which is something that scares her so much she could never allow herself to impulsively do just like that.

So she does the only thing she can do, which is to turn around and leave. Marina remains seated and keeps her promise about not looking but Clara has barely left the room when she starts to cry. She finishes her wine in one big gulp in an unsuccessful attempt to comfort herself but then simply accepts the tears that are flowing over her cheeks. I found it very telling that she didn’t start crying until Clara had left the room entirely. She didn’t want Clara to see her sadness right now, she wanted to see her conviction. She didn’t want her to know how much it ripped her apart to say the words she just said, because to be fair, the outcome could go either way.

Clara could either move things more quickly along but there is also the possibility of things blowing up in Marina’s face. Putting pressure on someone is always a tricky thing. It could work, or it could have the reversed effect. Clara could be scared off, confronted by a reality where divorcing the husband is in the very near future and it could cause a panic, a freak out, it could cause Clara to decide she’s not ready to go there and end things with Marina. We all know the outcome and we all read the spoilers when all this aired so we know that it didn’t happen that way and that it wasn’t going to happen that way, but Marina didn’t read the spoilers. To her, things backfiring completely is a possible outcome, which makes what she did is a very scary thing indeed, when confronting the love of her life could possibly blow up in her face. That makes this a very brave thing to do, even though she feels as tiny as a little mouse right now as she sits alone in her big studio, accompanied only by Clara’s unfinished glass of wine, unsure whether she did the right thing or not.

To Clara this is a major reality check. It’s the first time Marina has been this opposing. Up till this point, Marina has been nothing but understanding but now for the first time she’s receiving a determined counterargument. She can see how affected Marina is, but most of all, how not happy with the situation. While Clara’s argument of ‘It’s difficult.’ is still valid, it’s getting to the point where she’s going to have to accept that Mission:Difficult doesn’t equal Mission:Impossible. Also her argument of ‘It’s much more difficult for me than it is for you’ is turning into ‘Maybe I need to rethink that one a little bit.’ Clara is realizing she doesn’t have unlimited time anymore, but in fact, she’s running out of it. This scares her, because it’s forcing her into making a decision where both options have pros and cons.  She thought she had more time to make this decision, because Marina had told her this, more than once. One of those times was not too long before, when Clara paid Marina a surprise visit. Ironically, this scene is also a major player because it is one of the main reasons the scene we just talked about happens.

Let’s take a look at that hurricane of feelings for a moment. ‘I’ll wait for you.’Marina had said. Clara had nodded eagerly, biting her lip to stop herself from saying it out loud as well, ‘Yes, please wait, I want you to, you won’t be waiting for nothing, I’m on my way.’ Then after answering Marina’s question when they would see each other again with ‘As soon as I can.’ she found Marina’s thumb setting her bottom lip aflame and a look of desperate desire, right behind it. In Marina’s hungry eyes she saw the raw need, her parted lips showed without words how Marina was imagining all the different ways those lips wanted to feel what her thumb was feeling, wanted to find out what it tasted like. She was dreaming it for the both of them because the reality was still locked behind a line they could not cross, held up only by an insane amount of willpower. She didn’t just see the way Marina looked at her. She felt it, everywhere. She felt it through her very core and she needed Marina to know that her own desire was right up there with hers. She wanted to give her that security, that knowledge. So she told her. She told her she wanted her just as much. It turned out to be nearly enough to tear down the walls of willpower and crash beyond the point of no return, because suddenly Clara found herself in a situation where she was right on that edge of kissing Marina and she literally had to tear herself away from her, gut punching both their hearts in the process.

Because ultimately, that day, Clara didn’t kiss her. Sure, they had not kissed many times already. The amount of ‘almost’ we have been seeing on this show pretty much outnumbers the amount of Portuguese words I have picked up along the way and I’ve picked up quite a few by now. But this ‘almost’ was different. Even though just like all the other times there was no kiss, none of them shattered Marina the way this one did. Never before was Marina under the impression that a kiss was even a possibility, during any of their intimate embraces they shared prior to this moment. Marina knew there was a line that she could not cross and she steered clear from it. Before this, Marina was always the one taking initiative, but she always knew that when it would finally happen, it had to come from Clara. Clara was the one that had to give green light and hadn’t yet which meant that while they had come close, Marina never actively pursued it because it had to be Clara’s move. That was the move that was going to be the green light. Until then, Marina would pursue, but she’d never cross the line. She'd wait for Clara to blur the line by taking initiative,  but until then, the line was clear. It was Clara’s move to make and she hadn’t made it yet.

At first, right after Clara affirms she wants her just as much, Marina looks happy, smiling brightly, Clara has just confirmed she wants her, wants to spend the night with her, she wants to sleep with her. She already knew, but hearing it is so much better. Then Clara gets that intense look in her eyes, she breathes in deeply and she seems to take charge, hands reach up to Marina’s face and Clara basically almost moves in.

You can see Marina’s expression and even her whole posture change throughout all this and it’s amazing. At first there’s simply happiness because of Clara’s previous statement. Her right hand, moments ago being held by Clara’s hands, is now floating in between them both, lingering in the air, almost forgotten, unsure of what to do. On top of Marina’s expression which speaks volumes by itself, it’s that floating hand that represents perfectly the rapid rollercoaster of emotions as they shoot by one by one and for many reasons it’s actually one of the main players in this scene. It’s narrating as well as providing us with subtitles, for it displays Marina’s thoughts in painfully beautiful and beautifully painful ways. As it floats in between them after Clara takes her face in her hands, it hesitates. Just prior it was being held and caressed by Clara’s hands, which was lovely by itself because at the same time Marina heard Clara say those wonderful words. But now those hands are warming her face, her own hand is still where it was previously being held, while she suddenly finds Clara looking at her more intensely than she ever has before. She has just heard her say that she wants Marina as much as Marina wants Clara and now they are staring in each other’s eyes intensely, Clara’s hands lovingly resting in Marina’s neck after smoothly brushing her hair behind her ears.

She first allows herself to carefully believe after Clara brushes her hair back and because of the way she looked at her after. Marina’s smile slowly fades and is replaced by the question in her eyes and heart, guarded and fueled by this unexpected turn of events. Marina’s mouth falls slightly open as the thought enters her veins and you can see her thinking ‘Is she going to kiss me? She looks like she’s going to kiss me.’ She’s not sure yet, but she’s starting to believe this might actually be it because right now, it sure looks that way. Her hand is still floating between them at that point, still unsure. But then Clara digs her hands further in Marina’s hair and Marina suddenly feels those hands pulling her closer. Minimally, but without a doubt, Clara pulls her closer. Clara is taking control.

That right there is the moment where Marina fully believes. Marina’s uncertainty was first replaced by careful hope, then lingers on anticipation and flirts with bliss before it finally settles on belief. Marina is no longer asking herself if Clara is going to kiss her. She’s fully convinced that Clara is going to kiss her right now. When eyes stare this intensely and with that much hunger into yours, when you can almost taste those lips you long to kiss because they are so close you can hear the breath they are holding in, that’s when all your nerves tell you there’s no more questioning, there’s only knowing that it’s finally happening. Marina believes the moment has finally come, she’s filled with anticipation of finally knowing if Clara’s lips are as soft as she imagined, of expecting to lose herself when she finally finds out.

Clara is about to kiss Marina and Marina is so sure of it, that every other certainty seems to blur in compensation. The acceptance of that certainty is what guides Marina’s hand and dares a touch she never really dared to initiate before, fearing she may cross the line of eagerly fading willpower. While Marina's eyes find Clara's lips, her hand, previously floating in no-man’s-land, slowly falls forward and loosely touches Clara’s collarbone, waiting for the inevitable embrace.

It's Marina's hand that snaps Clara out of it.

Because Clara didn’t kiss Marina that day. She almost did, but the spell was broken and Marina’s hand, guided by certainty of knowing that something is about to happen, ends up being the reason that it does not.

Because Clara wasn’t in control, but it was desire that guided her. It guided her hands, her eyes, her thoughts and feelings. It guided her actions. Desire had taken over completely and desire wants what it wants, which left Clara in the passenger seat, simply along for the ride. A fraction of a moment longer and she would have pulled Marina towards her, or she would have leaned in. Their lips would finally touch. But Marina’s touch is what breaks the spell and the inevitable certainty doesn’t happen.

Clara was staring at Marina so intensely right before, she wasn’t thinking, she was only needing, wanting. But then Marina’s hand moves towards Clara which actually causes Clara to blink slightly, her eyes flashing towards it for the tiniest of moments when it starts moving towards her and when it makes the most delicate contact, it seems to wake Clara up from her trance, her expression changes completely. First she has her eyes on Marina’s lips, only an instant away from kissing them. Then her mouth drops open as she seems to ask herself ‘What am I doing? I can’t do this.’

She looks up, finds Marina’s eyes. Her own eyes, a moment ago still dark with desire, now filled with the sudden awareness, the pain of knowing she has to walk away, the regret of having to do so, of having to do this to Marina, to herself. She is battling internally, she doesn’t want to accept this reality where she can’t do the one thing that makes more sense than anything else ever has. She squeezes her eyes shut in agony and regret, because the next thing she has to do is walk away. It’s nothing less than torture because she knows she is doing this to Marina as well, not just herself.

Every bone in Clara’s body screamed for only that one thing, pull Marina towards her and kiss her till the sun comes back up. At the last moment she realized what she was about to do and with the last bit of willpower she had left, she changed course. This didn’t just hurt her in her soul, but in her bones, her stomach, her nerves and her veins, as well as her heart. It physically hurt her entire body. But she walked away, without opening her eyes. Doing so would have hurt too much, it would have been too difficult. The decision to walk had already been made, if she would have looked again she knew she'd see the look of hurt in Marina’s eyes and she couldn’t bare to see it even though she knew her own moment of weakness was the cause of it. She knew she’d want to pick her up and hold her tight which was exactly the thing she was trying to avoid. She didn’t look because she knew that it would lead to that which she was so desperately attempting make sure did not happen while already having so much trouble doing so, that it would have been the ultimate mistake. She simply couldn’t. So she didn’t see Marina’s eyes that stared into the distance as Clara walked past her. I remember when I was watching the episode live, someone said right after that scene that ‘Marina needs a cold shower now.’ My reply was that she would do better with a shoulder to cry on, because that tore her heart right out and slammed it back in full force in the wrong angle. It shattered her and I cringed along with her when I saw the look in her eyes after Clara walked away. She was completely numb. This one hit her harder than anything.

It had never been this close. This was the first time Clara was really looking like she was going to do it so for one moment, Marina thought ‘This is it, I don’t have to wait anymore, she’s going to kiss me.’ Clara’s statement right before, how she wanted it just as much as she did, then her holding her face like she did, actually pulling her closer, to Marina that spelled one thing. ‘She’s going to kiss me. She’s finally going to kiss me. It is finally happening, we are finally happening.’ For a very brief moment Marina is convinced this is Clara’s green light and the disappointment, the pain Marina felt when it didn’t happen after being convinced that it was, was much more painful than all the other times it didn’t happen. The difference was expectation. All the other times, she knew it wasn’t happening, and no expectations mean you don’t get disappointed. But to be convinced this was the moment she’d been waiting for and then losing that, that disappointment was more painful than ever. For a moment, Marina allowed herself to believe and it brought her up on the highest mountain top, only to be faced with the longest fall back to the ground.

I need a breather. Wow, that scene. It’s glorious. Gloriously painful, sure, but also gloriously epic and we have Giovanna and Tainá to thank for that because the range of emotion they are able to portray by doing almost nothing is absolutely marvelous. The change in Marina as she goes from happy to surprise, to hope, to believing and then to utter destruction are done so perfectly that it makes you happy, hoping and believing right along with her and end up leaving you just as destroyed because it’s so real, so painful, so relatable. At the same time, the changes in Clara’s expression are so incredibly subtle you can only really see them if you compare the before and after screenshots of her desire-driven trance and look at them one frame at the time. That’s when a look that at first seems almost identical suddenly turns out to be drastically different and you’re suddenly able to appreciate just how epic this scene really is. I can’t even begin to describe how impressed I am with these ladies, but once I start, I could probably write a dozen pages about that alone if I get my ramble on. No don’t worry, I won’t. But I could. It’s just that epic.

Anyway, back to the other scene. Also, I am almost done, I swear. But, the two scenes today are woven into each other a bit. First of all, the fact that Marina tells Clara she’ll wait for her. She will, she means it, she’s not just saying it. So Clara thinks she has time, but she’s underestimating the situation Marina is in and ends up having less time than she thought. Ends up feeling embarrassed because she misjudged something, again. Added to that and even more importantly, right after Marina says she will wait, she gets the most painful punch to the gut she’s ever had before, which makes her realize she’s not able to take many more of those. It’s what triggers the tense conversation after dinner because she now has to get Clara on that page as well. So two things that happen in the surprise visit-scene have a direct effect on the events of the painful dinner-scene. Clara’s misjudgment of time and situation, and Marina’s confrontation about exactly that.

By the way, no, this is not the only time Marina indicated she’ll wait for her but it is one of the more direct statements, not to mention Clara eagerly nodding yes, plus it’s very recent. It’s also not the only time we had an almost kiss either, heck, we had three in that scene alone, but it’s the first one where Clara lead the charge and Marina believed and then it didn't happen and that was so painful that we are all still trying to recover from it.

You've reached the end. Tiny note about the screenshots I used. You might have noticed that some of the screenshots I added seem to be the same, or only a few frames apart. This is intentional. I wanted to show the transition of their emotions individually and sometimes this change happened so subtly that the only way to show it was to show a sequence of screenshots that follow each other very closely, sometimes indeed only a few frames later. It's also possible I used a screenshot twice, simply because they were relevant for several points I was trying to make. So stop reloading your page, it's probably supposed to be there again.

Two emotional roller coasters and one very long blog update, I hope you thought it was worth the read and that you enjoyed the scenes as much as I did, two amazing scenes by two amazing actresses with an amount of chemistry that still blows my mind every day. Tell me what you thought, of the scenes, of my rambles about them, I love comments, so please leave one down below. I would apologize for the size of this one but I simply had to include both scenes together, even though I knew that meant it was going to be a long one again. Then again, those of you who keep coming back already know I tend to go on and on about things, so you know what to expect.

By the way, thank you, if you’re one of those that keeps coming back. You are so very appreciated, more than you know.

And hi, welcome, if you’re here for the first time and you’re trying to catch your breath. I hope you come back too, but I won’t lie, yes, they are usually this long.

Maybe size matters after all. ;)



  1. Hi Colette
    Again your text describes perfectly the scenes, there's not much to say about it, your style is pure charm and writes with a lot of class,( I can call you "classuda") but add just that, A roller coaster of emotions, each faced numerous changes, Marina was surprised by a stunning love that led him to learn patiently await the delivery of the other, and while waiting, Marina changed their beliefs about everything, as example of the things she never had before in your life (chores domestic / situations of everyday life), she knews that love was unique and would not be repeated in another person, it's beautiful to realize this change in Marina, despite Vanessa always try to strip it that way, try to frustrate the expectations about Clara, Marina did not give up! And Clara literally suffered a change of route 360 degrees, she had to manage a lot more than Marina, (family, society, husband and son than itself), I believe that this approach Maneco was incredible, even taking the fans crazy with the lack of kissing or almost kissing lol your perception, and how to make the reading of the scenes is unique, and you deserve to know Maneco and work at the arguments of the novels in the Globe, you do a beautiful job Colette! (sorry I really dont know if you wish something like that lol) It was only my desire after reading your work, hug,kiss from brazil

  2. Hi Colette,
    I just wrote a comment and it has since disappeared into cyberspace. So I will try again to say how much this has meant to me. I have been watching and rewatching the Clara and Marina storyline and the arc of their relationship. These two scenes were extremely important scenes to analyze to understand how their relationship finally moved forward. The surprise visit and the almost kiss was absolutely painful to watch. The desire that Clara displayed in the way she not only looked at Marina, but held her made us all think it might really happen. But the sudden injection of reality made it all that much more painful, and you captured that moment in your analysis. The agony and pain portrayed by these actresses was amazing. In their every look and gesture they captured the feeling so that we could feel what they were feeling.
    The next scene with awful home cooked meal was also poignant and real. As Marina bravely asked the question when, and explained that waiting was difficult for her also, it alerted Clara to the fact that there was not an infinite time to act on her feelings.
    It is so good to know that other people are thinking about Clara and Marina and feeling as I do about them. Their story was at times upsetting, uplifting and in the end glorious and I am so happy that I was able to in some way be a part of it. Thank you for this thoughtful piece and I hope to read much more of your writing.

  3. Hi, Colette!
    I never missed a single one of your posts. I used to leave comments at the beginning of our Clarina journey, but I stopped doing it for no good reason and, for this, I apologize.
    But it’s never too late to do some justice.
    I cannot describe how amazing your ideas and analysis of the scenes are. They usually include all the stuff I realized by myself, and so much more, and it’s absolutely fantastic!
    Specifically about this one, I must say… You owe me some hours of sleep!
    It took me forever to overcome this scene (the Marina’s ultimatum one), and you made me relive every single pain I felt when I watched it back in June. I remember that day, everyone was so shocked at twitter and Boteco Clarina, that we kept ourselves awake for hours discussing details, complaining about Clara, trying to comfort the more vulnerable shippers that were about to have a breakdown. It was catastrophic… And as you said, good thing we knew the spoilers, cause I think we would have had several departures after that scene if we didn’t know what was next for Clarina.
    For me, it’s a masterpiece, a defining point in Clarina’s relationship, and you managed to translate it so well that my feelings came all over again and I kept rolling in bed after reading your post. Down memory lane… And it was painful!
    This scene was so important for Marina, and Tainá played it so well, that the pain could be sensed for anyone with a heart. Giovanna was divine too, as she always is, and there is no need to say the obvious.
    I hope you find some time to connect this scene with the next ones in some future post, cause it’s so clear that Clara received the message so well that, after this heartbreaking Marina’s ultimatum, Clara changed her attitude completely. Scenes where we can see this (before they get together): mall scenes, the beautiful rug scene (or spiderman scene, as some people likes to call it), and those short scenes at Galpão… right before Cadu decides to put an end on their marriage.
    My point is: I love to revisit all the story with you! And I’m grateful that you keep doing it, even though the show is over! I thank you so much for your posts, and hope to see more of them for some time.
    And I apologize for my bad English, but Fandom Clarina taught us so many things… And one of them was to not be embarrassed, and try to communicate in any language if it means talking about Clarina! Thanks again!

  4. Beautiful words Colette! Thankyou! For all the recaps. I found a Angra fanfic in English, is Broken Trust. Hope you will write more.

  5. Here is the link to the amazing fan Fic Broken Trust with the Angra vacation played well into it.

  6. Nice post. Keep writing please. Feel free to have a look in my blog if you want to. :)


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