Of all the delicious story lines hanging at the end of last seasons Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt I am most fascinated by Gretchen, and what I hope is her disillusionment-fueled transformation. It’s my favorite kind.
Gretchen didn’t have to be kidnapped, she thought the preacher had a lot of great ideas and saw her utter impressionability as a virtue. Like her hairdo. She gave up her life and descended into the bunker with a serene smile and an absolute belief that a man with a beard knew her personal answers.
She was good at doing what she was told, good at rocking a virgin dress code, good at staying in the dark. Life in the bunker was too dimly lit to really notice details, read a book, or see the truth, but she knew it finally when it smacked her in the face like a cold, dead fish.
She was the last to understand the deception, but the first to spot the evidence that would take down her beloved preacher.
“You son of a bitch” she cursed, already shattering out of the sinless mold she had carefully pressed herself into. Did she regret her outburst? Did she wish desperately to put the genie back in the bottle and go back to the innocence she once enjoyed? Did she want her hero back? What does this do to a person, this fundamental shift in belief that is suddenly gone in a vacuum of space?
If Kimmy landed on the streets of NY in rainbow, sparkly sneakers letting strangers feel her up on subway platforms what in the ham sandwich is Gretchen going to do? If Kimmy is a child Gretchen is a fetus, and it’s hard to get work as a fetus.
My hope for her is that she goes full-on slut, making up for the the time she remained chaste for a Gosh that has disappointed her. Maybe she gets acquainted with Jack Daniels and tries this crack cocaine all the kids are talking about. Maybe she gets mad and turns it into terrifying graffiti art. Maybe she takes the opportunity to make mistakes that are hers to make, because they will form beliefs that are hers to discover, not ones that have been shoved down her throat like a handful of shark gummies by someone who turns out to be an idiot.
Eventually, everything hits the fan. If you are standing in someone’s shadow when it does you will be burnt by the sun when they walk away. And then you will be hilariously lampooned on television.