Mar 25, 2009

Wildfire: Ripping a page out of Thoroughbred.

2.7 Taking Off

This episode is forgettable, which is not really my justification for having trouble remembering much of it. A few story arcs come to predictable ends, and Ashleigh really rolls out the "I'm a horse story main character!" attitude. Really, this episode rivaled the juvenile "special bond" between girl and horse stupidity of all seventy-two volumes of the Thoroughbred series. But because the story arcs are so heartbreakingly predictable, I wound up tuning a lot of it out.

Nevertheless, let's recap what I remember. The club has sucked up most of Brad's resources, and he's having trouble with rent. Caroline, who he is by now sleeping with, offers to move in and pay half. Initially this sounds like a great idea, but when she moves everything in he discovers that not all girls are like Ashleigh. They come with girlie things, like pink throw pillows and make up that takes up a whole desk, not to mention giant stuffed animals they've had since they were three. Brad's life is suddenly overwhelmed by feminine possessions and he thinks, sure, he'll get over it because Caroline is a girl who also possesses breasts, but eventually that also appears to be too much. Brad isn't ready for this, and breaks up with Caroline. Then they decide to throw a party.

Meanwhile, Ashleigh has been noticed by this big name trainer that I will call Vince Jones. (I could have gone with Maddock, but Maddock was far nicer than this guy.) Vince has a horse for Ashleigh to ride named...Blues King. King isn't that great, but Vince wants him to win this upcoming stakes so he'll go on to have a minorly good career and gain entry to the world of breeding. Otherwise, King will find himself at auction for a not so great future. Ashleigh surely understands Vince's no nonsense approach to his life, right? God, no. Ashleigh's all, but you don't pamper your horses and expect them to crawl into your lap like the innocently sweet animals they are? Vince tries to get it through Ashleigh's thick skull that he loves his job and horses, but this is how the industry is. It's not ideal. Ashleigh worries some more about King running too early and all of this. Not to mention she seems to have some super idea about his training that Vince slaps down, so when Ashleigh goes ahead and does her strategy in the race, winning anyway, Vince acts happy and then fires her ass for not being obedient. Ashleigh is predictably shocked. Then Chad kisses her, because I guess there's about .01% sexual attraction there.

Then Charlie prepares to propose to Jean. He has Mike take Todd to karate, which is where he apparently goes at the crack of dawn, and surprises Jean with the ring right after they wake up. Jean immediately bursts into tears and tells him about Gene. Charlie storms off, probably never to be heard from again.

Then everyone goes to the party at Brad's, and Ashleigh stares longingly at Brad after hearing how he's now single. Then Chad entices her away, because Chad was there for some reason.

  • After the race, Chad informs Ashleigh that she's definitely going to get way more attention now. Perhaps she'll have four or five races to ride per day! Ashleigh says, "That's great, but I really just want to ride King." Ugh, Ashleigh. Seriously? Not only this, but it's also pointed out to her that she only really tries for Wonder. How did this attitude become so ingrained? It's no longer really idealistic and morally superior to have this outlook. It's mostly stupid and predictable now. I think we've pretty much exhausted it, actually. Can the genre as a whole move on, please? Please?

Next up, I have the first book of the Pine Hollow series. Because I've been curious about it for years. So far, I'm having a most marvelous time.


Bookworm said...

Pine Hollow was OK. It made me kind of sad though....the characters change so much!

sundae_mourning said...

wait, is Caroline her real name or is Caroline just her TB series equivalent? it annoyed me enough having a real Charlie in the series because i keep picturing Jean making out with Ashleigh's mentor but i guess at least it kind of makes sense to have Brad putting moves on a Caroline.

Mara said...

Her name is actually Rebecca. I wavered between calling her Caroline or Melinda. Personality wise, she's more of a Melinda, but I decided to go with Caroline in the end. Just to give me options if another girl rolls along between Ashleigh and the later Lavinia character (who is apparently called Laura?).

I agree about Charlie. Unfortunately, Thoroughbred never gave us Mike's mom's name. The good news is I think this is Charlie's last episode, so we don't have to be horribly confused by this mental picture anymore. ;)