Once More Around The Wheel

Station Eleven since it aired pretty much has been my Platonic ideal of a television series, something thankfully not contradicted by the second rewatch I completed recently. It’s no small surprise to me, then, that this time through I not only noticed things I hadn’t before but specifically noticed things that by all rights as an absorbed and attentive viewer I really should have noticed before.

  • Despite being fully familiar with Enrico Colantoni, if for no other reason than being a Veronica Mars fan, not until now did I realize he was Elizabeth’s heavily-accented agent before he was chasing the symphony around to invite them to the Museum of Civilization.

  • I might be wrong that I didn’t notice this before, but I feel like somehow I didn’t spot that the vial of antidote in Kirsten’s vision was labeled, “SURVIVAL”—thereby rendering her refusal to take it immediately a manifestation of the motto scrawled across a symphony wagon, and presumably lifted by her from the graphic novel: “Survival is insufficient.”

  • In a true embarrassment, I never noticed that Kirsten named her horse after the cat she had at the apartment.

  • Somehow I’d not previously spotted that both Elizabeth and Tyler not only talk about being inside works of art, but self-consciously suggest that’s a stupid thing to say.

  • Despite the intercuts, somehow I never realized the visual similarities between the apartment windowscape and the air traffic control tower.

  • I’m fairly sure I did originally realize that Alex telling Kirsten, “We have to do the play” would resonate with Kirsten’s trauma over the apartment, but I don’t think until now did I realize how much Kirsten finally having confronted that trauma informs her later responding to Tyler’s, “You should get out of here, with all your friends” with, “After the play.”

  • My final embarrassment is, I think anyway, not until this time noticing Alex’s meta-delivery of her Laertes dialogue as a goodbye.

I also listened again to the official podcast after each episode, and my three favorite things remain the same.

  • Mackenzie Davis once they resumed filming after the pandemic hiatus instituting a “Show Your Face Friday” where each week they’d circle up and a different crew member would (safely) doff their mask.

  • Patrick Somerville having written dialogue for Kirsten and Jeevan’s reunion but that the actors told him ”no”.

  • The entire discussion, in part around director Lucy Tcherniak, about how to give and how not to give direction to actors, including the story of telling the actor who breaks into the apartment to behave as if “someone is holding a gun to your head”.

During this rewatch, I learned that Somerville is adapting the pre-pandemic novel The Glass Hotel, which contains some overlapping characters, and I really don’t know how to feel about that. Station Eleven is a gem, and I’m not sure I can escape feeling like another adaptation can’t help but somehow dilute its worth.