Posted on 32 Comments

Did Carol Take The Security Footage?

How about we keep thoughts on Carol and whether or not she had seen and erased the security footage to one thread and we’ll narrow this down. Did she see them? How much control did she actually have over Maggie? Thoughts? …

32 thoughts on “Did Carol Take The Security Footage?

  1. Everything about Carol and whether she saw the footage is just such an uncomfortable cringe moment for me that I’ve tried not to think too much about whether I believe she did. But here’s my best guess. No, she didn’t. But maybe it’s because I just don’t want to picture.But your second question sort of hits on my overall feelings on this: Even if she did see the footage and begin to plot a way to get Maggie with Cole, I don’t think it really influenced Maggie’s decision to be with Cole. She wanted Cole for other reasons, reasons we’ve spent 3 days and 3 blog posts discussing. So if you ask me to think about this more, here’s my thought on what Carol thinks if she did see the footage: Carol is extremely perceptive of her daughter…I think that’s a big reason why Maggie has such an issue with her. She would have looked at that scene and figured out that her daughter would pick Cole in the end. If that’s what she ultimately wanted her to do, she would then just sit back and let Maggie come to that conclusion on her own. It’s not like she even brings anything up to her daughter, until the moment Maggie tells them Max postponed the wedding. Then we get to see Carol knows a lot more about what’s been going on, for whatever reason. But by then, Maggie has probably already made her choice deep down in her head anyway.So the security footage and whether Carol saw it has always been a side story to me without too much importance. Carol knew she didn’t have to work this time to get what she wanted. And also, yuck…I just don’t want to really think about it too much.

  2. Also, one other thing I picked up on in my last read. Didn’t know where to put it, so I will here. Maggie is described in RM as “a woman who was quickly getting the reputation of not being fun to deal with if you didn’t know her.” Maggie has more than a little Carol in her, doesn’t she?

  3. JL – You've taken the wind from my sails again, it's okay, it's nice to find someone who thinks like me so much. The big point of agreement as we talked about yesterday, is if Carol did – ew and omg. I also agree that Maggie would like Cole regardless of her mother's pull. Maggie's mom DOES know her pretty well, and to be honest, she probably had a similar arch as a person, but Maggie is immensely sweeter. Maybe that changes when Maggie has her own family, and she becomes Carol 2.0, but I'd like to think Max (and the good side of Cole) would have enough influence on her to keep from being such a bitch.As to the matter, directly, about seeing the footage. I just seriously doubt that Maggie's mom would have done anything short of ripping Maggie a new one if she saw what Max and Cole did. Let's leave the sex act itself out of the equation for a second, and still assuming Carol is a bitch first, mother second. Running around naked at night when Maggie, Max, and Cole are all supposed to be sleeping is a natural source of anger of any tyrant demanding orderly behavior, that's the easy one. Then let's sprinkle the naked ass and bodily fluids on expensive furniture. Then finally, watching Cole carry a massively expensive instrument so carelessly and even threatening to destroy it, and there's no way Carol even finishes watching the footage. I think she immediately blows up Maggie's phone to call off the wedding and demands she pay her own way to end the semester. She's an art student anyways, she'll never learn, etc. etc. Granted she will probably work her ass off to try to get her to be a productive member of society on the periphery, but there would be hell to pay if she saw it.As to the act itself, I said this before but the concept is pretty hilarious. We all know DP is a prerequisite for Harvard Law, you know that, I know that, Carol knows that. Just having a go, we all know Carol would not choose that situation to be how she convinces her to go. If she was this conniving, she would take in what happened, run it through her insane mental calculations and conclude this (allowing a relationship with Cole to take place under her watchful eye) is probably the last ditch effort she can come up with to get her to be like she wants her to be. So that would be the rationale, in my opinion, on doing that. I just don't think Carol would have concluded that what she witnessed over the course of Cole, Max, and Maggie's time at home, including the music room, would lead Maggie to the path she wants.Assuming Carol really wanted Cole to win out, wouldn't she have dropped more hints to Maggie that she wanted him more? I know she was passing along articles to him by email and talking a lot to him, is that a hint that maybe she knew Cole was winning and she wanted to keep him in line with Law because he'll be Maggie's boyfriend real soon? I actually kind of buy that, because why else would a hyper-rational cold-hearted woman take interest in a best friend's career? *Shivers* I just thought about Maggie's mom watching and calculating as the music room plays out, again …

  4. This all said, Maggie is really smart, and she knows her mother better than probably anyone, even her father, so if she really thinks Carol is up to something, she probably is. She felt the existential dread of a manipulative mother when Cole dropped hints that Carol was taking an interest in his career, and feared her mother would do as much to manipulate the situation. Max never mentioned emails or other communications from Carol did he?I think Carol might have jumped on the Cole bandwagon not because she realized Maggie was interested in him sexually in the music room, but rather when she realized A) her daughter was attending Harvard Law and B) So was Cole. Probably literally the only reason why she would want them to be together, if Maggie was going to pick between Max and Cole.

  5. Yeah, I can agree there…there was likely some subtle manipulation by Carol because she wanted her daughter to be a lawyer, not a painter. But I just don’t think Maggie chose Cole because her mother manipulated her to. So for me, Carol’s machinations, whatever they may be, are not a big part of the story.

  6. And I think I said this about 1,000 comments ago, but you hit on my point about Carol. If she did become team Cole, it wasn’t because she thought it was the better relationship fit. It was solely because being with Cole was leading Maggie down the life path she wanted. If Max was doing that, she would have been Team Max even if everything else was the same.

  7. For me, the bigger part of the story is not that Carol manipulated and tried to control, but Maggie’s reaction over time to that. Right now, she doesn’t care because she loves Cole and that’s all that matters. But as time goes on, if Cole continues to get sucked in by the Beckers, would that cause her to look at him differently? Or is Maggie on her way to being another Carol anyway now?Though I agree, the influence of people like Max will probably prevent her from going full Carol. But she has it in her, and I suspect it probably scares her deeply.

  8. Whether Carol saw the sex that night or not these are the actions that followed:1. Begins a relationship with her daughter’s Best man. Just friendly, though Cole thought it might be more. We don’t know because we’re not privy. She sends articles he might find interesting, testing his resolve to go to Law School. Looking for his feedback and gaging his responses.2. Promotes Cole to be a bigger part of Maggie’s life by involving him in wedding planning. Wanting him to join them for dinner.3. Invites Maggie early to the wedding dress selection, books her to play a cello and come and sit for a law function where she witnesses her mother’s power.4. Purposely allows Maggie to overhear a conversation where her mother says she was once an artist but her father straightened her out. This is later deemed a lie, and Carol had never been an artist.5. Suggests postponing the wedding once Maggie has speculated on going to Law, insinuating a crisis.6. Once Maggie is firmly seated in the trap, she removes the bond, or obligation, between Max and Maggie that would keep her from going to law, making the difficult decision for her daughter (who would not probably have ended the engagement on her own).After these actions it is undeniable that Maggie will follow Cole to Harvard. Maybe for Cole or maybe because she got her own glimpse of ‘winning’ and liked it, wanting to pursue law on her own. Probably somewhere between.It is suspected that Carol might be a bit of a demon in the sack in her own right. Is it possible had she seen her daughter engaging in such an act she might not be as shocked as one might presume, given her own proclivities. Could she instead refrain from over-reacting, calmly devise a path that would have her daughter going to Harvard after Farmingham to pursue law? Carol likes to win. Carol gets things done. Is it conceivable she doesn’t care for either Max or Cole? Sending her to tag along with Cole isn’t because she thinks Cole is the better catch, only that her daughter may follow him in his path just to be with him, and thusly do the exact thing Carol has wanted from her all along …And—opinions, please … if any of this true, does Carol love Maggie?

  9. I mentioned this back when I was kind of getting creeped out by the Martin/Cole parallels, that I personally think that KT is hinting at a sort of depressing but probably accurate piece of human nature, that of being creatures of habit and cyclical in nature. I'm probably completely full of shit, but I think the parallels between Carol and Martin and Maggie and Cole are designed the way they are as characters because upbringing and probably some unconscious biases that exist in people guides our hands towards certain career choices, and choices in mates. Maggie likes that Cole is like Martin because Cole sort of embodies the male persona that Martin outlined for Maggie to be appealed to.In that sense, there really isn't an active motherly manipulation towards Cole and her choice of career in any other way than how she was raised and maybe even genetics. It still might be a bit manipulative, but passively. Sort of a, “You'll come around, they always do” way.

  10. I think often when we say love we mean a rainbow of different things. I also think we sometimes have some very No True Scotsman Fallacy ideas about love – “oh that wasn't REAL love because X.” The general category of love we talk about is also a pretty modern idea.Keeping in mind we don't see inside her head, there's nothing contradictory about Carol loving Maggie and still deciding to take it upon herself to make choices for her – even if those choices hypothetically end up damaging Maggie in the long run. The love of an arrogant control freak is going to look very different than the love of a hippy earth mother, but who's to say it isn't love.

  11. I think I might be the only one that likes Carol. She's not the most pleasant person, but I believe she just wants her daughter to live a successful, happy life and I like that. I think she either saw the tapes or through intuition knew what was going on. They weren't exactly discreet at the food tasting. I don't think she really cared which boy her daughter chose, I think it was mostly Martin pining for a boy that would work under him. And at the dinner table when they cancel the wedding, they handle the news casually like they both already knew.Carol is a hard-ass, but I think Martin is even more so. That's why they're married… Usually it's the man of the house that handles security and I get the feeling he's the kind of the guy that locks his computer behind a password from his family.

  12. Mind blown KT…I do agree that Carol doesn’t really care about Cole per se, or Max, and which one Maggie really loves. I think she cares about getting what she wants for Maggie.I still say in the end the machinations didn’t ultimately decide it, but boy you lay out a compelling case. I need time on the does Carol really love Maggie though…more later.

  13. WA – we have a lot of disagreements, but you really take the cake with this one, Carol is nothing short of a bitch. You think it's healthy to openly bash your kids in front of other people for their interests, hobbies, physical appearance? You say 'successful, HAPPY life' she doesn't give a fuck about happy. Also, Carol is ten times more domineering than Martin, who is mostly in passive agreement to whatever Carol says throughout. Who makes all the parental opinions known in this story? Literally Martin's only major contribution towards this end is recommending where Max (and eventually Cole) go for their internship, Carol handled everything else.

  14. Would her daughter have been happy in the long run, drawing and painting and being a housewife to Max? Did Carol do the best for her daughter? Tiger Moms are no joke; weird thing is their children have a high happiness rating (anecdotally of course, ha ha)

  15. KT – I appreciate what you're doing, but Maggie would have found success in her own way, she wasn't destined for housewifing, ever. Carol did NOTHING for her daughter by openly insulting her for her life decisions. If she wanted what's best for her daughter, but wanted to impart some advice to her, she would recognize her own life's arch and be there as her daughter walks that same line. Did she really think Maggie was going to have Blue streaks in her hair for life? How she was treated is probably the very reason why she chose art in the first place. Can there be any major more fulfilling for a completely controlled 18 year old?

  16. That's really interesting. It shows that Carol knows Maggie better than she knows herself, knowing she would fall for Cole and want to follow him to law school (her end game). Can't say that it means she doesn't love her, though. It's manipulation, but they're all manipulators (Cole, I'm looking at you). Could be she just wants to continue the Becker dynasty and she cares more about that than Maggie, or she could just want her daughter to make a lot of money and be successful, or both. Hard to say!

  17. Would she have been just a housewife to Max? I don’t get the sense he would have kept her from having a career, but maybe the point is she wouldn’t have the confidence in herself to do it. It feels like a cop out, or a justification for doing what she did (if she did). But I don’t really freaking know.I think Maggie’s happiness in her decisions lie in the fact that her Maxie is still in her life, happy for her and happy in his life. It’s a big part I think in why she loves her life and will probably have a great career.If her decisions caused her to lose Max completely, I think that would have devastated her and the Maggie we see 6 years in the future is totally different. And Carol couldn’t care less about Max and his importance to her daughter. If she truly loved Maggie, wouldn’t she be more aware of it?

  18. I understand, but that is her way (insulting in front of others). Carol thinks her hair is stupid. Maybe it is. Her face was puffy from too much sugar or salt. Maybe Maggie was eating too much junk. Harsh, yes, but leading to positive change that would help her daughter. I think a mother like Carol would want the best for her daughter. Usually, a Tiger Mom is a newer immigrant and arming their children against future hardships, often working around the clock themselves so their children will have an easier life. But definitely putting a weight on their children's back some deem harsh, while at the same time issuing a work ethic and dedication and discipline that once grown, these children do appreciate. Carol works around the clock, but her children won't have to fear poverty; what she fears the most is complacency, and doesn't want that for Maggie.In the end, Maggie will be happier pursuing law and moving on to work at google where i can guarantee you she will have a rewarding career of merit. That's not for everybody, of course, but maybe Carol knew what was in Maggie because it was in her too.When she was out of their control and into Vermont Maggie made her decisions on her path and the Beckers let her do it; paid for school regardless, because she at least pursued it seriously. But Maggie didn't love what she did. The painting was an escape. Without her overbearing mother she made choices she liked but might have proven ultimately unfulfilling.I'm not defending Tiger Moms. Truth is I don't know shit about it. I have many friends with Tiger Moms and they may have been stunted sexually and socially in some ways, but shit were they impressive, and still are. And ultimately happy with repaired familial relationships. Again, anecdotal, and I'm speaking from an external experience rather than a truth. Anyone given a choice, I think, would crave a family like the Miltons. Something to be said for temperance and rapprochement. I'm only defending Carol in the sense that I really believe she loves Maggie and wants the best for her. Her motivation is not to dominate her or hurt her. She receives no excitement or reward by being mean. She doesn't get off on it. She does it because she hates complacency.

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  21. @2b2hIt's pretty common to comment on your kids appearances and interests, I don't really care about that. I didn't say she wasn't a bitch, but I like that Carol doesn't fuck around and gets straight to the point. She's opinionated and she doesn't waste time. Martin is probably less of a hard-ass, though, you're right about that. He doesn't have a lot of screen time does he?

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  23. Because I'm pretty sure I'm full of shit on this one, at least in the way I was thinking, deleted!

  24. Oops wrong post to delete! Oh well, I still just don't find Carl's approach to be in Maggie's best interests.

  25. All the same, had a revelation there. I think I might be in love with Carol! Prequel, prequel!!

  26. KT, thank you for having such awesome commentary these last few days, it's so awesome when you talk about your stories!To be clear, I didn't think Carol was doing this to Maggie for any other reason than love, I'm not saying she gets off on punishment or whatever you think I meant. And I'm not even saying that Carol didn't know what's best for Maggie, but I am sure that she is damn lucky that Maggie turned out the way she did by treating her the way she did, because upbringings like Maggie's have led to some FUCKED up people. Probably not the norm, but I'm willing to bet her upbringing has led disproportionately to some deranged, fucked up people than healthy, thriving individuals.As far as Maggie making choices she didn't like in college, I found that to be a consequence of never being allowed to make her own choices until she was an adult, she wasn't good at it by that point! It's a skill, you develop any skill by learning, and learning is best done when you're younger and more malleable. Maggie was rigidly controlled her entire life with no emotional support (another skill she could have benefited from developing), and boom plop her in a liberal arts school “fine that's the choice you want, Maggie, you're on your own.” I just don't think she was given any chance to grow because of her parents, and so it makes sense to me she ended up following the completely beaten path, laid out for her, by them.

  27. I see that side KT. I think Carol is doing what she thinks will make her daughter happy. “She won’t be fulfilled as an artist, she needs to go to law school, I need to make that happen.” And I think in the end, in that sense, she was correct.But I think that’s a very narrow sense of what makes her daughter happy. Carol is blind to the potential consequences of her actions, and just how close all this was to completely blowing up in her face.For me, Maggie needs Max in her life on some level. He’s her best friend, her sounding board, someone who she can bounce things off of. I think in that sense he gives her something Cole can’t…and that’s important. If she lost that, if Max fled that night at the lodge and never spoke to her again, I think she may be irrepably harmed. Maybe not in the same way as Max, but I think it effects everything that happens later. A Maggie who knows she completely lost Max is not a happy and fulfilled Maggie.So in my mind Carol is extremely lucky that Max was able to get past everything and stay in their lives. With a few hours reflection I would say Carol loves Maggie and wants what’s best for her. But perhaps if she was that manipulative here she doesn’t understand her daughter as well as she thinks.

  28. I agree. I do think they help each other, give each other advice. Did you note that Max asked her if she'd decided about work? She said Google and he said I told you. I think she might turn to Max for some things before her own husband. though he didn't know part of her employment parametrs would involve her pregnancy.

  29. Exactly what I was referring to when I brought it up. I bet she had a lot of discussions with Max on what job to take. Not that she can’t have those talks with Cole (clearly he was involved and knew plans Max didn’t), but I do think her first default on life questions is to get Max’s thoughts.

  30. I dated Carol for 2 years (she was Japanese then); nothing gets by her (lived & worked in Asia for >30 years). Not only can she unlock his private laptop, she even has keys to the love nest in NY he thinks she does not know about.She and Martin are eager, perhaps even desperate to build a dynasty. Ken is not the way. He may be brilliant, but at best can be a client of Oxbow for his AI IPO, not a principal of the firm. Also, he is not likely to produce acceptable progeny.They saw Max as a less than enthusiastic son in law, not going to put in the many years of servitude and obsequiousness that they will demand (to say nothing about standing in for the auto da fe at SEC hearings). Cole is greatly preferable, as they can tell right away he is wowed by the trappings and has some off-camera time with the lovely Carol that tilts them in his favor.Tell me if I'm wrong, kt, but this all goes off the rails for Max when he finds that Maggie has already cheated in her mind with Jay, and then for real when he is in the closet. He sees Cole as the only acceptable option, because he thinks Cole is too much of a player to step in with Maggie. The visit to the Beckers changes Cole's mind about what Maggie and the folks have to offer him and and he ups his game.One clinker, kt, Max and Maggie decide to mess around with Jay, making him fall in love with Maggie and then dumping him. This seems like a good idea at the time for Max, given his devious nature and unwillingness to confront things with Maggie head on. But Maggie also seems to get some delight from this plan, and that is where I lost most of my enthusiasm for her. Why would she agree to go along with Max on this – or is she just saying that to Max so she can continue to enjoy biggus dickus (with apologies to Monty Python)?

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  32. Carol was watching it live from her playroom when she saw coles unit. It was on from there. She was gonna be sure to get some of that. As.foe manipulating Maggie. Its what parents do isnt it ? I mean we call it advice and guidance to sweeten it up but we try and steer our kids right..or where ever Carol plans to go.

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