After 5 long months; which is nearly 6 months; the wait is over! The Karen & Ellen Letters is back with a bang for Season 2. As well as the usual audio, we were treated to a YouTube video as well, to accompany the episode. It was really useful to help keep track of the different timelines. Of which there were quite a few! I will reference the video several times in this post.
The first six minutes of Episode 1 were the subject of an earlier blog post; so here goes for a speedy summary:
We start in early 2012, in Scottsdale, AZ, according to the video.
Dot is messaging her friend Helena on Facebook. Dot has retired, Robert has left her a while ago, and she has discovered the joys of cruising with her friend Jackie.
Where do these 2 fit into the story? There aren’t too many clues so far.
Back in 1989, and everybody’s favourite landlord, Mark, is finding himself on the receiving end of a reprimand. It takes the form of a letter from Bonnie; who we can deduce is Mark’s lawyer. Bonnie reminds Mark that he agreed that he would cease all contact with Ellen.
Mark agrees, somewhat reluctantly. Like us, I think he’s had a lot of fun with these letters.
Something I missed last time; Bonnie asks Mark to bring some candies and some devilled eggs to a party they’re both attending. It sounds like Mark may be a dab-hand in the kitchen; as well as The King Of Snarky Correspondence.
The first appearance of Karen in Season 2 does not pass without fanfare. Karen’s first letter is preceded by a very unique karaoke performance. Thanks to the video, we know it’s a fairly recent performance from 2014; at a bar called Di’s. What the singer lacks in any remote form of vocal talent; she makes up for in enthusiasm.
Speaking of lacking in capabilities; here comes Karen…
We’re back in familiar territory. It is once more the summer of 1987, and Mark’s now infamous tenants are just moving in.
Karen has some important questions:
Why is a cashier’s cheque called a cashier’s cheque?
Why does rent have to be paid up front?
It’s ok Karen. Anything you pay your landlord in advance; you can just ask for back at a later date. Once you’ve compiled your list – sorry, 2 lists – of ludicrous demands.
Next up was the absolute highlight of the episode for me. Ellen’s Rental Application form! Which was given to Mark after she had already moved in. Of course it was. There were some huge and fantastical revelations contained within:
Ellen can drive, but doesn’t like to, as she isn’t very good at it. Can you imagine?!
I think we should all just take a minute to be grateful that for once in Ellen’s life, common sense prevailed. I’m sure that there are many people who are still alive today; due to Ellen being reluctant to venture out behind the wheel.
We also learn that Ellen doesn’t have any pets. Something else to be thankful for. Any animals in Ellen’s care would probably have been very clean; but also probably pretty dead. If she’s not spending money on fuel and pet food; Ellen is going to have to find something else to splash out on. Because she has a LOT of money. A monthly allowance of $1,200; plus $350 per month from her trust fund. In today’s money, that’s an income of $3,390 per month. I’m a little upset that Ellen was better off as a student in 1987, than I am working 30 years later! But, I digress…
The biggest shock for me was to find out that Ellen had not only survived a year living away from home; but that she did this abroad. Budapest, Hungary, no less. What was she doing there? Some kind of student exchange programme? Why Hungary? Did she mistakenly think it was a country full of starving children; whom she could help through some kind of Good Deeds? I’d love to know. Hopefully we’ll find out more as Season 2 progresses.
“Ava”, who Ellen lived with in Budapest, is among Ellen’s list of referees. I bet Ava could tell a few tales about Ellen’s escapades abroad. Ellen’s astrologer is also on the list. Her number is unlisted, but Ellen assures Mark that she can get a message to her. They’re probably telepathically linked. Also down on the form are some previous employers. These include the Pickle company, whom we’ve heard mention of before. The site of another fiery work-place incident; that frustratingly never gets expanded upon. Ellen tells Mark, ” I don’t think you need to know about that.”
Oh we do Ellen. We really do.
Before we leave this gem of a document, we have to talk about the astrology section. The form didn’t have an astrology section; Ellen just found it extremely pertinent to include this information. Wow. She is seriously into this stuff. She gives a detailed analysis of star sign compatibility; of which Professor Trelawny would have been proud. Let’s just remind ourselves that this isn’t an application for a dating agency. It’s a tenancy agreement.
There was a great deal of information to attempt to relay; but here goes.
Ellen is a Gemini.
The best landlords for Ellen would be another Gemini, or a Sagittarius. Taureans and Cancerians would be considered; but Scorpios are a definite No Go.
Purely because they are Scorpios. And we all know what that means.
Virgos and Pisces are also no good for Geminis. This is because their suns are squared to each other. Apparently this is bad.
Moon, square, sun, is also difficult; but could be risked for the right property.
Understand now? Nope, me neither. I haven’t got the first clue what Ellen is on about here. But I’m going to attempt to find out. I’ll do a bit of research, and attempt to decipher some of this in a future blog post. Watch this space! (No pun intended).
After that complete and utter brain-fry, it’s comforting to be back with an unhappy Mark, in October of 1987. The rent is short. (He’d better get used to that!) This is due to yet more deductions decided upon by Karen. She has taken $231.00 off the rent cheque, to cover a “lost” porch light, and a pair of binoculars.
Now I’m sorry, but $231.00?????? The $30 bath mat in Season 1 was bad enough; but in what universe do 1 light + 1 pair of binoculars cost $231.00?????
Quite rightly, Mark is having none of this. He announces he’s coming to visit, to collect the outstanding amount. And also to replace the Caldwells’ sprinkler heads, that have mysteriously been broken. (The Caldwells are the neighbours of Karen and Ellen, who also rent a property from Mark).
Replying to Mark, Karen reveals that they think that the porch light may have been stolen! This is why binoculars are required. To retrospectively watch out for the perpetrator of a crime that has already occurred. Completely logical! Karen also apologises to Mark for not hearing the doorbell when he attempted to call round. Maybe the thief made off with the doorbell too? Or perhaps the car wash was just particularly loud that day! These 2 will be needing hearing aids next, as well as binoculars.
Mark suggests that maybe the girls should file a police report about the theft. He is also surprised that the girls have already bought a replacement light, without consulting him first. Oh Mark. Little do you know! Authorisation and jurisdiction mean nothing to these two. I just hope that they got it in Eggshell.
Karen is very quick to reassure Mark that there is no need to involve the police.(Personally, I think that this is because Rob’s sticky fingerprints are all over the porch light. Probably on the Caldwells’ sprinkler heads too. Clumsy seems to be his middle name.)
Karen has enclosed 2 cheques for the remainder of the rent. Ellen is paying more, as she wasn’t home when the porch light disappeared. Maybe this is because the cost wouldn’t divide equally by 2. Or maybe it’s a Karen-imposed fine, for Ellen not using her “inner-eye” to foresee the theft.
Suddenly, the episode takes a whole new direction. According to the video, we’re in Manhattan, KS; and it’s 1998.
“This is unbelievable,” somebody is writing. What, we don’t know. But it’s not Karen’s maths skills this time. It sounds like something way bigger.
“Long story. Want to get to work straight away. Need the entire team out here, like yesterday.”
What is going on? This sounds huge. I can’t wait to find out. At the moment, I have zero sensible guesses. In my head, I’m imagining another Rob-fuelled catastrophe. An entire team of agents; with Men-In-Black-style gadgets; swoop in to erase the memories of any witnesses. All in the name of protecting You Know Who.
The final line of this exchange is:
“Until I say so, no-one knows about this.”
Whoever you are, please say so quickly. WE NEED TO KNOW!
The penultimate part of Episode 1 brings us hurtling back to 2017. We at last get to hear a few more details about the results of Sara’s cyber-stalking; which we had a teaser for at the end of Season 1. Sara is truly a Facebook sleuth extraordinaire. She has found someone called Rob, who was married to Karen. This is phenomenal news! But – and it’s a big But – they were both born in the 1950s. This doesn’t tally up with them being teenagers in the late 1980s. And they already had a child. A girl. Josh voices what we’re all thinking…..
“COULD IT BE ELLEN?”
Could it? This is mind-blowing. Is everything that we thought we knew that we knew, a lie?
And that’s where we are left hanging. How can any of this make sense? Like Karen’s maths, it doesn’t add up.
Fittingly, we end the episode hearing from the person at the centre of this controversy. Ellen’s heart-warming mouse release video wraps up Episode 1. We’ve got a date for this video now, 2016. (Thanks YouTube). So this is ultra-recent Ellen. Exciting! This is conclusive proof she’s been found, surely?
As usual, Josh has left us with more questions than answers. Will we get any answers in episode 2? Somehow I doubt it! But whenever they come; it’s totally terrifical to be immersed once more in the crazy world of Karen & Ellen.