This is very much a Gina and Ani-centric episode, with a small interlude with Gina and Michele, which works very well in breaking up the action a little between the Gina and Ani scenes, an excellent choice.
From the beginning of this episode it becomes immediately apparent that Gina relies very heavily on Ani and her presence in her life, this seems to be down to several reasons, firstly that through their past relationship/interactions on whatever level that might be they have innate knowledge of each other, I think it might also be that because of this they sort of take each other for granted. Specifically I mean that they always know the other is there somewhere, even if not in the immediate vicinity, I also think that out of the two of them it is Gina who takes Ani for granted more than vice versa, though the third scene of this episode proves that Ani does also take Gina’s presence in her life as accepted (further commentary on that when I get to that scene in a few moments), that she has never thought that she wouldn’t be there.
In a way their relationship is kind of symbiotic, in that they both so deeply rely on each other, which gives me cause to wonder just what it is that the two of them have been through over the years, both together and apart. It certainly seems that Ani is the one person that Gina trusts over and above anyone else, possibly with the exception of Owen, with absolutely everything, ironically barring her own commitment to her.
Despite my earlier comments on some of the camera work not being the most amazing, this episode completely blows that out of the water, the camera work is subtle, reasonably simplistic and uncomplicated and unobtrusive and the use of the natural lighting offered in relation to the characters and the beach is perfect.
Despite the fact that Gina called Ani simply because she needed her, after seemingly some time after the first episodes events and ‘radio silence’ in the interim, Ani still calls her on her shit and seems to be the only person who can tell her the truth and not be fearful of the consequences. She tells Gina that until she fixes the mess that is her relationship with her Dad then she will never have a normal relationship.
I really like how Ani tells Gina the truth and what she needs to know even if, or rather when, she doesn’t want to hear it. I like how they have such a good relationship, despite not having a great relationship at the same time, at least not a romantic one, at the moment. Leccia is awesome in this scene, as she seems to be in all her scenes regardless of whom she is playing opposite at the time.
From the interactions of Ani and Gina it is evidently apparent that they have that intrinsic comfort with each other that can only come really from having worked opposite each other for so long on Guiding Light, their chemistry is immediately palpable.
There follows a brief interlude scene between Gina and Michele, a character who so far seems to be somewhat underused, but also seems to know Gina quite well, or at least is intuitively insightful if that is not the case.
Then we go back to Ani and Gina, though this time their meeting is at Ani’s instigation. Ani points out what the audience has already worked out, that Gina only really calls her when she is needed, that isn’t a relationship, or at least it isn’t what Ani is looking for so Ani is cutting the ties that bind them together (at least for the time being) for her own sake, she evidently accepts that their lives are intertwined but for the time being she needs to withdraw.
Does this mean that Gina’s main line of non-familial support is gone for good or will this distance make Gina learn ho to stand on her own two feet a bit more, to not rely on Ani always being there, to begin to understand that Ani really does need more from her if they have any chance of working out, if that is what either of them want out of it all.
Ultimately I think that the answer to the above is simply; no. These sorts of relationships never really end, that would be far too simple for all concerned (the characters and in this case the audience). It is obvious that they both still have very strong feelings for each other, but whether that means they will eventually end up back together remains to be seen.
The only dialogue issue I had with this whole episode was Gina and Ani referencing the night, we saw the morning after of in episode 1 as a ‘sleepover’. Are they 12? No matter, a lovely episode if ever there was one.