The Lily Effect


We often forget that a single person can be very damaging to the psyche.  I occasionally refer to this as the Lily Effect.  I’m sure psychologists and psychiatrists the world over have another more professional name for it, but I named it after a TV character that put the phenomenon into my sights…

One of my favorite TV shows is Death in Paradise and I watch it a ton on Netflix… all the way from Season One, Episode One through Season 6, which is as far as it’s gotten on Netflix.  Season 7 has aired in the UK, but isn’t yet available on Netflix or Amazon.

In episode one, you are introduced to Richard Poole a Type A personality who has been sent to the island of St. Marie to investigate the murder of another Met Detective Inspector named Charlie Hulme.  Hulme has been the detective inspector for the island of St. Marie for a while and has integrated well with the Caribbean Island and is well liked, so his death is a bit of a shock.  Hulme’s Detective Sargent is a young lady named Lily.

Lily and Richard do not get on initially.  He’s a bit too stiff around the collar for her.  However, as they investigate, there is a scene that becomes vitally important to the first three seasons of the show.  Richard and Lily walking along the beach and Richard talking about himself, as though him and Lily and friends.

This scene is basically as loose as we will ever see Richard.  He is open and talking about himself, something he doesn’t do for the rest of the show, at least not willingly… And all because of Lily.  I’m about to spoil the first episode of this show, so if you haven’t seen it and think you might want to watch it, don’t read the next paragraph or two.  After opening up to Lily, Richard realizes that Lily is the only person that could have killed Detective Inspector Hulme.

And because of this, Richard never becomes close to anyone else on the island.  He falls in love with the replacement DS Camille Bordey, but he doesn’t open up to her the way he did Lily.  And his Type A personality goes into overdrive after he arrests Lily.  It is obvious that he feels betrayed by her and it shows in how closed off he becomes.

As the episodes continue throughout seasons one and two, you expect Richard to start opening up, there are even moments when it’s obvious that he wants to talk about things with Camille, Fidel, and even Dwayne, but he resists.  Essentially, his incident with Lily in the first episode sets the tone for the entire rest of Richard’s time on the island, one marked mostly by loneliness.  He often talks about returning home, yet it is also clear that he has no real friends in London due to his starchiness, but he also isn’t making friends on the island, even though he could be…  Basically, Richard was socially stunted when he got to St. Marie and his involvement with Lily in the first episode makes it worse, bordering on a type of madness or compulsion, that he can’t seem to get over.

I am trying to get back ahead on blog posts.  I have several ideas that have been ruminating, but I have lacked a desire to do the research necessary for them.

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