What did he mean?

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Re: What did he mean?

Post by Krys » Oct 25th 2008, 4:04 am

I agree with chaseface888 that both Rayanne and Jordan wanted to be closer to Angela. Rayanne's mother said once that "[Rayanne] wants to be Angela" in Guns and Gossip, and with Rayanne down about thinking she messed up the audition -- as well as thinking that Angela could play Emily, with the innocence parallels -- I can see how she wanted to feel what it would be like to actually be her. She was even trying to mimic Angela earlier in the Betrayal episode to get the character right. And Jordan was obviously jealous over Angela's sudden interest in Cory, so in that moment, he let himself believe Rayanne was Angela. Or perhaps he really was a mere teenage boy who slept with Rayanne due to a combination of hormones and alcohol. I choose to believe that although he missed Angela and knew he wanted to be with her, he wasn't mature enough yet to face dealing with it, especially since he wanted sex as part of the relationship and that was something he knew she wasn't ready for. So, as someone else pointed out on a youtube video of the betrayal, it's like he slept with Angela by proxy... to get back at her, to be closer to her by sleeping with her best friend, and to get his mind off of her, all at the same time.

And I have to disagree with an above poster who said that Jordan was stupid, or "a dumbass." I don't think he is at all, for there are moments when he does appear rather astute. I also agree with everything Jody Barsch said in her post about Jordan being labeled a bad kid, the school system failing him, as well as being "out of it" at times. I'd like to add a few other things.

I think that he doesn't do well in school because of three things:

1. Nothing is expected of him.

(We know he grew up with an abusive father, so it doesn't seem he had anyone in his life to believe in him. Combine that with emotional abuse such as being called 'stupid' -- which often accompanies physical abuse -- and perhaps he grew up believing that himself. And I also believe he is too afraid to be somebody of which things are expected of, hence his "whatever happens, happens" philosophy and blow-off of meeting Angela's parents.)

2. He has a learning disability of some sort.

(I believe Angela suggested he had Dyslexia right before their second kiss in his car. And not everyone who grows up with a learning disability gets diagnosed and treated. It's believable that no one bothered to notice this until he was 17, with the students attending such a large city high school, where it's common for students to fall through the cracks. Also, could it be that the fact he continuously uses eye drops and closes his eyes -- as mentioned in the Pilot -- have anything to do with his reading problems?)

3. He hangs with a crowd that seems to not care much about school either.

(This group of friends seem to be an escape from the pressures of his home life and academia issues. They seem to accept him as he is, and share his love of music, which can also be seen as another escape, even though he appears to be growing bored of their behavior, as evident by the Halloween ep.)

Sorry to write so much, and I apologize if this has already been analyzed. I also realize that this topic has been dead for over 4 years, but couldn't help writing when browsing this thread!
Last edited by Krys on Oct 28th 2008, 2:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Cami A.
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Post by Cami A. » Oct 27th 2008, 4:13 am

I know this is from 5 years ago but this is the most beautiful piece of analysis on Jordan Catalano I've ever seen! I totally agree.
I'm a total Krakow supporter, but I think that all too often, those of us who opt for Krakow are overlooking the hidden complexity of Jordan's character. He is more than just a pretty face--and this is right on about how he perceives the events in the episodes!!!

Well Said, Jody Barsch!

Jody Barsch* wrote:I realize many out there will disagree, but I argue that Jordan, like Brad, “is surprisingly perceptive.” For as many times as Jordan misunderstands Angela, there are many when he does:
“What, you miss him?” Jordan understands from just a look that Angela misses Rickie and needs to be reassured by seeing him.
“I have this philosophy…” in “Life of Brian,” Jordan anticipates what Angela wants from him, and what information she is trying to get from him, and responds with a philosophy that gets him off the hook of making any more definite plans with her.
Jordan and Angela share personal information with each other early in their relationship: Jordan confides in her that he has difficulty reading, and she turns to him when she is feeing depressed and alone in “Strangers in the House.”
Although Jordan at times hurts Angela, he is aware of it and makes a start to fix things: In “Pressure” after he infers that she is, “abnormal?” he is aware of how this hurts her, and does want to take it back. This may not directly prove that he knows her, but is evidence that Jordan is aware of Angela. (YES! I know that we can argue that many times Jordan does not know what Angela needs or feels, but that does not cancel out the times when he does.)
Jordan knows her locker combination, he knows her phone number, he has seen her cry and attempted to comfort her, they have joked together (“Your mother says you like me”), he confides in her (about his band breaking up, his dream to be one of those guys who make snow, like as their job, his learning disability, his academic career, his frustrations), he learns how she feels about sex, he has seen her deal with the pressures of driving/growing up, he has seen her walk out of a class two times, they have kissed, he knows that she surprises him with little things like updates on the condition of his cuticles … He loves her, we can never say how well Jordan knows Angela because so much of their relationship is left out of the story of My So-Called Life. At the point he realizes he loves her, Jordan himself isn’t quite able to say why, but perhaps it is enough to say that he loves her, and however you may rate it, Jordan and Angela do have a relationship, and they do indeed know each other, to a degree. One important thing to remember when discussing this topic is that Jordan does not claim that he has known her all along, but that sometimes he feels like he really knows her – from their misunderstandings and awkward exchanges he has come to know and trust Angela Chase.

“When were they like total strangers?”
I think what Jordan is referring to here is Angela’s recent liberation from her obsession. Just as Jordan has come to know Angela as a person and “a friend, or whatever,” he has also come to know her as a constant in his life, someone who is always there for him to listen to him and wait around for him, until one day… As discussed on another strand, it is reasonable to believe that Jordan has seen Angela talking with Cory more than just the one time we witness it, and he is noticing that he no longer has her undivided attention, but probably it is more that she seems to be trying to make him jealous that is the side of her that seems strange to him. Even after they broke up, they were still seeing ach other everyday, and it was evident that they were both still interested in each other (“I’ll see you tomorrow” ‘”you must have me, as your own, you can’t live another day knowing others could possess me” “it would be different if we were… but now you’re just a friend, or whatever” “you could have sex with me if you really wanted to help” ) and now she is ignoring him in the halls.

“Is she even aware that Jordan cares for her? Because it sure didn't look like it when she was flirting with Corey”
I would say that she is flirting with Cory exactly because she knows he cares for her. You do not try to make someone jealous if they don’t care about you, I doesn’t work that way.

How does Jordan know that Angela knows about the "incident"
I’m not sure that he does. Jordan has his own moral code: he never lies, he approaches Rayanne after they slept together to check in (his actions in this scene indicate that his is somewhat of a ritual for him – an obligation after a hook-up, and he feels bad about sleeping with Rayanne (who he really doesn’t like) rather than Angela. I don’t think he knows that Angela found out when he approaches her with a pen, but rather that he is full of regret and wants to reach out to her in a way to refortify their relationship. It is an act of conscience that motivates the pen conversation.

MarsJunkie wrote:~and after she found out they had sex, she was different. She didn't care what he thought anymore.
~When he tells Rayanne that sometimes he feels like he knows Angela and sometimes he doesn't, it makes me think he might not know that she knows. (IMHO)
Re-screen this episode, your sequence of events is off.
"So, the mouse makes pressure, just by breathing?...I can relate."

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