It’s the first time that we see Anna in seek of something only for herself and not for the benefit of everybody else. This makes the character more interesting also because her decision is in conflict with the fact that she’s choosing a dangerous path, a route far away from her family and not only physically speaking.
That doesn’t mean she doesn’t love her child or wife, it only means that Anna is not a saint or perfect, she’s human.
We listened to all the hours of the podcasts (only with the purpose of hearing something nice about Liz) and the writers never say much about the character anyway…so we are not sure if this was done intentionally, but the development of the character was done the right way in order to make Anna appreciated and understood by the audience.
The first time we met Anna, she helped someone and she keeps doing that. She even made sacrifices for that: she had to stay away from her loved ones in order to help. With this introduction, viewers only have good feelings toward the character and even if the latest Anna’s decision is a very controversial one, you cannot even judge her badly.
We thought about this because we remember how wrongly people judged the decision Rachel Matheson (Revolution) took when she decided to leave her family to fix something she felt responsible of.
What we have never loved about that show was the way they wrote the story, always by Charlie’s point of view and not the point of view of a grown-up woman. It was written through the eyes of a little girl who saw her mother going away to never come back, which was not only wrong but incredibly stupid and childish.
Elizabeth tried so hard to express all the pain, all the guilt and all the love Rachel had for her children, but in that case the writing didn’t help at all. Liz was phenomenal in that direction but it looked like the writing worked against it, which was – to say the least – totally weird.
Instead in The Expanse a similar decision can’t be seen wrongly thanks to the introduction of Anna they made before, and now, even if this time it’s a selfish desire, nobody can’t judge her for wanting something for herself just for once. We love that.
What we also love is not only the fact that we see a less flawless Anna, but the fact that even if she takes a decision to stay in order to witness something amazing, her “only miracle”, she doesn’t do that without regret.
When her priest friend tells her he’s gonna leave, not because he is afraid (he actually looks terrified btw) but because he has a son and he doesn’t want to risk he grows up without a father, the reaction on Elizabeth’s face is tremendous. It is like Anna hasn’t even thought about the consequences back home, and how her decision to stay could influence the life of her kid and wife and that line hits her like a bus.
Before that she is so disappointed about leaving that she only tries to find a way to stay and finding that in Miss Fagin, only the thought of being able to be part of something unknown but at the same time fascinating, fills her with joy.
In that scene Elizabeth makes Anna look almost like a child, excited at the idea but afraid to admit that she wants that for herself.
What we find a little off is that Anna keeps engaging with Miss Fagin. It’s a weird friendship considering Miss Fagin’s apparent personality. Maybe the pastor sees beyond the fist impression and is already aware that her new friend is not that superficial.
Oddly it doesn’t look a wrong decision, we love that Miss Fagin helps Anna to admit she wants to stay for herself.
The childish way Elizabeth portrays that part is simply beautiful.
What is even more beautiful is the call to her wife. Liz’s voice, her pauses, even the way she breaths while Anna is giving the news to Nono about her going through The Ring, are purity.
She wants to looks happy and totally calm like if she’s giving her a great news, but her voice breaks at “I will” and she hungs up the phone before finishing the line “be back” because she knows she might not be back. That small monologue was probably the best part and Elizabeth’s performance makes us emotional even re-watching the scene after the first time.
Heartbreaking and brilliantly executed! WOW!
The last scene is with Anna and Melba, now everyone knows that she’s actually Julie Mao’s sister. The pastor makes another attempt to establish some kind of contact with a clearly tormented soul. She fails again, but we guess she won’t stop trying.
We cannot wait to see what Elizabeth does next, we are so fascinated by the choices she makes with all her characters, watching her is surprising, unexpected and always an amazing pleasure!
What a deep talent! <3
3x09 - Anna Volovodov - Elizabeth Mitchell - Projects - Site Updates - The Expanse