With only one more episode to go, I’m not entirely sure now was the right time to direct focus entirely away from the main plot, but it made for an amusing deviation nonetheless.
This recap of Love & Anarchy season 1, episode 7, “Ayahuasca”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
As if Isabell wasn’t struggling enough before, she’s even more out of sorts after Lars ruined her birthday. Johan tries to essentially bribe her into eating her dinner, but all she wants is to visit Lars — something that Johan is adamant about not allowing.
Lars being committed has taken its toll on Sofie, too, especially with Isabell blaming herself for it. Max wants to be there for her, but is her young fling really who she needs right now? They still seem to be getting on, at least well enough for Caroline to see, which doesn’t bode well given she obviously has a thing for Max herself. Sofie wants him to go home to his mother’s for the weekend, as requested, and stand up for himself to her.
Friedrich, meanwhile, is fasting in preparation for his ayahuasca retreat, which was recommended to him in the previous episode by Denise (he feels he has lost himself after the StreamUs acquisition and the disastrous book fair presentation). Everyone seems to be reaching a crossroads here in this penultimate episode, especially Sofie since even her stress masturbation isn’t going well anymore.
Everyone is divided, then. Max goes to see his mother and stepfather. Friedrich goes on his ayahuasca retreat. These excursions are the most we’ve seen of either character away from the Lund & Lagerstedt office, and both are revelatory. Max’s mother is truly awful — all she seems to want to do is belittle him constantly — and Friedrich is looking for a “new perspective on life”, despite being obviously ill-suited to the all-white-wearing New Age hippie commune he finds himself among. The ayahuasca gives him terrifying visions of the staff and clients at the publishing house all berating him.
Sofie stays behind with Isabell, her relationship with Johan becoming increasingly fraught over what to do with her (and, one assumes, residual guilt about Sofie’s affair with Max). When baking comfort cookies doesn’t help, Sofie gives Isabell a condensed version of the sapling-to-forest plot from Love & Anarchy; Sofie thinks she’s finally growing into a forest. Johan, overhearing, says she sounds like “a stoned kindergarten teacher,” so she immediately decides to take Isabell to visit Lars.
Eventually, Max has quite enough of his mother, and turns up for the group photo totally naked, announcing to everyone that his girlfriend is an older, married woman. It’s a funny moment of catharsis after several tortuous scenes of him being berated for no reason at all. Friedrich’s personal journey is a bit more ambiguous. After experiencing more visions and eventually throwing his guts up, he returns to the Lund & Lagerstedt office and is unusually nice to Caroline, so perhaps he has turned over a new leaf. With only one more episode to go, I’m not entirely sure now was the right time to direct focus entirely away from the main plot, but it made for an amusing deviation nonetheless.
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