Next Time On… Scenes From a Marriage episode 4 – “The Illiterates”

September 27, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 1
HBO
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It should be obvious at this point, but I don’t like Scenes From a Marriage very much. Because of that, I think the idea of speculating about where it might go next is a bit tedious, and likely impossible anyway, even if you’ve seen Ingmar Bergman’s 1973 original. The broad strokes are still there, but the details — and a lot of the brilliance — have either been changed or are missing completely. Scenes From a Marriage episode 4 has a summary, but it’s deliberately vague. We can, however, try and piece some assumptions together, starting by taking account of where we are:

  • As of “The Vale of Tears”, Jonathan and Mira have been separated for a year. She’s visiting him for a late-night conversation because she has a proposition — she has been offered a lucrative promotion that requires her to relocate to London, and she wants to know if Jonathan and their daughter Ava will relocate with her.
  • Throughout their conversation, it becomes clear that Jonathan is still struggling, with half of the house — mostly rooms that they shared together — in complete disarray. He and Ava are both using his office as a bedroom, and he has taken up smoking again.
  • As the tone relaxes, both become flirty, and Mira eventually tries to initiate sex, which Jonathan rejects in a supremely longwinded way. She does end up staying the night, though, and as they settle into bed, Jonathan’s girlfriend calls, and he inexplicably breaks up with her on the spot.
  • Close to the end, it is revealed that Mira and her boyfriend Poli are separating and that Jonathan knew this in advance, which puts all of the preceding events into a slightly different context.

Scenes From a Marriage episode 4 release date

“The Illiterates” will premiere on October 3, 2021, at 9 pm ET on HBO. It is the fourth of five hour-long episodes.

Where to watch online

As mentioned above, the latest episode will be available on HBO, either through cable subscription, or services such as DirecTVXfinitySpectrum, and YouTube TVHBO Max will also stream the episode.

Predictions and potential spoilers

Here’s the summary for “The Illiterates”: Jonathan and Mira reconvene, exploring the root of their connection but ultimately finding the source of their animalistic impulses.

  • We don’t know how much further into the future this episode will take place, but one assumes it’ll be during or after the divorce has been finalized. There may well be some debate over belongings and other tedious separation matters.
  • One imagines that “the root of their connection” is referring to their own personal anxieties; neither being truly confident in themselves or believing that their love is or ever was authentic. Both likely see the other as a way to salve their own deficiencies.
  • The Swedish original devolved into physical violence when the separation was at its nastiest. Will this version repeat that plot point, or is it not ideal in the current political climate? If we’re going there, I reckon we’ll be going there in “The Illiterates.”
  • “Animalistic impulses” likely refers to sex with other people, not with each other.
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1 thought on “Next Time On… Scenes From a Marriage episode 4 – “The Illiterates”

  • September 28, 2021 at 2:14 am
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    … interesting review comments:
    … that her & Poli are splitting-up… and
    … that in E4 we’ll be seeing either or both involved sexually w-other-people

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