Just to recap: Season 1 opened with the lead character standing inside a torn-down house. No longer protected by a castle of certainty, he was exposed to new ideas and people. Blinded by sunlight across the camera lens, you could feel the raw fear in the morning air of those early episodes.
It seems he had built those walls to divide the world into Us and Them. But when one of us became one of them, the whole facade came crumbling down. Why were there two tribes in the first place, he wanted to know – and why such a big wall between us?
Season 2 turned that passive uncertainty into an active rejection of certainty. Watching along, we wondered if the house would be completely destroyed. Or was it to be a thorough cleaning? Either way, we watched in horror as everything was put out onto the driveway for examination.
But then, there was a turn:
the empty house seemed to become a canvas. Now that so much clutter was removed, the possibilities seemed endless. With curtains waving wildly, fresh air blew through the remaining windows and washed the dust from whatever furniture was left. Seeing down to the studs reminded us what the house was originally built for. Piles of Pleasing Others and Fear of Failure had filled the walls like pink insulation, now melted like cotton candy in the bright daylight. Seeing the potential of the place eased the pain of watching the all that stuff on the driveway get hauled away.
There were signs of acceptance – and more – as this new freedom began working its way out creatively. Finding himself in stories new (marching and volunteering and listening) and old (visiting the prodigal son’s family for advent through a 19th century painting), our main character had a new outlook on life. And it had to be expressed: through painting, writing, design – even soccer and software found their way into the story.
Alas, such a flourish of creative outlet couldn’t last forever. As Season 3 picked up, the rebuilding plans hit a roadblock. While being driven to change, it wasn’t clear what that would look like, or how to start. At the center of it all was the image of the Spirit hovering over the deep – dark and formless – awaiting a “Let there be light” moment. There was the depressive feeling of loss, and the obsessive drive to solve (brain) or serve (body) his way out of it. In a flashback scene, we learned he’d been here two decades earlier – stuck in that slow slog between who you no longer are and who you will be.
Just when we thought of tuning out, some major plot changes were finalized and declared. The main character left the church he was seemingly born in, and after nearly a decade at work, took a new job. Culturally he seemed almost more comfortable with Them than Us. It got confusing to watch when he found a bunch of Us over there with Them. Life was no longer clear and tidy. But even as we held our breath, he was breathing still, confident even, accepting and settled in his new (and renewed) direction.
Now that the club membership list has been scandalized, who might be invited into the common table?
And that brings us up to speed, as Season 4 begins. What should we expect next? His canvas-of-a-house is still spaciously grounded: might we see some new paint on the walls? Rumor has it there will be more color than before. With so many windows open, will he venture into ever more communities? Many remain unvisited. And who might be invited into the common table now that the club membership list has been scandalized? How will the old paths be transformed into the story?
All we can say is, when a character starts referring to himself in third person, there’s just no telling what might happen.
We wait to see. Season 4 – bring it on.