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Old September 14th, 2008, 05:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
Xabofar
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MERCY FALLS - THE STORY (SPOILERS!!!)

Hi to all.

I discover SW with the mighty Waiting in the Wings and of course I purchased Mercy Falls via Lion Music (superb fast shipping!!!).

The album was released two days ago and I think now is the time to discuss the plot and the storyline here.

Someone wants to be the first?

Cheers from Spain
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Old September 14th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
fire_angel
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Absolutely. Firstly let me just say, Mercy Falls is an incredible piece of music. I couldn't be happier with it.

As for the story...I'm still rather fuzzy on the details, although i've only listened to it a few times in the last couple days.

So a guy is in a car crash, and then subsequently in a coma. His wife is by his bed feeling sadness (and as we later find out, guilt). The man wakes up in a town called Mercy Falls (a place that exists in his head). There, the man senses something is out of place and wants to know why he is there. He sees a woman in the window. The townspeople tell him to leave her be. While in the coma, the wife becomes an alcoholic. The son, missing his father, runs away and forges the mothers signature to allow a bone marrow transplant from himself to his father. The man's father is later by his bed, upset at the state of his sons life. Back in Mercy Falls, a storm is approaching, and the man must rally the town together to protect everyone. The storm hits. Back in the real world, the wife starts to show guilt, and remembers the past, telling the husband in his sleep that he wasn't there for her, and so she turned to another man. In Mercy Falls, the man gathers the survivors and gets them to help each other. The man rescues the woman. He believes that saving the people is his ticket home, but for some reason he can't seem to leave. He believes the woman may be the key to finding closure.

<I get lost here and can't put my finger on what exactly is happening>

The wife says her final goodbye, and decides to turn off the mans life support just as his realization of things will allow him to awake from his coma. The truth is finally revealed to us, and while passing into the afterlife, the man remembers that the wife had an affair and that the man's son was not actually his (thus the reason the transplant didn't work). Not too sure what Black Parade is about though. The afterlife?

I'm probably making up quite a bit of that, but thought i'd have a crack anyway.

Last edited by fire_angel : September 14th, 2008 at 09:22 AM.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 09:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah something about a town called "Mercy Falls" sounds a little unappealing. I'm in no way capable of figuring out the album, although I did pick up the bone marrow not being his son's therefore it failed. Interesting read so far though.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 08:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thats a nice stab of the story Tim; lot more in-depth and detailed then I could have pieced together.
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Old September 15th, 2008, 09:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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With the exception of that woman in the window, that's exactly how far I got without the lyrics, too. I'm guessing that "The Black Parade" mainly is the m0ral of the story. It's like: 'live your life with energy; don't let your days pass meaninglessly because they're all you have; be sensible towards the world around you and live with passion' - that's what I'm guessing at least. I'm so looking forward to being able to order the album at the end of this month!!

I love those "place inside of someone's head while in a coma"-stories! Just like in Ayreon's "The Human Equation" or the book "The Coma" by Alex Garland or... the BBC TV series "Life On Mars" and "Ashes To Ashes"! Or the computer game "Sanitarium" or... the movie "Vanilla Sky" or....... does anyone know others like that? I absolutely love those!!
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Old September 15th, 2008, 09:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
Iced Dog
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Wow, I never knew there were so many...it's like a new genre, Coma Drama
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anything with a dragon/sword/elf on the cover is probably good
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Old September 16th, 2008, 07:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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An awesome genre if you ask me!
I started a new thread for that, so that we can continue discussing the story of "Mercy Falls" here.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I would love to join you guys in your thoughts/discussion about MF but.................

I STILL DIDN'T GET MY COPY!

As you can imagine i was very pissed off last weekend and still am.
I ordered my LE-copy on the 15th of august.....
Come on, it's the Netherlands, not some eskimo-town in Alaska or some indian-tribe in the bush-bush or something (nothing wrong with that, btw)

My message to Cdinzane?
I'll say this in a nice way - I won't be ordering there again.
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Old September 16th, 2008, 04:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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CDinzane just sucks, I'd still be waiting if I didn't order from LM. Hang in there bro, its worth it.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 03:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SonataFanatica View Post
the BBC TV series "Life On Mars" and "Ashes To Ashes"!
Such awesome shows. I loved Life on Mars especially.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 05:23 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Such awesome shows. I loved Life on Mars especially.
Yeah, me too! Too bad Sam and Annie aren't featured in "Ashes To Ashes" anymore. It would have been a blast seeing them again... but well...
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Old September 24th, 2008, 02:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
Kazar
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Hey all,
here's my view on a little story called 'Mercy Falls'.

From what i'm reading in the booklet 'Mercy Falls' does exist in real life:
our coma-patient is lying in 'Brickwater County Hospital / Mercy Falls'. Also the letter Mary sent to the docter came from and went to an adres in Mercy Falls.
Of course, the songs with a 'second title' in the booklet have a special meaning. I agree with fire_angel that the patient is living some other life in his coma/dreams but I have a feeling that experiences/events/feelings from his 'real-life past' somehow became a part of the dreams in his coma.

'The town - Welcome to MF' is of course about his welcome to 'Mercy Falls'. He's invited to stay and is asked to leave all his trouble behind.
In 'The two - Unbreakable' we meet an older woman who has lost the will to live. Life isn't joyful anymore, she has lost an important person in her life, and she's preparing to leave this world behind.
I have a feeling that 'Tears for a father' and 'The boy - A day away' somehow belong together. The boy in real-life tells a story about (school and) stealing apples while a simular situation happens in the beginning of 'The boy'..... so, maybe he can hear 'his son' and that little story brings him back to his own childhood (in his dreams!) where he himself played with a friend.
'Tears for a son' is about his real-life father or mother saying how (s)he misses his/her son.

In 'The lady - Paradise' we meet the woman again who's still ready to go to the 'other side'......she's tired of life as it is.
'The storm - Fall in line' is pretty clear. Everyone is gathered to protect the little town from the storm.
'The walk - Break the silence' is a tough one. The first three paragraphs have nothing to do with the dream in his head so this indeed must be his wife in real-life explaining her infidelity. The scene goes back to his dream where the preparation for the storm continues.......I get the idea that the old woman and our patient have met during the preparations for the storm and that they somehow felt a connection between the two of them. She ditches him, she doesn't understand her own feelings, but he returns because he wants to know what is going on. He remembers her but he's not sure...

'The game- Hide and seek' is the next one. Our patient remembers a little more and somehow sees himself in the old lady. She herself feels more alive, feels things she hasn't felt since a long time...... maybe a long shot here but: is he her son whom she lost a long time ago? Is it his name she was crying out?
'The chaos - Destiny calls' is the last song in his coma/dreams. I get the feeling that we get back in time to an earlier stage of his childhood. I'm not sure here but i guess that he had been left behind by his mother and her new man. The mother always deeply regretted her decision but now, after all these years, they have found each other again. Our patient feels strengthened by his discovery and is ready to get out of his coma.

In 'One last goodbye' we see that he wants to enter the real world again but meanwhile his wife has decided to pull the plug.....so he dies.
In 'Back in time' we find out that the boy sitting at his bed is not actually his son. Of course, our patient knew that but i feel that the discovery in his dream about his mother made him exept the boy as his own.
I agree that 'The Black Parade' is the moral of the story. Like SonataFanatica said: "live your life with energy; don't let your days pass meaninglessly because they're all you have; be sensible towards the world around you and live with passion".


So, this is it.
What do you guys think of it? Does this make any sense....?

Last edited by Kazar : September 25th, 2008 at 10:18 AM.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 04:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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First of all.... Hi!
I'm an Italian guy and I liked very much Mercy Falls, it's an unbelievable album , my compliments to the band!

I dont' understand very well the story, I dont' speak english very well, but the Kazar's interpretation of the lyrics seems good to me.

Ehy Andreas, I want an official explaination!
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Old September 25th, 2008, 06:29 AM   #14 (permalink)
AndreasBlomqvist
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In due time, my Italian friend, in due time...

-this is part of the fun -figuring stuff out, ya know?

Cheers!
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Old September 25th, 2008, 10:18 AM   #15 (permalink)
Kazar
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I edited my post above because I suddenly thought about the fact that we don't know for sure who's at the side of his bed in 'Tears for a son'. It could be his father OR his mother.
In fact, looking at my previous 'ending-thoughts' above I now tend to believe that it IS his mother.
She had been 'living hell' all these years without him and was leading some other life elsewhere - 'The mask I carry.......the pain of missing you".
She found out that her son was in a coma and went to the hospital to see him again.
Our patient is somehow aware of her presence - Like I said, I also believe he could hear his wife and his 'son'. His mother's presence in real-life somehow gave her a big(ger) part in the story from that point on in his dreams/coma -eventually leading to the point where they find each other.

Andreas, am I getting somewhere or does this make NO sense at all?
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Old September 25th, 2008, 10:43 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kazar View Post
I have a feeling that 'Tears for a father' and 'The boy - A day away' somehow belong together. The boy in real-life tells a story about (school and) stealing apples while a simular situation happens in the beginning of 'The boy'..... so, maybe he can hear 'his son' and that little story brings him back to his own childhood (in his dreams!) where he himself played with a friend.
Yeah, I think so too. The son at his hospital bed tells him about that thing with the apples from the tree and as soon as he leaves and turns on the radio, our patient remembers several childhood memories, too. He re-lives some adventurous things from his childhood.

Quote:
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maybe a long shot here but: is he her son whom she lost a long time ago? Is it his name she was crying out?
(...)
I'm not sure here but i guess that he had been left behind by his mother and her new man. The mother always deeply regretted her decision but now, after all these years, they have found each other again. Our patient feels strengthened by his discovery and is ready to get out of his coma.
That's one way to see it, yes. The guilt of leaving his mother behind kept him trapped inside his head. In "Paradise" he sings "I smell their little lies, FATHER!!" which could mean that he knew about the mother cheating the father in real life and he turned his back on his mother and the new man - OR it could mean that his father turned his back on the mother ("turn away, baby, forever I'm gone")!

Another way to see it is that this woman who's crying out is his wife whom he neglected a lot in real life so that she was so desperate for love that she cheated on him - which is when the son was conceived. This seems to be the content of the first lines in "Break The Silence" (from 0:00 to 1:25):

"I think about love and the things that I've done,
A heart open wide and I stabbed a knife.
How could I feel the way that I've felt
I felt it was love, and was heaven-sent.
You set me free, never cared for me.
I needed love, a touch from your hand
I need to feel you care.
Then there he was, made me feel whole inside,
this burden of guilt tears me up
You must believe...
I'VE TRIED!!!"


She really tried staying true to him but he didn't show her that he cared at all, so when that other man came and made her feel whole inside, she just couldn't take it anylonger and betrayed him with that man.

I'm trying to interpret some lines from "Hide & Seek" all the time but it's really difficult because there are different things one can interpret into those lines!
For example:

"I can feel her pain running through my veins"
This could be his mother's pain he feels - but also his wife's pain while she's living her life without him, waiting for him to wake up from the coma. So what exactly does the woman in Mercy Falls in his head embody...? Dammit...

"I can sense the joy from this little boy, the hole in my soul starts to heal"
I can imagine that this is his his son (which isn't really his son, you know what I mean). First - in "Break The Silence" - he neglects him quite a bit because of the fact that it's not his son ("this lazy boy can help" and "thanks for the help, here's a dime, now off you go").
But after a while he seems to accept this fact and begins to accept him as a son and as soon as that happens, his 'wounds' start to heal.

So my final thought is:
As soon as he's finally ready to accept his son as his son and also experiences the pain from his mother, he decides to reunite with his mother who's been in such pain and loneliness without him. And as soon as he experienced the desperation of his wife, he decides to care more about his wife, whether or not she cheated on him, he decides that he has to wake up, but for some reason he can't. We then find out that the doctors think he doesn't wake up because the bone marrow transplant didn't help - they don't know that it was just his head, his psyche that kept him from waking up - so after the doctors say that there's no more hope, his wife decides to pull the plug.

In "The Black Parade" it says: "Hold on tight and never let go, don't let go"
If he hadn't neglected his wife, but instead lived with more passion and care she wouldn't have cheated on him.

And I think that the part "Hard to see behind a wall of darkness" means that he was shocked about the boy not being his son but after he felt the love and care and joy from that boy, he knew not to care about such (almost superficial) circumstances but simply see the boy as a boy and not as someone who doesn't belong to him.

"Cause when time runs out, all your fears will be inane" means that life's just too short to neglect people, to abandon people, to be angry at people and to not care about people. Also it may be a warning like: the man has been in the coma for so long that now time has run out. If he had overcome the walls inside his head, he would have had the chance to wake up before anyone pulls the plug!

And I'm afraid I must have misunderstood quite a lot, haven't I...?
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Old September 25th, 2008, 11:16 AM   #17 (permalink)
Kazar
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Some nice thoughts, SonataFanatica.

One thing though; how would you interpretate 'Paradise' if the 'Father' in that part/song is God?!

I think when a real person is ment, it would be 'father' but often God is mentioned as 'Father', with the capital F.
I interpretated this song as a cry-out to God, not asking Him to forgive her but to 'judge' her for her (horrible) deeds.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 11:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Sonata, that is some excellent analysis. Minus the 'god' interpretation, I think that's pretty close to the mark actually, and helps put the second half of the album into real perspective. Good work.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 12:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
estYMaj
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My guess Is they wrote this story with the main part of the accedent/coma/father, son , wife part easy to interpert , But everything else about it could be interpreted differant ways by all of us ,
Im not to sure there is a clean cut explination for everything
But then again sometimes it takes a while to figure concept albums out .
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Old September 25th, 2008, 06:48 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Hey all - I've been a long time reader here but I felt I had to come and chip in my 2 cents about this intriguing story.

Some great analysis there, Sonata - most of which I agree with, but with the exception of these parts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by SonataFanatica View Post
"I can feel her pain running through my veins"
This could be his mother's pain he feels - but also his wife's pain while she's living her life without him, waiting for him to wake up from the coma. So what exactly does the woman in Mercy Falls in his head embody...? Dammit...
Based on the context of the previous line:
"this old widow plays tricks with my brain"
I think it would be safe to assume that it's his mother's pain he is referring to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SonataFanatica View Post
"I can sense the joy from this little boy, the hole in my soul starts to heal"
I can imagine that this is his his son (which isn't really his son, you know what I mean). First - in "Break The Silence" - he neglects him quite a bit because of the fact that it's not his son ("this lazy boy can help" and "thanks for the help, here's a dime, now off you go").
But after a while he seems to accept this fact and begins to accept him as a son and as soon as that happens, his 'wounds' start to heal.
Two points here, both of which are connected:

1. I interpreted "Hide and Seek" as having 2 characters in it ("Two hearts in the search for.."): a younger version of the patient (the boy) and his mother (the old widow - also the fact that she is described as a widow would lead me to presume that the patient's father is dead, which ties in with my later observations, below), so I don't think it has anything to do with his illegitimate son.

2. I also interpreted "Break the Silence" as having the same two characters
from the repeated references to "boy", "rascal" etc., "her" and this line: "It's crazy, this old primadonna".

In addition, early in the song is this line:
"But my back may hurt, so OK"
And who else do we know with an aching back? Yup, the character by the side of the patient's bed in "Tears for a Son" which, I believe, gives very strong evidence towards the argument that that character is his mother.

The way the lyrics and the music play out during these two songs leads me to believe that they are in sequence with each other and so that the characters in "Break the Silence" are the same as in "Hide and Seek". Therefore, it would be the bonds/wounds broken between the patient and his mother that are healing.


The last thing I wanted to bring up which I don't think anyone has touched on yet is "The Black Parade". Not necessarily about the actual song, I think what most people have reasoned out about the moral to the story etc. is fairly true - but the actual song and it's placement in the album.

Yes, it's the epic closer but if we look at the actual title of the song: "The Black Parade" I think that gives a pretty big clue as to what's happening in the story (from what I've read I've gotten the impression that people don't see this song as part of the actual story; sorry if I've got that wrong).

When I think of a parade of black, the first thing that pops into my head is a funeral/funeral parade - in this case, for the patient. And I almost imagined the song reflecting the thoughts of those involved with patient who, through his coma, managed to come to terms with themselves and find out about who they really are. Be it a good or bad person they all seem to agree that living life to it's fullest is the only way to live after seeing one of their loved ones pass away early.

Well, that turned out to be longer then I had expected :P

Last edited by Gryll : September 26th, 2008 at 06:43 AM.
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Old September 26th, 2008, 04:40 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryll View Post
"this old widow plays tricks with my brain"
I think it would be safe to assume that it's his mother's pain he is referring to.

1. I interpreted "Hide and Seek" as having 2 characters in it ("Two hearts in the search for.."): a younger version of the patient (the boy) and his mother (the old widow - also the fact that she is described as a widow would lead me to presume that the patient's father is dead, which ties in with my later observations, below), so I don't think it has anything to do with his illegitimate son.

2. I also interpreted "Break the Silence" as having the same two characters
from the repeated references to "boy", "rascal" etc., "her" and this line: "It's crazy, this old primadonna".
Yep, that makes more sense than thinking about it may be the wife. Thanks for the interpretation, you made that a lot clearer to me!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryll View Post
In addition, early in the song is this line:
"But my back may hurt, so OK"
And who else do we know with an aching back? Yup, the character by the side of the patient's bed in "Tears for a Son" which, I believe, gives very strong evidence towards the argument that that character is his mother.
I thought a long time about this obvious connection of the hurting back but I still had problems recognizing the true connection! It may be because I had always thought that the person in "Tears for a Son" were his father and not his mother!
But... does she lie in the room next door and hears the music the patient plays when his wife and his son turn the radio on? And does she know that the man next door who plays "evil music" is her son?

When I first heard the line "my back hurts and ruins my sleep" I thought it would be the patient's father who donates some of his own bone marrow for his son (the patient) so of course his back hurts...? But now after finding out that it's actually his mother... is she only there by coincidence/fate? Or does it have something to do with the patient?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryll View Post
(...) so that the characters in "Break the Silence" are the same as in "Hide and Seek". Therefore, it would be the bonds/wounds broken between the patient and his mother that are healing.
But it's only in his mind/imagination that those wounds are healing, isn't it? So it's basically forgiveness that finally enters his mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gryll View Post
And I almost imagined the song reflecting the thoughts of those involved with patient who, through his coma, managed to come to terms with themselves and find out about who they really are. Be it a good or bad person they all seem to agree that living life to it's fullest is the only way to live after seeing on of their loved ones pass away early.
That's a nice idea, too! It's not only that the listener should take these pieces of advice but it could be that the involved persons have come to this conclusion. Great!

In "Destiny Calls" at 4:17 - what is it that happens? This is still the greatest mystery of the album for me. Is there anyone who has some ideas? I do have some vague clues but nothing "real" yet...

Oh, and another word or two about "One Last Goodbye"...
I often have the feeling that the person(s) who sing(s) could be the people in real life who are involved with the patient but also the inhabitants of Mercy Falls inside the head of the patient. Especially in the line "we're all here beside you" What do you think?
On a sidenote: I absolutely love this song and it's almost impossible to hold back the tears when the silent moment comes where the wife pulls the plug... I guess the line "and tears keep on falling" is to be taken literally for the listener, too.

What about the storm, people? In some way I think the approaching of the storm in Mercy Falls is a direct consequence of the feelings and emotions of the patient - it's his "world" after all! So what is the storm? His guilt? Let me think about that a little longer...

Man, this is fun!! I love this discussion!!!
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Old September 26th, 2008, 12:04 PM   #22 (permalink)
Kazar
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The story is a very intelligent one but...... I do feel that the story has some kind of 'plot-hole' in it.

After the crash we get a scene where the wife and docter are at the side of the bed of our patient. The docter leaves the room and we hear him shut the door. The wife talks to our patient. She says that the docters are losing hope, he should give her some kind of sign that he's 'in there' and that the next treatment will be very imporatant. She then says "...and you know it involves our son...".
Later, of course, we find out that the boy is not their son at all.

Of course, she feels guilty and I understand that she refers to the boy as THEIR son to the WORLD OUTSIDE (she doesn't want to be looked upon as a cheater) BUT I think it is very strange to call the boy their son when she's alone with him. There's no need to do that; our patient knows it's not his boy so that's kind of silly. Calling the boy by his name would be more appropriate in that situation.

So, was this 'put in' to make the shock for us at the end of the story a lot bigger?
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Old September 26th, 2008, 12:25 PM   #23 (permalink)
AndreasBlomqvist
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Well, first of all you have to remember that it has been like 7 years and during all those years she has of course had nothing but hope to hold her company and in a mix of naive hope and denial she feels and wishes that the child was theirs. I mean, she did not tell him until thd crash that the kid was not his, which means they went through the first phase of the pregnancy in bliss and living a dream... -plus, she does in fact also stop herself immediately after uttering those words... ;-) to me that is a perfect example of human nature, with all its flaws...
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Old September 26th, 2008, 01:16 PM   #24 (permalink)
Kazar
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Ok, thanks Andreas, for clearing that one up.
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Old September 26th, 2008, 01:38 PM   #25 (permalink)
Kazar
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Originally Posted by Gryll
Quote:
In addition, early in the song is this line:
"But my back may hurt, so OK"
And who else do we know with an aching back? Yup, the character by the side of the patient's bed in "Tears for a Son" which, I believe, gives very strong evidence towards the argument that that character is his mother.
Originally posted by SonataFanatica
Quote:
I thought a long time about this obvious connection of the hurting back but I still had problems recognizing the true connection! It may be because I had always thought that the person in "Tears for a Son" were his father and not his mother!
But... does she lie in the room next door and hears the music the patient plays when his wife and his son turn the radio on? And does she know that the man next door who plays "evil music" is her son?
As you can read in one of my earlier posts I had a feeling it was his mother who was standing at the side of the bed telling him how she had missed him BUT I do think that OUR PATIENT is the one who is 'singing/thinking' the part: "my back hurts......a creep".
You can hear a change of tone in the music when that part gets started --> the mood gets darker, as if Tommy is singing through another character.
Hospital patients sometimes do get backproblems because they are lying in their beds in the same position for a long time.
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