Maniac Season 1 Episode 2: Windmills Recap

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In episode 2, Windmills, we get to know Annie Landsberg, whose world is both the opposite from and the same as Owen’s. While Owen’s life has been filled with ongoing trauma dealt out by his large, abusive family, Annie has very little family, but has been shaped by a few key traumatic events and the loss of loved ones. Owen lives in poverty by choice, in order to maintain his integrity and mental health, while Annie has no choice but to eek out a living, in what’s clearly a difficult economy, on her own.

Owen has learned to retreat inside himself as a defense against the family he’s outnumbered by, while Annie has learned to posture and be aggressive when threatened. In episode 1, we saw her use her trench coat to appear larger, and her voice and facial expressions to drive away potential threats before they became serious. Since she’s on her own, she tries to scare away anyone who might hurt her before they can get too close.

Having grown up in a family full of aggressive posturers, Owen is immune to the tactic, until the aggressor gets serious about inflicting harm. He most likely can instinctively tell when that switch has flipped. At the end of episode 1 he walks right through Annie’s defenses as if they aren’t there, shocking her into taking a different approach with him.

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