Tuesday, November 6, 2012

When You're At Home: Adalind Schade

In light of Adalind's imminent return to Portland, let's talk about that house she abandoned last season! I have to tell you guys, without going back and looking, my strongest memory of this place is the kitchen which is such a showroom it's painful. I mean, it works, it's not a bad kitchen, but it's intended to be seen more than it's intended to be worked in. Why yes, I have Opinions about what kitchens are for, are any of you surprised at this point? I didn't think so.

(Hint: blood cookies are NOT on my list of approved kitchen usages.)

We see bits and pieces of Adalind's place in four episodes: Island of Dream, Thing With Feathers, Love Sick, and Woman in Black. I can't decide if I hope we see her (new?) place in this next two eps or not, but it's quite certain we'll see the Hexenbiest herself. Yay. No, wait, the other thing. Unless she has an actual cure that someone chews out of her liver rather than giving her the key. Look, a girl can dream, okay? And Adalind's overfond of mind-whammying people, which is one of my major, major "oh fuck you you're evil" buttons. Ahem. But continuing on to the profile of her house. I expect I'll be saying house rather than home quite a lot, because this place is so damn cold and almost sterile for all that it pretends to warmth in places that it makes me twitch. Our first shot is of Adalind's kitchen, which while very lovely is not your traditional cooking workroom. It is if anything a combination zaubertrank and cooking room. Once we zoom out from Adalind pouring Hank's blood into the cookie dough we have a wine rack off to the left, with some kind of modern abstract black-and-silver curtains. There's a big central island with a large marble slab where she's working, I can't tell offhand if that's a permanent fixture on the island or not. I'm guessing it is, something that heavy would be a pain in the ass to lift on a regular basis. We can see that the toaster, microwave, and kettle all match and are blood-red, thanks for that, guys. They also appear to all be fairly high-end. The blender or juicer or whatever it is on the edge of the counter past the island (visible just beyond the grimoire) does NOT appear to match, though. One of the reasons I say this kitchen is a showpiece is the fact that the contents of the cabinets are clearly laid out to be seen. Nobody I know who actually uses their kitchen on a regular basis has room for shit like pretty plates standing vertically in back of a cupboard. No, they're all stacked up and ready to use. There are three placemats laid out but only two chairs (and those also sleek modern design which look really uncomfortable), which I would guess is done for the look of it rather than the fact that Adalind often entertains that many guests. Everything that's not currently in use is very precisely placed for maximum visual effect; this kitchen could not scream Appearances Matter any louder unless it were, oh, Renard's. Though in some respects it's worse, because Renard is allowed not to give a damn and to leave his cupboards closed, because men aren't expected to cook. (K: More practically speaking, when would Renard have time to cook?) (A: For that matter, Adalind shouldn't have time to cook either, given her job as a lawyer. Renard's is about status; Adalind's is about gender roles, which says some fascinating things about their characters I might get into. Later, because this digression is long enough already. Ahem.) This is very, very Martha Stewart style gender performative. There's a bench/window seat type thing under the window, and really the only warm colors in this kitchen come from the brick wall to the right, the blood-red appliances, and the apron Adalind is wearing, meant to evoke a slightly warmer/more feminine version of the blood red. Stainless steel fridge, check. Also I cannot for the life of me see where the oven is (I'm guessing on the wall where the brick is?), just the fridge/appliances and the sink on the wall with the windows. Unless that's it tucked adjacent to the sink, in which case I severely question the layout of that kitchen.

Later on we get another scene in the kitchen. Adalind's... I don't know, just getting home from work and sipping a glass of white wine. She could possibly be more stereotypical lawyer/femme fatale, but I'm not sure how. Her seat, apparently, is the right hand one of those bar chairs from earlier. And now there's a third chair where the third placemat is, I don't know if the first scene was a mis-set or if the chair was supposed to be somewhere else. Adalind was clearly standing throughout the blood cookie baking scene. Since she's not using the kitchen, everything is put away in perfect order and that really looks to me like a mini-range in the back corner next to the sink. This leads me to question where the hell the oven is and what the hell she baked those cookies in. Maybe there's a blood red toaster oven somewhere. On the big central shelf we can see a series of five or so canisters that I assume are intended to be common zaubertrank ingredients. I wish I could get more out of this scene, but I can't, quite. I think there's a cabinet rather than a dishwasher next to the sink, too. Man. This kitchen is weird.

Next up we have Thing With Feathers! Exterior views mostly. Some privacy bushes that do nothing but nod in the direction of their intended purpose next to the front steps. Looks like it's right on a busline, too. Adalind appears to be in the living room or the den; whatever it is manages to be both small and not very cozy at the same time. Several chair/lounge/loveseat type pieces of furniture, walls that plain default white again, one lamp on top of a table, the latter probably glass. Two large paintings, one of which is definitely abstract, red shading to pale green shading to tan, with four smaller frames lined up neatly and precisely next to it. The other on the adjacent wall looks like it might be either abstract or Impressionist, darker colors with a splotch of red in the middle. When we zoom in as Hank calls her, we see she's sipping red wine this time - possibly that's for effect rather than by choice, red wine being more blatantly seductive. The cushions on the loveseat or lounge or whatever adjacent to Adalind are bright, bright red. I have no idea what the silver thingie to the left of the lamp is; anyone have any ideas? It looks most like a weird sculpture to me. Adalind's sitting in a leather armchair that, again, doesn't look very comfortable. As she drags Peter off in the direction of the bedroom, we see a cat that looks kind of like a variation on the Tournee du Chat Noir painting on the wall between this room and the kitchen. Annoyingly, I can't get shit for details on the room off to the right, just that it looks like some other kind of living space. As opposed to a bedroom. Grumble. There's not much to note aside from the street number, 2507, from the subsequent scene where poor whammied Hank's threatening Peter.

Oh, hey, Adalind's bathroom! The things I suffer for you guys, I swear. Pale tans, some more stainless steel, a raised bowl that's reminiscent of old-timey basins (probably intended to evoke a scrying basin, actually), wall sconce lighting, some kind of white flowers in a white vase that may or may not be fake. In other circumstances, the preponderance of white and paler colors would mean innocence or purity or something similar; in this case with this character it means coldness, touch-me-not, possibly death, and last but not least an obsession with appearing one way while being another. A semblance of purity while rotting underneath, yadda yadda. It also ties in with the Hexenbiest woge, where Adalind and Catherine's blonde hair goes shocking white-silver. Jade green countertop, evoking luxury. Two combs but nothing else on top of it, meaning she puts everything away in drawers and cabinets and only pulls things out when she needs to use them. I mean, there's not even soap or a toothbrush out there; maybe she's the kind of person who keeps her toothbrush in the shower but that's just odd. To her left as she turns to find stalker!Renard we see an open set of shelves, dark wood, with white towels and (AGAIN) one blood-red something or another in the center. With a small hand mirror in back of the blood red towel/hand towel/whatever the hell that is. REALLY, you guys, I was using those toes. Fucking blood magic fucking mirror magic fucking Hexenbiests only LET'S NOT I DON'T WANNA DIE. Above, a box that presumably holds jewelry or makeup or some such, and a perfume atomizer. As she leans out the door to look around for Renard (grab your hairdryer, woman, do you know how much a hot hairdryer to the face would hurt?) we can see that there's clothes hanging in a closet-type thing just outside the bathroom. I suspect that means that the basic layout here is master bedroom, walkthrough closet, bathroom. (It also means there must be some DAMN good ventilation in there or those clothes would mildew. Maybe there's a Hexen spell for it.) Panning around to see her face, beyond that we see a window with glazed glass, another wall sconce bit of lighting, and a towel bars with two towels draped over, one of which matches the towel Adalind's got wrapped around herself and the other looks smaller and is the same blood-red as the one on the linen shelves. The third thing might be another towel or might be a robe, in which case I'm not sure why she doesn't have said robe ON, but whatever. And the two things I cannot see in this scene at all are a toilet and a shower. I mean, I assume they must be there somewhere, but they are Things One and Two Not Appearing In These Shots. I suppose it's possible that this is the outer bathroom area and it's one of those designed to give sink access while someone else is either showering or shitting, but we don't get a good enough look at the layout here to be sure.

Next scene! This is very difficult to do much of anything with because of the way the tree/bush obscures our view through the window at the beginning, and the rest is all close-ups on Adalind's face, but I'll give it a shot. After I finish swearing at the writers over "[seven] sounds lucky," because I assume that's a sideways reference to the Royal Families and I have to go smack someone with a fish now. I can't even tell what room this is supposed to be, though I'm guessing the front room to the right as you look at it from the street. Adalind's lying on a blood red pillow! At this point I think you should start taking drinks for these things. There's also a fur, probably fake, but good quality fake and again with the wealth/luxury factor. The couch is sort of a gray-tan, as are the walls, the gray that verges on green. More gray pillows on the couch behind her and hey look, it's the second animal associated with Adalind! Butterflies, three on each frame that we can see (though probably one or two more on each behind those bottles). On the one hand we can go with the standard metamorphosis/appearing one thing and becoming another metaphor here. On the other, since they seem to be real butterflies pinned out for display, we can go with the predator hunting down beauty and killing it to preserve and display it. Probably both, knowing the detail the set designer puts into these places. To the right of these is a single lit pillar candle, black, with what looks like its much taller cousin in back. There are other things on display on the lower shelves of this, but I can't make them out. Two lamps flanking the couch, and though I can't tell for sure I think these match, for a change. Or they come close. Between them, another pillar candle, this one unlit and blood red. Fire in the fireplace, some kind of painting over the mantel that of course we can't see, and a small side table which her drink (martini, by the olive) and coaster are on. I think there's a wingback chair in the very close foreground, but hard to be sure at this angle.

And then we move along to Love Sick, which is easily the most useful of the eps for layout and overall decor. I started to go through this scene slowly, but I need to stop and point something out that I think is actually a mis-set from the crew. See up above, in the phone call with Hank in Thing With Feathers? Now look at the cap above this paragraph. Notice where the couch she was curled up on is relative to the fireplace and the shelves with the butterflies on top in each? That's a 90° difference, and Adalind doesn't strike me as the kind of person to do a little casual furniture rearranging on the weekend. Still, it is what it is now, and I have to say this arrangement makes a helluva lot more sense than a similar arrangement with the same furniture. I'm just going to grumble about it. The couch I addressed, we have Adalind's purse and coat over it/on the end table next to it now. The small glass table Adalind had her drink on in TWF is now nonexistent as far as I can see, there are yet MORE pillar candles on the big glass table behind the couch. A sort of ice blue this time. The knickknacks on the rest of that shelving with the framed butterflies on top look like boxes, small vases and bowls that are just for pretty. Unlike all the other houses/apartments we've seen so far, there are only two books in this public space, not counting the grimoire from Island of Dreams. The two other photos on the wall are a pair of dragonflies and a scarab beetle, again with the symbols of transformation. Above the fireplace is an abstract painting that looks like it matches the other one from the little den area where she waited for Peter, red-green-lighter green over a tan background. The two chairs in front of the couch match in style but not in upholstery, one a plain beige-tan color and the other a more geometric white-tan pattern. And the area rug under this section of the room is white-beige with a black border. The hardwood under it doesn't actually look like hardwood, it looks like fake something or another because I can't see any grain pattern or differentiation in coloring the way you'd expect with real hardwood floors. Pale oak color, too, to add to the general chill this room gives me. All appearance, no substance. Around the entryway/on the wall opposite the windows we have a series of small paintings/photos in gold-colored frames that look like... the top one looks like an acorn, the middle some kind of dark donut shaped thing, and I can't make out the bottom. And then a big painting that actually looks kind of like one my parents have, of dark leafless trees around a pond. Sigh. We pan around to the coffee table and couch and that is a HUGEASS geode-looking thing on that table. More leafless trees in the picture behind Catherine's head. And not much else out of this scene, since it's all close-ups on the women.

Speaking of close-ups on the women, hey look, it's the leeches scene, and also our first look at Adalind's bedroom. This is both a fairly short scene and a fairly short piece of analysis, because we get a much much better look at it later, but: in the hallway outside a painting of a raven, very subtle there. And a hallway table with a cup or something similar on it. Cool green tones there, and then the bedroom is at least slightly warmer. Orange-yellow tones, but up against green walls as you get closer to the bed, and all the colors muted/faded. This is not a vibrant place, not even in the heart of the house where you'd expect a certain amount of freedom. Then again, since her mother feels free to be in there... (I don't know about you guys, but since I moved out people who aren't sleeping in my bedroom aren't invited to stick around for long stretches, thank you.) More of the same wall sconce lighting as in the bathroom, coupled with a table lamp on the vanity. You'd expect that painting (which looks kind of like tentacles mimicking the leeches she's wearing, to which I can only sigh and move on) would be a mirror, but no. There's a smaller mirror on the vanity, so that she can pull it close and make sure every detail of her appearance is right. I'd assume she uses the bathroom mirror for a full-length. And speaking of the bathroom, I'll revisit the layout when I get to Nick clearing the house in Woman in Black but I think there really is a hallway and then the closet area and then the bathroom. Maybe there're just a lot of closets in that house, which would make sense for someone like Adalind. Big bed, purple bedspread which leans toward a blueish hue thereby still managing not to be warm. I have to say I'm impressed by how they used a lot of colors you'd expect to be warm in this set and yet it's just... not. On the vanity, another goddamn pillar candle, a metal box that looks like it probably holds jewelry, the comb Catherine's not using on her daughter's hair, a metal-and-glass tray contraption that holds Adalind's keys, what I think is some kind of decanter, and possibly a face powder jar. Thing. And a bedside table with a lamp, no surprise there. Adalind's in a high-backed armless chair that for a change looks at least marginally comfortable for its intended purpose. All sleek lines and modern elegance, here, too. Again.

Next scene! Adalind talking to Hank while Renard is not at all looming and creepy in the middle of her living room. A few new things out of this scene, there's a bowl that looks like it could be for candy or nuts (or something more ominous) on the table behind the couch, along with a couple red pillar candles, which I noted in TWF. And another glass table with another lamp on it, this one with a sort of red baroque pattern on its base, off to the side. It looks kind of like there are French doors or something instead of just windows, along the wall behind the couch, and that's just weird. It would make more sense if this weren't a street level residence. Nothing else out of this one except that the room looks a little bit less cold and uninviting with daylight doing its damnedest to warm the place up. A little bit.

Hoo boy and this next bit's going to be a doozy, because hello layout, hello detailed looks at Adalind's room, and hello what Adalind thinks of as a romantic meal. ALL THE DATA. Aren't you thrilled? I'll try and break it up into enough paragraphs that your eyes don't glaze over from wall o' text. Adalind lighting a red pillar candle! Try to be surprised. We get a better look at the entryway this time, bamboo or pussywillows or something similar. I'd bet on the latter, with the black cat ceramic right next to the vase. Still can't make out the picture that the door opens into, though. Smile and smile and be a villain, and cut to the dining table! They didn't get to food, but apparently Adalind's idea of a romantic dinner was New York strips, red mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, and red wine. Pinot noir, if we're being specific. You know, I'd agree with that because I like all those foods, but they're also Very Traditional for seduction methods, and don't speak to her taking the time to know her mark at all. Sloppy, even for a con artist. White plates with abstract silver design on them, plain sterling silverware, and I hate to say it but those look like crappy paper napkins, not the gray-green cloth napkins I'm sure they're supposed to be. I suspect those are fake flowers in the big table vase. Pretty upholstered chairs, though again with the not looking comfy. There really is nothing of comfort in Adalind's house. We can see as the camera pulls back that this dining nook is a) quite small and b) directly back from the front door. Between the door and the dining table is another quite small side table, it's maybe the height of Adalind's knees, with a lamp on and another smallish armchair. There are lots of small chair/table places in this house. So a rough approximation of the layout is, front door, living room to your right, dining room/nook straight ahead, den to your left leading into the kitchen. Hallway behind the living room leading off to the right and down to the bedroom, which is in back of the living room (more or less) and the bathroom somewhere toward the back of the house.

Additional details from the living room: we can see a chair on the wall under the painting that faces the windows, which we couldn't before. Nothing much else, it's all in shadow. On the rather thick wall between living room and hallway we have a table with what honestly looks like a pale mimicry of Renard's dry bar. Lamp, a couple decanters, several bottles. Two more hallway tables, one on the right and one at the back where the hall turns after the bedroom doorway, both with only two items on (lamp and... sculpture?, two silver things). What looks like two or three more of the abstract modern art pieces on the hallway walls here, the one we get a clear view of all black and red because the black and red colors just were not already strong enough. The left side of the hallway looks like it's got a whole bunch of cubbies on it, possibly with some books on. As Adalind stalks out to go try and badass her way into getting the key we see a cat poster that really looks like someone did a Grimmverse pastiche of Tournee du Chat Noir. Really a lot. Two cats flanking an orange... oh hey, here comes the Scooby gang to give me more details. Something Paris, and that's an orange-red Moulin Rouge. (Or my monitor resolution is screwed up, which is always possible.) Yes, there are books and boxes and things in those cubbies, which is the first sign of reading we've seen out of Adalind. Also several small framed pictures/photos and at least one houseplant. (Bets on it being a common zaubertrank ingredient? I thought not.) Okay, THREE pictures along the right hand wall, all of them in cool reds/pinks/purples, at least one of them with a dead/leafless tree.

A quick look at the vanity while they barge in reveals the mirror to be large enough to see probably face down to cleavage, with an ornate frame. It looks like it came out of Catherine's house, actually. Creepy. Because it seems fairly certain that she was capable of at least some mirror magic, not that we ever saw her use it. The bed looks like something out of a hotel set, side lamps set into the wall instead of table ones as I previously thought, and a shelf inset into the wall above the headboard with more cats, more butterflies, more candles, and more geodes. Also three white vases on the left and one silver vase on the right and I think that's a little black book tucked in leaning against the wall on the right. I could not make this up if I tried. On the two bedside tables, we have a pair of red pillar candles, a pair of boxes though they're different shapes/sizes, an alarm clock (old school) on the right and a branchy sculpture thing on the left. The sheets are blue and cool purple, and the way the pillows are arranged would suggest that while there are enough for two people on the bed, Adalind is most used to sleeping in the middle of the bed alone. To the left of the bed, behind where Nick's standing, is the dresser with an assortment of silver doodads on top, some of which look like candlesticks but I can't make them all out - ah. Also more vases, and a mirror above, and this is where we began the tour of Adalind's house this time around. (Only Nick's facing away from the mirror instead of staring into it. WHAT symbolism WHERE.) After Nick and Adalind begin to settle their difference, HAH, I finally got a look at the rest of the bedroom layout and I was right the first time. Monroe paces in front of the walkthrough closet, and beyond we can juuust make out the bathroom sink and mirror. Still not sure what's down the turn of the hallway, then, as far as doors go, but that's useful to know. And means that Renard wandered through her bedroom to get to the bathroom and freak her out, for bonus stalker points, not that he probably hasn't been there before. I keep staring at the stuff at the headboard shelf, by the way, trying to make sense out of it? But it really looks like her idea of what should go in a bedroom, influenced by her taste throughout the rest of the house and with a heavy feel of hotel room to it.

And that's all we get in Love Sick, so moving along to Woman in Black! Hey, it's a new and improved view of Adalind's kitchen and I still can't fucking see an oven. What did she bake those cookies with, spite? The room Majique is in is new to me but we don't get more than a cat's eye view of it so apart from the end table with vases on the shelves I got nothin' for you here. I can't even get much more in the way of layout from Nick barging through her cleared out house at the end, because it's mostly Dutch angles and close-ups on Nick's face. Not that I blame them, giving us the layout isn't really the point, but grumble mutter I want blueprints.

Overall, Adalind's place shows us that she's practically living on a movie set version of performed femininity. ALL aspects of performed femininity, or an attempt at them, which is a damn neat trick to pull off since we've got everything from Maiden to Mother to Crone being played with in this house, not to mention the general femme fatale schtick. It's like she knows what everything ought to look like but has few to no preferences of her own, and that's just sad. Probably we can blame that on her mother's manipulation. Contrast this with, say, my own place where I do, in fact, perform a lot of typically feminine tasks, but the apartment is laid out with an eye to practicality as much as beauty. Both in terms of things that I actually use or want to look at because I like them, and in terms of things being easy to clean and take care of, which Adalind's house definitely is not. The tragedy of her house is the tragedy of her life: all set dressing for her machinations, and nothing to comfort herself. No wonder, then, that she finds her only solace in revenge.

Next up in this series, though probably not until next week, is Catherine's house. Yes, we know she's dead now, but her house informs her personality and, presumably, informs the kind of place Adalind grew up. At least it does until we have evidence to the contrary! If we're very, very good, you'll get a rehash of Renard's place and possibly either Nick & Juliette's or Monroe's place over the holiday hiatus, but those last two are likely to be massive pains in the ass. Which is why we've been dragging our feet on them.

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