Mason And Mary Analysis  

Mason: You have a quality that I like a great deal.
Mary: What quality is that?
Mason: Well, you have a kind of innocence about you - for lack of a better word, - that I find very provocative.
Mary: You find innocence provocative?
Mason: I know that sounds like a contradiction in terms, but it''s not; you see, surface innocence often hides a core of repressed passion, and that is very provocative indeed.
Mary: You know, I hate to disillusion you, Mason, but I''m not repressed. Underneath this calm exterior lies a calm interior.
Mason: Maybe you just need a catalyst to affect some changes.
Mary: I don''t think so.
Mason: You have a nice smile too.
Mary: You know, you keep turning the conversation around to me; I want to know about you, what do you like?
Mason: I hoped to let you find out over time, but if you need a capsule description, I guess you have to say that I''m part of that vanishing breed known as misunderstood men.
Mary: Who is it that misunderstands you?
Mason: Name it family, friends, women I''m attracted to, they think that I''m cold and insensitive even sarcastic if you can believe that.
Mary: And naturally you are nothing of the sort.
Mason: Naturally not, no, that''s just protective coloration. Under the surface I''m really very vulnerable, very easily hurt. I''m only telling you this so that when I make advances later on, you''ll be careful not to reject me. I know you wouldn''t want to hurt my feelings.
Mary: I promise you, Mason, if anything like that should happen I''ll reject you very gently.
Mason: Thank you.

This is one of the very first scenes between Mason and Mary. On the surface itís nothing more than another man - woman flirtation, in this case between Mason Capwell, a man who just got out (or not) from a relationship with his fatherís wife, and a passing guest on Santa Barbara who also happens to be a nun. But looking at this dialog in perspective makes you realize that under the surface this capsule description is oh so very true, and this is not just a shallow flirtation, and this dialog symbolizes the beginning of one of the greatest love stories of soaps. Which makes it a dialog that not only talks about whatís going on under the surface but also being a great example of such a thing itself.

There is no point in trying to describe the exact course of Mason and Maryís relationship from a romantic comedy into a Greek tragedy, because if you havenít watched it, then it wonít be the same reading it, and there is already a site (see the Russian Mason and Mary site - follow the link right under the text) who is doing this job wonderfully, and if you have watched this SB couple then you really donít need me to describe it to you, instead I will just squeeze in some words now, and explain their importance to this relationship in my opinion.

The first word is FIRST. Mason and Mary were both grown ups, Mason was about 30 something and Mary was almost 29, and yet for both of them it was their first love. Mary spent most of her adult life as a nun, protected from the world of courting and dating for many years, and Mason did his share of courting and dating, but never knew love prior to Mary. It was a wonder that they both really fell for each other, but they did, and their relationship was full with special first experiences: first time they kiss, the first time he says I love you, the first time she said that to him, and even their first time in bed together, which was her first time ever, even though in between she was married to another man.
Those who love those ďfirst loveĒ storylines (like me) could find in Mason and Mary the kind of romantic innocent love which is usually connected with youth, but in grownups, which made story all the more becoming.

The second word would be PREJUDICE. We all know what prejudice is, and we all know that there is something called a ďprophecy that proves itselfĒ, so when someone is being told over and over by other people that he is built in a certain way, and is considered by them to be that way not because they know him so well but because they are prejudiced about him, itís kind of sinks in with the person in question till he starts believing it himself, and acting accordingly. And itís kind of a big thing to me when a person realizes who he really is, despite of what everyone else tells him, and if you wonder what all of this has to do with Mary and Mason you probably werenít paying much attention to them.

When Mason first started to pay attention to Mary and people started noticing that, they all said things that implied that Mason could never really love a woman like Mary, ďsheís not his typeĒ were Kellyís words, and they all gave the impression, even if not in so many words, that Mason is not a person who is capable or worthy of love, and especially not the love of the ďfresh out of the conventĒ Mary. But Mary and Mason are grown ups you think, right? What do they care what the world thinks of them? Only, what the world thinks of them is pretty much what theyíve learnt to think of themselves.
Mason doesnít think that he is worthy of being loved, therefore he is afraid to love, and Mary doesnít really believe that any man could really pay her attention, especially not a complicated person as Mason is, since she is kind of ďsimpleĒ.
Itís easy to see how everyoneís prejudice of Mason puts him in a corner, itís a wonder he gets out from. It might be harder to see that with Mary, but itís there just the same. Everyone wanted to protect Mary from Mason, maybe a more sure of himself kind of person would have interpreted it as - she is too good, he is evil -but Mary was not that sure of herself, and in the long run the way she understood the othersí reactions to her, is that she is not enough of a woman to take care of a man. Itís true that when Mary and Mason parted after she found out about Mason and Gina, she said a lot of harsh things to Mason, that implied she thinks that she is too good, but the truth is, she maybe wanted to believe it but what she was really afraid of finding out, is that maybe everyone else were right, maybe she is not enough of woman, certainly not enough to create a change in a manís lifestyle. And itís not surprising that when she married Mark, it didnít take him much to convince her that their sex life doesnít work because of her. She was more than ready to jump to that conclusion - that there must be something wrong with her.

You all know that in the end they both found each other, and managed to make a difference in each otherís life, which brings me to the third important word of their story Ė CHANGE. But I just want to say before I continue that to me, the kind of love that overcome that prejudice, and kind of proves the world wrong, is kind of miraculous and I love it.

Change Ė remember Masonís line ďMaybe you just need a catalyst to affect some changesĒ? (You should, youíve read it only 1200 words ago) looking at where they were when they first met each other and the kind of people they were at the end, it seems that indeed theyíve became each othersí catalyst for some major changes.

Changing someone is complicated, if someone is ok the way he is, why should anyone want him to change? And if someone is not ok, why should anyone accept him as he is? And if that is not complicated enough, it turns out that people are more easily changed for the best when they are accepted just the way they areÖ

Mary could deny it all she wants, but meeting Mason had a big effect on her leaving the convent, and realizing that she can become the center of a healthy romantic intention of a man, and she doesnít have to go through her life without it, a path she realized she has chosen for the wrong reasons. She was afraid of intimacy, and she knew that in order for her to overcome her fears, she needs a man who would be patient enough with her. Strangely enough Mason was. His accepting her of who she is (fears and everything) was what enabled her to overcome her fears at the end, and stop being so afraid. As she told CC, Mason made her feel cherished and no one ever made her feel like that before.

As for Mason, even amongst those who prefer Masonís romance with Juliaís over Mary, you could find those who think that the existence of the love between Mary and Mason was the thing that enabled Julia and Masonís relationship. Mary changed Mason in a way, but what way was that, and how did she do it?
In my opinion the following dialog taken from their first real date explains that process a bit.

Mason: You know you have a civilizing influence on me
Mary: I do?
Mason: Yes, and I like it.
Mary: I''m not doing anything.
Mason: Don''t know - I just I feel very calm. The whole evening, the Champagne, the music, the dancing - right down to the tablecloth - everything seems very new and perfect.

And the following Lou Reedís lyrics can also explain it in a similar but yet different way.

Just a perfect day,
You made me forget myself.
I thought I was someone else,
Someone good.

Their relationship always reminded me of that description. Mary, being considered by Mason to be the perfect good, made him feel good about himself, and that feeling itself helped him improve his behavior and act in ways that other people would have been surprised to find out about him. Or as he said it ďif a woman like you could love me, well that would be something astounding, the only problem is will I be too astounded to believe it.Ē

But people donít change overnight, itís a process, and it takes longer when you are surrounded with people who have become used to who you used to be, and Gina being such a person, made it hard for Mason to start anew. Eventually Mary had to deal with some of the not so terrific things that he has done.
If at that point a person moves forward and not backward, that means he has made a change in him already even if he isnít aware of it, and I think that another song can explain Masonís feelings at that time, and of course I mean the Hoobastankís song:

"The Reason"

I''m not a perfect person
There''s many things I wish I didn''t do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I''ve found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I''m sorry that I hurt you
It''s something I must live with everyday
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away

And be the one who catches all your tears
Thatís why I need you to hear

I''ve found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is You

I''m not a perfect person
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I''ve found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
and the reason is you

I''ve found a reason to show
A side of me you didn''t know
A reason for all that I do
And the reason is you

In the end Mary had learnt to believe the change in Mason, only she didnít see it as a change at all, as she told him at the stables. He had always understood her better than anyone, and he had always made her laugh. What she loved about him was always there, and that is why she could see he is not perfect, but could love who he is. And you donít have to take my word for it, you know I would be more than happy to supply you with their words:

Mary: Does anybody ever tell you that you are spoiled?
Mason: No, because I always throw a tantrum when they did, but Iím getting better.
Mary: You ARE better, better than anyone I know.

As much Prejudice as there was against this coupling in the show itself, there was just as much prejudice against them amongst the viewers. The most common remark was that ďitís not real, itís too much of a fantasy,Ē ďin the real world this kind of coupling would have never workedĒ, the peace that Maryís love brought to Masonís heart would have never lasted, he would have returned to self-destruction patterns like drinking and other staff, and Mary wouldnít be strong enough to deal with that, she would leave him, and they would go their different ways.
Iíve seen people holding a grudge against Mary for pushing Mason away because she wasnít sure that his love for her would stick and yet at the same time they were sure that in the long run she is probably right. Iím just as funny though: I understood Maryís real world fear, yet I believed that once she and Mason got together they could have the fairytale kind of love, because their love for one another is so strong and real, it could actually heal, or maybe I just needed to believe that?

Killing Mary off was kind of the writersí decision to end that fantasy vs. real question with a tie.
There is no question that their love for one another was strong, stronger than anyone of their friends and relatives can foresee, but at the same time, the viewers can still believe what they want about what would have happened to them if she hadnít died. Would they have been separated because weíre talking fantasy (TV show) here after all, and a loving lasting couple is not good for the ratings? Or would they stay together because this is a fantasy and only in fantasy anything could happen? On the other hand, maybe they would have gone their separate ways, because in real life that would have been the natural course of a love like theirs - or maybe they would have stayed together for better and for worse, because their love for one another was that strong, and people who have loved each other less in the real world have managed to do that.
As I have said the viewers can think whatever they want, so donít be surprised if my opinion matches my wishful thinking, and I guess you know what that is, so I donít have to spell it out for you, and instead Iím going to end this paragraph with a quote I find suitable for some reason.

Mason: I hope you are happy, I want that.
Mary: Thank you.
Mason: You know I hope thereís truth to the theory of reincarnation, because if I have another life Iím gonna seek you out and Iíll find you, no matter what disguise youíre wearing; and then Iím gonna hold you close and never let you go, because we missed a whole life time together.

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