E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 30th Anniversary Celebration continues!
Sorry for the lack of promised E.T. posts, but sometimes real life gets in the way of blogging. Tonight, I want to focus on Mary, Elliot’s mother. Though it’s never explicitly stated, I believe that Mary has a side story going on through out the movie. We know that she and Elliot’s father have separated. Mary describes the separation to the police as recent, but we’re never given a definite timeline. I think it probably feels recent for Mary, but it’s been long enough that everyone seems to have somewhat settled into a new routine without Dad in the house.
The side story that I think is going on (I wonder if there may have been more explicit scenes dealing with this that were cut) is that Mary is putting herself out there on the dating scene again.
Pictures 1-3: When Mary suggests Elliot call his father to tell him about what he saw, Elliot says he can’t because “he’s in Mexico with Sally.” Notice Mary’s reaction to this in Picture 1. I think this is the first time she’s heard about this. I wonder if she even knew he was seeing someone else already, but I feel certain that she didn’t know he was in a serious enough relationship for Mexican getaways. This is definitely Gertie’s first time hearing this since she responds, “where’s Mexico?” Michael gets furious with Elliot (Picture 2) and says he going to kill him for saying that to Mary. I think the boys know more about what’s going on with their father but were either told not to tell Mary or were choosing to keep that from her so as not to hurt her. Mary tries to get the conversation back on topic, but she is clearly upset when she leaves the table and begins to cry. “He hates Mexico,” she says, before leaving the room (Picture 3).
Picture 4: I imagine something like this went down after that dinner scene. Mary calls up a friend and tells her that she would like to meet that single guy her friend knows. Mary has decided that if her husband is seeing other people, she needs to as well. The next night while Gertie is going to play in Elliot’s room for a while, the phone rings. We hear Mary answer it in the background and sound happy and surprised when she realizes it’s “Jerry.” Most of the little we hear of the conversation is indecipherable, but I think Jerry asks Mary out on a date for Halloween night.
Picture 5: Because when we see Mary on Halloween as the kids are leaving, she’s dressed up in a sexy cat costume. Moms don’t dress like this to stay home and hand out candy. She’s going on a date.
Picture 6: But he stands her up. When we next see Mary, she’s sitting home alone watching the candles burn down. She’s watching the clock and while it’s true that it’s now past the hour she told the kids to be home and she’s worried about them, I think she’s been watching that clock all night waiting for Jerry.
Picture 7: Because she is clearly disappointed and frustrated when she puts the candles out with her wand. She looks so let down.
Picture 8: When she leaves to go look for the kids (which can be seen in the 20th anniversary edition), she is muttering about the kids and the fact that their father “will hear about this.” Sure, she’s fussing about the kids, but she’s doing it in a way that sounds like that’s not what she’s really upset about.
Dee Wallace is terrific in the role of Mary. She plays Mom really well, but I think she also really nails these scenes dealing with the story of a woman dealing with a failed marriage. Am I way off base about this? Anybody else ever considered this?