The first episode of Best Interests ended with Nicci heading to court in what turns out to be a full-blown legal battle against the hospital for not agreeing to Nicci’s terms. On the other hand, Andrew also seems to have separated from his wife over differences regarding Marnie’s health going forward. The lead-up to the court case and the couple’s separation is what the episode is about.
Nicci’s Reality Check
The second episode begins with a flashback to a support group that consists of differently-abled kids. George is one of the kids from the group who likes Marnie, and his mother suggests that Marnie could go out on a friendly date to a cinema with him. George’s mother makes this request because she knows her kid might not live long, and she would do anything right now to make him happy. But this request comes across as a shock because suddenly, it reminds Nicci that Marnie might not live long either. But viewers can say she is sort of in denial, and initially, she rejects the idea of the date, but George’s mother’s words have an impact on her. There are plenty of stories in this episode being discussed through flashbacks to help people understand the love Nicci and Andrew have for Marnie. These flashbacks are just some of the memories left for them to cherish as Marnie struggles in the hospital.
The Hospital’s Assessment And The Mediation
The doctors at the hospital do a thorough assessment and conclude that Marnie is unresponsive. This comes from a highly experienced Dr. Samantha, who has been Marnie’s physician for a long time. But again, this episode also throws light on how much of a doctor’s assessment can be taken seriously, as there have been cases in the past where the kids have miraculously recovered from near-death situations. Nicci is made aware of the doctor’s assessment meeting, which finally leads to the conclusion that there would be a mediator that would solve this brewing conflict between the parents and the hospital. Nicci is not keen on getting a mediator because the hired person would only try to convince her to take a step back, while the hospital will not change its stance.
Nicci’s concerns seem genuine as a parent because her experience with mediators at her former workplace forced her to quit her job out of their sheer insensitivity. This is the issue with working against large organizations such as hospitals, which would arm-twist people into getting their way. Nicci is not willing to give up on Marnie, whom she believes has shown a response that the doctors are not ready to believe.
Andrew, on the other hand, as a father, believes putting Marnie on supportive care might not be wrong because he has seen his daughter suffer, and he cannot fathom the idea of putting her through more treatments just to extend her life for a few more years. The makers here are trying to make a compelling voice for Nicci and Andrew because for the first time they have two different opinions about their daughter’s health. They are also making viewers understand the arguments from both sides in the hope of sympathizing with the pain they are going through and that they might one day face the reality of Marnie’s passing.
Why Does Andrew Decide To Move Away From Nicci?
Andrew and Nicci are headed to Katie’s school recital when they rush to the hospital in the middle of her performance. Marnie had gone through another set of seizures, which forced them to leave the school. These kinds of incidents also throw light on how Katie feels about her parents being constantly on their toes when it comes to Marnie. Katie is not jealous, and she has turned out to be an understanding teenager, but there are moments she feels that her parents should have given her as much attention as they are giving Marnie. These thoughts are bound to come up because, as a teenager, Katie feels the need to be looked after as well, but at the end of the day, it is Marnie who gets the attention for obvious reasons, and Katie cannot do anything about it.
Through a flashback, we see Marnie already dressed to go on a date with George. The date turns out to be delightful. Sadly, Marnie is made aware of George’s passing because of his deteriorating condition. She is heartbroken because she lost a friend and starts questioning if she will live for much longer. This comes across as genuine fear for Marnie because she is happy around her parents. Andrew and Nicci have a reality check with George’s passing, and suddenly, Andrew becomes practical while Nicci becomes emotional about the idea of losing their daughter. It is heartbreaking as a viewer to understand such difficult choices parents must make and, before that, constantly live in the fear of death looming over their child.
Nicci meets up with George’s mother to understand what she went through as a parent. She requests that Nicci not lose hope in Marnie’s strength because she was convinced by the doctor to give up on George. As a mother, she had felt the boy responding, but the doctors were not ready to believe her. Her words are filled with regret because she feels that she should have stayed strong and not allowed the hospital to convince her otherwise. This scene is about two mothers who have a heart-to-heart about their children, and it comes across as the most vulnerable conversation.
Andrew goes to see his daughter at the hospital, only for him to break down. This happens because he is now sure that he cannot let his daughter suffer anymore by putting her through more treatments. He is not supportive of the hospital’s suggestion, but as a father, he thinks it is probably time to let go. Andrew would do anything for her, and making this decision for her is what he thinks is the right thing to do.
Nicci meets Brenda, a lobbyist for Every Christian Lives, a pro-life supporter who came across Nicci’s case and decided to approach her on how they can help her save Marnie. Nicci is in a delicate situation after not going ahead with the option of a mediator. By the looks of it, Brenda had done thorough homework on Marnie’s case to get the couple on their side, and Nicci was already convinced. The sudden entry of this group would also mean they would want some publicity through Marnie’s condition. This comes across as a plausible theory.
Andrew is livid, and rightly so, because she brought this person home without consulting him, which offends him as a husband and a father. The couple finally gets into a nasty fight about where they stand when it comes to their daughter’s treatment. Andrew is not in favor of continuing with further treatments, but Nicci accuses him of not wanting his daughter from the day she was born. This was rather an insensitive statement made by Nicci because she knows Andrew has been there for the family from the very beginning.
Nicci’s emotional turmoil made her blame Andrew, but it was not the right thing to say. This triggers him to leave the house because he cannot be around a person who is so far away from understanding what their child is going through. He probably thinks for a moment that Nicci is only thinking of how she would feel if Marnie passed, and that’s what makes him take this drastic step of leaving his house and staying with his brother Tom. This is where the cracks begin to appear in their marriage. Even if they love each other, they are not going to take a step backward on this subject.
The episode ends with Nicci meeting a lawyer set up by Brenda to get a better understanding of how a ‘best interest’ case works. This is when she realizes it will be a long and convoluted battle, but she is ready to fight it because she thinks her daughter has a chance of surviving, unlike what the doctors at the hospital are telling her, which she knows is a lie. This is how the case begins, and it would be interesting to watch the verdict go in whose favor.