As a rule of thumb, gadgets come with parental locks, and movies have ratings so that children don’t end up watching anything on mass media that can leave a lasting impact on them. Until at least 16, children have a very impressionable mind, and any traumatizing event that an adult mind could handle, might scar the child’s mind, thereby damaging their mental development for good. For the first six episodes of Paramount’s Fatal Attraction, Alex Forrest has slowly proven how much of a nightmare she was to any and every person around her. What began as repeated telephone calls to the married man she’d had an affair with quickly snowballed into throwing acid on his car, killing his mother-in-law, setting a house on fire with his wife in it, and kidnapping his daughter. Within six episodes of Fatal Attraction, Alex proved that she’s mentally unfit to be left around people and that she needs to be locked up in a place where she’s not a threat to herself or others. Yes, she was a threat to herself as well, as her repeated self-harm attempts have proven. Alex would purposely burn her fingers, bruise herself with weights, kick herself on the shinbone, and cause several other injuries to her body whenever her demands weren’t met. But how did she become this wreck of a person, so deranged in the head that she didn’t even blink while drowning an elderly woman?
It’s got everything to do with Alex’s childhood and the way she was brought up. Fatal Attraction Episode 7 showed us the horribly manipulative and compulsively lying man Alex had as her father, who earned her trust by giving her a false sense of closeness. Alex’s father was charming and dashing—in his own mind—and repeatedly cheated on her mother, Patricia, but he’d never be caught because his daughter was used as a buffer. Stanley Forrest would take his daughter to new places where he’d meet with women and kickstart an affair, knowing his daughter would take the fall if her mother asked. He relied on an adolescent kid to lie for his sake while he whiled away his time with a different woman every time. Patricia’s words did come true: Stanley didn’t actually love Alex but was just using her when the 15-year-old Alex saw that her father had given her favorite toy to a girl whose mother he was meeting. Not only did Stanley make Alex feel like an idiot for confronting him, but from that moment on, it was clear that Alex had a feeling that people saw her as crazy.
This situation didn’t improve at college either, as Alex would soon be kicked out of her study group because her behavior didn’t improve. After her mother left her, she started suffering from abandonment issues, and the need to impress her father led to her obsessive nature. Such expressions of her emotions are never suitable for a group where people convene to study or work, and Alex’s behavior was a hindrance for all of them. However, before leaving, she displayed just how petty and mean she was by exposing everyone’s secrets and private deeds. She’d destroy anything if she felt out, and this would only develop into things far worse as she grew older. While narrating the events to her father, she altered the truth substantially to make herself look good. However, Stanley couldn’t see the suffering and pain his daughter was going through and questioned the validity of her college or the degree she’d earn. Even though he knew how badly Alex suffered from abandonment issues, he left her during Thanksgiving week to go skiing with another woman and made a point to throw a fresh load of insults at her, equating her with Patricia to remind Alex how little he thought of her.
Alex left her father’s state, Seattle, and settled in LA, after burning the bridges with a therapist she was seeing back there. Her obsessive nature was exhibited as Alex repeatedly called the therapist and demanded to know if she was angry at Alex. She also took offense quickly when the therapist pointed out to Alex that she was running away from her failed relationships. Changing the scenery doesn’t heal the mind if the mind is diseased, and that’s what happened to Alex. She repeated her toxic behavior in LA as well and couldn’t make any of her relationships last. On top of that, her father’s hateful voicemails did more than enough to leave deep gashes in her mind and remind her just how much of a needy and clingy lump she was. Growing up in a home where her mother didn’t want her and her father used her as a tool, she was quick to anger when her kind neighbor mentioned going out of town to care for her pregnant daughter. Being starved of motherly love, Alex loathed women who loved their daughters. Her issues only festered more and more after her affair with Dan began. Whenever he said the slightest thing that fractured the glass palace that she built in her mind, she tried to distract herself from the emotional pain by wounding her body. Honestly, it’s a miracle Dan didn’t spot a bruise or ten on her body during the time they spent on Alex’s bed.
After the affair ended, Alex was no longer just disturbed; she was completely psychotic and had these moments when her mind was as blank as a sheet of white paper. These were the times she was the most dangerous; she burned the house Dan’s wife Beth and her friend Arthur were working in and pushed Beth’s mother into a pool. In those moments, her brain was stripped of the flimsy veil of morals she’d wrapped around it. Beth’s mother had been talking about her family and the hassles her husband and daughter put her through, but even this was too much for Alex to bear. She can’t tolerate people being at peace, and the way she’d soothe the flaming hatred inside her was by hurting others. However, as Fatal Attraction Episode 7 showcased, Alex had finally made peace with Stanley, and despite being snide from time to time, he did try to connect with her. Sadly, it was the man who’d messed her up when she was a kid who was the one she spoke to for the last time after Dan left her with the threat that he was going to the feds. Stanley was terrified for his daughter’s well-being and begged her to come home, promising to take care of her, but it was too late. Alex was murdered on that very night, but the strange thing is, despite the absolutely diabolical nature she presented throughout the episode, watching her die doesn’t make you feel good. Only if Stanley had showered Alex with love her whole life, instead of the night she died, so many lives could’ve been saved. Given how much of a prideful scumbag Stanley is, he’ll never fathom his erroneous ways, but this should teach us all how easily parents can ruin their children by being selfish and toxic when they’re at their most vulnerable.