I Want to Feel Normal is a podcast about mental health, hosted by two people who are not mentally ill. They talk about the things that make them feel normal and share their personal stories in order to help others feel less alone in their struggles.
Hazel begins working at the bowling alley in episode 7, but Byron is still on her mind. Herb requests that Hazel allow him and Diane some solitude on their anniversary, but Hazel, recalling how Byron pushed Diane into isolation in the Hub, insists that Herb take Diane out to dinner. Byron, who feels forgotten, looks for a method to rekindle Hazel’s interest in him.
Hazel is enjoying her new job as a maintenance worker because she imagines how disgusted Byron is by what he sees as she dusts and washes her way around Shangri-Lanes. She comes to a halt and speaks straight to him, emphasizing how filthy the men’s room urinals are. Her colleague Jay notices her and can’t figure out who she’s chatting to since she seems to be alone. He gave her some extra cleaning fluid in case she needed it, and he apologized for their boss, Jerry, giving her the most difficult tasks.
Jay may be interested in her, but Hazel isn’t aware of it. She’s too concerned with what Byron is seeing to notice anything else. Rather than looking at Jay, she stares at herself in the mirror and tells Byron that she enjoys doing the dirty work “all day, every day.” Princessy harp trills play in the background as Jay walks away, perplexed by what has just occurred. Cinderella has found out how to put in the necessary hours of physical torment and tyranny in order for her mental and emotional anguish to be recognized.
Herb pays a visit to Judiff’s home since she has a vase of flowers on the front door. She acts coy and claims he purchased them for her when he takes them inside. They’re really her indication that she has to speak with Herb about Hazel.
Herb attempts to put Judiff at ease after they’re seated on the sofa with tea and scones, in case she believes he wants to get back together with her and is using Hazel’s problems with Byron as an excuse to see her. Who can blame him, after all? She’s not in her nun’s garb and is wearing cosmetics while serving scones at home.
Judiff gives him the cold shoulder for associating polite conduct with aggressive love pursuit, then gets straight to the point about why she wants to speak with him. She informs him that Byron’s use of the chip to monitor Hazel is unlawful since Hazel did not agree and California is a two-party consent state (everyone engaged in a discussion must consent before it is recorded). Since Byron recorded Hazel, it’s now lawful for her to record/surveil him, according to Judiff.
I believe the theory is that by recording himself and Hazel, Byron provided permission, and since Judiff is legally acting as Hazel while she investigates, they have reverse two-party consent to record him. Alternatively, since Judiff is a private investigator, she is now permitted to monitor Byron as part of her ongoing inquiry into his illegal actions, which she may now prove to a court.
Judiff wants Herb to assist her in luring Byron out of the Hub so she may capture and film him. Herb claims that Byron seldom leaves his headquarters.
But, as we all know, Hazel’s reluctance to return has already enticed Byron to leave. He’s already in the headlines and on the covers of publications, thanks to the paparazzi who follow him around everywhere. He’s also featured in a magazine photo shoot headlined Byron Gogol, Regular Guy, alongside Bennett. Byron worries that he’ll never be able to convince Hazel that he’s a normal man at this pace.
He goes to his addiction, the Hazel cam, which he forced Bennett to conceal and swear not to reveal him, to deal with the catastrophe. Bennett is the most dedicated yes guy who has ever made his boss’s wishes come true, therefore he’s in a bad position. Even worse than all of the other awful situations and ethical problems that Byron has before presented to him.
Within seconds, Bennett gives in and informs Byron that the Hazel cam is in his room. But that’s OK since Byron claims he has no intention of seeing it. Bennett is to view it and report back on what he observes. I’m sure it’s no more shady or illegal than talking through Hazel’s subpar orgasms with her in great detail or assisting with the placement of Fiffany in the pasture cube, so it’s all OK. FINE.
Bennett’s exterior seems to have a few flaws. Because this hotel room cube doesn’t have as many hiding spots from Byron as the Hub does, he’s getting a taste of the Authentic Hazel Experience.
When Hazel gets home from work, she takes a beer and looks through the mail, where she discovers a letter from the Twin Sands Community Center Cancer Support Group. Herb left her a letter stating that it’s his and Diane’s anniversary this evening, and he wants her to find something to do for at least 3 hours away from the trailer while they celebrate.
I’m at a loss for words. Even with an inanimate companion, 3 hours seems like an excessively optimistic amount of endurance for a guy of Herb’s age and overall state of health.
Diane is calmly sitting on the hand truck in the living room, which Hazel observes.
Herb could never get over the fact that he didn’t even buy a cheap secondhand wheelchair. It could make a great anniversary present.
She strikes up a discussion with Diane, reminiscing about Byron’s dreadful anniversaries. Every year, he insisted on their staying at home, just like Herb. The worst came when he asked her what she wanted to do and she told him she wanted to attend to a performance by the band Warpaint that night in LA. She attempted to back out of the idea since she could see he wasn’t interested, but Byron insisted they’d go anyway. “All I want to do is make you happy.”
Hazel got all dolled up and thrilled because she thought they were leaving the Hub. After postponing their LA performance, Byron brought her to a cube in the Hub that was built up like a club, where he’d paid Warpaint a large sum of money to play a special show for them. He didn’t even add a pretend audience at the false club, as he did at their first date’s phony restaurant.
In some respects, Hazel could have remained in her bedroom cubicle and watched a concert video if she wanted a raw, live rock concert experience. Warpaint was still performing, but she craved the crowd’s energy and shared experience, as well as the feeling of being at a club rather than her home, with the lights and the rest of the sensory experience around her—including the odors. Byron was probably never going to a performance at a filthy club full of sweaty people drinking booze, now that I think about it.
Hazel has been getting Diane ready and doing her hair and cosmetics while she has been narrating her tale. Diane’s anniversary makeover is now complete, and she’s putting the final touches on it.
“I can’t believe I believed he was capable of doing anything normal,” Hazel says. I used to be you. I was Byron’s stuffed animal. That’s why I understand you. That’s why I’m going to insist on Dad taking you out tonight. I know he doesn’t like it, but it’s your anniversary, and I know he doesn’t like it since he became the town pervert. And you have earned the right to leave the home. [Observing Diane’s fresh appearance.] I’m very good at this.”
She examines herself in the mirror and tells Diane that she looks great.
If they’re going to work together, Judiff informs Herb that he has to be honest with her. He thinks she’s referring to Diane and confesses to having a synthetic companion. Judiff dismisses this and inquires about the package of opioids she discovered under the bathroom sink. She wants to know whether he’s ill or if he’s a drug addict.
Herbs informs her that he has been diagnosed with cancer for the last two years. He is doing well thus far, but he has rejected chemo. Judiff inquires whether it was because of the disease that he picked Diane over her. He doesn’t want to respond since he knows what he’ll say will irritate her.
Judiff: “Herb, herb, herb, herb, herb, herb, herb, herb, herb I understand you were attempting to protect me, but I was more than capable of handling this situation. I could have looked after you.”
“Yeah, you say that now,” Herb says, “but…”
Judith assures him that she is still ready to help him, then moves in for a kiss. He leaps to his feet and sprints for the door. Judiff admits that he’ll be returning home to Diane to celebrate his anniversary. When he wonders how she discovered out it’s their anniversary, she says she bugged the home, but just for audio, and not in his room. Any discussions with Byron must be recorded.
After the way he treated his wife and children, I’m guessing he doesn’t think he deserves to be looked after. Or he just does not believe that anybody would remain with him without getting resentful, like he did. Diane is the easy way out in any case. He can live out his dreams with a lady who always agrees with him, then end up in a care home when he is no longer able to care for himself. And he can convince himself that avoiding being a burden to Judiff and Hazel was the proper thing to do, despite the fact that he was probably giving both of them cowardly conflicting signals the whole time.
Lyle appears at Bennett’s hotel room door, threatening him, wearing a ski mask, and holding a pistol at his former coworker’s head. After forcing Bennett into the room, Lyle declares that the pistol isn’t genuine and inquires as to where Byron is. Bennett continues to feel frightened and raises his fists. Bennett is treated like a fool by Lyle, who claims the pistol isn’t genuine and that Bennett should have realized his kidnapper act was all for show. Bennett informs him that Byron is unlikely to speak with him. If he thinks Bennett is his captive, Lyle responds that he will.
Which implies Lyle is coercing Bennett into being a more active prisoner by compelling him to serve as his co-conspirator against his will. Lyle, as usual, misses the nuances of the issue, assuming that his decisions are right and failing to see that, even without a gun, he is still threatening Bennett. The bags of goods in the room then divert Lyle’s attention.
The cause for the large number of goods is unknown. Does Byron insist on Bennett preparing all of their meals so he can be sure it’s safe?
Diane is seated on the sofa, looking beautiful and sophisticated when Herb returns home. Hazel’s mother gave her the dress, which she refused to wear since it was too beautiful (and then she died- definitely a message there). Diane has requested that Herb take her out to dinner for their anniversary, and Hazel has booked a reservation for them. Herb doesn’t want to be judged in front of the world, but Hazel argues that he and Diane have the right to live their lives as they want. Hazel intends to sit at the bar and obstruct anybody who attempts to disturb them.
Lyle and Bennett enter Byron’s chamber, where Lyle “pretends” to kidnap Bennett once again. Byron is so engrossed in looking at photographers down the street that he doesn’t even realize Lyle is there at first. When Bennett says, “I’m being kept prisoner,” Byron assumes it was Hazel who sent the message. He bemoans the fact that she is too theatrical.
Then Lyle shows himself, Bennett acts startled, and everyone takes a seat. Lyle takes a seat in the center, facing Byron and facing Bennett.
This is Gogol’s former chief of security, yet he can’t even figure out how to keep a captive alive.
While Byron and Lyle converse, Bennett watches the Hazelcam. First, Byron convinces Lyle to put down the phony pistol. Then it’s revealed that Lyle alerted Byron about Fiffany’s defection in order for Byron to intervene. Lyle had to know Byron was planning something severe, such as putting Fiffany in the pasture cube. But he intended to buy his way back into Byron’s good graces by using the information about Fiffany.
Byron took use of the information, but he now has even less regard for Lyle and is unable to forgive him.
“Herringbone, you were my first hire,” Byron says. In the beginning, it was just you and me, and you betrayed me when I was at my lowest.”
“Look, now I see how wrong I was, so here I am, right?” Lyle says. Sir, you, the Hub, and the work we perform are all a part of my life! Without you, I am nothing! Out there, I’m a nobody.”
Since they destroyed Lyle’s identity, Byron agrees that he is nobody. Lyle keeps pleading for forgiveness, saying that he is entitled it since he has only committed one mistake in many years. He asks rhetorically, pointing back to Bennett, how many errors that fool has made. Bennett declares that he has made no errors.
Which is understandable given Byron’s aversion to errors. Bennett is also a treasure. Bennett isn’t safe either, since Byron doesn’t appreciate what he has while he has it. When Byron needs a flogging boy, Bennett will be the only one available.
Lyle informs Byron that he’s paid a fair price for his sins, holding up the hand with missing fingers. Lyle is saying the things that Byron wants to hear Hazel say, according to Byron.
What’s odd is that Byron has overheard many people say similar things about Hazel, yet Hazel is well aware that she has done nothing wrong. Unlike Byron, Lyle, Fiiffany, and Bennett, she wasn’t one of Byron’s henchman, and she wasn’t given enough knowledge to make educated choices about her activities when she assisted Byron with the company. She was instructed what to do and when to do it, but she had less knowledge and agency than the stockholders and journalists she spoke with, who were sent out into the world on their own following meetings.
On their first date, Hazel made the mistake of consenting to get inside the back of the vehicle. She became Byron’s toy the minute she did it. He broke the commitments he made to her, despite the fact that he presumably phrased things such that no guarantees were made. An impartial lawyer might have seen the flaws. That’s why Byron made certain she was alone from the start of the date.
Lyle offers to assist Hazel in coming to her senses. He just wants to be a part of the squad once again. Byron inquires whether Hazel has noticed his absence from the hub. Bennett claims to be preoccupied with her father, so it’s unlikely. Byron asks Lyle to find out whether the restaurant has televisions and then arrange for a live news conference with the reporters who are waiting outside.
Hazel runs inside Luisa’s Mexican Restaurant ahead of Herb and Diane to urge the hostess to play along and alert the rest of the staff that Diane isn’t genuine. Then, as promised, she takes a seat at the bar near their table, while Herb and Diane take their seats. The other patrons are staring at them. Hazel had been so preoccupied with Diane’s makeover that she had forgotten to change out of her work attire.
Herb hands a menu to Diane, and the waiter rushes over to take their orders. While Herb orders for Diane, he’s unsure where to look, yet it’s not unusual for a guy to place an order for himself and his female friend. Herb continues a one-sided discussion with Diane after the waiter has left.
Jay, Hazel’s new colleague, joins her in the pub and taunts her about still being in uniform. Then he inquires about her night and if she wants to talk about work. It takes a second for her to register what he’s saying, but she eventually agrees.
When Herb and Diane’s meal comes, he immediately realizes that Diane chose the superior entrée. He’s not just pretending she’s real; he’s also pretending she has agency, just as we pretend in real life that women are treated equally and have the freedom to make their own decisions. Shane then takes a seat and says he doesn’t want to create any problems, but he does have a question: where did Herb get Diane?
I don’t know about you, but I shuddered when Shane inquired where he might acquire his own phony lady, as if he were seeking to traffic a real woman. Let’s face it, if these two men believed they could do to Hazel what Byron did to her, including adopting her incapacity to feel remorse or acknowledge fault, they’d do it in a heartbeat. They’d both want a lady who couldn’t escape, protest, or even make them admit they’d trapped her.
Hazel and Diane are meant to be thankful for their lifestyles of leisure and luxury, with others taking care of the domestic duties. Diane gives you the illusion of a docile sex slave who can adopt whatever personality you choose, accept anything you want to do to her physically or mentally, and always seem to love it. If you want to be convincing, you may pretend to despise it.
Herb claims to have found her online from a location in Los Angeles. Shane then wants to know how Diane is feeling. Or, more precisely, how Diane feels about Herb. Diane’s feelings are unimportant to neither of them.
Does Byron seem to be considering Hazel’s emotions, apart from avoiding crossing the line where she will cease cooperating completely? Byron is acting as though he is changing to suit Hazel’s requirements, but in reality he is striving more and harder to shape Hazel to match his own vision of what a wife should be, much as Diane was physically formed in a factory to meet Herb’s standards.
Shane says he’d want to have a Diane of his own, but Herb refuses to disclose the personal details of his sex life. Herb responds because Shane has shown himself to be a member of the misogynists’ group.
“She feels nearly real,” Herb says. It’ll do for now. But there’s more to it than that. She’s my sidekick.”
Judiff is a genuine person who is eager to be Herb’s friend. Diane does not react to Herb in any manner; in fact, her facial expressions remain unchanged. Whatever he receives from her is a narcissistic mirror image of himself. This has nothing to do with friendship. This is a story about fear and power.
Shane inquires about Diane’s price. Herb claims he paid $6000 for the site, which he obtained by selling his deceased wife’s burial plot. Shane is taken aback by the price of a phony lady. Whether they’re phony or real, devoted, long-term partners don’t come cheap. Herb must have thought it was worthwhile to spend the money on a partner who would never leave him or fight with him, and who wouldn’t mind if he ultimately abandoned her. And which face and body type he could pick from, knowing she’d never age or gain weight.
She is, without a doubt, the ideal lady.
Jay continues telling Hazel about himself: he used to be in a band, then left, and now he’s living with his cousin, sleeping on a leaking air mattress. He’s curious about Hazel’s backstory, because she, like Diane, came out of nowhere. Maybe she was a member of a cult. He believes joining a cult at least once in your life is a great thing.
Hazel informs him that she is accompanying Herb and Diane. He identifies Herb the Perv and digs himself a deep hole attempting to explain how he doesn’t believe Herb and Diane’s relationship is all that terrible and that Herb seems to be a decent guy. Hazel isn’t very upset, but she does turn to see Shane at the table with Herb.
She begins to excuse herself in order to intercede with Shane, but she notices that Byron’s news conference is being broadcast on television. Byron credits Hazel for pointing out that, like many others, he’s isolated himself within the Hub and become an observer, allowing screens to come between him and life. When he claims he’s put the screen down, he stares straight at the cameras. Keep a watch out for Gogol’s intriguing new innovations, he adds. “You’ll be seeing a lot more of me in the near future.”
Hazel completely forgets about Jay and rushes over to Herb’s seat, informing him that Byron has escaped the Hub and is threatening to devour everyone. She sits down at the table with Herb, Shane, and Diane to plan her next move. The first thing she wants is a moment of freedom and alone, assuming that Byron is speaking the truth and isn’t monitoring her. When she says this, she glances at Shane.
She wants to take a solo flight in Herb’s old aircraft for around 20 minutes. Shane wonders what happens if she gets up there and refuses to return.
And then she takes off into the great unknown? In a small aircraft that can barely get into the air, where does he suppose she’ll go?
Diane is offered as collateral by Herb.
As a result, Herb does not see Diane as a person. Or he considers women to be disposable things. We’re probably supposed to view this as a heartwarming moment in which Herb finally prioritizes his daughter’s needs above his own, but the program is attempting to please everyone. You can’t expect us to be moved when Herb is ready to throw Diane away the same way he threw Hazel and her mother aside when they became inconvenient after using her as a symbol for the objectification of women for seven episodes, attempting to persuade us that she deserved good treatment.
To protect Diane from her, he physically threw Hazel across the room. And he’s not only leaving Diane now; he’s also considering selling her to another guy as a sex slave, despite Herb’s praise for her as his companion just 10 minutes earlier. On her anniversary, he was even ready to give her away!
This is similar to Herb selling his mother’s tomb as a metaphor for expelling her as a punishment for dying. And it was the same with Herb not making breakfast for Hazel when it counted, which was his punishment for Hazel not growing up quickly enough. Hazel then drove Herb to breakfast, demonstrating her ability to mature quickly.
Herb never follows through with any lady, just as Byron does with his favorites. Herb utilizes Diane as a foil for Judiff and Hazel, while Byron plays Bennett, Fiffany, and Bennett off each other. Hazel only survived this long with Byron because she’s a long-term test subject who knows his game thanks to her father, so she found out she needed to withhold rather than give to maintain his attention and survive.
Byron and Lyle have returned to the Hub’s home cube. Byron compliments Lyle on his progress and thanks him for his assistance with Fiffany. “It reveals a lot about your personality.” Lyle admits that it was a difficult decision, but he values loyalty. He goes on discussing these fresh ideas, completely oblivious to the fact that he’s going into the pasture cube by alone.
He has no idea what he’s doing once he’s inside. Fiffany urges him to hide since the predators are on their way, and he does. Byron and Bennett observe their conversation, then Byron adjusts the wall to resemble a garden and teaches Bennett the value of loyalty. “Let’s speak about Hazel’s future steps.”
Bennett finally seems to be in a state of distress.
Lyle was Byron’s first recruit at Gogol and his most dedicated employee, according to Byron. For a reason, Byron’s rejection of Lyle came so soon after Herb’s rejection of Diane, the most loyal of friends, in favor of Hazel. Byron and Herb’s patriarchal grip on their social circles must be broken, and Hazel is the key to doing so.
Hazel makes her first solo flight the following morning. She’s finally, really, totally alone, and as exposed as you can get. She screams and screams and screams and screams and screams and screams and s
A illuminated drone delivers an envelope from Byron to Hazel that night. The drone serves as a reminder that Byron might track her down in the skies if he so desired. He is aware of her actions. Divorce documents are included in the envelope.
The ball seems to be in Hazel’s court. Except the drone knew precisely where she was standing, not just where she was standing in general. Byron may seem unconcerned, but it’s all part of his plan to obtain what he wants, the same psychology we saw him use with Lyle. And it’s the same approach Byron used instead of pursuing her for fraud when he asked her out on their first date.
He’s finally worked out where Hazel’s present thinking intersects with want and opportunity, and how he might take advantage of it.
Finally, Hazel is in her own world.
Jay, as far as we could tell, was just another guy who spoke about himself before fabricating a narrative about Hazel. He didn’t learn anything about her other than her father. She looked like a quiet Arielle from The Little Mermaid.
But Hazel’s notion of fun was diametrically opposed to Arielle the mermaid’s: she went up where no one was, where no one would ask her questions, and she didn’t have to have any answers or act for anybody. She desired calm blankness, far above in her own little universe, where she could see the great picture that everyone else couldn’t. She doesn’t want to be a part of Herb’s world, where the queen is unable to move or run, or Byron’s world, where dolphins are imprisoned, chipped, and perhaps devoured.
In Twin Sands, the characters within the Hub and outside the Hub mirror each other, with Hazel serving as the link between the two realms. Byron, as Underworld/Tech God, and Herb, as Sky/Everyman God, are the twinned patriarchs of their planets, and they’re both determined to keep their positions of power, even if they don’t want Hazel’s feminine/Sophia/Wisdom/Holy Spirit side to totally reject them.
Every culture has a raw, macho, and untamed male figure, a throwback Horned God type that is an HR nightmare. Shane is Herb’s younger son, despite the fact that he is not his biological son. Lyle is also older than Byron, but he is not Byron’s father figure. In Made for Love, there are no good parents, not even symbolic ones. We may get there in a season or two, but not right now.
As elder, perhaps maternal figures, Fiffany and Judith are twinned. Fiffany looks after the dolphins, but, as Hazel points out, she also abuses them by prioritizing her scientific studies. Judiff claims that her investigations are intended to assist people, but you have to question whether closing down every church in town was essential, or if some might have been rehabilitated with new leadership to continue their excellent activities. Shutting them all down may have created a vacuum in the neighborhood, adding to the impression of a ghost town. Meanwhile, pubs and strip clubs are open for business. Fiffany and Judiff resemble Demeter, the mother Goddess who lost her daughter Persephone and allowed the earth to hunger while she mourned. They don’t always have the ability to maintain their eyes on the broader picture.
Byron replaced Hazel with Bennett, who was more cooperative, and Herb replaced her with Diane, who was so docile she was lifeless. Bangles, Hazel’s chosen companion in crime, is disliked by Herb because, on the surface, she behaves just like him and Byron, storming through life and d*mn the consequences. Only Bangles is more animated and has had less chances than any of the two men.
One of the greatest tragedies of this tale is that Hazel took the garment that might have been Bangles’ big break and then didn’t think to give her public credit for creating it. Bangles, on the other hand, is so accustomed to being followed about that she didn’t even notice Hazel didn’t say who created her dress in all of those magazine stories, or later when all of those rich people must have seen it hanging in the Hub. During the shareholders’ meeting, it was right there. Bangles is a party girl, not a rebel, in the end. She’s just as obedient as Bennett and Diane, as shown by her infatuation with both personalities and her admission that she would have committed the same mistake Hazel did when she became Byron’s doll for ten years.
Using Hazel’s Eyes as a Weapon
The most significant subject in Made for Love is an examination of the effect of the masculine gaze on every area of our existence. Yes, technology and surveillance are big topics, but they’ve mostly been utilized to broaden the scope of the male gaze in all of its manifestations, from government/military satellites to the chosen market of adolescent boys and young men for mass media and advertising.
Byron utilized the chip to convert Hazel’s look into a corporate gaze weapon, another extension of the male gaze, since everything she sees may be exploited by him and his business. She, like all of us who live in the contemporary world, is now a data gathering instrument. We have our phones and other smart gadgets with us at all times, and they are continuously collecting data.
It’s fascinating to observe which characters don’t care whether Byron is seeing them, which characters want to be seen, and which characters deliberately try to hide. Bangles attempts to reclaim some of her authority by getting in the face of Hazel/Byron in the hopes of offending him. Herb despises her for her lack of regard for patriarchal authority.
Judiff wants to keep her solitude so she can work without being bothered by Byron or anybody else. She is wary of patriarchal power, yet in her personal interactions she is kinder than Bangles. Her professional life revolves on bringing down corrupt patriarchal power, but Herb hasn’t found her tactics offensive so far since they support his conspiracy beliefs.
Biff is unconcerned about Byron’s monitoring until Byron blackmails him, at which point he submits to Byron and Bennett. Bennett likewise fails to take Byron seriously until he witnesses what happens to Fiffany and Lyle. Maybe not even then; Byron will never turn on him since he believes he is wiser and better than them. They all view themselves and Byron as members of a higher social class—smarter, richer, or classier, or some mixture of the three—and think that this will protect them until it doesn’t.
Herb doesn’t seem to mind what Byron sees, presumably since he has nothing to lose because he doesn’t own anything and is dying. He does, however, have a secret, since he hasn’t informed Hazel about his illness, and he isn’t concerned that Byron would tell his daughter. Shane also doesn’t appear to consider the possibility that he has anything to conceal. These two lower-status men feel they live in a different universe than Byron, but they don’t view him as a danger because they believe their white male status will continue to protect them as it has in the past. They also find it difficult to perceive Hazel Green as “Mrs Gogol” in the same manner that Byron’s workers do, so they don’t take her seriously as a Byron Gogol agent to begin with.
Except for Judiff and Bangles, everyone believes Hazel is exaggerating or lying at some point. Before she departs the Hub, Hazel has to explain her lack of sexual pleasure from Byron’s robotic and forced oral sex. But both Bangles and Judiff sensed Byron was a threat and took the same precautions to keep him out of their lives that they had taken against other forms of male gaze/patriarchal authority- Bangles by hiding in plain sight and making sure potential blackmail material is already out in the open, so it has no power over her, and Judiff by staying off the grid, so her Byron has no power over her.
Byron, on the other hand, while being the show’s most powerful character by traditional measures, does virtually nothing except hide while simultaneously attempting to expose and dominate everyone else. Even his long-serving workers seem to know little about him, to the point that Fiffany had no idea she was in a dummy office. He maintained a façade in front of Hazel, his ten-year-old wife, which pushed her to maintain a facade as well, ultimately pushing her to breaking point. In their house, nothing personal, or even genuine, is permitted, even family members. Byron also maintains a high level of physical control.
So, what does Byron have to be scared of? Someone with such a strong need for control has equally strong anxieties. Is he worried that no one loves him? Is he scared of what will happen if he loses control? Is he terrified of the creatures out there? Even with Hazel and Bennett, he won’t allow any weakness to emerge. That’s a terrified guy.
What Does It Mean When a Man Looks at You?
HBOMax provided the images for this article.