Despite being critically acclaimed, HBO’s Enlightenment was – sadly – canceled this year. The series ran for two seasons with a total of 18 episodes.
I didn’t know what to expect when I started watching this show, but it moved me in so many ways – surprisingly enough. I related to Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern) so much and I’m disappointed that we won’t get a season 3, but I’m glad that this show existed at all – as short as it was. It was a huge treat to watch.
Episode 1: “Pilot”
After learning that is going to be transferring departments, Amy Jellicoe (Laura Dern) has a complete and total breakdown and confronts her boss – Damon Manning (Chip Esten) – about the matter. “Health and beauty was my department!”
She ends up going to a rehabilitation center after the incident, which involved Amy prying open a pair of elevator doors with her bare hands. She returns a much more level-headed, relaxed person who has gained a lot more… perspective on things.
Amy works and resides in the grim suburbs of Riverside, California.
I didn’t know what the setting was, going into Enlightened, but it was an interesting surprise considering Riverside is my hometown.
She plans to go back to work at Abbadon, the company where she was working as an executive for the Health and Beauty department. Despite an effort to push her out of the company, Amy mentions suing for wrongful termination and she is granted a job again.
She pays a visit to her ex-husband, Levi (Luke Wilson), who is dealing with substance abuse. Despite the divorce, they have lingering feelings for each other.
She wants to make amends with Damon, her old married colleague whom she’d been sleeping with, but that doesn’t work out so well.
Episode 2: “Now or Never”
Amy learns that she will be working in Level H, down in the basement, and she is not happy about that at all. She calls it “a high tech warehouse with a bunch of carnival freaks.”
Her new co-workers deal with numbers and they’re an eccentric bunch, to say the least. The friendliest one appears to be (Mike White), who is a bit shy and unassuming.
When she goes out to lunch with her co-workers, she learns that her old assistant – Krista (Sarah Burns) – lied to her about not being able to meet up when she sees her with her Damon and a former co-worker (Michaela Watkins).
Amy’s relationship with her ex-husband is explored further in this episode. Luke blows up after Amy tries to talk to him about the rehab center she visited, trying to convince Luke that maybe he should go there. Luke brushes her off, and yells at her about sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong and acting like he’s the one with the problems – when she was the one who was pretty messed up not so long ago.
She confronts Krista about blowing her off for lunch and taking over Amy’s old office and not telling her about it.