For Max and Isabel, one of the most painful parts of keeping their existence a secret is hiding who they are from the two people that love them more than anything; their parents. The Toy House is a sweet and heart-breaking exploration of that deceptive bond and it also takes the time to examine how different Max and Isabel are when it comes to keeping the truth from their mother, and how starkly dissimilar they are when the situation calls for them to do more than just hide the truth.
Isabel states at one point in this episode how different it is for a mother and daughter in comparison with a mother and son. There’s a certain comfort that comes to Isabel when it comes to her mother, one can see that from how easily she recalls meeting her for the first time, a situation Max perceives a little differently. Though Is fell into her new domesticated life quite quickly, Max took days to even feel safe. It’s this perception of their human lives that force them to come to blows over how to handle her rejuvenated curiosity.
Max’s controlling nature, which is a damaging characteristic that got in his way only a few weeks previous to this, is called out by Liz. She’s perfectly entitled to live her life without Max’s permission, and Isabel should have just as much of a say in what her mother gets to know as Max does. Here it’s explained as his desperate desire to hold things together, and result of the weight he carries on himself. It makes his bossiness a lot easier to tolerate.
Though Max decides to hide the truth from their mother in the end, it’s not done in a way that means he’s lying to her, something that Isabel was opposed to. It’s a small thing, but even just a small lie makes them feel like they’re betraying her, so Max taking the time to satisfy his mother’s curiosity, without betraying her trust, is as sweet a moment as any on this show so far.
'The Toy House' is far from exciting, but it’s one of the most explorations of the undesirable situation Max, Michael and Isabel have been thrown into up until now.
Michael points out how strange he thinks it is that humans get all excited about throwing a ball through a hoop. I couldn’t agree more.
He Said, She Said
Max: “Michael, you say everyone’s the enemy.”
Michael: “They are.”
Isabel: “The day that you and Daddy came for us, that’s when our lives began.”
Isabel: “We can’t just do a Max on this thing, we can’t just sit back and passively watch.”
Maria: “I went out on a limb for you, and you hug Max and Isabel and it’s all about the three of you.”
Liz: “Max, you know what your problem is? You put everything on yourself, on your own shoulders. Maybe you should have some faith in the people around you.”
3 out of 4 toy houses
Previously posted at PandaTV.