Clock | Crooked Media
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May 23, 2023
Ruined with Alison Leiby and Halle Kiefer

In This Episode

Halle and Alison discuss the horrors of family trauma and Big Pharma to ruin Clock.




[theme music]: If scary movies give you dread, keep you up late in night. Here’s a podcast that will help you ease your mind. We’ll explain the plot real nicely and we’ll talk about what’s frightening, so you never have to have a spooky time. It’s Ruined.


Halle Kiefer: Hey, everybody. Welcome to Ruined. I’m Halle. 


Alison Leiby: And I’m Alison. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is a podcast where we ruin a horror movie just for you. Alison, how are you doing? Anything horrifying happening to you? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, yes, I. One small one, Rizz keeps blowing up my bathroom. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: I was gonna say [both speaking] is his litter box in the bathroom or is he just using the toilet, okay. Yeah.


Alison Leiby: God. If I had him toilet trained, you’d never see me again because I’d be dead from happiness that I don’t have to deal with the litter box. I’m like, I know what you eat. Like, how is it sometimes this fucking rank? [laughs] But I love him so much. 


Halle Kiefer: I remember a good friend or my good friends their cat Miley. Whenever we’d come over their apartment in New York, Miley would take a revenge shit. So as soon as people walked in, it would go and just blow up. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You know it’s a small apartment and I. Part of me admires that about him that he had. He knew the do that. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, absolutely. That’s just a small scale horror. But, you know, the larger one is obviously the Writers Guild of America is on strike. I’ve been picketing all week and its’ the longest—


Halle Kiefer: How’s it going? Tell us about it. 


Alison Leiby: —I’ve been standing in three years. I think. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: My God. Good for the abs, though. Good for the core. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I know. I got so many steps in. I was like, I guess I could eat a whole pizza when I finish today. But it has been like both inspiring and horrific and I’m sure lots of people are seeing all of the news and the statements that are coming out of the studio heads and what kind of a bleak existence this is like. And it’s just a small microcosm of what is happening in every single industry across the stupid ass—


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: —country and planet, because we are slaves to Wall Street and shareholders and there is no fucking getting around it. They just want profits. They don’t care about fair wages. They don’t care about like long term viability for any career or like turn everything into an automated system that then somebody as a gig economy worker, it’s just it’s really dark and really bad and please come support. Like you don’t have to be in the guild to come support the strike and try and block trucks and do all the things that will shut down production and speed this up so we can get back to making television and movies. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, we’re recording this on Friday, May 5th. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: I imagine you’ll still be striking when this comes out. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah—


Halle Kiefer: I hope you’re not, but let’s be real.


Alison Leiby: —through the summer. So.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And I was thinking that too. I should go out and protest. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Are you doing it on the weekends too or just sort of during the week?


Alison Leiby: They’ve only given us times during the week. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. 


Alison Leiby: Because it’s mostly to disrupt the assholes. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: At the offices and then to try and like halt production on things and get people to walk out or like, you know, and the Teamsters and the other unions have been so cool and like, supportive and like either not crossing picket lines or being like, oh, I’m on a smoke break for two and a half hours kind of thing. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: So we’re really it’s been like really wonderful to see all of that. But then when you think about why it’s happening, you’re like, oh, it’s like the darkest economic timeline I can imagine. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. You know, I think there’s a lot of different elements to what the writers are asking for. But I definitely think for me, as someone who writes for a living. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: As well, there is a the terror of seeing the studios basically saying, no, we will not agree not to use AI or ChatGPT. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: To create scripts. And knowing that that’s coming for anyone who writes creatively or news wise. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Really any or copywriters, anyone who writes is this idea that we’ve created this technology and there’s this New York Times article actually that came out this week called the The Godfather of AI leaves Google and Warns of Danger Ahead. It’s Geoffrey Hinton and I’m sorry. So it was like for half a century, Geoffrey Hinton nurtured that technology at the heart of chat bots like ChatGPT. Now he worries it will cause serious harm. Now he worries?


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Now he worries. 


Alison Leiby: Like bro—


Halle Kiefer: Bitch. 


Alison Leiby: Is it the same? There was a there was an article in Time like two or three weeks ago that was about AI and it was I think it’s the same guy. I think he’s like trying to make the rounds, like talking about the the future that’s awaiting us with AI and kind of the dangers that it’s bringing. But it was like one of the most harrowing articles I’ve read. I’ll have to find out. But it was like the guy being like, this is a mistake. It is going to kill us all. 


Halle Kiefer: Will like, I appreciate that. But it’s like, then why did you make it. 


Alison Leiby: Why did you do it? 


Halle Kiefer: We didn’t make it. That was you. 


Alison Leiby: And no one asked for it. I didn’t. I certainly did not not. 


Halle Kiefer: No. I wouldn’t even know what to ask I wouldn’t even know it’s a thing. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t even like doing self-checkout. Like I don’t. We need to like— [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: I hate self-checkout. 


Alison Leiby: It’s the worst. 


Halle Kiefer: Because someone always has to come over to help you because it’s constantly breaking. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I feel like a fucking idiot. 


Halle Kiefer: This is, of course, the lie of capitalism. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Is that like, oh well, the market will create like, things will be better because they’ll be like, competition. No, there won’t. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: We can develop our own ChatGPT. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: What kind of, what are you talking about? It’s just invented to replace workers. What do you mean competition. It’s the same with like the studios were like that was sort of the promise of streaming like, oh, they’ll be all sorts of different things. No, there was— I don’t know how to launch a streaming platform. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: I don’t have a camera.


Alison Leiby: No. I don’t want to either. That’s not what I do. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: It’s just. It’s just sort of like we talk about these and they haven’t come out. It’s like it is like coming out to, like, warned everyone about the shark in Jaws? Like, a month later? 


Alison Leiby: Yes yes, yes. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s like bitch, it’s May 2023. It’s already been out, even those people who are— 


Alison Leiby: It’s too late to warn us and stop it. So.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, we’re not tech savvy people, which, you know, we already know the problems. Now you come out after spending decades and there was a quote, I can pull a quote from it that really made me puke was like, well, I could oh, here we go. I console myself with the normal excuse. If I hadn’t done it, somebody else would have. What kind of consolations that Geoffrey? What are you talking about?


Alison Leiby: Also like that’s a bad way to assume, like that’s a bad way to go through life. It’s like, well, I did it, but somebody was going to either way, so you can’t blame me. It’s just how things were. It’s like, no, not necessarily. 


Halle Kiefer: Honey. 


Alison Leiby: Not necessarily. 


Halle Kiefer: Honey. That is also that’s the new I was just following orders. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like it’s like, well, someone else is going to do it. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Well, it didn’t mean you had to do it? Did it? Didn’t mean you had to. Unless of course, you know, we’re we’re both on our own political journey as you are, is like we all do have to take personal responsibility. It is the system. But like, you don’t have to spend your career developing it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You maniacs also. But I would say if anyone knows a scientist or if you are, I don’t know why. If your scientist or engineer listening to this and you’ve spent your career developing Deepfake or developing—


Alison Leiby: Ugh. 


Halle Kiefer: —AI to be used for workers, just so you know you’ve wasted your whole life. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. You really did.


Halle Kiefer: You’ve done nothing of value. 


Alison Leiby: Nothing. 


Halle Kiefer: Climate change is still happening.


Alison Leiby: All you did was ruin shit. 


Halle Kiefer: You ruined the economy, you ruined art. Like it’s like people—


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —need art to live. And that’s sort of the listen, there’s there’s a reason that a lot of TV and movies have stunk recently, and that’s because they’re trying to use algorithms to figure out how to get the most number of people to watch it. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Rather than creative people—


Alison Leiby: Making—


Halle Kiefer: Create and then we get to enjoy it. 


Alison Leiby: Right. Right.


Halle Kiefer: Any who. 


Alison Leiby: It’s a mess. 


Halle Kiefer: Any who.


Alison Leiby: That’s the horrors I’ve been living through. What about you? Do you have any other horrific stuff? 


Halle Kiefer: I guess to me, the most horrifying thing that I have to worry about is just the the ongoing Clarence Thomas [laughter] information that’s being released where it’s like, oh, today or this week it was. We find out that that Harlan Crow, that Republican billionaire paid for his grand nephew, Clarence Thomas’ grand nephew who he raised apparently as a son to go to school and he didn’t report it. It’s like I just feel like if you have an insane Republican billionaire paying for your kid to go to school there the horror of it is there’s no mechanism by which we could get Supreme Court justices off a Supreme Court if their corrupt. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s the horror. Why didn’t we think about this? Why are why do we have to figure this out now? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, it’s bad. It’s bad. 


Halle Kiefer: Anyways, so he’s not going to step down. But, you know, that’s that to me is what I was reading this week. I’m like, well, this can’t be good. 


Alison Leiby: No, no, no, no, no, no. Everything is bad. 


Halle Kiefer: If a billionaire wants to give me money, obviously, I would use it for good. 


Alison Leiby: Yes, I will take it. I will make beautiful art. 


Halle Kiefer: Come on. 


Alison Leiby: I will share it with people. 


Halle Kiefer: Of course.


Alison Leiby: I’ll mostly buy food probably. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: I’ll let people have abortions if they want, you know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: Absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: I’ll let people do whatever the fuck they want to do to their own fucking bodies. 


Alison Leiby: Absolutely. 


Halle Kiefer: Speaking of this, of course, is we’re recording this for mommy issues month. And both the issues our mothers give us and then the issues we all have as as mommies or prospective mommies. 


Alison Leiby: And before we get into the movie, though, just a reminder, if you’re listening on Patreon, we have a live show coming up Sunday, May 21st, 7 p.m. Eastern, 4 p.m. Pacific. And if you’re listening to this on the live feed, it is still up like it’s up for 72 hours. So if you missed it somehow, you can still buy a ticket at and you still have access to see the live show for like another 24 hours. If you’re listening to this the day it comes out so get those tickets we’re going to ruin Evil Dead Rise so you know just be there for that. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh and it looks like a real treat. I’m seeing it tomorrow. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah I’m excited. Very excited. 


Halle Kiefer: And I can’t wait. So, yeah—


Alison Leiby: Back to the regularly scheduled programming. 


Halle Kiefer: Now, we picked this is an this is a recommendation from our very own producer, Sabrina, and it is a Hulu horror movie that just came out this year starring Dianna Agron, who I associate from Glee. Did you watch Glee, Alison? 


Alison Leiby: I did not watch Glee. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. 


Alison Leiby: But I know that she was on it. 


Halle Kiefer: And what are your feelings about when I say, Glee? What does it conjure for you? Positive. Negative. 


Alison Leiby: Like. 


Halle Kiefer: Nothing?


Alison Leiby: Neutral. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. 


Alison Leiby: I it’s I’m like. I’m like, oh, this is like. I bet there was stuff I would have liked. I think ultimately it wasn’t for me. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: But also, I get why people like, I’m, like, agnostic. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I think that’s fair. I think like it is super cheesy, but also sort of most people’s entree to Ryan Murphy. I mean, he’d already done Nip/Tuck and everything. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: He was my entree to Ryan Murphy, and it was so specifically gay in a way that I think. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, I was I think like I was in my twenties when it came out. So it didn’t really—


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —hit in the same way. But I think if you were a teen, at least to have some gayness. 


Alison Leiby: Totally. 


Halle Kiefer: On on TV would have been. I think people have an emotional attachment to Glee in a way that totally makes sense to me. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Whether you think that Ryan Murphy is like a net positive or negative in our culture, like there are undeniable, like, good, cool things that he has done in shows. So I can appreciate that for sure. 


Halle Kiefer: And Dianna Agron is great in it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So I’m glad that she’s getting work. We’re excited to see her working and we always like to have Alison watch the trailer for the movie, which is called Clock. 


Alison Leiby: Clock. 


Halle Kiefer: Clock. Again, not great SEO on the title, but the movie is about the biological clock. Alison, what are your thoughts about the trailer for Clock? 


Alison Leiby: Um, bad. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: I did not care for it. It was super chilling. I also like obviously all of the themes that I know we’re going to get into, but like I will say, even just like anything that’s happening where it’s like, oh, we’re doing medical experimentation. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh girl. 


Alison Leiby: You can be part of this trial at this company and that has a symbol as an, like you’re just like. Uh huh. I am not. No.


Halle Kiefer: The number of times you see a lubed up speculum in this movie. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Ooh. The fluids. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, just like regular gynecological tools. 


Halle Kiefer: I can pass out right now honestly. 


Alison Leiby: Every time I go, I’m like, did you stop at Home Depot on your way here like what is this stuff like? [laughter] It doesn’t seem very medical. Seems very construction,


Halle Kiefer: Right. Yeah. It’s like this is the only situation in which, like, it is so vulnerable in such a specific way, because it’s like the vulnerability of sex, except it’s someone you only see once a year, and afterwards they will tell you if you have cancer or not. [laughter] You know what I mean? So it’s like. 


Alison Leiby: And you pay them for the experience. 


Halle Kiefer: And you have to wait. You have to sit there in your little fucking gown. And then they ask you invasive questions about your life. It’s the only thing worse, to me, honest to God. And this is just like why my teeth are look and are, the way they are. 


Alison Leiby: Dentist. 


Halle Kiefer: The dentist. Like, at least when I go into the OB-GYN I’m like, I know what this is. I do need to go. The dentist is like the gynecologist except there’s a drill involved. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s like if there was a drill, I would never go to the gyn— [both speaking]


Alison Leiby: Ever again. 


Halle Kiefer: —was real, I would never go. Like I just wouldn’t go.


Alison Leiby: Yeah, no, I mean the dentist plus gynecologist at the same time. That ain’t happening for me. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s very medieval. I bet they were doing that back then. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But truly, the idea of we’ve talked about this on the pod, like the idea that you go stra— Basically a stranger puts a drill in your mouth and we’re just all supposed to be fine with that. [laughter]


Alison Leiby: It sucks. 


Halle Kiefer: That’s a fucking horror movie. 


Alison Leiby: It sucks. 


Halle Kiefer: That sucks so bad. And then we also like to take a baseline scary. And so the baseline scary, Alison, is how scary do you find the concept of not having a biological clock? 


Alison Leiby: I mean, I don’t believe in the concept of a biological clock. Like, I understand, like there are hormones that kick in at certain times, but I don’t think it’s just assumed thing. And I think that that’s what this movie talks about. It’s like, well, every woman must have one. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: And it’s like, I don’t think I do. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: So. Like I am somebody who, like very famously does not want kids. And there has never like. 


Halle Kiefer: Famously. 


Alison Leiby: I see it kind of like, oh, I like kids. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: Like and there are times where you’re like, oh, like, I wonder what that. But like, no part of me is like, it’s now. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: And I just feel like that’s a fake thing that our culture uses to pressure women into doing things they don’t want to do. 


Halle Kiefer: I absolutely, I feel like sort of similar to compat or compulsory heterosexuality, which I’ve talked about with regards to my own life. It does seem like it’s a kind of thing where, like I know I have friends who definitely were like, I want kids. That is like, I’m going into life with that idea. And then if not you, I think especially if you’re a straight woman who’s like in a married relationship or a long term relation with a man, it is this presumed next step that if you do not have that desire, becomes this looming aspect of your life. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: In this very punishing way. Because, you know, being a woman and I think more broadly, being someone who could conceive. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: The idea is like, well, that’s what your body is supposed to be doing. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And the idea of like I mean, and we’ve talked a lot about this in other horror movies, but the idea of like what the natural body is “supposed to be doing,” quote unquote, versus what you as a person want to be doing is sort of what we’re getting at here is like to feel like you’re broken. If you don’t have that. And what measures will you use to, quote unquote, fix yourself. 


Alison Leiby: Fix it yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: To be closer to what is appropriate? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And then we before we get started, Alison, would you like to guess the twist or what you think the twist might be in Clock? 


[voice over]: Guess the twist. 


Halle Kiefer: And there is a twist. There is. It’s not a twist. It’s interesting, because the twist is not related to the plot necessarily. But there is a twist where something so whatever, I’ll I’ll I’ll give you an example. This is not normally I would not give a hint. There’s something where she thinks it’s a hallucination and then it is something. It is revealed she is having a hallucination. What is revealed about the hallucination is the twist. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: That probably didn’t help at all. But go ahead. 


Alison Leiby: No I think it actually muddied the waters [laughter] I, I’m going to guess that. She’s. What she’s hallucinating is like because there is like a demon, any kind of like, scary face at one point. So I’m going to run with that and I’m going to guess that that is the Melora Hardin character in rea—


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: Like is like actually an awful demon who is trying to steal people’s baby. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, okay, great. 


Alison Leiby: I think. 


Halle Kiefer: Love to hear it. That’s perfect. All right, great. Well, let us begin ruining 2023’s Clock. We open on ooh, and I’m on record of loving text on the screen. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: But I also love a blank screen with the sound of twisting rope and sort of a metal swing rattling back and forth. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, God. 


Halle Kiefer: The sound of a twisting rope on an all blacks screen. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, you love it. We see. We open on again a perfect horror movie image just like we opened Mama on a car, pulled up on a curb with the door open, terrified, we see a woman in a white nightgown standing on a playground swing. It’s the middle of the night. 


Alison Leiby: Cool. 


Halle Kiefer: She is, of course, sobbing. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see she sort of step standing on her own feet. And we see blood is streaming from between her legs and she looks into her cupped hand sobbing. And I’ll be honest, I thought she had had a miscarriage. She was looking at the miscarriage. That’s how I was like, okay. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: We’re fucking starting with that.


Alison Leiby: Get ready for this? Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison without further ado, this woman pulls herself up onto the top bar of the swing set, wraps the chain from the swing around her neck and fucking drops backwards, hanging herself. 


Alison Leiby: Woah. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see the object drop from her hand. And it’s a circular pronged metal object. Title card, Clock. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, I’m in. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. [laughter] And I was like, okay. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Buckle up. We see Ella played by Dianna Agron. She picks up a deviled egg covered in Roe. 


Alison Leiby: Mm. Ugh. 


Halle Kiefer: And there are some really, like, incredible egg related imagery. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Where it’s like you’re eating another animal’s eggs—


Alison Leiby: Eggs on eggs on eggs. 


Halle Kiefer: —on top of eggs. And you yourself are full of eggs that I as soon as I saw—


Alison Leiby: That’s fun. 


Halle Kiefer: —Oh. That’s right. We’re we’re animals. You know, someone could eat human roe. I don’t know who would do that. I hope we never meet them. 


Alison Leiby: Isn’t that like too microscopic?


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, it’s. It’s got gotta be. We would know if it was big right? Not us personally. But like humanity. 


Alison Leiby: Like humanity. Yeah. I mean, I think that’s, like, the thing is, like, it’s so small. 


Halle Kiefer: That is crazy. Well, I guess they’re eggs. They’re not. I was like, why is Roe so big? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But I guess it’s because they have to spawn in the water. They can’t be— 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: —that small. 


Alison Leiby: They’re not internal to the fish. It would be funny if fish got pregnant. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh. So we see Ella’s at a baby shower and she’s sort of again at the deviled egg table, just going nuts like I would be. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see her wince as her friends are all discussing that, like, oh my God, going to the bathroom after giving birth was like going to hell. My pussy split all the way open. I got a stitch to my vagina they had a drainage. She’s like eating. She’s like, oh, God. 


Alison Leiby: Ugh. 


Halle Kiefer: And this is a lot of like the visceral disgust of pregnancy, which I think is like an interesting aspect to focus on. And I feel like a lot of women say, like, no one told me or I didn’t know. And I do think that one of the reasons is it’s hard to convey physical pain if you’re not experiencing it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like. 


Alison Leiby: And you like I think there’s also the cultural need of people. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: To to be like, well, you must be miserable with me. So I will not tell you the real horrors. And then, of course.


Halle Kiefer: Right. 


Alison Leiby: That this is also like, like we don’t even talk about periods. We don’t even talk about, like that kind of pain. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh I know, yeah. 


Alison Leiby: It’s such a private area of our bodies that like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: You know, it’s already like kind of something that’s like taboo to talk about—


Halle Kiefer: 100%. 


Alison Leiby: If it was like, if it happened to your arm, it would be a little more public. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. Exactly. Yeah. And there’s something too where it’s like, oh, it’s like we’re talking about labor. That’s fine, because a baby came out. If we’re talking about like, your pussy being split open for five months after, like, it’s like nobody wants to hear about the, like. 


Alison Leiby: The after. 


Halle Kiefer: The the rehab and the maintenance and all this stuff. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And in America, I don’t think they’re paid for a lot of that. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: You always hear in Europe, like you get like they send a physical therapist to your house and help you like redo your or strengthen your pelvic floor. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: But you’re just out here fucking swinging in the wind in America. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, God. 


Halle Kiefer: So Ella, Ella’s having a reaction, but her friend Shauna is the one whose birthday or sorry, whose baby [laughs] baby’s birthday is soon. That’s why they’re having a baby shower. So her friend Shauna, who is a lesbian and is married to her wife, Fiona, I’m like thank you okay, representation. Shauna calls like Ella over like, oh, Ella is this incredible designer. Her name of her company is Ella Patel Designs. And it’s like she’s going to design my nursery and all of them are like, oh my God, you have to come over, like redo our den. You were incredible. She also, Ella has a Hebrew letter on a necklace, and I’m so sorry. I meant to look it up. Alison, if you were to have a Hebrew letter on a necklace, what would it be?


Alison Leiby: If I were to? I don’t know Hebrew. 


Halle Kiefer: Or anyone? If you were to be a Jewish person. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t know Hebrew, anymore. I don’t even know. I couldn’t even. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay so—


Alison Leiby: I’m that kind of Jew. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: As a as a as a Christian, as a Catholic, I would have a crucifix. If you were a Jewish woman who had a necklace, what would be on it? Like, what would that symbol be?


Alison Leiby: A Star of David like, typically. 


Halle Kiefer: No, it’s looks like a letter. [laughs] It looks like–


Alison Leiby: No. I’m sure it is a letter. I just have no idea which one it would be. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: What is there one that means, like life or something? Like?


Alison Leiby: No they’re letters. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: No, I’m saying it is a letter is the symbol. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yes. Okay. I don’t know. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. 


Alison Leiby: I, I genuinely don’t know. I my Hebrew learning kind of stopped when I was eight. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay. I looked it up. It’s a Chai. Is that how you pronounce it? 


Alison Leiby: Oh yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Or Chai? 


Alison Leiby: Chai. 


Halle Kiefer: Chai. So she has a Chai. So she is Jewish and I looked it up because to me Dianna Agron I’m like Jewish? But she is. 


Alison Leiby: She is. 


Halle Kiefer: So I’ll, I’ll allow it. And so we see right up top that this is also going to involve her faith as a Jewish person which I it’s just nice to have like it’s not about Catholics you know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: It is. It is.


Halle Kiefer: Or like the weird evangelical version of like that kind of aspects of demons. So it’s kind of nice to have a little variety. And they call her over they’re like, oh my God, when are you going to start having kids? And of course you see her reaction like, please don’t like, she’s the only one there who isn’t pregnant or has a child. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: She also spots there’s a little boy climbing in the tree and she tries to point out, like, whose kids up there? But Shauna grabs her stomach and and gasps, they all turn to Shauna and the baby is moving. And she asks Ella, who again, is supposed to be like her best friend. Oh, do you want to touch my belly as she lifts her shirt up? But Ella sees the outline of a little hand pressing from the inside. 


Alison Leiby: Also, like, I don’t think that that’s how. I don’t think it’s that—


Halle Kiefer: Specific?


Alison Leiby: Like visually obvious.


Halle Kiefer: You’re not seeing a little face. It’s like you do see a little boop.


Alison Leiby: Yeah I think that you do see like protrusions of. I don’t think you see a hand. 


Halle Kiefer: Mhm. Right. 


Alison Leiby: It’s giving me—


Halle Kiefer: It’s giving her the finger.


Alison Leiby: I’m like imagining the Titanic scene when they’re having sex in the car and then you just like one of the hands like touches the condenser, like the condensation on the window. 


Halle Kiefer: And what are you if not a car to your fetus Alison? [laughter] And this movie, they’re on the on the Titanic. I would say. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: This car is absolutely on the Titanic. Shauna sees Ella recoil and says it’s a baby Elle, not an alien. Or is it? No, this is a baby. We know Shauna’s baby is, is regular and we see the other [laughter] moms again inundating Ella. And be like, when are you and your husband Aidan? Aidan, Aidan is such a hottie, you know, what are you going to try to start conceiving? And Shauna is trying to, like, control the situation because she knows Ella is not in that and she says, oh, you know, Ella doesn’t want kids to try to cut it off. This reactivates the moms into a full court press. It’s like, oh, like your clock’s going to kick in any day now. And they say to her like, well, one of them says, I’ll be honest like I don’t I wouldn’t even know, like, what do you do all day without a kid? And we see Ella has this moment where she flashes through her life [laughs] which is she swims in her personal pool because she is rich. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, the dream. 


Halle Kiefer: Her hot fucking husband goes down on her. She works at a construction site where they’re putting together her design. She delivers food for Meals on Wheels. She gets a massage we see her like cooking like a delicious meal. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Feels like a very robust life. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And we just. Her day ends. And then her hot ass husband, like, falls asleep with his head on her lap while she has a glass of wine, and these like, big, gigantic floor to ceiling windows. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: And then she comes back out and it’s just so funny where it’s like, is that not enough for you people? [laughter] But of course we’re joking, obviously like that. The whole point is like, if you want kids, great. If not. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: People do a lot of stuff. There’s a lot of stuff to fill the day you know. 


Alison Leiby: There’s a lot that can fill the day. And no one ever asks men why they aren’t having kids. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: No. And if they were, I’d be like, oh, my wife, my hot wife doesn’t want to get pregnant. One of the moms you know, sort of interrupts her reverie and says, you’ll want kids. Kids are the best thing that will ever happen to you. And right then, the little boy who’s in the tree plummets out of the tree, screaming and hits the ground and everyone runs over. We don’t hear about the kid. I’m assuming he’s okay. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: This is sort of again, like the the fantasy of children and then the reality, which is they at any point in time could plummet out of a tree. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, I don’t know how people with children aren’t just having a panic attack 24 hours a day. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: I think unfortunately, they are. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And I there’s a very famous quote and I’m sorry, I don’t know who says this, like having a child is like having your heart walk right outside your body. Terrifying. 


Alison Leiby: Ugh. Wow. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolute terrifying. 


Alison Leiby: That sounds rough. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, we see that Ella has gone. She’s getting an OB-GYN appointment with Dr. Webber, who works at the same hospital as Ella’s husband, Aidan, who is, of course, a surgeon, a hot surgeon Alison.  


Alison Leiby: I mean. Good for her.


Halle Kiefer: And he recommended that Ella go to Dr. Webber because Ella is the same age her mother was when she when her mother died of breast cancer. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: So she’s not 40 yet because they usually, like, have have you go in at 40 and start getting mammograms. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So she’s a little early and he’s like, just go see her now and get it started. Make sense. 


Alison Leiby: Smart. 


Halle Kiefer: So Dr. Webber was like, oh, my God, like, Aidan’s so incredible. I, you know, one of my favorite doctors here at the hospital. Ella says, okay, great. Just regular appointment, please. They start with a breast exam and they start talking about her mother’s history of breast cancer. And Dr. Webber then has her put her legs up in the stirrups and is asking about birth control. And Ella says basically like, I guess, the kind of cancer, breast cancer her mother had birth control can sort of be connected to it. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: So she went off birth control because of her concerns. And so they just use condoms. So she’s not on any hormonal birth control. And Alison, they shoot the exam for the horror of it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like we see, like the glint of the speculum is as she puts, like the cold lube on it. 


Alison Leiby: Ugh. It’s so unpleasant.


Halle Kiefer: Like we see all the [both speaking] you see the long sort of Q-Tip that’s being they use to scrape your cervix and Ella’s hands grabbing the armrest because it is both the physical discomfort and then like the mental discomfort. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That they’re also exposed. 


Alison Leiby: There is a very, like existential emotional element to it too, where you’re just kind of like. Laying there. And also there is something to that I always find very horrifying, which is like that someone else can see what’s happening more than I can. 


Halle Kiefer: Terrifying. Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Like the fact that I don’t know, like internally how things look. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: But someone else does. And kind of like that power dynamic feels really weird. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, absolutely. And they could at any—


Alison Leiby: Same with dentist. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. Oh, yeah. Well, yeah. The dentist. You just have to rely on them. 


Alison Leiby: I’m like, I never want to see the inside of my mouth. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I remember, we talked about this, but seeing, like, a cervix, like someone’s cervix online, I almost passed out. 


Alison Leiby: Ugh. 


Halle Kiefer: Like the idea of seeing your own cervix, but also thank God, those doctors exist. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: To look at my cervix—


Alison Leiby: Because there’s so much that goes wrong with them. 


Halle Kiefer: Like the whole area is going to fucking blow. By the way, there are people on Twitter arguing about whether your kids should get the HPV vaccine, get them as early as possible. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I think you can get them when you’re a tween? Just fucking take them like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: We are past the point of the idea, like, oh, you’re a kid. Oh, it’s going to make your kid have sex early grow up. What are you talking about? Like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Do you want your kid to not get cancer. I don’t know what to tell you. 


Alison Leiby: Nothing medical is making kids, like being on birth control, getting the HPV vaccine, getting, you know, any other sta— Like none of that. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Is going to make kids have sex faster. It’s just going to. Take a lifetime of pain off the table in a lot of places. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. And she asked, Ella, do you want kids? And Ella says, well, I’m not quite ready yet. Dr. Webber, Webber finishes off and says, well, I hate to say it, but you’re 37, so that’s already geriatric. I’m sorry, but you don’t have time to be, quote, “not quite ready yet.” [laughs] And Ella says, yeah, it’s not that I’m not ready, it’s that I don’t want kids at all. I never have. I don’t think I have a biological clock. And Dr. Webber says all women have a biological clock. Maybe yours is just broken. Ex-squeeze me, Dr. Webber. 


Alison Leiby: Rude. 


Halle Kiefer: Rude. And again, like we said, like the idea of like quote unquote, “the biology of women” is not helpful both in terms of, you know, like if you’re a cis woman having to hear that, but also like there are people who are not women, they’re transmasculine people. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Non-binary people who are also conceiving and having their own experience of pregnancy. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So the idea of like this is women’s quote unquote, “women’s” biological destiny, you know, is already like putting so much on the individual that we’re what are you doing, you know? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So she goes to her paint guy. She has a paint guy that she goes to, and he has a copy of a design magazine that publishes a big spread on Ella and like her company. And she’s really excited and so she posts a photo from the magazine. And of course, when she goes to Instagram to post the photo, every other photo from all—


Alison Leiby: Yep. 


Halle Kiefer: —of her friends, are pregnancy photos, baby pictures, family shots on vacation. You know. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And Alison, if that wasn’t pressure enough and this is the thing I want to talk we’re going to talk about this at the end of the episode. She and Aidan get dinner at her dad’s house and he is Jewish Jewish. Okay. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Yeah.


Halle Kiefer: And she is like, she’s preparing a whole platter. We got the we are caviar. We got lox. [both speaking] Yeah, we got it. It’s incredible. We got a challah, we got some red wine and her dad’s whispering to Aidan like, they clearly have, like, a fun rapport. He’s like, did you get me anything good this week from the hospital? And Aidan says, yeah, I got you something good. And he pulls out his duffel bag and the dad reaches at it, goes pens [laughter] and he got all these, like, kids from the hospital. 


Alison Leiby: That’s really fun. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And he’s like, oh, I’m telling you, these are the primo pens. So I’m like, and also the actor I’ll look it up, the actor who plays the dad is so cute and sweet. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And is just like, so warm and like what you would want as your dad in general, but especially as your Jewish dad. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: His name is Saul Rubinek and, you know, he’s like grounding this movie, which does get a little [speaks gibberish] in like a very human place, which I really appreciated. 


Alison Leiby: That’s nice. 


Halle Kiefer: And it’s so, you know, he’s so happy. It’s going to be hard. Like, oh, it’s gonna be hard to say no with this guy who wants a grandchild. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. That’s what we’re setting up here. And he’s like, oh my God, thank you so much for visiting me. You know, I love it when you come over. And she’s like, yeah, we wanted to come see you, obviously. And the dad’s like, oh, you’re so beautiful and Aidan’s so smart. And, you know, life’s perfect except for these empty chairs here around the table. And this is obviously, like, a oft repeated refrain, because Ella is just like, please, Dad, like can we not get into it, but he’s going wide with it. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And he’s like, you know, your mother and I, we would have had more. We would’ve had six, seven kids, but if she hadn’t gotten sick. So that’s why we only had you. You’re our only child. And you know how your grandparents wanted grandchildren. And she’s like, can we not bring bring my grandparents into this? And he says, Well, they’re a part of your story and you’re a part of their story. What’s story, Alison? That’s right. It’s about the Jewish people survival of the Holocaust. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So again. 


Alison Leiby: It’s always that. 


Halle Kiefer: And I will say as a Catholic, at least nobody’s bringing up the Holocaust as a reason that I personally have to have kids. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah. That is a nice [laughs] thing to avoid.


Halle Kiefer: I am grateful. And he’s like, listen, it’s like all I’m saying is a thousand years of survival of our family line from the beginning of time, including surviving the camps for all of it to end now. And she’s like, that is too much just to put on me. 


Alison Leiby: That’s too much pressure, that’s too much pressure for an individual. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s—


Alison Leiby: Also who gives a shit? [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And but you know, and we’ll talk about that, because I think that that is like it is both sides but also like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Come on in, you know. But she serves at the kitchen. She’s cutting up a delicious roast and we hear Aidan kind of calm her dad down like, you know how your heart’s bad? Like, let’s not get excited. And her dad says, my heart aches because of her, you know, again, putting it on her. And it’s like, no, no wonder she feels all fucked up about having kids. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: This is like the litany that’s being told to her, her whole life. Like, that’s again, it’s so much pressure. That night, Aidan and Ella make love next to a framed favorite of their beautiful, so he’s Indian, so it’s a beautiful Indian Jewish wedding and I was like I’m not Indian. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: But like I know that his parents are giving him the same talk about this. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: You know what I mean? 


Alison Leiby: Totally. 


Halle Kiefer: Like all parents are like, you got to do it you just got to have grandkids, you know? And he goes to get a condom and Ella takes it out of his hand and says, let’s do this. And he’s like, we cannot have a kid just because your dad got upset. And she’s like, it’s not just him. It’s everybody. Everyone’s having fucking kids. Like, let’s just this just I can do this and have one already, which is real boner killer, because basically she’s saying, let’s just fucking do it. I like whatever. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, I guess we’ll just throw our whole lives away to do this because everybody’s saying we’re supposed to. And I don’t know, just let’s get it over with. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Is a very unsexy vibe. 


Halle Kiefer: But I think a lot of people make that decision, you know, where it’s like, look, I don’t know how else to get around this, so like, we’ll just have kids. And of course then it’s like, oh, no, then the kids are just there forever, you know, what I mean. So they and of course they don’t end up making love, but so they get into a huge argument and he tells her, I don’t want to have a child with you because you feel like you’re beaten down and don’t know not how to have one. And she says, well, you might be shit out of luck. And Aidan is like, so we find out that they’ve been married for ten years and probably together like earlier than that. So. Like I was like they met in college or something and they’ve been together forever. And she’s 37 now, right? And he’s like, we’ve had this conversation 1000 times. I told you, I only want kids if you want to have them. If not, I am happy just being with you like I am not pushing you to do this. And she’s like, that’s what everyone’s been saying the same things since we got together ten years ago. We have to have kids. I don’t feel any different. And she’s like, well, like we kind of knew this was going to happen. Like eventually your fertility would start to fall off. Like, it’s not like there’s some magic way to fix how you feel. And as soon as he says fix like you just it’s like, I didn’t mean fix. I didn’t mean like, you know, I’m sorry—


Alison Leiby: Like this is wrong and there is a right way. Yeah. But.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, and obviously she’s clearly fucked up about it cause, yeah. Like she is headed towards the end of her fertile years, and now it’s like decide, like, okay, are we going to do this. And if not, then that’s a beautiful decision that everyone has to make you know, and she storms out into her workroom. And we see her a slip of paper with a number written on it that Dr. Webber gave her. And we sort of cut back to the Dr. Webber exam, and she says, we see Dr. Webber again saying and your clock is broken. And Ella’s response is broken? So you’re, like, almost like it could be fixed? And Dr. Webber again, gives us like, sort of their old rigamarole and says the lack of desire to have children could be a hormonal imbalance in and of itself. So that lack of desire, she’s saying, could be a medical element. According to this new biotech firm which is working on just this issue Alison. 


Alison Leiby: Mm mmm. 


Halle Kiefer: Do, they’re having trials right now, do you want me to see if I can get you in? And Ella says, I don’t know. She’s about to start work on a big resort, so she’s going to be designing a resort. 


Alison Leiby: Ugh. The dream. 


Halle Kiefer: Huge opportunity of a lifetime. And and this trial is inpatient. So she’s like, I don’t know, I’m going to be I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that. I’m going to be slammed and Dr. Webber says, here, take my cell phone number in case you change your mind. And of course, Alison, when she’s at home looking at a slip of paper, she touches her neck and her necklace comes off in her hand. And she takes it as a sign. Time to make some babies. In the morning. She says goodbye to Aidan and drives off to the trial and we see her call her boss, Michael, and say she’s pulling out of the project, which was her dream project. She apologizes and says, like, something’s come up. I just can’t do it. We see at the clinic, she parks and we see the clinic’s symbol is an infinity sign? 


Alison Leiby: I mean. 


Halle Kiefer: Which, yikes. 


Alison Leiby: Uh uh, uh uh. I don’t like it. 


Halle Kiefer: And on her way in, we see everyone is wearing these sort of, like, very like, wing pink, like Goop pajamas. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: Like a matching set of, like, linen, flowy, like a matching set, sort of. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And the receptionist leads her to. It’s all very Goop, all very like light wood, beautiful soft lighting, white robes, pink linen. And she also there’s like, basically like a dorm style. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: So she’s staying in a room or a hotel. I guess. It’s gorgeous. She signs a ton of paperwork and she gets her blood drawn to sort of get analyzed. And she meets the lead doctor. Dr. Simmons, played by Melora Hardin. 


Alison Leiby: Obsessed with her. 


Halle Kiefer: Love her—


Alison Leiby: Love her.


Halle Kiefer: Her hair is slicked back and huge. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s like, tight on the sides and then, like, a big bouffant on top. Incredible. 


Alison Leiby: Incredible. 


Halle Kiefer: And I always think of her as Jan from The Office. I wasn’t the biggest Office fan like I. But of course I’ve seen it because I live in America and I just assume this is what Jan’s next step was like—


Alison Leiby: This is— 


Halle Kiefer: —she became a scientist who runs this shady operation. 


Alison Leiby: —very like, if I remember vaguely like kind of like this is a great next step for Jan. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Is to work for a biotech company. 


Halle Kiefer: That she like willed herself into. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Oh, love Melora Hardin. Great in 17 Again. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, it’s fabulous. And of course, she explains, oh, she was in the Bold Type, which I really enjoyed. R.I.P. The Bold Type, she explains. 


[clip of Melora Hardin]: It is this singular evolutionary goal of a species to procreate. That is our purpose, which says to me that because you are otherwise physically healthy, your system is just a little off. 


Halle Kiefer: So the goal of the trial is to get you re-aligned with your body’s goals. So again, the idea that the innate goal of the human human, your existence specifically as a woman is to procreate. 


Alison Leiby: Is to procreate. 


Halle Kiefer: But then as us in general is to procreate. And the they’re going to use two different methods to get into this. We had the hormone injections oh sorry, we’re going to be, she’s going to be taking hormones. So she’s going to be ingesting them in pill form and then cognitive behavioral therapy. So it’s going to go 2:2 sort of work on the psychology of why you don’t want to have kids and then sort of kickstart your body’s desire to have children. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But as Ella points out, the the inpatient element is only ten days. So she’s like, but how much can we really get done in ten days? And she says, that’s a great question. This isn’t a cure this is sort of a jumping off point. And if you’re interested, we’ll keep you on the medication and we’ll basically have an outpatient element. So I’ll be calling you and we’ll keep you on the pills. And Ella, before she leaves, tells her, I’ll be honest, I might be a hard case. And Dr. Simmons laughs and says, you aren’t a case to me, Ella. You’re a person and the best kind, a woman. 


Alison Leiby: Mm. 


Halle Kiefer: In the cafeteria. Now, with a little pink jammies, Ella tries to find a person to sit with. But everyone is sort of in their own books and their own phones. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So she sits down and the food does look fucking incredible. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, if I were going to do, like, a drug trial at a kind of scary biotech company, I would want it to have all the trappings of the wing, like I would want, like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Fabulous food. Millennial pink jammies, like a very relaxing, like, chill environment. 


Halle Kiefer: And it does, as a millennial does evoke sort of the heyday of all these fraudulent start ups of like it is about the esthetic. It’s like, wow, look how cool it looks in here. Don’t worry about what we’re doing to society. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Exactly. 


Halle Kiefer: And people. Don’t worry about all that stuff. 


Alison Leiby: Focus on how Instagrammable it is. 


Halle Kiefer: Exactly. 


Alison Leiby: And not how this is kind of the death of humanity coming towards us. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So that night she sees the text from Aidan and she replies, hey, sorry. I have terrible service will call before our meetings tomorrow. And that’s when I realize she didn’t tell Aidan  she was going there. 


Alison Leiby: Wild. 


Halle Kiefer: Horror movie spouse mistake number fucking one. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Yea. Tell people where you’re going. 


Halle Kiefer: And especially tell your spouse. Okay. Like. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: There’s some situations with your spouse might be completely evil might be a demon might be in on it. But regardless then at least they know where you are if something goes wrong, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: The next day she has therapy sessions with Dr. Simmons and she vents all of her fears, specifically about pregnancy. And a lot of her fears are about the bodily changes and the terror of pregnancy. And I will say, watching this, my one friend I had had a friend who, when she gave birth, I’ve probably told this on the pod before. But I really I think about this once a week, probably. She tore, which happens a lot, but she tore forward and it ripped her clit in half, Alison. It ripped her clit right in half. I think luckily she was able to go and get it fixed up. I hope she’s doing okay now. But I never heard—


Alison Leiby: That’s like one of the worst things I’ve ever heard in my entire life. 


Halle Kiefer: I was like, wow. And I think, you know, there’s other things people talk about like a TikTok where people talk about like, oh, yeah, I was pregnant and all my teeth became loose. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Nobody’s talking about that kind of stuff. 


Alison Leiby: [laughs] No one’s talking about the teeth. 


Halle Kiefer: Right in half Alison. Anyways so Ella’s concern, seemed completely reasonable to me. And Dr. Simmons tells her, you know, it’s highly unlikely for a woman to die in childbirth or suffer lasting side effects in childbirth these day. That also isn’t true. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: I mean, like, you know, especially in America. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Like for Black women, the maternal mortality rate is like outrageously high for a country that should it should not be I mean, it shouldn’t be anywhere. But like we have the tools. 


Halle Kiefer: Right we have the technology. [both speaking] So yeah. And I think, again, it’s like sort of dismissing her concerns without, without engaging in them, which is not helpful. And he’s she says, have you ever considered you must have tokophobia, the pathological fear of pregnancy. Again, all the things she’s saying are real. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: So let’s deal with the reality of it, which is, yeah, you will have to pass through your fear if you want to have kids rather than well, that probably won’t happen. 


Alison Leiby: Right.


Halle Kiefer: Horrible things happen all the time. What do you mean, you know? 


Alison Leiby: All the time. 


Halle Kiefer: But Ellas’s like, well, I didn’t know there was a name for it, but that is what I have. 


Alison Leiby: I have that. 


Halle Kiefer: Pregnancy sounds fucking terrifying. Yeah. And Dr. Simmons switches tack and sort of says, oh, you know, you’re here, you’re conquering your fears, your husband. It must mean a lot to him. And Ella tells her he doesn’t know I’m here. Ladies, we have to stop doing this. 


Alison Leiby: Don’t do this. 


Halle Kiefer: You can’t shut down. Open up. Especially if your spouse might go to a weird biotech facility. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: In the middle of fucking nowhere. 


Alison Leiby: Instead of work. Where you implied you would be. 


Halle Kiefer: He doesn’t even know where you physically are. That seems like a bad idea. 


Alison Leiby: Bad, bad, bad. 


Halle Kiefer: And she and Dr. Simmons says. Well, why didn’t you tell your husband you’re here? And Ella says, well, what if it doesn’t work? So what if I get his hopes up? What if I create this whole thing again? Women, you got to take up space, okay? You’re allowed to tell someone when you’re at, some sort of facility. I think we got to embrace that. Alison. Dr. Simmons pulls out a box of cards and says, you know, I’m going to give you a test. I’m going to show you these cards with these sort of little different blobby beanie blobs on them. And Ella says, oh, it looks sort of like a Rorschach test. And Dr. Simmons says, yes, like, take a look at these and then let me know what you see. And we see them in focuses, as  she focuses and one of the blobs rises up from the card, it becomes a small figure of a very tall woman. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And she said it was kind of wearing like a babushka and wearing like a long, dark dress or coat. And she says to, Dr. Simmons, are you seeing this? And Dr. Simmons says, what do you see? And we see another blob take form and it becomes a pile of dead spiders. Of dead bugs. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And then another blob rises and it’s a grandfather clock. And then all of them disappear and they’re just flat blobs on cards again. And Ella says, so what the hell was that? What does it all mean? And Dr. Simmons tells her, we’ll get to that tomorrow. And she smiles. While Ella takes— 


Alison Leiby: No cliff hangers in medical experiences like. 


Halle Kiefer: Not when you’re seeing a big pile of dead spiders, Alison. 


Alison Leiby: No to be continued. Where it’s like I saw a bunch of dead spiders and a small, tall woman, and it’s like, well, sleep on that. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: See, you in the morning. That night Ella gets ready for bed and she sees a spider on the bed frame, so she smushes it with her sandal. But when she looks, there’s nothing there. 


Alison Leiby: Hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: The next day, she has another therapy session says, all right, let’s get the easy one out of the way first. My father, my father has a massive grandfather coffin in his house. It’s a family heirloom. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: It was, in fact, the one thing that his parents recovered from their home after they survived Birkenau. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Survive the Holocaust, and returned home. And Dr. Simmons says that explains what you just called it, a coffin right now. And Ella says, did I? Of course, you know, Dr. Simmons says, it makes sense. This is your father’s heirloom it’s passed on. It survived this horrible tragedy. And maybe it’s symbolizing like you having to process like this, you being the final resting place of your family’s storyline. 


Alison Leiby: Mm. 


Halle Kiefer: Again, a lot of pressure to put on somebody. 


Alison Leiby: A lot. On one person. 


Halle Kiefer: So Ella is getting very agitated because that’s obviously also like that is why she saw that, you know, and then go on to the spiders and explains, yeah, this to me represents that how like humanity, you know, in the Holocaust, they called us insects until people believed them and they just piled us up somewhere. And Dr. Simmons says the ultimate evil and Ella pushes back and says, you know what’s interesting? There’s so many genocides. Why do people think this one was the worst one? And Dr. Simmons like, I don’t know. They all seem pretty bad to me. What do you think? And then Ella says, it’s because things were pretty good at the time. 


[clip of Dianna Agron]: This happened amongst wealthy, educated, cultured people. So deep down people understand that if it happened there and then it could happen here and now. 


Halle Kiefer: Which should feel like a very white sort of Eurocentric thing to say. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah that’s very—


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: —deserving like that has no bearing on whether you deserve to live or die. [laughs] 


Halle Kiefer: And also like if anything, like the experience of genocide, unfortunately, is that like this can happen anywhere at any time in any culture. We. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, it’s like this is a pattern that repeats. Not, that it’s not horrifying, but it’s sort of like, well, we shouldn’t have done that. It’s like, yeah, no, but that’s not how it works, you know. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Unfortunately. But she says because of that, because of the modernity of it, deep down, people understand that if it could happen there and then it could happen here and now, which I was like, man, I thought this was going to about some kind of demon baby or something. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, not the Holocaust. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Not the the Jewish lineage of trauma from the Holocaust. But, hey, you know, again, nice to mix it up for the Catholicism of it all. 


Alison Leiby: Still pretty fucking scary. So. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And she says, what? What the insects represent to me, the spiders are like what one might be willing to do to another human being if society just gave them permission. And Dr. Simmons says, which makes sense as a reason not to want to have children. To know that about the world and be like how can I bring a child into the world where something like this could possibly happen? Makes total sense. And then she says, and what about the very tall woman, Alison? Ella has no clue. The tall woman, she’s like beats me doc. [laughter] I don’t fucking know. They end, they end their session. And Dr. Simmons says, you know, your blood work is a little off, your hormones are a little bit low. So I’m going to offer you a small device that will be implanted that releases hormones right. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: And it is a permitted implant. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. Which, again, is experimental. And because you’re in a trial, I guess you’re just like, I guess if I’m already in a trial. 


Alison Leiby: I guess. 


Halle Kiefer: And Ella, I know. Ella’s like, well, let me think about it. And that night she’s trying to go to sleep but the wall clock is ticking so loudly and she pulls it out of the wall and takes the batteries out only for it to start ticking again. She opens the hallway door to sort of throw it out in the hallway when suddenly she just hears this cacophonous ticking and like the sound of grandfather clock bells ringing, just flooding the hallway. And she runs distraught down the hall through the cafeteria and outside and is having a panic attack. And we see another patient sneaking a cigarette and saying like day number six, huh? She says, no, it’s five. It gets worse? You know, and they she takes a cigarette and they kind of commiserate about their experience. And the other woman says, yeah, I’m getting my implant tomorrow and then I’m going home. But I’m telling you, it gets a lot better once you get past the tank. 


Alison Leiby: Tank.


Halle Kiefer: The other patient, the other patient heads back to bed and Ella finishes her cigarette thoughtfully. Alison, when she turns back to the building, she is looking into the cafeteria’s gigantic floor to ceiling windows and sees a very, very tall woman. 


Alison Leiby: Why so tall? 


Halle Kiefer: The woman from her therapy session and the tall woman cocks her head in that crickety crackety Ring way. Alison, if you were to see this, what would you do? 


[voice over]: What would you do? 


Alison Leiby: I’m hitting the bricks. 


Halle Kiefer: Hitting the bricks. 


Alison Leiby: I’m out of there. I am getting my shit. I am going home. I am not doing this trial. I am. I am not staying there. I don’t want to know who she is. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m telling my story walking for sure. I am. I am calling Aidan and being like, hey, we have to go to couples counseling because I wouldn’t tell you where I was. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But I’m here. I’m coming back now. You know? 


Alison Leiby: I’m coming home. I’m coming home. I’m getting out of here. 


Halle Kiefer: Or tell like Shauna. Like, it doesn’t imply like, she didn’t tell Shauna. Like, you know, again, as a woman, I certainly have the compulsion to self isolate and shut down my problems. 


Alison Leiby: Of course. 


Halle Kiefer: Of course, like we’re supposed to. You got to get out of there, girl. That lady’s too damn tall. 


Alison Leiby: Don’t stay. Too tall. 


Halle Kiefer: This woman could dunk with both feet on the ground. That’s how tall she is. Does that make sense? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: We’re not just saying, oh, she’s six feet tall. She’s seven feet tall. No, no. This is a like, 12 foot woman. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t like that. 


Halle Kiefer: But what if she could dunk, I would like that. 


Alison Leiby: Well, I mean, like, get her on the Harlem Globetrotters already. But, like. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: I would love that. Yeah, there is something about where it’s like, why you so tall? 


Alison Leiby: Why are you so tall? 


Halle Kiefer: Why are you so goddamn tall? 


Alison Leiby: Too tall. 




Halle Kiefer: So Ella of course runs back to her room and calls Aidan and still doesn’t fucking tell him. Alison. Why? I don’t know.


Alison Leiby: That’s, that’s a big problem. 


Halle Kiefer: But also, clearly, things are starting to work because she sort of she’s looking at herself in the full like a full length mirror and is kind of sticking her belly out, rubbing it. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, sort of imagining being pregnant. And is kind of get worked up talking to her husband and she’s like, why do you what do you tell me what you do to me if you were here right now, and starts masturbating. So again, like, she’s sort of like, all right, the idea of my husband, like, you know, breeding me, if you will, like, starting to do something for me. Okay, we’re taking that as a good sign, which is just in time, cause ooh Alison it’s tank time. 


Alison Leiby: Tank time?


Halle Kiefer: We see Dr. Simmons walk her into a large room with a pod, it’s a sensory deprivation tank. She explains he’s going to relax your mind. We’re going to have you watch a video, sort of like walk you through what we’re doing. Probably see you’ll probably see some sort of, I don’t know, insanely tall woman, if I had to guess. And Ella’s really trepidatious about it, but climbs in. And she turns to watch and she sees like, flowers blooming. And we hear Dr. Simmons sort of an incantation that repeats throughout the movie. She says—


[clip of Melora Hardin]: Today we’ll be learning to perform maintenance on a working clock. We will take the clock apart, reassemble it and then put it in beat so that it will run reliably. 


Halle Kiefer: And describing fixing a literal clock as a way to sort of walk Ella emotionally through it. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Unfortunately, we see you know, we see flowers blooming. Unfortunately, we also we also see images of a child, a baby being born. So I think this idea that we’re sort of like exposure therapy where you’re going to watch a birth, right? 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: But as she watches, it’s not a normal birth. Alison. Things start to go a little crazy, you know? And it’s like, oh, is this what I’m seeing real? Is this in the video or whatever, to the point where she sees herself standing, a baby dying in a hospital gown, a baby dangling between her legs, swinging back and forth like a metronome? 


Alison Leiby: Mmm. 


Halle Kiefer: Until Dr. Simmons comes over and cuts the cord. Like swinging from side to side like a grandfather clock. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And she screams for Dr. Simmons and to be let out. And the lids, the tank lid pops open, revealing the person standing there is a very, very tall woman. 


Alison Leiby: How is she clopping around? I mean, how did she not know she was there? 


Halle Kiefer: I’m starting to think maybe she’s not quite. She was never really there. You know what I mean?


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Right.


Halle Kiefer: Or the way in which she is there is not the same way other people are there. 


Alison Leiby: A little ephemera. Yes. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: But again, she’s wearing a sort of like a black kerchief around her head and a black shroud. And we hear her growling. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Ella reasonably enough, screams and hauls herself out of the tank. But as she tries to scramble away, she falls and hits her head against the table where she put her robe, knocks herself out. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. 


Halle Kiefer: She comes to she’s in Dr. Simmons office in a robe who reassures her, you’re okay? You just freaked out. That does happen. But you watched was all that birthing video, and it was like, who the fuck was that giant woman who came in at the end? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Dr. Simmons says, oh, that was Annika, the woman who checked you in. And Ella was like, It was not Annika. It was a very—


Alison Leiby: I would know. 


Halle Kiefer: I would know, yeah.


Alison Leiby: I would know if the woman who checked me in was like, 12 feet tall. I think I would clock that. 


Halle Kiefer: 12 feet tall, dressed, all in black, growling. 


Alison Leiby: Growling. 


Halle Kiefer: She doesn’t really fit the vibe of the institution. 


Alison Leiby: Receptionist. 


Halle Kiefer: Or, I would have noticed. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. [laughs]. 


Halle Kiefer: But when Dr. Simmons shows, Dr. Simmons shows her the security footage. We see that it is Annika. It’s not some sort of gigantic. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Menacing lady. Right. 


Alison Leiby: Sure. 


Halle Kiefer: Ella, meanwhile, says, fuck this. The therapy is not working. I want to leave. And Dr. Simmons says this is all voluntary. But if you want to be honest, let’s be honest. It works. The therapy is here to fix your fears and the hormones fix your desire. Okay. Like this is working. You were able to watch that. You are making progress, but if you’re distraught, you’re allowed to leave. But that’s not exactly true because Annika comes in and says the paramedics are here. And Dr. Simmons tells Ella, if you go, you can’t come back company policy. So I’d be like, oh, you could leave or whatever. but it is holding the threat of the success of this over her head, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yes.


Halle Kiefer: However, it’s time for the implant, Alison, which means it’s almost time for her to go home and the nurse hands her valium. But when Ella looks in the cup, it’s a dead spider. So she kind of puts it aside, says, I don’t need this. The nurse says, you’re probably going to want to take that. I have to. It seems like it’s similar to getting an IUD. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: IUD inserted like it’s it’s not going to be like surgery level, but it’s going to be unpleasant. 


Alison Leiby: Very painful. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. So you might want to take something and Ella says no. Dr. Simmons says that it will be really quick. Alison, she sits up in horrific pain, obviously, as the nurse inserts it. As she goes to leave, Dr. Simmons gives her pills to take twice a day, said I’ll call you weekly to follow up and no intercourse for three weeks. And I was like they seem, she and her husband seem to be fucking pretty regularly. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Wouldn’t—


Alison Leiby: It’s gonna be, noticeable.


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Like she’s gone for ten days and then it’s three more weeks, so it would-be be a month. Her husband knows she’s going through something. Won’t her husband be like, girl? You’re like, are you getting or are you upset? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, what’s happening? You know, he’s going to he’s going eventually figure it out. So any who, as she drives home from the institute, we see the very tall woman appear in the road. 


Alison Leiby: Oh my God. 


Halle Kiefer: And Ella closes her eyes and says she’s not real. She’s not real. And when she opens them, the very tall woman classically is standing, staring in her or crouching, staring at her driver’s side window, mouth unhinged, screaming. 


Alison Leiby: It’s in the trailer. It’s truly chilling. I hated it so much. 


Halle Kiefer: Ella, of course, slams on the gas speeds away only for us to see in her rearview that the person who outside was out her window is just some guy who has broken down like he needed help. But her brain interpret it as—


Alison Leiby: Fear. Yeah. Yeah. As this big tall lady. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s overcome with nausea as she drives and she pulls over near the sign for a it says Kingsman’s Cove and she runs and vomits off a cliff into the sea. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, that sounds like a fun way to throw up. 


Halle Kiefer: [laughs] Oh, yeah. Classiest way to throw up I’ve ever seen. Back at home. As soon as she walks in, her dog starts barking at her like she’s a stranger. And she looks and there’s a very vivid painting in their entryway. And the colors became become really muted and then vivid again. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And she startles, but she doesn’t really know what to do about it. And Aidan comes over and notices she’s really clammy and weird. She’s like, I haven’t eaten. It’s probably just my low blood sugar. As Ella starts cooking again, we see Dr, we hear Dr. Simmons monologue about performing maintenance on a clock against your clock being fixed. We see Ella put obviously 12 eggs into a pan, and then we just see her eating the raw yolks out of the white translucent slime of the pan. 


Alison Leiby: Ew. [both speaking] And I’m. I like a running yoke. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh sure. 


Alison Leiby: Like, I like a soft boi— Like I. I am not. But like. When you’re talking real raw. Like when—


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: You know, in like Rocky, you know, I’m just, like, yuck. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. With the slime of it all. 


Alison Leiby: The slime. It’s the slime. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. That night they get into bed, of course. Aidan’s like. Well, well, well. All right, let’s get down to it. 


Alison Leiby: Welcome home. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, she reaches into her pajama bottoms and she grabs his hand, says, I’m actually really exhausted. And he’s like, okay, sure, no problem. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And she starts overheating and goes to get water. And it’s sort of like like sweating in front of the fridge. Why not tell him then? I’m like, there’s so many moments where it’s like, just say it, you know, like. 


Alison Leiby: Just say it. 


Halle Kiefer: You’re seeing a very tall lady who’s very scary. Just tell your husband about it. You got to tell him. 


Alison Leiby: You got to tell him there’s dead spiders everywhere. He should know. 


Halle Kiefer: He should know. But she sees that there’s a carton of frozen eggs in the freezer, which I had. I was like [both speaking] why were they there. I don’t know. And she takes one and she unpeels it and runs it over her face, which does sound kind of nice and refreshing. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, [laughter] kind of like a snail serum frozen like an ice roller. 


Halle Kiefer: And then she takes the frozen yolk and she starts licking it and eating it. Time for a birthday party. She’s now 38, the oldest any woman has ever been including us. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see Aidan as well as Shauna and her Shauna’s wife Fiona have made like a beautiful chocolate cake, and they’re just serving it in Aidan and Ella’s home. And Shauna says, I know you’re so busy with that big resort project, but could you still do my nursery and Ella says oh yeah, I’ll probably be, have, plenty of time to do that because—


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Not working. 


Halle Kiefer: I’m not doing that anymore. But she says I’ll be honest in Jewish superstition, you don’t. You don’t set the nursery until like the last second. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And Aidan says, well, where is this coming from? Like, you know, you’re not someone who cares about superstition and Ella says yeah, well, if you set it up too early, the universe will know you’re happy. And it doesn’t like that. And everyone else is like, girl, you’re being a bummer. 


Alison Leiby: Okay? 


Halle Kiefer: And she says, But of course, I don’t believe in any of that. So, Shauna, I will come over tomorrow and I will start doing the nursery. And Shauna is thrilled. And shockingly to everyone she asks, she then asks Shauna, can I feel your stomach? And not only does she touch her belly, she puts her head on Shauna’s stomach and starts humming a lullaby, which Aidan is like, girl, what? Where is this coming from? 


Alison Leiby: What are you doing? This is a weird thing to do at a party. 


Halle Kiefer: And she sort of enters a trance until Aidan laughs nervously. And when she opens her eyes, she sees a giant tarantula perched on Shauna’s abdomen. And she tells Shauna, don’t move. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: And then reaches to pick up a gigantic, heavy art book and swings it and is about to bring it down on the spider. 


Alison Leiby: Woah. 


Halle Kiefer: On Shauna’s stomach. Luckily, Aidan stands up and sort of grabs her and she snaps out of it. And of course, there’s no spider there. And she was just about to smash her friend’s pregnant belly. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, God. Ah. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And somehow Shauna is still down to have her start the nursery tomorrow, even though everyone’s like, is she okay? 


Alison Leiby: Is she okay? No.


Halle Kiefer: And Aidan is like, she’s over working, you know, like, the most like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Rote explanations for it, you know? Oh, you know, she’s tired, you know? Meanwhile, back at the paint store, she seems to be losing more and more color. She asked, like, why did you move the blue paint, he’s like you’re standing in front of the blue paint? It sort of goes gray and then occasionally flares into color. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: But that’s hard for her career. If you can’t see color, I imagine— 


Alison Leiby: That’s design baby. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, she’s staying there. She gets a call from Dr. Simmons. It’s a week out, so she’s been home for a week and she says, are you having any side effects? Of course she is. She’s seeing a tall woman and otherwise losing her fucking mind. 


Alison Leiby: Nonstop spiders. However, if she’s having side effects, Dr. Simmons says basically she’s actually taking up the meds and won’t get to finish the trial. And Ella is starting to feel the desire for a baby. So she just says, yeah, like I get really hot sometimes. And Dr. Simmons says, that’s totally normal. Actually, the best way to the best solution for that is let’s up your dosage to the maximum dosage possible and just really hit you with it. And we’ll follow I’ll follow up with you next week. So she puts her on a higher dosage of this hormone that she’s on. 


Alison Leiby: No, no. 


Halle Kiefer: Meanwhile, she goes over to Shauna’s and starts to put together the nursery. And everybody we say going to Home Depot, every in her hands, every tool becomes like a speculum becomes a swab. They all become gynecological implements as she touches them. And at one point she’s just writhing on the ground and has spilled her pills on the floor. And Shauna tries to open the door. But Ella shoves the door closed with her hand says, I don’t want you to see it till it’s done. And Shauna says, well, you wanna go take a walk? You know, you’ve been in there all day and I really want to stretch my legs. So she leaves the nursery, which we don’t really see, leaves the nursery, and unfortunately also leaves her pills on the ground. 


Alison Leiby: [gasps] Oh, no. 


Halle Kiefer: As she and Aidan go to her dad’s place. Presumably they have dinner there, like every Sunday or something. She gets another call from Dr. Simmons. It’s two week check in, right? And the dad tells them about the medication he’s on, but she can barely hear him over the tick of the grandfather clock. It’s incredibly loud. And the dad showing them like, oh, his photo album. It’s Ella as a baby. His wife with Ella, him his bar mitzvah photo. And underneath the bar mitzvah photo, he pulls out a photo of the very tall woman and Ella says who the fuck is that? 


Alison Leiby: Just a tall lady. 


Halle Kiefer: And he says, it’s your grandmother. Of course you don’t recognize her. She’s only 80 pounds here. And she just got out of the camps. Now, of course, the person we’re seeing is 12 feet tall, but I think we’re to think we are seeing the gigantic, monstrous version of her grandmother. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: At her most at her most visually startling. Right. And she says, I don’t want to fucking look at that photo. I don’t want to hear this. I don’t want to hear her story again. And her dad says, you could try, but that story is in you. Like you can avoid it, but it’s still is a part of you. And she says, that’s quite an inheritance. And her dad fucking flies off the handle and says, like when someone gives you an inheritance you could either treasured or you could piss it away. Alison he starts tearing up their family photos. 


Alison Leiby: [gasps] No. 


Halle Kiefer: And of course there’s no copies of them. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Saying piss it away, piss it away. He says, our whole lineage from the fish that crawled out onto  fucking land until now and you’re just going to piss it away. That’s not really how any of this works. 


Alison Leiby: Not how this works at all. 


Halle Kiefer: And the thing is, if we could all agree to learn from it, we’re all in this together. But you know what I mean. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: He’s extremely distraught. And then he tears up the photo of her grandmother and he reaches and he goes to tear up a photo of her when she was a kid with with him and she tries to stop him and he tears it in two. Aidan is trying to stop them too and is just horrified. It’s like again. 


Alison Leiby: I mean. What do you even do? 


Halle Kiefer: No wonder this woman is struggling with the idea of having a kid like this. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: This is probably  not the first time he’s done this, right? 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: They leave. And that night she takes another frozen egg out of the freezer and sort of like plays with the yolk. And she realizes, Alison, that she left her pills at Shauna’s nursery, which means she missed her nightly dose. And Dr. Simmons says you really cannot miss a dose. It stops working. Right. So she speeds over it’s, the middle of the it’s basically is like 2 a.m., two or three a.m., so it’s the middle of the fucking night. Pounds on the door, Fiona opens. Is like, what the hell? And she says, I left my medication in the nursery. She runs in only for Shauna to follow her into the nursery and see what she’s done inside. Alison It’s a fucking horror show. 


Alison Leiby: Of course it is.


Halle Kiefer: There are spiders painted on the wall. The crib is smashed and, like, rammed into the wall, which are like painted like barren trees and broken branches. And Shauna’s like, my baby’s due next week. What the fuck did you do in here? 


Alison Leiby: What the fuck? [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And she’s like, I’m sorry. I you know, I didn’t. And she’s like, where do you go? Like, did you actually not go like, do you not go to the resort? Like, did you go somewhere because you’re acting totally different? And she says, I was going to a place to catch up. I just need to catch up, you know, I’ll have a baby, too. And then we could have kids. We could all raise them together and I’ll have been caught up. And she says, don’t you see? It’s just harder for me? And Shauna, the lesbian. Is like, don’t you fucking say it’s harder for you. I will never get to have a child with the person I love. And then she says, all you have to do is spread your legs. Which again, as a lesbian, I would ever say that to my straight friend. There’s just, you know, it is more complicated for all of us.. 


Alison Leiby: It’s mean. Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But unfortunately, they’re probably not going to reform their friendship because Alison—


Alison Leiby: Doesn’t seem like it. 


Halle Kiefer: —Shauna’s water breaks and Ella basically dives in headfirst, and starts scooping her hands up into the fluid off the tarp on the floor. I thought, she was going to fucking eat it. And I was going to vomit. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, that’s really where I thought you were going. 


Halle Kiefer: But instead she starts rubbing it all over her face. And she starts pulling up Shauna’s nightgown. 


Alison Leiby: I’m sure Gwyneth Paltrow has thought of that. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh, I’m sure she she that’s probably why she had children. And also, Dianna Agron looks great. So it’s working. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And she starts, pulling up Shauna’s nightgown and says, I just want to see it. I just want to see the baby. Alison, at this point, I got to ask ya, who will survive this movie? 


[voice over]: Who will survive? 


Alison Leiby: Well, I guess we know not because it was Ella at the beginning, right? 


Halle Kiefer: No, it was a different woman. 


Alison Leiby: Oh it wasn’t, it was just another woman with the. Okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Because that’s what I thought, too, I’m like, oh, we’re seeing the beginning of it. No, this is a totally different woman. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: Presumably, who had also been in the trial. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. I’m going to guess that Ella survives. Shauna dies, baby lives. Husband survives. Maybe Grandpa dies. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. 




Halle Kiefer: So hearing her, her wife scream, Fiona runs and is able to drag Ella out of the house and throw her on the lawn. So I think at this point, we’re so I think it’s about dawn, right? So Ella’s phone rings it’s her father and he tells her, I’ve fallen and I need help. So she rushes over, she calls Aidan, but Aidan’s already getting he’s in an early morning surgery, so he’s, like, already out of the house. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Also, I have to say, when I was watching this on Hulu, I don’t pay for I get ads. And it was all ads specifically for Hims, which is like a—


Alison Leiby: Yeah, yeah. A—


Halle Kiefer: Telehealth medication—


Alison Leiby: —delivery. Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Halle Kiefer: —delivery thing. And it was all for Viagra. And I was like. 


Alison Leiby: Wow. 


Halle Kiefer: How interesting that you think that the person watching this, knowing what you know about my—


Alison Leiby: Is in the market for this service. 


Halle Kiefer: —viewing habits. Yeah, the last two things. I watched on Hulu were [laughter] Younger and the Sex and Sex and the City. So I don’t know. But it’s all about Viagra. It’s like, well, that’s the counterpoint to this is like as a woman, you have to always be fertile as a woman. And that more broadly, anyone who could conceive, you’re supposed to be fertile. If you’re a man or somebody who has sperm, you’re supposed to be—


Alison Leiby: Able to impregnate someone. 


Halle Kiefer: Potent. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, like you have to be like you have to be rock hard at all the time. At all times. [laughter] Right. She gets to her dad’s place. He’s still alive, and he’s. He’s talking to her, and luckily it looks like he’s gonna be okay. But the ticking of that grandfather clock. 


Alison Leiby: Mm mm. 


Halle Kiefer: And he’s trying to talk to her, but she can’t hear anything. And  she runs over to the clock, she screams, can you shut the fuck up already? And she throws the clock to the ground. And as her  dad screams for her to stop again it is the only family heirloom to survive the Holocaust. She runs into the other room, takes a hammer, and just starts smashing the clock, dismantling it, destroying it. 


Alison Leiby: I mean, he ripped up all those photos. I got to say, I think that that’s, like, kind of fair. [laughter]


Halle Kiefer: It’s like, don’t you think it’s like this is probably what was happening in this family. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like it, you know, like they don’t really go into that, but like, probably a lot of smashing and ripping up stuff you know. 


Alison Leiby: Smashing and ripping. 


Halle Kiefer: Back at home Aidan arrives and Ella’s like, dad fell, but he’s okay. But I destroyed the clock and he’s so mad at me and Aidan’s like, okay, hey let’s just take a seat. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s probably going to be okay. It seems like you’re really going through something. And she says, would you go check on him later? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And he’s like no problem. Seems like right now, like your hands are all cut up from the glass. From the clock. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And she’s like, oh, yeah. And so he goes to help her at the sink and while he’s washing, she sort of starts to come on him and says, I want you to give me a baby. Aidan I’m ready now to me if I’m Aidan, I’m like, well, maybe not the week. You seem to be having a complete mental fucking breakdown. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, let’s, like, push pause on this for a couple of weeks while you regroup. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Let’s sort it out. But again, he does, you know, at least as of right now, you know, what does he know? What does he not know? And he says, you. And she says again, like again. I don’t want to just have sex with you every time. Every time we have this argument with your father, you then want to get pregnant. He’s like, we can’t I don’t want to do it out of that space. But she says, no, I genuinely am ready. It’s not about anyone else. It’s about us. I want to have a kid. Meanwhile, it’s like she’s been back for two weeks and they haven’t had sex. So even though it’s like she’s supposed to wait three weeks, but whatever, they’re both ready to go. They start to fuck on the kitchen counter. Unfortunately, Alison, as soon as he enters her, Aidan screams and he pulls out and you see his dick. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, that’s fun. 


Halle Kiefer: And something sharp has sliced the tip of it, and it’s bleeding. 


Alison Leiby: Ugh. 


Halle Kiefer: Obviously, the—


Alison Leiby: Device. 


Halle Kiefer: The implement that was inserted into her. Ella runs to the freezer and hands him not ice, but a frozen egg. And he’s like, what is this? 


Alison Leiby: The fuck am I supposed to do with this? 


Halle Kiefer: She’s like, oh, sorry. He says, grab my duffel bag. I have, like, gauze in there. I can wrap it up. She goes to grab his bag Alison and when she goes to open it, embroidered on it is the same infinity symbol as the clinic had had. So she’s like, why the fuck do you have this bag from the institute that I didn’t tell you I was going to? But absolutely, clearly you already knew about it. And so he realizes he fucked up and he says, don’t be upset. And he, Alison he, tries to play it off like it’s just hospital swag, which I kind of buy because it’s like there probably are just that kind of stuff lying around. 


Alison Leiby: 100%. 


Halle Kiefer: But she’s not buying it. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: And Aidan tells her, don’t be upset. I was just trying to help us. I met Dr. Simmons at a conference and I thought she was a genius. And she had me send you to Dr. Webber. And she says, you told me you sent me to Dr. Webber because you were worried about me, about breast cancer. And he says, well, I was worried about that, too. But also I just wanted the option to be presented by someone objective because, like, our conversation around it is so fraught. I didn’t want to pressure you, but I wanted this to be an option, which I actually kind of bought. Like, I do think that that’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: That seems okay. He didn’t know about the other stuff. He didn’t know about the crazy tall lady. But. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Clearly both of them, they have a problem with communicating and being honest. 


Alison Leiby: It seems that way for sure. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And she says, well aren’t you a fucking hero? And she grabs his bleeding dick and squeezes until he collapses. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: And she storms out and Aidan yells where the hell are you going? She says, I’m going to go see the best of the best. And we see her throw her pills out the window of the car as she speeds away. Of course, growing, going to the clinic. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: She gets too the clinic. Like she’s also like incredibly like her hands are bleeding. She’s wearing like a beige nightdress, like busts in there. And everyone’s like, oh, no. And she storms inside screaming for Dr. Simmons, and just like kicking open doors while Annika at the front desk is trying to call, like, security. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, my God. 


Halle Kiefer: Finally gets to the cafeteria. Where all the other patients and there’s really only, like, 20 other patients, but they all are there because it’s lunchtime. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And Dr. Simmons is there and she screams, you’re going to take this implant out of me and Dr. Simmons says it cannot be removed if I take it out you can never have children. And Ella says, why do you think I care about that? And Dr. Simmons says, because my program worked. And Ella burst into tears Alison, because it’s true, she does want children now. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: But basically, she’s now caught in this bind where I’m you know, it’s like I’m seeing things. I’m actually erratic. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: But this if I remove it, I can’t have children. And now I do.


Alison Leiby: And now I want them because I went through all of this. 


Halle Kiefer: And Dr. Simmons says, why are you crying? It’s like bitch you know why she’s crying. 


Alison Leiby: Who wouldn’t be crying? 


Halle Kiefer: But Ella replies, I think probably because I’m getting divorced, which I do think is true. It’s like, yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Probably. 


Halle Kiefer: This is this is probably this relationship is not long for this world. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, no. 


Halle Kiefer: But Dr. Simmons says, hey, don’t worry, you don’t need a husband to have a kid. You just need sperm. Let’s go to my office. We’ll talk about it. But as she walks Ella out, Ella sees another woman sitting there who’s petting an imaginary baby in her arms. And Ella’s face collapses and she’s like, oh, none of this is real. She says you weren’t fixing it. Fixing us or unlocking us. You’re reprograming us. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: You know, and none of us are telling you about the side effects because we’re so desperate to seem like normal women and to be normal. And she’s like, that’s the thing. That tall woman, the spiders. Me wanting a children, it’s all the same delusion. I don’t actually want children. You’ve forced me into a form of psychosis to make me think that I want children. And Dr. Simmons says no reproduction is the most natural thing in the world. And Ella screams, I was natural. That was. That was how I naturally am. Take it out. And Dr. Simmons says no. So Ella says, all right, then I’ll take it out myself. 


Alison Leiby: Ugh. 


Halle Kiefer: Alison, because she’s a designer, she goes in her bag and pulls out a pair of pliers. And she goes to reach up inside herself. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh my God. 


Alison Leiby: Only to have her arm grabbed by, you guessed it, the very tall woman. 


Alison Leiby: Very tall woman is going to intervene here. 


Halle Kiefer: And the very tall woman is speaking German because she is this, again, monstrous avatar of her grandmother who survived the Holocaust. [laughter] And she has to grab a tray and smashes it into the tall woman’s head. [laughter] And when the tall woman hits the ground, she’s Dr. Simmons again. So again, she’s having this hallucination. And as the other patients and Dr. Simmons look on in horror, she reaches up into her vagina and tears out the device with the pliers. 


Alison Leiby: Mm mm. 


Halle Kiefer: And as soon as she does all the muted colors of the place suddenly come to life and she can actually see what the colors actually are like her. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like she was working like a beige nigh gown out. It’s suddenly dark blue, like the red of her own blood is so much more intense. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Like she is back on, back online. Annika, meanwhile, has called the police because of all this. 


Alison Leiby: You know what Annika. Not wrong. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, and Ella is able to make a run to it to her car. But then the police are following her and she pulls over that same Kingsman Cove. Right. Then she gets a phone call and she assumes, of course, it’s Dr. Simmons says, don’t you ever fucking call me again. But it’s Aidan. And she says, he says, I went to your father’s and I saw what you did. And we see we flashback to her conversation with her father and he apologizes to her, and he says, you know, I when I fell, I thought for a second I was dying and I saw the whole family, you know, all the way back to that first fish who crawled out of the ocean. I saw all of it. And they they I’m gonna cry, they like they showed me the truth was that you have to have your own story. Oh, sorry. I was like, I’m not gonna cry over this fucking stupid movie. But I absolutely am. 


Alison Leiby: No I mean, that is a lot. 


Halle Kiefer: [laughs] That is what I thought was I was like— 


Alison Leiby: It’s a lot. 


Halle Kiefer: —unfortunately. And it’s like, you know, like you have to, like, live your life. Alison, unfortunately, she is hallucinating such loud ticking from the grandfather clock. She cannot hear his apology. She can’t hear him. Like coming to an understanding of her as her child and she’s kind of like breaking in and out. She’s like, I can’t do it. I already gave it up. I already gave up my own life. Don’t you get it like I did it? I’m doing it. What you want me to. Alison, Unfortunately, when she thought she had tipped over the grandfather clock and busted up the clock, she in fact busted up her own father and literally tore him fucking apart. 


Alison Leiby: Oh. 


Halle Kiefer: And we see her smashing him with the hammer and then literally tearing out his intestines, pulling out his organs. 


Alison Leiby: [gasps]


Halle Kiefer: Again, pulling out the mechanism of clock and pulling out his inner workings. In her car, she drops her phone and she gets out and the cops rush over to handcuff her and they’re leading her back to the cop car when she turns runs to the cliff and leaps off. Alison. She wakes up and we know it’s not really her waking up because she doesn’t have handcuffs anymore, but she wakes up and she dead, presumably. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And as she looks, she sees a fish with legs crawl up out of the water, her ancestor. And I’m assuming the ancestor is greeting her into the afterlife? 


Alison Leiby: I guess. 


Halle Kiefer: Needless to say, this device is not going to market, the end. 


Alison Leiby: Wow. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Wait what was, what you thought? What was the twist that’s not connected to the plot? 


Halle Kiefer: Oh it was the dad. It was the dad being the clock. I didn’t see that coming


Alison Leiby: Oh, the dad being the clock. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, no, not at all. I think that’s connected to the plot. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: No, but it wasn’t like. It wasn’t like. Oh, it wasn’t about the device or about, like, the institute. It was about, like, her own hallucination. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. That makes, okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, so it is connected to the plot. It’s just not like. Oh, it turns out the devil runs the institute or something. 


Alison Leiby: Right, right, right. 


Halle Kiefer: But I didn’t explain that super well.  


Alison Leiby: No, but that makes sense to me now. And I see why you set it up that way for sure. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, And obviously, not all of our movies have to connect to the news, but I just kind of want to have a conversation because I do feel like we are living in a time where on the right there is this idea of reproduction for reproduction sake. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: And sort of using all these different ideas. But then when it gets down to it, like they just want people to reproduce, even in situations where they’re, the child is not viable. 


Alison Leiby: Mm hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: For example, in Florida. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, all these fucking horrible stories keep coming out. There’s a story recently of this woman who knew her fetus didn’t have kidneys. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah no kidneys. 


Halle Kiefer: Was going to die as soon as the baby was born. And they made her do it anyways. This is a I read a CNN article because Florida abortion laws, because of Florida abortion laws, she carried her baby to term knowing he would die. This was published on Wednesday, May 3rd, written by Elizabeth Cohen, Carma Hassan and Amanda Musa. And it’s just again, all these stories and it’s like the doctors knew the baby would die. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: She knew. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: And the religious right knew, knows this. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: So it’s like almost like reproduction without life. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Or reproduction without an acknowledgment. Like it meant more to them that she give birth to a little tiny copy of herself. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Then. The fact that that even more so than the child would have survived because it wasn’t going to. 


Alison Leiby: Right. It wasn’t going to. And there was no way that it would. And it’s it’s both a punishment to women. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: As most things are, but it’s also falls under this like biological determinism that like women and like I often mean cis women here when I like say but like obviously anybody who has a uterus and the ability to reproduce like but like that like it’s like well that is what you were put on this earth for. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: To not do that is going against, I guess, like God’s wishes for like, what you are. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: And. It’s an absolutely horrific view of women’s role. Like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: On this planet. 


Halle Kiefer: And it does not in any way acknowledge. Like this is the exact situation which keeps happening was like people who are would have loved to have a viable pregnancy didn’t and then we’re punishing them even though they are buying into. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: The the program they are trying to reproduce. But even those people even if again like you do your straight, you know this woman is cis, like you’re married, like you’re doing everything and even you must be punished. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Is so fucking dark. And I will say, as someone raised Catholic like that is what you’re taught about sex. Like sex is entirely about the reproductive act. It’s not about pleasures like connection or creativity or anything to the point where not just abortion, but birth control is verboten.


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: This is the end product of that insane view of sex is that—


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: —to give birth to a dying child is better to them than getting an abortion, even though the child wasn’t gonna live anyways. It’s such a perverse prioritization of their concept of religion over reality. 


Halle Kiefer: Right? It makes no sense. I will never, ever, ever be able to understand it. It’s fucked up. 


Halle Kiefer: And it is something where it’s like I do think it was like Judaism. It’s like it doesn’t necessarily have these kinds of recriminatory. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Ideas about sex. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Or at least that’s my fantasy of it. Like as a catholic. Seems like there’s a little more room, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, there is. I mean, it’s not nearly as strict or punishing a belief system when it comes to sex and and having children and just women like women are not treated the same in Judaism as they are in some other like Christian religions like women are seen as. Like they’re often leaders there. It is. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. Yes, you could be Rabbis. 


Alison Leiby: But I mean, abortion is. Completely fine. In a lot of cases under under religious Judaism like that is not. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: It is not a religion that is against abortion in most cases, in fact. And it’s it is like I love and I and there are a lot of Jewish organizations that work on this. The National Jewish Women’s Council is fabulous on this. But like. It is like it is. The laws against abortion are an infringement on my religious rights. 


Halle Kiefer: Absolutely. 100%. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I’m like, that’s something like that is like a very interesting argument when like presented to the religious right that’s trying to force their religion on the rest of the country. 


Halle Kiefer: 100%. I think it’s like whenever we talk about this, I’m like, well, then eventually it’ll go to the Supreme Court. Oh, God the Supreme Court. 


Alison Leiby: Oh, God the Supreme Court. 


Halle Kiefer: Like, unfortunately, because you’re absolutely right, it is about this, like, Christian idea of procreation. And I may have already talked about this in the pod. And if so forgive me, but Elon Musk did an interview with Tucker Carlson. 


Alison Leiby: Oh yeah.


Halle Kiefer: A couple weeks ago and and said some things basically was sort of like he has a concern that like birth control and abortion are basically like if birth control and abortion have essentially subverted the reproductive project. And he he talked about the limbic instincts. Like the only reason we have sex is to satisfy the limbic instinct, which again, as anyone who has ever had sex like to distill it down into sort of like that level again. It’s sort of like, again, like we’re going to have a robot write a movie. It’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: We’re going to have like a robot describe sex as if there’s no art or pleasure or value to sex outside of— 


Alison Leiby: Right  it’s just like input and output and like, get it, you know, just relieving this thing to like, do. It’s such a bizarre. 


Halle Kiefer: It’s so grotesque. 


Alison Leiby: I don’t understand. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And then he said, like, basically we don’t make enough people Elon Musk said this. If we don’t make enough people to at least sustain our numbers, perhaps increase a little bit, then civilization is going to crumble. Alison. Populations. The population is increasing, but whose population isn’t increasing? That’s right, white people. 


Alison Leiby: White people. 


Halle Kiefer: So when you hear this, this is a lie. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: There are more than enough people they did the quote unquote “civil—


Alison Leiby: I would say there are too many people. [laughs]


Halle Kiefer: Like they’re the idea but like when people hear this from someone that is supposed to be smart. 


Alison Leiby: Smart. 


Halle Kiefer: They think that this is true. It’s like. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: They’re, that’s not going to happen. That’s a completely fictitious idea. What he’s talking about is white. And in this case specifically Christian or like unfortunately, there’s like secular technological ways to look at the world libertarian. Wow. It just so happens. That’s crazy. Looks exactly like what this white. 


Alison Leiby: White suprema—


Halle Kiefer: Christian. Yeah. Like white supremacist Christian idea. 


Alison Leiby: Christian. Fascist. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. It’s just like, wow. It’s so funny that science enforces the same insane systems that these religions do, but you still can’t see how punishing that is. And also, it’s just not factually accurate. There’s plenty of people—


Alison Leiby: That’s wrong. 


Halle Kiefer: That are just brown and black, right? 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And so I don’t know. It all just does seem like of a piece. And again, you know, I don’t want to project my own like, wow, Judaism probably has a much healthier version of this. But it does seem like that, you know. 


Alison Leiby: There’s plenty of problems. But I do think that invoking the Holocaust is often something that is done. And and, you know, I think that there is a huge impetus for people to, you know, marry other Jews. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: And like have children because like a population that was so horrifically decimated in such a recent time. But the general Jewish relationship to sex and reproduction is somewhat healthier, I think, than some of the Christian and Catholic religions. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, I feel like even having that room probably allows like that is a really hard decision, a really hard thing to put on people like, oh, we have to make more Jewish people because of all the Jewish we lost. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: But the fact that there is the other element which is like you can get abortion. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: If something goes if something goes wrong or you don’t, you’re not ready, like to have both of those things together. There’s at least a little bit more room. 


Alison Leiby: Understanding. Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: Versus is like, you see, like I don’t like the Duggars or like these, like again, like these—


Alison Leiby: Right. Having a billion kids and being fucking child pornographers. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And as a woman in those religions, you are you’re your role [both speaking] is to be a vessel. Absolutely. And that’s how they think of us. And unfortunately, again, like we’re out here recording a podcast, you know, could a vessel do that? Huh? 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: No. Okay.


Alison Leiby: No. It could not. 


Halle Kiefer: It couldn’t. So, case closed. [laughs] Fuck Elon Musk and Tucker Carlson. But yeah, Alison. While, while we’re still at it, what are some fatal mistakes you think that somebody may have made in the movie Clock? 


[voice over]: Fatal mistakes. 


Alison Leiby: Okay. I’m going to put this one a little bit on Aidan for getting. 


Halle Kiefer: Mm hmm. 


Alison Leiby: For getting all of that was his name, Aidan?


Halle Kiefer: Aidan. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Like going behind her back to this to get this doctor to refer her to this clinic. Like, if he hadn’t done that, none of this would happen. 


Halle Kiefer: 100%. I guess Not that. Not to give him like. Oh, well, but there’s a thing where it’s like he did not know how bad it would be. 


Alison Leiby: Correct. 


Halle Kiefer: But I guess he was willing to. This was a new technology and he placed his faith in technology over the faith that he had in his wife’s ability. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: To decide what to do. You know.


Alison Leiby: And like. I got to believe that then he knew that she went not to work, right. That that was something that he assumed. 


Halle Kiefer: I think so. 


Alison Leiby: Probably. And then it’s like she came back acting different, like, why wouldn’t you be like, okay, so I know that you are on hormones. Like. 


Halle Kiefer: Yes. 


Alison Leiby: Let’s make sure it’s like he’s a doctor. He should be like, checking, like, I don’t know, I just I’m like. 


Halle Kiefer: Oh absolutely. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I’m blaming him for a lot more than I think the movie even necessarily does. 


Halle Kiefer: But there is something where it’s like, I unfortunately think straightness like does sort of require men and women to, like, keep things from each other and not talk about these. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: Hard things not that straight couples don’t have these conversations. 


Alison Leiby: No totally. But like [both speaking] it’s part of the system. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And especially as a woman, you’re kind of supposed to shut up about what you think anyways. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: And especially when it comes to like anything regarding the body, you know, the idea of like, oh, I’m going to hide this and not show him. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. Very common. 


Halle Kiefer: You sort of get it. Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: I totally see why a woman would feel compelled to do that. And, and we shouldn’t. We should be— 


Halle Kiefer: And that’s the mistake. And that’s the mistake. 


Alison Leiby: We should be telling man what happens to our bodies. We should be grossing the fuck out of them and letting them know the reality of living with a uterus. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: And the horrors that come with it. And it’s just like if that was a more open conversation than the in the world of this movie, like, then it would probably be easier to broach the conversation of I’m feeling crazy, I’m taking the hormones they make. 


Halle Kiefer: Right. 


Alison Leiby: Like, that’s those things are connected. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. And, and the idea that, like, if you have a medical problem or any problem whatsoever, you should sort of handle it on your own. Very American, you know [laughter] just, like, suffer through it. 


Alison Leiby: No help. 


Halle Kiefer: No, without help. Yeah, I think because again, like going to the institute wasn’t a mistake. Wasn’t a mistake in and of itself, because she thought it was going to be helpful. 


Alison Leiby: Right. 


Halle Kiefer: Once you start seeing a very tall lady, once you see the very tall, gaunt manifestation of your grandmother, you gotta tell somebody. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah, you got to just be talking to people. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. And then where would you place Clock on the spooky scale, Alison? 


[voice over]: A spooky scale. 


Alison Leiby: I think like the themes being so relevant to both, like our current, just like the way our country is run, but also just like being a woman of this age and the pressures that come with it. No matter like how confident you are in your choice is very, very scary. I’m going to give this a seven. 


Halle Kiefer: Okay, great. 


Alison Leiby: And the tall lady, really, I don’t want and spiders. I was like, these are all the things. If it was like, oh, a ghoul or like a lobster, you know, you’d be like, okay. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: But those are two very frightening things. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. Like you’ve seen spiders, you’ve seen a grandfather clock. And you’ve seen a very tall woman. Not as tall as this woman.


Alison Leiby: No, no, no, she’s extra tall. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, but. 


Alison Leiby: What about you?


Halle Kiefer: I’m gonna give this a four. 


Alison Leiby: MM hmm. 


Halle Kiefer: I really like. I thought the themes were really interesting. Again, I was not expecting this to be about a Jewish woman grappling with the legacy of the Holocaust. [laughter] So I was like, oh, okay. 


Alison Leiby: Surprise. 


Halle Kiefer: Versus, I feel like there are a lot of movies don’t really bother to give to ground their characters in any kind of culture or like identity. So that to me was interesting. I don’t know if it was scary, though, right? 


Alison Leiby: Okay. I see that.


Halle Kiefer: But I did enjoy it. And again, if you have Hulu, I think it’s worth a watch. 


Alison Leiby: Yeah. 


Halle Kiefer: I thought the acting was good. A perfectly enjoyable B-movie. But in terms of being particularly scary, I mean really, I don’t know the stuff with the dad where you find out that she tore dad apart, that part’s fucked up [both speaking] when you see her pull the intestines out. 


Alison Leiby: No. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah, that’s that’s a tough that’s a tough one. 


Alison Leiby: Oh my God Rizz, just as you told me that Rizz just did the covers his eyes with his paws on the couch. No, he get’s it. 


Halle Kiefer: But, yeah, I’m going to say four, I’m going to say four. 


Alison Leiby: I love it. [both speaking] Well another mommy movie on the books. 


Halle Kiefer: We did it, and we’re going to do it again next week. 


Alison Leiby: Yes we are. 


Halle Kiefer: And to everyone listening, thank you so much for joining us. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: We we would be doing this anyways into the void. So it means a lot to us that you listen. 


Alison Leiby: Yes. 


Halle Kiefer: And if you’re new, enjoy our back catalog. And thank you to our Patreon subscribers. And if you are not subscribed, if you go on the Patreon, oh, baby, we got even more movies for you to listen to. 


Alison Leiby: There’s even more movies there. All kinds of fun stuff. Videos. So. 


Halle Kiefer: Yeah. 


Alison Leiby: Whatever you’re doing, we appreciate it and we love you. 


Halle Kiefer: We love you very much, and keep it spooky everybody.


Alison Leiby: Don’t forget to follow us at Ruined podcast and Crooked Media for show updates. And if you’re as opinionated as we are, consider dropping us a review. Ruined is a Radio Point and Crooked Media production. We’re your writers and hosts Halle Kiefer and Alison Leiby. The show is executive produced by Alex Bach, Sabrina Fonfeder and Houston Snyder, and recorded and edited by Kat Iossa. From Crooked Media our executive producer is Kendra James with production and promotional support from Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin, Julia Beach, Caroline Dunphy and Ewa Okulate. [music plays]