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This Is Who She Was...?

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It is a matter of public record that I wasn't very impressed with the character of Lara Means. I found her to be very poorly explained and under-developed considerng her appearance in roughly half of the S2 episodes. I know I am not alone in this as many have criticised her superfluous presence in most of the episodes she is in. But are we approaching this from the right direction? Taking you back quite a while now, picture a slightly less lined and more optimistic MDM sitting down to watch S2 episode 'Roosters'. As I watched that episode I became increasingly suspicious of Lara Means and it all culminated with the death of the Old Man. I honestly thought at that time that she was in league with Odessa; the judas to the blatant Gethsemane scene that was unfolding. Crazy? Maybe, but indulge me...

What do we really know about Lara Means? Honestly? Not a hell of a lot when you think about it. The first time Frank meets her she mentions to him that there is a Group she thinks he would be interested in. But Frank cuts her off doesn't he? We only assume that she was going to say the Millennium Group when in actual fact she could quite easily have said Odessa. Not much on its own granted but there is more. Her appearance in 19:19 is very brief but she does mention that she wouldn't mind if they just beat the truth out of the suspect and that she is 'results orientated'. This is evidently meant as a joke in the episode but it would be just like Morgan and Wong to make us laugh at something that is later quite sinister.

But it's really in Owls/Roosters that my suspicions were first aroused. When Gunsch is waiting outside Frank's house, Acchsman says 'I knew he would go to that one'. But the Old Man went to Lara first didn't he? Did Acchsman know that the Old Man would do this and is there any connection between them? He may not have meant Frank you see. Remember when Frank says that his reluctance to join the Group was monitored and seen as a willingness to join Odessa; monitored by whom? Lara possibly as she would know. Further, the assasination itself is suspect. Frank doesn't appear to be present but we know Lara is. She is presumably still in the house as it be odd to leave the Old Man there by himself. Something in the way she tells him Goodnight (watch the episode; you'll see what I mean), made me think she thought she wouldn't see him again. Also, why does Gunsch not kill her? He must have known she was there and it would be just as easy to kill her as well. Why not? Because she may have let him in, that's why! There is no talk of forced entry and I sincerely doubt that they would leave the door open... We also assume that the Old Man has his own angel. But does he? What if the angel is the same one following Lara?

Because we only have Lara's word for it about her angel and what it does for her. She is always afraid when she sees it it seems. Could it be because the angel is trying to save her; that she is slowly going insane because of what she knows she is and is doing? The religious visions she gets may be God's way of trying to reach her in a similar way that the devil tries to reach Frank in 'The Curse of Frank Black'. Because we have no real evidence of the angel's involvement in her life and no idea of her past, we must accept that we are placing rather a lot of faith in what she is saying. It also makes the end of the Season more powerful because it represents Lara finally being redeemed when she saves Frank with the antidote. But even before that, there are more indications. M+W love to include symbolism and juxtapose images etc, we know this well. So what about 'Siren' then? A woman who appears friendly and helpful but who is really a monster. Lara is everything Frank needs in S2; someone who appears to have a similar gift and be going through the same things that he is. A real friend who views the MLM Group with as much distrust as he does. A bit too perfect eh? It would make sense for her to be just as much of a threat as the Siren - it is EXACTLY the kind of ruse that M+W go in for. You could also look at Lara's indecision in 'Anamesis' to go along with the Group. Torn between right and wrong perhaps or just defying the Group because she truly doesn't believe in them?

As I said, the final 2-parter where she goes insane could represent the influence Frank has had on her - his goodness- finally winning out. Unable to reconcile what she is, she snaps completely. Or perhaps her knowledge that the MLM who she has been infiltrating, was right all along. Remember that they are referred to in this episode as a cult and the idea of a plant sucummbing to the cult they spy on is a very old tale. I realise that all this may well, even probably is, not be the case. But it does get thinking and I think there is enough possibilities presented here to start building such a case. M+W almost certainly didn't get to finish the Season as they would have liked because they learned they were being screwed over the networks and lost heart it seems. As they didn't return to the show, maybe we'll never know who Lara Means really was. But I have to believe that there was something more to her because there didn't seem much and M+W NEVER do characters like that ever do they?

So there we have it...

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