On the whole, this post was a clear synopsis of Neil's
relationships with the women on the show.
> mutual 'barbed' rapport between them ref coffee, age, etc.
I adore Diane, she's one of the best characters in the show.
Some of the best humor comes from those barbs.
> She may be using Neil as a 'stepping' stone ' in her career, but this is
> not emphasised in the plot. Neil's inner, gentle shy & kind nature is
While it's possible to conjecture this, I don't see that it's even
suggested in the plot. The attraction between Neil and Laura is initiated
as an underlying motive. Overtly, Laura says very plainly she's not
interested in being a Sandbagger, and says why. Neil's responses to that
surprise and intrigue her a little, but it seems to me that the fact that
Neil is in trouble because of his lack of Sandbaggers is what changes her
mind - an act of generosity. It's only after she's doing the job that she
decides to stay, because she is caring more for the job and for Neil.
I can't think of a moment in the show (when Laura is dealing with
her co-workers) when she is not honest, generous, sensible, and
insightful. Presumably, she has ambition as well, but when is she ever
presented as using it as one of her motivating forces? When ambition is a
motivator, it is usually made quite clear. We know Neil is ambitious, but
that it's not his primary motive. Delghetty (sp?), Peele, and Wellington
are all shown to be ambitious in different ways.
Can any of the "stepping stone" supporters give me a concrete example?
> that Karen 'fails' miserably & concedes in 'giving up' telling Neil that she
> can't succeed against the opposition of his commitment to his job & a dead
Karen was somewhat annoying around Neil, though I liked her
with Willie. Not that she didn't understand Neil reasonably well, but he
very obviously wasn't interested. He was a beast when he took her out to
dinner, however, since it was Jeff who pressured him, not Karen. Maybe
she reminds him of Belinda? Obvious conjecture. It's not what she said
to Neil that annoyed me - she treated him like the caring friend or lover
she wanted to be, but he was so glaringly resentful, it was embarassing
to watch her get slapped down. She got on really well with Willie, too bad
they didn't strike a spark.
> She is also attractive & intelligent. Perhaps if the series continued...
> Neil may have sought comfort in her arms after Willie is seriously shot.
It seemed to me that they were setting up a definite rivalry for
Marianne. Neil is playing dog in the manger, attracted to her, but
unwilling and probably still unable to open up to her after Laura's
death. Willie is very interested, and angry at Neil for his
interference. Marianne wants to be a Sandbagger (some overt ambition
there), she likes Willie enough to go out with him, but is presented as
interested in Neil. She mostly keeps the approximate professional
distant he wants, but takes no condescesion, and finally crosses over the
somewhat wobbly professional line to try and help him. But then they
dropped the building rivalry for the last ep, and did the "old married
couple" scenario for Neil and Willie.