Scene from Season 2 Episode 2 “Lavender”
Something to note here is how Jamie drinks as little as he can get away with in public settings and Ted perhaps drinks a little too much without even realizing. Also, the darts board that represents his father is literally around Ted’s head like a halo while he’s being a father figure to Jamie.
But I want to focus on lighting and colors. There have been great instances of colors playing a pivotal role in conveying something important to the audience in this show before. Ted’s 1st panic attack triggers (1x7) in a scene lit in blue, signifying sadness. When he is fighting it with Rebecca’s help outside, the scene is entirely red, symbolizing intense and uncontrollable feelings. The toys Ted gives away are green - meaning growth - Jamie accepts it and Rebecca rejects it. Rebecca is wearing a purple suit that signifies transformation in her apology to Ted in 1x9.
And this scene above is lit in a warm yellow hue.
I only noticed it because it was hard to color in Photoshop. Usually, the scenes in the show are pretty color-neutral unless there is a point to make. The bar scenes, though naturally lit yellow, don’t have it to this degree. It’s usually an undertone. Here, it’s an overtone, their faces are lit in it. Why?
The emotion meant to be portrayed here can’t be happiness, joy, elation, or even relaxation - the usual meanings associated with yellow. Ted and Jamie are having a tense conversation, ranging from both their fathers to Jamie’s future with AFC Richmond. Jamie’s clearly being rejected and it’s hurting Ted to do it. It’s nothing joyous for yellow to be used here.
Then I realized that yellow also symbolizes WARMTH. And of course, up until this point in the episode, Jamie has been in nothing but hostile scenarios. The reality show, the talk show, the cafe, and especially the agency. He was dressed in black from head to toe in most of those scenes - showing despair. This bar and Ted is the first place and person he feels some warmth from, regardless of the conversation and its outcome.
The agency he was at is literally made of the dull corporate colors of grey - symbolism for how emotionally distant it was and didn’t give a crap about Jamie. It’s lit in a stark white light that shines on Jamie’s face, signifying coldness. The scene even begins with a shot of grey roads, panning into the agency. What’s more, the agent - also dressed in grey - says, ‘you’re like a son to me - a dead son’. I always felt that line was off, knowing what we know about Jamie’s father.
Contrast that to Ted asking how Jamie has been, being curious about his reality tv stint, having a conversation about fathers, and being caring of him even when he has to decline him. He doesn’t have to say that Jamie is like a son to him. He is. Jamie feels warmth here for the first time in god knows how long.
BUT. It’s also about Ted feeling the same. We know separation from Henry is killing him. He had hoped to find peace in being a father figure to Jamie, but he too got taken away from Ted when he got transferred to Man City. Ted could only look at both of them from afar.
But now, after months, Jamie came to meet him. At least one of his boys is close to him in this moment. Ted also feels warmth in this scene, that’s why it’s not just Jamie’s face lit in the warm yellow light, but also Ted’s. Well, the loving way he looks at Jamie also conveys that lol.
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