Seattle Police Department Chief Carmen Best just announced her resignation. She was the Louise to Mayor Jenny Durkan's Thelma, if we're still running with the allusion Durkan made back in June about the relationship she'd developed with Best.
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In my post about Best's resignation, I wondered where this announcement left the Thelma and Louise comparison now that half of the duo is out of the picture. Durkan, in her first direct communication with me ever outside of a press conference, emailed me the answer. It was just the link to this video, with a subject line that read "Alternative endings....":
It's a Late Late Show with James Corden spoof featuring Susan Sarandon, who played Louise to co-star Geena Davis's Thelma in Ridley Scott's 1991 major motion picture. The skit runs through alternative endings to the film's iconic conclusion, where the titular characters smooch, floor it, and then drive off a cliff. Corden steps in for Davis, and Sarandon reprises her role as Louise.
I'm not sure which alternate ending Durkan is hoping plays out. I've asked her to weigh in, and I'll update this post when I hear back. In the meantime, let's go over our options.
I find some truth in the first alternative ending. The two characters are on the descent down from the cliff-dive, and Corden's Thelma (or, Durkan, if we're reading in-between the lines here which I love to do) is incredulous:
Thelma: "What the hell was that Louise?!"
Louise: "What do you mean?"
T: "Why the hell did you just drive off the damn cliff?"
L: "Because you told me to!"
T: "I didn't! I said let's keep going!"
L: "Well that's what I did! I just kept going!"
T: "It was a metaphor, Louise! It was metaphor! Keep going in life! You owe me an apology."
Talk about a metaphor for "continuous improvement" in policing, a term Durkan today claimed Best invented. At the end of that scene, however, the car bursts into flames again just before Louise can say she's sorry. So maybe that's not the ending she meant.
In version two, both survive. "Wow! These shocks are great," Thelma says. And then the scene devolves into an ad for a mechanic. I'd love to think that this is the one Durkan meant, that this whole Durkan/Best policing saga is really just one part of a complex PR narrative that will eventually turn into a commercial supporting local small businesses that serve car culture.
Version three has the two getting into a bit of a tiff regarding the pre-cliff jump kiss. Louise ends up leaving the car and jumping to her death. I don't want to read too deeply into that one.
Whichever version Durkan ultimately likes best, it's clear she loves an alternate ending.