The Blind is a stunning story, which is why it might be a controversial opinion that it should not have had the note at the end. To make it clear, there is no intention of questioning the authenticity of the Robertson family’s story or the way they all eventually came back together. It is truly a testament to the power of kindness and self-reflection over people’s lives. There is also no question about the role and power of faith in the journey of life. But there is something to be said about the way the media is used to spread that message. However, it cannot be ignored that at the heart of it, The Blind is an honest attempt at sharing one’s story by being as true to it as possible, and it isn’t easy to fault that. On an unrelated note, The Blind also reminds us of another show called Daisy Jones and the Six, because of the way both stories address the topic of addiction. For now, let us go through a recap of the movie.
How do Phil and Kay get married?
Phil Robertson always had a tough life. His father used to be mostly away trying to make money, leaving a young Phil in charge of the house and taking care of his mother, who was clearly bipolar. Back then, the only treatment available to her was shock therapy, which took a toll on the entire family. Phil grew up as the caretaker of his mother and siblings, and he used to provide for them by hunting in the woods. It was his hunting talent that had sustained his family for many years, when he was growing up and even much later.
Phil meets Kay Carroway in school, and they instantly fall in love. Kay’s mother disapproves of Phil since he is not as rich as them, and this causes the couple to break up temporarily. But when Kay’s father passes away, and her mother starts drinking heavily, the couple starts getting back together through this turbulent time. They get married soon enough, and Kay gets pregnant while Phil goes to college. He comes back eventually to take care of her and their children, and for many years, they lead a decent life, though Phil struggles to manage a stable income. Kay is always by his side, reminding him that she is proud of him and that she believes that he will come through. Phil does, and he gets a job as a teacher, which is when he meets Big Al. Slowly, with the first hint of stability, Phil starts letting loose, and that means that he starts drinking heavily and partying all the time, at the cost of neglecting his family. Kay is uncomfortable with it all, and this is also the first sign of strife in their marriage.
How does Phil’s addiction ruin his family?
Some years go by this way, and Phil ends up losing his job because of his alcohol and overall neglect of things around him. The family falls on hard times, and Phil mostly provides for them by hunting. But that is far from enough to sustain his children and wife. It is not that Phil is unable to make money. He sells the fish he catches, and he gambles heavily, placing stupid bets at the risk of his life, which are all questionable methods, but they work. However, Phil ends up spending all that money on alcohol, leaving his family with nothing.
Kay tells Phil that she is unable to even buy groceries for the house, and for once, Phil seemed to listen. He starts working at a bar, as he believes that it will give him more time to spend with the family and also help them with their finances. But the problem remains that Phil doesn’t quit drinking, and what was supposed to be a new lease of life for their family only makes things worse since Phil becomes insecure about his wife. He suspects that she is cheating on him, and in a fit of drunken rage, he asks her to leave the house along with the kids.
Kay goes to Jan’s (Phil’s sister’s) house for the time being, and when she is feeling completely dejected, Jan tells her how the church helped her find some peace when things were bad at home. Taking her advice, Kay also goes to meet the pastor, who gives her a place to stay. Eventually, Kay finds a job and gets back on her feet to take care of her kids.
Does Phil get over his alcohol addiction?
In the meantime, Phil’s condition is going from bad to worse. He is staying in a trailer and has let his life go completely to hell. His brother, Silas, also tries talking to him, but Phil is simply not ready to listen. However, one day, Phil remembers an old conversation from his childhood when his brother asked if they would also be affected by what their mother had. When Phil looks in the mirror, he realizes that he has lost control over himself. This time, he is determined to clean up his act, and he visits Kay to apologize to her and ask for another chance. She tells him to get some help, and that leads Phil to the pastor, who encourages him to forgive himself for his mistakes and start looking ahead at what he can do with the rest of his life.
Phil starts spending more time with his family, and that is new for all of them, especially the kids. Big Al comes back into Phil’s life, asking him to go party with them, but Phil has truly changed as a man. Instead of going with them, he takes his kids on their first hunting trip. Perhaps it is not the best comparison, but when the pastor made Phil take a dip in the water to symbolize him leaving behind the old version of himself, it helped way more than any prayer could have. Despite what anyone might say, it was a moment of therapy, brought about by understanding a man in need of help and asking him to find the courage to help himself. There must have been a lot more to Phil’s journey with battling addiction, and the movie only showed a brief glimpse of it, but it still emphasizes how the treatment for it lies in empathy and not in blame and anger.
During The Blind’s ending, Phil uses one of his son’s toys to develop a duck whistle, which becomes the foundation for their business in the future. The Robertson family becomes immensely successful and also becomes reality TV stars in the future. Big Al reconnects with Phil in his dying days, and he is welcomed back by his old friend, who asks him to trust God for the remainder of the time left with him. It is a beautiful story, and the real Phil Robertson’s appearance at the end lends a lot more to it. All in all, this should be a cue for the world to start understanding addiction better and to be able to stand by their friends and family at all times.
People with drug or alcohol addiction are often cautionary tales to warn people of the ill effects of such ‘vices.’ However, the knowledge of what addiction is and the psyche that enables it is yet to be properly understood by most people. The Blind has a different objective than that, but this is the lesson we all ought to take from it compulsorily.