Kukuru has been tasked with creating a proposal to make the new wing of the aquarium available as a wedding venue. She struggles to stay balanced, working long hours for a project that has no place in her heart. To make matters worse, a dolphin has become stranded in a nearby cove, and her inability to help or even observe drives Kukuru farther into depression.
I doubt there’s anyone working today who hasn’t suffered through a job they couldn’t stand, a manager with unreasonable demands, or a client with unrealistic expectations. In this episode, Kukuru gets to deal with all three.
The show has been very clear about how hard her role in marketing has been on Kukuru. While she’s been able to find some satisfaction by managing events and drawing attention to the animals she loves, being separated from those same animals is destroying her passion. While she’s been able to keep her head above water, it’s still a draining role. She keeps herself motivated by stealing small moments visiting the fish and other creatures. Anyone who has worked a tough job knows how much they need that quick nap in the lounge or a good cry in the bathroom to make it through a miserable day.
However, the long hours Kukuru is putting in are wearing hard on her, and her boss is demanding results on her latest proposal. Complicating things further, a lost dolphin has become stuck along the nearby shore, and she’s been told to leave it to the attendants and focus on her own joyless work. When the proposal meets a harsh reception, Kukuru is devastated. What good is all that hard work if it’s not even going to come to anything? What is she missing to toil away at something that to her is so pointless?
The show continues to do a good job showing the difficult realities of working close to something you love, yet staying just out of reach. It also seems to be highlighting the poisonous nature of inflexible workplaces and the unreasonable demands on workers’ time. There’s no reason that she should be stuck working late nights on what comes out to a 10-page client pamphlet. And if she’s so clearly unsuited for this, why is her director pushing this on her instead of assigning her more appropriate tasks? There’s a serious failure of leadership going on here that’s contributing to her spiraling downwards.
Of course, the episode saves its hardest punch for the very end – not only did working on this presentation prevent Kukuru from doing what she loves, it also kept her from visiting with the young girl she met at the children’s hospital. Completely disheartened, she finds herself back at Gama-Gama, which has been almost completely demolished. We’re now standing in the ‘ruins of a broken dream’ from the show’s subtitle.
Unlike last episode, there’s nothing feel-good this time around. Much like during the looming closure of Gama-Gama last season, Kukuru is reaching her breaking point while others are finding their way. It’s going to be a rough ride to the end, but one I’m excited for.
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