- Ardis: "She seems very special." - A Hope & A Future
- Mindy: "You really are special, Rita." - Impossible Dream
Real Life References
From the very beginning we knew Rita was special. For one, there was her photographic memory---the very first thing we learned about Rita in the Pilot. As time went on, we noticed her ongoing affinity for owls, from the jewelry to the subtle prints, and learned how owls are a constant reminder for Rita that someone out there thinks she's special.
We also noticed something else---that, despite being told so, Rita struggled to claim and embrace those things which made her "special," or even the suggestion that she was special to begin with. Take, for instance, when Cora took Rita's hand and told her she was "magnificent." Notice she just kind of half-smiles and walks away.
By the time we arrive at Impossible Dream, Rita has made it clear that there are more important things in life than the pageant or its title. This in and of itself sets Rita apart, as I think, in the heat of competition, it is easy for all of us to become focused exclusively on our own success. Instead, Rita selflessly (or should we say "specially"?) handled a backstage crisis with Norman and a fellow contestant's stage fright.
When all is said and done, a familiar scene plays out. As Mindy bids Rita farewell, she takes Rita's hand and says, "You really are special, Rita."
Unlike with Cora, however, Rita says something critical: "Thank you." This is the first time Rita fully embraces the "gem" she truly is.
From these examples alone it's easy to see how Rita's name was a perfect fit for her journey thus far. One can only imagine how Rita will continue to blossom as she becomes more and more comfortable embracing and celebrating who she is. It's a good reminder to all of us that we should be embracing and celebrating ourselves just the same.
Learning To Shine, Too,
What's In A Name? Series: Introduction | Norman | Rita | Oliver | Shane