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I still don’t know what to believe tbh…
I think that Stephen genuinely had mental health issues but that his mum had supported him and kept him stable. I bet if the adults around him had handled things more delicately he could have been saved.
I think his dad felt guilty - I don’t know if he and the nurse struck up a rapport while Stephen’s mum was still alive or if his dad just felt guilty at moving on so soon (and when someone dies, a few months later IS still too soon in the grieving period). But I think his dad felt guilty and knew that guilt could weaken his conviction in his decisions.
So he committed to his decisions completely and wouldn’t compromise on them. And I think that’s one of the reasons he looks so broken in the court room at the end of Stephen’s Story - he knows that if he’d just spent less time trying to dominate and more time trying to compromise this all could have been avoided.
I don’t think the nurse was poisoning them, mainly because of Tina’s Story - the dad is clearly healthy. But like the article I posted, I feel like that’s kind of a plot hole because the nurse isn’t mentioned, she’s not even in court with Stephen’s dad at Tina’s trial. That’s the only big weakness I can see in using Stephen as the suicide case in Tina’s Story, the continuity isn’t complete.
The nurse was, though, insincere. And she was ham-fisted and sometimes spiteful and she tried to take on a position of motherly authority she hadn’t earned (like that scene where she was trying to force him to wash the dishes). I can’t decide if she was honestly trying to seduce and manipulate Stephen or if that was another part of his delusions.
Another plot hole is that by the time Tina’s Story starts, the last scene in Stephen’s Story where he seems afraid and concerned she’s poisoning both his dad and his brother seems to be gone. Instead he’s a broken shell with sad eyes and resignation.
I also don’t know at what point between his sentencing and his suicide (which seemed to happen the next day, judging by the conversation about his toothbrush) the nurse was meant to have visited him. If he died the day after sentencing, and the nurse visited him sometime between that sentencing and his suicide, then his dad (who looked healthy) was probably healthy all along. So did the nurse lie? If she lied about that, that is beyond disgusting. And spiteful.
Either way, I think he ends up pretty resigned. Maybe he finally accepts there’s something mentally wrong with him, maybe he feels like his hands are tied now that he’s imprisoned. I’m still not sure tbh, the timeline and some of the things left unanswered mean I can’t decide!