What do you think of the relationship between Amy and Catherine? Or rather how the show contrasts their individual relationships with Selina?
You know, it’s interesting, because I feel like the show sets up an implied conflict in Catherine’s first episode that it’s never actually capitalised on.
There’s a beautiful moment in that episode where Selina approaches Amy and Catherine (who are talking about the proposed dog), and asks for a private word, and Amy steps away – only for it to turn out that Amy is who Selina wanted to talk to. Needless to say, Catherine does not seem happy.
Amy also seems to take pains to address Catherine as a peer – Mike and even Dan take a more distant attitude, a more adult-to-child tone in their interactions with her.
That may be nothing more than age, of course. Given everything we know, I don’t think Amy can be older than thirty in the pilot, and she may well be somewhat younger than that.
The show has been very careful about not telling us Amy’s age, but if you work from the assumption that she’s two-to-three years younger than Dan, it’s possible to deduce, roughly. Dan is about 34 in season 6, going by the year he graduated university (which…sure, we’ll go with that, even if it strains credibility a bit), meaning he was 29-30 (four years and some change in show time having passed) in the pilot – which would put Amy in the 27-30 range. (That makes her LUDICROUSLY young for her role as Chief of Staff, but that’s still case whether she’s 26 or 30, so it doesn’t bother me much).
As a result, Amy may be only 6 or 7 years older than Catherine, which would make their less formal interactions more reasonable. (It is interesting to me that Dan never tried to date her – I mean, I’m glad he didn’t, because the age difference is kind of gross, not to mention Catherine being gay, but it’s almost out of character that he never seemed to consider it. Of course, he may well have realised that Selina was narcissistic enough to take it as an insult).
But Amy’s pregnancy could be a way of bringing that conflict out into the open. Because Selina is going to HAVE to care more about Amy’s pregnancy – if Amy’s rushed to hospital because she’s fainted or something, it will reflect badly on Selina. If Amy needs time off work, or needs to time to rest, that’s all going to have a direct impact on Selina.
The sticking point here is…the conflict was interesting because it was always kind of implied that while Selina loved Catherine, she didn’t really enjoy spending time with her (which I honestly find understandable – Catherine’s wilful naïveté must get VERY wearing for a career politician), whereas she did enjoy Amy’s company.
But season 6 flanderised Selina to the point where it implied that she never loved Catherine at all, and actively disliked Amy. Which makes it difficult to explore any conflict – there’s nothing for anyone to be jealous of or wounded by if she’s completely heinous to BOTH of them.
I really dislike what season 6 did to Amy and Selina’s relationship, which doesn’t help. I have never viewed it as romantic, precisely BECAUSE Selina has, at times, treated Amy almost as a daughter figure, and a more satisfying daughter too, because she’s politically astute and physically attractive, and therefore a positive reflection on Selina. Look how pointedly Selina introduces Amy to Speaker Marwood or the way she confided in her about her decision not to run again in season 2. (The negative side of this is that when Amy DID lose her temper with Selina in season 4, she clearly hit a nerve Catherine has never reached and could never reach – Selina still resents the things she said months later, and Selina is usually good at getting over things).
That Amy is having a baby with DAN may also have an impact on how all this plays out. Firstly, because Dan couldn’t impregnate Catherine, and secondly, because Dan’s the only partner Amy’s ever had that Selina seems to approve of. She is completely dismissive of Ed and Buddy, but seems to like to Dan, and actually enquires about Amy’s past relationship with him. It’s hard not to think she sees something of herself in him – or would, if she ever stopped to think about it.
On the other hand, Selina REALLY didn’t like having a public reminder that she’s old enough to be a grandparent, and having Amy around constantly may serve to really ram that message home, in a way Selina will not like.
There’s numerous ways they could play it. The one thing I think is certain is that Catherine will try to give entirely unwelcome advice on the baby, which should be fun to see.