The Queen’s Gambit Season 2 Updates: Out of all Beth’s relationships in The Queen’s Gambit, her friendship with Jolene is the most meaningful; Jolene is the only one who can (and does) support Beth while she is at its lowest point.
Beth has numerous highs and downs in her professional and personal life, but after years apart, Jolene will again become an important part of her life as Beth struggles through a breakup.
After her mother commits suicide at the beginning of The Queen’s Gambit, Beth is sent to an orphanage where Jolene-an an older girl who has not been adopted-befriends and schools her on the way to the institution.
She also warns Beth of a possible addiction to the fictitious Xanzolam tranquilizer, which causes Beth to hallucinate chess plays at the ceiling at night. Jolene is predictably bitter as Beth is adopted by the Wheatleys, as she said earlier that older, black children are unable to leave the orphanage.
Friends lose contact until years later when Beth battles addiction and Jolene turns up at her door to see her through. Jolene is the only one who can support and uplift Beth, though their relationship is not about chess, but about their common history as orphans.
The Queen’s Gambit Season 2: Who’s Beth and how can she help?
Too much of Beth’s connections derive from her abilities – even Beth’s adoptive mother, Alma, begins to express concern as Beth wins the local tournament.
Jolene knows Beth until she receives national and international recognition, but she’s more attuned to Beth the individual than to Beth the chess player. At the orphanage, Jolene encourages Beth’s love of chess, but she is more worried about Beth exhibiting symptoms of withdrawal from the tranquilizers.
When they’re reunited, Jolene – who has been a competent paralegal on her own – calls Beth out again on her drug and alcohol use and tells her to avoid digging herself into a hole.
The greatest commitment that Jolene makes to Beth’s life and career is to finance her trip to Russia after Beth turns down her Christian Crusade support.
Beth is surprised and calls Jolene her guardian angel, but Jolene tells her that they weren’t orphans as long as they had one another. They are simply relatives, and the family supports each other out without a doubt.
Jolene is able to tap into her savings at law school to help Beth out and she’s keeping up with Beth’s future, so she knows how much this coming tournament means to her.
She also hopes for a complete payback when Beth wins the Grandmaster’s title. The audience doesn’t get a ton of insight into Jolene’s temperament, since the Queen’s Gambit generally has her to serve Beth’s plot arc. In several ways, Jolene is a survivor of a “magical” color trope. For more updates stay tuned.
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