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35 thoughts on “Big Little Lies : What is Gordon Klein?”
Gordon had shown empathy for Ziggy and was supportive of his wife Renata. She complained when she noticed he had been smoking at Amabella’s party so that was just one of his addictions. He seemed to have a good position at work. He did not ask his wife to give up his job, he was not aggressive/violent.
Renata was intimidating and had the upper hand in the relationship. She did not seem to have interest in intimacy either.
Season 2 (from reviews and some video clips only):
Gordon did not care about the consequences of engaging in illegal deals (Rules do not apply to him) or jeopardizing his wife’s assets (Selfishness, sense of entitlement). Addicts are impulsive and do not care about the consequences of their behaviour when they desperately need their ‘drug’.
Then I read about cheating on his wife with the nanny and not paying her what he had promised (Future Faking).
There is also a scene just before Renata smashes his trains (S2E7). She says ‘You lost all our money, plunged us into bankruptcy, we are selling our home, our daughter’s home and all the while you are f**** a nanny….?’
Gordon says: ‘Well, she is gone and I need something to play with.’ (PA, no apologies, no remorse)
To me, he seems to be more than an addict with narcissistic behaviours. He reminded me of narcissists with a Stepford wife.
From the article Stepford Devaluation: “The narcissist may engage in intimate relations with the IPPS still but it is not often and the IPPS may actually be cold sexually and be perfectly happy to be left alone in that respect, content for the IPSSs/IPTSs to bear the brunt of her husband’s devaluing perversions.”
Gordon probably used Juliet for his manipulations and had a distant but apparently good relationship with Renata to keep his façade.
I voted UMRN.
The securities fraud and the “stress relief” with the nanny were big red flags.
Ha, Gordon is snake! I voted; he is a MMRN.
What makes you think MMRN K? I do love your analysis of the different characters
He’s one I really keep changing my mind on. At first I thought N traits, then a mid, we don’t see enough of him, he has the potential to even be a greater? I’d like to see more!
We definitely do not see enough of Gordon but what little we do see was enough to convince me that he is a narcissist.
Securities fraud, the cheating, his behavior at the hospital and his behavior at the end when he was playing with his trains; he had no sense of remorse or guilt for bankrupting them.
Ah I wondered how they’d gone backrupt. One or two episodes I was so desperate to watch that I was dipping in and out of sleep lol.
He reminded me of Bernie Madoff.
The trains was the most I saw of him and that definitely sealed the deal that he’s an N
I think he is MMR Elite. During the first party of Emma Bella there was a part where he walked out strutting or something and I thought he looked like a Somatic. The securities fraud thing and I assume he’s educated make me think also some Cerebral, but he’s pretty vapid : P
I definitely think narc, there is waaaaay too much entitlement to think otherwise. He even knows it and says it, I was even tempted to give him more credit than midrange because he’s so blatantly entitled, but I think he’s just rich, he seems spoiled.
Keep in mind my version of gordon is based on season 1. A lot can change in the next season lol
I chose empathetic but not an empath. On occasion we see gordon console renata and try to uplift her but he doesnt strike me as an empath. I think his empathy is very limited and he is probably oblivious to how others feel. I do think renata wears the pants in that relationship. He puts up with a lot but i get the feeling he likes that dynamic of soothing caretaker to his strong career driven wife. Id place him more as a normal that shows empathy mainly to his wife.
I voted narcissistic but not a narcissist. There is a scene when he is consoling their daughter while Renata is plotting her revenge. He seems to have a sense of the bigger picture. And I liked him when he was in his man cave smoking weed and listening to music. He was calling Renata on her shit and he seemed really grounded. Or maybe it was just a way to deflect from all the shady things he was doing.
Obviously the fraud and sleeping with the Nanny are very narcy. Is that a word?
Again I just don’t feel I d seen enough of him. I definitely need to watch again and more closely.
My guess and it is a guess would be narcissistic with a very teeny amount of empathy but not a narc.
He doesn’t seem to get too upset by his wife, will row and get angry but doesn’t appear to engage in much manipulation. He used the nanny so there is entitlement there. I seemed to have missed the bit about what caused him to go bankrupt but he didn’t seem unduly stressed by the experience. Not like Renata with no furniture in a big house lol.
Hmm having seen the last episode I’m thinking a narc. Mid range if he only has the nanny in the side but there could be more, we don’t know.
But the way he behaves thst he gets to keep his toys there was pure enjoyment in tormenting Renata. It’s pretty borderline for me without seeing any more.
My favourite scene – when Renata is getting so angry in the car With him and stuffs a lot of tissue in his mouth. Hahahah love thst!
I chose MMRN. Gordon is entitled, dishonest and lacks empathy. He uses sex to self-gratify and to obtain fuel/control versus intimacy and connection (he also uses a pity play of ‘stress management’ to the maid along with false promises to pay for such services). Gordon is arrested for his securities fraud yet blame-shifts to friends involved (while hiding his own extended involvement). He laps up the residual benefits of his wife’s status/money while lacking his own achievements. Even after exposure he maintains he is merely misunderstood. He is blind to his narcissism and fails to see how his behavior hurts/harms and has an excuse for everything (lack of accountability) because he can only see his own needs/aims and justifies his actions in accordance with his construct.
FYC: I perceive that you do not like Gordon. Does he have any redeeming qualities, in your eyes?
PSE, I was simply analyzing Gordon‘s character traits in terms of whether or not is a N. He is otherwise fairly bland as a character.
FYC: Bland. Good enough. I also find it interesting on what emotional responses these characters are bringing out in us readers. And such a variety of varying emotions. It is fascinating how we all react emotionally to these characters to me, as well as how we assess them according to our logic. I feel that we do both, really. For example, I agree with a lot of your assessment of Gordon, but I still sort of like him, and I do not see him as bland. Ed is more Bland to me, but I like him the most of all these guys. Bonnie`s husband is the most lively and I detest him. So many hate Perry, and he is lively, but I find him more mentally ill, even though he may be the most financially successful. Well, may have been, I should say, since he is dead. He is very sick to me. I just can not see the mental field as a science under all my observations. Much is lurking beneath the surface of this field. Do you disagree with me? Also, people ask me question on here all the time, so I hope they do not become prickly if I ask some, as well, more now than before, since I am feeling better.
PSE, You can ask me questions anytime or comment. I attempt to stay on topic usually, but in answer to your questions, if I knew any of these male characters IRL I would not be attracted to any of them (give me intelligence with personality, humor, insight and kindness/empathy in an attractive package and we will have something to talk about!). As to fellow commenters, I think it is important not to read emotions into a comment that may not be present, nor draw false conclusions when an emotion is expressed.
As to your comment: “I just can not see the mental field as a science under all my observations. Much is lurking beneath the surface of this field. Do you disagree with me?”
I am not sure what you mean or what your observations entail. I would say the fields of psychology and social/behavioral science are not an absolute like mathematics. But even “science” is a study, a practice, and not absolute. There was a time that scientists asserted the atom was conclusively the smallest particle in existence, that is, until it was broken up into subatomic particles. Pluto was a planet, until it wasn’t. Scientists at Berkeley once believed the technology we use every day for mobile communication around the world violated the laws of physics. Moral of the story is, it never pays to be closed minded and we are always learning.
People tend to believe what they know (or think they know) until proven otherwise. In scholarly study, the quest is to find what exists versus what we believe we know. When we ask better questions, we find more interesting and accurate answers and the quest continues. I believe social/behavior sciences attempt to do this and they combine studies from other sciences (a good thing). That said, researchers come in all personality types and levels of ethics or lack thereof. So any research can be biased, faulty, misleading or self-serving if the researcher(s) steer(s) their study, instead of objectively reporting the methods, limitations and resulting data. The discussion section includes researcher observations and anticipated study implications this type of conjecture is accepted and appreciated.
PSE, you mention “since I am feeling better,” I hope you were not ill, but I am glad to hear you are felling better.
FYC: Well, I am sure that I am not reading too much into some of the declarative sentences that readers are making, so no worries there. And I love reading it all. I find it fascinating how we all view the same people so differently. I am not sure about everything that you said, but overall, I agree with your response. Also, I have the feeling that we are saying pretty much the same thing this time around, but in different ways and approaches. Have you ever noticed 2 people arguing while saying the same thing? I have. FYC, that is not you and me this time around. I think we are essentially in agreement. The subtle difference is possibly: that I believe that it is less of a science than the field portrays itself, especially from how I have seen it applied all my life. And emotions and biases are running rampant in the mental practitioner field as I have observed it. And I feel the field is a little ashamed of some of the things it has done, is doing and has been caught doing to many individuals and to groups of people that often could not represent themselves and protect themselves under its authority. In NYC where I live, there was a law passed some years ago that a client could change their mental practitioner without cause. Because so many bad things were happening to the clients of mental practitioners and even social workers included. Unfortunately, to this very day, many clients of mental practitioners do not know they can make a change if they want to in NYC. I think that is called a double bind, unfortunately. And so many drugs prescribed. My, oh my. I, as layman, have often assisted people with necessities and emergencies while their mental practitioners were oddly absent or for some reason incompetent or unconcerned or even sadistic and callous, when it came to practical matters of survival for their clients. I know because I have called some of these mental practitioners, because I was at first in disbelief that they could actually know the perilous status of some of their clients, and found out they were aware. I was quietly shocked. And sometimes it took me just a little research on the internet to help these clients avoid a disaster. And these people I assisted thanked me profusely. And I wondered to myself, how can this all be.
Ah, you are speaking of practitioners, and not the investigation into human behavior. I definitely agree there are many practitioners who lack skills, knowledge, experience and insight. Some are disordered themselves. Some can even be harmful and some have been criminal. I am not a big fan of the practice, but I have heard from some that they found therapy helpful. To each their own.
For me, I can absorb, integrate and apply a vast amount of information from many sources with success and do not find much benefit in paying thousands of dollars to have someone listen to me but offer no real insight nor reliable solutions. HG is a rare gem because he is very well educated, well read, highly self and other aware, and an exceptional expert on narcissism (and human behavior in general); PLUS, he offers actionable solutions in dealing with narcissism that work in the real world. Very impressive. I have not encountered anyone like him in life, and I have met more people than most. I do not say this lightly, nor as adulation, but as a genuine assessment of what I have seen/experienced.
FYC: On your first sentence, unfortunately in the mental health practitioner field, they collide in a way of which I overall disprove. As for the rest of your reply: PSE approves.
Gordon reminds me of one of my MMRNs. He comes across as extra, extra passively aggressive. He displayed no empathy for the ER Doctor and no accountability for Amabella’s anxiety attack. He committed securities/stock fraud, bankrupted his family and banged the Nanny. He drinks and pops pills. I think he is a narcissist.
Narcissistitic but not a narcissist, can’t explain why that’s how I feel about him
Not sure…is douche a choice??
Anywho… I think he’s a MMRN as well. No friends except family. Circle is small. Had an affair with the nanny under the guise of “stress relief.” Shady financial dealings and abuse. Pitiful demeanor and dull. Rarely rageful even when dealing with Renata…😳. Doesn’t seem to mind her yelling and cursing his existence… MMRN Douche cadre.
Douche cadre lmao
Dearest HG: My Assessment: I say Gordon is Narcissistic but not a Narcissist. He is very tolerant of his modern do-it-all, slightly hysterical wife. He loves her. He is still physically attracted to her. He admires her. She has his support. He has the Narcissistic traits of addiction and greed and gambling and callousness and grandeur. He seems to have played fast and loose with other people’s money, including his own money and his wife`s money and lost that money that was placed with him. In a criminal way? I am not sure. But, definitely he is going through bankruptcy proceedings. The maid/nanny situation? Well, this has historically happened plenty with women of that status. Has it not? I am not sure what happened, but his wife was certainly screaming at him about it, and even stuffed his mouth with paper so he could not speak, on the drive home. And the maid/nanny did say something about a settlement of sort that she was asking for in excess of one hundred thousand dollars or so? Maybe someone can clear up what this maid said, because I could not hear her clearly through her accent. And did the maid say she was asking for a payout for, Trust, or something like that? A non issue as far as labeling him as a Narcissist. Plus, wives at this point should know the dangers, historically speaking and as of this very day, of hiring young pretty women to prance about in their homes, by now. Was it not this that tore apart Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner? The nanny? full disclosure: I abhor Ben Affleck, but I like Jennifer Garner (perhaps a narcissist) and I have said so on Narcsite on HG Tudor`s article discussing: Triangles. Whatever. Gordon seems to have a touch of the somatic, not so much in his own appearance, but in the appearance of everything else in his life, including his wife. However, regarding his own appearance, I would not be in the least surprised if in fact: he wears outrageously expensive clothing and watches and shoes, for those that know men`s fashion (I do not) in more of a laid-back California style, probably. Like $800 dollar t-shirts, and the like. In more of a somatic way than in a cultural way. And he probably wears very expensive and distinctive men colognes, I am learning about these days. Creed and the likes thereof. So I say he is Not a Narcissist, but he has Narcissistic traits.
I voted lower mid range. He’s a self-absorbed, opportunistic, moody man-child.
Voted : MMR (elite cadre)
I voted bc he reminds me so much of my HG-certified MMR , I went with that.
He doesn’t display fury, he’s cowardly and avoidant.
Slimy! That’s what he is, but there was no option for slime. He can’t be a narcissist though. A narc would never so calmly allow himself to be told to shut up and have tissues stuffed in his mouth by his wife who was asserting that he isn’t entitled to fuck the nanny.
MB, I think Gordon is a N, but you make some good points. Would a N put up with those things to maintain the residual benefits of his existence though? Like Hillary defended Bill even though she knew of his ongoing and repeated infidelities and lies? You did cause me to think he would at least employ a ST (without tissues) or retaliate in a passive aggressive way, but maybe he was busy with mea culpa due to the exposed infidelity.
FYC, I never got an N feeling from Gordon. It might just be that it’s difficult for an actor to portray an N if he’s not. Only Streep can pull that off! I don’t think N’s do mea culpa. What I’ve realized from reading K’s analyses is that you can make a case either way for *nearly* everybody. I’m looking forward to HGs thoughts.
You make some good points, MB, I would not be surprised to learn my assessments are wrong, but I am attempting to apply what I have learned to the scripted behaviors of these actors. In the case of mea culpa, I was reminded of HG’s description of a narc trying to retain his IPPS–they will say or do what is necessary. I agree he comes across fairly bland and not very narc like, but his behaviors (as previously listed) seem mid ranger to me. I do look forward to the final analysis so I can learn more about where I went wrong.
The transition glasses scream Narcissist in a midlife crisis, but I am going to go with:
Empathic, but not an Empath.
I think he has issues, especially lack of intimacy issues being married to a narcissist. That’s why he drinks a lot.
I vote narc but I haven’t settled on the school. MR but not sure yet if MMR or UMR so will hold back on voting for now. Will post when I decide