In the movie Changeling, a woman named Christine Collins (Angelina Jolie) returns home to find that her nine-year-old son has disappeared. After a five month investigation by the police, a boy is brought to Los Angeles from Illinois. The LAPD tell Christine and everyone else that the boy is her son. The boy was not her son.
This is every mother's worst fear. And it is one of my worst fears. And one of the worst realities! Because this happened to me once and it happened to all of you, too.
One time last year I was into Roseanne (not apologizing for it). In the fifth season, the oldest daughter on the show, Becky, leaves home to marry her boyfriend Mark in Minneapolis. When this happened, of course, I was distressed. I asked myself: how would the family dynamic stay the same without the presence of this stupid bitch?
In the sixth season, something even more horrifying happened. Becky was back, but it wasn't really Becky! The original actress, Lecy Goranson was gone, only to be replaced by someone new-- Sarah Chalke! While I'll admit Sarah Chalke was a huge improvement over that other bitch, I couldn't help but feel like Christine in Changeling! I wanted my son (Becky) back! And I hated the LAPD (the writers of Roseanne) for trying to put the wool over my eyes.
This is not an uncommon situation. Shows do this all the time-- steal our sons and pretend like nothing happened when they are replaced! Remember Ross's ex-wife Carol on Friends? Harley Keiner on Boy Meets World? Whatever happened to them, huh?
At the end of Changeling, one of the other boys imprisoned with Christine's son is found alive. He tells Christine that one day Walter escaped, giving Christine hope that her son is also alive somewhere. It is a happyish ending, one that inspired me and still gives me faith to this day. Somewhere, I wonder if the real Becky is being a bitch, and the real Harvey is being an asshole, and the real Carol is being a lesbian. Someday, I hope, they will return.