Okay, so this theory has been bouncing around in my brain since March, and I’ve briefly touched on it before, but I’ve never fleshed it out on here. Buckle in, homies. This is a long ride full of excessive bolding and italics, and we’ve abandoned the land of chill and “Read More”s.
In Markiplier TV, there are two heads to the table. One of them has already presented his plan to take back control. We’re about to witness the plan of the other.
What is the plan exactly? Well, that much we’re not sure of, yet, except that one of the clues we’ve been given is a piece of what looks to be a ransom note. We’ve also been given a still from some security cam footage, which, when brightened, has a clear anaglyph (red/blue) effect. (You can view the brightened version here, courtesy of the lovely @amycampbell00.) This leads many to believe that someone (Mark, most likely) has been taken hostage, and that Dark is behind it. I agree with this, but I think that we’re making a mistake in assuming that this is a recent development. In fact, the point I’m here to make in this post is that Dark has had control of the channel since his very first official appearance in February.
Let’s take a look at the psychology behind Dark as a character. He has two serious hyper-focuses: control and choice. Control is what he desires; choice is what he denies. During the Horror route of A Date with Markiplier, his obsession with the concept of choice is emphasized repeatedly.
What’s interesting about this is that he follows this statement by, technically, giving you a choice– but what he presents you with is actually just the illusion of choice. It may seem like there are different paths to take, but only one will actually make a difference. The rest send you directly to dead ends. No matter what you do, you will, ultimately, have to make the “choice” that he has been leading you to all along.
Immediately after this exercise in futility, he extolls the virtues of avoiding choice altogether and letting him have control.
Okay, so why is this relevant? Well, consider this: we also know that Dark doesn’t exactly obey the laws of space and time. (Mark directly mentioned this fact in the February live stream.) Not only that, but he has some semblance of control over it as well– when you try to escape during the Exitvideo, he immediately creates a time loop and sends you back inside. He has complete and utter control of the situation at every moment, and if things don’t go the way he plans, he can literally manipulate the world around him.
Knowing all of this, why would Dark then allow us to make this choice?
He wouldn’t. Of course he wouldn’t.
This man just spent the entirety of his time with us asserting that he was in control, and that choices are not only unnecessary, but dangerous. He set up a false choice to emphasize that point. There is no way he would give us a genuine choice after all of that. It goes against everything we know about him. Even if he was genuinely caught off guard (which I find hard to believe, but that’s a point for another post), he would not set himself up in a position of vulnerability that would immediately undermine all of his efforts up to that point. Any sort of “weakness” he would present would only be in the service of a greater purpose.
Darkiplier can manipulate what we see. He can manipulate what we hear. He can manipulate the laws of space and time. He doesn’t need to give us any power over him.
He’s tired of giving people a choice, and we are no exception. We don’t have the option to shoot Dark. We never did.
No matter what we choose, we will be shooting Mark. Mark didn’t escape on his own to confront Dark– if he had, Dark would have simply thrown him back in as he did in the Exit video. No, Dark let him escape. Dark let the gun fall at our feet. And Dark let us shoot him– except, of course, that he didn’t. The only difference your “choice” makes is how long he pretends to be the real Mark.
This all circles back around to his obsessions: he will give us the illusion of control over the situation and a choice in the outcome, when in reality, we have neither. And these things shape the most dangerous illusion of them all: the illusion of safety.
Mark isn’t in control of the channel. Mark hasn’t been in control of the channel for a long, long time. We already know that Dark can imitate Mark flawlessly, and he’s been doing so for months. Those brief moments in videos that appear to be Dark exercising the weak amount of power he has left? Those are simply to make us believe he’s not running the show. He’s practically taunting us.
He’s been pulling the strings for months now, patiently waiting for the right time to step out from the shadows and reveal his plan. Judging by the events of the past few days, he’s finally ready. The real question is,
I promised I’d give you all another Dark fic when we reached our next milestone, and I always keep my promises.
Just a quick warning- this is not fluff. It’s not romance. It’s not a sympathetic portrayal. This man is a manipulator, a good one, and he does what he does to further his own interests. He enjoys control, not company. And, to use Mark’s own words:
He is not here to help you. He is here to use you.