All the seven deadly sins are man’s true nature. To be greedy. To be hateful. To have lust. Of course, you have to control them, but if you’re made to feel guilty for being human, then you’re going to be trapped in a never-ending sin-and-repent cycle that you can’t escape from.
Why It’s Fitting for Jason Statham to Join the ‘Fast’ Family in ‘Fate of the Furious’ (Commentary)
Spoiler warning: Major details plot from “The Fate of the Furious” below.
We’ve reached a fascinating point in our collective consumption of the “Fast and Furious” franchise with “The Fate of the Furious.” The perception of these movies has gone from open disdain for the first quartet of flicks to a sort of ironic joy with “Fast Five” and “Fast & Furious 6” to “people are actually kinda taking this seriously now” in the wake of “Furious 7.”
Which has led to some pretty severe backlash over “Fate” thanks to the creative decision to allow Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) to become a member of the #family at the core of the series. Deckard is just one movie removed from having murdered #family member Han (Sung Kang), after all, so it does make sense that folks would have some trouble with this.
But, while not as smooth a transition as it should have been, Deckard’s turn to the light is definitely given enough justification in “Fate,” both in terms of the actual plot and in theme.
Shaw’s redemption is set up within the plot by a convenient retcon of “Fast & Furious 6” — that “Fate” villain Cipher (Charlize Theron) was the real power behind Owen Shaw’s (Luke Evans) attempt to steal the nightshade device in that movie. Shaw of course ended up in a coma after Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his #family stop him, and Deckard (Owen’s older brother) spent all of “Furious 7” trying to hunt down and kill them in return. But Cipher’s reveal as the prime mover of Owen’s mistakes means Deckard’s anger at the Fast Family was misdirected. So Deckard, now given the opportunity exact revenge against the person who was truly responsible for putting Owen in a coma, comes through for the family in a legitimately huge and legitimately heroic way, by saving Dom’s secret baby son who was being held hostage by Cipher.
But ‘Fate’ also justifies Deckard’s redemption thematically.
In the film’s prologue, long before Deckard appears or is even referenced in the film. In that sequence, Dom beefs with a loan shark who wants to repossess his cousin’s old junker car. In retaliation, Dom challenges the jerk to a race for slips, and naturally wins. “You have my respect,” the jerk tells Dom after the race. “Your respect is enough,” Dom says in return, then lets the guy keep his car.
Cipher later berates him for it, and Dom’s comeback says everything you need to know about why he would even give Deckard a chance to redeem himself, much less let him stick around afterward: “This way, I changed him.”
That idea is more or less what the entire “Fast and Furious” franchise is about. People beef with Dom and Brian ways both big and small and then end up having Coronas together later. Also, there is precedent for someone being responsible for the death of a family member and then later becoming a family member themselves. That scenario already played out once, in fact.
So let’s talk about Gisele.
As you may recall, Gisele (Gal Gadot) featured in three “Fast and Furious” movies, entering in the fourth and exiting in the sixth when she died during the climactic runway chase. Gisele is, I’d say, the character who most clearly represents the ideals that the “Fast and Furious” #family is all about.
How exactly Gisele came to be a part of the family and what she was up to before is a memory that I suspect is hazy for most people — even a lot of self-proclaimed die-hard fans of the franchise. The fourth movie is not particularly well liked, and it wasn’t until “Fast Five” that most people found their emotional entry to the series. Not that “Fast and Furious” was some obscure franchise before that. There just weren’t that many obsessed fans back then, and nowadays folks tend to look down on no. 4 and “2 Fast 2 Furious” in particular.
But that fourth movie, confusingly titled “Fast & Furious,” is crucially important to remember when you’re watching “The Fate of the Furious,” because Gisele’s origin story and her later acceptance as part of the family is strikingly similar to something that folks are up in arms about with that latest entry in the series.
When we first met Gisele she was a high-ranking lieutenant in the Braga drug cartel — outranked, as far as we could tell, only by Braga himself (John Ortiz) and with Fenix (Laz Alonso) as her equal. Whereas Fenix acted as the dumb enforcer (and was the one who physically pulled the trigger on Letty), Gisele was the logistics person.
We met Gisele because Dom and Brian (Paul Walker) were trying to infiltrate the Braga cartel by posing as drivers-for-hire who would race drugs across the Mexico-U.S. border. Both had a very personal stake in that infiltration — the cartel had (apparently) murdered Dom’s girlfriend Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) after she infiltrated in the same way while working as a mole for the FBI… and Brian, to secure legal amnesty for Dom. And she wasn’t the only victim either: As Brian and Dom discover, after each drug run, Fenix would execute all the hired drivers, and Letty was a casualty of that brutal tactic.
At best, Gisele was an accomplice to Letty’s murder (and dozens of other murders, judging by the size of Braga’s multi-national operation). More likely, though, that whole “kill the drivers after each run to save on their paychecks” thing was her idea. Let’s not forget how she responded when Dom called her after he and Brian escaped in the aftermath of their Mexico run: “It’s just business.”
Let’s also not forget that, as a top lieutenant in a sprawling drug cartel, she was almost definitely involved in numerous other criminal activities that caused people being killed. Gisele may have been friendly at times, but she was a certified Bad Person.
And yet, when Brian and the FBI pulled a sting on Braga, and Fenix almost ran Gisele down as they escaped, Dom saved her life. In repayment, Gisele told him where to find Braga in Mexico. The next time we see her, she’s joining the crew in Brazil as they gear up to pull a $100 million heist on another drug lord. Everybody still thinks Letty’s dead, Brian and Dom and Mia all know she was responsible, but nobody’s getting on her about it.
Given her very clear involvement in Letty’s murder, it would have made sense for Dom to want to kill her just as badly as he wanted to kill Braga and Fenix. But these movies aren’t about revenge. These movies are about redemption.
The “Fast and Furious” franchise is littered with characters who started out beefing with Dom or Brian before later helping them out. Those racers humiliated by Brian at the beginning of “2 Fast 2 Furious” showed up later to help him in the big shuffle at the end. A guy who lost his car to Dom in a race in Brazil pulled a gun on Hobbs for Dom ten minutes later. Hobbs himself was dead set on taking down Dom and Brian for the first 90 minutes of “Fast Five.” Elena, who by the way is revealed as the mother of Dom’s baby in “Fate,” was part of Hobbs’ team trying to take Dom and Brian down. And, of course, that terrible Cuban jerk we mentioned earlier? He showed up later on to help Dom out during “Fate’s” insane New York City carpocalypse scene.
In fact, the only reason Dom and Brian even met and went on to become #family co-patriarchs in this ridiculous eight-movie chain of events was because Brian was an undercover cop investigating Dom and the family — an extremely thorough betrayal of trust.
Oh, and Letty and Dom’s old friend Han — the guy folks believe is being disrespected when Shaw is allowed his redemption — started dating Gisele even while everybody thought Letty was dead.
This is the true nature of the family. It’s about forgiveness and redemption. It’s about accepting each other’s immense flaws and looking past them. Pardon the cliche, but it’s not as though killing Deckard Shaw would bring Han back. But maybe, just maybe, if you give the guy a real chance to redeem himself and become a positive force — and then adopt him as your 49-year-old son — then maybe Han’s death would actually serve some purpose.
Back before all this madness began, when Dom was young, his father died in a stock car race when another driver named Kenny Linder tapped his bumper and he spun out. Dom took his revenge then, nearly beating the guy to death with a wrench. Linder came out the other side of that coma Dom put him in severely disabled, having to take the bus to his janitor job because he’s no longer capable of driving a car.
So Dom took a different path with Gisele in “Fast & Furious” and, now, Deckard in “The Fate of the Furious.” Nobody forgot about Han. It’s just that Dom knows as well as anyone that what you’ve done in the past doesn’t have to define who you are in the future. You can be better. And being part of the family can make you better than better, because together they become so much more.
in-universe prompt: ninja b/rian has been having a rough time (you can decide why) so he tries to meditate to get his mind off the bad stuff but it keeps coming back to him, ending up with him getting semi flashbacks to being berated at the ninja clan for not being able to hold his emotions in check. As he's starting to dissociate in a panic, danny just happens to walk in on him and manages to calm him down and convince him that he's awesome just the way he is <3 - love, @sin-grumps
I bet if the Grumps had a New Years party Arin would try to kiss everyone at midnight at once
Can you imagine a determined Arin as soon as it hits midnight he runs full speed around the room, kisses a laughing Suzy and then high-tails it to Dan. He almost plows Dan over as he grabs his face and kisses him and Dan is laughing in the middle of the kiss because Dan is tipsy and feel good.
Arin rushes at Barry and Barry squeezes at Arin as Arin kisses him on the corner of the mouth and lets him go back to his conversation. Ross is next and Ross is a little shit so he tries to duck out of Arin’s line of sight and Arin is screeching because he wants to kiss them all before 12:01 and “Ross how dare you mess this up for me!”
Brian probably blocks Ross’s escape and Ross gives Arin a wet kiss. Brian is efficient so he leans over Ross’s head and kisses Arin fast so he can make up for lost time.
Vernon is the last one and he’s all red faced as Arin rushes at him and he scoops Vernon up in a little twirl and dips and kisses him for maximum embarrassment as Vernon makes loud embarrassed noises and slaps at Arin’s broad back.
“K-Keep going, Brian!” Dan cried as he and his ninja friend scurried over the desolate fields of dead grass and weeds. The two had been running for what seemed forever, but they didn’t care. They had to keep going, they had to.
Dan practically clawed his way over the small hills as Ninja Brian kept a fast pace behind him. The ninja looked frightfully behind him, then transitioned into a sprint as he noticed the gems coming steadily from behind.
Dan’s eyes widened as his breathing quickened “Oh fuck…Brian come on!” Brian nodded as the two kept going, overhearing the gem’s commands to halt and stop.
Dan looked back then tripped onto the ground, letting out a wince as Brian skidded to a stop.
From behind, the gems on their trail were coming closer and closer; looking just as intimidating as they were before. Before they ran away. Away from Homeworld.
Ninja Brian grabbed his friend, pulling him off the ground and lifted him over his shoulder. Dan gripped Brian’s shirt as his eyes darted back and forth.
The ninja prepared to run, before feeling a presence behind him. Summoning his dagger, Brian prepared to strike whomever it was; his eyes glowing red with anger.
“Silly gem….you’re weak….you’re a coward…..” a voice echoed.
Brian blinked as the world changed around him, and the weight of Dan on his shoulder was gone. In fact, the singer was now nowhere to be seen.
Brian gripped the hilt of his dagger tightly, blinking rapidly as he scanned his surroundings. A deadly silence filled the air, as Brian saw that he was standing in one of the large gem ships from back home. Dark. Cold. Unfeeling. Brian’s arms twinged with goosebumps.
Suddenly the sounds of Dan’s screams reached Brian’s ears, as he sprinted towards the noise. The hallways seemed to grow darker and colder as he dashed; he could see the cloud of fog from his breath hang in the air.
“BRIAN!! PLEASE!” Dan shrieked, as Ninja Brian finally found him. In a dark room Dan was shackled to the wall, crying as he struggled to escape. Brian crouched near him, examining the cuffs and using the point of his knife to crack them open.
Dan was in tears as he tried to pull himself free “Brian, we gotta…we gotta go…” Brian looked up at him and nodded as he tried harder to release Dan from his bonds.
“Brian….Dan….” A voice rang from the shadows.
Brian and Dan stopped, seeing dark figures looming as they walked forward. “Traitors….traitors to your own kind. Sickening.”
Brian held up the knife, pointing it directly at the figures coming. Suddenly two hands came from behind as he was tackled to the ground.
“You must know what we do to traitors, don’t you?” The voice hissed, beckoning their collages to bring the two ninjas over.
Dan and Brian were dragged on their knees to the foot of the figures, looking up at them with fearful eyes. In an instant, a sharp blade appeared, glistened in silver. It pointed right at Brian’s gem.
The figures cackled lowly to themselves, as Dan glanced at Brian with newformed tears in his eyes “B-Brian…I-I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean this, I didn’t. Please…forgive me…”
The figures came closer, as Brian and Dan blinked at the sudden glowing from their gems. Or….shards of gems.
They entered into the light, revealing that they were broken and cracked, with splintered gems poking from their bodies.
The voices said in unison, menacingly laughing as more gems shot out of their skins.
Brian then felt a huge wave of pain hit him, as shards of gems came piercing from his arms and chest. Dan screamed as gems came out from his arms as well; blood seeping slowly from underneath the gems.
The lead figure pulled the sword back, ready to spear it into Brian’s gem, as the two ninjas groaned and cried from the shards pain. The leader smiled, teeth glowing white with stains of red. His gem suddenly flickered green.
Standing before them, Jack the Green Diamond appeared, and shoved the sword straight into Brian’s bloodstone.
“BRIAN?!” Dan cried, shaking the ninja in his bed, as Brian suddenly sat up. The ninja looked at him nervously, as beads of sweat came down the side of his face. Dan put a hand to Brian’s shoulder “Brian, i-it’s alright buddy…it was just a dream…you’re okay now….”
Brian stared at him for a moment, and out of nowhere wrapped Danny in a tight embrace. Dan blinked in confusion at first, before returning the hug. Dan couldn’t be sure, but it sounded like Brian was….crying….