If you’ve called Whizzer your ‘dead gay son’ or ‘aids boy’ you owe Bill Finn $1000
If you ignore the lesbians you owe him $1000
If you erase the characters’ canonical religion you owe Bill Finn $10000
If you erase the canon sexualities of his characters you owe me and Bill Finn $100000
If you ship the actors you owe them $1000000000
If you do any of this you owe the writer and actors an apology
I’ve spent a while thinking about this moment right here. So down the rabbit hole, we go.
This GIF is right when Marvin says ‘I’m staying here in the spot, whether you want me to or not.”
And to me, the look on Whizzer’s face says it all how he is feeling. We see him sad and upset, for obvious reasons, but there is a hint of a smile on his face. And the way his eyebrows are lead me to believe he’s feeling disbelief.
I see this as Whizzer feeling a little bit shocked that Marvin wants to stay with him in the hospital while he’s sick like this. Whizzer has always been the “pretty boy” and you can imagine him not feeling that way about himself while in the hospital and his body is deteriorating because of the AIDS. But Marvin doesn’t care. Like he said, he loves Whizzer. Marvin knows what love truly is now. He knows this love has become closer to unconditional, and farther from the appearance factor.
And Whizzer doesn’t understand it really. Whizzer has never been one for love. He says over and over again how he refuses to love Marvin, that all that matters to him is “sex and money” but his ideals and appeals have changed. And he still finds it just a little sappy and hard to believe someone loves him too. I read into his backstory and the way most people I know do. He lived off of getting with men and getting them to pay for stuff for him. And this, the healthy relationship we see between Marvin and Whizzer in act 2, is something Whizzer never thought he’d be in.
Okay, but like the first (and even like the second, third, you can go on) listen to “Marvin Hits Trina,” you’re so up in arms with a deep satisfaction that Whizzer and Trina are finally calling Marvin on his bullshit (We had fights and games / Marvin called us funny names / Marvin always played the clown) and then shock and anger at Marvin for freaking out and hitting Trina. And I’m not trying to justify Marvin’s freak out - it was completely inappropriate. But like, the “I am so dumb” declaration is one of the most important lines of the entire show - especially for Marvin’s development as a character.
He isn’t /just/ freaking out because of the dissipation of a future that he naively envisioned (a tight-knit family, an ex-wife and lover and son that blindly adored him, making a male housewife out of Whizzer)…
He’s freaking out also because of what Whizzer said and what that means for his previous actions and sacrifices.
Whizzer says, “Do I love him? No.”
And that devastates Marvin. Because if that were true, then that meant Marvin would have to accept that all he did - leave his wife, alienate his kid, tear apart his family - was for nothing.
It’s clear that Marvin loved Whizzer because he gave up everything for him. And it was in that moment that Marvin realized:
It was all for /nothing/. Whizzer didn’t love him. Like, his entire life is falling apart - and also, he now believes that he ruined his life and isolated himself from his family all for a guy that he loved but didn’t love him back (allegedly, of course).
Marvin says, “I am so dumb.” It’s so significant because throughout the musical, Marvin constantly bragged about being so smart and successful. Even in most of “Marvin Hits Trina,” Marvin is still bragging about himself (accusing Trina of “ruining his seed,” of trying to “make him look bad,” and essentially telling her that he did treat her well with the lyric “how could you ever deny what we had?”). But it takes Whizzer - someone who Marvin dehumanizes and calls stupid and who he obviously thinks is below him - to first knock him down by beating him at chese and then to destroy him further with one word: “[Do I love him?] No.”
Marvin finally feels dumb because now he thinks that Whizzer never loved him, that he threw his life away for a man who truly did not give two shits about him.
That part is so heartbreaking because it’s the peak of Marvin’s character development - Whizzer finally makes him stop blinding himself with all these self-praises and blaming other people for his mistakes in order to soothe his ego by tearing him down with a truth that Marvin had refused to ever accept.
Because if Whizzer didn’t love him, then that meant that Marvin would have to admit that he’s not so smart and desired and deserving of love. He’s “so dumb.” And that’s what makes him freak out. He let himself love and give up everything for someone who never cared, and it’s such a devastating blow to his self-esteem. He’s been “tricked” by some stupid tramp of man - someone that he thought he could always dominate and force his will upon.
I don’t know. It’s the best part of the first act - especially for Marvin as a character. I feel like that was the moment he stopped bullshitting himself and learned to face a very clear fact that everyone knew since the beginning:
just letting you know that having a video of you singing ‘whizzer going down’ would add 10 years to everyone’s life. so basically the fate of humanity is in your hands sir. please. think of the CHILDREN.