You always have neat things to say, so I have a question for you. In the upcoming crossover trailer, Mick mentions to Kara that he burned his family alive. This sort of surprised me, because I don’t think that is necessarily information Mick would casually share–especially to someone he just met. I don’t even think the original Legends team knew (besides Len and maybe Rip) before the Pilgrim, so why the sudden sharing of backstory?
My personal opinion is that Mick’s trying to put her off. Kara comes across as someone who blatantly likes to help and bond with anyone she comes across, and because Mick is not sure he deserves that help he tries to push her away with the ugliest bits about him. He needs to be undesirable, unforgiven. He’s still grieving; he doesn’t want anyone having touchy-feely moments with him or getting too close, so he adds familicide to his “animal/IQ of meat” front so people will leave him the fuck alone.
What do you think?
I mostly agree with you, though I don’t think it’s coming purely from a place of self-loathing because he needs to remain unforgiven (in his own mind). I think it’s more that he keeps others away, at arm’s length, for fear that they will confirm all of his most negative thoughts and feelings about himself if he lets them in. By keeping the angry front, the ‘deliberately being an ass’ behavior I’ve talked about, at the forefront, it means that if people don’t like him or don’t respect him and his intellect, it’s because of that, and not because of the parts of himself he actually feels vulnerable about. For instance, it’s one thing to have your intellect insulted when you’re playing dumb, and totally another to have it insulted when you’re trying your hardest to be smart, or thought you had done something clever.
So him telling Kara about his past seems to me to come from that place: having to keep her away because like you said, she’s warm and sweet and wants to see the best in people and reach out to them, and that would make Mick feel quite vulnerable (especially because he might unconsciously think: what if she sees the best in everyone else but still hates me? what would that say about me?). Finding bigger tools with which to push her away (e.g., mentioning the familicide) makes sense in that lens then. “She’ll hate me for that” and he’s safe again, from letting people in, and the vulnerability that comes along with it.
Beyond that, a slightly less in-depth reading is just that, like you said, no one knew before (except Len), but now everyone he works with does, thanks to The Pilgrim. The secret’s out. And he might want to be the person to tell his own secrets before anyone else can tell it behind his back. Putting it front and center because he knows he can’t hide from it anymore, so it adds it to his arsenal and armor instead.
And finally, I think we also need to consider the impact that seeing his younger self had on him. Technically, a stay at that house with Rip’s foster mom has been added to his past now, right? Even if he was returned to the same moment in time from which he left so his absence wasn’t noticed, he should still have gained that memory at some point (same with teen!Sara actually). Hearing from his older self might have impacted how he ultimately coped with it.
Alternately, if that’s not the case (because Legends and continuity are not friends so maybe we shouldn’t assume he’d remember his stay at that place), he still talked to his younger self. Mick’s had that event as a memory, something he did. Now he got to see it as something this young teenager did. Still him, but the contrast between him now and him at that age is stark. He can see that he was just a scared boy who didn’t mean to do it, who has all these walls up. He’s been confronted with that reality, and now that he has, it might mean that he’s being more open about what happened. It was a mistake, and though I’m sure he’ll always blame himself for it, he can recognize that it was an accident, in a way he might not have let himself before seeing that young scared kid.
I know he’s not gonna see this, but I’m writing out a sappy note anyway because he just means that much to me. So obviously this YouNow is a little dated since he’s got brown hair and all, but the words still stand. He broadcasted this at a time where I really needed some encouragement and just positivity in general, and it was basically my moment where I was like “Wow okay, he actually cares.” I’m not really sure why these words in particular had such a big impact on me? But since then, I’ve been so much happier and comfortable with myself, all because of this goofball. I’m just really grateful for Sam because he’s such a positive person who just wants to spread good vibes and laughs, and he’s a literal ray of sunshine, so with that being said, happy birthday to my favorite person!