drake x mindy

my all time favourite shipping trope is “i hate you so much but shit you’re also very attractive so i guess we can make out some but tell no one” and that sort of works until they fall in love and suddenly it’s “oh shit now we have to tell people because if someone hits on you again i might just break something”

  • Gene/Alex Scenes That Made Me Go Whoa… [1/?]

Okay, I had been enjoying up until this point but this was the moment that my inner shipper really sat up and started taking notice of this pairing. Jesus H. Christ, the way they look at each other. Especially Gene. Talk about eye-sex. This is pure steam on-screen. That look of utterly rapt desire in his purdy blue eyes, all because he has wanted this woman from day fucking one.

Problem is her words are still ringing in his ears, telling him he is a moron if he thinks he can ever, ever have her. His jaw is no doubt still throbbing from where she clobbered him, adding injury to insult. This fascinating, glamorous, frustrating creature just humiliated the crap out of him in front of his men. She lied to him, she tricked him. She wounded the Manc Lion and there is no way he is coming out of his den until he’s licked his wounds, doesn’t matter how great the temptation is. Unwittingly, Alex has made her own bed and it don’t have a Gene Genie in it. She has set in motion a chain-reaction of rejection, the second act of which is his rejection of her here.

Gene is basically on a sure thing here – all he has to do is say what he wants and she’s pretty much promised he can have it. When he rejects her instead, she responds by bedding someone else then flaunting her sexually-satisfied hangover through his squadroom. He retaliates with a lecture on office propriety. She yells at him. He yells louder. She storms out and spends the afternoon insulting his manhood, swanning around in a catsuit and treating Ray like a stripper pole. It is at this point that Gene probably realises he is fantastically out-gunned.

Like the good coppers they are, they call a truce in order to solve their case – a crime that reflects their own feelings of rejected love and lust. Then they adjourn to Luigi’s where they tacitly agree that Alex will sleep with no other men unless they are Gene. Everybody is pleased with this resolution. Including me.

  • Gene/Alex Scenes That Made Me Go Whoa… [2/?]

Aaaaaaaaaaaand a shipper was born. This was the scene that did it for me. I think I watched it about six times over. At least. And the next morning, I bought “Vienna” and basically listened to it on repeat. It remains my fave Ashes song. The song plays a big role in making this scene so special – from the impact of the bullet, to Gene stepping slow-mo through the falling glass in his cowboy boots with a look of dogged determination. From the line “A man in the dark in a picture frame, so mystic and soulful…” as the clown of death hovers over Alex, to the synthetic strings and vocals soaring as Gene bursts through the door, to the schwep (I don’t know how to describe that) sound when her eyes open on him about to give her the kiss of life. I don’t know how they accomplished it or if it was just a fortunate accident but the flutter of her eyelashes is perfectly in sync with the beat of the music as she takes him in, tries to figure out what’s happening. That beat, the underlying pulse that echos throughout the song deftly illustrates both the restarting of Alex’s heart and the pounding of Gene’s as he tries to revive her, as she comes to, as she touches him, looks up at him, panic turning into something else entirely.

As @it-is-bugs pointed out recently, this is the same song that plays when Alex enters this reality and now it plays as she almost leaves it. The main refrain “This means nothing to me…” initially reflected Alex’s lostness in 1981. But here, it reflects Gene’s stoic denial of concern and care. He’ll admit to lust as he rips opens her shirt but he won’t admit he cares about this woman or how much. He won’t admit, not even to himself, how her loss might affect him. Nor will he admit, after her little Sleeping Beauty moment breaks, to being affected by her proximity, her touch, her gaze, her breath, the nutty ramblings he’s gotten so used to. So he cracks wise, true to Gene Hunt form. Though I will note, that when he does, he doesn’t pull back. He sort of settles over her like the protective angel that he is, one arm draped over her body and one around her face, hand cupping her curly hair and concussed head.

This scene, while it delivers a typical romantic rescue trope, delivers it with a twist. The rescue, which is traditionally about male heroism, male strength and protection and, let’s face it, the male gaze, gets overturned when Alex’s eyes open. Gene is suddenly seen, enacting his heroism, enacting his desire. He is seen in a moment he wasn’t expecting to be, in a moment she was supposed to be vulnerable and he was supposed to be strong. But she’s seen him vulnerable, caught him caring. His heart is showing and for several moments he seems incapable of tucking it away again. For several moments, he looks like a deer caught in the headlights. More overwhelming in him than the need to conceal, which does eventually kick in, is his relief at her survival. I am again going to use the word “rapt” here because nothing else quite describes the look of utter absorption that occurs on Gene’s face whenever his Bolly manages to side-step danger. The big heroic male with his wheels and his gun and his boots and his sexy, dramatic entrance is instantly reduced to a pile of goo under the direct, untroubled gaze of the woman he loves. 

And this is what I love about season 1 (one of the things). For me, it is a far more ironic text. It can be read two ways – as a viewer, you get to both enjoy this romantic trope and enjoy it being overturned, interrupted. You can bask in the romance of it all and at the same time laugh at it, laugh at these ridiculous constructions of “helpless woman” and “heroic man” that do not come close to encapsulating the complex characters of Alex Drake and Gene Hunt, both of whom are helpless and heroic. Both need to be saved by the other and both are stripped back to their vulnerable core in the wordless, breathless moment in which their eyes connect and breaths mingle in a near-kiss. Like the scene in the vault of a few episodes back, the sexual content of the scene is overt. Yet, beneath it is more covert, complex emotion. Emotion that does not get resolved, emotion that lingers at the end of the episode as they head out of CID headquarters. Gene is clearly wanting to resolve both the sexual and emotional issues that arose from the rescue (though again, he will only admit to the former). But he gets cock-blocked by a little kid and, of course, Evan.

Evan, whose presence is also with them in the vault, is indicative of Alex’s shifting allegiances throughout s1. Whenever she becomes dissatisfied with her cop family, Alex runs to Evan or her mother for assurance or advice. Whenever she becomes disillusioned by her family’s imperfection and lies, she returns to her CID tribe, the people who share her values, practices and instincts. She is still in the process of letting go of her family, of learning that, in this world, her family actually consists of three Northern bastards – one bullish, one misogynistic, one nervous (cautious) but all sweet in their own ways – and a sassy Essex chick with loads of potential. Alex is still learning that, in this life, the main man in her life, the one who will protect and support her, isn’t Evan, but Gene. She doesn’t figure it out in this episode, the reveal of Gene in her bed, in her dreams, coming one moment too late. She won’t totally understand this, accept it until the final episode when she sees him take the hand of her younger self. She won’t totally commit to occupying her place as Mummy Bear in her new, adopted family until the final scene of this fantastic opening series.