if there's one thing good about the filler in this series it's this

Dom & Letty 3.0 - FOTF

“You will never be alone again.

I vow wherever you go, I go.

You ride, I ride.

You fight, I fight.

And if you ever die on me Dominic Torreto, I’m gonna die with you..”

Those were Letty’s vows to her husband the night they got married and this movie presents them in action. In part 6 we got to see Dom fight not only for her but for their love, having to captivate her all over again. Now here in part 8 the roles have been flipped and its Letty’s turn to either fall in line with others thoughts or fight for her husband. The difference in their battles is the fact that Dom was fighting for a resurface of memories and their undeniable draw/chemistry – while for Letty it’s about faith. The question of would Dom do this, would he turn his back on his family…on her, and when all the evidence says yes, does she still have the power to say no. How much does she know her husband, how much does she trust him and their love. She comes through with flying colors.

Like I said even though this is a flip, there are big differences, one of those being knowledge of enemy. Dom knew who his enemy was, he knew what had went wrong with her and who was using that for his own purposes. But Letty doesn’t have this same knowledge. She doesn’t know who the big bad is or why Dom is doing things that are totally against everything he is. That’s where the faith comes into play, because she has to everything off the back of it. Despite others telling her that this may be who he has become she has to go off of what she believes of him and their love and remind them of all the great things her husband has done for them while they’re so quick to give up on or judge him. She reminds us of her position and exactly where her loyalties reside when she responds to Hobbs by telling him that he’ll have to deal with the both of them when he warns her that he may have to put Dom down. She’s not just willing to fight for him, but beside him – and that’s not in the hope that he’s still good, but in the certainty that something else is going on because her Dom would never turn his back, the fight for the family is all he’s ever known. You know its certainty because she places her life in his hands. In the briefcase scene there was this great subtext moment because here’s the reality, that moment after he shot the gun in the air and she turned around and told him that he wouldn’t shoot her because he loved her…this moment really was about choosing – he had a choice, stop her and his baby survived another day. Let her go free and choose losing that. He let her go. It doesn’t matter that she got caught unaware around the corner by someone else…because he let her go. The next scene – the standoff – is also important because here he is again choosing to protect his wife with the knowledge of what it will cost him if he shoots this man. Not only that, but it comes back to that faith again. Because this moment is really her time to prove if she believes her husband is doing this for a reason or because he’s turned bad. She has to either side with him (let the case go) or keep it and get the other guy a bullet to the head – putting Dom in further hot water (it doesn’t matter that she doesn’t know exactly what that hot water is, only that she’s aware of its existence if she believes her husband to be innocent).

In one of my old Dotty articles I claimed that Dom had elevated in his Alpha status, that he had become the kind to analysis his enemy then to plot and plan.  That his control was of self and his lead was of understanding his mates and those around him. This chapter really proved those claims. He planned and adjusted to everything that happened (which I’ll go over in more detail in the review). The only thing he really couldn’t plan or adjust for was his wife. As they say – a driver’s weakness really is his best partner knowing all his tricks. She was the only one able to keep up with him cause she knew his tricks, when she got the briefcase he couldn’t adjust and ended up choosing her not once but twice which led to the punishment of Elena dying (not that I shed a tear – I knew she was gonna die the moment I saw that baby). The enemy’s biggest mistake was thinking it was an either or game with Dom – not realizing that he plays the long game his plan would be getting his child and going back to his wife…instead what she did was taunt the him with one (Letty) and bait his with the other (baby Brian). Big mistake leaving Letty out of her equation because she left something out there to fight for him and for him to fight for. She thought the baby would over compass that, she thought the baby would shadow his wife – she was wrong. It not about choosing the baby over Letty/family – it’s about connecting the two.  

I see people saying things like the baby ruined the relationship, it ruined Dom/Letty. No the baby may have ruined the fantasy as you saw it…but he didn’t ruin that relationship. Every one of their chapters has shown that nothing comes between that love because that love is the factor. Letty is not bothered, or upset by this child…and why would she be? It wasn’t something that intentionally happened and when she told Elena that she understood her relationship with Dom, she actually meant it. The baby wasn’t/isn’t a threat to her marriage. It doesn’t mean Dom was in love with Elena, cause he wasn’t. It doesn’t mean that Letty can’t have her own kids with him, cause she can. It doesn’t mean she’s gonna mistreat baby Brian, cause even though he may not have come from her womb – he is still a part of her husband and like him family means everything to her. It doesn’t mean that their kids will take second place just because it came second – understand that there will be no distinction between these kids. Understand that just because this baby didn’t come out of her womb doesn’t mean he’s not her son too. That’s what the Fast & Furious has always been about –a family created not by blood but by bond. Dom and Letty are now parents – maybe not in the way we originally thought/wanted, but in a way that’s not wrong regardless.

One of my favorite things about this series and about this relationship is everyone understands that when it comes to Dom and Letty – the shit that’s between them is undeniable and there’s no walking away from it. When they reunite and he lets her know he hadn’t walked away, she says she knows. Dom and Letty see themselves as soulmates, as bonded, as ride or die. Whatever you wanna call it, it all means the same thing -Love- They’ll follow, they’ll ride, they’ll fight, and they’ll die for it. Isn’t that the ideal, isn’t that why we clamor for it, why we cling to and love it?  

We’ve gushed at their cuteness/power, we cried when she died, we cheered with a blood of vengeance when Dom sought revenge, we fought for the Letty comeback, and we all gasped and gave a standing O when we all saw Letty’s pic after the credits, we died and came back to life when Dom fought for her, their love and their future. We threw our hat into this ring a long time ago and I don’t know about you guys, but mine still resides there and always will as long as the franchise holds close those ideals that are so dear to me - Loyalty, Love, Family, Romance and the sacrifice/fight in the name of those things. As long as it centers and protects the Dotty goodness. Familia remember that we fought for this shit right here. Our OTP’s love is written all over this piece and that is in part thanks to us fans. Romance is thrown to the side in action flicks, used to create some angst by killing off one of the lovers or back-filler that gets no real shine.  But with F&F we get it all, the action, the romance, the family. Sixteen years and the pairing is only getting stronger. I loved this movie because it really defined the love this time around. I don’t just mean romantic love either. It really put the quote ‘you don’t turn you back on family…’ to work, because even though some of them had been misjudging Dom the moment his life was in danger – what did they do? Every time I think they can’t emote further, that they can’t make me feel more about the emotion that resides in these films and yet every time I’m wrong. With the Dom and Letty relationship when I say it defined the love…I mean it really cemented what love means to them – as a pairing not just from Dom to Letty. If I had to pick one word to describe their type of love it would be faith. We’ve seen the trait throughout their relationship over the years and in a big way in part 7 when he let her go on the faith that she would figure it out and come back to him (cause you can’t tell someone they love you). Like I said earlier, it’s her total being in this film - because their faith in one another is so strong, so is the certainty of their love. The reason they can trust one another so immensely, the reason they’re so loyal to one another, the reason they’re so willing to sacrifice, the reason they make each other so damn happy is because of that certainty. They give and know its to be returned with the same passion. They love each other and they always will. It’s the reason they work, the reason they always find themselves together. It’s the reason they’re so indestructible. It’s the reason we’re so damn blessed.

Notes: Videos not mine first one is Queen of hearts and the second is of course one of my all time favs - you know I always gotta in with a ConquerGravity video because the vids are just so damn on point to what I’m getting at. Every time I see a ConGrav vidseo it always makes me see a bigger picture of what I think and feel about this pairing and they’re relationship. None of the videos are new cause the new film just came out but oldies can make you feel new things. I didn’t put everything in this post because I am coming out with a review of the movie and theres a lot of points that connect to that so I stripped this down and left it as bare as possible. I went and saw the advance showing…but I’m going again tonight to see it so I’ll write the review after and hopefully have it up by later Sunday night. Sorry this is so long with no images…

Other Dotty / Vincelle Works:

Dotty Ship Awareness Part 1 / Dotty Ship 2Dotty NonCasual /Future Wishes for F&F / Vincelle Actor Relate Awareness

Other Fast and Furious Post(s):

Brian & Dom

Escape from Reality is honestly one of the most important episodes so far

So some people are believing ‘Escape from Reality’ is filler and Dipper should have taken the apprenticeship? Well I feel like some things are going amiss with that idea and yes the two are pretty tightly linked. ‘Escape from Reality’ is vastly important to the narrative for Dipper and Mabel and meta wise for the entire audience and refusing this is putting yourself in the same bubble Mabel was.

I’m going to address the narrative thing first though and it goes back right to the start of the series. What is one of the most obvious things about the kid beyond his obvious need to relax? He is bored and obviously frustrated by it. Then in comes the journal and suddenly there’s excitement every week and it’s his dream come true for good and bad. Mabel too gets her dream of multiple summer romances even if there’s bad mixed in there, it’s all an experience of joy, fear and maturing from the consequences of it all. Then comes ‘Dipper and Mabel vs the Future’ and that’s where an imbalance is struck. Mabel’s experience is obviously about coming face to face with reality and how frightening that is, but what about Dipper? His certainly isn’t that as he finds aliens exist with his idol, tries cool new inventions and is given an offer that must seem a dream to a kid. He isn’t facing reality here like Mabel, the consequences are completely ignored. Dipper proved himself but he was in enormous danger and if Ford wants to have him as an apprentice how will he explain his situation; the Stan switch, what he’s researching and where’s his money going to come from without the Shack open and his university connections gone for thirty years. Dipper’s entered the opposite of Mabel here instead of facing reality he’s being drawn further into his fantasy but this show has always broke fantasies down and that’s exactly what happens. Weirdmaggedon. The penultimate end to the fantasy he’s entered, the supernaturals everywhere and times stopped for him just like it has Mabel in the bubble but it’s the reality of the dream he was keeping himself in (that the apprenticeship represents.) The supernatural and Ford’s research is dangerous and being a hero is not only not easy but its terrifying and impossible alone. That’s the worst part for him, theres no Mabel to help cheer him up or look out for monsters while they’re hiding. She can’t use her ingenuity to help his academia and create a plan with him. Dipper has to realise he is still a kid and as a kid he still needs his sister. They’ll part one day but that day was not when they were thirteen and to go into a life where Weirdmaggedon or something like it always lurks around the corner.

So then if that’s in ‘Weirdmaggedon Part One’ why is ‘Escape from Reality’ so important? Because he has to put it to a test, has to truly see what kind of fantasy he’d put himself in by looking at Mabel’s. Because what he’d done was what Mabel had and that was wrap himself in a bubble and even blocked off the reaction their twin would have to it all. ‘Weirdmaggedon part 1 and 2′ is simply the inverse of ‘Dipper and Mabel vs the Future’. Where Dipper got drawn into his fantasy and Mabel reality they got switched and Dipper had to face reality while Mabel got drawn into her fantasy. This is the temptation both of them have faced through the show, the draw of their dreams being within reach but having to mature and accept they can’t always have that. Mabel could have had her boy band but had to realise she was hurting people who wanted to be free, Dipper could have had a chance to get to know Wendy by himself but he had to realise he would be hurting someone who wanted to be free and see their family again. This is only one time each, throughout the show they’ve faced this and ‘Escape from Reality’ is the culmination of it all and where they have to face the final temptation of it all. Dipper could give up and be older with Wendy in a place where the supernatural runs wild and Mabel could be with her brother, friends and boyfriends in a neverending summer. They have to realise this fantasy isn’t right, it hurts people and they have to go on into the future. That reality may hurt but it may also be better than any fantasy they could have if they move on and work towards it. They have to realise this together and complete the flux of opposite arcs they’ve had for the past three episodes by coming to a different conclusion than the one that started it all. Instead of both rejecting reality like at the end of ‘Dipper and Mabel vs the Future’ they both come to accept it at the end of ‘Escape to Reality’. The end of their character arcs and ready to save the damn world with full closure.

This is all ignoring the meta context of it all as well. Think it’s a coincidence we found out the show was ending completely just before ‘Escape from Reality’ aired? Or that all the references to the entire series throughout the episode was just fun call backs? No the entire audience was being put into Mabel’s shoes. We got devastating news and even went into a bit of denial, then we get an episode that brings up nostalgia with every scene it has. The entire episode is trying to get you to remember the previous ones and feel longing for them while being sad with the knowledge that the series is ending. The episode is also for the audience to face the reality that we probably don’t want to. We could retreat into denial or get mad but have to come to the realisation that the show has been a fun ride and we can remember it fondly but the future is awaiting us all filled with new things both good and bad. Its so we can come to terms with all that and be ready to kick Bill’s ass just as much as Dipper and Mabel’s are. If you believe ‘Escape from Reality’ is just filler? You’re denying that entire process, it doesn’t just happen and we were given the time with the episode to realise that. That Dipper dropping out of school and isolating himself in an apprenticeship is a good thing? It speaks more to wanting him to stay in Gravity Falls in his fantasy, much like wanting to keep the show going would be.