(All gifs are mine. They took forever and they’re Not Good, and I’ve developed such a massive appreciation for everyone who spends the time making these things.)
1. Root’s view of the universe (317)
scene perfectly encapsulates Root’s misanthropy. The idea that she presents
here is Camus’ Absurdism, which describes the conflict between the universe’s inherent
meaninglessness and our need to find a purpose. Camus argued that the only true
way to resolve this conflict is by embracing the Absurd – acknowledging the
chaos of the universe while defiantly searching for meaning anyway. This
episode, which is the springboard to Root’s redemption arc, concludes with Root
doing just that. The Machine gives Root’s life meaning, but She encourages Root
to make her own choices. Root also admits that she cares about Shaw, Finch and
even “the helper monkey.”
2. Shapes and symphonies (510)
Can you believe that Root discussed philosophy and metaphysics and made a joke about Shaw’s glorious
ass all during a lethal shootout? Legends only.
This entire speech was great, but I particularly like the lines in the
gif above. It’s such a contrast to Root’s previous thoughts about the universe
being “infinite and chaotic and cold.” Instead, she indicates that we forge our paths in the universe – which, as I discussed earlier, sounds very
similar to the idea of “embracing the Absurd.”
I also appreciate how meta this
line is. Root and Shaw, aren’t real, but they still mean everything to me, both individually and as a
couple. And even though they are no longer on our TV screens now that POI has
ended, we can still keep them alive in our imaginations through our fics, art, gifs
and so on.
3. Root’s newfound sense of belonging (510)
spent the majority of her life alone, shunning humanity. This moment in which
she admits to Shaw that she’s finally found a family and a sense of belonging
was hard-fought, which makes it all the more gratifying. She had to earn Team
Machine’s trust. She risked her life for them repeatedly and even endured brutal torture. But as she said, she
wouldn’t change any of it.
4. Root and the truth (301)
I loved Root from the moment that she pulled a gun on Finch in 123, but this is the scene where she became my favourite character of all time. This monologue is incredibly chilling and really conveys Root’s power. Her voice shakes from the thorazine that she’s being forced to take and from rage (at her confinement and at this psychiatrist, who easily fits her definition of bad code). It’s a tremendous performance by Amy Acker.
5. “Maybe someday” (411)
Prophets (405), Root says that a good end would be a privilege for her. Here,
she gets what she would probably feel is a “good end”. As Root knows that she is about to die saving
the world, all she wants is confirmation that there could be something between
her and Shaw someday. The way her face lights up at the mere possibility of them having a future
together absolutely breaks my heart.
yeah tolkien probably didn’t anticipate how bad he messed up by leaving the seduction of mairon so vague…….like if he’d just explained……..did melkor have good campaign ads? did he show mairon a 300 slide powerpoint presentation on why Evil is the Way of the Future? I’m sorry mr tolkein but bc you never specified im free to assume that mairon had a big embarrassing eternal crush on melkor and they held hands a lot and also probably the powerpoint happened at some point. you can’t stop me.
As a general rule, I dislike flashbacks, because many of them stall the plot instead of moving it forward and are just plain boring. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
Tips to help you create more interesting flashbacks…
1.Leave the reader intrigued. Flashbacks work in your favor when you use them to create suspense. Instead of flat out explaining something happening in the present, make the present more interesting by giving hints about things that are currently effecting the main story, while leaving some things to be revealed later.
2. Don’t just backtrack to backtrack. Anything worthy of a flashback should develop into something bigger and more interesting during the course of the main story. If you can remove the flashback from the story, and the story itself still makes sense and is just as suspenseful, your flashback shouldn’t be in the story to begin with.
3. Emotions are your best friend. If the flashback doesn’t create an emotional response in the reader, then you’re just using a lot of extra words to describe something that could have been better revealed through an intimate conversation between two emotionally vulnerable characters.
4. Keep it short. The reader should be intrigued by the flashbacks, but they should still be thirsty to return to the present time. Don’t linger for so long that they become detached from what’s going on in the actual story.
5. Think outside the box. Characters experiencing their past through dreams or memories is a typical way to introduce flashbacks, but there are many other, more versatile methods. Break up the flashback into single pages or a few lines at the begin of chapters or book parts? Tell the memory from a side character’s POV? Compare it with the memories of an ancient historical figure who experienced the same thing? Consider the effect a variety of unique methods might have on the reader’s interpretation of the flashback before committing to the more common ways.
Please keep in mind that this is my singular opinion on what makes me personally enjoy a flashback. My opinion is not the opinion of every reader or writer in the known universe; for that matter it might only be the minority opinion.
The most important rule is to flashback the way you enjoy flashbacking, if you feel the need to flashback in the first place. Don’t let my opinion persuade you otherwise.
really appreciate that the writers gave Shaw this outstanding sendoff. They could
have easily written Shaw out of the story to accommodate Sarah’s pregnancy by
having her leave for Barcelona with Tomas in 407, but it wouldn’t have been
true to her. Instead, Shaw chose to stay with the team and in particular, Root.
Shaw’s defining trait is her unwavering loyalty. So when the team found itself
in a dire situation, of course Shaw came to the rescue (and of course their
odds improved dramatically; Shaw is such a bamf). Shaw immediately understood
what needed to be done and didn’t even hesitate as she sacrificed herself for
her friends and for the world. Everything about this scene was hauntingly
beautiful – the blue tones, Root’s agony, the devastating music, the slow-mo,
and Shaw’s defiant smirk in the face of death. What a hero.
2. “You were my safe place.” (504)
I spent the entirety of this episode whispering variations of “I love you so much” and “Oh Shaw, my darling smol child.” Because we were deep in Shaw’s mind, we got to witness her at her most vulnerable. Her confession about Root being her safe place was so powerful, and, in addition to the fact that she killed herself 7053 times to keep Root safe, conveyed the profoundness of her feelings for Root.
3. “A good soldier does both.” (216)
This is essentially Shaw’s mission statement and summarizes her actions not just in Relevance (which is still the best character introduction I have ever seen), but throughout the show. Again, Shaw’s main quality is her loyalty. She is a soldier and will always do her job. However, she is also true to her friends. After completing her main mission (protecting the program), she avenged Cole. It’s striking to me that Shaw only killed Wilson, who had placed the hit on her and Cole and was therefore most directly responsible for the latter’s death. Shaw never takes lives needlessly.
There was an interesting parallel to this scene in 513 as well. Shaw temporarily put aside her hostility toward Blackwell to guard the Machine as She was dying, but found him later and killed him. Therefore, she both protected the program and exacted her revenge.
4. “The voices are there. You just have to listen.” (305)
This scene gave us insight into how Shaw feels things and emphasized that there is, in fact, nothing wrong with her. It was a lovely quote, and I was thinking about it heavily during the scene in 507 (QSO) when Shaw deciphered Root’s coded message hidden in the static. In that moment, Shaw quite literally listened to the faint static, and in turn, figuratively listened to her muted feelings. The fact that she quickly realized what 4AF meant indicated that she, like Root, had constantly been reminiscing about their last private conversation together before Shaw was captured.
One of the reasons why I think Root and Shaw’s relationship works so well is that Root recognizes that it has never been a question of “turning up the volume” on Shaw; rather, it’s simply about listening and encouraging Shaw to listen as well. It’s about Shaw tuning into the noise and hearing an underlying “symphony.”
5. “If you were a shape, you were a straight line. An arrow.” (513)
This was such a deeply moving message of unconditional love. POI celebrates Shaw for exactly who she is - an arrow. She is emotionally and operatively constant, unwavering in her purpose. She’s perfect, and I love her with everything I have.
How do you spot someones dominant function in real life?
(Gif: James Norrington, PotC. ESTJ.)
It’s not easy in introverts, but the extroverts on the other hand…
Te-dom: direct, forward, authoritative, blunt and objectively logical. Tends to correct other people’s facts / logical fallacies without even thinking about it. (TeNi: inclined to talk about future outcomes and patterns; TeSi: more laid back and interested in present concerns and ‘how the world works’)
Fe-dom: warm, personable, and emotionally demonstrative; very forthcoming in their opinions, sometimes with a slight inference that you better agree. (FeNi: intense and focused on future patterns, inclined to immediately read behind-the-scenes or assert their intuitive conclusions as facts; FeSi: concerned with everyone’s present needs and sensory stability)
Se-dom: eager to experience everything life has to offer, inclined to follow new and interesting pursuits, change professions, jobs, etc; willing to ‘get physical’ and push people out of their comfort zones, emphasis on sensory pursuits (art, sports, fashion, global events, hobbies, experiences). (SeTi: detached, logical, but external warmth through Fe, a general desire to get along / willing to sacrifice to keep the peace; SeFi: more intense, driven to accomplish things, can express strongly disapproving Fi judgments from time to time.)
Ne-dom: excited to discuss abstract concepts (theories, psychology, religion, philosophy, etc) at length; inclined to rapid changes in mind / approaches; often argues both perspectives at once, as if they can see three different conflicting arguments at the same time; frequently reads too much into things / has strong instincts about people, but not always certain of the outcome so they seek “proof” to back up their suspicions. May have an opinion 100% different from the last time you spoke to them. Five hours ago. (NeTi: detached, logical, more interested in systems and concepts than people; NeFi: people-and-relationship centric, driven to accomplish things, can express strongly disapproving Fi-judgments from time to time)
And the introverts, which will take way longer, since they tend to ‘hide’ their introverted dominant function:
Ti-dom: detached, logic, with a desire to categorize or systematize everything, often emotionally laid back / unconcerned with causing offense in favor of digging into the truth. (TiSe: physically active and engaged, inclined to favor ONE specific point of view, developed over time; TiNe: incredibly abstract, vague, generalizing, curious about abstract concepts / theories.)
Fi-dom: sensitive and easily hurt, but private in their feelings; makes decisions based on personal values / ethics / how it impacts other people / animals. Finds it difficult to verbalize intense emotions, often finds it easier to ‘write them down’; not inclined to offer immediate emotional judgments on important things. (FiSe: physically active and engaged, inclined to have a singular focus and/or reach firm conclusions; FiNe: abstract, interested in intangible things / psychology / concepts / theories / etc, inclined to change their minds a lot and often second-guess themselves)
Si-dom: comfortable with routine, takes things at face value / tends to self-reference a lot (personal experience), can be sentimental or have an archetype way of looking at reality; not always comfortable with too much change, very good at catering to their own internal sensory needs / comforts, eager to involve their hands, somewhat frustrated by too-abstract things. (SiTe: focused, often good with practical / business ventures, detail-oriented; retains lots of facts, logical and direct in their assessments; SiFe: emotional, easily hurt, makes decisions on how it impacts people / animals, able to share their feelings in easily understood ways once they are ready)
Ni-dom: continually reads behind what is there / interested in high abstracting / theories / futuristic patterns, somewhat detached from sensory reality / poor at interacting with the sensory environment; inclined toward theories, asserting hidden truths as if they ‘know’; often disinterested in changing their mind after they have pondered on it and reached a conclusion. (NiTe: detached, logical, wants to get things ‘done’; sees things in terms of business / rationality; good at reciting logical things or giving facts to back up their arguments; NiFe: emotional and articulate in sharing their emotions, inclined to forming moral and ethical judgments, and trying to ‘figure out’ people’s motives)
Do you mind if I ask what's this anime you're talking about? Because so far from you you've blogged about I'm digging the lack of fanservice and moe face!
Hmm…. it depends on what you perceive as “the moe face” because that term is so nebulous and up to personal interpretation, unfortunately. I tend to define it as “characters looking much younger than their actual age, with typical anime style of drawing” not characters that are just as young as they’re drawn thus the designs are simply “cute” not “moe”. :v
In this case, I’m pretty sure you could enjoy:
LITTLE WITCH ACADEMIA
It’s a very lighthearted show about a school for witches, that’s sure to give u a Harry Potter childhood nostalgia ;D. It actually feels exactly like a cross between this and Ghibli movies = cute, super cool action and absolutely no fanservice. Also female protagonists because that’s …. an all-girls school. The animation is so beautiful u want to eat it and the show is very funny but can be pretty emotional at times as well!
Addition: If you love Mabel Pines - you’ll love Akko - the main character, as well!!
MOB PSYCHO 100
There’s also Mob Psycho 100 which… hmm I personally wouldn’t say qualifies as “cute” at all, unless some specific scene calls for it (mostly as a joke lmao).
Extremely good animation - seconded! It’s not only insanely fluid but also uses SUCH UNIQUE TECHNIQUES, Yes you’re gonna see full sequences made via paint on glass or charcoal, pencil etc. This is… kinda an action show but it’s ABOUT action, it’s central theme is kindness. However unlike in other shows with the same theme it doesn’t feel forced. It’s so natural and all characters are so real and you’ll end up loving them all! This show’s not only super hilarious but it brought me to tears more than once… I’ve never seen anything so accurately showcasing character’s emotions through just the visuals.
So yea it basically has it all: almost no romance, amazing plot, animation and characters, humor!
Additional bonus if you’re a Gravity Falls fan: it has a conman character with a hidden heart of gold that actually cares about the main character that’s a middle school kid = so if u love Stan, you will love him! :D
Well, I’ve already talked about why this show is great [HERE]!
Then there’s a show that’s pretty heavy and entirely psychological, meant for the mature audience. - and yes there’s no fanservice here either. If u dig diving into twisted mysteries that make you question what’s real and what’s a figment of the character’s tortured psyche’s - Paranoia Agent is the show for you.
^^^ extremely creepy in context/paired up with the soundtrack = the intro is characters laughing in dangerous/deadly situations… the song is sickeningly joyous… you see nuclear bomb exploding, flood, war… and they laugh
It deals with so many kinds of mental illness or very serious horrible situations life puts us in, that make us feel trapped, absolutely lost. It can get VERY visually abstract and this gets more prominent as the show goes on so I won’t post any screencaps of this to not to spoil too much.
The best thing is that despite dealing with very dark matters… the show does allow the viewer to draw some positive lessons from it. So you won’t just feel crushed after all that heavy stuff going on, more like… enlightened, emotional and utterly fascinated. I think it’s most helpful for someone with suicidal thoughts.
I’m yet to see enough anime to make a comprehensive list of those “safe to watch”. I realize there are way more out there but I’ve decided to only talk about those I’ve seen personally.
But in general other movies made by Satoshi Kon (who made Paranoia Agent) are just like that show so go watch them too! Just as all of the Studio Ghibli movies are very fun, beautifully made, devoid of “moe face” and esp fanservice since this company is kinda like the Japanese Disney = keeps stuff kid friendly (but still some of the movies really do deal with heavy real-life matters like war or destruction of the environment! so it still stays very intellectually satisfying).
Other shows to consider:
Terror in Resonance: The designs are one foot in the moe and one in a more grounded style so it’s for you to decide if this sits right with you. There’s not really any fanservice except one scene where a female characters simply takes a bath, it’s not sexualized… but u can see the boobs so… yeaa be vary of that. But overall it’s a fast-paced mystery-driven show about serious matters such as terrorism, childhood trauma, how WWII affected the Japanese society and so on… Plus it has really really unique and great soundtrack! It ranges from fast-paced jazz to stuff resembling Sigur Ros… (and I love this character on the right so much > . <)
This is, a very chill show about a group of friends hanging out and solving small mysteries in their school and outside of it. The mysteries aren’t that important but still they got this kind-of Sherlockian vibe? (later on those books are referenced just as Christie’s). The mysteries are fun but most of all it’s about watching these high schoolers grow as people. I mean that’s not the most ambitious premise but trust me, this is incredibly pleasant to watch, it always made me feel so relaxed, at ease. It’d say it’s quite beautiful! And yeah the design is meant to be cute and typical “anime style” but, uh, characters look their age (I suppose) so in my opinion that’s not moe.
One could argue they got just one “fanservice episode” but I personally disagree - I mean if just simply showing characters going to a swimming pool and one wearing bikini… and the guy who has a crush on her getting subtly flustered at her getting close is fanservice??? then probably all of the healthy romance is. Idk to me it wasn’t over the top but very natual and tasteful. Plus this show isn’t romance focused - rather is centred strongly around friendship and opening to others.
I’ve started this show recently, I’m 6 episodes in and so far there’s been no fanservice and I wouldn’t say the style is the typical “moe”(… but it kinda is… it’s complicated: character design is moe but how they are handled isn’t), esp if u take a look at how original the environment where the battles take place looks!
Beware though - it can get pretty bloody and the show spirals into darkness further and further as it proceeds… straying continuously from the usual cutesy “magical girl anime” tone (=it’s not afraid to brutally kill off its characters)
Queer Self-Presentation and Burlesque Auto-Sexuality in Yuri Plisetsky’s “Welcome to the Madness”
PHEW! It’s finally ready for ya!
Thanks to everyone for patiently waiting. I was overwhelmed with the response to my teaser post about this meta. I’m sorry it took so long to finish… I had to write the academic version for class, then rewrite it to be tumblr-appropriate (I’m still not sure that it is, constructive criticism is welcome!)
I’m hoping that this will contribute to the ongoing conversation about underage characters in fandom, and am looking forward to your asks. I’m a little nervous to be tossing my hat into the Otayuri discourse, but I hope I won’t catch too much hate.
I took out footnotes but included the bibliography at the end. If you have any questions about specific references, send me an ask or DM :)
our gender identities do not exist on a binary and neither do our personalities. it’s okay if your personality, interests, and presentation don’t seem to 100% ‘go together’. people are complicated, we’re allowed to like and be many things. you don’t have to sacrifice or deny one aspect of yourself because it seems to be the opposite of another. let yourself be complicated and accept your own individuality. even though some parts of you may not seem to fit with others, they still manage to form something amazing–you.
"When an Amazon wishes to court another, the most interested Amazon presents herself before her intended mate and offers her a coconut. Inside the coconut is a nectarine seed strung onto a necklace and a bracelet made of thorns. "
I can just imagine them braiding the necklaces and such and getting knowing looks from their friends like “ooooh Artemis is about to POP the question!”
and Artemis is all “shut up Lyssa, you cried when you got your coconut”
DC Rebirth presents an interesting change in the status quo as far as continuity goes. I have been paying close attention to the series that address how the DCU has changed and have been trying to make sense of what is now canon. But Barry Allen off-handedly mentioned something that explained everything.
Hypertime. They reinstated Hypertime. Basically almost everything pre-flashpoint is canon again and every contradiction is explained away by Hypertime.
One of the things we talk about most when we talk about writing is plot. That makes a lot of sense. Plot is the driving force behind a novel, affecting everything from narrative structure to characterization.
And yet, there are a great many stories out there that don’t have a discernible plot. There’s no big prize waiting at the end of the film for the protagonist(s). There’s no big revelation coming that’s going to shake things up and turn their world upside down.
Films like Lost in Translation are perfect examples of why, in some cases, plot may not be necessary. Stories like these are studies of the human mind. They show how people live their day-to-day lives. They show how people build and break relationships. In their most surreal form, they showcase the worlds of dream and imagination that live inside all of us.
Suffice it to say, not every story needs a plot. (Or a plot may not really be the “important” part of the story, serving as little more than background fodder for the more important stuff - but we’ll get to this later.)
Writing a story without a real plot is easy. Writing a good story that lacks conventional plot… much, much harder. Here are some things to think about.
What do you do when your character doesn’t have a goal?
Usually, characters have clear reasons for being the protagonists of their stories. If they don’t want anything, it’s hard to move them from Point A to Point B. Even harder is making the reader give a damn about these characters and their lives.
But I already said that a good plotless story is often about exploring people’s minds - so in this case, having a character without a goal gives you a good chance to explore that.
Most people cringe when they think of stories where things just “happen” to the protagonist(s). But it’s not always a bad thing (IF interesting things are happening and interesting situations are presenting themselves).
How does your character make decisions? What do these decisions say about your character? Do they make perpetual bad decisions?
What’s the message? What are you exploring?
Okay - so not every story has to have a deep, philosophical meaning. But having an idea that you’re exploring gives you a chance to put characters in situations and see how they react to these situations. In the Lost in Translation example we see two characters come together in their loneliness, and we explore the concept of being alone.
Perhaps you just want to explore a concept such as being a teenager in the digital age. Or you want to explore anger, and so introduce characters dealing with very different kinds of anger in very different ways.
Maybe you want to explore the idea of love without clearly writing a “love story” with a traditional plot. In this case imagine a story where a couple is together at the beginning and together at the end - sounds kind of boring right? That is, until you look at how other aspects of life affect aspects of their relationship.
What if you have a “pointless” plot?
Sometimes you may include a plot in a plotless story. That’s not a paradox. In this case, the plot is there, but it’s just… not important. It’s little more than background noise for whatever else is going on.
For example, maybe you have a young Hollywood actress auditioning for a role in a film. She gets the role, and the story follows her as she films the movie. But that’s just background noise. What’s more important is looking at her interacting with a diverse group of people, from her struggling actor friends to her successful new actor colleagues, and how they’re really all dealing with the same problems.
The plot is just there to get her where she needs to go - to put her in a situation where she closely interacts with such a diverse group of people.
How do you end a plotless story?
And now, the big question. How does a plotless story end? If there’s no big goal your character is working toward - no plot to get a nice, tidy resolution - then what’s the point, right?
The point is that you, the author, are going to look back at how you can sort of summarize the message you wanted to set out exploring.
In Lost in Translation these two lonely characters who have made an impact on each other go their separate ways. Neither is really changed as a person in a significant way, but seeing them part drives the message of loneliness home.
In our story about anger, maybe we have something happen out of the blue that ties thematically into the piece. The person who has been claiming they’re going to kill Character X when they see them doesn’t do it when they get the chance but then they’re killed themselves in a random act of violence.
In our Hollywood actress story, she achieves success, but like the people around her she’s still struggling with the same problems. Our final scene shows her taking a handful of prescription meds and going to sleep, while it opened with her abusing cheap alcohol and doing the same.
And… what about Structure?
Of course, structure is tough and requires a lot of thought. Scenes in a “plotless” story may feel random but you still need to think about things like character development and the message of the story.
So as you’re structuring things out, look at what’s being “shown” at a given time with the scenes you’re portraying. Use the scenes to develop the story. Remember to mix up slow-moving and faster-paced scenes just like you would with a traditional narrative structure.
To summarize - no, a plot is not necessary in every story. But when you throw out plot, other things become a lot more important.
I feel down after the new episode, do you think it is still possible that dean will stop sleeping around with women and get together with cas? idk i feel like it will never end and since 11x23 we've seen dean repeat too much that cas is a brother/best friend and it's starting to make me nervous
Well, Dean is a single man, not in a committed relationship (even if WE can clearly see he’s obviously married to Cas), who is allowed to sleep with whoever he wants. Period. But there are some things in that whole scene in the Pickle Jack Shack. And I mean really… the whole place is a sexual innuendo.
Sorry for my “photo of the tv screen screencapping” but… that phallic pickle protruding from the bull riding sign? Ooookay.
(this is also for my two anons asking about what the significance of “Riding Larry” is, so heads up. All will be revealed!)
Also, isn’t it awesome that Sam picked agents Moon and Entwhistle– the two deceased members of The Who as their aliases. THE WHO? on the nose aliases there.
Dean had been “Springsteen, like the Boss” the night before when he’d been talking with her. After she agrees to tell them everything that happened, here’s what she says, with my commentary in parenthesis:
Elke: He ordered burgers to go. It was gonna be a minute. We were slammed. And you knocked back… four shots of tequila?
(already yet another implication that Dean had been drunk, when four shots of tequila for him is probably a warm up)
Elke: Put some (finger quotes) “sick jams” on the juke, and then you hit the bull.
Sam: he what?
Dean: I what?
Elke: Oh yeah, you had the hots for Larry as soon as you walked in here.
(immediately setting an entirely different tone for this conversation, by presenting Dean’s interest in Larry– the mechanical bull with a huge pickle for a phallus– as sexual. Larry is a man’s name, and Dean had “the hots” for him.)
Sam: (quite befuddled by this) He… Dean… you rode Larry?
Dean: (considers this for a minute) Was I good?
Elke: You were– amazing.
(Dean processes that– the fact that he apparently demonstrated skill at riding Larry, and then hums in acceptance of the fact. He smiles. Elke smiles, Sam rolls his eyes so hard he nearly pulls a muscle).
Elke: Anyway, We got to talking, and… you know…
(remember what she’d said earlier, that they were “slammed,” meaning overwhelmed by a rush of customers. Not exactly the sort of situation in which a waitress can “get to talking” with a customer just waiting around for his dinner order to be ready, you know? I already suspect that Elke realizes that Dean WAS roofied here, and didn’t exactly remember what he’d said or done with her… AND THIS I BELIEVE WAS HER TEST TO PROVE IT. She needed to confirm whether he did or didn’t remember what had happened. I’ll quote her here, and then explain afterward)
Elke: (in response to Dean’s complete straight-faced, emotionless waiting for her answer) We blew off some steam.
(Dean STILL has to stop and work out exactly what she means, and then when it registers, Dean only replies with a surprised little “Ah!” Not seeming to recall anything. Because he didn’t. And this doesn’t seem to bother Elke. Because she’s already been told that he was “roofied.” Because most folks would be upset that someone had no obvious response to the confirmation that they’d apparently had sex… It’s kinda insulting, you know? BUT ELKE WAS NOT INSULTED BY DEAN’S LACK OF ANY SORT OF RESPONSE TO THIS INFORMATION. Like the slap to his face earlier implied she would be.)
Sam: Did you see him talking with anyone else?
Elke: My bartender said she saw him run out of here like his pants caught on fire. We were supposed to meet up after close-up. But you never showed…
(Dean looks lost again)
Elke: Poor thing, you were all roofed up! I didn’t… I am so sorry if I took advantage of you.
Dean: (smiling uncomfortably… because yeah… and patting her on the arm) It’s okay.
(Sam asks if they have security cameras and then the scene shifts to Sam and Dean sitting at a table watching security footage on a laptop)
Dean: First action in I don’t know how long, and it’s like it never even happened. Figures.
Sam: Ha. See now that’s comedy.
Okay, now HERE’S THE KEY TO UNDERSTANDING THIS SCENE: waffles.
Who doesn’t love waffles? May I direct you to the Waffle Masterpost, containing EVERY reference to waffles ever on this show (well, aside from this episode, but I’ll update it in a bit here…)
But what it boils down to is the fact that waffles in this show share some of the same symbolism with El Sol beer. And if it wasn’t clear enough, there was a huge glowing El Sol sign there for good measure.
But as soon as Dean spotted Elke when he and Sam walked into the bar, he identified her as, “the girl from the waffles.” SHE WAS AN ILLUSION, A DECEPTION. She was the girl from the waffles. Waffles being a “more innocent deception” than El Sol.
Because her story of what she and Dean did contradicts itself. Either they were “slammed” to the point that they were so busy that Dean had to wait so long for his food that he not only had multiple shots of tequila but ALSO had time to ride Larry, or she and Dean had time for a leisurely chat and even MORE time to take a break and go somewhere to “blow off some steam.”
Which was it, lady?
She only knew that Dean LEFT, in fact “ran out of here like his pants caught on fire,” because HER BARTENDER told her. Because Elke was “slammed” with customers. THIS IS WHY SHE SLAPPED HIM. Because Dean ran out before her shift ended, when they were supposed to meet up. He ditched her, and then “pretended” not to even recognize her, after having chatted her up and made plans for after her apparently very busy shift, and that’s why I think she was just fucking with him here.
I mean, either she was so busy that Dean had to wait for service, or she had enough time to have some sort of long talk and a quickie in the bathroom or the alley or wherever. WHICH WAS IT, ELKE?!
So in the conversation that revolved around the fact that Dean had been “roofied,” bookended by “the girl from the waffles” and Dean’s assertion that it was “like it never even happened,” well…
I have serious doubts that anything really DID happen.
I mean, I think he was planning on something happening. He was going to go back after her shift to meet up with her… possibly… but did he ever even get his burgers?!
And without his memories, is it weird that it took THREE TRIES to find the place Dean had gone that night. That place was the third one they checked out, and Sam would’ve followed the same sort of Hunter Logic in trying to find the burger joint Dean went to, probably starting with the one closest to their motel and working his way out. So Dean bypassed two other perfectly good burger places to walk to THIS PLACE SPECIFICALLY. This place that advertised the mechanical bull riding.
This place where Elke confirmed that Dean “had the hots for Larry as soon as he walked in.”
Dean went out of his way to get a burger from THIS PLACE not because he didn’t think the other burger places were any good, but BECAUSE HE WANTED TO RIDE THE MECHANICAL BULL. My guess? He probably saw the sign on their way back to the motel, and he gave the excuse to Sam that he was going out for burgers while Sam did the research SPECIFICALLY BECAUSE HE WANTED TO SNEAK OUT AND RIDE LARRY.
I mean… ???? This is one of those things that Performing Dean would NEVER do, would NEVER ADMIT TO SAM that he would do. Which is why Sam was so ?????? that Dean actually RODE LARRY.
Because Dean hadn’t been “roofied” yet at that point. That was all Dean.
He wanted to do something silly and fun and homoerotic without being judged for it. This is the same Dean that unapologetically loves Finding Nemo. And waffles…
So he has a few shots of liquid courage and climbs on Larry. We see that scene at the end of the episode. He fully gets that memory back, and what appear to be snippets of Hexed Dean Moments… and yet he gets no memories back of his “blowing off some steam” with Elke.
Because it’s like it never even happened.
I think Elke was slowly realizing throughout her conversation that Sam and Dean weren’t lying about Dean not remembering anything from the night before. So she went from angry over having been stood up and Dean “pretending” he didn’t even remember her, to passive-aggressively answering their questions… to noticing Sam and Dean’s bizarre reactions to hearing that he gleefully rode Larry… and then I think threw in the bit about blowing off steam with him just to see his reaction.
He seemed genuinely incapable of either confirming or denying it, and took her word for it that they did something sexual. He wasn’t gross about it, he didn’t elaborate on her assertion, nor did he immediately deny it either. He just accepted her word and moved on.
Notice immediately after that point she distances herself from Dean with her words… not “he ran out” or “I saw him run out, but “my bartender said she saw him run out.” BECAUSE ELKE HERSELF WAS “SLAMMED.” She was busy DOING HER JOB. She didn’t even SEE him run out without his food.
And really, how the hell long was he there, if he had multiple shots while waiting for the burgers, picked songs on the jukebox, rode Larry, made plans for after work with Elke (that he may or may not have intended to follow up on) while sitting at the bar while SHE WAS BUSY WORKING. Long enough after all that for her to not even notice him suddenly run out? BEFORE HE EVEN GOT HIS BURGERS?!
Like, how the hell long does it take to flip a couple of burgers? 15? 20 minutes tops? Even if they’re slammed?
And he still managed to do ALL THAT ^^ WHILE WAITING?
And then as Dean and Sam ran out the back door, we can see a GIANT glowing El Sol sign just inside the bar.
EVERYTHING that happened in there, aside from Dean riding Larry, was an illusion that started with the girl from the waffles and ended with him escaping out the back door past an El Sol sign.
The ONLY thing we actually SEE that was TRUE was that Dean rode Larry.
(aside to note that Dean confirmed himself that he hasn’t had any “action” in so long he can’t even remember when it happened…)
And for my Larry anons, I have no idea if “Riding Larry” is an idiom, but “riding” is a sexual innuendo. And the implication that Dean rode Larry… well… I mean just watch him and tell me what you think is going on there… Dean… riding a dude called Larry… it’s not complex math here.
(and heck here’s another reference… that time Dean WAS roofied in 9.13… SWEET POTATOES. Salted caramel. Best of both worlds. Salty and sweet. and that reminds me of the other “sweet” references lately in relation to angels… and we’re down the rabbit hole again)
“But but he was married in a few spin off comics tho!” Yeah and they were always cringy ooc messes.
Idk how to tell u this but, straight ppl have hated non-straight folks for centuries, Jenny. Writers forcing Jughead into het relationships to throw off suspicion sometimes happened. But it’s not the 1900s anymore. LGBT peeps saying “hey it’s the 21st century, maybe let non-straight folk not be straight in peace” shouldnt be too much to ask.
Some time ago you talked about things that get you excited in games (like the dialogues in Uncharted 4). There are any upcoming game this year that are you looking for?
Persona 5 in two weeks, hands down, end of story. There are very few games I actively look forward to - the majority of games are usually more of a “Oh, that’s coming. I’ll probably get it” type acknowledgement than anything else. I know how much work goes into AAA game dev, and I enjoy my time with them, but they don’t really excite me much. I like playing them, and they’re interesting, but I don’t feel like I’m missing out if I wait a bit and pick it up later (or sometimes not at all, like how I never purchased a WiiU). My exception to this is the Persona series. I’ve been a huge fan since playing through Persona 3 on the PS2, and I love it from so many different angles. It is the one series I actually get excited about.
For those who are unfamiliar with this series, it’s an utterly bizarre combination of Pokemon-style battle and collection gameplay, Visual Novel Scheduled Dating Sim character and relationship building, and randomly-generated dungeon crawler all wrapped up in an urban fantasy JRPG setting, and it is wonderful. I didn’t think that such disparate core gameplay systems could work so well together, but they synergize like peanut butter and chocolate in a way that got me hooked from the get go.
The metaplot moves forward through day-to-day scheduled gameplay, where the player’s protagonist character meets and befriends characters in a Japanese high school setting over the course of a school year. Each character relationship is represented by a specific tarot arcana, and the strength of your friendship with that character also affects the strength of the pokemon you can collect and summon of that tarot arcana. The pokemon are necessary to battle the enemies in the randomly generated dungeons, which you must complete in order to advance the plot, which opens up access to more of the individual character storylines, which let your pokemon get stronger, which makes the dungeons easier, which lets you advance the plot… and so on. The relationships you build with your teammates translate into improvements in battle. The pokemon you collect also help build closer relationships with your friends. The money and items you collect in the random dungeons are used to buy better equipment, but also gifts for friends and toys and books for stat increases. It’s a fantastic multi-level synergistic feedback cycle that kept me playing for hours because of how many connection points there are between the different core gameplay systems.
From a developer’s perspective, Persona 5 specifically has got me very interested in their presentation and user interface design. The game is highly visually stylized, and that extends to the UI as well. But it isn’t something particularly basic either - the fonts,
the color scheme, the lettering are all highly stylized as well. Just thinking about how they managed to get the fonts to work with that kind of stylization must have been a huge design challenge… especially because they knew they had to localize it to a whole different writing system, while still maintaining the style of the game. I’ve done localization before - fitting stuff from other languages into limited text space is already a challenge, but doing so while adhering to this gorgeous visual style guide is a super daunting task. Are they only rotating or highlighting specific letters? Is there some kind of special preprocessing pass for the the text? Is everything drawn separately and simply treated as a texture? My mind is abuzz with possibilities.
As a player, I love great character development, story development, and deep RPG combat systems. As a developer, I really like seeing how different and deep gameplay systems interact and intersect with each other. The Persona series has managed to keep me fascinated as both a player and a developer for quite some time. Combine this with the
genre-bending fusion score by Shoji Meguro and I’ve got a game that I’ll easily sink 80+ hours into without blinking and still go back for more. Persona is the only game series I actively avoid spoilers and marketing for, because I know for certain that I will be buying it and I want to remain as unspoiled as possible.
what’s interesting about the birthday present moment is that if it was for fan service, they would have played into it a lot more and milk it to the max (for example, we would have had jimin obviously teasing jungkook, bragging about the gift, the other members teasing them about how romantic this is, just so they can make it as obvious as possible that this is meant to be extremely lovey dovey).
what we got instead was uncomfortable silence, jungkook staring at his feet, obviously feeling shy and unsure about what to say, jimin not saying almost anything during the whole exchange, looking a little bit uncomfortable as well, like someone is invading his privacy by discussing this topic. all of these being signs of a more genuine interaction, rather than fan service.
so this makes me wonder - if it’s such a personal moment to both of them (as seen by their shy and quiet reactions), why did they even bring it up in the first place? why did bighit allow them to discuss something that would obviously show their special relationship and how it differs from the rest? and if it was for fan service, then why didn’t they make it as extra as possible? I have so many questions………