A/N: Hello! Quick drabble for you guys that I had planned for a long, long, long time and finally remembered to write. Starring Little Nathan, Percy The Dad, and the problem of marrying a daughter of Athena.
Percy was sitting by the kitchen table, trying to wrap his mind around his bloody taxes, when the scuffling of little stockinged feet distracted him. Nathan had woken up from his nap and dragged his still sleepy self to the kitchen. While he watched, his son climbed the chair beside his and stood on it, leaning on the table with his elbows.
“Hey, buddy, what’s up?” Percy greeted him.
“Daddy…” Nathan started, sounding troubled, “Can I ask you some questions?”
“Sure, son. Go ahead.”
“How does a camera work?”
“Oh, it’s really easy, bug, you hold it up, point it to the thing you want in the photo, and press the button!” Percy smiled at him, but Nate shook his head.
“No, daddy, I know how to take a picture. But how does it work? How does the photo get there?” he insisted.
what a beautiful day to remember that bellamy loves clarke, raven is going to space again (and not to die this time), roan is alive, monty loves harper, mackson exists, and marcus kane saved abby griffin.
something i find interesting about murphy’s line “who needs food when you have love” - apart from the fact that it brings in a playfulness that i have always appreciated about his character as a whole and how it shows that he has received one of the most consistent developments this season by far (another character with a very consistent arc would be raven, to be honest) - is that it’s the kind of love confession that is - on a meta-textual level - heavily layered with heartbreaking history about murphy’s own past.
‘cause here is the deal, his scene with emori in 4x09 kind of reminds us of the 86 days he’s spent in the lighthouse alone - which we get to see in 3x01, and i find it fascinating - (not just because raven, emori and murphy make a cute group) - because it stays so true to the patterns of his emotional arc.
remember what actually drove murphy to almost commit suicide back in season 3? what the catalyst was? something very physical that helps people survive?
he says it, after 86 days he basically ran out of food.
while we deal with the very obvious facts that he’s mentally suffering from being isolated and is, in hindsight, reduced to a literal train wreck (a scary routine that consists of eating, sleeping and watching videos of becca and co.), we also deal with the heavy realization that on a very physical level he is going to die an extremely slow and painful death, because he has only one box of food left, which means that the surviver in him can’t survive - he is trapped, he’s out of supplies that keep him alive and there is a real fear brewing in him, because he is completely aware of his future and what promise this bunker gives him.
in that sense, murphy’s exclusive focus on the box of food in this scene is noteworthy, because while he is completely aware of what it means to run out of food - starvation, also known as the kind of death we know he does not want to go through (hence the suicide attempt) - the more irrational part of him can’t go along with the act in itself, since murphy doesn’t want to die, which is narratively affirmed with his line “really never thought I’d miss the Ark this much”.
so, you have this crazy interplay between the loss of external structures (he’s trapped in ALIE’s bunker/has run out of food) and internal conflict (he can’t pull the trigger), which then results in driving the greatest point of this sequence home - committing suicide alone in a bunker after running out of food would mean fulfilling the one thing murphy fears the most - dying alone.
essentially, that’s why this scene is so surgically feels-inducing to me, because it’s bookend with the kind of construction in which the writers force murphy into a direct one-on-one conflict with himself and therefore his greatest fears, which he just so happens to escape. and while it’s hard to reexamine scenes from season 3 when you haven’t seen it in a while, it’s quite interesting to see how it’s murphy alone who breaks out of it and reaffirms his own survival. no one/nothing snaps him out of the suicide attempt - he does it all by himself.
being a lone wolf is not murphy’s strength, because being alone detracts from his effectiveness as a character, so you need him in a group, or with someone.
in season 4 and especially in 4x09 everything turns upside down. this time he is having an actual conversation about the lighthouse; not only that, but he is having it with none other than emori - the girl he loves.
fittingly, murphy’s character arc is driven forward in large part by his relationship with emori - she has a significant role in shaping him - but the striking part about this scene is the double effect, because - as i’ve stated somewhere above - while it is definitely tied to his first experience in the bunker/lighthouse, we also see how much he has grown since then.
emori is stating the obvious - 5 years in the bunker will mean starvation - being the more rational one between them, because *ring ring ring* there’s not enough food. she is plagued with a legitimate fear, as she believes that the others won’t come back for her, murphy and raven to get them to polis (seeing it as being ruled out as the ones who are doomed to die), but then there is murphy who is inlove so *who needs food*. i think that he knows what emori is talking about, but tries to play it cool with a bit of humor, because while murphy can be extremely rational himself, there are moments where his human desires keep him grounded - and emori needs that as much as he does. i mean, just think of his own surprise when he sees nathan and jackson enter becca’s lab.
so, the sly emphasis on the words “food” and “love” bring forth his own emotional development without distracting too much from what’s happening. this scene quite literally considers the actual option of going into the lighthouse (which they get ready for by the end of the episode only to be stopped by nathan and jackson), but it’s also about murphy himself, because he openly revels in his own capacity for love, which is a huge experience for him and us, considering that they believe they will die much sooner than later.
he’s become wise through all kinds of experiences, but i find the new balance that he has found in his relationships - including raven! - to be big.
anyway, i just wanted to share some thoughts about murphy, because this didn’t leave me alone. i need to learn how to make shorter posts.