<b>Squip:</b> Now Jeremy 🗣👨 i know ive been a real 😈💩 shitty friend💩😤 im here to make amends 🙋💻💾 and help you 💪🙊☝ give Michael Mell 👦🎧👓 that 😭👌🔥 good SUCC 😋😵💕 i need you to know 👓☝ that I, Squip 💾👦😈.. am an ally 👦💕👦👌🎉🎊 so i hope we can put it all behind us 🙈🙅💪 and help u get the top to ur bottom 😙👬💪🎊😈<p/><b>Jeremy:</b> optic nerve blocked<p/></p>
SO IN “More than Survive”, JEREMY STARTS SINGING HIS LITTLE, “I don’t wanna be a hero” line, and the music is just piano, right? When Michael makes an entrance, he sings about Bob Marley and the background music matches his style.
In More than Survive Reprise, Jeremy is singing a similar line and guess what? the background music is the same as Michael’s Bob Marley!! Then, there’s a loud trumpet burst and the Marley music stops.
You can fucking hear squip optic nerve blocking Michael.
In BMC- the clips we’ve seen of the show- in all the scenes where Michael is wearing his hoodie, if he is stressed, or has something to lose (when Jeremy is receiving the squip and Michael is apprehensive, when Jeremy goes to get the girl, when Jeremy stomps off after saying he hates the school, when Jeremy hasn’t acknowledged him all day because of optic nerve blocking, when Jeremy chooses to side with the squip and the upgrade instead of following Michael, etc) whenever something stressful, unnerving, or hurtful happens- MICHAEL WEARS THE HOOD UP TO COVER HIS HEAD-
This may not seem like a big deal to some people but as someone on the autism spectrum- this is a clear coping mechanism that a lot of people on the spectrum use-
It helps to kind of hide you a bit and give you some kind of little relief and sanctuary- the same thing with headphones- wearing headphones can help block out unwanted noise that you are overly sensitive to and drown it out with noise that brings you comfort (in michael’s case- sometimes Bob Marley)
Another common trait in people on the spectrum, is anxiety over change. People on the spectrum typically grow attached and accustomed to their routines and get startled and disoriented by change. This is another trait that can be seen in michael- in the opening number- he is introduced for the very first time singing:
“Jeremy, my buddy, how’s it hanging? Lunch is banging. Got my sushi, got my slushy and more!”
First of all, it is arguable that when Michael says “Got my sushi, got my slushy, and more” it is a glimpse of these said patterns that tend to fall into place and make people on the spectrum more at ease. Notice how he doesn’t say “I got sushi and a slushy” he says “got my sushi, got my slushy”- he states it simply like this because Jeremy is his best friend and knows his patterns and habits- which is why he so plainly states it like everybody knows about them. I think this is an example of Michael’s system- he gets his sushi, he gets his slushy, he listens to his music, he wears his same hoodie, and he goes to school.
Second of all (and this is more debatable than the rest) before Michael goes on to share his routinely patterns, something that stuck out to me was that Michael wasn’t as socially adept as other characters- he addresses his friend and does the socially acceptable thing by asking how he is doing, but then immediately moves on without receiving an answer. This isn’t because he is selfish or a dick- in my mind it’s another trait of people on the spectrum. For people with high functioning autism, social interactions can be extremely difficult because it is hard to comprehend what is socially acceptable and what isn’t. This can make some relationships hard because they may come off as rude or uncaring when in reality they just aren’t able to easily slide into conversation and act completely normally.
Third of all, when he says “and more” I thought it was cute because it showed his excitement for having accomplished something. For people off of the spectrum, little things like accepting a little change isn’t anything out of the norm because life is unpredictable and things change all the time. But for people on the spectrum, even little things like being able to roll with one simple change can be a huge victory. Change is a lot harder for us so being able to deal with slight change is a big deal. After this line- Michael says “the roll was Mekhi maki and I’m feeling kind of cocky, cause the girl at sev-elev gave me a generous pour”. Just the little change of the extra pour, extra slushy, Michael was able to accept and that was a win for him, enough to make him feel confident and cocky.
Throughout the musical and album there is more evidence of this but I think that it is at least debatable that Michael may be on the spectrum. Honestly it wouldn’t surprise me for George Salazar to portray a character like that as he has been good with mental health representation in the past. I honestly love the idea of an autistic character in a musical because there isn’t a whole lot of positive representation elsewhere. You don’t have to agree but I’m probably going to always see Michael now as a representation for me
When Rich goes back to school after the SQUIP incident, he’s just like “wait a minute, were there always this many hot guys going to this school?” Since his SQUIP used optic nerve blocking on any guys it knew Rich would’ve found attractive