(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.
I sometimes wonder if Bioware fully considers the implications of decisions characters make in their games…? Like Alistair seemed like such an asshole in Redcliffe, but he had good reason to be furious with Fiona.
‘The Buddha’s Eightfold Path can either build upon or dismantle the sense-of-self, depending upon how we use it. When aligned within its proper orientation, the path appears like a perfectly formed diamond, each facet complimenting the beauty of the whole. After my meeting with Nisargadatta, the Buddha’s teaching became breathtaking in its simplicity and elegance. The entire path was, and had always been, accessible. prolonged retreats in silence or conversations over dinner had the same reference point. Nothing was ever at odds with its opposite. Every practice and action has its place and appropriate time, but never contradicted or enhanced what was already there. Everything was perfectly together, and every moment arose from that perfection.
This was the beginning of my understanding of lay Buddhism. A lay Buddhist is one who fully embodies his or her entire life of work, family, and relationships without spiritually prioritizing any activity. From this perspective all moments are equally precious, and whether we are practicing formal meditation on retreat or showing up for ordinary moments of our lay life, freedom is never diminished. The unequivocal resolve not to move away from where we are is essential. Once we abandon the belief that there is a more spiritually useful moment than the one we are in, we have embraced our life and infused it with the energy for awakening.’
- Rodney Smith, Undivided Mind, from the Winter 2010 issue of Tricycle: The Buddhist Review.