(Truth, Sonny and Pete) Sonny, when was the first time you realized you had feelings for Pete
“What’s the point of going to prom. There are people dying in the streets and my cousin is busting his balls in that store. I ain’t going to no “prom”.” Sonny turned up his nose as Pete softly read out the flyer from Sonny’s high out loud. Sonny didn’t want to go to prom, he had a lot on his mind, his future was coming at him faster than he had planned. He needed a plan. “Just another dumb thing people with too much money do…I gotta save my money…I should have started young like Nina…” Already eighteen Sonny was looking scholarships and FASFA to save his ass…there was no way he was going to afford this otherwise.
Pete had slightly different opinions. “You only get one prom, Sunshine.” Pete affectionately called him by the nickname that made Sonny smile from ear to ear. “You ain’t never gonna be in high school again, you for real wanna miss this out?”
The younger, shorter teen shook his head dismissively. “Who even remembers prom, do you remember yours?”
There was a long pause, Pete looked over the flyer a few times and shook his head. “I never got a chance to go, rem’mber?”
Sonny felt like the biggest idiot in Washington Heights…no in New York state. Pete dropped out after getting into a few fights. A few badly dealt hands led him in juvie. He was on and off the wagon of getting his GED but Pete never seemed to commit. Anyone else would have seen Pete was just another city slicker nobody but Sonny saw what he could be.
At this moment, he was looking at what Pete would have been if he stayed on the straight and narrow and finished high school. “You’re telling me, you’d wuda gone to your prom?” Sonny tried to save face.
“Yea, why not. Like I said, you only get one.”
So he was swayed, only because Pete didn’t have a prom and he could vicariously live through Sonny’s prom. The moment he informed Usnavi it became a circus act. Usnavi got his old powder blue suit tailored by Daniella and Vanessa to make it look less…90s. By the time it was prom, Sonny was already exhausted. Plus, he didn’t have a date. He waited too long, most of the girls had dates or had decided to go in groups. Didn’t matter, he posed for pictures he knew would make it on Facebook somehow.
He hoped Pete appreciated the “being young” thing. Just as Sonny was about to leave Pete slid into his room via fire escape like some raggity prince heading into Rapunzel’s tower. However he was dressed pretty well. He had a white button up and his blazer tied around his waist. “Heard you didn’t have anyone to go with?”
“Whaa where did you hear that?” he frowned defensively.
“Usnavi who told Vanessa who told Nina who told Carla, who told Daniella who told everyone else.” Pete snickered. He reached into his pocket and pulled out an iron in in the shape of a sun with seven sunrays fanning out. “I got no flower, so here.” He walked over and began to pin it to Sonny’s blazer.
There wasn’t much said but the world changed completely for Sonny. He looked over Pete’s face and years of knowing he was different, feeling like Pete was different was slowly piecing together. Sonny saw more than potential. He saw someone who was kind, trustworthy, and looking for a second chance. He saw someone worthy of a second chance. He saw eyes that could paint the city in colors like no one had ever seen. A modern Monet with spray paint.
Sonny felt his heart drum as Pete lingered close, his nose practically touching Sonny’s. They locked gazes for some time before Pete pulled away and linked arms with Sonny. “If its not fun we can split.”
Though now Sonny started doubt it wouldn’t be fun. He squeezed Pete’s arm and blushed a little, prom wasn’t so bad as long as there was a Pete involved.
Note: I do not own any of Lin Manuel Miranda’s characters or lyrics. I also don’t speak Spanish so I apologize in advance.
“Hey mami. I’m going to the club tonight. You okay on your own?” Your older brother Pete asked.
“Si.” You called from where you were hunched over your textbook. Pete came over and kissed your head.
“Is it okay if I go hang out with Sonny at the bodega?” You asked. You were fifteen ad Sonny was the only other teenager in your neighborhood besides your nineteen year old brother.
Pete groaned, “Yes. I hate that you are in love with my best friend.” He complained as he walked out the door.
“I’m not in love with him!” You called after him. That was a lie, you were madly in love with Sonny de la Vega.
An hour later you had finished homework and you headed down to the bodega a few blocks away.
“Hola de la Vegas.” You said as you walked in.
“Yo Y/N. How are you?” Sonny called and you blushed as he leaned over the counter to greet you. Before you could answer Sonny’s older cousin Usnavi opened the back room door and stepped into the store.
“It was really stupid of you to get involved; you know that, right?”
Sonny winced when you less-than-gently pressed an icepack to his face. The blood that was previously leaking out of his nose had stopped, but it still a bit swollen. And it wouldn’t be if Sonny hadn’t tried to be a hero. “I was just protectin’ ya honour, doll.” He replied, trying to sound bright but a wince had stopped it.
You gave your partner a huff. “You were being an idiot, that’s what you were doing.”
He looked at you over the icepack, and his eyes softened with amusement. Leave it to Sonny Carisi to somehow be happy after getting punched in the face.
“I may be an idiot but I’m your idiot.”
Sonny “has been talking” to Barba about shadowing him. Which means they have been talking. Off-screen. About Sonny’s studies.
Barba’s “I’ve alerted the bar association” was a perfect joke, and Sonny’s little reaction, that scoff/laugh mixture, was perfect as well. Barba has clearly moved on from actual insults to jokes. He’s messing with Sonny. He doesn’t dislike Sonny, nor does he think Sonny is an idiot. Barba just likes saying that to get a rise out of poor bb Sonny, because it amuses him for some reason (I wonder why).
And Sonny clearly knows that, which to me is a sign of his increased confidence. Sonny used to just scoff, he used to get a little defensive, even. Now he just rolls his eyes and laughs because he knows Barba is just teasing him, and that’s fine by Sonny.
I also loved how Barba tried to turn Sonny down politely, half-assing an excuse, all “um are you sure, the precinct is short-staffed”, mumbling almost, like he didn’t really want to say no but he had to keep up the façade of hating Sonny.
Except Sonny was like “no, Liv thinks it’s OK, come on counselor, pretty please?” and Barba immediately caved. Because of course he did. He can never say no to Sonny.
By the way, the defense attorney being all “who’s the arm candy?” was a great touch. And then she totally eyed Sonny a little bit, didn’t she? And she touched his arm? Right after she had interrupted his rambling? She clearly thought Sonny was just a pretty face. Meanwhile, Sonny’s actual pretty face was like “wtf lady? My boyfriend is standing right here.”
Lastly, Liv and Barba talking about Carisi? All “no you can keep him!”, “no you take him”? That was hilarious. As if either of them could spare Sonny :’)
Thank you, Doctor Carisi
That scene was everything to me. Like, I’ve written it. Sonny hunched over notes and books, Barba coming up behind him, watching him for a split second before speaking in a low, breathy voice. Inquiring about Sonny’s future plans with a smile. Just. I couldn’t believe we got to watch that type of lowkey, sweet interaction between them.
Barba said “you’re gonna take up medicine AFTER you pass the bar”, by the way. I want to point that out. That could have been phrased differently. Like “what, if you don’t pass the bar you’re gonna take up medicine?”. Instead, Barba spoke like Sonny passing the bar is a given. Not Sonny getting a law degree; Sonny passing the bar. Barba has faith in his boyfriend, and it’s lovely to watch.
I wrote it in my Sonny-centric post too, but I loved that Barba genuinely thought Sonny could provide assistance. Watching a confession, helping prep a witness. Barba really put Sonny to work, he didn’t just tolerate Sonny’s presence.
Also, when Barba tried to explain why Benson wouldn’t be in the court when the mother testified, and Sonny got all sassy and “I get it, counselor” and Barba literally said “goooood” with that fond smirk and the eyebrow raise? I mean come on.
Barba was loving every minute of his interaction with Sonny. He was teasing, he was smiling. Constantly. Since when is Barba so upbeat and jokey? What other character brings out that mischievous quality in him? Only Sonny :’)
The Tell (i.e. My Premature Death, So Long, It’s Been Real Y’All)
Again, I wrote more about this in my Sonny-centric post, about how Sonny used his interrogation skills to pick up on something Rafael himself might have missed. Sonny figured out Hodda’s tell, the way Hodda stumbled when he tried to say the words “little boy”. And Sonny wrote it down, and subtly showed it to Barba. In turn, Barba didn’t dismiss Sonny; he read the note, and he immediately understood what Sonny meant, and he took it and ran with it. They were in perfect sync.
And afterwards? When Sonny initiated physical contact and praised Barba, only for BarbA TO RETURN THE COMPLIMENT WITH A SMILE I MEAN DID THAT REALLY HAPPEN?
DID BARBA ACTUALLY SAY “THANK YOU, IT WAS A TELL”?
DID BARBA SERIOUSLY, VERBALLY, EXPLICITLY APPRECIATE SONNY’S CONTRIBUTION?
AND DID SONNY SMILE A TINY LITTLE PROUD SMILE?
AND DID HE CONTINUE PRAISING BARBA, ALL “NO YOU WERE GREAT”?
AND DID BARBA SMIRK AND GO ALL “NO YOU WERE GREAT”?
AND DID SONNY GO ALL “NO YOU!”
I MEAN THE CUTENESs ok I’ll stop.
But that was an amazing scene, and the display of mutual respect we saw was fantastic. This wasn’t one-sided flailing. Barba actually praised Sonny as well, genuinely, without a hint of mockery, for a job well done. Barba directly expressed his approval to Sonny. He didn’t downplay Sonny’s contribution. He acknowledged it with a smile.
I literally don’t know who was more excited, me or Sonny himself :D
Sonny Cares about Barba (no, seriously)
There was another moment of empathetic Sonny. One that really spoke to me. After the mistrial was declared, when the mom touched Barba’s chest, so kindly, Barba took her hand for a moment, and was clearly affected by her touch.
Notice Sonny’s face in that moment. Olivia was looking at the mom walking away, but Sonny was looking right at Barba’s face. Sonny didn’t look away for a second. Sonny saw that Barba got emotional, and I think that affected Sonny himself.
Sonny saw Barba working through a grueling case, but he also saw that the case left Barba with emotional residue, if you will. With a burden. And that gave Sonny pause. Maybe it made him look at Barba a little differently, just like Sonny’s performance during the trial made Barba look at him differently.
Maybe Sonny saw Barba as a human being, in that moment. As a sensitive human being. Not as a badass ADA. Just like Barba saw Sonny as a funny, hardworking, intelligent man. Not as an overeager cop.
When the defense attorney was all “are you gloating?” and Barba sassed her and Sonny stood by smirking, all “tell her, Rafi! That’s my boyfriend right here!” that was pretty great too :’)
Also, shush. Shush was everything.
Overview of the status of Barisi as of this episode
I really think that this episode established a kinship between Sonny and Barba. In a strange way. It showed us that Sonny is somewhere in-between; he is a cop but he can see things from Barba’s perspective as well, in a way that the other cops can’t.
The episode also recontextualised Barba’s little insults as jokes. It demonstrated that Barba enjoys messing with Sonny, and that Sonny doesn’t mind, not now that he knows Barba doesn’t mean any of it. It’s all in good fun, and fun is something that Barba truly needs in his life.
On a professional level, this episode also showed that Barba and Sonny complement each other extremely well. Barba utilised Sonny’s skills in the best possible ways, and he wasn’t shy about appreciating Sonny’s input. Earnestly. That’s something we hadn’t seen before. Before, Barba would only say “Carisi’s right” while making a face.
Now, Barba has come to respect Sonny. But since Sonny is a hilarious sweetheart, Barba isn’t letting his respect get in the way of his teasing Sonny, because that’s pretty much the only joy Barba has in his life right now :’)
Sonny trying to learn? To figure out Barba’s thought process? Asking about Barba’s reasoning behind specific decisions during the selection of the jury? Barba explaining? Sonny making a joke? Barba actually laughing at Sonny’s joke? Well-naturedly? Sonny grinning happily when Barba laughed at his joke? Sonny giving Barba a totally unnecessary little smile?
Neither of thEM WEARING A JACKET? BOTH OF THEIR SLEEVES BEING ROLLED UP?
BARBA SITTING SENSUOUSLY ON THE TABLE?
A CONVENIENTLY LARGE, SUSPICIOUSLY EMPTY TABLE, WHICH COULD BE CLEARED BY ONE MOVE OF SONNY’S HAND?
BARBA LEANING IN?
SONNY GRABBING BARBA BY HIS SUSPENDERS?
BARBA TUGGING AT SONNY’S TIE?
SONNY AND BARBA KISSING, THEIR LIPS MEETING HALFWAY, BECAUSE THEY BOTH WANT IT, SO MUCH?