Star Wars Things I Will Always Cry About (Not Remotely a Complete List)
Baby Luke and Obi-Wan Arriving on Tatooine
Obi-Wan helping to bring Anakin over to Force Ghost Land
Luke talking to Obi-Wan at Obi-Wan’s house
That Scene in Bloodline after the Senate finds out that Vader was Leia’s dad and she collapses in her room alone and bawls
Maul’s (ACTUAL, so help me God) Death Scene in Rebels and his last words
That in Bloodline, people in the GFFA are utterly shocked that Vader had children with someone because he was so horrible and they cannot fathom him ever having been someone who loved or was loved (and wonder aloud if Padme was assaulted by him)
The fact that Yoda seems to have put the pieces together at the site of the Jedi Temple Massacre WAY before Obi-Wan does (or he’s in way less denial about it) and you can tell he knows that it’s going to absolutely crush Obi-Wan
Obi-Wan flying back from Mustafar
Obi-Wan’s face when he first sees Artoo In A New Hope
Anakin leaving his mom
Rex and Ahsoka in Rebels
Ahsoka and Artoo discussing how they both miss Anakin in the Ahsoka novel
Mon and Bail’s conversation about invoking The Kenobi Option in Rogue One
10. Mr. Gold / Rumpelstiltskin -What redemption!? Rumple was an out-and-out villain in S1, and he didn’t truly change at all in S2 no matter how often he publicly restrained himself to appease Belle. S3 was the only time he made an honest effort at redemption, but it was fraught with failures, temptation, doubt and relapses into asshole behavior. The only thing that made it succeed was that it occurred in a very specific set of ideal circumstances…and that Rumple died at the end of it all. After being resurrected and losing his son, Rumple quickly regressed into the villainy he’s comfortable with, becoming the Big Bad of S4. In S5, we had that brief “hero Gold” arc that was not only morally insulting and nonsensical, but also pointless since he ends up choosing to become the Dark One again by the end of it…the Darkest Dark One, in fact, who is thoroughly unpleasant up until the very end of S6, where - after being faced with the consequences of his own evil actions, consequences that include the potential destruction of the entire multiverse - he does the right thing once, which leads to Belle taking him back, allowing him to help raise their son, and him getting accepted at the big family dinner by all of his victims. What the actual fuck!? That’s not a redemption - Rumple hasn’t repented of his evil ways, he hasn’t given up his dark powers, he hasn’t sacrificed one damn thing, and he only did something good after his own evildoing backfired on him. He is literally responsible for the crisis he helped resolve. And yet he gets rewarded with his own “happy beginning” with his abused wife and helpless infant son? Fuck off, A&E.
9. Regina Mills / The Evil Queen - I technically consider Regina to have the worst redemption on the show since I refuse to accept Rumple as even having a redemption. Regina’s first attempt at redemption happened quickly into S2, some may argue too quickly. While it seemed to be going well at first, it soon became apparent that she was only doing it in order to regain custody over Henry rather than out of any true remorse or desire to change. The moment something goes wrong for her, she turns evil again, and ends up being even more heinous a bitch than she was before. If the show had been operating under any logic, Regina should have been considered irredeemable at this point. But instead, she is given another chance, and for most of S3 she does a surprisingly good job…until the last five episodes, where her redemption is suddenly fasts-forwarded so that she receives all the rewards she has not yet done anything to deserve: a new boyfriend, easy reconciliation with Snow and with Henry, a True Love’s Kiss with Henry that breaks the Dark Curse, light magic out of nowhere that defeats her previously more powerful sister, and the complete trust and forgiveness of the entire town despite her past victimization of them. But then one thing goes wrong for her, and while she resists falling back into full-on villainy, she still returns to being a whiny, spiteful, self-pitying woman-child who is always looking for the easy way to get what she wants and occasionally does do evil things to achieve this, yet is paradoxically treated by the rest of the cast as a messianic saint, someone who has come so far and worked so hard and deserves her happy ending, with the narrative frequently giving her all of the big hero moments at Emma’s expense. In fact, much of her development comes at Emma’s expense, since A&E clearly see her as the true star of the show. And that show just isn’t any fun to me.
8. Cora Mills / The Queen of Hearts - This one is just bizarre. Cora was a villain of the highest order all the way up to her death, where she had a dying epiphany as to where she went wrong in regards to her daughter. But for some reason, her death is treated as such a tragedy and as such a source of guilt for Snow (not how she killed Cora, no, just that she killed Cora at all) that one would think Cora redeemed herself before her death, which just isn’t so. Things got iffier when Cora showed up in the Underworld during 5B, and after doing one good deed in reconciling with her daughters and getting them to reconcile with each other, she is allowed to go to Heaven. While I personally find this acceptable since Cora actually did repent of her villainy and fully acknowledge that she would deserve to go to Hell if that was her fate, I can see why many would be bugged about one of the most evil villains in the show’s history being shown going to Heaven while other characters higher above her on the moral scale - Milah, Gaston, Auntie Em, and even Prince James in the same episode - are condemned to the River of Lost Souls. When put into that context, it seems less like a good lesson on divine mercy and more a case of creator favoritism toward the character. Cora probably should have just remained in the Underworld to continue her redemption.
7. Maleficent & Ursula - Two thirds of the Queens of Darkness (the other one, Cruella, was an irredeemable sociopath in life and in death), both of them have things that work about their redemption and things that don’t work. For Ursula, her redemption comes when, after Hook brings her father Poseidon to town who restores her singing voice, she realizes that her true happy ending wasn’t recovering that but reconciling with her father, who is now repentant of his past patriarchal abuse of her. This is all well and good, but Ursula really didn’t do all that much evil for the redemption to be powerful. She always came off as lost and confused and hanging out with the wrong crowd, not truly villainous. And then there’s Maleficent, who has the opposite problem. Her happy ending is also reuniting with a family member, her long-lost daughter Lily. It’s sweet and touching, but it also glosses over all of Maleficent’s established villainy. Maleficent cursed people, burned people alive, destroyed a village, was deemed as having the greatest potential for darkness by a Chernabog, but none of it matters in the end. Even her sworn vendetta against Snow and Charming (whom were made to look like villains and Maleficent their victim) is abruptly dropped and she’s suddenly getting along with them. It’s pretty much Regina’s bullshit redemption but on a mercifully smaller scale. Since Maleficent did not actually repent of her evildoing, the show should have treated her character accordingly - as still a villain and a potential threat, but also a loving mother. At the end, she’d be the gray-shading which is complimented by Ursula’s white and Cruella’s black.
6. Tinkerbell - Aside from the villain-to-hero journeys of Regina, Rumple and Hook in 3A, we also got Tinkerbell, who was an ex-fairy turned trusted partner of Peter Pan. The Nevengers persuade her to help them, but only if there’s something in it for her (namely, leaving Neverland and being able to confront the Blue Fairy about getting her wings back). In the end, inspired by Regina and Hook’s progress, Tink learns to believe in herself and earns her fairy status back. It’s a nice little arc, but it’s missing one crucial detail - the nature of her villainy. We never see her and Pan interact, we never learn exactly what kind of work she did for him to make him trust her so much. We see that she’s a scavenger who is prone to violence, but that’s it. Wendy, Pan’s longtime prisoner, is friends with her, so she couldn’t have been all that bad. This lack of clarity undermines what is otherwise a good redemption.
5. Zelena Mills / The Wicked Witch - For the most part, Zelena’s redemption in S5 and S6 really works. She was never as bad as Regina, so already her changing is more believable. When she realizes that her wicked lifestyle is actually harmful to her baby daughter, she allows Regina and Robin to take her in order to keep her safe. She doesn’t join Hades despite him professing his love for her until she thinks she can use her own love for him to redeem him. And when it becomes apparent that it won’t and never will, Zelena kills him in order to protect her sister and everyone else in Storybrooke. When Regina is an ungrateful bitch and blames her for Robin’s death, Zelena is ostracized from everyone else. But even when the Evil Queen comes along and tempts her to return to her wicked roots, Zelena keeps firmly out of the conflict, preferring to remain a neutral party for her baby’s sake until her hand is forced and she joins the side of good despite it not really getting her anything and no hero save for Belle caring much for her. This commitment to doing the right thing comes to a head when she actually sacrifices her magic, the thing she’d defined herself by for so long, to help stop the Black Fairy, a sacrifice Regina should have made long ago but never did. After this, the other heroes fully embrace her as one of their own. It’s a great redemption, but there is one snag - Robin, both the man and the baby named after him. The baby Zelena conceived through deceiving Robin into thinking she was Marian. By - let’s not mince words here - raping him. It’s not quite as bad as Regina with Graham, especially since Zelena didn’t kill Robin and Robin was willing to give her a second chance of his own volition prior to his death, but it’s still rape all the same, and to have the rape victim die while the rapist keeps the baby is extremely squicky, no matter how surprisingly good a mother Zelena may be. This one aspect casts a shadow over Zelena’s redemption and it never should have happened.
4. King Arthur - Arthur was a villain in 5A, a corrupt monarch obsessed with fulfilling his destiny and ruling over Camelot at all costs. While despicable, Arthur was also somewhat sympathetic too, as he became more evidently pathetic as the arc went on and Merlin really did screw him up by filling his head with visions of a future he felt the need to achieve. In the climax of 5B, Arthur escapes prison only to be promptly murdered by Hades. Down in the Underworld, Hook confronts Arthur with the truth: he was a terrible king and will probably go to Hell if he doesn’t do something to atone. Note that at first this is the reason why Arthur helps Hook in his quest for the book: he just wants to avoid the consequences of his villainy. But as the episode goes on, a clear change in Arthur can be seen as he sees the depth of Hook’s feelings for Emma, his bravery and his nobility…in this lowly pirate, Arthur sees the man he had wanted to be and failed to become, making him feel true remorse. Arthur then becomes invested in the quest to the point where he is willing to sacrifice himself to the River of Lost Souls so that Hook can get to the book. And at the end, when a doorway to Heaven is open and Arthur has the chance to go through it, which was the whole reason he joined Hook on this quest at the start, he declines and opts to stay in the Underworld, to rule it as a benevolent king and make it a better place, which a short on the S5 DVD shows that he did indeed do. In just one episode, Arthur had one of the best redemptions on the show, from a selfish cad to a noble hero. While like Zelena, he also has a rape-like situation with Guinevere that remains untouched upon (he used magic dust on her to keep her from leaving him and turn her into his compliant wife), there was no confirmation of actual rape and even some proof against it (he was too consumed by his obsession with Exaclibur to do anything romantic for Guinevere, let alone sexual), so it’s not quite as harmful to his redemption.
3. Ingrid / The Snow Queen - Ingrid is an even better example of a great redemption being accomplished in just one episode. Despite being terrifying, prejudiced and insane, Ingrid was also one of the most tragic and sympathetic villains to ever be on the show, with an absolutely heartbreaking backstory and her sole motivation being to have a family who loves her. She cast the Shattered Sight spell in order to make everyone in Storybrooke kill each other save for Emma and Elsa, who would become her new sisters, but when Anna shows her a letter from her sister Gerta expressing remorse for imprisoning her and confirming that she still loved her, Ingrid realizes the error of her ways. In one of the best redemptive villain lines in the series, she says “I am a monster. Not because of my powers, but because of what I let them turn me into!” She then reverses the spell at the cost of her own life, telling Emma, Elsa and Anna that they are all amazing people and that she is proud of them, then saying that her happy ending will be to join her sisters in death. The whole scene is acted and scored beautifully, and I can’t help but cry anytime I see it. By acknowledging what she did wrong and accepting responsibility for it, Ingrid is one of the show’s best redeemed villains.
2. Anastasia / The Red Queen - One of the two main villains of Once Upon in Wonderland, Anastasia quickly began to look more appealing, sympathetic and redeemable in contrast to the monstrous villainy of Jafar. Her main crimes, apart from aiding him, were giving up love for power and being a neglectful ruler to her people…and she was helping Jafar in the hopes of getting to change the past so that she never did any of that. When this failed and it became clear that she wasn’t going to be able to take the easy way out, Anastasia gave up on her aspirations and finally took full responsibility for being a terrible queen, vowing to make it up to the people of Wonderland by fighting to save them from Jafar, a fight that she stuck through even when it got her tortured by the Jabberwocky and then murdered by Jafar. In the end, her redemption earned her life, being revived by the water from the Well of Wonders, and won her back the love of Will Scarlet. Years later, she is still ruling Wonderland but now as the White Queen, who actively works to bring love, hope and joy to her people. Anastasia’s redemption is everything that Regina’s is not, with her being fully self-aware of her villainy, truly remorseful of her actions once she starts her redemption, and with purely altruistic motives - doing the right thing just because it’s the right thing and she wants to help make amends for her past mistakes. Add in Emma Rigby’s performance and it’s nigh-perfect.
1. Killian Jones / Captain Hook - Hook’s redemption starts at the very end of S2, inspired by his regrets for failing Baelfire long ago and not wanting to do the same with his son Henry, putting aside his desire for revenge in favor of doing the right thing. He had everything to gain by not making this decision, but he does so anyway. Throughout 3A, he does an admirable job helping the heroes through Neverland and returning to being the honorable man he was long ago, although his motives aren’t entirely pure as he hopes to woo Emma. When he is separated from Emma and gives up hope of reuniting with her, he tries to go back to his villainous pirate ways, but is overcome with remorse after doing so, realizing that his time with Emma changed him to the point where it’s not just for her that he wants to reform for, but for himself too. When he learns that Emma’s family is in danger and that he must find her and get her to go help them, he trades the Jolly Roger - and his home, crew, livelihood and reputation along with it - in order to do so. He continues to do good not to “get into Emma’s pants” but to ensure her happiness regardless of whether she ever returns his feelings, and to be the hero he now sincerely wants to be. His redemption comes to a climax in S5, where he becomes evil again after Emma forces the Darkness upon him to save his life, and is once again put into a position where he’d gain everything he wants by following through on his villainy, but remembering that this is not the man he wants to be, he once again does the heroic thing instead, at the cost of his own life. In the Underworld, Hook learns the value of self-forgiveness and accepts the possibility of a second chance at life, but when it looks like this is impossible, he promises Emma to move on to Heaven when she asks him too. Unable to do so until his unfinished business of helping Emma defeat Hades is resolved, Hook has a heroic quest alongside Arthur where he proves just how far he’s come, and when he goes into the light to fulfill his pledge to Emma at the end of it, he is instead resurrected by Zeus, deeming him a True Hero worthy of being reunited with his True Love.
Hook’s redemption is superb not just because of the events that transpire and his growth throughout it, but because of his overall attitude toward the whole thing. He knows full well that he was a villain, is remorseful for every crime he committed and takes full responsibility for them, and whenever the chance to make things right with someone he wronged comes up, he takes it. It takes a long time for him to fully get past his self-loathing for his past sins, as he doesn’t feel entitled to happiness just because he’s changed and is doing heroic deeds now, as opposed to Regina, Rumple and initially Zelena who all believed themselves entitled to a happy ending, their crimes and victims be damned. And lastly, also unlike them, every privilege that Hook has by the end of the series he has earned through his own hard work at redeeming himself. He has no leftovers from anything he gained as a result of his villainy, even the rings on his fingers have changed from ones that belonged to dead victims to new ones he presumably fairly bought. His new wife and family, his friendships with others, his house, his ship, his job as deputy sheriff, his very life…all thanks to his heroism and the good karma it rewarded him with. All of this is why Hook’s redemption is truly the series’ finest.
markson are the head of the choi youngjae protection squad tbh (ilysm!!!)
It’s honestly so true! The way they jumped to Youngjae’s defense over Bambam’s teasing was just so important and precious, and it makes me feel so warm inside to see them looking out for him and protecting him so much! They always have such a habit of looking out of him, and protecting him, and making him happy anyway, and they’re just so supportive and encouraging and adoring of him and everything that he does that it’s honestly beautiful!
and showing their love for him (even when he’s not there)…
Markson really are such champions at taking care of our Sunshine and protecting and supporting him against all the evils of the world like cucumbers… most of the time, haha! They really are amazing leaders in the Choi Youngjae Protection Squad!!!
Some Kagami love for study de-stress. Slight MadaTobi. Kagami is 13-14 here.
When Madara and his apprentice finishes training late, it makes sense for him to offer Kagami dinner and the spare room. This happens the next day, and the next. Until it becomes more intuitive to poke his head into the spare room than send a messenger cat off when trying to find his wayward apprentice.
He knew Kagami stayed with his cousins – he had lost his parents a long time ago, and clan members are duty-bound to adopt orphaned children. Madara also knew that Kagami was cordial, at best, with his adopted family.
Not that there was any bad blood, no. It’s hard to find anyone that dislikes Kagami. It’s just what it is; duty. And duty can be done without any deeper ties.
Madara doesn’t mind. Kagami is talkative, cheerful and eager to please. The latter is what really appeals to Madara. After years of Izuna’s affectionate insubordinance, a puppy kind of obedience makes him want to cackle with glee.
Even Izuna is happy to allow Kagami to slip into their tight knitted circle. Without hesitation, Izuna slid into the role of older-brother with an ebullience that surprises Madara.
A small part of Madara acknowledges that it’s probably because Izuna’s never had a chance to be a big brother to their own little brothers. It’s clear that Izuna enjoys making up for lost time.
Kagami is chūnin now; he works at the Police Station under Madara to clock in his community service hours, before finding Tobirama and helping him with his new band of genin. Then he usually meets up with Madara again, and they train together before crashing back home. It’s more efficient this way.
So he doesn’t really notice when extra clothes began accumulating in one of his guest rooms. Then books, and weapons. He doesn’t notice the extra pair of house slippers until he trips on them. And when he does trip over them, Madara only blinks his bleary eyes for a second, before barking at Kagami to put them at their proper place when he’s not using them.
He does notice that Kagami likes to hang out in the same room as Izuna and Madara. All three of them would do completely different things, but it never felt intrusive.
For someone who is lauded to be one of the most proficient users of the Sharingan, Madara can be pretty unobservant
There’s their household chore wheel. Normally divided in half, it disappeared one day, only to reappear divided into thirds with a new name written on it. It was also decorated with cat stickers in its new reincarnated form.
There’s his tendency to accept anything Kagami tries to hand him without looking.
One time, Kagami handed him a form instead of a police report.
“Sign, please? I want to open my own private bank account,” inform Kagami. “I’m technically still a child, since I’m under sixteen, so I need a supervisor’s signature.”
Sounds reasonable to Madara. He didn’t even blink twice before he signed the form for him.
If Madara had to peg the moment he started noticing, it would be when he realised that his lunch was edible. Actually, it was more than that. It was delicious.
“Huh.” Madara chews on his onigiri, pleasantly surprised. He offered some to Tobirama, who’s going through his own stack of papers across the expansive desk from him, to see if his tongue is playing tricks with him. Tobirama hums, and said it’s a lot better than what he usually packs.
Which is true. As siblings, Madara and Izuna can act as a study of opposites. Madara often gets impatient and under-seasons his food. Izuna tends to get bored and starts experimenting.
No one comes out at the end of their lunch break a winner.
Then there’s the hospital incident, where Kagam broke arm badly and needed a cast on top of chakra healing. He couldn’t check out without his guardian filling in his discharge form, so a messenger was sent to Madara’s office.
When the receptionist told Madara this, he is absolutely baffled. “Guardian, as in parental guardian?” asks Madara.
“Yes, Uchiha-sama,” the receptionist replies. “He’s jotted you down as his parental guardian.”
“Huh.” Madara takes a moment for the news to register. Then he signs the discharge forms, before entering the room where Kagami sits to sort it all out.
As soon as he steps inside, Madara asks, “Do you want to be formally adopted into our family?”
“Yes!” Kagami blurts out, then flushes. “Ah, was that too desperate? I mean, yes, Shishou.” Kagami coughs and sits up straighter. “I’d very much like that.”
And it turns out, Kagami carries spare adoption papers in his flak jacket. Madara can’t help it. He chuckles before ruffling the boy’s already messy hair. “Don’t tell Izuna this,” Madara teases, “but you’re already my favourite.”
Izuna is lured in the kitchen by the delicious smell wafting from their wok. There Madara stands beside Kagami, Madara stirring the wok with his chopsticks while Kagami beside him throws in a handful of spices into the pan.
“Ooh,” Izuna sings. “That smells delicious! What’s the special occasion?”
Kagami turns around grinning. “I’m officially adopted into the family!”
Both of Izuna’s eyebrows rises up to his hairline. “You mean you weren’t before?”
“Nope,” confirms Kagami exuberantly.
Izuna laughs. “Really, brother? You adopt a stray kid by bringing him home, and you don’t even notice it until – when was it? I completely forgot. Kagami-chan, how long has it been now?”
Madara grimaces. “Hush, you two. I’ve been busy, okay. And don’t look at me like that, Kagami.“
“Like what, Shishou?”
“Like there are stars trying to burst out of your eyes.” Madara narrows his eyes at him. “Like I’m your hero.”
“But you are my hero, my idol, my role model” defends Kagami. “Sensei told me it’s good to have a role model – and you’re everything I aspire to be in life. You’re even dating sensei!”
“What?” asks Madara.
“What?” asks Kagami, all doe eyes and innocence.
“Holy shit,” Madara mouths without sound.
“Rude. I am right here, you know,” Izuna reminds them. He levels a chopstick towards Kagami. “I’m much better role model material. Brother only wishes to be half as charismatic as I am, and it wouldn’t have taken me a gazillion years to notice that I’ve been dating Tobirama for these past couple of weeks.”
Madara is mumbling quietly. “All those times we had dinner, and lunch, and the walks, and after work drinks – Tobirama and I have been dating and I haven’t noticed? How am I still alive? How has Tobirama not killed me yet?”
Helpful as ever, Kagami is elated to answer. “Oh! There’s a betting pool as to how long it’ll take you to realise and sensei himself even has money for – uh, I mean–” Kagami cuts off abruptly at Izuna’s rapid throat cutting motions, “–oh no! I think our stir fry’s burning! Better stir it very vigorously, Shishou–”
Madara flicks Kagami on the back of his head, because his apprentice is as transparent as glass. Izuna snickers madly while Kagami squawks. “Nice try. Izuna, you are such a bad influence. And you, Kagami, you’re telling me all about this betting pool after we finish. And Tobirama’s too old for you. Find someone younger to crush on.”
Kagami pokes his tongue out at him, and Madara rolls his eyes.
Now that he notices how easily Kagami fits into his family, he can’t help but smile. He could get used to this.
Consider this ask as a request to get that rant on Roadside Attraction STARTED!
Okay, first of all, I sincerely apologize for leaving this unanswered so long. Things…happened.
Disclaimer: I haven’t watched Roadside Attraction in a while so I might be slightly misremembering some of it. (It’d probably be a good idea to rewatch it first, but honestly just writing all this has got me riled up enough already. (look emotions are hard okay)
Disclaimer 2: I critique because I love, I swear.
So when it comes down to it, I guess my problems with RA basically boil down to two big things:
1. The overall ‘message’ and how it treats the characters.
2. The weirdness of it existing at that point in the show in the first place.
First things first: look, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for media messages about not being a skeevy jerk and treating women as objects, but the way it was done in this episode was, honestly, just…weird. It basically introduces a character trait for Dipper (and, to a lesser extent, Stan; I mean I know Stan is…Stan, but did anyone really get ‘sleazy pickup artist’ as the vibe from any of his interactions with women that we saw before this episode?) that he was never shown to remotely have before or after (though admittedly there’s not a lot of ‘after’ to begin with), just so he could be taught a lesson about it that he never should have needed in the first place.
Dipper’s problem has always been that’s he’s obsessed with one girl, and he certainly got plenty of embarrassment and woe out of that general experience, but ultimately that was good for him: he loosened up (somewhat), became more understanding and accepting of Wendy’s autonomy, and moved towards being able to deal with rejection while still being friends with her. That’s a satisfying arc and it makes no sense to me that they would suddenly partway reverse it and then use that as a reason to try and take Dipper down this weird incredibly short character arc that he didn’t need.
Is it realistic that you don’t just immediately get over someone even if intellectually accept that you’re not going to be together? Absolutely. But frankly, this is a weirdass time for Gravity Falls to be invoking realism. And regardless, realism does not automatically make for a better story, especially when that story has to be told in 22 minute intervals.
So it’s already weird that the show is portraying Dipper that way, but then what he does is really not all that heinous to begin with. The thing is, Stan is right. Dipper does need practice talking to-well, everyone, really, but especially girls. For God’s sake, the poor guy needed a massively oversized list, a bunch of clones, and a Rube Goldberg-esque plot just to ask Wendy to dance with him, a task he ultimately failed at anyway. (Which, honestly, even aside from intent, makes the whole idea of him successfully managing to actually lead any girls on to any degree pretty dang unbelievable.) And that’s really all he does with any of them, is talk. He doesn’t promise them anything except maybe to stay in touch, which we don’t really have any evidence he wasn’t planning on doing. Hell, even Stan, for all that we’re supposed to see his behavior as Not Good (which, to be fair, it usually is) doesn’t really do anything more than flirt with an apparently receptive woman and then take a walk with her, which is honestly way more honorable than most of Stan’s interactions with people. We’ve certainly seen him treat people way worse than that without getting condemned for it.
And then there’s the whole thing with Candy, which is…really frustrating. She puts Dipper in a situation he’s very, very obviously not comfortable with, demands something of him he never gave her an indication that he was interested in, and then when she doesn’t get what she wants…he has to apologize to her? By ‘admitting’ that he was being an idiot? What?
Like, I know they were going for ‘don’t be a pickup artist’, basically, but what it came off as was more like ‘never interact with women because if you do they’ll immediately start acting like you’re in a relationship with them and expect you to act the same way and sometimes they might do that even if you don’t interact with them (also sometimes they might turn out to be spider women who will eat you)’.
Basically, any time you set out to give the message ‘treat women with respect’ and instead wind up with ‘women are strange, irrational and sometimes horrifying’, I think you’ve really got to step back and reconsider things for a minute.
But what’s especially weird to me is the contrast between this and the way the show treats Mabel’s behavior. Mabel’s been spending pretty much the whole show doing what this episode punishes Dipper for doing. We see her hitting on three boys in rapid succession within the first ten minutes of the show, her desire for a relationship and rather aggressive pursuit of that is the formation of a lot of plots during the show, and she’s only called on it when it gets to the point of hurting her friendships or literally imprisoning boys in her room.
I mean, I’m not trying to pick on Mabel here, or say that the show should have been calling her on that except when it got extreme (like, say, literally imprisoning boys in her room), at which point the show did call her on it. But it’s weird to me that the show then goes out of its way to condemn Dipper for doing basically the same thing except to a lesser degree. I guess you could argue that Mabel was looking for a relationship and Dipper was looking for ‘practice’, but that still doesn’t really work for me; in both instances they have a goal in mind for which the specific other person involved is basically a variable. Why is Mabel wanting an Epic Summer Romance with more or less any boy worse than Dipper wanting to just talk to more or less any girl? And at any rate, Dipper’s attitude in RA hardly seems any worse towards the girls than the attitude Mabel, Grenda and Candy went into the Northwest party with towards the boys, but we’re supposed to take one as being terrible and the other as being perfectly normal girl behavior.
So yeah, there’s that. Now, part two. (Still with me?)
The pacing. This episode makes absolutely no sense to me where it is. You spend 3/4s of the show building up to this big reveal that completely alters the atmosphere, plot, and character dynamics, and now you have all of five episodes to explore all the ramifications of that while ramping up the tension towards the big finale…why would you make one of those a filler episode that has no impact on the plot at all and is so disconnected to anything that it could have been stuck pretty much anywhere else in the show without next to no changes?
Like, okay, I’ll admit, part of why I don’t like this episode is because it doesn’t have Ford in it. And hey, that’s a personal thing. But it’s not just about me wanting MOAR FORD. The thing is, regardless of whether you like him or loathe him or whatever, Ford is, objectively, an incredibly important character. He’s the catalyst for the central plot and driving mystery of the show and the principle catalyst for the oncoming confrontation, his appearance changes pretty much everything that we took for granted about the show before, and just by existing he has a huge impact directly on Stan and Dipper and indirectly on Mabel (in that his interactions with Dipper in turn impact Mabel’s relationship with him). And, again, you have five episodes to explore all this. In one of them Ford’s barely there at all and then in this one he doesn’t even get mentioned. We don’t even get an explanation for why he’s suddenly absent. (I know we do in the Journal, but not in the show itself.) I just…that doesn’t make any sense to me. I mean, maybe I’m showing favoritism here, but-no offense to Candy-I really don’t get why she gets more character focus in this episode than, y’know. The long-lost close family member with massive unresolved issues and a huge amount of secrets.
And it doesn’t make any sense to me to have a light-hearted filler episode with nothing to do with the plot so very close to the finale when the tension is so high and the last episode literally ended with a very ominous threat. It certainly doesn’t make sense in plot terms that they spent so much time last episode working to protect the Shack so they had a sanctuary from Bill, and then everyone runs away from the Shack. I just. What.
And, this is a lesser point, but it doesn’t really make sense to me for them to leave Gravity Falls itself at that point in the show. Just, sure, we know weird stuff exists in plenty of other places, but there’s a lot of focus on there being something especially weird and significant about Gravity Falls specifically. And that’s something that gets really dialed up in this last part of the show-Ford specifically seeking the town out to study, the significance of the Mystery Shack and all its secrets, the connection Bill has to the area, the crashed UFO, and of course it all builds up to a big plot point in the finale that Bill’s confined to Gravity Falls. But then right smack in the middle of all that we briefly detour to some pretty much unrelated location for…what reason? It’s like MYSTERY OF GRAVITY FALLS
MYSTERY OF GRAVITY FALLS
MYSTERY OF GRAVITY FALLS oh by the way there’s some spider people over here too MYSTERY OF GRAVITY FALLS. It’s not a huge deal but it feels weird to me, especially since the show had hardly been going on so long that that they had worn out the setting.
I know I’m committing the great sin of claiming to know better than the writers, but since we’ve come this far anyway, you know what I think would have worked better than Roadside Attraction?
You’ve already got this idea of the other tourist trap owners annually pranking Stan, so why not just go with that? Have them come to him like they apparently usually do. That way:
-You can keep the focus on Gravity Falls and all the plot points therein.
-You don’t have the problem of everyone inexplicably leaving their sanctuary; in fact, that adds to the plot, because now they have even more motivation to protect the Mystery Shack.
-You’ve got a lot of opportunity for character interplay as the family has to deal with all this (imagine the opportunity for conflict between Ford and Stan over the house, and how much you could build up the oncoming tension of Stan having to leave the Shack by showing how much he had really made it his home over the years).
-You can still hint at the existence of weirdness outside Gravity Falls without taking the focus away from it.
-You could expand on Stan’s past a little-because God knows we all wanted it-by referencing what was going on with him and these other rivals for all these years, and show a bit more about how the Shack actually operates as a tourist trap, which I, at least, would have liked to see.
-You could continue the ongoing character arc of Dipper’s relationship with Ford and how that was impacting his relationship with Mabel, instead of dropping it for something completely out of the blue.
-You could still have a bit of a breather episode before the finale (since that was evidently the reason we got this one here in the first place) without having to completely drop the plot and derail all the building tension to do so.
-Tell me you wouldn’t want to see a full-scale Pines family prank war unleashed, because I sure as hell would.
Loved your serpent Betty fic. Can you write something where Betty goes to see Jughead at the serpent bar and finds out her mother was a serpent from the older members. Which makes her a long lost serpent also she gets her own jacket to wear. Ending with Alice's reaction to Betty and Jughead in matching jackets?
“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Betty asked, staring at the bright door that lead into the Southside bar.
“There my family Bets. If they don’t like you then they’re idiots and don’t deserve me or you.” Jughead said, gripping her small hand in his. Betty gave him a small smile and looked back at the door. “You ready?”
“Ready as I’ll ever be.” Betty said, a determined look on his face. She started towards the door, pulling her boyfriend behind her by the hand.
He gave her a small chuckle before being pulled towards the blaring music. The door slammed shut once they were in the packed bar, all eyes turning to them. Betty was the first one to move, tugging at Jughead’s hand for both of them to move towards the pool table.
When she was walking back, she heard and caught on to some of the conversations some of the serpents were having with each other, but for the most part tried to ignore them.
“Is it her?”
“It can’t be.”
“She was pregnant when she left…”
“You don’t think…”
“Someone needs to ask her!”
“What if it is her?”
“Should we give it to her?”
Betty tried to ignore the serpents stares, but after a while she could feel them burning into her back. They reached the pool table, and when Jughead went for the wall to get ready, one of the largest serpents walked out of the crowd and stood in front of the petit blonde.
Jughead walked over and stood at her side. “Hey Viper! This is my girlfriend, Betty Cooper.” He said. When the Cooper name slipped out of his mouth, the whole bar gasped, mouths open.
“Betty Cooper huh?” Viper started, leather jacket tight around his shoulders. “Is there any chance your Alice’s girl?”
“Alice Cooper? Yeah, she’s my mom. Is that a problem?” Betty said, cracking her knuckles in fear.
Viper just laughed at the young girl, the rest of the bar joining in with him. Betty had a small smile on her face and looked around the bar with curiosity and confusion.
“She’s a Cooper! That means, she’s family.” Viper stated, placing one of his large hands on her shoulder, giving it a tight squeeze and shake.
Betty turned to Jughead, who had an equally confused look on his face. Betty turned back to Viper.
“What do you mean I’m family?” She asked, smile still on her face.
“Ah, old Ally never told you. She was a serpent. A pretty badass one too. She was super close with our own FP Jones.” he said, grabbing Jughead’s shoulder as well. Betty’s mouth was wide open as another serpent pushed a photo of her mom and FP when they were younger. She had a bright pink jacket wrapped around her shoulders, and FP had a matching black one.
She was about to start talking when Viper gave her something. The same pink jacket with the Southside Serpents logo on the back. It was her moms.
“Your a Cooper girl, a Jones girl, and now a serpent girl.” Viper said, pulling the pink jacket over Betty’s shoulders for her. Betty blushed and a huge smile was plastered onto her face. Jughead stood next to her in support, wearing her exact same jacket, but in black.
After a few more hours of pool, nachos, and storytelling, Jughead decided that it was time for them to head home. He tried to pry her pink jacket off of her back, but Betty refused.
“I think old Ally needs to see her old friend again. Don’t you Viper?” she said, a small smirk on her lips. Viper just nodded and kicked them both out of the bar.
When they finally got back from the bar, Betty turned to Jughead and told him that she needs to do it alone. He nodded and started to turn around, but stopped walking when Betty disappeared into the house.
He stood behind a tree, and started to leave after he heard Alice Cooper.
“A man poses as an impostor to get close to a family’s fortune, only to discover the family to be morbid outcasts obsessed with pain and death. He is only truly accepted by them once he begins becoming like them, and ultimately loses his former life and personality as he realizes he is a long lost relative and becomes a true member of the family after a double homicide.”
Like that sounds like a normal horror movie plot but instead it’s a family comedy about love and acceptance and discovering that there’s a place in the world for everyone where they will fit in with people just like them. That’s just amazing