the outlier

I think people often underestimate the potential educational value of senseless memes. For example, thanks to Spiders Georg, literally every teenager on Tumblr has a reasonable grasp of what a statistical outlier is and the sorts of problems that outliers can introduce into a naïve analysis. There are grown adults who don’t get that - I deal with them on a daily basis.

Slytherin: Hey, Ravenclaw, you said you would help me out if I needed something, right?

Ravenclaw: Yeah, what’s up?

Slytherin: The password to my dormitory is something bigoted again, and I was hoping I could stay in your dormitory. Could I have the password?

Ravenclaw: Of course! Just knock on the knocker and answer the Eagle’s question.

Slytherin: Wait, I have to actually think of things to get in?

Ravenclaw: Yeah, what’s the problem?

Slytherin: Fuck it, I’m asking Gryffindor, they can’t possibly be asked to think.

Thoughts and theories post S307

We got a clue to how the different dimensions work. These three dudes are obviously iterations of the same Rick who all encountered the same event in varying degrees of severity. It could just be that these three dimensions are right next to each other, but the numbering convention suggests that they’re true splits from one original dimension, caused by that event. 

If that’s true, it means that every time a major event occurs, timelines splinter into different offshoot possibilities. The Ricks that stay most “normal” keep their original dimension number and the others take on an iteration of that number based on the level of divergence. This also helps account for how the population of the citadel bounced back so quickly after the massacre in S301. As time goes on more splits in dimensions means a constant influx of more Ricks and Mortys.

Not every rick invents the portal gun. The portal gun is rick’s ultimate source of power and what allows the citadel to exist. From what we learned from the half-truths in S301′s portal gun origin backstory, Ricks ostensibly go from dimension to dimension giving portal technology to other Ricks rather than each Rick inventing it on his own. Plus we saw in the last episode that the Mortytown Rick tries and fails to make portal fluid, and cop Rick calls it out “bootleg,” plus the factory Rick demands a portal gun because he must not be able to make one of his own. 

For the Ricks that didn’t invent their own, portal fluid and guns are regulated and not allowed to all Ricks freely. It begs the question of how many Ricks actually invented the portal gun on their own. In theory, it would only take just one figuring it out and then sharing it with all the others.

More evidence for Evil Morty = Rick’s original Morty. This has been a fan theory since Evil Morty first showed up but after S307 the evidence is even stronger. Evil Morty dodges questions about his original dimension and Rick, instead diverting with “we moved around a lot.” That basically leaves the door wide open for the reveal of him being Rick’s og Morty.

Plus, if the moving around part wasn’t a lie, that means he and Rick skipped universes Cronenberg-style more than once (Rick did say he’d pulled that stunt before). Think how disillusioned just one dimension move made our Morty, it’s no wonder Evil Morty turned into what he is if he went through multiple ruined dimensions. Beyond that, our Morty has been shown to be getting more jaded and downright cruel this season, enough that people were thinking he was turning into Evil Morty. If our Morty has devolved into his current state with just being around our Rick for a few years, imagine how the Morty our Rick was around since when he was a baby would have turned out.

Cop Rick is alive for a reason. He killed Cop Morty and turned himself in expecting to be shot off into space, but in the end he’s released by Ricks under evil Morty’s control. Him being alive still is not insignificant, even if just for the narrative and character implications more than plot reasons. 

Cop Rick’s first instinct is to trust. He trusted the Morty in the room with the crib. He trusted Cop Morty to do the right thing. He wants to believe in true justice and the goodness in people, and acts on that belief no matter the outcome for him. 

The real gut punch is he’s not just an outlier. He shows that Ricks do have an infallible sense of justice when it’s not smothered out by narcissism and nihilism. We’ve seen that our Rick, despite being an asshole, will choose to do the right thing- even if it’s the hard thing- at crucial moments: He puts the collar on Morty instead of himself when they’re falling to their deaths in the void, he turns himself in to the Galactic Federation in order to save his family. 

Cop Rick is still alive because he’s the hero our Rick would be if he wasn’t such a jaded asshole. He’s the proof that despite everything, Rick is at his core trying to be good. Maybe that kind of Rick is valuable to Evil Morty, or maybe it was just valuable to us to see this side of Rick so explicitly.

Evil Morty wants control. Evil Morty is living the ideal Morty existence, in control of himself and the universe around him. It’s all he’d want after a life where Rick was always in control, where he could do nothing to stop the machinations of the universe from nearly crushing him every adventure. As we saw really plainly with Copy Morty, when a Morty gets enough knowledge, experience, and freedom, they can’t stand being treated like sidekicks anymore. No wonder the Ricks put them in a school designed not to teach them to be more competent on adventures but instead to keep them helpless and subservient. 

It’s easy enough to follow the same trend in our Morty. He’s been fighting for more control all season– He chooses not to try to rescue Rick from prison. He’s fine with going against Rick’s plan in the Mad Max world. He’s the one who makes them go on the adventure with the Vindicators (and Rick loses his shit when he doesn’t get to be the only one saving the day anymore). And perhaps most telling, Morty’s ideal toxin-free self abandons Rick entirely and creates a situation where his whole job is to manipulate and control other people. 

Evil Morty is what happens when Morty’s struggle for power goes to it’s furthest degree. He wanted so bad to not be the sidekick anymore that he’d do anything, even if it meant becoming the villain. 

The Magicians is a show where you can have a favorite and least favorite of the main cast but none of the main characters are inherently unlikeable so you’re just stuck caring about the mental and physical wellbeing of an entire cast and it’s very stressful because all of their lives suck and they’re assholes but they deserve to be happy god dammit

So I was thinking about music earlier in a Earth is Space Austraila/Humans Are Space Orcs kind of way

  • Humans have a way of singing that if you are not careful can permanently damage your vocal cords 
  • Humans are incredible mimics 
  • Whenever we hear “This song can’t be sung by humans” we Immediately go “lol” and do it anyway
  • Humans have a wide variety in which they can pitch their voices naturally, Freddie Mercury being a shining example of this (even though he is an outlier)
    • Likewise some people’s voices are naturally super high pitched or super fucking deep, there’s a lot of factors in human vocals 

Which got me thinking about how varied music would be in some Galactic Federation type of thing. How interpersonal relationships may be affected by a human hearing a song that is from a species that maybe descended from birds and a human is dancing and singing in the breakroom to some Avian Boy Band just nailing the lyrics. 

A alien crewmate walking in to find that one of their human crewmates are trying extremely hard to sing this song that, as far as anyone could tell, isn’t possible for them to do but What would you Know they’re getting better and better and might just be able to Do It

People who are singers have to have amazing breath control because of famously long notes in various songs and are able hold them and keep on going where as a human who doesn’t have that same kind of practice or an alien that just might not be able to do it it would be really impressed at this. 

idk man just, intergalactic music 

Things that I think some people forget are canon in the IDW universe, or think are just fanon
  • The usage of “frag”, “slag”, and “scrap” as cuss words
  • Lovers (conjunx endurae) being called “sparkmates”
  • Queer-platonic relationships (amica endurae)
  • While Megatron and Optimus are seen as very old, they are not. Megatron is five million years old, and OP stated that Megatron is a little older than him. Bots older than them include but are certainly not limited to: Rung, Whirl, Ironhide, Kup, Ratchet, Cyclonus, Tailgate, Rewind, Red Alert and Minimus Ambus/Ultra Magnus
  • Starscream was a representative in the Senate
  • Camiens laud those who have carried the Matrix as gods; they would view Rodimus just as they do Optimus
  • Young Cybertronians being called “sparklings”
  • Rodimus spent three days trying to program his holomatter avatar to have a sweatband
  • Before becoming Optimus Prime, Orion Pax was close friends with Megatron. He read and quoted Megatron’s Towards Peace and was even unsure if he was on “the right side”
  • Whirl likes French films
  • Rodimus is 4.2 million years old - only 800k years younger than Megatron
  • Mecha from Caminus have different spark frequencies than that of normal Cybertronians, causing their energon to be blue rather than pink
  • Megatron and Impactor worked together in the mines and were best friends
  • Cyclonus was on the Ark-1
  • Alcoholic beverages (engex)
  • Rodimus, Whirl, Skids, Swerve, Tailgate, and Ultra Magnus have all customized their holomatter avatars
  • Soundwave and Drift both grew up in the gutters of Rodion and were taken in by Megatron
  • There’s a mech on the Lost Light named Toaster, who turns into a toaster
  • Whirl was alt-mode exempt and a watchmaker of sorts. After the Empurata procedure, he changed his name (Whirl was not his original name), frame, and started hanging out in Rodion’s gutters, where Drift and Soundwave lived. He then became a prison guard and beat up Megatron, causing the latter to be pushed over the edge and start the war
  • Nautica is the exact picture of Pipes’ Dream Conjunx, but he died before getting the chance to meet her
  • Rodimus, formerly Hot Rod, grew up in the streets of Nyon and took care of other homeless people, and was approached directly by Megatron, who was hoping to recruit
  • Before becoming Rodimus, Hot Rod was about Rung’s size
  • Certain Decepticons in high standing with Megatron had special ceremonies performed by one of the Warriors Elite or Megatron himself in which the chosen Decepticon would have a piece of their spark casing removed and forged into their Badge
  • On both sides of the war, some mecha had real, physical badges, while others were simply painted on
  • Megatron is a forged spark in a cold-constructed body
  • Shockwave was a senator, and ran an academy for outliers (which Skids, Trailbreaker/Trailcutter, and Damus/Glitch, who would later become Tarn). He and Orion Pax (who was later to become Optimus Prime) were close friends
  • Mecha saying “I could hug you!”
  • Drift is filthy rich for a reason undisclosed
  • Rodimus and Swerve are both religious, just not obnoxiously so
  • Orion Pax had his insides rearranged by Shockwave’s techs to make a hole in his chassis - unbeknownst to him, Shockwave was doing this to MANY mechs to make it possible for them to carry the Matrix of Leadership. Had it not been for the hole created by Shockwave, Orion Pax would have never been able to become Optimus Prime
  • Even then, it hurt Orion Pax when the Matrix bonded with him and made him into Optimus Prime - when the Matrix bonded with Hot Rod and made him into Rodimus Prime, it felt good and right
  • Even by Cybertronian standards, Prowl is considered “heavy”
  • Chromedome was still able to lift him over his head and throw him off a cliff
  • Rodimus (Hot Rod at the time) broke into Styx, one of the most high-security Decepticon-owned prisons to ever exist, to break out Dealer, a former member of his unit (who then promptly betrayed him)
  • Chromedome and Brainstorm worked for The Institute, which was responsible for mind-wiping, Shadowplay, and Empurata
  • Drift joined the Decepticons at the very beginning of the war and only became an Autobot near the tail end of the war, less than a century before its close (He became an Autobot after meeting Wing, and then pretty quickly became a Wrecker and went to Earth in a time period likely to be the 80s or 90s). For nearly all of the 4 million years the war went on, he was Deadlock, amongst the most horrifying Decepticons out there, and was favored by Megatron enough that the warlord sent his most notorious bounty hunter out to go find him even after Deadlock had betrayed his superior officer’s orders and went rogue
  • Megatron never got an Autobot badge of his own; he still wears Bumblebee’s

Feel free to add your own!

“Average person screams 3 times per day” factoid actually just statistical error. average person screams 0 times per day. Refurb, who screams over 10,000 times each day, is an outlier and should not have been counted

Fort Briggs memes
  • “Oh, I dunno, BEARS?”
  • [holds up an inanimate object] “Is THIS a Drachman spy?”
  • [talking about Olivier] “That’s why her hair is so big, it’s…full of secrets
  • “what the fuck is a summer”
  • “Ahh, I’m so thirsty!” [tilts cup to take a sip. several ice cubes spill out]
  • [a very tiny animal/insect appears] “GET THE TANK”
  • “Let’s ask Major Miles!” [soldiers turn to a pineapple with glasses on it]
  • “statistics show that on average, every briggs soldier owns at least 2 ugly shirts. neil, who owns approximately 12,047 ugly shirts, is an outlier and should not have been counted”
  • [picture of soldiers doing something really stupid, like planking or hanging upside down from the ceiling] “this is the briggs way”
  • snow/ice puns EVERYWHERE

watching high school content as an ex-homeschooled kid really convinces me that i should be an isolated, ostracized bullying victim but somehow ive found a way to be like… popular? and have pretty seamlessly transferred into having a large and multifaceted social group in college?? so yeah it’s fun to be a statistical outlier

I will never tire of remembering things I love about Leverage but my fave are these:

  1. Parker and Sophie’s dynamic : It honestly floored me how there was never a stereotypical or negative dynamic between these two. They were always supportive of each other, tried to understand each other, and honestly were a healthy friendship. Finding that without it being made into something outlier or strange is rare sometimes in shows, at least with this consistency.
  2. Alec Hardison and his importance to the team : Even though it was Nate who formed the team, it was Hardison who brought them together with a proper place to be, not just once. He is cool but also emotional when needs come, allowed to be nervous, allowed to have hobbies and be so much more than a ‘typical’ geek, especially a black man playing a tech whiz, could be stereotyped as. Alec is the one who buys a pub and brews his own beer, gets excited over lasers in cooking, complains about things people would do in certain situations like insane stakeouts. He isn’t a crusader, isn’t representative of any mission, and isn’t an ideal. A human character and a great one at it.
  3. Sophie Devereaux and identity issues: Right from the start we are told that Sophie has identity twists. She is not who she shows in terms of her official name or identity. But this doesn’t mean that she doesn’t show her character to her group. She is open about her fears and love but is allowed her secrets. When Nate asks for her name she says he has to earn it, which is such a wonderful moment because it shows the balance in their dynamics. Her name matters to her and her group respects it. Even when he proposes, Nate doesn’t use her real name because that is a secret but he is proposing to her and that is all that matters to both of them. It showed people and secrets and the importance of respecting those.
  4. Parker and romance + intimacy : Again, this is shown right from the first episode. While Eliot and Nate are baffled by her in the beginning, and even Sophie is, the show never once makes us think that Parker is 'abnormal’ for having intimacy or emotional issues. Instead it shows the others learning to communicate with her and building their own ways to connect with her while her growing to understand their communicative styles too. Especially when Hardison and Parker show prospects of dating, Hardison is shown to learn her thought process and he is happy to learn but it’s not seen as something absurd. Parker learns about Hardison’s likes too and they share their likes by being interested and genuinely liking in each other’s company. Parker is an orphan who has been through abusive foster homes and never once does the group call her out badly on it or make her feel uncomfortable for it.
  5. Nate’s alcoholism : The very first shot of the show is Nate getting a drink while a guy comes to offer him a job and manipulates him emotionally using his son’s death. Talk about a brilliant opening setting, because this is his entire history set within the first 5 minutes. Nate is an alcoholic and has deep trauma from his son’s death along with a lot of impulsive guilt inspired reactions. He is the leader of this group of cons. He is called out every single time he screws up but not mockingly about his past but more in frustration about his lack of taking help. There is an entire episode where a con is planned in a rehab centre and it backfires because Nate is shown to have a breakdown when he is withheld from alcohol. His issues are highlighted and he doesn’t get into a serious romantic relationship without understanding that he should work on them. Alcohol is not glorified here and being an alcoholic is not shown as mysterious or hot. He goes to frickin jail because he fails to get things under control and the show doesn’t shy out from that.
  6. Eliot and Cooking: How many times do you find this trope where a Manly Man™ guy loves cooking but still doesn’t get shown to be compromised from his role as a Hitter? Eliot is a guy who hits but he does not have anger issues. He does not seek violence. He does not like guns. He loves cooking and is serious about it. He is the guy who had issues with being a team in the first episode and he is also the guy who would do anything to protect his team. He’s the nurturer of this team who feeds them and is loyal to the core. His cooking has a past too and that rocks because he learnt it from someone he was supposed to target. It is his calming mechanism. This is a Hitter who would make a beautiful dish because he likes it and still beat someone if they hurt others. It’s not one or the other, it’s both.
  7. Maggie, Tara, and every woman who played a supporting cast: Maggie is the ex-wife of Nate who is NEVER shown to be jealous or weird around Sophie. She doesn’t get back together with Nate or regret things but she also deeply cares for him. She is successful, has her own principles, and also helps this group con for revenge when she wanted to. Tara is a Grifter who is brought in when Sophie takes a break. She is thought to be a replacement and everybody hates her at first because they miss Sophie but they grow to respect and like her for WHO SHE IS and not for how she fills Sophie’s role. It’s not a replacement, as they realize. It’s a change and she brings her own dynamic with it. There are so many more like Ana who helped Parker when she had a broken leg, every single female client they had, Peggy who became Parker’s first friend outside the group and was starkly different. This show never made every woman the same because *gasp* they are not.
  8. From hurt the bad to help the good: Usually this concept remains of hurting bad people and Leverage does do that. But the team grows and their motto shifts too. They grow from hurting bad people to helping the good and both go hand in hand for them. It’s not just about removing the problem but also about finding the solution for them.
  9. It’s Personal: The group has one of the best team dynamics I have ever seen and it’s not just because they work well together. It’s also because they work with and for each other too. Each person has had personal cases on the show and even when the team thinks twice on certain things, they respect that personal aspect. The show portrayed the idea of 'I might not think the same way you do or make the same choices but I understand why you make them and I respect you’ with beautiful ideas. Be it Parker with Luka and the orphans in Russia or Eliot and the horse job; the team gives each other the benefit of doubt and trust when needed.
  10. Platonic relationships: I cannot tell you how much I love the platonic relationships of this show. Be it the parents-wards bond of Nate+Sophie and the others or the Eliot-Hardison-Parker dynamic which I know many people see as Ot3 (highly possible); every platonic bond is valuable and no single character is graced higher.
  11. Plot: Last but not the least, the plot. It came a full circle. The show finished its plots and had continuity of arcs. They started because Nate pushed them to find compensation for the past and the show ended with Nate pushing them to find their resource for the future. Every single character came a full circle by the end and we see growth in them.

I honestly wish we had more episodes of this show but I am really happy that we got what we did. To Leverage - the show that told that good is not who you are but what you do and choose.