"copycat” still really bothers me
i’m sure i’m not the first person to notice this but i’m rewatching the show and the episode “copycat” just gets me so annoyed and irritated because of how adrien was written in that episode. this is probably the episode where we have the most blatant, explicit evidence of one of adrien’s flaws (i.e. his jealousy) and he is at no point forced to be held accountable for his actions.
adrien quite literally causes an akuma because of his jealousy. but he is not forced to apologize to theo for lying about his relationship with ladybug, he’s not forced to apologize to ladybug for lying about said relationship without her consent, and adrien himself is not allowed time in the episode to acknowledge his jealousy, find fault in it, and learn from his mistake.
adrien as a character already has this annoying habit of being presented as the “perfect boy” who very rarely makes mistakes and is idolized for it. not just by marinette. by pretty much everyone. “jackady” had this really strange scene where gabriel and ladybug were staring at adrien’s modeling shots and gushing about how “flawless” and “perfect” he is. and most of adrien’s arguably negative qualities (e.g. his occassional inability to take things seriously in battle, his naivete, his occasional impulsiveness as chat noir, etc.) are often presented in ways that either make us sympathize with his behavior or find it endearing.
“copycat” is probably one of the only (if not the only) episodes where adrien is very clearly doing something wrong. he’s angry that theo likes ladybug so much so he lies about his relationship with ladybug and tells theo they’re a thing so that he can back off and chat noir can have ladybug all to himself.
the problem is that the show doesn’t call out adrien for this jealousy. about the only time it does is when plagg makes a dig at him right when adrien realizes who the akuma is.
and despite this, adrien merely rolls his eyes at plagg and scoffs at the comment as if it’s a joke. that was the perfect opportunity for adrien to take just a few seconds to say “you’re right. i should’ve never lied and let myself get jealous. that was wrong of me.”
about the best we can get is when chat noir acknowledges that he was the one who caused the akuma so he’s the one who has to go and get himself out of it. but at no point does he tell ladybug why this happened (especially because it involves her) and at no point does he vocalize the mistake he made, i.e. the fact that he let his jealousy take over.
then this is where the episode really starts to bother me
he calls out ladybug for not showing up to the statue unveiling. they actually make chat noir take time in the middle of his screw up to basically tell ladybug “well maybe you’d know what’s going on if you showed up this morning.” ladybug had done nothing wrong in regards to this akuma. we’re dealing with her phone stealing and her bad time management on the side, but this has nothing to do with the akuma. if anyone’s mistakes should be being highlighted here, it’s adrien’s.
but the episode continues to just let adrien get away with the fact that he lied. ladybug praises chat noir for his honesty and for the fact that he’s never lied to ladybug about anything (hello, irony) and normally this would be a pretty good moment for chat noir to at least look guilty. but instead he merely thanks her for the compliment and continues fighting anyway.
and then it gets even worse because the one who apologizes at the end of the episode is ladybug!! she apologizes to theo for not showing up to the unveiling! which, fine ok, but where was adrien’s apology? where was his opportunity to explain to ladybug that he messed up for lying about their relationship, causing this akuma, and putting ladybug in danger?
it’s replaced with chat noir’s angst about his crush not being returned.
we feel bad for him at the end of this episode because his “crush was crushed.” let alone that he let his jealousy get the better of him and lied to a stranger about ladybug and his relationship behind her back. we end the episode feeling sympathy for chat noir because ladybug doesn’t feel the same way for him. mr. perfect finally has an episode where he screws up and the show does not allow him to take sufficient responsibility for it and own up to his mistake.
and it further annoys me that this happened because anytime marinette messes up, she almost always apologizes. when she didn’t listen to chloe and caused her to be akumatized? she apologized to her for not listening to her. when she yelled at lila and caused her to be akumatized because of her own jealousy? she apologized to lila for being so mean to her. marinette is continuously asked to own up to her mistakes and apologize for them (as she should) meanwhile the one time adrien screws up, he gets let off for it.
idk man, it just gets me upset that adrien got it so easy in this episode. he should’ve apologized to theo. he should’ve told ladybug the truth. he should’ve owned up to the fact that his jealousy was totally unwarranted.