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PRIMETIMER

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  1. frame to frame

    S02.E16: Chapter Twenty-Nine: Primary Colors

    So... I think Archie's current motivations and character arc have actually been building all season if we look at his actions as revolving around his need for a father figure. Ever since Fred was shot Archie has been taking over the "protector" role in his household -- e.g. the gun/red circle thing while his dad was incapacitated, handling the medical bills, and now getting Fred out of his contract with the Lodges. Even if it's idiotic, Archie has been steadily taking over his father's role throughout the season. Yes, Fred has been rational and reasoned, but he's also been passive (e.g. the way he sat back and let Mary handle the disciplining of his son this episode), vulnerable, and completely out of the loop. Maybe this "weakness" can be chalked up to PTSD or simply Reasons, but he's as a result become an inadequate father figure to Archie, and Archie's had to become the "adult" and protect him in response. Then, enter Hiram -- a strong, authoritative figure who is able to both protect and direct Archie, empowering him while giving him strong direction in his life, and taking over the role that Fred currently cannot. He's come to stand in as Archie's new father figure. It's no accident Archie took a "blood oath" with Hiram (as dumb as that was) so that they now literally share blood. Read this way, it doesn't make Archie's actions more sympathetic, but I think this is what the writers are going for. Thematically, it's consistent, and Archie has always been naive and malleable. Just my two cents.
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    S03.E03: All Debts Paid

    I don't have a problem with the "we had an agreement" change. What makes me bristle is making Frank out to be almost entirely motivated by romantic love (and lack thereof). Instead of being chiefly motivated by the love for his child (or a desire to lead an intellectually/sexually fulfilling life), his relationship with Bree becomes almost incidental to his important life choices as opposed to the veritable center of them. Instead, his choices all seem to center around attaining a fulfilling romantic partner. This is underscored in that line where he asks Claire if she would have ever forgotten Jamie without Bree, and then looks saddened at her response -- this makes it appear as if he was with Claire because he was holding out hope for their finally becoming a full and whole couple eventually. Similarly, the change from many mistresses to one mistress makes it seem as if all Frank ever wanted was a loving partner, instead of sexual/intellectual fulfillment which, of course, simplifies a complex character down to being defined and motivated by a singular desire. It also damages Claire's character by proxy -- if Frank is the poor puppy dog who never got the chance to be loved (as opposed to a character with agency and competing desires and motivations), then Claire is the ultimate cause of that pain and suffering, whereas, again, it was a lot more nuanced in the book, and Claire definitely comes off worse for it. Oh well it's over now. Let it go, oh...let it go.
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    "Maybe there are no good guys.": Characters of the 100

    I know a lot of you are tired of discussing Bellamy's actions this season but I want to offer the perspective of someone who just binged the first three seasons as my introduction to the show (thanks Netflix!). I think the problem a lot of you have is that Bellamy's actions make no sense tactically, morally, intellectually. Totally fair. Not disputing that. However, I think they're also totally in character for him and I think they serve a more important thematic purpose. I find it perfectly realistic for him to backslide into being weak after his frankly quick turnaround to S2 hero as opposed to S1 asshole. For me it makes him a more real and complex character. I also believe that the "point" of this storyline was to draw out the thematic and moral questions that come with the uncritical following of a strong, charismatic fascist leader (YMMV but I think that's what Pike is intended to be). I think this storyline has echoes of Hitler and the German people's complicity, and I think themes related to this come out through Bellamy's storyline: how far are we willing to follow in line with committing acts of atrocity. I think Bellamy is perfectly suited to draw out these themes and storyline - we've seen that his character is a weak one, a follower, but a good soldier, easily manipulated (see the assassination of Jaha plot) and lacking moral guidance. He was also emotionally compromised at the time (Gina, whatever, and a perceived betrayal by Clarke, doubly so) and I think that allowed him to get swept up in Pike's rhetoric without being able to pause to critically think. As the atrocities continue through the season, Bellamy becomes more and more entrenched in his belief that he's doing the right thing. To admit otherwise is to take on the weight of the countless murders he has already committed. I think it became an act of self preservation in order to stay sane and not be overcome by guilt. Yes, a bit more of this could have been shown, I agree, but this show has consistently skimped on moments of important character development (for me, Finn's 180 degree personality swap is a case in point). I think it was perfectly clear otherwise. Except for one thing... The fall-out/redemption... I do think it has been done very poorly so far. I guess you could say the characters have been caught up in the plot sweeping them along and haven't gotten time for much of a breather to think through the potential weight of all this... But it does seem like it's being filed away as just one more thing to live with... Which: no. This is definitely a step beyond what any of our other protagonists have done so far and needs to be addressed as such. My hope is that the writers have seen the backlash and try to repair this. I think there's still time. Once the characters get some time to breathe and digest what has happened, the full moral weight will come down on them all and Bellamy will have to face some real consequences. I think this is still possible. Fingers crossed, because I actually thought this storyline was really interesting and I'm glad they did it. I really disliked Bellamy as a Mary Sue last season. I think his character has a lot of potential for interesting stuff, mostly because he is so weak (and yet very capable and charming, and the top billed male cast member - definitely a rare thing to see!). Sorry that was so long but hopefully it made sense.
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