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thewhiteowl

S03.E14: Animus

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It might be weird for me to say this, but this episode was a throwback. Back as late as the '00s, crime shows were littered with female victims- usually of the "pretty young white woman" variety- but since then "victimology" has gotten more varied. I can say on this show this is the first time we've had an episode where the victims were specifically women, and I thought the show did a good job crafting an interesting story out of it.

Of course, things were a little predictable in that the culprit was someone from the "manosphere" (the "men's rights" section of the Internet), which the show only gave us a cursory exploration of. I mean, it was better than many other shows do but we still had characters with one-dimensional "frustration" reasons for their actions. Plus, the story felt like a simple set up to get Chris to change her mind about giving an "inspirational" interview with the major newspaper (where Chris has to admit she was raped in her past). Realistic, yes, but it's a bit cliched now to have rape as a backstory and to insist that female characters be "inspirational" for other women.

They can't just "exist", it seems.

Then there was Hondo and his women, and Luca's case with his neighbourhood gang leader. Both resolved themselves rather nicely, with Hondo resisting the urge to go back to Nia and finally commit to Nichelle (though I was glad to see Nikivia Dionne back on my screen), while Luca and the gang leader seemed to forge an actual friendship. The latter could make for an interesting story down the line.

Overall, it was not a bad episode.

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The only problem I had with Chris's backstory, is that there are people out there who say lesbianism isn't natural, and surely there's some sexual ab*se in their past. But otherwise, it does explain a lot about why her go-to defense is...being defensive. It makes a lot of sense. Not only is she in a man's world where she has to prove herself, but she never again wants to be seen as a vulnerable victim.

As for being inspirational, I think the main phrase I see these days is, "representation is important." So, I'm not sure if it's "inspiration" as much as women needing to hear about other women who've gone through the same thing.

I thought the moderator woman did a really good job. Like, I was FURIOUS at her. She not only had the rhetoric down, but she delivered it perfectly. They did really well with that casting, and I liked the switcheroo where it wasn't some smarmy dude.

Just as I was thinking "that's when ab*sers are most dangerous," Hondo said it.

And I'm so glad Luca's neighborhood thing ended like this. I was expecting it to come to a head in the worst way. This was a great culmination.

I'm glad they made it clear Nia wasn't looking for a relationship and still wanted the free-wheeling Hondo. It showed how much he's maturing and mellowing out.

 

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55 minutes ago, Sweet Tooth said:

I thought the moderator woman did a really good job. Like, I was FURIOUS at her. She not only had the rhetoric down, but she delivered it perfectly. They did really well with that casting, and I liked the switcheroo where it wasn't some smarmy dude.

I have read many times that often the worst misogynists are women, so it's not completely out of left field. I do agree Rebecca Field- who played the moderator- knocked it out of the park.

As far as Chris is concerned- I do think her character's story is generally told well and it is realistic and topical, it's just not original. I was hoping Chris would say she was physically assaulted, not sexually assaulted- something like that would still preserve the story the writers wanted to tell.

...and women in high profile positions do tend to get put on a pedestal, with their faults hurting them more than they would a man. Of course, the reason this happens is that there are fewer women in high profile roles, but no one in Hollywood seems to understand that.

That said, they're minor nitpicks. I think the show could have sprinkled some of these plot points earlier in the season instead of cramming them all into one episode. Piper Lynch could have told her about the interview in a previous episode. Chris could have confided in Street about her assault in another episode and so on and so forth. Stretching out the story would have made the payoff in this episode more satisfying.

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6 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

As far as Chris is concerned- I do think her character's story is generally told well and it is realistic and topical, it's just not original. I was hoping Chris would say she was physically assaulted, not sexually assaulted- something like that would still preserve the story the writers wanted to tell.

...and women in high profile positions do tend to get put on a pedestal, with their faults hurting them more than they would a man. Of course, the reason this happens is that there are fewer women in high profile roles, but no one in Hollywood seems to understand that.

I agree. Perhaps like a home invasion, where she had to sit helplessly by while her family was violated. 

Also agree that there's nothing people love to do more than build people up, only to tear them down, particularly if it's a woman. And moreso a woman who's in a physically demanding, male-dominated job like this.

She does have to be pretty much perfect, or, as Chris said, the screw-up will be blamed on her being a woman.

So I guess the more women step forward and talk about how they've overcome a lot of what they go through...the misogyny...people telling you to stay in your late...the lie that all feminists hate men...that they feel the only way to gain respect is to act like a man...and show that they've overcome it despite the odds, is a great message. But yeah, it's also not good if they treat her like they're just trotting her out there like a show pony. 

And yes, it's difficult that in Hollywood, where women have made great strides, there's still a pervasive atmosphere where women in powerful positions are ripped to shreds if they don't act like ladies.

 

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Uuuuuh. Okay. Wow. I feel like I watched a different show. I felt the guys really had a chance to shine here, especially Luca.

Street's had more than one episode dedicated just to him. All of them have had at least one episode where they were the focus. 

Each character has been shown to be well-rounded and competent at their job.

But I guess we all see things through our own filter.

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9 hours ago, DarkHorse said:

Is Chris a lesbian though? I thought she was Bi? I feel like this rape back story was tacked on to suit the episode more than the character. 

She's bi, and that would make it even worse, as the reason people say that is because they consider it to be deviant behavior, and therefore it couldn't have just been that it happened naturally for her. 

I would agree with you on the second point. This seemed to come out of nowhere and like it wasn't part of her backstory until this episode. I think Daniel is right  and that they should have built to this, had clues here and there, so it wasn't just sprung on us here. It kind of cheapens the story.

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On 3/6/2020 at 1:28 AM, DarkHorse said:

I'm not sure the PC writers are smart enough to realize that they wrote an ep about men who feel marginalized and denied a voice so the best thing to do was further deny them a voice and marginalize them. 

Any issue they voiced was just cast off with some sort of cliche response from the SWAT team. 

I suppose, since the media likes to think "incel=deranged monster", that Hollywood producers are hesitant to portray incels (or anyone associated with the "manosphere" for that matter) as sympathetic in any way. I'd also imagine it's realistic that the police, who are generally very "macho", would look down at a group of men who appear as the complete antithesis of "macho".

...but I also think this kind of characterization gets old very quickly. Hollywood loves to rip on lonely men who couldn't get a date to save their lives, forgetting that there are very real people in those situations who get into really deep depression because of it. I mean, I don't want to sound like I'm justifying misogyny (or misandry, for that matter), but a lot of incels are really depressed people who really need help, and I don't think many people realize this. I don't know how far gone Alex Minassian or Elliott Rodger were, but I'd like to think there may be at least a small possibility that maybe if someone had reached out to them and said, "no, you're not a pathetic loser just because you're single" that they wouldn't go off on the deep end.

To be fair, this episode was a bit better at exploring the struggles of the manosphere than most other shows are, even if it all came within a short rant by the moderator of the chatroom. They didn't go far enough though. At the very least, they could have said the moderator was inspired to create the chatroom after, say, her brother committed suicide because he couldn't handle rejection anymore or because he lost his job because of a sexual harassment complaint. At least then it would provide a deeper and better explanation as to why incels have the rage that they do- because they have real struggles, not some "petty bitterness" that Hollywood thinks they could shrug off.

13 hours ago, Sweet Tooth said:

This seemed to come out of nowhere and like it wasn't part of her backstory until this episode. I think Daniel is right  and that they should have built to this, had clues here and there, so it wasn't just sprung on us here. It kind of cheapens the story.

There was a moment where, after Chris said she was dragged into the van, that she paused which gave me hope that she wouldn't finish her account by saying "I was raped", but then those hopes got dashed.

Now, I grant that she didn't say who raped her, which makes me hope that maybe we'll get a twist on this overused story where Chris says she was raped by four girls and the policemen just laughed it off, picturing a lesbian fantasy instead of taking it seriously. This could be an extra reason as to why Chris never told anyone about it- it's hard enough to admit you were raped, but to be raped by girls tends to be a harder thing to swallow, since so many people think "women can't rape". So the hit to Chris' pride in the aftermath would be twice as hard, because she'd likely think, "how can I tell these macho men that I was raped by a girl?"

I mean, I still stand by my original point that I wished they hadn't gone there, because "rape a backstory" is overdone, or, at the very least, made this a part of her character pretty much from the outset. However, if the show is going to spring this on us now, at least put a twist to the story to make it not feel like a retread, even if it's a realistic retread.

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29 minutes ago, Danielg342 said:

but a lot of incels are really depressed people who really need help, and I don't think many people realize this. I don't know how far gone Alex Minassian or Elliott Rodger were, but I'd like to think there may be at least a small possibility that maybe if someone had reached out to them and said, "no, you're not a pathetic loser just because you're single" that they wouldn't go off on the deep end.

I agree that perhaps having dudes talk to them about rejection and how normal it is, would help.

But unfortunately, they didn't really have time to coddle these men, as they were trying to stop a killer before he struck again, so they're kind of laser-focused on that and not, "Let's get some help for this guy."

I don't think they really display it as petty bitterness. It seems obvious in this episode, and in other shows about this sort of thing, that for many men in these rooms, their bravado is masking a whole lot of pain and misery.

But I've personally witnessed real-life incels talking about women, and it's positively frightening. You really have no idea if they're just blowing off steam or they really want to turn their anger outward and take revenge. They view ALL women as vindictive and out to hurt men. They see no redeeming qualities in them.

These guys have gone on sh00ing sprees.

So, I think they actually took this quite seriously, and especially how words can incite people to action.

At the end they even said the other guys cheered the sh00ter. 

I also don't think that the SWAT team is portrayed as "macho" and in fact they didn't seem to have a problem with these guys not being macho, but with them disrespecting women.

The guys, as they're portrayed on this show, are old-timey chivalrous. Their first instinct is to protect the women in their lives. So when these guys talk about women that way, they take it as an affront to their moral code. 

I don't see them as macho at all. I see them as people who want to protect others. We've seen their weaknesses. Their vulnerabilities. 

But I do agree with some of these dudes, they're not total psychos. They just need a shedload of therapy. Unfortunately, in this episode, sorting out the psychos from the guys who just need to delve into their feelings in a meaningful way, would have taken way too much time and cost people their lives.

But I think the r*pe thing is a cheap way for a tough character to become vulnerable, so I do wish they'd given her another backstory.

 

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15 minutes ago, Sweet Tooth said:

But unfortunately, they didn't really have time to coddle these men, as they were trying to stop a killer before he struck again, so they're kind of laser-focused on that and not, "Let's get some help for this guy."

I'm not saying that the team should have reached out to them. I think the episode could have, at the very least, used a line where someone understood their frustrations come from a real source and that a lot of them really need therapy. As I said before, they had a real chance with the moderator because they could have (and maybe should have) given her a backstory to explain why she'd start a incel chatroom in the first place. I'm not saying I support what a lot of incels write (I've seen it too)- I'm just saying that if the show is going to cast them as the monster, they need to remember where that monster came to be.

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7 hours ago, Danielg342 said:

I'm not saying that the team should have reached out to them. I think the episode could have, at the very least, used a line where someone understood their frustrations come from a real source and that a lot of them really need therapy. As I said before, they had a real chance with the moderator because they could have (and maybe should have) given her a backstory to explain why she'd start a incel chatroom in the first place. I'm not saying I support what a lot of incels write (I've seen it too)- I'm just saying that if the show is going to cast them as the monster, they need to remember where that monster came to be.

I get what you're saying. Having someone be an advocate. To speak for these guys and say they're not all monsters. That yeah, some of them are, but most are just frustrated and feel alone, have no real friends to talk them down, and probably are estranged from their own family.

Even if one of the guys who incited the sh00ter would have said, "I was just venting. I didn't mean any harm. I see now how that might not be the best place to express myself" would have been helpful.

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It was an excellent show, other than Nia was back.   She dumps Hondo because he’s too intense... and now she wants a fling with him?    They coins have shown Hondo maturing in his relationship without her - eating a meal with his girlfriend and his family for example.    Doing domestic things with her like cleaning up after dinner, etc.  speaking of which- where is Mom and the foster son? 
 

Back to the plot... it’s all still a reality. Women still do die getting out of relationships.  Their new significant others also die.  There are still men who are so stupid as to think attacking their ex or her new boyfriend will make her magically to back  to them. 

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