Hey I want to talk about a theme I noticed in “Lies”:
“Listen, I lied too. I lied to my mother so that we could see each other.”
“I even lied to her that you came with me tonight.”
“I lied during every fencing class so I could spend more time with you.”
“Do you see? We are both liars,”
“The difference is that I lie just to be with you.”
“You! You lie not to be with me.”
Everyone is talking about the last line.
It shows that, Adrien, no matter how much he wants to, still has to lie to Kagami.
He’s not allowed to tell her about his secret life; he’s not ALLOWED to trust Kagami,
and because of that, Kagami is never going to be able to fully trust him, as she directly explains in the end scene.
“I know you are hiding something.”
“But I also know there is sincerity in you.”
“So we can’t be friends?”
“How can you trust someone who lied to you?”
And that’s all great analysis of one of the biggest problems faces by adrigami, but its also ignoring the even bigger glaring problem.
If you look at the first scene. Kagami spends more time venting about how SHE lied than about Adrien’s lies. She seems a lot more upset with herself than with him.
From what I’ve seen, most people are acting like this speech translates to: “I’m putting a lot of effort into this relationship and you’re putting a lot of effort into avoiding me.” Which WOULD still be an incredibly valid and justified complaint. However, I don’t think that’s actually what Kagami was saying.
Look at how surprised Adrien looks when Kagami is telling him about how much she lied for him. I get the sense that he genuinely didn’t realize how much she had lied to cover for him. And regardless of why Adrien looks so surprised, I am 100% convinced that Kagami interpreted his reactions as actual surprise because he didn’t know.
This is a recurring idea throughout the episode. Kagami keeps lying to be with Adrien, and Adrien, repeatedly, DOES NOT NOTICE. And I think that’s the key to understanding their entire relationship- both why adrimi was so strong and also why adrimi was doomed to fall apart.
So, let’s look deeper. Why didn’t Adrien notice.
It’s easy to point at the obvious: akumas. And yeah, Adrien’s responsibility as Chat Noir DID mean that he couldn’t focus on Kagami as much as he’d like, but it isn’t the biggest obstacle. It doesn’t explain why Kagami lied to Natalie to get Adrien alone before fencing practice and Adrien didn’t even realize that Kagami did it on purpose, and presumably didn’t even find out until Kagami’s rant. It doesn’t explain when Kagami took him aside on the street and he couldn’t even comprehend that she wanted to be with him alone, or how that would be any better than being at Prince Ali’s party with him, where her mother was present.
The first factor is Kagami’s personality. Most people seem to agree: she’s honest almost to a fault. She’s not afraid to speak her mind, even when it’ll hurt others; even when it’ll get HER hurt. She hates deception, hates having to lie, hates being misunderstood; to the point where she’d rather pick a fight or make herself look bad than just let someone believe something false about her. She’ll say when she’s confident, sure, but we also see her consistently loudly mention her flaws. She’s not trying to manipulate or to make herself look a certain way; she just wants to be completely honest and make sure everyone sees the “real” her.
Adrien, of all people, understands this. And Kagami knows that he does. He knows that she doesn’t do subtlety or secrets, so OF COURSE he’ll take everything she says at face value.
Lying to be with Adrien goes against Kagami’s entire personality and beliefs. She’ll do it, but it HURTS, and making it a habit is GOING to spark some feelings of guilt, like she’s betraying herself.
If Kagami lied and Adrien immediately noticed and played along, it would’ve been comforting. It would’ve been evidence that it was totally justified and fine. But, when she lies to be with him, and Adrien’s response is immediately, “oh this couldn’t have been on purpose, Kagami would never do this,” it stings so much. Yeah, she COULD tell him outright when he doesn’t notice, but that’s terrifying. That requires outright admitting what she’s doing, and risking Adrien’s judgement. So, despite being blunter than a rock, she can’t bring herself to outright tell Adrien she’s been lying. She just keeps tossing hints and HOPING he’ll get the message and be understanding. That means she’s lying/keeping secrets even more, which makes her feel even guiltier, and the cycle is vicious.
So that’s a HUGE part of the breakup scene. It’s not just about Adrien betraying her trust, it’s about HER betraying HIS trust. It’s about admitting that she’s been lying and sneaking around and breaking all her rules and giong against her morals. And it’s also about Adrien disappointing her by not even realizing that she did that.
But there’s one more, even deeper hidden, factor in Adrien’s obliviousness and Kagami’s anger, and to understand it, we need to look at Adrien.
Adrien, throughout the entire show, has had an issue with trusting people way more than he should. He automatically sees the best in people even when they don’t deserve it, and is optimistic in a way that helps him in the short term, but which also makes him miss the bad things in front of him.
I want to be very clear that this isn’t Adrien hate- he’s not stupid or bad for acting like this, he’s just responding to trauma. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a healthy or good response.
The episode itself starts with Marinette being completely oblivious to how bad Adrien’s homelife is. Even Adrien spends large parts of the episode pretending that things are okay, that he can just smile and wait for things to get better and everything will be fine.
You know who DOESN’T miss it?
I don’t mean that in a “she’s the only one who really cares, she’s so selfless” way. She just has the same homelife as Adrien. She sees herself in him, in his life, etc. so she KNOWS what’s going on.
The difference between them is that Kagami is starting to become aware of how bad things are (like how she’s been lying directly to her mother for a cool minute now and how, as an akuma, she attacked her mother almost immediately). Adrien, comparatively, is still much more oblivious. He’s starting to catch on to some things, but he can’t accept the full extent of the badness.
And I don’t know if people realize how absolutely DEVASTATING that divide is for Kagami.
She’s out here rethinking her entire life and betraying her old morals to hide things from their parents, and Adrien, the only person who SHOULD be able to understand, just doesn’t. He can’t see why it’s necessary.
Kagami’s reasoning for doing everything is continuously under attack by Adrien, even if he has no idea, because she’ll lie to escape her abusive mom for a moment, and Adrien, who is in the EXACT same situation, is like “oh don’t worry it’s not even a big deal.” Kagami’s already conflicted because this is her *mom* and she wants to trust her, so Adrien’s accidentally dismissal leads to so much doubt and ugly feelings from Kagami’s point of view.
Similarly, she’s going to be facing a lot more stress than any 15-year-old should have to when she’s dealing with this. Does she tell Adrien, and risk shattering his coping mechanisms and sending him into depression? Or what if she tells him, and he argues against her, and it turns out he’s RIGHT, which also means she’s been rebelling against her mom for no reason, that Kagami is the bad guy here. What if she DOESN’T tell him and it’s her fault he keeps getting hurt, because she’s the only one who noticed and stayed silent? What if she half convinces him and gets caught and Adrien’s homelife gets even worse? What if she gets caught telling Adrien, and HER OWN MOTHER finds out? Doing anything is terrifying and dangerous, and doing nothing is also terrifying and dangerous.
So, with that context, it’s no wonder that she snapped. And Adrien lying to her would sting so much more, if he wasn’t willing to lie to avoid his parents, or even comprehend why it would be necessary, but he somehow WAS willing to lie to avoid her? She’s been trying for so long, despite everything, to convince herself that lying is okay; to get ANY validation from Adrien that she’s not an awful person for what she’s doing, and the ONE thing she finally gets is that he’s lying too, and he clearly feels guilty and awful about it as well (remember that scene where the color drains from Adrien’s face).
They have so much in common, they’re able to do so much to support each other, but both of them are dealing with too much other stuff to be in a good place to support someone else. The issue isn’t that they don’t want to be honest with each other, the issue is that both of them are currently experiencing an extremely stressful situation that takes up most of their life, and NEITHER OF THEM are ALLOWED to trust each other with it, because it could lead to devastating consequences.
At the end of the episode, Kagami says that she needs space, that she doesn’t want to see Adrien at all right now. She says, “How can you trust someone who lied to you?” and YES she’s talking about Adrien’s lies, but she’s also talking about herself. Yes, the lie that Adrien was caught in hurt, but it wouldn’t have broken them if it wasn’t for everything else. They’re both lying, lies have become the FOUNDATION of their relationship, and there’s nothing Kagami can do to even begin to untangle that mess right now.
(also it provides an interesting contrast to Ladynoir, where the relationship is technically founded on lies and secrets, but at least they're able to be honest about the nature of their relationship and act accordingly)
I do think Adrien and Kagami's relationship did help them both for a while, and i think they can be amazing friends again someday, but they also both need to figure out how to survive on their own, and stop drowning, before they can hope to provide any support to anyone else.
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