Alex Manes, Malex & Unvoiced Protection in S3
So uh, I’m on a bit of a roll with this, and apparently all I needed to get writing again was Malex back on my screen. Who knew? I love this whole entire show a lot, but man, these two are really what fuels me.
I want to take a moment, and kinda address something that I didn’t really dive into with my Love Language meta, but is no less important in understanding Alex’s decision to start being more open with Michael.
As I stated in my meta, in 3x06, Alex still isn’t willing to be open with Michael with any type of specifics about what he is doing. He shuts down hard, and offers up no clues, no help, no details. Michael, essentially tired of being left in the dark, bites back.
Obviously, Alex is hurt by it, because he does care. He cares a lot. He joined this secret paramilitary organization for Michael. But because Alex often leaves his protection of others unvoiced, Michael has no way of knowing just how much Alex does care in this sense. And it only further fuels their ongoing miscommunication issues.
In the beginning of 3x08, Michael announces he’s off to do something stupid and reckless, which Alex objects to right away. But Michael absolutely does not expect Alex to confront him any further, because the last time Michael asked for his help, Alex shot him down.
In S2, we saw Michael start to accept and even reach out to Alex for help several times (in 2x03 in the pod cave, in 2x04 at the Long Farm, and in 2x09 at the Pony). It was a shift in their relationship, and Alex’s refusal now certainly has to feel like a slap in the face to Michael. Because what changed? Why is Alex now refusing to help him? Michael is frustrated.
Does Michael really think Alex is a liar? No, of course not. But he’s angry that Alex won’t include him. He’s tired of Alex shutting him down.
All Michael wants is Alex to be open and honest with him.
Notice how it takes Alex a second to speak? Michael is walking away, about to get in the truck, and Alex realizes he has to do something different because Michael is going to go after Jones with or without him. And without him means Alex won’t be there to protect him. It means the potential exists to lose Michael.
So he makes a decision.
(Cue me screaming ALEX IS BUILDING MICHAEL’S HEART A HOME.)
And it’s as if, once he makes that decision, once he starts talking, he can’t stop. Honestly, it’s kinda beautiful to see, and it’s such growth for Alex, that it paves the way for his vulnerability in the truck later in the episode when he tells Michael that he is the one piece he cannot go through life without. Because what is the point of this world he’s building if Michael is not in it?
Now that the they’re here, now that they’ve communicated in ways they never have before, they can start moving forward together.
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