#well it's not full meta I feel like have connected nothing and am just stumbling in the dark
no okay I literally just made a funny post about this, but I actually have thoughts about it now because once again there is like SO MUCH DISTANCE between buck and eddie and it has happened so much lately?
ever since the shooting, they keep having these big emotional conversations that are at the core of it so incredibly close and intimate but there is always so so so much physical space between them? and it is starting to feel really pointed?
like obviously we have the will scene and that very intentional space between them that made that scene hit even harder and then we have that talk about ana and the christening from different sides of the pool table and then we have them at the hospital talking about eddie’s ‘heart attack’ again with a very deliberate space in between them and then we have the conversation where eddie comes clean about the panic attacks again lots of space between them and then the scene in the locker room AGAIN so much space between them and now the balcony scene with so so so much space between them when eddie could be standing so much closer to buck?
something about being emotionally AND physically close being too much too handle something about them being so physically far apart during the shooting by force something something control something something about the contrast to scenes like ‘nobody I trust with my son more’ and eddie physically reaching for and touching buck and the rough physcial closeness of buck dragging eddie and lifting him and keeping him alive with his touch and eddie touching buck’s shoulder after the heart attack guy when buck is focused somewhere completely else and it is only physical closeness not emotional one and then something about the fact that they will be SEPARATED at work and struggling
and something that is just a feeling that I can’t figure out just yet, someone please share some thoughts on this because I am losing my mind
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During the Neon Genesis Evangelion rewatch I decided pick an aspect of the show to focus on as I watched, and I chose Misato; namely, how her arc connects to Eva’s wider themes. Evangelion has a lot going on and I don’t think it can be boiled down to one thematic concept, but if I were to try: real fulfillment for people can only come from being of value to and connecting with other people, but as an individual that process is inherently painful and impossible to truly achieve - What Do? Shinji embodies this in a very interiorized (and therefore very universally applicable) way, withdrawing from others and neglecting his potential to act out of fear of the pain and consequences. Yet one of the really interesting things about Eva is how the other characters reflect a different aspect of this same struggle, and so all combine into a grander narrative.
Misato does this as well - but in a way that doesn't jump out as much. Misato is very much the driver of the plot, making proactive choices around the conspiracy, the war, etc, and these actions can often overshadow her inner struggles. Thus, singling her out for focus - and from that process I feel she showcases a really unique take on the show’s themes.
Reflections on Misato’s Thematic Reflection
The other three main characters (Shinji, Asuka, Rei - sorry Ritsuko fans!) being all kids, tend to struggle with issues very close to home, but Misato is the adult in the room and so has adult concerns, namely the big picture struggle for humanity. These concerns are her duty though, not her passion - Misato is riddled with “base” desires that are emotionally and physically hyper-indulgent. Her relationship with Kaji is a constant temptation to escape from those duties and instead whittle away endless time in emotional intimacy - and also fuck like rabbits. There is a great showcase scene in End of Evangelion of this, where in their youth Misato and Kaji literally spent a week straight in their apartment doing nothing else:
----For Misato, fans symbolize sex, which I love is a sentence I can say----
Note by the way that they could have communicated that they were cloistered off banging it out in a myriad of ways, but they chose to highlight the outside obligations Misato was neglecting to do the job, because ~*themes*~. But of course such states cannot last, and Kaji himself has his own duties, very similarly to Misato, ones that he will not truly neglect for her sake.
This arc is further reflected in her relationship with Shinji, who she adopts in the opening episodes as a sort of surrogate child. While the contradictions here are less evident at first, as the show progresses it becomes clear that this family is, to quote Ritsuko, “playing house”, a pantomime of adulthood over the reality. Furthermore, her desire to mother Shinji - a desire she holds strongly for reasons I’ll note soon - starts running up against her need to command Shinji as his superior officer, commands that increasingly hurt him but are for his (and humanity’s) own good. In both of these cases, Misato is torn between those outer responsibilities and inner desires, and has to walk a tightrope of balancing them.
Like so many in the the oh-so-Freudian Evangelion, Misato’s conflicts stem from her relationship with her father; a cold, neglectful man who was absent for much of her life growing up, but who was devoting his time to NERV (the core organization in the show) fighting for humanity in his own way and also sacrificed himself to save Misato’s life when she was a teen. She loathes him and idolizes him simultaneously for this duality, which expresses itself as an outer shell of heroic professionalism masking the inner vulnerability and desire for the intimacy she lacked growing up, alongside a deep shame of that desire:
This shame is important, since I wager it would tempting to think that the conclusion of Misato’s arc is “always prioritize the big picture”, as that embodies her final moment: convincing and even *sexually manipulating* Shinji into piloting the Eva for the greater good. Its a powerful scene, and also a callback to the very first episode - where she stares on in horror as Gendo (her boss & Shinji’s absentee father) equally orders Shinji to “pilot the Eva” despite the terrible toll it would inflict on him. She judged it harshly then, but now is reprising that role under even more terrible stakes. I could see one concluding that Misato’s arc culminates in her embracing a Gendo-ian ruthlessness.
But it doesn’t, because A: Gendo is a selfish, cowardly piece of shit, not at all concerned with the greater good, and B: when Misato’s effort to Be The Adult are partially motivated by a desire to cover up for her shame in her damned sex drive, that *can’t* be fully aspirational! She was only able to get through to Shinji because of the emotional connection they shared, which stemmed from her desire to “play house”, a choice that itself stemmed from her desire to be *nothing like* her cold, absent father and not make the mistakes he made (told you we’d get there). And they *were* mistakes, despite her father’s intentions. If Evangelion has an answer to its question of “how to solve the pain of being part of society” (It does not, I am radically simplifying right now), it’s that you can’t solve it, to wipe that pain away (AKA Human Instrumentality) would be a mistake, and instead you have to accept the pain and contradictions as the key to how you evolve as a person. Misato changes over the course of the show, but never in a way to resolve these contradictions - she only evolves to cope with them.
And then she dies, but hey, its Shinji’s story in the end. Sometimes you gotta get Fridge’d for the greater good.
A final, sort-of side note to take this a little beyond Misato’s arc, “evolution” is critical to how Misato serves as a reflection of the theme for other characters. A huge crux of Shinji’s arc is his relationship with Asuka, namely his burgeoning romantic desire for her that he is incapable of acting on due to ~arc stuff. For Shinji, if he made a move on Asuka and got down with her it would be huge progress for him! Sex is a critical component of connecting with others after all, and it would mark his ability to open himself up to those connections. But what is progress for Shinji, the teen, is regression for Misato, the adult, as her sexual chemistry with Kaji can tip into excess - for her connecting with one person is in fact a form of withdraw from her wider responsibilities. What is the healthy choice for you constantly evolves as you yourself evolve, and its really fascinating that Evangelion simultaneously uses sexual intimacy for opposed meanings via different characters. The scene I posted above, where Shinji is judging a shame-filled Misato for the sex she is having, is one where both of their weaknesses are on full, simultaneous display - very hard for one scene to pull off.
(A final-final meta-note: I rarely write about themes in shows because I feel like everything I am saying is super-obvious; there is only so subtle a tv show can be. If you are going to do like cross-comparisons between shows or wider social trends that’s worth it, but just the show in isolation I fear it’s too basic. Would be curious if anyone who does stumble on this essay has that reaction of “yeah anyone who saw the show would know this”.)
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The hidden rules of TKEM and why understanding it will help you understand the show.
The rules of TKEM and why understanding it will help you get the show.
Being in the TKEM is so reminiscent of the first time I realised how deep shows could be and how cunning their creators are when forming a whole new universe/rabbit hole to fall into. My first ever show to do this for me was the Disney show in America called Girl meets world. I remembered how much we hated at first the first season, how we cringed at the plot lines, the quotes and the whole meta aspect of the show. I remember the first time I noticed the gateway, a couple which was so secretly hidden in subtext that kept jumping at me and in my need to understand why I felt this way I went and researched other people’s thoughts on this. To my surprise other people felt the same way I did. In the next season we had the full plot twist, this couple had been in love with each other for at least 2 years, and no one knew. But once we understood the rules of this show, going back to season 1 felt like a slap in the face, it was there all along, the reason for why everything was confusing was done on purpose. Sorry for going of tangent, but that’s also what happened with me with TKEM episode 1-6. This was the show I waited for all year, I am obsessed with Kim Eun Sook, not even because of her deep writing but because of all the love stories I have been addicted to because of her. She knew how to make me be obsessed with a new world and she made Korea look so amazing. So, I waited and by the end of episode 6 I was devastated I couldn’t understand certain choices in this drama and it made me very depressed honestly. Until I finally noticed a gate way, I mistakenly stumbled like I always do into knowing one of the rules and then I fought to get to the bottom of it. And just like I was heavily tricked by GMW, TKEM did the same and I am so grateful I didn’t stop watching it. So, for all of you confused about the show, here are some things that could help you understand this show even more. I call them the rules that the show seems to be following. Everything is done on purpose. Let’s begin:
Why TKEM is so confusing
1. The confusing storytelling and jarring world building and Taeul’s polarising character.
This was hard for me during episode 1-4. I remember sitting there wondering why on earth everything was so confusing, nonlinear, and why it felt rushed. I understood that KES stories can sometime feel like this, no plot at first before she hits you with the reveal. But this story felt odd and didn’t pick up the plot until episode 6. I also why watching things in Gon’s POV was so confusing, why did he know so much and yet so little? Why did we not understand why he was acting the way he did. Until I finally got the first rule, the story isn’t in Gon’s POV. The story is narrated by our Present Taeul who’s reminiscing about the story whilst she interrogates Lee Lim. This is the first scene we are introduced to in episode 1. That’s because we’re in a flash back being narrated by Taeul. As Taeul in our current episode figures out more about the two worlds, the mythology and the plans Lee Lim has we get more information then. Remember in the first episode she is really confused by Gon, she refuses to believe in the world, and everything feels to bizarre. It’s the same way we feel about the show from those episodes, we feel frustrated she doesn’t believe Gon but at the same time we also find him so ridiculous.
I have another post about this but TKEM uses Alice in the wonderland as a base (GMW did this as well), it uses both books Alice in wonderland and through the looking glass. I had previously thought that because Gon is our main character, and he goes into the parallel world, he is our Alice. I was wrong. Taeul is our Alice in Wonderland. She also states it to Gon when she enters Corea the first time. When Alice first enters wonderland, she is confused by the bizarreness of Wonderland. Just like again for the first 5 episodes we are, everything makes no sense, Gon speaks gibberish most of the time using mathematics and science, he’s also very annoying. This is because Taeul is flat earther, she believes in things that she can see, so the first introduction to Gon and other’s is simply crazy to her, she is adamant that its not true. So, we wait until she goes to Corea and finds out that everything is right. Once she explores Corea we finally start to see a linear storyline, we slowly start to understand more about other things like Lim’s goals, her real feelings for Gon, we finally get to start to notice that the show is withholding a lot of information and its slowly coming together. This is also because Taeul is trying to solve the murder mysteries connected to Lee Lim, as she learns more we also start to see more about his goals. She’s our source of information, she’s privy to some parts of the soul but only when she takes part in it. That’s why we don’t understand why Gon chased after the white rabbit it was so odd, because that’s all she knows he did. She also doesn’t know how time travel plays into this, so as Gon figures out about this, its because she’s also starting to recognise it too.
This is also why time is so nonlinear to us. The flashbacks make no sense, some of the stuff like Fate (yoyo boy) are to cryptic for us to get. Taeul doesn’t yet know their part in this. I think its also why we don’t see a lot on Prime minister Koo either, because all Taeul probably knows about her at this point is the girl who wants to marry Gon for his throne and the girl who she admires for being in power. This also happened in GMW, the audience in the first season saw things through a 12-year-old girl’s perspective so everything felt cheesy, cringy, and nonsensical. It’s done on purpose, we the audience just like Taeul feel like Alice in wonderland, the more she gets to understand why the rabbit is running and is going to be late, the closer she gets to that trial at the end of the book, the more she grows up, the more the story starts to make sense. Taeul’s earth is no longer flat, things are now being pieced together so we also get to know more about that. Be Patient. The directing is done to make you think things are being overlooked, because Taeul is also overlooking important hints.
2. The directing is wacky. There are too many characters that are pointless.
This is another thing that really annoyed me the first 6 episodes, the way the director uses the nonlinear timeline. Especially when we don’t have any information for why we should feel a certain way. An example of this is Taeul running into Gon’s arms when the whole episode she’s been hating and fighting with him or when she breaks down in episode 10 when he appears and kisses her before leaving. What we know is that this doesn’t make sense, we don’t understand what’s making her do this because we normally find out in a flashback of the first 25 minutes of the next episode. Because the next episode is always a week away. We the audience feel cheated and simply confused.
Funny thing about this is once you understand this show is about time travel. The director’s choices start to make sense, we have so many timelines already showing up, Gon can travel back in time, and forward, just like we the audience also end up doing. The normal ending of the even episodes is us in the future of Taeul’s narration before we are flung back into the past in the next episode to get what happened. It’s done-on purpose.
Another confusing thing about the show is the way the director shows us the two different worlds. This show is chucked with so many side characters, it’s like Goblin whenever he goes to help someone, or the grim reaper goes to take someone’s life. Unfortunately, while it worked for Goblin in a linear narrative, this show has the rule of two, there twice the same amount of characters we know, they have another parallel self in a different world. With the directing its hard to know when these worlds differ, we are always confused by the characters we don’t know where they belong to. But that’s because Taeul doesn’t know at that moment about Lee Lim’s plan to replace the dopple gangers, just as the two world are bleeding into each other (remember Eun Sup feeling the heat of the hot chocolate of Yeong on his iced tea), we get even more confused as to where everyone is from. That’s what Lee Lim is doing replacing everyone in a different world and making them become part of that world. The director does this by withholding information about the side characters so we just as Gon and Taeul are confused by who they are and why they are important in certain worlds. The director is doing this on purpose. Its meant to be confusing.
3. The powers of the flute is so confusing. Lim’s plans make no sense and for the first 6 episodes he hides doing nothing but being ominous in the background.
The title: The King Eternal Monarch
Points to consider:
· The word eternity is defined as something that keeps on going on and on and doesn’t have an end. This is the biggest rule of the show, Gon is stuck in a cycle/loop where he must keep on ruling and fighting for the throne. This is what the show is about, that’s why the flute is so important, and unbreakable sword his father has gifted him. They are artefacts representing Gon’s plight to keep trying to control his reign. He’s the noble blood that’s fated to keep doing this repeatedly. So the question is how? We know this, it’s time travel. The first 6 episodes is about Gon learning about the powers of the flute, he recognises time is important, he recognises that the person who saves his life comes from the future, he knows that person is connected to Taeul because of her id card. He understands this because he understands science and maths, that’s why he speaks in scientific and mathematical terms at the beginning to Taeul. He was explaining what this show is, it’s a sci fi, its going to focus on sci fi themes such as time travel and parallel dimensions. From the beginning the show has explained using Gon’s lexicon that this is all about time travel, its about the character getting to the point where he must save himself again. Taeul is the reason why he’s doing this. That’s why she’s the person he searches for, for 25 years.
We have two people fighting for the throne to be king. Monarch is to do with the royal family and the control over a government. The fight for the throne is the whole plot of this show, just like in through the looking glass, Alice ends up mistakenly in a battle between the two queens, it’s the same thing. This is a battle for the monarchy, with two different people who have different reasons why they want the throne. Gon however is the king we know; this story is about him through Taeul’s eyes.
4. The pointless conversations with characters and confusing scenes.
Literature is used as devices used to help us understand what’s going
I already have posts on this, but each story mentioned, each book helps us understand and foreshadow this whole show. It also makes us understand more about the show. There are so many stories mentioned, the myth of the manchipasseok and the dragon king, (the flute), the wonderland series, King Arthur, the book about flowers (the book Lady Noh reads), the poem Gon reads (Invoking the name of the dead), Greek mythology on the fates (the yo yo boy). Kim Eun Sook does this in all her fantasy stories, in secret Garden it was little mermaid but the man as the mermaid, in Goblin it was the mythology of the grim reaper and Goblin, the poem about first love etc… She does this to help the audience not feel cheated by the ending of the show, she already has told you what’s going to happen. This is exactly why the directing choices are the way they are, the plot is told the way it is. Each of our characters are connected to a tale. If you need to know more look at my posts about Things to know about TKEM to know where its going.
5. Their relationship is rushed and confusing.
This is solved by knowing how the subtext and the mathematical references explains their relationship and why it’s so fast.
These are also used to tell you about the rules of the show. The maths theories are not my strengths, but these are so important. Gon has mentioned Taeul’s role in the story by telling her she represents the number zero when he confesses to her. He’s again reiterating that this story is happening because of her, she’s the most important factor in this whole show. There’s so many mathematical references that I can’t analyse but if you’re able to do so, you’ll crack more about each of the characters especially why Taeul and Gon act the way they do.
There’s also subtext which everyone has been missing out on. I believe in the theory that our current timeline is not the first time Gon and Taeul have interacted. This is the reason why Taeul easily falls for him once he shows her evidence of his world. She already felt those feelings before, and she recognises it but she can’t explain why. Therefore, Gon instantly chases after Luna as the white rabbit without any explanation, something is making him do this, he’s used to doing this. I’ve spoken so much about Lady Noh and Buyeong also knowing about this too, they know Gon and Taeul have done this too many times, and they remember, why they do I don’t know. There’s also the red balloons I mentioned in the land of frozen time (the pink sky land that has no sun or rain) I think they represent how many times we’ve been through this loop before. If Gon and Taeul have known each other longer than centuries, it would explain why all he wants to do is find her, and why she easily accepts her fate to love him and be with him. The way they act shows you that subtext is important in understanding the show, why she moves away from his hug when he first approaches her like she’s expecting it, why she can’t stop thinking of him, why she talks about her tragic fate and then rapidly tells him she loves him so they speed up their relationship, why easily runs to him after he goes back to Corea. She loved him also from the beginning.
The songs and osts are also important to understand the subtext. There are many songs portraying Taeul’s thoughts when she first met Gon. I have posts on this. There are so many songs foreshadowing the ending of the show, and the whole eternal loop of the show. Gon’s main purpose is to find Taeul he does this by always opening the gates. Taeul’s main purpose is to wait for him because it’s her promise to him. (Listen to please don’t cry and dream, maze and orbit read the English lyrics). Therefore, Taeul and Gon don’t build their relationship slowly, they’ve already passed that stage in their previous meetings, that’s why he proposes to her in episode 2. He knows this.
Sorry for the lengthy post. I didn’t even go into details about the fight for justice and Fate and destiny as a rule as well of this show. But my other posts talk about these two.
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The Rebels: Chapter 35
Dedede’s mouth hung open, like he wanted to scream, but nothing came out. “NEPTUNE...” Vengeful hissed, her voice sending a Chill down Meta Knight’s spine. Neptune tipped her head up defiantly. “Your Majesty.” She said coldly. The Queen’s eyes scanned everyone in the room, and all their terrified faces. “ALL THE PEOPLE I WANT DEAD... ALL IN FRONT OF ME... HOW LOVELY...” She spoke, her voice echoing across the room. Grandeur snorted. “Funny you say that. I was going to say the same thing to you.” She said bravely, but her eyes betrayed her words. Magnificent flinched, and Meta Knight shot her a curious look. Magnificent... She’s a victim, too. Even the princess isn’t free. He thought with a scowl. “Queen Vengeful,” He spoke, trying to keep the fear out of his voice. “Your reign ends now. No one else will suffer under your talons...” He shot a sideways glance to Magnificent. “... And your daughter will choose, for herself, if she wants to be Queen or not.” Magnificent blinked at him in surprise. The Queen bared her fangs at him, and flared her wings out. “NEVER...” She hissed, her eyes piercing into Meta Knight’s soul, making him feel like prey trapped in a mountain lion’s jaws. “A LOWLY TRAITOR HAS NO SAY IN SUCH MATTERS...” She said, her words drenched in venom. Dedede stepped in to defend Meta Knight, much to his surprise. “I don’t know what you’re talkin’ about,” He argued, “But Meta Knight’s not just some traitor! He’s got more sense in him than you, I bet!” Meta Knight flinched. Don’t be reckless, my King... Please, don’t get yourself killed... The Queen leaned forwards, and if looks could kill, Dedede would be as good as dead. “SILENCE, FOREIGNER!” She roared, making Dedede’s confidence visibly wither away as he shrunk back.
Then, a loud crashing was heard from behind them, and a guard barged into the room, out of breath. Victory walked up to him. “Brutal. The Queen is busy. Leave.” She commanded. Brutal stood up weakly, panic burning in his eyes. “Tsunami...” He wheezed. The Queen’s gaze turned to him. “WHAT?” She demanded. “Tsunami... From the East... It’s coming now...” He said, using up the last of his breath, and then collapsing back to the floor. Cirrus’s eyes widened. “What?” He shouted. “But the Tsunami- It wasn’t supposed to happen for another 200 years! I did all the calculations!” He cried. “Well, you were wrong.” Victory huffed, agitated. “And now, we’re all going to die because of your mistake. Great.” Meta Knight stumbled backwards. They were all in danger now. Killing the Queen wouldn’t be enough now. He looked behind him. Scarlet had buried her face into Diamonds embrace, trembling. Grandeur and Cashew were exchanging alarmed and horrified expressions. And Io was crouched over, her face in her hands. How am I going to save everyone now? How am I going to save my... my friends? He realized that maybe ‘friend’ was the correct term for the odd group he’d grown attached to after all. Then he got an idea. A crazy Idea.
“Dedede.” He said, turning to his King. “How did you get here?” Dedede blinked, as if being pulled from his thoughts. “Uh... The Halberd?” He said, confused. Meta Knight nodded. “Your Majesty. I have a last-minute plan to save the people- Or rather, as many as possible.” He added, noting the carrying capacity of his Halberd. The Queen scowled, but said nothing, waiting for him to speak. “We can save as many people as possible... But you can’t come. Not with the state you’re in. The people who make it the the ship in time will be taken to the planet I fled to all those years ago- And they will be ruled by King Dedede.” He added, casting a sideways glance to Dedede, who stared back at him with wide eyes, and blinked slowly. “WHAT?” The Queen roared, her muscles tensing up, as if she were getting ready to pounce. “Mety Knight... Do you really think i’m cut out for that? I mean... You trust me? With your people?” He asked, unsure. Meta Knight nodded softly. “Of course I trust you. Whatever decision you make, I know it’ll be right, and i’ll support it.” He said, in a gentle tone. “NO!” The Queen screamed with rage, “MY PEOPLE WILL NEVER BOW TO A FOREIGNER!” She used her talons and rose to her full height- She was massive- And dangerously close to the edge of her casket. “Mother! Get down!” Magnificent cried, but Vengeful ignored her daughter. “Your Majesty, you mustn’t leave your casket!” Cirrus called out, flaring his wings in distress. “I AM THEIR QUEEN! ONLY I CAN LEAD THEM! THEY ARE MINE!” She leaned back, then lunged at Dedede, shrieking in rage. “THEY ARE MINE! THEY ARE-” The cords connecting her to the machine ripped out from her flesh as she pulled herself away from it. The Queen Collapsed in front of Meta Knight, and went completely still.
Queen Vengeful of the Stellos was dead.
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Dreamers in Fantasyland - Part 4
I keep forgetting that I tried to do a balance of old English dialect and modern English dialect, and it surprises me every time I edit this fic.
Final part, woohoo! We made it guys! A little sooner that expected, but that’s the fault of my laptop breaking. This is the last part of the fic requested by @theatergirl06 long ago when we had our ask war. As this door comes to a close, hopefully I’ll be able to open another... more sinister door...? This part is about to be very confusing, but if I’ve done it correctly, it’ll be (hopefully) a great ending. Things are about to get really meta. Buckle up, cause you aren’t ready.
If you want to send a request or a prompt, my inbox is always open! I publish a story at 8:00 AM PST everyday, so I’m always in need of new ideas. If you want to be tagged in my works, just let me know and I’ll be sure to tag you!
Prompts | More Prompts | The Trifecta of Prompts | Original Prompts
Trigger Warnings: Mentions of sexual abuse
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Things seemed a lot calmer on Anne’s boat, the world finally back on track. Cathy had no real sense of what was normal anymore, so she relied solely on the feeling of calmness she felt with Anne. They were sitting on the floor, backs against Anne’s bookshelves. “You know,” Anne commented, her hand unconsciously fiddling with the bandages on her upper arm, “I was afraid you and Cleves wouldn’t come.”
“Why would you think that?” Cathy asked, putting a hand on Anne’s leg.
The captain shrugged. “I barely know you, and no matter what I feel when you’re around,” Cathy had to hide a blush, “you have no loyalties to me. The only reason I could think for you tracking us down was to save my cousin. Thank you, by the way,” Anne tacked on at the end. Despite the melancholy in her voice, Cathy could tell Anne was being sincere. “And Anna, she may seem young, but she’s smart. She knew our ship had taken serious damage from Henry’s attack. I didn’t think she’d risk our crew just to come for me.”
Knowingly, Cathy replied, “I don’t think you were her only motivation.”
Laughing, Anne’s face lit up, if only by a little bit. “Yes, yes. I’m glad she’s found someone in my cousin. They seem happy together. I long for that.”
Cathy frowned, suddenly hyper aware of her hand on Anne’s leg. “What do you mean.”
Hanging her head, Anne’s hand crawled until it was sitting on top of Cathy’s. “You remind me of a past that I don’t have, Miss Parr.” Anne lifted Cathy’s hand and pressed a light kiss to her knuckles. “I feel as if we’ve spent a thousand years together, and those thousand years have been lost somehow. I want nothing more than those years back.”
Staring at her hand in Anne’s, Cathy took the leap and slowly leaned forward, pressing a chaste kiss to Anne’s lips. “I believe I understand what you’re saying,” she murmured, hiding the full truth from Anne.
Anne’s lips pulled upwards slightly, her eyes going soft as she stared at Cathy. “Everything is right in this world.”
A phantom hand shoved Cathy backwards, causing her to jump in shock. “No,” Cathy spoke softly, “everything is not right.” For some reason, she had been handed an answer. “Things won’t be right until you tell Kat that you are her cousin.”
Nervously chuckling, Anne shook her head. “I don’t think it’s best to drag up my family history.”
Grabbing Anne’s hands, Cathy leaned forward so that their noses were inches apart. “Things will never be the way they are supposed to unless you tell Kat.”
Anne was growing frightened by Cathy’s strange behavior. “How do you know this? What if she turns me away, knowing of the past with our family.”
“Kat is the most kindhearted person I know,” Cathy stated determinedly. “She is loving, and while she retains some of her naivete, she is intelligent. I know that girl better than she knows herself,” Cathy felt confident in her words, despite having only met this version of Kat a few days ago, “and I know she will not hate you. Kat is the last person to judge anyone on family matters. It will do her good to know the truth.”
At first Anne seemed reluctant, but she agreed. “I… I will tell her.”
As if summoned by Anne’s agreement with Cathy, Anna and Kat entered the quarters. “Anne,” Cleves greeted her captain, a hand around Kat’s waist, “It seems you’re doing much better.”
“Yes Anna, thank you,” Anne grunted, standing up from her sitting position. Cathy followed, brushing off the dust that had collected on her skirt. “Kat, if I could speak with you?”
The girl frowned but detached herself from Anna and moved over to Anne. “What is it Anne?”
“I…” Anne struggled with the words, “Do you remember when you asked me if we knew each other?”
Unsure of where Anne was going, Kat hesitantly answered, “Yes?”
“Well, the truth is, we do.”
Kat’s eyes narrowed as her head scrunched in confusion. “How? I still can’t quite figure it -”
“Boleyn.” Anne blurted. “My full name is Anne Boleyn.”
Eyes widening, Kat finally made the connection. “You’re my cousin,” she gasped, staring at Anne with wide eyes. Biting her lip, Anne nodded, expecting Kat to yell at her. Instead, the noble girl threw herself into Anne’s arms, hugging her close to her chest. “It’s been so long since I’ve heard from any of you,” she admitted into Anne’s chest.
It took a moment, but Anne reciprocated the hug, wrapping her arms around her younger cousin. “I didn’t think any of you wanted to hear from me.”
Pulling away, Kat curled her lip. “Our family is a mess. Everyone is constantly fighting and there’s never any peace. You may not have felt welcome, but that’s not your fault. It’s theirs.”
“Oh, Kat,” Anne’s voice was so full of emotion, it almost seemed as if she would cry.
“I want to stay with you,” Kat told her newfound cousin. “I want to stay with you and Anna and Cathy on this ship.”
“You want to be a pirate?”
Kat did the equivalent of a 15th century puppy dog pout. “More than anything.”
Unable to resist, Anne told her, “Well then, welcome aboard sailor Kat, I hope you're ready for some chaos.”
“I’m always ready for chaos if it’s with you.”
This, Cathy thought, this was right. This was how the world was supposed to be. The two cousins were together and happy, reunited after their family had torn them apart. Anna had found her happiness with Kat, and she had gotten her captain back. Cathy had saved the girl she loved with all her heart and Henry was gone from their lives. This should be the end.
But something kept pushing in the back of Cathy’s mind, telling her there was more. There was something that she kept missing, even when it was blatantly obvious to her. It was right on the tip of her tongue, infuriatingly so. “Anna, Kat,” she spoke up. “Would it be alright if I talked to Anne for a moment. Alone.”
“Of course,” Anna nodded, holding her hand out for Kat to take.
Before the two girls could leave, Cathy intercepted Kat. She pulled her friend into her arms, holding her tight. “I love you Kat,” she murmured into her ear. “You’re my best friend. Don’t you ever forget that.”
“I know Cathy,” Kat mumbled back. She pulled away and bounded to Anna’s side, holding her hand as they exited the room.
Shifting her attention to Anne, Cathy started to feel dizzy. Stumbling on her feet, Cathy had to press a hand to the wall to steady herself. “Cathy?” Anne spoke worriedly, promptly at her side. “Are you alright?”
Cathy wasn’t alright. Everything was hitting her at once like an epiphany and her mind couldn’t handle it. “Anne, Anne,” Cathy started to stutter, reaching out and grabbing Anne’s arms. Pulling her closer, Cathy spoke directly in her face, “Anne, I’m not from here.”
Laughing nervously, Anne nodded. “Yes, I could tell that by your skin color, but it’s not anything to be worried abo-”
“That’s not what I’m talking about,” Cathy cut her off. “I’m from the future. Or from the past and then the future. Or they’re both the future compared to now.”
Anne was at a loss for words. “Cathy, did you hit your head -”
“No,” Cathy stared directly into Anne’s eyes. “I am going to tell you something that sounds crazy and - and - and,” Cathy stuttered over her words, “You have to promise to believe me. Please,” she begged.
As confused as Anne was, she could tell when people were lying. Cathy was either telling the truth, or she was crazy, and Anne didn’t believe for a second that Cathy was mental. “Okay, I promise.”
Nodding, Cathy stepped away from Anne and started pacing around the room. “In my first life, I was married to King Henry VIII of England, known to you as Henry Tudor.” Anne’s face grew into a snarl but she said nothing. “I was Queen Catherine Parr, the sixth wife of Henry. We never met, but I knew you well in that life.”
“How could you know me if we hadn’t met?” Anne questioned.
“Because you were Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry’s second wife. You divided England from the Catholic Church, and you changed the world.”
Anne didn’t like the way Cathy was speaking. It wasn’t in her tone, but rather the way her words made sense. Anne knew she should be finding Cathy’s claims preposterous, but for some reason they resonated in Anne’s heart. “Who were his other wives?”
Attempting to steady her shaking hands, Cathy started to explain. “His first wife was Catherine of Aragon. You might know her name, she’s the informant who run’s Aragon’s Pub.” The way Anne’s eyes lit up let Cathy know she did in fact know who that was. “Then there was you who pushed Henry to break from the church and annull his marriage with his wife. You two were married, but when you proved too much for him -” Anne scoffed, “he beheaded you.”
Falling silent, Anne looked at the floor. “Who was after me?”
“Jane Seymour, the one who gave him a son. She’s Kat’s caretaker back at court, although you’ve never met her. She died of natural causes. His fourth wife was Anna von Cleves,” Anne’s head shot up.
“Please don’t tell me -”
“She got the best outcome of us all,” Cathy assured her, breathing in heavily as she continued. “She had an arranged marriage with the King, but when she embarrassed him, Henry started calling her ugly and later annulled his marriage once again. Anna got her own palace and lived far longer than any of us.” Cringing, Cathy realized who she had arrived at.
Noticing Cathy’s apprehensiveness, Anne pushed, “Well? Who was next?”
“No,” Anne choked. Cathy was only giving her a brief rundown, but Anne felt as if she was living through this experience with Cathy.
Swallowing, Cathy had to take a moment to steady her voice. “He married Kat when she was only fifteen, maybe a year or two older, none of us know for sure,” she refused to look in Anne’s horrified eyes, “But Kat had a terrible past where men had… sexually abused her. One of her friends in court took advantage of her and when the King found out,” Cathy’s voice hitched, “he beheaded her.”
Anne was devastated, even though she knew Kat was safe and sound. “That bastard,” she hissed. “I’m glad he’s dead.”
“Then there was me. The survivor,” Cathy was finally able to make eye contact with Anne. “I watched him die, and I thought I was free. I remarried, but died barely over a year later.”
“That’s… quite the story,” Anne muttered, unsure of how to process what Cathy told her.
Grabbing Anne’s hands again, Cathy set her face. “That’s not the end. After we died, the six of us woke up in a new world. The 21st century.”
Cathy knew it was hard to believe, but she had to get Anne to understand. “This is going to sound very confusing, but you have to understand what I’m saying.” Anne’s hesitant nod was all Cathy needed to dive in. “Five hundred years in the future, we live in the modern world. We tell our story as Henry’s wives to the world, and we reclaim our lives. You and I are in love in that world,” Cathy said fondly, running her hand over Anne’s, “and all six of us are a family.”
Anne was subconsciously smiling, content with the picture Cathy was painting. But it was shattered as Cathy started choking on her words. “I - I think that - that - that,” she breathed in deeply to control herself, “That this was meant to happen. Us being here.”
“What are you talking about?” As hard as Anne was trying, she couldn’t keep up with Cathy’s mind.
Resuming her pacing, Cathy made a variety of frustrated noises. “It all makes sense, doesn’t it! Right from the start, it’s been set out. I’m not Cathy Parr. Or rather, I’m not the Cathy Parr of this reality.”
Anne took a step forward, attempting to calm Cathy. “I don’t think you’re making much sense.”
“No, it makes perfect sense,” Cathy gasped. “When Kat and I snuck into Mary’s room, the only reason we were in there so long was because I couldn’t write her letter. If I had control of myself, I could’ve written that letter in five minutes. Instead, the actions of the other Cathy Parr, the real Cathy Parr, kept me from completing the letter. And because of that…” Cathy paused her pacing. “Because of that, we met. Anne, don’t you see!” she turned to the captain, “It’s all predestined.”
A theory started to weed its way into Cathy’s mind, taking root. “What if, every generation there’s a Catherine Parr and Anne Boleyn. And a Katherine Howard and Anna von Cleves, Jane Seymour and Catherine de Aragon. We’re all destined to meet again and again in some new reality. Somehow, we all are connected, with ties to Henry.”
All common sense told Anne that Cathy’s theory was impossible. Yet deep inside her, there was some little bit of her that couldn’t help but believe what she was saying. “If you’re right, then why can only you remember this?”
“It must be some fluke in the system,” Cathy ran a hand through her hair. “Clearly I don’t have complete control of my actions. When Anna and I were getting information from Catherine, she asked what was in my satchel. The only thing that I had packed was a journal full of academic teachings, the exact thing Catherine wanted. I would’ve never thought to bring it, yet somehow it ended up in my possession.” There was awe in Cathy’s voice as things started to make sense. “The longer I stay here, the more I speak as you do. I’m speaking as this Cathy Parr would, not as I, my modern self, would.”
Anne nodded her head, understanding what Cathy was trying to say. “Every generation, the six of us are destined to be connected. Somehow, some way, and Henry’s involved.”
“Yes,” Cathy bit her nails, an anxious habit she didn’t know she had.
“But I’ve never met Jane Seymour or Catherine de Aragon,” Anne frowned. “Surely that doesn’t make sense.”
“I said we were connected, not that each of us have to meet,” Cathy corrected. “Anna, Kat, and I never even met you in our lives as Queens. I - I don’t know Anne, but there’s more to it all than the surface level.”
Sliding back down against the bookcase, Anne rubbed her eyes with her hands. “This is a lot to take in Cathy.”
“I know, I’m sorry Anne,” Cathy came and sat beside Anne. “Just, promise you’ll still love me if I wake up someone else,” she pleaded.
Giving the girl a painful smile, Anne leaned over and pressed a kiss to her cheek. “I don’t think it’s possible for me not to love you Cathy Parr.”
Giggling, Cathy rested her head on Anne’s shoulder. “I’m so tired,” she whispered, feeling her eyes drift shut. “This is all so much.”
Anne pulled Cathy into her lap and wrapped her arms around the girl. “I’ll be here when you wake up. No matter who you are.” And so Cathy gave in to the darkness.
Jerking out of bed, Cathy spun around, looking for anyone familiar. “Cathy?” Anne groaned beside her, shifting under the sheets. “Are you awake?”
“Shh,” Cathy shushed her girlfriend, slowing her breathing. “Go back to sleep Anne.” The bedroom was dark, exactly as she remembered it when she fell asleep here last.
“Mmkay,” Anne hummed lucidly, “G’night babe.” Cathy watched her girlfriend fondly, holding back the tears that inexplicably appeared in her eyes.
“Sweet dreams, Anne Boleyn.”
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The wall and the baby (DC Universe, AU)
Amanda Waller, AKA the wall was known for many things. Her hard nose attuide, her belief that she knew right and damn everyone else, and her big baby husband Bruce Wayne.
They had met at a gala, where Bruce had been head over heels with her despite well, less the striking figure but it didn't take long to figure out a few things about the Billionaire playboy.
One, he was a chubby chaser who had actually kept drooling as they chatted, blushing and saying sorry when she had pointed it out with a smirk.
Two, Due to his parents passing away in a skiing accident when he was 12, he had a VERY strong attraction to ladies who gave off a semi mommy energy.
Now normally anyone who worked under the wall would of told you that the last aura she projected was that of a mommy, but since she had been there to suck up for some more founding for task force X, she'd had on a kinder face then normal.
She did have to admit that it was cute seeing this handsome young man stumbling over his words and clearly love stuck, and so had come home with him that night.
And the next night and the night after that.
They had barely dated for a bare four months before they were walking down the aisle, Waller in a dashing white dress and Bruce in a pair of short alls and a puffy butt as by that point he was living as her big baby, 24/7.
She assumed control of Wayne enterprises and put the corporation to work for Task force X, though most of the day to day was handled much as before, by Mr.fox.
Bruce's days meanwhile were filled with making pretty pictures for mommy, playing with his toys and playing in mommies office, and of course, making mommy presents.
It was 7:30 am as Waller came into Bruce's nursery, wrinkling her nose a little at the smell that filled the room but it was all part of the mommy game and she forced the look off of her face as she made her way over the plush carpet that filled the room.
Technically she could of sent Alfred in to wake Bruce up but she still felt bad about making Bruce sleep in his nursery last night instead of in bed with her, she'd been up late monitoring a mission to take out a drug cartel in San Baquero.
For the most part Bruce just thought she had a very special job with the government and didn't ask too many questions, and in a way he wasn't wrong. but that still didn't mean she wanted him to see the ugly side of her work.
shaking those thoughts out of her head, and hat a pain it was gonna be to replace Knockout on the team, she leaned over the side of Bruce's crib railing and smiled.
here was a fit young man who could of been a star athlete, and instead he was sucking on a pacifier wearing a light grey onsie that helped keep him from wiggling out of the custom made extra bulky diapers that made it a chore for even Bruce to waddle, and let him stew in his messes for hours on end just like he wanted.
'Sometimes I wonder what I did to end up so lucky~' Waller gushed mentally, then gently patted the bugling (and not just from natural bulk) seat of Bruce's pamper butt.
"Hey there sleepy head, time to get up~" she called softly.
She of course had been up since 5 am, but unlike Bruce she thrived on little to none sleep and actually was more grumpy when she got a full 8 hours in.
Bruce gurgled behind his paci and opened one eye, then grinned and let the paci slid out of his mouth.
"Nggggh five more minutes mommy~" He giggled playfully.
the big baby knew Waller let him sleep in as long as she could if he wanted to come in with her to work, and he'd been VERY clear that he got to come into the office today.
"Sorry my adorable little stinker, if you wanna be mommies cute widdle secretary you have to get up now. for one thing, SOMEBODY needs a diapie change."
"-GASP- Did Alfred poop himself!" Bruce asked and giggled like he'd told the funniest joke ever.
"heh, you're such a goof ball~ come on Bruce Sweetie, let's get you changed before you make mommies nose fall off."
One smelly diaper change later (which had left Waller seeing just how 'happy' he was to see and regretful they didn't have time for a quick roll in the sack) and Bruce was dressed in triple thick diapers and a black diaper shirt with light grey overall's on, Black and grey being his favorite colors.
His bottom was puffed out and he was forced to crawl to the dining room where he was helped into his high chair, and while Waller had her normal steak and egg's with black coffe,she would pasue now and then to spoon anther mouthful of apple cinnamon oatmeal into the mouth of her big baby who gurgled and coo'ed, gushing about how much 'artz' he was gonna do for mommy t'day.
"I'm gonna draw you a duck, and a bat, and and a fire truck and and and-" he babbled, only shush as mommy got anther mouthful in in mouth, taking care not to get any on his clothes.
"Mhhm I bet you are, and they'll join the rest of your pretty pictures on my office wall, though I might bring some home for the fridge. what do you think Alfred?" She asked, amused and turning to look at the butler.
The older man gave a smile.
"well i for one would be VERY much honored if I could have some of Master Wayne's artwork on the fridge. But I didn't wanna speak up." he said.
Waller had been worried the seemingly stuffie old butler would of been a stick in the mud when she and Bruce had first started dating, but in fact the old Englishman had helped give her pointer for dealing with his immature employer.
"oh! I sowwy Alfred! I didn't even think bout that!" Bruce said, looking guilty.
"Think nothing of it Master Wayne, I was just saying."
"Nooo I'ma draw you a super cool picture!" Bruce promised, then grinned impishly. "Butttt not gonna tell ya what it is, it'll be a surprise!" he added with a giggle.
"I shall be waiting with baited breath." Alfred chuckled and cleared the dishes away as Waller helped Bruce out of his high chair.
"We should be back around 5:30ish Alfred, and I'm thinking me and Bruce would like some-" Waller started, but was cut off by her little guy as he wiggled his massive diaper butt back and forth.
"Grilled cheese and fries! grilled cheese and fries!" He chanted.
"heh..Grilled cheese and fries apparently." Waller said and ruffled Bruce's hair.
One half hour drive later and Bruce was crawling next to mommy as they made they're way though the hall's of Cadmus, getting amused looks and waves from staff who knew all about him, and baffled looks from those who had just been transferred.
(and in one case the new head of genetics looked at her coffee she had been drinking from and dumped it in the nearest waste basket.)
Getting into her office, it was almost exactly what you would expect for the head of a secret branch of the government charged with policing meta-humans and nipping problems in the bud.
A high tech desk with a built in computer that could connect Waller to any database she might need, a direct line to the president him, a selection of hand guns in protective cases that only Waller could open (the glass had been installed after Bruce had mistakenly believe they were toys, thankfully no one had been hurt).
The office would of had a cold and sterile feeling to it, if not for the corner of it that was dedicated JUST to Bruce.
there was a patch of extra plush carpet, a small toy chest with just stuffies, a little desk (fisher price but bigger for the big baby)
for him to make his drawing at and of course lots of crayons for him, and the walls were plastered with all the pictures he had made so far.
Of course justifying having her big baby in the office hadn't been easy, even for Waller, at least till she pointed out just how much Wayne enterprises helped with the budget for the last line of defense against say, a rouge justice league.
add in the expense of his little space was coming right from the Wayne/Waller fortune and well, The president had dropped the topic fairly quick.
Bruce took his seat at his drawing table, and getting out some paper got right to work making arts, after getting a pair of headphones on that would be playing nursery music.
marveling at just how god damn cute her widdle Brucie was, then brought up a chat with Rick flag so they could go over options for replacing the decreased Knock Out.
Bruce was humming away, rocking to his favorite song, 'the wheels on the bus' when he felt a cramp in his tummy. Looking up at the clock he was a little shocked, he mostly had a soiled schedule for his BM's but he knew when a poopie was brewing and it was a full 2 hours early, with it only just going onto 9:30.
He looked over and Mommy was still making a call with one of her friends, and while she mostly dotted on him she had asked him to try and refrain from 'playing the butt trumpet' when she was on a call.
He tried to focus on the picture he was making for Alfred, he was drawing his own superhero he had come up with, even though he knew for the most part mommy didn't like them.
This superhero actually had no powers, and was like a ninja with a whole bat theme going on, and Bruce called him Bat Dude.
he knew the name could use a little work but for now, it would work.
As he colored in Bat dude's cape, all black of course, the cramps got worse and he leaned forward to try and help with the pressure.
all that did however was bring thing to a boil and he could hear himself, even with his music playing loudly in his ear's let out a massive roar of a fart.
if mommy hadn't of been on a call, and giving him a glare, Bruce almost would of been proud of it. Instead he gave a meek smile and lisped out a sorry, then made a face and stuck out his touage as the smell reached him.
Looking over at mommy, who normally could take on his smelliest diaper with a bare reaction, he watched her nose twitch and she reached into her desk and brought out a scented handkerchief and pressed it to her face.
Rick flag did his best not to react to the sound that interrupted their call, but he was only human and the corners of his mouth were twitching as Waller was forced to grab a scented handkerchief and pressed it to her face.
"Ma'am, If you need to call me back, I understand you may have other pressing concerns." He said.
"I'm Muting my end of the call, but stay on for a few colonel, and I'll let you know." Waller said, hitting the button and muting Flag before he could reply.
He was a good soldier and she knew he'd follow his order's anyways.
Getting up from her desk she walked over to Bruce who was hunched over, holding his tummy.
"are you ok sweetie?" She asked, leaning down and rubbing his back.
"I..I don't think so.." Bruce said, of course having slid his head phones off as she walked over.
"what's wrong Bruce?" she asked, putting a hand to his forehead and noting a slight fever for the first time.
"Tummy hurts. gonna go uh-oh any second. I sowwy." Bruce whimpered, tearing up.
"Shhh it's ok Bruce. you can go ahead and go uh-oh, and while you do that Mommies gonna arrange for one of her work friends to take over for her. I think somebody needs to go home, he's under the weather." she said warmly.
She of course wouldn't of gone home if it was just her who was sick, having famously stayed at her desk and suffering though a Thangarian flu last year, but she wasn't gonna make her little guy suffer here when he could be looked after in the comfort of their home.
As she moved back over to her desk to let Flag know he could make the final selection for the new member of task force X himself, as she trusted his judgement, as well as trying to decide between Eiling or Hamilton for taking over for her, a long booming blast came out of her little guys butt.
Turning around she was almost transfixed on the site of the rapidly growing seat, and for a second wondered if maybe just maybe, if this wasn't some sorta meta human power manifesting.
Sure, super human pooping would be a first but who knew with some of these freaks?
She banished that thought almost right away even as the fumes from Bruce's diapers filled the office, so powerful she almost swore for a second she could SEE them.
One because she had secretly had Bruce tested for the meta gene, and Two because she could never consider her little guy a 'freak'.
"Guess it's a good thing we triple diapered you huh?" She asked, as Bruce was standing now, the back of his overalls straining as he grunted and groaned, but he nodded lots.
"Oh god mommy, Hurts!" he whined and then sucked on his thumb, finishing his uber mess off with a last few weak sputtering farts.
Alarms went off in the office as air quilty dropped, and Waller made the command decision to just make her calls from the car..as well as change Bruce outside.
After a check up with a trusted family doctor, one Leslie thompkins, Bruce was diagnosed with just a bad tummy bug..and being guilty of having been sleep waking in the middle of the night and raiding the fridge.
Alfred had just assumed that Waller had been doing it since between his diapers and the high railing.. In any case there were changes to be made around the house, more baby proofing to be done, and Waller just spent the day field testing a new set of nose filters that would keep one save from toxic gasses and did a decent job with bad smells.
Snuggling with he big baby on their bed, and watching tv, Waller again thought about what life might of been like with out the little stinker..and decided it wasn't worth thinking about before planting a kiss on his forehead.
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The Rise Of Skywalker or A Lesson in Doing Everything and Nothing
STAR WARS SPOILERS ABOUND READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
I know nobody cares about my childhood encounters with Star Wars. It’s become a staple of reviews, a reassertion that the story has defined a lifetime, made a stranger who they are. I know nobody cares but you’ll have to, because The Rise of Skywalker is a supremely personal film. Like much of the trilogy, it relies on vast personal history to reach its goals. To be honest, I don’t remember the first time I saw Star Wars, and in all likelihood, I’ve been watching the original trilogy since I was weeks old, but I do remember the early days of The Phantom Menace. I remember loving Jar Jar Binks – I know, blasphemous, but also important. I don’t like to generalise, but my opinion of Jar Jar Binks speaks back to how my generation (that is, those who were barely speaking when Episode I hit the screens) has measured the franchise over the last twenty years.
We all know the issue of gatekeeping is nothing new, but as a kid it’s not really something to be concerned about. You just love the movie. It’s fast and funny and full of vibrancy. As you grow however, specifically, as girls grow, it becomes an increasingly prominent issue. I spent some time on Tinder a few years back and stumbled across a guy who at first seemed as equally nerdy as he was considerate, but the moment the recently released The Force Awakens cropped into conversation I was bombarded with a sequence of questions obviously intended to bolster his ego while whittling mine away. ‘Have you read the novelisation?’ ‘What do you think about the EU no longer being canon?’ ‘I bet you haven’t come across this bit of meta.’
It forced a small but irrefutable voice into the back of my head that makes an appearance every time I exit a midnight premiere. I enjoyed that I’ll think to an instant noisy chorus of but am I supposed to? The Force Awakens met praise with the critics, it’s sequel less so. I found I loved them both. Sure, I could understand why The Last Jedi was dropping stars for its mishandling of Luke Skywalker and somewhat ridiculous maneuvers with a certain princess, but as a whole it was a well-conceived, visually stunning piece of cinema. Walking into The Rise of Skywalker, I had high hopes that all in all, weren’t hugely dashed.
If there were a useful tool to explain the confused stream of thoughts I had getting home at 3am on Thursday just gone, it would John Williams’ classic of years gone by: Duel of the Fates. Setting the stage for Phantom’s climactic battle, a masterpiece of choreography, editing, and character. It’s a tune that formed the soundtrack to the rest of my life, re-emerging in moments where I needed strength and comfort - I would challenge anyone to find a piece of movie music that achieves what Duel does in 4 minutes and 14 seconds. I expected to hear it again, even in motif form, and the film’s lack thereof sums up much of what I’m about to say.
Let’s begin with the plot: classic Star Wars. A mission often drifting towards sour, culminating in an out of this world (literally) battle between good and evil with enough wit and tragedy to feed an increasingly growing audience. The pace of the film is its first issue, but what the endless combination of acceleration and screeching breaks takes away, the humour quickly recovers. Poe, Finn, and Rey make an exquisite trio, their banter and chemistry off the charts, bringing me back to one of the prequel trilogy’s biggest strengths: Anakin and Obi-Wan’s brotherly repartee. This strength however, only worked to bring to light one of the film’s many inconsistencies, specifically in this case: it’s mistreatment of minor characters.
Rose Tico was the axel upon which Episode VIII rested its morality, and although her actions lean a little too closely to manic pixie dream girl for my taste, she was a breath of fresh air in a historically white franchise. She was the bubbly voice of hope born from the dark grief that penetrates much of the film; was being the operative word here because come the sequel, Rose is scarce to be found. In fact, I, perhaps clouded by my own bias, would argue she exists mostly as a foil to Finn’s queer gaze. Similarly, there is the introduction of Zorii, in a strange tangent that secures Poe as the trio’s resident bad boy turned good and offers some unnecessary romantic history, clouding what could have been a revealing glimpse into the first order’s Neo-Fascist regime on a planet succumbing to Stormtrooper tyranny. Moreover, the ambiguity in the relationship between the two male leads provided a sweet aftertaste for those tiring of the cis white hetero outcomes so common within the genre and makes these two narrative decisions seem all the more grievous. It leaves much to be desired when both actors have publicly and loudly revealed their commitment to the pairing. At least the gays are left with a blink-and-you-miss-it kiss between two background characters with which we share no emotional attachment. As usual, we are left to be content with what little scraps the film can spare.
This brings me neatly onto an item I am most struggling with: Rey’s parentage and Kylo’s Ren-demption. I’ll admit it quietly: Rey has not been my favourite aspect of the new trilogy. Her origin became such a point of contention that the story backed itself into a corner with no viable way out. Make her nothing, we’re disappointed. Make her something and you risk the audience writing it off as unlikely. Unfortunately, I would argue it became the latter. The return of Palpatine was an odd decision that had some potential, but without any indication prior to Ren’s visit to Exegol, and indeed no exposition involving the planet for those not chin deep in the universe’s lore, it was a cheap escape for writers in peril. The same problem has invaded televised fiction, with shows like Doctor Who suffering under what I call the ‘Moffat Effect’ – plots that set themselves on such a sure course to surprise that they forget that the device is best served warm. Had the late Snoke occasionally shared words with a cloaked, skittery voiced phantom in previous films, perhaps the move wouldn’t feel quite so contrived.
Ben Solo’s redemption however, held much more dissonance. Episode VII’s pinnacle bridge scene provided as much of a prediction as anything, the clashing red and blue light streaming across his face reminiscent of how Anakin’s shadow upon Tatooine’s iconic sunken houses in Attack of The Clones foreshadowed his own fate. The chaotic energy Ren exudes speaks of a troubled, conflicted mind; his thirst for power nothing but a thirst for acceptance. His change of heart felt like a natural progression, reflected in his dramatic change in costume: the revelation that there’s a sassy, compassionate man underneath the mask very welcome. But he had to die, or become the misunderstood, abusive stereotype that’s become the industry’s most damaging product.
Perhaps had this revelation come with Snoke’s death, perhaps had he taken Rey’s hand, returned home, reconciled with his lonely mother, the outcome could have been different. I would have welcomed it: the potential for a moral grapple between forgiveness and damnation by a cast of characters wobbling about between hope and distrust. Just as Poe’s snarky comments in the trilogy’s opening hinted at a shared history, there was potential for a redemption that concluded with his survival, as long as it stuck to the path of accountability – I would go as far as to say it would have adequately complemented Rey’s search for balance. As it is, I see no other way. Just as Darth Vader died as a punishment for his crimes, so did his grandson.
Aside from that, there are far more blunders that leave the film’s goal of inclusivity feeling a little cheap. The conclusion that Rey and Ben may have lived to encourage their kindling romance felt forced and obligatory – their connection (though many a Reylo shipper would disagree) did not require sealing with a kiss, and indeed would have retained its implications without it. When Hollywood learns which pairings to insert as a franchise’s romantic outcome – that is the ones organically formed through mutual respect and support over a succession of films like, maybe, possibly between an ex-stormtrooper and an x-wing pilot – please give me a call.
Then there is the curveball of Chewie’s survival, the implication of something unspoken between Rey and Finn, Threepio’s death and resurrection, all going practically unanswered. The introduction of the Knights of Ren was drastically underutilized. The final scene between Ben, Rey, and her ‘grandfather’ (I can’t even give it agency in writing) had potential, her whispered ‘be with me’ and the resounding echoes of past Jedi gave the scene poignancy but then spoiled it with a rushed confrontation. The Mary-Sue-ish approach to Finn and his ‘force sensitivity’ in the packed, busy battle between the Resistance and the Sith fleet (‘that’s not how the force works’ comes to mind), are balanced out only by the earlier spicy sequence involving Stormtroopers with jetpacks (the incredulous succession of ‘they fly now’s gave me one of the biggest laughs of the entire film) across the dunes of yet another new planet, and the desperately dirty bit of Light Speed jumping by the Falcon that opens the film. Not to mention the genius decision to convert Hux into a Resistance spy purely out of his own spite, one of the most in-character moments of the story and one that drew cheers from the crowd I shared the screen with. Regardless, the film is still left feeling patchy, rushed, and inadequately stitched together.
I can appreciate the nostalgia slotted in-between. Luke’s raising of his trusty X-Wing was the first moment to bring me fully to tears, and the gift of Han’s medal into Chewie’s hands was so spot on my heart still aches in my chest. Ending where the franchise began was also an act of circular writing I enjoyed, albeit a little corny and in no way as emotionally potent as Rogue One’s epic finale (another scene that left me wracked with sobs as the credits rolled). The Rise of Skywalker left me as satisfied as it did confused, but more than anything, I longed for the return of that silly piece of music. Duel of the Fates encompasses for me, everything that makes Star Wars, Star Wars. As stirring as it is dramatic, its desperate chords are as fantastical as the world it belongs to. Its absence speaks back to something the all three films both lacked and overindulged in, and that’s the nuanced balance between heart and flair.
The Skywalker Saga has defined multiple generations, has been the comfort for many in the face of a sense of compassion and comradery collapsing around them. Star Wars has been the rousing word in the resistance against the decaying optimism of today, acting as a mirror to our own socio-political struggles for decades. I can’t say it wasn’t an apt send-off, and the culmination of a nine-film love letter to the existence of hope. Rey, Finn, and Poe will take their place in history as the golden trio of the 21st century, a title I happily endorse. In the end we can only linger on the vision of Tatooine’s twin suns sinking into the horizon and hold onto the ever-mounting sense of solace it has brought to every child wearing their dressing gown like a Jedi’s robe and brandishing wooden sticks like Lightsabers.
God knows that child was me.
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Avengers Endgame: A (Late, Incredibly Long) Spoilertastic Review
Well, it’s done.
I did it. We did it. We all watched the original lineup of Avengers’ stories come to its end.
So what did I think?
It was phenomenal. A worthy ending to a more than worthy series of films and stories.
There are just so many things to go over and so many points to hit that I have to warn you this review is likely going to be just as long as Endgame’s running time, so strap in.
Overall Grade: A-
Naturally, spoilers below.
I’m taking a note from a friend of mine and have decided that due to the film’s epic length and its history, the best way to tackle my reactions is first per character, and then I can evaluate things like plot and story and action. Just a heads’ up. So here we go.
Christ. I…wow, where do I even start?
There’s just so much to talk about with this movie and the arc that Tony Stark has been fulfilling since his first film. I almost don’t know how I can even put into words what I feel for this character. Tony came to us as this swaggering, arrogant diva, and yet the first Iron Man breaks him down to his core character. Tony Stark is a man with everything and nothing. He has the looks, the intelligence, and the resources to have everything a person could want, and yet he has no family and no deep connections with others aside from Rhodey and Pepper when it all starts. The core of the MCU was very cleverly built around the theme of Tony’s heart, and that’s perhaps why so many of us are devastated to know his fate. We all saw it coming. There was sadly no other way Tony’s story would pan out if we wanted to stick to his full arc. Tony could not rest until he knew the universe would be safe, and he made sure it would be before he left us. His legacy is incredible. It’s so…hell, to use a bad pun, heartwarming.
I guess the best thing to do in order for me to not just recap every amazing thing he’s done since Iron Man is to recap moments in Endgame for Tony that leapt out at me as exceptional:
-The intro with Tony playing paper football with Nebula. Stab me in the heart. That was so cute. It’s so very like Tony to try and keep her strong and keep her spirits up when they were literally staring death in the face. It was unexpectedly adorable, and even without us having seen the days they spent together, you could tell that Tony treated her in a mature-ish fashion and that’s why Nebula appeared to be affectionate, or at the very least, respectful towards him when she is usually very distant. You could tell they totally depended on each other and it was an important partnership. I was very, very touched when she scooped him up and put him in the seat when they were approaching their final day together. It’s such a powerful thing to see how far Tony has come, through the lens of Nebula showing such compassion for him even in such a short amount of time. I love how the Russos are so good at conveying thoughts and emotions and story without saying it outright. It’s an amazing skill in filmmaking.
-Tony’s arrival back to earth, and his confrontation with the Avengers. Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow. My fucking feelings, y’all. Christ. I mean, the Russos already know how to gut-punch you and then kick you when you’re down, but Tony’s complete and utter break down still hurts like a mother. It’s just so raw and emotional, and it should be that way after a loss on this kind of scale. What really tipped me over into choking down frustrated tears was that Tony just looks at Cap desperately when he stumbles off that ship and says in this broken voice, “I lost the kid.” He can’t even bear to say Peter Parker’s name. The shame and loss and guilt is too much for him to say his little Spider Son’s name. Oh, fuck you, Russo brothers.
And then the team being in utter shambles over losing to Thanos, all of them just barely holding it together, and then Tony just shatters. He’s home and he’s with family, but he can’t get over this kind of failure. What really tears it is him going after Steve so viciously, and it’s so complex. He’s angry at himself, and he chooses to direct that anger at Cap because we all know Tony took it as a personal loss, as all of them did, that he couldn’t stop Thanos even though he literally gave it everything. He gave every last bit, every last drop, of effort, and he couldn’t stop Thanos. It just hurts. And the resentment that was already between Cap and Tony after Civil War is still clearly there, so the entire scene is just like being dragged naked over broken glass. RDJ and Evans’ acting here is some of the best of the entire series in this scene. It sets the stage and reminds us of the stakes amazingly well.
-Tony’s post Snap life, and his interactions with his family. All of us Tony stans called it that Tony would be a phenomenal father. He’s already shown us that he can be the right amount of strict and caring, and everything with Morgan is exactly what I dreamt it would be. I could rewatch the scenes with Tony and Morgan a thousand times. People can shit on Tony all they want and I will never listen to them, because it’s so apparent how much and how deeply he cares in scenes like this. Where he confronts Pepper after he figures out the time heist equation. Years ago, Tony may have lied to her or made a decision without consulting her, but Tony has grown as a person and he approaches his wife with one of the most important things he will ever do in his life and he asks for her opinion before he does anything. It’s such a good comparison to how he used to be. Tony’s heart is so huge in this whole sequence. It’s such a good representation of his internal battle between doing what is right for everyone and doing what is right for him.
-Tony and Cap’s reconciliation. Oh, my heart. I love how Tony approaches it in such a Tony sort of way, forgiving Cap and agreeing to move past their resentment for what happened in Civil War. I like that it was done in a brisk sort of way, and that a lot of the power in the scene comes from RDJ and Evans’ facial expressions. Really, these two act off of each other so well that part of why we’re all crying so hard about this movie is the horrible knowledge that we don’t get to see them act opposite each other in this context. I pray they stay friends in real life, and I would love to see them reunited on screen someday. It’s such a great relationship and it’s at the core of why this is such a great film series.
-The New York heist. Oh God. I can’t wait for them to tell us if the comment about Cap’s ass was in the script or if it was an improvised line by RDJ or Paul Rudd. It is by far one of the funniest things ever to happen in the MCU. Dear God, I was howling. The best part is that during the premiere we were all laughing so hard that I missed Cap’s initial reply, which was, “No one’s asking you to look, Tony.” Christ, I can’t deal. I know it’s straight up Stony pandering but I don’t give a fuck, it was hilarious. And it’s a very meta joke since Chris Evans’ gorgeous, flawless body is a meme thanks to his Dorito proportions (if you haven’t seen that yet, oh god, please look it up) and the fact that he has an absolutely phenomenal ass, especially for a white guy from Boston. Anyway, Tony and Scott’s whole interaction was perfect, and I loved how the scene went and how it led into the next one.
-The army base heist. Tony running into his father was such a good twist. I absolutely did not see that coming, but it was a really welcome conversation to give Tony closure. He’s felt so guilty for how he left things with them, and it was so touching to see him get a second chance at it, even if Howard was none the wiser. I really hadn’t expected anything like that, but it worked well with Tony’s arc and I thought it was very sweet.
-Tony’s reaction to seeing his baby boy, his little Spider Son, running up to him. My God. This was everything. I am a hardcore supporter of the Iron Dad and Spider Son dynamic, and this was the reunion I so sorely needed after the sick, demented, painful scene that was the final moments in Infinity War. Like the rest of you, the level of trauma that hit me when Peter Parker died is just…hell, infinite. The pain was just infinite. I both love and hate Tom Holland and RDJ for doing that shit to us. I did not know I could cry that hard about a fictional character, but I openly wept to the point of sobbing when Peter Parker died in IW, and to see him back in this scene was so wonderful. In my second viewing, the audience actually clapped when Peter swung through the portal, and that was quite sweet for me to experience. But back to the point: once again, I have to simply compliment RDJ’s acting. This is why we love him so much. It’s not even about the big, loud moments. His acting is so precise that the flurry of emotional expressions that Tony went through when his tiny son helped him up and started excitedly babbling to him about being dead, of all things, and then Tony just doesn’t even interrupt him, he just walks forward and pulls that little boy into his arms and holds him tightly in a hug and it’s just…wow. This is some spectacular acting on both their parts, and it heals a really wounded part of my heart, even though the next scene I talk about just breaks it all over again. Plus, at the time I wrote this review, the Spider-Man: Far From Home full trailer just dropped and (SPOILER ALERT) the opening scene is Peter Parker and Happy mourning Tony and I just feel like someone hammered a stake into my chest. This scene is so fantastic. It’s just another reminder of how damn much Tony Stark cares about the people around him and that he has an actual family now, and that’s why the next scene is possibly the saddest one of all.
-Tony’s death. Like Loki’s untimely demise, I knew this was coming from years and years of being a writer. Based on the track for his character arc and because RDJ announced this is his final official performance as the character, I knew Tony was going to die. There was no way around it. His determination to save everyone and correct the wrong done to the universe by Thanos would drive him past his limits and cause him to sacrifice it all. It’s just…man. I wish it had ended differently for him. Anyone who follows me on Tumblr knows that I tag all Iron Man posts with “we stan Tony Stark in this house” and that is how I feel. While Tony is not my favorite Avenger, I will stand up for him all day, err day. Tony Stark is the epitome of the human spirit, and in a different way than Cap, if you ask me. Tony is all of the dark and seedy parts, but also the defiance and the self-deprecation and the obsession and the power of the human spirit. He has so many vices and yet so many virtues. He cares to a fault. He blames himself to a fault. He has come so far after that brutal conversation in Avengers when Cap accuses him of not being the man to lay down on the razor wire and let the other guy crawl over you. He made the ultimate sacrifice play. As much as I reject the idea, we all knew it had to be him. It had to be. Because at the end of the day, Tony’s need to make his family safe was more precious to him than his own life. He gave up a future with his loved ones to make sure Thanos could never hurt them again. And all of it was capped off with a line that will probably haunt me forever, of Pepper’s soft, forgiving goodbye, “You can rest.”
-Tony’s farewell message to his family. Want to know something crazy? I cried so hard at the premiere. So hard. I was almost dry heaving with how hard I cried at Tony’s funeral. But then I had a week of time and I saw it again this past Sunday. I was choked up during his death but I didn’t shed actual tears this time until “I love you 3000.” Somehow, it didn’t hit me until the second time how they filmed Tony’s goodbye to us. They shot it in such a way that as he leans down to turn off the recording, he’s actually looking at us. Not directly into the camera, but so close to it that it finally hit me that this was RDJ’s goodbye and thank you to the fans. It was so touching and sincere that I finally broke down and actually cried again. What truly hurts is knowing that his loved ones have to be without him, and even though his sacrifice means everything, he is going to leave behind such a void. Even with his problems and his flaws, Tony was a damn good man and he was the right choice to begin this epic series. I can’t express how much I am going to miss him and how much I am going to miss RDJ in this shared universe. He’s so charismatic and wonderful and complex. It was not only a comeback for Tony Stark, but a comeback for a very troubled man, and it’s come full circle that Tony had a loving family just as RDJ has a loving family after his checkered past. To be honest, I’m likely going to do as I did for Loki and have a cutoff point in my brain for the MCU, where I don’t accept what happened because it’s too painful. I just pretend that nothing happened after that hug with Peter Parker and they all won the day and no one died. That’s just how it’s gotta be for me to survive a post Endgame world.
Thank you, Tony. You gave everything. I love you now and always.
-Thor executing Thanos. Standing. Fucking. Ovation. Right, so, I know that Thor probably should not have outright killed Thanos before they had more information, but at the same time, there was nothing more to get out of that son of a bitch and I clapped when Thor swung Stormbreaker and lopped that mo’fo’s head clean off, and I flipped off Thanos’ corpse with both fingers. Good boy. He told you he’d kill you, and he killed you, you sorry bastard. A+++
-Thor’s depression and weight gain. Alright. *rolls up sleeves* Time to make some enemies. I think Fat!Thor is a great idea, but the execution could have been done better. I recognize writing tricks when I see them, and Fat!Thor seems to be two ideas in one, and one of them is what is bothering the semi-reasonable part of the fandom. What I’ll do is explain my take on both parts of the overall idea.
(1) Thor’s depression at his failure (at the time) to reverse the Snap and save everyone is 100% accurate, in character, and is damn good writing. Thor has never actually full-on failed at anything in his life. The closest he has come is between being cast out in the first Thor movie for being irrational and cruel, and in Ragnarok where he had to let Surtur destroy Asgard in order to save his people. Even then, Thor lost battles, not the overall war. Therefore, Thor does not understand how to process failure. Yes, he also failed to save his mother, but at the same time, it’s not a failure on this level. He lost Frigga, Loki, the Warriors Three, and Heimdall, but this was literally trillions of lives that he feels were weighed on his shoulders, and his shoulders alone, even though as Rocket pointed out, losing the war was the fault of a LOT of people, not just Thor (and not Starlord either, you bunch of whiny hypocrites in the fandom, ugh). So becoming an alcoholic and giving up on his life as a hero is definitely how Thor would handle things. Think about it. He no longer has any guidance from his family, or his best friend, since they died. All he has is his Avengers family and Valkyrie. I’m sure the Avengers tried to talk him out of it to no avail, and that’s a really sad thing to know, that they couldn’t get him out of his depression spiral, so they let him wallow in it. As for Valkyrie, she’s still just barely recovered from her own trauma, and I am sure she probably tried to snap him out of it too, but he was too stubborn to listen. What I like about this point for his character is that Thor is right—he has always been expected to be “worthy” and to be the savior. Thor is the big gun on the team alongside the Hulk. He has always been the bravest, the noblest, and the most powerful person on the team, and he is expected as a king to win the day every time. But he lost. And he can’t reconcile it since he has always triumphed in the end. So it’s very understandable for him to lose control and just want to have nothing to do with the hero business, because if you fail once, you can fail again, and he couldn’t bear the thought of failing again, not after it cost him literally everything.
(2) Fat!Thor was an easy source of cheap laughs to keep the mood from getting too dark considering the subject matter handled in this movie. I am of two minds about this issue. On the one hand, I can see why certain people feel that this is fat shaming. It is. But the problem stems from the fact that the fat shaming is still a large part of American culture, and people have not broken the bad habit yet, and so it gets shifted into the easy laughs category. The easy laughs are for the Average Joe viewer. It’s for people who aren’t as conscious of how it sounds to mock him for his weight gain who are just used to “ha ha, fat person jokes.” Some fans felt uncomfortable that he was the butt of a few jokes because a lot of us who suffer from depression know that this is in fact a side effect. When you’re depressed, it’s easy to stress eat and overeat, and you lean heavily towards comfort foods that cause you to gain weight, and your depression makes you tired, so you also don’t exercise and that’s how you can end up overweight. On the other hand, while I agree with these folks about not liking the fat jokes, I also think it was necessary to show a character we all admire falling into the same pitfalls that we as mere Midgardians deal with on a daily basis. I don’t like the jokes, but I do like Fat!Thor’s inclusion in this story because people need to realize what depression does to a person. It shouldn’t have been handled this way, but from a strictly observer perspective, I understand why they went for the low hanging fruit. People needed to laugh since Endgame has very, very dark elements to it. I would have preferred they approach his weight gain in a more dignified fashion, but not every part of this movie was written for me and I sadly have to accept it. That’s my feelings on it.
-Thor’s encounter with Frigga on Asgard. I. FREAKING. LOVE. THIS. I did not see it coming, and I love it with every fiber of my being. This is such a heartwarming scene. I want to rewatch it a thousand times. I love Frigga immediately knowing what’s up (she’s not stupid and of course she noticed and it’s everything to me) and I love that she can clearly see how distraught her beautiful son has become. I love Thor having a panic attack, because that’s extremely realistic after he’s gone so long not having done any hero work, per se, and having to face his previous failed relationship with Jane, and with facing the day his mother died again. It’s really compelling writing. Frigga’s gentle reassurance is exactly what he needed, and it’s exactly what we needed to see him go through. He had to let go of the expectations piled upon him and accept himself for who he is, not who he needs to be as a warrior king and an Avenger. While I do wish they had gone on to show us a little more of who he considers himself to be instead of who he is supposed to be, I am really excited to hear Chris Hemsworth is one of the Avengers who has chosen to stay past the end of Phase Three. He’s young and funny and vibrant and I think Thor is his best role of his career anyhow (no offense meant, Hems, if you ever read this, you handsome golden retriever, you). I think exploring Thor’s personal goals and future will be very interesting.
-Thor’s reaction to Natasha’s death. This is a very small moment, but I actually like it a lot. I like that Thor’s optimism here is a form of denial. I like it because there are certain Avengers who despite the 11 year saga have not interacted with each other much, and Thor and Nat are probably my leading example. When it hit him that they couldn’t use the time stone to bring her back, the loss and devastation on his face almost made up for the fact that Thor and Nat have almost no lines with each other in the film series. I like it because it hurts and because it shows that she does matter to him, even though they don’t interact. It’s a nice detail to include since I was often a little sad I never got to see these two have dialogues. I personally have even written a bit of fanfiction about what their relationship could have been like, and I think it could have been sort of brother-sisterly. It’s a shame we won’t get to see it, but I like that it is given attention here at last.
-Thor wanting to undo the Snap. Yes. This is a very good character beat for him. Again, I agree it’s annoying he ends up getting another fat joke thrown at him (nice work, Rhodey, sheesh, it’s not like the poor guy was traumatized or anything), I like that Tony talks him down. I like that Tony doesn’t think he can’t do it, he’s worried that Thor is in so much pain that he shouldn’t try to make such a rash decision that could cost him his life. Tony seemed dismissive, but I think he was trying to protect his friend more than anything else. I think Tony also knew that it would be rough if Thor either died or became permanently crippled by undoing the Snap. Being able to fight is extremely important to Thor, even with his depression, because Thor is essentially a space Viking. It shows that Tony is aware that Thor’s not just bumbling around as a chubby drunk, but he’s legitimately in pain and he needs to take things slower.
-Thor giving Valkyrie the throne. First off, I need to sling salt at the freaking part of the Thorkyrie fandom that is somehow complaining about this scene. Are you kidding me? What movie did you watch? This is the ultimate freaking Thorkyrie scene, you bunch of whiny nincompoops! Thor literally gave Valkyrie the throne because she is so smart, powerful, and kind that he trusted her to take care of the people he loves with all his heart. The amount of trust and respect that is in this scene makes me want to just squeal for hours. I can’t handle how affectionate and reverent Thor is as he gives Valkyrie the throne. I love the long gaze they share. I love the handshake. I love that Val asks when she’ll see him again. I love that Thor has faith in her and how she will lead his people. Anyone bitching that this is an anti-Thorkyrie scene did not see the same movie we did, and you can all piss off. I love this scene to my core. I love seeing Valkyrie being assured to be a relevant part of Thor’s story and that it likely means Tessa Thompson is going to join us again for either Thor 4 or Guardians of the Galaxy 3. I am a giant freaking fan of her character and I can’t scream “SIGN ME THE FUCK UP” loud enough for her to be in future films with him, and with the MCU in general. I hope she signed a three movie deal or more. That would be amazing. But anyway, my point is, this scene is fantastic and I will be rewinding it a lot when this movie gets to DVD. Nothing makes me happier than Thor shooting heart-eyes at Val, and he was shooting them so hard in this scene that he even took his sunglasses off. God bless this scene.
-Asgardians of the Galaxy. I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN WITH THIS BUT I LOVE IT WITH MY ENTIRE FUCKING SOUL YOU GUYS. Everything about Thor hanging out with the Guardians makes me so incredibly happy. I can’t wait for shenanigans. I would assume the plot of the next one is finding Gamora and bringing her home and re-teaching her about her family and falling in love with Quill again, but who knows what wackiness awaits us? I can’t deal with Thor being a little shit to Quill. I could see his Hemsworth peeking through, and I am here for it. Half the reason we all love Thor as much as we do is that Taika was one of the first people to suggest letting Hems be more like himself, and Chris Hemsworth is basically a giant, hilarious puppy, and it really made Thor more fun and likable. Don’t get me wrong—I loved my noble prince, but he was still a big golden retriever even when he was more Shakespearean and all they truly did was dial it up to be a bigger part of his personality.
Really, I like what Thor went through in Endgame and how it connects with lots of elements in previous movies. While parts could have been done better, I thought it was fantastic and it shook things up in a way that should be quite intriguing for his future appearances. Of everyone, Thor is the character I am most excited to learn about continuing to be in the MCU.
-Natasha taking a leadership role in the Post Snap years, and her conversation with Steve. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a die-hard Captasha shipper, but more than that, I think the friendship and love (platonic or otherwise) between Nat and Steve is by far one of the best relationships in the Avengers saga. I love how it began, how it developed, and where it is when we watch this scene of them together. I love how soft and gentle Steve is with her, and yet he teases her in this subtle way that’s almost like a verbal hug. Steve is just so compassionate and conscious of her emotional needs, the same as how she has been with him. I think this is such a precious relationship and it’s vital to both of them that they have someone to confide in when times are hard. It’s possibly even more beautiful because they aren’t canonically together as a couple; they’re just two friends who have bonded and been partners ever since The Winter Soldier, and they without a doubt love each other. (Side note: and I am not alone in this because Chris Evans even ships it, and that makes me so very pleased.) I gobble up all Captasha scenes, honestly, because it’s so well written and it’s come a long way from the first time they met in Avengers. But to get a little more in depth, Nat’s brief breakdown about Clint is really something else. Seeing her struggle with the idea that the man she loves (again, platonically) has become a monster, and struggling with the idea that she should move on but she can’t because she’s lost her family, is really damn hard to watch, but it’s necessary. It’s a really good reflection of the level of loss and trauma and pain our poor Avengers have had to deal with since the Snap. It’s an excellent scene.
-Nat going after Clint to bring him home once they figure out that the time heist is at least possible. Ow. This is another scene that is a big kick in the nuts. “Don’t. Don’t give me hope.” “I’m sorry I couldn’t give it to you sooner.” Bury me, this is such a good, quiet little scene for her. I really like their friendship and their bond. When Nat mentions family in the previous scene, this is what she’s talking about, and I love how Endgame might be the first film to openly acknowledge that the Avengers are family to each other. And what I like is that this series has earned that. Nothing makes me angrier than when people drop the F-bomb where it is NOT deserved. (*side eyes Suicide Squad and Deadpool 2*) The Avengers have fought and bled for each other, have supported each other, and have loved each other through hell and back, and they ARE a family. Bringing Clint home was a big deal to her, facing her fears of what he’s become, but seeing that he is still somewhat the man she knows and loves because he does return to the fold in the end.
-Natasha’s death. Hoo boy. Okay, so like Tony and Loki, I might just stick this in my Denial category. I was hit with a huge wave of “oh no, please no” when I found out Clint and Nat would be the ones going to retrieve the Soul Stone, because of course it had to be them. However, it was thematically the right choice for it to be Clint and Nat, since I personally think the only other combination it could have been was Steve and Tony or Steve and Nat in terms of “give up that which you love” that the Red Skull illuminated is the price for the stone. I think all the team members genuinely care for each other, but if I wanted to use the word love, yes, I’d say it comes down to members of the team who truly love one another, it’s Tony and Steve, Clint and Nat, and Nat and Steve. So I am in a very weird place about Nat’s death in this movie.
First off, I love how it was handled because it couldn’t have gone any other way. Of course both of them wanted to jump on this grenade for each other. Of course they both think they are the unworthy one who should die for the other person they love. Of course they fought over it.
Here's the thing, though: from a writing standpoint, it did need to be Natasha.
And before we go further, let’s address the elephant in the room fandom-wise: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, YOU MORONS, THIS IS NOT THE ‘STUFFED IN THE FRIDGE’ TROPE. God, I hate you sometimes, MCU fandom. I knew as soon as she sacrificed herself that all the fake feminists would run into the streets and climb onto their soapboxes and try to call the Fridge trope. Shut up. It’s not a Fridge.
For those not familiar with the trope, Stuffed in the Fridge is when a typically female character is unceremoniously killed off for usually one of two reasons (1) to cause a male character to angst (2) to further or advance a male agenda somehow.
Natasha’s sacrifice is neither of these things.
First off, it was her choice. Clint made it completely clear that he loves her and he did not want her to die for him. One of the primary problems with the Fridge trope is it robs the woman of her choice, and Nat is the one who decided that she would be the one to die for the Soul Stone. Calling this a Fridge is a blatant, insulting erasure of her motivation as a character.
Second off, Nat’s death is a sacrifice that wins a war. It’s not pointless, and it’s not just for angst, and it’s not just for a male character to get ahead in the story. She literally saves trillions of lives by trading her soul for the stone. Trillions. Yes, the team is devastated, but her death is not simply there to make you shed tears and nothing else. She saved them all. So don’t you dare try to pin this dumb trope on her, because it’s not accurate or correct.
Third off, this completes Natasha’s character arc. We’re introduced to the beginning of her arc in the iconic scene of The Avengers where she tricks Loki into revealing his scheme, but it turns out that while she does succeed, we find out what motivates her, and that Loki’s cruelty did affect her in the end. Clint was sent to kill her, but he shows compassion and instead recruits her. Clint gives her a second chance. And Nat, in sacrificing herself for the Soul Stone, gives Clint a second chance. It’s come full circle. One of my all-time favorite lines in this entire film series is hers, “I got red in my ledger; I’d like to wipe it out.” That. Is. A. Fucking. Great. Line. And this is the pay off and the completion of Nat’s character arc. She’s done horrible things and they have been chains on her soul and she felt that she needed to repay her debt in this way, and in a way that would save so many innocent lives. I will not have these people running around discounting that and acting like she is some victim. Natasha Romanov is not a fucking victim. Natasha Romanov died a hero. She is one of my favorite Avengers and I cried so hard at her loss, but I acknowledge that she did a brave, selfless thing for everyone she loved, and she will be remembered for that always.
Now. That being said…if you want to complain about a female character dying in a majority male story, yes, go right ahead. That is a legitimate complaint. It sucks that Nat died when most of the team is male. I will heartily concur with this criticism and offer no counterargument. It sucks. Period. I hate that she dies in the first act because I really love her fighting style and I wanted to see her kick more ass in the final battle because she’s amazing to watch. So yes, that’s a point I do take off from this movie.
In the end, I’m sort of straddling the fence for losing Nat, as I am with Tony, but I think a lot of people feel the same way. It is great writing, but the loss is so painful that I might not accept it totally.
Thank you for your bravery, Nat. Seriously, you’re one of my favorite female leads and you’ll be sorely missed. I can only hope the Black Widow movie helps me deal with the pain of losing you.
-Steve quietly taking all of Tony’s trauma-fueled ranting. This is so important. Chris Evans is so fantastic at acting in general, but all of his expressions as Tony lays into him are so underrated, man. He knows that Tony has reached a breaking point, and so he offers no vitriol in return. It’s a huge contrast to the scene in Civil War where the two of them argue. Steve is by no means a timid man. He recognizes that Tony is in such pain, as are all of them, and he just takes that rage because he knows it’s just how Tony chose to process everything because he can’t come to terms with it. We know he blames himself for being unable to stop Thanos, same as all of them do, and it’s such a testament to what a good man Steve is that he doesn’t fire back at Tony, and he is deeply concerned for him instead. Especially when Tony throws it back in his face that they’d lose together, and that’s what hurts the most during this scene. Tony was alone when he lost. Nebula was the only survivor, and she was a complete stranger to him until they repaired the Milano and tried to get back to civilization. I think Tony would still be angry and traumatized, but he’s always been able to look to his team members for ideas or comfort or just companionship in hard times. He nearly died, and that left a mark on him that ran so deep he just couldn’t stop spitting vitriol at possibly one of his closest friends, and it’s also important that they hadn’t spoken since the end of Civil War, so all of that anger and resentment is also tangled up inside them both. What a scene, man. What a scene.
-Steve mentoring people in the Post Snap years. This has a couple of really great things as a scene, honestly. First off, I love that even with Steve being heartbroken and refusing to move on, he still knows it is important to help others. Second off, I love that it’s almost implied that this is in honor of Sam Wilson, who did the same thing for soldiers who returned home from war struggling with PTSD. I really, really love Steve Rogers with all my heart for this scene. Even though he’s broken down and just as devastated as everyone else, he is still out there trying to help others. That is who he is at his core. Steve is the man who cannot stand by and let other people suffer. He won’t do it. It doesn’t matter what it costs him. He will defend and protect and nurture, always. By God, I love that about him.
-Steve’s quiet reconciliation with Tony. We discussed this above, but I love that Steve says so few words here and lets Tony do all the talking. There’s an almost silent “I’m sorry and I love you and I want you to be happy” in this scene together. Tony bringing back the shield just…my feelings…oh God, my feelings.
-Steve’s miniature speech before they head into the Quantum Realm. I love that even Rocket is impressed.
-Steve’s reaction to Nat’s death. Fuck. Me. Up. This hurt so badly. I can’t. I can’t with how Steve looks at Clint and Clint just looks back at him, and you can almost hear him telepathically saying, “Steve, we lost her.” Like I said before, Steve and Clint without a doubt love Natasha. Yes, Bruce does to some degree, but it’s not the same (sorry, y’all, I think BruceNat was trash and I will never accept it because it was forced and awkward and made no sense to me) as the deep vein of friendship and love she had with both men. It killed me when they were out on the dock and Steve was openly crying for her. We saw Steve crying in the trailer but we didn’t know this was the context. Oh, this hurts me. Steve loved her with all his heart. She was his best friend, same as Sam and Bucky were, and to lose her with no chance of ever getting her back is a terrible, terrible loss. Boy, this scene was rough to endure. I can only imagine how he must have felt having to let her go after he’s lost so many people he loved. Poor Steve.
-The entire New York heist. Oh God. I’m just in heaven over how Steve handled things, everything from the intentional recreation of the iconic elevator scene in The Winter Soldier to the insidious “Hail Hydra” (*makes strangulation hands in the direction of the Russo brothers because they KNOW most of the fandom hates Hydra Cap from the comics and so of course they put that in there just to screw with us*) to the smug smirk on Cap’s face as he walked away with scepter to Cap laying the beatdown on himself to Cap acknowledging his sweet, sweet, round, perfectly firm ass. (Seriously, Chris Evans, if you ever read this, marry me, we already met and hugged each other, we could make this work.) Yes. Special props to Cap vs. Cap’s interactions. It was just…everything.
-Steve wielding Mjolnir. Jesus. Fucking. Christ. So everyone’s already raved about this scene, but I don’t care, I have to rave about it too. Good gravy. Good God. This scene is everything. Honestly, it is easily one of the greatest things ever conceived not only by the MCU, but in action movies period. This can stand toe to toe with some of the best beatdowns in all of cinema. It’s just…where do you even start with how good this fucking scene is?! I mean, every second of it is just glorious. Whether it was the Russos or Evans or the script writers, whoever I need to thank, THANK YOU. Thank you for gift wrapping this total surprise. Every one of us was wounded that Cap didn’t easily lift Mjolnir in Age of Ultron, but at the same time, I loved the humor of that scene when Mjolnir did actually start to move and Thor totally panicked for a second. It was funny as hell. But for the Russos to fulfill our fantasy in a way that was not only a surprise, but just an absolute joy to watch, I can’t even express my fangirl tears. This scene is better than sex and chocolate and cocaine. It’s flawless. Everything about it is flawless, from Steve summoning the goddamn lightning to Thor’s gleeful “I KNEW IT!” I wish I could frame this scene on my wall in .gif form, and I apologize in advance to all my Tumblr followers, because the second this scene is giffed after the DVD release, I am going to reblog it three billion times. I will never stop reblogging it. This is the height of MCU perfection and it deserves to be known as such.
-Steve facing off with Thanos in his last stand, and actually holding his own. Dude. Steve Rogers is a human man, and he withstood Thanos. I just…I can’t with how awesome it is. He lost in the end, but he beat the shit out of Thanos for a good bit and I just have to give him all the props for that. He did the impossible and survived him. That’s amazing.
-Steve strapping on his broken shield and staring down Thanos and his army. This is peak Steve Rogers right here. “Yeah, you have thousands of soldiers. Yeah, you sheared my shield in half. Yeah, you beat me and my comrades. And I don’t give a single solitary fuck.” This is also an amazing echo to the moment in Infinity War where poor Wanda had to kill Vision, and Cap stood up to Thanos with his goddamn bare hands. Steve standing up after getting the shit kicked out of him is what he is all about. He doesn’t care that he is outnumbered. He doesn’t care that he is outgunned. He is Steve motherfucking Rogers and he is going to stand against evil period. This is top tier stuff, man.
-“Avengers Assemble.” Like everyone else, I jizzed in my pants. Full on. We all had a hunch that they would save it until the final Avengers film with the final appearances of the original team, and it was everything we dreamt it would be.
-Steve catching Stormbreaker as well and then trading it with Thor mid-battle. A tiny but hilariously awesome scene. I’m so glad they included it, and it was another little nod to Steve and Thor always having a small adorable friendship moment in each Avengers movie. Thanks for that, truly.
-Steve passing the mantle over to Sam Wilson. Holy shit. So a lot of us were relatively sure with Chris Evans confirming this as his last full appearance as Captain America that the mantle would go to either Bucky or Sam. My money was on Sam, simply for him still being new blood having entered at Phase 2 in the MCU, and because Sam is a lot more of a dynamic main lead that I think the MCU needs in the role. Anthony Mackie, as any hardcore MCU fans know, is a bundle of fun behind the scenes. He’s really hilarious and charismatic, and I think he’ll bring a lot to the role of the new Captain America. It’s such a touching scene as Steve hands him the shield. I really, really get choked up about how it was handled with such respect and trust and honest to God friendship. “How does it feel?” “Like it’s someone else’s.” “It isn’t.” Wow. What a beautiful scene. I’m a little misty as I type it out. And I do like that there was just this little nod from Bucky, who has been antagonistic to him pretty much all the time but here, he shows his support and it’s kind of just known that he will back Sam up no matter what. I cannot express how much I love this idea and its execution. It was perfect. (By the way, please look up the way Anthony Mackie found out about this before filming. It’s too cute.)
-Steve’s ending. Oh my God. Of possibly everyone on the team who I wanted to have a happy ending, I wanted Steve’s the hardest, even though I love Tony to death and beyond. Thank you, Russo brothers. Thank you for letting this man have his second chance at a life, and that he got to spend it with Peggy. I was already crying from the funeral, but the fact that they decided to end the saga with possibly the sweetest imagery in the MCU is just overwhelming. I loved their little slow dance. I love the tears of joy on Peggy’s cheeks. I love the softness in Steve’s expression as he dances with his lady love. I love the song choice. I love how he just looks down at her and she looks up at him and they kiss to close everything out and say goodbye to us all. What a scene. What an ending. I love it more than anything.
Thank you, Steve. Thank you for being our ray of light and sunshine and guidance all these years.
I really did not expect to see an arc for Nebula, but I am delighted that we got it. This was very, very interesting considering what a sadistic murderess Nebula was in the previous films, so fueled by rage, and yet here we see that she is still powerful and effective and yet vulnerable. I enjoyed seeing her growth and getting some amount of closure with Thanos’ demise and saving Gamora as well as the rest of the universe.
So here’s the thing: Bruce is probably my least favorite Avenger, next to Clint, but that’s not because anything is wrong with either character—I just find their personalities and abilities the least interesting. Therefore, I’ve heard complaints about Hulk not kicking ass in Infinity War and Endgame, and while they are valid points…I don’t care. I guess the thing is that Hulk has kicked ass in all his previous appearances, and I think it was nice of them to get back to the fact that Bruce is indeed a scientist and there is more to him than just crushing things. He is a very conscience driven character, and I was totally fine with him as a supporting member of the team, and of his brave decision to Un-Snap everyone back to life. I especially liked his sympathetic approach to bring Thor back home. “You helped me.” I fully admit that made my lip quiver, honestly, since Thor was obviously so traumatized and was in a lot of pain, and Bruce was gentle with him. That, to me, is just as important as all the bashing he could have done. Same with his impassioned plea with the Ancient One. Sorry that he didn’t kick ass in these last two movies, but honestly, I felt things were balanced and that it’s important to show he is more than the Hulk.
As mentioned above, Clint is my least favorite Avenger, but again, not because there is anything wrong with him or that he is written poorly—the others just outweigh him in what I like about them. I have to say opening the film with Clint losing his entire family with no knowledge of what was going on was almost as gut-stabbing as how Infinity War began and ended. It was somehow even more cruel since Clint would not have known what was going on until he called the Avengers. And yes, someone’s pointed out to me that it’s crazy he didn’t know about the war, but I have a headcanon that he just cut everyone off once he decided to retire, and he wouldn’t answer when they called so he wouldn’t be dragged into more shenanigans. I highly doubt the whole team just flat-out didn’t tell him what was going on. There’s a good chance Clint decided not to hear from the team again after Cap busted them out since he risked everything and almost got jailed for life after his decision.
All that being said, I did feel Clint’s loss very hard after Nat sacrificed herself. It was extremely well done on Jeremy Renner’s part and there was never a doubt that he loved her. Their bond has always been very cute and I never shipped them, so I wasn’t disappointed by the reveal of his secret family. I thought it was a nice touch and a surprising turn in the story. I’m glad he got to go home to his family in the end, and I especially liked the touching moment he shared with Wanda after Tony’s funeral.
Holy shit, y’all.
I did not expect this, and I love it more than anything in the world.
Right, so, I am sadly a fan of Loki’s ever since The Dark World, but at the very least, I am not a rabid fan of the character. He is an absolute fucking trashlord and I acknowledge it while still loving him anyway. I was positively giddy that they invited Tom Hiddleston back to shoot new scenes of Loki rather than simply using the old Avengers footage. And I definitely didn’t expect Tony, Cap, and Scott to screw up and Loki gets the Tesseract and vanishes. This is amazing. I can’t wait for the Loki mini-series on Disney Plus, and I assume this is what it’s going to be about. I’m really excited to see what kind of shit he gets himself into, and I loved the little bits we got of him mocking Cap even though they all just kicked his ass, and I loved him rolling his eyes in the background during the heist, and being the only one who knew something fishy was going on. Love, love, love it to pieces. Thank you for giving me more of my stupid trashlord, Endgame. You rock.
Oh, poor, poor Scott. Not only did he awaken to find his new family gone, but he lost five years of time with his daughter. Ouch. I really have to commend Paul Rudd for the reunion scene with his daughter. The shock and pain mixed in with the gratitude that she survived the Snap was so palpable. I’ve never really considered him much more than an easy going comedic actor, but he did a great job here. Kudos.
I am really, really deeply hurt that this means our Gamora, the one we came to know and grow with, is truly gone. Like many fans, I had hoped she was somehow inside the Soul Stone and they could bust her out, but like Nat, it appears that we did truly lose her. I’m not okay. I feel so bad for Quill, who wooed her with so many great moments, and now he’s lost her again. He’ll have to try to make her fall in love with him again, and it hurts me because the sequence of events from the first two Guardians movies are how they fell in love, and it’ll be so much harder to make her understand what they meant to each other and what they had with one another as well as their little stitched together family. Damn it all. This might be one of the biggest underrated losses of all for me. Gamora is my favorite Guardian, period. I adore her, so I am both anticipating and dreading the third Guardians movie as a result.
Alright, I do have to admit one of my letdowns, even though it’s a total nitpick, is that the trailer gave us Thor and Carol, but the actual movie did not. Oh, why did you lift my hopes up this way?! I really wanted Thor and Carol to bond and have hilarious pissing contests about who is the strongest Avenger, and become battle buddies! However, this might be possible later since we know Hemsworth has agreed to at least one more film, if not more, so fingers crossed he and Carol share screentime. I adored that “I like this one” scene and Thor would play very well off of Carol if you ask me.
That being said, when Carol came back for the final fight…yassss bitch yassss fuck it up! When she came after Thanos, he was fuckin’ shook and I am here for it. I loved that failed headbutt. I want to frame that on a wall. Carol Danvers is not having any of your shit today, you purple Grape Ape punk ass bitch. She laid down the law, and it was glorious. 11/10 good shit of Carol whupping his ass and he had to suckerpunch her just to try to win.
And kudos for the utterly adorable interaction she had with my Spider Son, “H-Hi, I’m Peter Parker.” “Hey, Peter Parker. Got something for me?” *kisses fingertips* This could not have been cuter. Thank you so much, Carol.
Oh, and extra kudos for the Ladies of the MCU smackdown moment. My God. I loved every second of that assault. Please make that into a whole separate team someday and make a movie about it.
Standing ovation for Wanda in every respect: her entrance, her powerful line (“I don’t even know who you are.” “You will.”), and the fact that she flat-out almost killed Thanos by her damn self. Wow, wow, wow, my girl. You brought the pain. I miss Vision too, honey, and I’m so sorry we can’t have him back. It’s so unfair that she’s lost her brother and her love within this story, but she still manages to keep going. Wanda is a testament to just how strong women truly are in spite of adversity.
I know some fans didn’t want it to be as straight-forward as it appeared to be with them going back in time to grab the Stones and undo the Snap, but I was honestly fine with it. The story still managed to genuinely surprise me, especially with the development that the two Nebulas are what caused Thanos to find out what was going on. Holy shit, that was very creative and a great way to let her be a central character considering the trauma she has been through and overcome. I thought the pacing was excellent, and I will have to sit down and think it through but I don’t feel as if we had unnecessary scenes aside from the diner scene being a little longer than it needed to be. (You could have cut the photo op bit out and no one would miss it, for instance.) Like Infinity War, I felt that all the scenes had a use and showed us something, and the action was magnificent and creative. The Avengers pulling the entirety of the MCU together in the third act is some seriously iconic stuff that I really hope people will take into consideration as a legendary thing no one has ever really done before.
A friend of mine mentioned that you can neatly divide Endgame into three sections of story: build up, heist, and pay off. One of the best things about Endgame, to me, is the pay off. I love how many continuity nods we had and how many threads were tied off in a satisfying manner, from deeply emotional relationships to just sublime action sequences. We have so many films in this series that it’s hard to rank them, but I have to say I really would put Endgame in the top 10 for my preferences. It was a worthy ending to such an amazing set of films, and while I will miss the actors who won’t continue past Phase 3, I am incredibly grateful for their time and talents spent on this franchise. It is in its own category, honestly, with consistent quality in nearly every aspect it attempts. I think it was the perfect mix of solemn but affectionate goodbyes and bright, hopeful new beginnings. I am excited to see what is in store and what new ground we’re gonna break with the future stories.
So thanks for everything, Endgame. I’m glad to have had this era come to such a satisfying close.
See you in the funny papers.
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Do You Believe?
Original Imagine: hi! I love your writing! it’s absolutely amazing! I was wondering if I could have a one shot request where the reader gets critically injured bc Barry wasn’t fast enough to save her. super angsty and sad? thank you! @zbvbble (Sorry it took so long Sweetie! hope you enjoy, cuz it almost killed me!)
Reader Gender: Female
Word Count: 2,000
Warnings: ANGST. SO MUCH ANGST. UH. OH MY GOD. I’M SO SORRY.
* * * * *
If I didn’t believe in you.
The words cut deep into your head, the first thought of the day and recalling fights hurt. This isn’t the first time you’ve heard those words, though. Of course the first time wasn’t nearly as depressing.
The first time it was warm. A fuzzy kinda warm that slowly seeps its way into your bones almost as if its igniting your entire body in a tantalizingly slow burn. The early morning sunshine, the whole world cascaded in a pink tint, as it fell lazily over the small bedroom in your even smaller studio apartment that you currently shared with your full time boyfriend part time superhero, Barry Allen.
The whole day seemed to reflect your mood, everything a stupid, can’t possibly be real kinda happy. Then you heard it, you’d heard it before of course, but singing in the shower was one thing… This was something different all together.
♪ If I didn’t believe in you♪
♪We’d never have gotten this far. ♪
♪If I didn’t believe in you♪
♪And all of the ten thousand women you are. ♪
He was actually singing. Like he sounded like he knew what the hell he was doing, now your boyfriend was many things. Goofy. Cute. Adorable. A super dork. Charismatic as hell when he wanted to be. But a singer? It just didn’t seem like it was actually him.
… Until he accidentally dropped this solid one liner into the air in front of him.
“Maybe I should just ask her… Nah. No. It’s too soon. Yeah. It’s wayyyyyyy to soon. But is it? Seven months? Maybe. I mean, ugh. I don’t know. I mean I know it’s what I want. But is it what she wants?”
Elevated heart rate, which Barry can hear, or sense or whatever the fuck he does. He turns around faster than your eyes can see, but living with a speedster you we’re used to it.
His deep blue eyes seemed to mirror your own terror as the two of you stood in the bright sunny kitchen, the tension palpable. You could feel his anxiety from across the small room as he too loudly asked “Coffee? You need coffee. I need coffee. I think we both need coffee. I’ll…”
Barry was gone and back in seconds two coffee cups from CC Jitters. You smile sweetly at his terror filled face as a single hand cups his cheek “Thank you sweetheart. Did you have something you wanted to ask me?”
His eyes screamed yes, but somehow he kept his dorkiness to a minimum as he, as slowly as a speedster can, dropped down on one knee. His big puppy dog eyes are what sealed the deal, he opened the small black velvet box in his hands. You looked down, catching glimpse of the shiny red bone shaped dog tag nestled inside.
BUT back to present day … Barry had left this morning with out a single noise.
You woke to a dark room and cold sheets. Glancing quickly at the alarm the 5:13 there glared at you with bright green neon. The world around you seemed to darken, you didn’t like fighting with Barry but sometimes he was just so stubborn.
The fight seemed to cycle and cycle thought your head. You overthought everything said and remembered everything. It was torture, sitting alone in a bed meant for two. Cold and alone. A single tear fell from your cheek as the words said came into razor focus:
“WEll, I’m sorry Barry! I’m sorry I can’t be everything that you want me to be! I’m sorry I’m not a doctor like Caitlin, or a superstar reporter like Iris! Shit Barry.“
"Who said anything about Caitlin or Iris?”
“And you’re never home! You’re always with everyone else but me. You leave me for days, sometimes weeks at a time with no explanation.”
“I have responsibilities (Y/N)! I can’t be here every time you have a feeling!”
“Like you’d know anything about me feelings, Barry. You’re never home. You’re always gallivanting around the city, fighting bad guys and ignoring ME!”
“I do NOT ignore you (Y/N).”
“Well you certainly don’t pay attention.“
"And when am I suppose to do that (Y/N)? The three hours I get to sleep at night? Or maybe you’d like the thirty minutes before hand when I eat before I pass out. Oh! Or maybe you’d like the eight hours when I’M AT WORK EVERYDAY.”
“OR you could come home before the goddamn crack of dawn. Or when you do come home, you always find some kind of excuse to leave yet again!“
The click of paws on the floor snapped you from your memory so you figured Flash, the lovable dalmatian that you and Barry adopted together, needed to go outside.
Without hesitation you stumbled your way through the dark gathering Flash’s leash and your shoes before hustling him outside.
The air was cold and wet. The rain fell around you, chilling you to the bone. You didn’t see anything until it was too late. The sweet smell filled your nostrils and the last thing you remember is the cool sensation against your face as you feel into the darkness.
* Barry’s P.O.V *
I should have went back this morning. I should have went home and crawled into bed, held her close and never left. My neck is sore from sleeping on the couch at the lab, my body aches from lack of sleep, and my head is spinning in regrets.
I should just go home now. Call the captain, tell him I need a personal day. Pick up some flowers and some pizza from that place in Gotham she loves so much. Meet her back at the apartment and lay in bed all day.
Hell, she’s never going to say yes to marrying me if I keep treating her like this. My hand instantly goes to cup the diamond ring in my coat pocket. I shake my head as I realize that I’d been carrying it around since the second month we’d started dating.
She is my everything. I have to make this up to her.
I take out my phone and begin to execute my brilliant plan, until my phone lights up and Cisco’s name pops up. Damn it.
”Cisco, whatever it is let Wally handle it. I can–“
"Barry. It’s (Y/N).”
I was in Star Labs before the call ended.
“What’s happening Cisco?”
“The Meta-finder got something. It’s him Barry. And he’s got (Y/N).”
“I don’t know. Neighbors place her walking Flash at 5, and he just popped up on my radar. We have no account of his whereabouts for in between.”
“That’s 3 hours Cisco.”
“Yeah, man. It’s bad. Want me to call Oliver?”
I didn’t finish my sentence. I left her alone. Scared. In the middle of a fight. And now I may never get to see her smile again. I suited up and headed face first into a hurricane.
* * * * *
You woke with a throbbing in the back of your head. Your stomach growled causing you to slump forward, you realized your hands were bound behind you. You shuffled forward trying to regain some kind of bearing, and that’s when you heard him.
“What the fuck do you want?”
“Oh I think we both know the answer to that question.”
“Well your not going to get it. He’s not coming.”
“Oh but he is.”
“Oh, but he’s not. Asshole.”
“Uh oh. Trouble in paradise?”
You tilted away from him, hoping to terminate any and all conversation which worked. For a whole half a second.
“It doesn’t matter anyway. He won’t get here in time.”
“I’m not taking the bait, asshole.”
“What is it with you and that word?”
“OH I’m sorry. Douche bag. There’s another word for ya.”
“What does Mr. Allen see in you anyway?”
Your eyes widened and you were thankful you’d turned your body away. How in the hell did he know? Your head began to throb again and you cried out.
The last thing you remember is Barry’s face as the darkness slowly took over. You stumbled over the words as they left your mouth. You didn’t know if he could hear them or not, but they needed to be said.
“I believe in you, Barry Allen.”
Your eyes closed slowly and your breathing soon followed. Everything blurred together. Then black.
* Barry’s P.O.V *
I saw the light leave her eyes and I cried out. I don’t remember much after that. Caitlin says it could have been that my body was moving faster than my brain could keep up with. Wells says it could have been too traumatic and I’ve blocked it out. I don’t know. I don’t really care.
All I know is she’s in a hospital bed, on life support and I’m still breathing. I haven’t figured out the how or the why yet.
Another tear falls down my face. It seems like that’s all I do now. Cry.
I feel nothing, I feel empty. I don’t eat. I don’t sleep. I just sit here and stare down at the love of my life. And pray that she will wake up.
Her last words bring a sharp pain to my chest.
I believe in you, Barry Allen.
Why? Her last words, she had to have known they were going to be, yet… She didn’t cry out for help. She didn’t try and plead for her life. She didn’t scream at the top of her lungs…
She told me exactly what I needed to hear. A single phrase and I felt I could take on the world. A conclusion of words that made me feel invisible. A solid string of syllables that connected the two of us in a way I didn’t even realize she was capable of.
A single memory came into mind. One with white curtains and yellow sunshine. Dirty dishes and happy times.
♪ If I didn’t believe in you. ♪
♪ We’d never have gotten this far. ♪
I took her hand into my own, feeling the warmth and smiling down at her.
♪ If I didn’t believe in you. ♪
♪ And all of the ten thousand women you are. ♪
I laughed slightly remembering how she hated when I sang that part to her. Part of me hoped it would piss her off enough she’d wake up.
♪ If I didn’t think you could do ♪
♪ Anything you ever wanted to ♪
♪ If I wasn’t certain that you’d come through somehow ♪
♪ The fact of the matter is, (Y/N). ♪
♪ I wouldn’t be sitting here now. ♪
She never once moved. I watched as the machine assisted her with each and every breath. The rise and fall of her chest and the sudden stillness of her seemed to be too much all at once.
I raised my hand to my face, feeling the sobs begin to tear through my body. I walked over to the machine and with a trembling hand, flipped all the necessary switches.
I watched though tear filled eyes as the machine took her final breath for her. Her eyes never once opening.
The clock taunted me beside me. I swear I could feel my soul leave my body.
I listened to the tantalizing beeping of the heart rate monitor.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
I listened closer as it begin to flat line signaling the end of her life.
Silence. It filled the room. Filled my head, my heart. Everything. There is no moving on from this kind of pain.
This is it.
. . . . . Then again… Maybe not.
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When It’s Time to Come Back
I have now come back from my extended stay in Europe and, let me be honest, it sucked. No more crazy travel plans ahead. No longer see the amazing people I’ve met in Copenhagen (at least not everyday as I have been used to). No more ”no responsibility” lifestyle. Indeed, back to ”real” life. Ugh. Well, it did suck at first. Let me introduce you to the post-travel depression phase.
So, throughout the past few months, I have experienced so much, so much that can’t really be described. When my friends here were asking me, ”So, how was it?”, I didn’t have much more to say than ”Crazy, and amazing!” or something along those lines. I didn’t know where to start! There were so many things to talk about, so many great stories, so many learnings, but it was all stumbling around in my head that none actually came out of my mouth. And I stayed there, silent.
Bergen, Norway, a beautiful peaceful city next to the craziest mountains I’ve ever climbed.
The most difficult part was that I just felt empty. Empty of meaning, of purpose. I didn’t have much drive in the morning to wake up and do something in this world that I used to know, and used to fit in, but that I realised I didn’t know anymore and in which I felt awkward. There was nothing that I wanted to do. I had changed, but it seemed that the world hadn’t changed here. Okay, I know, this sounds totally obnoxious and self-centered. But that is part of the post-travel blues.
The funniest part, though, is that by the end of my travels, I somewhat wanted to come back. I wanted to get a break from constantly travelling. I wanted to go to places that I knew, and not feel bad if I just wanted to lay in bed instead of discovering the country. I was no longer in the paradise I found in Copenhagen, yet not back in my comfy home either.
In a small city day-trip near Budapest, Hungary, I luckily found myself in a Beer Festival with local music!
The hardest part, I think, was that I indeed had so much time on my hands to simply linger around and no do anything! All I was doing was thinking back at how Copenhagen was amazing and how I wished I was still there. I compared my home city to Denmark so much that I am sure some of my friends were annoyed by it, yet nice enough not to tell me (oopsi…) And that is the worst thing one can do when experiencing the blues.
See article at http://ift.tt/1gBbrGR
So, I started to do things. Anything! Even if I didn’t actually liked it, at least I would be doing something. I started learning how to invest in stocks. I started to visit my home city that I have come to lose touch with, reminiscing about the tourist life! I even started to knit, but most importantly, I started to look for a job. Even if I wanted time to stop, the world wouldn’t stop turning and we have to make money to survive!
A dip in the water where 2 seas meet at the most Northern tip of Denmark. Beautiful day but freezing water!
Fortunately, travelling made me open my eyes in regards to what I wanted, and what I didn’t want. This made a lot of things easier. For example, what I am willing to accept from people’s behaviour, and what I can no longer take. This also facilitated my job search, as I knew exactly where I was heading to. And I am eternally grateful for the amazing opportunity that I had of travelling so much, and growing so much!
Indeed, even though everyone was busy here when I needed them during the time I experienced the blues, I realised they didn’t have the chance to travel when I did. They were busy and that was totally normal! It was up to me to take care of myself and bring myself back on track. The past 8 months have been incredible, and I can’t wait to have a reunion with these amazing people in the upcoming years. Now that I am ready for life to happen, watch me!
When It’s Time to Come Back syndicated from yhttps://unifycosmos.wordpress.com/