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[personal profile] eumelia
I wrote a whole thing on the way to work and my tablet, Officer Kalakua, ate almost all of it! I was very frustrated as you can imagine.

Thankfully I remembered all my points so here it is.

Oh man, how awesome and disturbing wad that episode. I mean the opening alone had me squeeing, with the girl being the joy rider and the guy being timid and having his father's credit card and being called a "dork".

Bless!

As for the show itself, I enjoyed seeing the parallel storyline develop together, it was a great procedural on all accounts and a really interesting exploration of gender. I'm almost willing to forgive Sengupta the "you're such a girl" comment when she delivers such a compelling story about women's power and strength within a male dominated society and occupations.

Catherine was kick ass! More of this please. It's good that we're reminded that she works for Navy Intel because I'd probably forget due to the fact that we never see her working, merely dolling out favours for her, wait for it, friend.

This does not prevent her from being kick ass in her own right, it just keeps her unfairly anchored to Steve's narrative. Cath is there to be a counterpart for Steve, which is a disservice to her as a character. No one deserves to be merely a love interest, even if she's a gun stealing, safe cracking, secret keeping badass.

I would like to see her have a story of her own at some point, like Max, and I suspect it will come through her burgeoning relationship with Doris. More on that in a mo.

How much did I love the villain? A lot. Olivia Victor is officially my favourite guest villain. I really enjoyed the way she deliberately and calculatingly used every and all available resources to her to always keep one step ahead of Steve. The restraining order was a thing of beauty, truly it was. The way she used her gender was so deliberate, so performative, I was actually in awe of how easily she pushed Steve's buttons. That was the best cold read ever, from beginning to end and she managed to distract both Steve and Kono so elegantly.

It also have to do with the fact that the chemistry between Alex and Vanessa Marcil absoloutly sizzled, which I found very interesting because Alex generally has better chemistry with men than with women. But Olivia, my god, she was amazing. As I said, she used every resource available and did it very cleverly, because to be perfectly honest, were I on the outside looking in, Steve would have scared the bejesus out of me.

Now, we can argue that these this is just another "manipulative woman" trope and in a sense, it is, but I found Olivia to be so three dimensional and so compelling that the cliche seemed fresh and redesigned. I dunno, I may have been blinkered.

Regardless, she was ruthless and calculated and manipulative and I loved her.

I also enjoyed watching Danny watch the interaction between Steve and Olivia and tease out exactly what it was about her that got to Steve, that Steve himself couldn't articulate. Steve is an easy read, really, he doesn't have a poker face worth a damn and Danny trying to be rational and supportive was really sweet.

I mean, best cargument ever, what with the therapist talk (Danny is a man who has seen more than one shrink in his life) and talk of "controlling the narrative" (I honest to god squealed at that phrase!).

Another thing that is worth noting in this ep is the continuing ethos of sex positivity in H50. I was tickled at how enthusiastic Danny was at the fact that the therapy clinic was a front to the a prostitution ring. "Ingenious" he called it. I agree. There's something to be said about therapy sessions and sex work sessions, both can be meaningful or empty, and they're all about a client exposing themselves to someone they pay to keep quiet about their lives.

I like the idea of sex work being respected in that manner, but that was a very subextual issue and alas, H50 adheres to the realism of sex work being an illegal practice and something to be ashamed of. Though it's something to be ashamed of more when it comes to the fact that the clients we saw were actually cheating on their partners rather than being sexual.

The being sexual with other was fine and dandy.

To conclude, the team procedural was, in fact, fascinating, compelling and gave us a glimpse at Steve's disturbed psyche, which is a great tie in to what went on with Doris.

Doris who tortured a guy the same way Wo Fat tortured Steve way back when in episode 2.10. I actually flailed when at that scene and nearly spilled my coffee. I was, for a startled moment, shocked that they went there.

Then I remembered that H50 works on parallels and golden threads. It would make sense to parallel the two people who hurt Steve the most right?

Also, on a textual level, how often do we see a woman use brutal force for information extraction? How often do we see female-on-male torture that isn't explicitly sexualised? Not much, if ever. Doris is brutal and cruel and she is as ruthless as the other evil woman in this episode isn't she?

Love the parallels.

I also like how Doris and Cath's relationship is developing, both working towards an abyss out of love for Steve. It will bit them so very hard.

I can't wait.

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Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on me...an adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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