1.) I hate Beverly Barlowe so much. She's lied to herself so much about her own intentions--and that of the Consortium--that she actually believes they have good intentions. She also believes that good intentions always matter and justify anything. And when she has to acknowledge that hey, they don't always, it's an exception and not her fault.
2.) OTOH, I was surprised to realize that Henry's actions after his GF's death, though imprudent and thoughtless, weren't nearly as bad as I remembered or thought. His intentions weren't necessarily always noble, but they weren't always driven by revenge or even that tiny streak of power that comes standard for scientists in Eureka. His actions were sometimes questionable, but most of what happened with him came to 'things he almost did or thought about' most of which he didn't do and sometimes even chose not to do, which I can't hold against him.
Overall, he caused a lot less damage himself personally, and contributed to even less, than pretty much any scientist in Eureka on a bad day. Far more important, when given the choice, he chose to do the right thing and acknowledged he'd made bad choices. And honestly, in balance? He tried to be worse than he was and failed; he's just fundamentally not a selfish egomaniacal, or immoral guy, and it says a lot about him that to get him even close took a massive and extremely condensed trauma.
Yes, I was mad he went to prison. At worst, he should have gotten like, a disappointed speech from Carter, which yes is painful but that's what you get for lying to your friends. Carter totally deserved half an hour of being verbally disappointed over beer with Henry.
(I love Henry and Carter's friendship so much; Henry perfectly understands Carter and effortlessly translates for him when needed for geekspeakers. And they're so fun together. And I hugely appreciate how marriage/relationships for them both actually added to them and their relationship instead of pulling them apart or cutting into it. The depressing thing is that I think the only show I remember that managed that balance well was fucking Friends.)
(Note: I do absolve Henry for pure selfishness in taking Carter's memories of the lost years. One, he did ask first and two, Carter was in fact on the edge of crazy and while yes, Henry did want more freedom to do his thing, he was also aware Carter was suffering like he was and genuinely didn't want him to go through this if he didn't have to. Whereas, however misguided, Henry did think his suffering was for a greater purpose.)
3.) Nathan Stark's death was gutting this time around the way it wasn't before. Multiple rewatch, I paid a lot more attention to him and honestly, his coming to Eureka felt like the end sequence of a character arc where the arrogant character realizes how much he lost and starts coming to terms with it and fixing his life. I have thoughts on this but they're disorganized, so yeah.
And I do better appreciate Nathan with Allison. He's arrogant, selfish, scientifically classist, but he also is trying--with success--to get better and it shows. Not around Carter, but to give him credit, Carter is very obviously going after Alison and Allison is showing interest so I can see why he's reverting around him.
4.) Related, I felt terrible for Allison even more this time around. Watching again, it's fairly obvious on the wedding ep that she's massively overexcited but trying to be casual and whatever when no, she was not. She was getting back the second great love of her life (Allison is A-type; she's sure as fuck isn't going to be limited to just one; she gets three and deserves them all).
(This explains a lot about her planning with Carter on their wedding; this time she was milking every drop of joy she could get openly and without shame.)
5.) Zane before and after the 1947 are way more different than I thought.
In comments on the previous entry, miss_porcupine mentioned her problems with the changes in Zane in post-1947, and I'd totally forgotten my first reaction to the change (hatred). So along with Henry-watching, I paid attention to Zane, and I realized something.
I liked 1947 Zane, but mostly as part of Jo-and-Zane. The character himself...I'm not sure I really thought of him alone. Watching this time, for the most part, in pre-1947, I'm most interested in him when he's with Jo.
Post-1947: I'm way more interested in watching him as a character in his own right. Because yes, he's different, but it's not just Zane with Jo is different than Zane without Jo. There is a fundamental difference in Zane the person; something in the post-1947 timeline's past was so different--and not in a good way--that not even their insane chemistry--and I mean, it's still there in post-1947 in spades--was enough for Jo to even try with Zane. Jo of this timeline (as Jo discovered when she got there) hated Zane.
This isn't just Zane if he never got together with Jo after they first met so progressed on the same dick axis; this is a Zane that had no goddamn chance with Jo in the first place because he was on a worse axis already.
It's really noticeable, especially watching a Zane-ish ep right before and right after: Zane hasn't reverted to worse factory setting. Like Kevin, Zane is fundamentally very different. First watch, I was way too annoyed to map it; the last few watches, I got to thinking and noticed some other things.
a.) It's not just the haircut; there's the clothing style. Pre-1947 Zane had a very geeky lack of fashion sense as well as love of t-shirts, whereas post-1947 he's more conservative or at lesat realizes what looks good on him. I mean, post-1947 Zane would not be caught dead in nightmare plaid shorts and a purple shirt.
b.) There's also his maturity and I don't mean how he acts or even his chronological age; I mean, how he feels on where he is in adulthood.
Pre-1947 was still growing up when he met Jo, and as of the last ep in the pre-1947 timeline, he was still pretty young, even up to his proposal to Jo. Watching it now, it really make sense that Jo hesitated; he doesn't feel quite old enough to be ready for marriage.
Post-1947 not only feels older, he acts older; immature asshole, yes, but all the kid-parts of Zane aren't just gone; they're dead and have been for a while. Which may explain part of why he feels so much more obnoxious to me, when objectively, I don't think he really is, or at least, not ridiculously so. It's more that he feels too old to be this goddamn obnoxious still.
I wish I knew another way to put it because 'maturity' is too linked to specific types of behavior in people's mind. It's the difference in life experience, I think; 1947!Zane has a metric ton more than pre-1947 did, and it hasn't been good.
Example: Pre-1947 Zane did not feel out of Zoe's general age range (or wouldn't be once she hit adulthood). Zane always felt younger than Jo--not ridiculously so, but on the low end of her age range, like he'd be on the high end of Zoe's once she was about twenty/twenty-two or so. In all honesty, he and Jo's relationship--which I loved--really felt sometimes like she had to coach him though his first adult relationship because he wasn't old enough to have had one before.
(This wasn't all bad, either; Jo always came off very mature but also a little old for her age, like she'd spent a lot of time with older men and women and grew up and matured very fast (I'm guessing Special Forces has that effect). Zane definitely influenced her to relax a little and remember she's not a fifty year old army general who's fought in ten wars. It's actually something I liked about them together; she didn't always have to be the only adult in the room. Sometimes, you don't need an adult in the room at all.)
Post-1947 Zane and Zoe makes me flinch like hard, and not just on Jo's behalf; Zane is noticeably older, enough that he's well out of Zoe's high end and weirdly, now feels older than Jo, at least by a year or two (which is another reason he feels so insanely obnoxious). Zane's very obvious and dismissive 'it's just a crush' when Zoe is brought up makes it pretty clear he feels it, too; that was the reaction of a grown man to a girl he's know for years and watched grow up, someone with a decade or greater age difference and a lot more life experience when they first met.
Post-1947 Zane also feels like someone who's been in a relationship with another adult as an adult. He feels like someone who's lived as an adult for a while, and not well, and part of his behavior is in reaction to that.
6.) I say this loving the pre-1947 Jo and Zane relationship; post-1947 Zane and Jo did very good, different things for me. Zane's pursuit of Jo alone is goddamn fascinating and how that pursuit led to how he changed in other ways.
Pre-1947 Zane pretended he had the kind of confidence that he could have someone like Jo, who, let's just say it, was out of his league in so goddam many ways. And that sometimes showed when he was around Jo; I'm not sure 'intimidated' is quite the right word, but something like that; there was a sense he felt like she was conferring a favor by being with him instead of believing she liked him as-is. Again, he felt younger; someone in his first adult relationship with an extraordinary woman and wanted to be what she wanted and sometimes not really quite believing he already was.
Post-1947 Zane has the confidence and to spare, and he's not pretending. And while yes, he does change due to Jo, the process isn't artificial, to be what he thinks Jo wants; that shit never works. It's more that Jo highlighted for him his own flaws, and to his own surprise, he genuinely wanted to fix them. Not just to have Jo--though that's a good reason--but more importantly, realizing he didn't want to be an immature asshole no one really trusted; he genuinely wanted to be better. And I never got the feeling pre-1947 Zane ever actually got that far in terms of self; it was really all about Jo.
It's not just Jo that helps him along: one of the big catalysts, at least to me, was Fargo.
Pre-1947 Zane was not the kind of guy who could have developed that kind of deep friendship; not only did he and Fargo feel about the same age (in terms of life experience) and were competitive over the same woman. I went back to the eps right before the 1947 change, and I can see the traces are there, but neither are really mature enough to want to develop that.
Now yes, part of the change was also Fargo maturing in the post-1947 timeline, which came about a great deal because of the help and support from the others affected by the timeline change. Pre-1947, Fargo never had this kind of support group and certainly wouldn't have been able to support others like he does after; he didn't have that kind of confidence in himself. Post-1947, that group makes a huge difference for everyone affected, and for Fargo, especially Jo when he realizes a.) they really aren't even close to each other's type, b.) she's too old for him no matter their chronological ages and always will be, and c.) he doesn't need to date her to have an amazing relationship with her.
(It definitely helped that post-1947, Jo's head of GD's security and they're together in figuring everything out. Working with her directly as well as supporting her and her supporting him helped him transition Jo to a very safe and healthy hopeless crush and a model for what kind of woman he wants (and Jo is an excellent model). Holly is very similar to Jo in terms of personality in a lot of ways. Much geekier, yes, but while she may have social anxiety about other people, she's just as confident in herself as a scientist as Jo is as a soldier, and she doesn't hesitate to speak her mind whatsoever or call people on their shit when in her element.)
Pre-1947 Zane just didn't seem to really have many (any????) close friendships that weren't directly related to his relationship with Jo and didn't seem to care much. Post-1947 Zane, otoh, seems to realize he kind of wants some actual real friendships and starts to develop them himself.
Fargo's developing friendship and protectiveness of Jo helps a lot when it comes to Zane and Fargo's relationship, but Zane's active interest was kind of required. And much like his pursuit of Jo, post 1947!Zane has the confidence in himself to realize he has something to offer as a friend if he'd just try. The Matrix-bond definitely helped when it comes to Fargo (though honestly, the shuttle really laid the ground work wonderfully for it to develop), but I cannot see in any world pre-1947 Zane stepping up like he did with Fargo by his own choice both helping him with the tech parts of helping Holly but emotionally supporting him as well. It's very much like what Carter and Henry--or Carter and Jo, for that matter--have developed together.
And as Jo said to Zane: they were never friends before.
(Note: And truthfully, I'm not sure they could have been and it does make me wonder about their future if 1947 hadn't happened. Watching the pre-1947 relationship compared to the post-Matrix one--or even the build-up to the Matrix--they're in a different place per comparison to their pre-1947 relationship yes but they're both in the same place.)
Pre-1947, they had insane chemistry, they fell in love, but a lot of their bumps pre-1947 was the sense (from both their sides) that they didn't have much in common or to offer to each other or the right things. Jo telling hallucination!Zane that sometimes he made her feel dumb: yeah, that's...not entirely untrue. It wasn't deliberate on his part, though. Which again goes back to how he felt younger than her then and his lack of confidence; he didn't quite believe he was good enough for her or that she genuinely wanted to be with him.
Post-1947 Zane, however: no, he's not good enough for her, but that's not a matter of confidence in himself; it's very obvious to him it's because he's an asshole. Becoming a better person means he becomes someone Jo likes as well as falls in love with on his own merits (separate from pre-1947 Zane). Zane's also aware if he wants a real relationship with Jo, they can't skip a step like pre-1947 Zane and Jo did (and led to those bumps); Jo being in love with him isn't enough, she also needs to like him.
(And it does say a lot that Zane doesn't feel he's competing with pre-1947 Zane in her memory (which you'd think he would, but nope), but reacts (badly, admittedly, but truthfully I don't blame him) to Carter post-Matrix.)
I have so many feelings. Posted at Dreamwidth: https://seperis.dreamwidth.org/1081259.html. | You can reply here or there. | comments