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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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disturbing thoughts on ethan
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
LJ is being werid with the comment function AND the posting thing. Grr. Take two.

See, I am *so* behind, and honestly, wouldn't have been writing this at all except a.) internet down for upgrading and b.) (related to a) watched QaF vids and seaon three, post ep seven. (also got through three entire eps of QaFUK, so pleased, but kinda shell shocked by the experience).

But that's neither here nor there. I'll just say that rhiannonhero's Acid and Keely's Safe and Sound are like, the definitive "I need to hurt Justin" vids. Because they always, always make me want to strangle him with something unsexy, like a, I don't know, shoestring or something.

It always depresses me to say that I don't love Justin best, mostly because intellectually, I'm aware I'm being really unfair to the little champ, you know? I can be honest and say that should I ever have an unboyfriend such as Brian, he'd have possibly been strangled in his sleep. You know, when I had the energy, what with all the fucking we'd be doing. Because if I had an unboyfriend that looked like Brian, really, I wouldn't want to leave bed all that often. Or the shower, desk, chair, table, couch...you get the idea.

Luckily, Acid and Safe and Sound always make me feel justified, if I ignore the entire first season and the beginning of the second, which I can do very easily, every time I see poor Brian wandering around looking both unsurprised and lost. Like, yeah, saw this one coming a mile away, and the best he'd hoped for was that when it hit, he'd be ready and knowing he never would be.

Then I started watching Ethan and this horrible, terrifying thing occurred. I felt *bad* for him.



I mean, I really, really want to strangle Justin. I mean, Brian aside, though that might be enough, watching Ethan, aware of every time Justin's betrayed him and just going with it anyway.

Someone in their LJ or in Rhiannon's LJ, can't remember which, said that it made her aware of how Justin was fucking Brian and Ethan both over during the end of season two, not just fucking them both. Which was a really good way to put it, sadly enough.

See, I had this weird thought that Justin wasn't really cheating on Brian nearly as much as he was spending a lot of quality time and energy cheating on Ethan.

Okay, let me explain my thoughts here.

According to Justin, interpretable canon, and pretty much everyone who watches the show that I've talked to, Justin had a single unified reason for taking up with Ethan--he thought Brian didn't love him. This wasn't some complex web of reasoning, combining tricking and Brian being an ass and etc--it was, Brian did not love him, was staying out of guilt and so forth. Not that the other stuff helped, but it was more evidence of that fact, not in itself a reason alone. He got a crush on Ethan, fucked him, liked how good Ethan made him feel about himself (understandable in the extreme), was assured of love and devotion from Ethan, and kept him around for the emotional support, while staying with Brian because he was in love with him.

I go with crush here, and for a lot of OTP reasons, but also for one important reason--I have to believe that, or Justin's behavior through the entirety of the end of season two is unforgiveable. Not just that he put someone through the emotional wringer of using them like an emotional leech (I can see that, considering the state Justin was in. Again, really understandable, considering Brian's about as warm and fuzzy as a log most of the time.), but that he did that to someone he actually genuinely loved, that he was *willing* to do to someone he loved, and for a pretty good length of time. I just don't see that kind of cruelty in Justin. And I think (hope), that if it was genuine, true love, he would have left Brian a lot earlier. That he did it to someone who he knew loved him...that's bad enough. Add the other bit in, and it gives me hives.

I mean, look at this from Ethan's POV, short version. He fell in love with this smart, sweet, sensitive artist, who had an indifferent sort-of boyfriend. Who had been through Trauma in the near-past. Who had all these esteem issues. He was like walking wounded. Who the hell could really resist that, especially after being told how great he was? He fell fast. And he was told how *horrible* Boyfriend-Guy was, and how much better he was, and how Justin loved him and wanted to be with him forever and ever and with cats, even. And had some really, really great sex (come on, this is *Justin*, partially raised and completely trained by Brian Kinney. The boy is fantastic in his sleep, probably.). Told all these things about how Justin wanted someone who committed and wanted picket fences and monogamy and True Love Forever, you know, right up until Justin gets dressed and walks out to go back to Boyfriend-Guy.

That just cannot, on any level, be good for your image of yourself. Or for your self-worth.

After a painfully protracted period, in which Justin spends huge amounts of time finding reasons *not* to leave Brian and still somehow keep Ethan around, Justin finally breaks it off with Brian, in a weird, passive-aggressive sort of way, and then domestic bliss settles, in which Ethan ignores the fact that he was kinda defaulted into the New Boyfriend role by circumstance. And you know, he got some good time out of it. And he got this emotionally wounded Justin, just begging for someone to take care of him and make him feel worthy, and I swear, I hear "Bring Me Back to Life" just playing in the background the entire time here. At least, in Ethan's head. And we have season three start, in which everything is smarm and lovely and oh-the-nauseating-cuteness (I could have told Ethan that it's always like that right before Something Crappy Happens in Justinworld), and then comes The Contract, in which there are closets to hide in. And Brian's entire run-in with the police, in which Justin rushes out to save Brian, and huh, Ethan thinks, scratching his head.

Then Ethan cheats, for [insert your reason here]. Justin throws fit, leaves, picks up a trick, and the thing is? Ethan cheating isn't even the *issue*, and it shouldn't have been from teh start. Justin was looking twitchy for two or three eps by then. If ever a person overreacted, Justin did right then. Because you know, Ethan might have expected Justin to be upset about it. No one is really fond of being faced with former tricks bearing roses. Maybe no sex for a few days. And cooling-off time. Some fighting. And having to work up into that trust thing again, maybe. But dramatic tearing-of-roses, break-up, and walk-out, complete with the stripping of the ring and later, random sex? What. The. Hell. Because really, Ethan's *been* on the other side of this equation, been the Other Guy, and pot and kettle here. He says, you forgave Brian, but what he's actually saying is, I forgave *you*. *You*, for fucking me, using me, and telling me that you loved me for months and then going back to him every night. I forgave *you*, for coming to me smelling like him and tasting like him and telling me you wanted me forever right after you crawled out of his bed and right before you crawled back into it. I forgave *you* every night and every day and every time in-between. I waited and I waited and I hoped and I hoped and then I waited some more, for you, to get over it, to get over *him*, to make a you and me, an *us*, and what the *hell* is going on here?

So he's got three different possibilities to explain this behavior. One, Justin is just *that* unreasonable. Two, that Justin has, in fact, subconsciously been using him for months to rebuild his ego and get over everything that happened to him in bashing and with Brian and just wants an excuse to walk out, even if he can't admit it to himself. Or three, variate number two, Justin never stopped loving Brian, just needed someone not-Brian for a while, an experiment, a learning experience, and now he's got his feet back under him and just needs a reason to walk out and go back.

*frowns* I was a lot happier with Ethan-hate here. Grrr.


*SIGH* I wish I slept at night like normal people

That said, this is an interesting post. Not sure I agree 100%, but at the risk of having flames heaped upon my head, I will say I liked Ethan in season 2. Even though I knew eventually B/J would be together, I liked Ethan. I didn't feel that way in season 3. I would have liked to have seen Justin come to the realization that he wanted Brian another way, without making Ethan out to be a creep.


How?

Don't know, but even if it was just the simple fact that he didn't want a white picket fence and romance. It would have been nice to show how regular day to day living with that wasn't emotionally what Justin wanted & this would be the realization that makes him go back to Brian. I can't write and most days I'm barely articulate, but I hated everything about Season 3 Ethan.

It would have been nice to show how regular day to day living with that wasn't emotionally what Justin wanted & this would be the realization that makes him go back to Brian.

I kind of wish so, too, but I think the problem they ran into with Justin was that from mid-season two on, he was about as proactive as a mushroom. It took time, pressure, and a practical push off a cliff before Justin would leave Brian--and I'm not convinced that Justin left because he wanted to, either, but because he thought after his behavior at the Rage party (and knowing by then that Brian knew what he was up to with Ethan), Brian would never, ever forgive him. Like leaving Brian, Justin needed a catalyst he could live with--after everything he'd done just in being with Ethan, I'm not sure he could have justified to himself that he was just bored/aware this wasn't what he wanted/still in love with Brian.

Justin is a serious mystery to me for a lot of that.

Ethan being the default boyfriend always bugged me too. And I could never quite put my finger on why I felt a pang of sympathy for Ethan during the breakup scene, but your explanation of what he was really saying has made me see the light.

Justin was an asshat to both of them, but I still love him. I hated the way they resolved Justin and Ethan breaking up, because it was a complete cop-out and didn't allow Justin to really grow up and see what it was he wanted. The story would have been so much more compelling if we had seen him struggle with the realization that he wanted Brian more than Ethan. If we had had more than 2 minutes of him saying that he wanted the man back and that he was suffering over it. I also think it would have been interesting to see him feeling guilt over what this would do to Ethan (knowing that he had led him to believe that they wanted the same things, when they didn't). To feel torn over his happiness at being back with Brian and the sadness of breaking Ethan's heart. It would have fit more with the character of Justin, imo.
Bah. Am inebriated. Hope some of this made sense.


Justin was an asshat to both of them, but I still love him. I hated the way they resolved Justin and Ethan breaking up, because it was a complete cop-out and didn't allow Justin to really grow up and see what it was he wanted. The story would have been so much more compelling if we had seen him struggle with the realization that he wanted Brian more than Ethan.

*g* No dramatic scenes with that one. Where's the fun in that? And rose tearing. No one wants to live without the joys of rose tearing.

To feel torn over his happiness at being back with Brian and the sadness of breaking Ethan's heart. It would have fit more with the character of Justin, imo.

Actually, I'm not convinced Justin is the most compassionate person ever born. Er, I said that wrong. But--I mean, in general shown behavior, he's really kind of "sweep it under the rug", as characters go. I mean, it's not like he ever went to Brian and apologized for cheating on him with someone else while having Brian support him, or being a real bitch at Rage, or to his mom for acting like a spoiled brat circa season one. *sighs* Now I'm actively trying to figure out when the last time he was just generally nice and thoughtful to someone was. This is bothersome.

Grrr.

Bah. Am inebriated. Hope some of this made sense.

Always. *g*

Man, I hated Justin for like a year. This is really not good for my rage blackouts. But yeah. Yeah.

Mmm. Issues.

First my Clark Issues, now my Justin Issues. I feel incomplete in fandom without those Issues.

*grins*

I have a hard time watching any of those episodes, my hatred for Justin would never end if I did.

Your points are interesting. My problem with Ethan was that he did know about Brian, so that makes him guilty as well as Justin. You just don't screw with someone in a relationship, even a bad one. "I'm sorry your relationship is bad, end it and then we'll fuck." (or words to that effect.)

The whole "I love Brian but Brian doesn't love me" thing never flew for me. Of all the QaF characters Justin is the most self centered and always has been. Part of that can be attributed to his age, teenagers are self centered. But the bottom line is that if he was that unhappy and not getting what he wanted then he should have left. Then started a new relationship.

It's pretty vile to cheat on someone while living off their money, in their house, letting them pay for stuff etc. Justin never seemed to have any understanding (or even interest) in things that were going on with Brian.

I'm not saying Brian was perfect, he wasn't But He's not the one out there lying, cheating and then leaving in a hurtful and public way.

Justin never seemed to have any understanding (or even interest) in things that were going on with Brian.

OMG yes! Thank you! People always get mad in the picnic ep because Brian refused to have one, but Justin didn't even ask where Brian was or why he looked so stressed out. And how Justin didn't care if Brian lost his job over Vermont.

Oh the rage.

Odd that even though Justin was a complete drama queen during the break-up, I was actually surprised Ethan didn't try to pursue the relationship further. Was he so sure from the beginning that what he had with Justin is only ever going to be a temporary thing? This came from running through what you said in my head earlier re: the forgiving part, which didn't quite make sense. A little bit over-sympathetic there?

I can't help but feel that Ethan was really living in his own make-believe world too when he was with Justin.

Odd that even though Justin was a complete drama queen during the break-up, I was actually surprised Ethan didn't try to pursue the relationship further. Was he so sure from the beginning that what he had with Justin is only ever going to be a temporary thing? This came from running through what you said in my head earlier re: the forgiving part, which didn't quite make sense. A little bit over-sympathetic there?

To be honest, Ethan put up with a *lot* for Justin, because he loved him. Not only being the other guy in Justin's life, the shameful secret, but also dealing with Justin's guilt over what he was doing. He did it, at least in season two terms, because he was In Love and all.

Hmm. Not really oversympathetic, but seeing it from Ethan's pov. He did put himself there, but in the expectation that he'd have *Justin*, which in all honesty, he didn't really ever get completely.

I can't help but feel that Ethan was really living in his own make-believe world too when he was with Justin.

Maybe, but Justin encouraged that belief wholeheartedly and without a lot of scruples toward what he was doing to Ethan.

But see, I always read the breakup as being much more than, "You cheated and I'm leaving." The fact that the poor guy showed up after having driven in from Harrisburg, with roses, says to me that Ethan did more than just trick with him. He seduced him.

Justin throwing so many of Ethan's words back in his face (with the roses, which just makes me weep Every Single Time) tells me he believes Ethan seduced this guy the same way he seduced Justin. And frankly, so do I. Hell, I got there before Justin did, I even said in the week between the two eps that I half-expected Harrisburg Boy to look over Justin's shoulder at Ethan and tell him he was there for his song.

So to me, the incident is more than just "Ethan cheated," it calls his whole relationship with Justin into question. When I add that to his (eventual) behaviour over the contract and the things said to and around Justin at that party... I have to question whether Ethan ever really loved Justin, either. Or if he just loved being with Justin, having gorgeous and talented to hang on his arm and play the part of his muse.

(Justin's behaviour in season two would be the subject of whole post in and of itself. Let's just say, I don't think there are any angels between the three of 'em, I never have :)

I'm sort of with you on Season Three, though I think that Ethan's Season Three behavior could have possibly been explained by the growing tension between him and Justin. Not justified by any means, but explained.

So to me, the incident is more than just "Ethan cheated," it calls his whole relationship with Justin into question. When I add that to his (eventual) behaviour over the contract and the things said to and around Justin at that party... I have to question whether Ethan ever really loved Justin, either. Or if he just loved being with Justin, having gorgeous and talented to hang on his arm and play the part of his muse.

*squints* I agree, and then again, I wonder a little. If Ethan's MO for tricking is seduction, the same tried and true method he used with Justin, then that's what it is, an MO--that doesn't necessarily mean that his feelings for Justin were any less because of that, just like Brian's MO for tricking doesn't prove that he doesn't love Justin because that's the way he picked up Justin. That's just a pattern of behavior. I'm not excusing infidelity, just I don't entirely agree that Harrisburg proves that Ethan didn't love Justin.

(Justin's behaviour in season two would be the subject of whole post in and of itself. Let's just say, I don't think there are any angels between the three of 'em, I never have :)

I don't apologize for Brian's behavior--he wanted Justin gone so badly he could taste it, and Ethan, for him, was like bitter salvation of a kind. Ethan gave him a wonderful out, a way to tell himself Justin would be just damned peachy without him, adn things escalated almost instantly from the minute he knew. I don't have a problem with Justin leaving Brian--he stood up to more pressure than Michael did in season one, and without even being aware of the reasons why. But he went about showing dissatisfaction in the absolute worst way possible, that contradicts everything he said he believed in, and everything he was as a person. It was very personal and edged on revenge, both in his method and in his choice of venue--in full view of the public, at a party Brian had for him, surrounded by Brian's friends and semi-family and people who knew *exactly* what they were witnessing. It's that vindictive edge that bothers me most.

The way the Cowlip demonized Ethan just pissed me off. I liked S2 Ethan a lot better than Justin or Brian, and I was hoping for a meaingful end to the E/J relationship. I didn't see it as the love of either of their lives, but I thought it made psychological sense for two young creative people to be together.

However, I think Justin did use Ethan in that way that young, immature people sometimes unintentionally do hurt others. You know, kinda the way Brian hurt Justin. Not evil, just self-involved. At some point I figured B/J just deserve each other, drama and all.

However, I think Justin did use Ethan in that way that young, immature people sometimes unintentionally do hurt others.

Yep, he did, and pretty cold-bloodedly at first. I'm not even sure Justin ever saw *Ethan*, just saw the fantasy-boyfriend, the polar opposite of Brian in some ways. But I do tend toward thinking it was more intentional than not--he spent too much time balancing between the two, hiding Ethan from Brian, to not be aware of exactly what kind of game he was playing.

What sometimes actually *scares* me is how long he could have kept that up if Brian hadn't found out, because I think if Brian hadn't, then Justin would have played this as long as he could get away with it.

Mm.. no. I'm still with the Ethan hate. I really have no sympathy for him. If he suffered on account of being "the Other Woman" well, that was his own fault. I don't think that the situation can be redefined as Justin cheating on *Ethan* with *Brian.* Ethan knew Justin had a boyfriend and that it wasn't him. He entered into this tryst with Justin knowing full well that he was going to be "the Other Woman."

Because really, Ethan's *been* on the other side of this equation, been the Other Guy, and pot and kettle here. He says, you forgave Brian, but what he's actually saying is, I forgave *you*. [...] I waited and I waited and I hoped and I hoped and then I waited some more, for you, to get over it, to get over *him*, to make a you and me, an *us*, and what the *hell* is going on here?

I don't buy that. Because, really, even if you accept that Justin had been cheating on Ethan with Brian-- that in no way entitles Ethan to then go and sleep around after vows of monogamy. Ethan knew about Brian, knew what he was getting into. Ethan buys Justin rings, calls him his muse, swears that he will never sleep around on him. Then he cheats and makes Justin feel guilty for suspecting the truth. No only are the situations not analogous, but the one does certainly not excuse the other.

Having been "the Other Woman" does not give Ethan a get out of jail free card.

Also: as much as I feel for Brian and hurt for him and want to heal his poor broken heart-- he did it to himself. Because Brian could have stopped Justin from leaving. Not only could he have stopped Justin from leaving, but he also could have gotten him back after he left.

We all know how much Brian loves Justin and how much he missed him. My thinking is: since Brian loves him and misses him that much he should have damn well fought for him instead of just watching passively while he walks away. He wouldn't have even had to make some big declaration of love. If he had just told Justin that he wanted him to stay he would have. Saying "then what are you still doing here" to the person you love is not actually conducive to their continued presence.

Although I do agree that the Ethan-breakup-B/J-reunification should have been handled differently because it sidestepped the real issue, that Justin wasn't and couldn't be happy with Ethan because he still loved Brian. Instead Justin gets an object lesson about how little words really mean, spends a lot of time thinking, then goes back to Brian. Which is unsatisfactory on all counts.

That's my two cents. ^^;

If he suffered on account of being "the Other Woman" well, that was his own fault. I don't think that the situation can be redefined as Justin cheating on *Ethan* with *Brian.* Ethan knew Justin had a boyfriend and that it wasn't him. He entered into this tryst with Justin knowing full well that he was going to be "the Other Woman."

True, just like Justin entered his--thing--with Brian knowing that Brian's behavior was pretty much granite and under Fort Knox security. Ethan *should* have left after a trick or two, but Justin's desperation and need are addictive things--the kid is *good* at that, probably the best, and like Brian before him, Ethan fell for being needed. It's still a wrong thing to do, but emotionally, it makes sense.

Also: as much as I feel for Brian and hurt for him and want to heal his poor broken heart-- he did it to himself. Because Brian could have stopped Justin from leaving. Not only could he have stopped Justin from leaving, but he also could have gotten him back after he left.

We all know how much Brian loves Justin and how much he missed him. My thinking is: since Brian loves him and misses him that much he should have damn well fought for him instead of just watching passively while he walks away. He wouldn't have even had to make some big declaration of love. If he had just told Justin that he wanted him to stay he would have. Saying "then what are you still doing here" to the person you love is not actually conducive to their continued presence.


I cannot be convinced that at least half of Brian's behavior wasn't deliberate. He stopped being able to read Justin just as surely as Justin stopped being able to read him, which explains a quarter of the rest, and the last quarter was Brian being Brian, an idiot.

I just think, at least going toward the end of season two, that Brian wanted Justin *gone*, and in any way he could pull it off. He set up as much as he could and let Justin take it where he thought it should inevitably go. He doesn't get a lot of points of sympathy from me for doing that, but I can see how he'd think that with Justin already having Ethan in second position, ready and willing, that he could justify giving Justin a damned huge push out. After all, up until Rage, nothing he'd done yet, and he'd done some really amazingly nasty stuff, was even making much of a visible dent other than making Justin really, really morose.

Although I do agree that the Ethan-breakup-B/J-reunification should have been handled differently because it sidestepped the real issue, that Justin wasn't and couldn't be happy with Ethan because he still loved Brian. Instead Justin gets an object lesson about how little words really mean, spends a lot of time thinking, then goes back to Brian. Which is unsatisfactory on all counts.

See, that's what frustrates me most. Justin *isn't a romantic*. He plays the part because someone, somewhere, got the idea into his head that True Love is expressed like that. The kid *fucks in the backroom of Babylon* for God's sake. For about a year, his ideas of romance included sufficent condoms and being on his back. It blows my mind that he went into that entire hearts-and-flowers nonsense so suddenly. Even if Brian had been a "regular" boyfriend, Justin's about-face on the subject would have thrown him a lot.

So Justin discovering that romance isn't the be-all and end-all was this huge *duh* from me.

"Or three, variate number two, Justin never stopped loving Brian, just needed someone not-Brian for a while, an experiment, a learning experience, and now he's got his feet back under him and just needs a reason to walk out and go back."

This is SO absolutely, IMO, hitting the nail on the head as to be scary. I have always, always felt that loving Brian is just so high energy that sometimes a mans just gotta leave and regroup. Rest, resuscitate and relax for a while before re-entering the fray. About the only things that make it okay are; 1. he always loved Brian; never stopped and 2. I doubt he did any of it with well thought out malicious intent; it just happened that way.

Interestingly, I wonder if Brian, on some level, knew this too and that's why he let Justin back so easily.

I don't think *most* of it was malicious. *mulls* I do think the Rage party was. Not without provocation--only a saint could have managed that, and Justin's no saint. But there was malice there. He was pissed and unhappy and Brian was doing a wonderful impression of someone who doesn't give a good shit. It wasn't planned beforehand, that was something, but the element of saying 'fuck you' to Brian was there--that if Justin was going to walk out, he was going to do it as spectacularly and painfully as possible. If for no other reason than the vague hope he'd make Brian feel *something*. And Brian didn't give him that.

Sorry about last night--I fell asleep on the floor in front of my laptop again. I have to stop doing that, it's giving me bruises and sore muscles. Anyway, I'll try to make it up to you. *evil grin*

Unfortunately for Melanie’s kid, impending fatherhood hadn’t improved Mikey’s gift-giving skills any, so in honor of Brian’s second son, he got two photos—one of Brian and the baby the night Gus was born, another of Brian holding Aaron—and set them on the back of a clock face. Michael presented the clock to Brian with a shit-eating grin, saying “Tick, tick, tick,” and sharing a conspiratorial grin with Justin.

Justin was aghast, but Brian laughed and rolled his eyes and put Michael in a headlock and made threats about what he was going to do when Melanie finally popped her kid. That was almost more disturbing than the gift itself. Justin kept seeing these new sides to Brian, the sides where he had a specific opinion on which kind of car seat was safest for babies under ten pounds, and it all just served to remind Justin that Brian was changing. Brian was changing, and not for him, and he still wasn’t sure who this new Brian was, and where Justin’s place in his life was to be.

I love you *so much*.

I worked last night. I *did*.

*bouncy*

I'm going to have to agree with wrenlet on this one, and say that Ethan garners no sympathy in me b/c the way the scene with the Harrisburg Rose Guy played out made me positive that Ethan had fed him the same "you distracted me, you're my muse, if I were with you I'd tell the sun rose and set on you" each day lines he fed to Justin. To me, it established a pattern -- Ethan tricks and cheats just as much as Brian, but the difference is there really is no "specialness" in his regard for anyone, and he couches his behavior in more romantically/socially acceptable promises/lies.

I also never got past the feeling that, to Ethan, Justin was a trophy, valued only for his aesthetics and his (doubtless) impressive, Kinney-trained sexual techniques.

As for my feelings toward Justin... I agree that he should have been able to see what Brian was doing, should have seen the mirror between his apparent heartless pushing away and what he did in S1 to try and cut Michael loose to be with David, even if it meant villifying himself in the process. Say what you will about Brian -- whom, by the way, I adore most of all -- but the boy does enjoy his own moments of drama-queen-esque martyrdom ;)

However, I also think that Justin's behavior at the end of S2 represents residual fall-out from S1 and personal insecurities as much as anything else, and mature though he may be he's still only 18/19 years old at the time and subject to a bit of leniency from me in that regard.

But, as with SV, in the final analysis it's Brian and Lex who are the woobies, and Justin and Clark who get tarred and feathered with the Ass!Hats of Hypocrisy (and, who are the ones who make me go *grrrrrrrr!* ;)

As for my feelings toward Justin... I agree that he should have been able to see what Brian was doing, should have seen the mirror between his apparent heartless pushing away and what he did in S1 to try and cut Michael loose to be with David, even if it meant villifying himself in the process. Say what you will about Brian -- whom, by the way, I adore most of all -- but the boy does enjoy his own moments of drama-queen-esque martyrdom ;)

He has a style to it, doesn't he? Like, nothing can happen quietly or peacefully or naturally, it has to be a freaking Broadway production, complete with go-go dancers. I suppose, if he's going to hurt himself so severely, he thinks he should at least get to enjoy it with the pretty visuals. Like anything he does, everything he does, has to go into legend.


Heh. I've got to say, the Justin-hate is a far more reliable emotion. *g*

*sticks out tongue*

Nyah-nyah nyah nyah-nyah.

I'm flashbacking to my Anti-Clark period in a *big* way.

So he's got three different possibilities to explain this behavior. One, Justin is just *that* unreasonable. Two, that Justin has, in fact, subconsciously been using him for months to rebuild his ego and get over everything that happened to him in bashing and with Brian and just wants an excuse to walk out, even if he can't admit it to himself. Or three, variate number two, Justin never stopped loving Brian, just needed someone not-Brian for a while, an experiment, a learning experience, and now he's got his feet back under him and just needs a reason to walk out and go back.

Four, Justin has come to realize his love for Brian isn't going away, but he's willing to try to make this work with Ethan, he's willing to stay and actively love Ethan in the hopes acting love will lead to feeling love, and now Ethan has done exactly what he swore he wouldn't do. And Justin is left with the realization that Ethan is not as committed to this as he claimed to be, and Ethan's excuses gave no indication he wouldn't do it again (in fact, his excuses sounded to me very much like he intended to do it again), and worse, Ethan's excuses were based on a decision Ethan himself made for both of them. Justin, brave and unapologetic "I like dick and this queer says fuck you" Justin was willing to be in a closeted relationship for Ethan. And now Ethan has used his compliance as an excuse to cheat on him.

What's more, I agree with wrenlet that it played as though Ethan had done the same thing to Harrisburg boy he'd done to Justin (which truthfully makes me wonder how much of Ethan's description of what happened with his old boyfriend is accurate, but that's beside the point). So now Justin is faced with the realization that his relationship with Ethan isn't all that much different from his relationship with Brian, except that Brian never pretended they were monogamous. So he's faced with a decision. Stay with Ethan, who has lied to him and cheated on him and seems inclined to do the same thing again, and whom he recognizes he doesn't really love. Or leave Ethan, much as he left Brian, because he's not getting what he needs and it's not likely he will.

I think it's important to keep in mind that Justin doesn't leave Ethan only to immediately go running back to Brian. According to Daphne's dialogue in 3x08, at least a month has passed before Justin decides to try winning Brian back. It's my belief he spent a lot of that time thinking about what he really needs, what he really wants, and what he can live with (or tells himself he can live with, to refer to another Justin discussion going on in another LJ ;-). Ethan really shook his belief in certain things about relationships, and now he's trying to figure out if it's just because what he believed was wrong, or if it's that what he believed is something he'll never have, for whatever reasons. And if it's that he'll never have it, can he live with that?

I think he still hasn't answered that question, but I also think he doesn't need to, as much, because Brian is giving him some of those things now, which he never expected. Man, I love me some schmoopy s3 Brian. But I digress. *G*

My point is, Justin tried to make it work with both Ethan and Brian, but a relationship is not going to hold together when only one person is working on it consistently. And really, when the other person stops even pretending to try? I can't help but say, "Just walk out that door, honey. Don't look back." Which is exactly what I did say in both 2x20 and 3x07.

Only in the case of 2x20, I had hopes he'd either walk back in at a later date, or Brian would go after him. In the case of 3x07, my hopes were more along the lines of never seeing the chinrat again.


I saw this post when it was first posted (sorry for redundancy). I wasn't going to comment, mainly because I'm a shameful Justin apologist, but also because I didn't want to get into any kind of war about the matter, knowing how things get so emotional about our loves and hates about these characters of ours. It's almost as though they're our friends/family/whoever, on some level, and to think badly of them is almost like committing murder at times.

That said, I really wish we could all just keep in mind that Justin is a teenager. He's a kid. He's a bit more mature than most kids, sure, but he is still and by far a kid. He's with a much older man - the same man who was his first sexual experience: the same older man who has exposed him to a world that is different and unconventional and at times, very painful: the same older man who has never actively fought for him. Brian loves Justin - I have no doubt about that, but because Justin is still a kid, so young and naive in a lot of ways, he can't see it even when it's staring him right in the face. At the end of S2, Brian's not ready to commit to Justin in any way, yet Justin needs to feel that safety, that security, and when Ethan shows an interest, it's all he can do to run into his arms. He needs that feeling.

Justin was looking for a reason to leave Ethan after a while, it's so obvious anyone can see it, and Ethan's cheating was the perfect excuse. I think the fact that Justin asked Daphne "Ethan, who's talking about Ethan? I'm talking about Brian..." (in regards to his dream about fucking mid-air) as though it was the most obvious thing in the world shows that Ethan is long gone from his mind and his heart, and that Brian has been back there for a good long time, most likely even before he actually physically left Ethan. My belief is that Justin regretted having left Brian minutes after he actually walked out of the Rage party, but that it was too late to do anything about it then - he was stuck. Pride wouldn't let him do anything to change things.

I don't think we actually got a good enough chance to get to know Ethan, except through Justin's eyes. That which we did see presented him as a slightly obnoxious, overly confident, cocky (and not in a good way), pudgy, bratty violinist who broke up our favorite couple. Granted, Justin chose to leave, but I think that if ego and pride weren't a factor, Justin would have quickly chosen to return to Brian too, probably within minutes of having left (as I said before). What I hate about Ethan isn't the guy himself - like I said, I don't feel I got a chance to get to know him well enough to hate him (or like him, either). I hate what he represents: cheating, lying, disloyalty. For those reasons, I want him to get hit with a MAC truck. ;)

quinn222, recommended me to read this.

Wow! This is the best observation on the whole Justin/Brian/Ethan plotline I've ever heard. And, you are not alone in what you felt about that.

For a little over a year now, I've been arguing with my friend over how Justin played Brian and Ethan, and ultimately, his relationship with Ethan was a rebound. God, now I know I'm not going crazy after reading this. Thanks! :D

So he's got three different possibilities to explain this behavior. One, Justin is just *that* unreasonable. Two, that Justin has, in fact, subconsciously been using him for months to rebuild his ego and get over everything that happened to him in bashing and with Brian and just wants an excuse to walk out, even if he can't admit it to himself. Or three, variate number two, Justin never stopped loving Brian, just needed someone not-Brian for a while, an experiment, a learning experience, and now he's got his feet back under him and just needs a reason to walk out and go back.

Beautifully, summed up, short version. I have nothing else to add, b/c I'm speechless. lol