This is one of those things that happen at three in the morning.
Despite the fact this is a good four or five years before it hits mainstream internetz, I have this feeling that if asked, Ray would have said, with a straight face, "It was a social experiment" and be totally sincere about it.
Despite the fact I know that Ray really thought Fraser knew what was going on--it hit me while watching them that the behavior that's weird from Fraser's pov actually is exactly that weird from any point of view. There is no way it isn't just the strangest, most hilarious, and surreal set of situations ever. I mean, straight from the hug--which seriously, now I have to back and stare at that for a second, because really. Really--right down to Ray distracting Fraser to the point Fraser was following along with this vaguely shell-shocked fascination, because while the methodology is different, the concept is the same as what he does to people himself. And Ray is enjoying the crap out of it, and starts doing stuff just to see how Fraser reacts.
Which tells me two things--one, Ray didn't just read the Vecchio case files, he read between them and got a pretty decent idea how Fraser operated through how Vecchio described him, and two, all of Ray's issues with Fraser have zero to do with not being perfectly willing to ride the crazy train to crazyville and drink the kool-aid of crazy, because crazyville is some seriously awesome fun and Ray is not one to turn down fun, and completely with wanting to at least help pick their seats on the train.
seperis I mean, he assumed Fraser knew who he was.
seperis: That's what makes it so insane.
seperis: He wasn't trying to trick him. He was acting like that specifically to keep Fraser off balance.
winterlive: he did CHECK
winterlive: i mean
winterlive: _walsh talked to you, right? okay, great._
seperis: *nods* Yes!
seperis: So all of that--all of that--was specifically to fuck with Fraser.
seperis: The awesome is just through the roof.
winterlive: fraser eventually ups the ante, though
winterlive: once he figures out the game
seperis: They do that the entire ep.
seperis: WHO IS CRAZIER? I AM CRAZIER! I AM CRAZIER!
If I think of season three as a long ass game of competitive crazy, with Fraser reluctantly coming to the horrifying conclusion that Ray Kowalski has no brakes and would probably run directly into a burning building if he could prove he could out-crazy Fraser (I mean that metaphorically, but then again, I wonder, because I was getting the impression near the end of season three that Ray was losing a lot of his normal inhibitions to avoid death just to damn well prove a point), Mountie on the Bounty is suddenly a lot more interesting, and it was damn interesting before.
Also weirdly interesting is that Fraser, who was used to Vecchio being the brakes and the mitigating personality, had to learn to be the brake himself. In Eclipse and in Asylum, a lot of his reactions seem to be feeling out exactly where he's supposed to fall on the Kowalski spectrum of human interaction and realizing that's like navigating by clouds. Vecchio, as a rule, gave him a fairly firm and unswerving definition of himself, and it didn't allow a lot of deviation from a specific--for lack of a better word, identity. He didn't have to do much but live in those parameters. Whereas Ray's tends toward the school of thought that if you're too consistent, you are living life wrong. Which makes me think this:
I have a very unprovable theory that Ray Vecchio spent most of season two ignoring as completely as possible the entirety of Victoria--it didn't fit, and it would never fit, and it was a lot easier to slot it into an unofficial parallel universe in his head than work it out, and also unprovable, Fraser did his damndest to do the same thing, because I bet he woke up nights wondering what kind of crack he was on and why in the name of God he thought it was the good stuff.
Randomly, I have to wonder how that would have gone down with Kowalski. For one thing, Kowalski would have recognized sexual obsession faster than Fraser could get his pants unbuttoned (as he can look in a mirror and see it pretty much twenty-four seven), and two, he would have known that at that point, he could trust Fraser exactly as far as he could see him and acted accordingly (see mirror, above). I also think--and this is really farfetched, but go with it--Ray would have realized what she was doing from what he does himself, not in the sense he has her lack of morals, but that in a world three steps over where he lost that inner compass and was, you know, armed with an evil goatee and some free time, he could set up a zero sum situation for someone he wanted that badly.
I don't know how it would have turned out, though; most of it was so much in Victoria's control that there's not a lot of wriggle room and it happened fast enough that it was pretty much purely reactionary to the end. There are only two places that I can see that it could make a difference and what kind, I have no idea. One of them is that Kowalski is as subtle as a freight train and takes being ignored as a sign that he needs to start the fireworks for attention, and he's conditioned Fraser into reacting when that starts before escalation procedures begin and the game of "Who is the craziest of us" takes off. The other is that Ray wouldn't have stood still waiting to take that shot from the sidelines--I'm pretty sure he'd be on the train with Fraser and Victoria, changing the parameters of Fraser's sacrifice of himself. It's one thing to go out in a blaze of glory, but quite another to have your armed and deeply pissed partner standing on one side and your psychotic girlfriend on the other and have to second thought it under a time constraint measured by whether or not Kowalski's wearing glasses while aiming a gun. You get a chance to think to yourself, okay, wait, what the fuck just happened? And possibly, I've had fantasies like this, but both of you were more naked.
And this is how I amuse myself when I can't sleep and editing a scene where I created a sentence that seems to have neither subject nor predicate, defying the laws of grammar and good taste.