The Fionas are legion in this world, but I have to believe that a percentage of the Passion gross Stateside has to do with watching it happen. Making it real. For the same reason Oliver Stone's WTC movie will make a bajillion dollars; you hear a story -- even see it -- enough times, it gets dirty and well-worn. But the fact remains that the story -- all of them -- of the Christ are about something beautiful, the most beautiful thing you can think of, a love that encompasses everyone and everything, proving the breadth and height of that grace by consenting to being treated as horribly as anyone could ever imagine. That's a story that belongs to everyone: the daily, violent abuse of the golden light inside every single person who ever existed. You don't have to be Christian for that to hurt. You don't need to be Christian for that to matter. You don't even have to believe in God, to love Him passionately -- that's where we trip up, in the conversation. But by the same token, you don't have to be atheist for this story to hurt, or to matter: the proof of the breadth and height of that grace consenting to grant us self-determination, even as our actions break its heart. God loving you enough to turn His face away, and stop promising rescue. That was never part of the deal anyway. Grace is incidental. Even in His absence -- especially in his absence -- He still gives you passage home.
Jude voices over because she's doing interviews. "Everyone saw it, and everyone heard it. That was the Testament and that was Judgment Day. The death of God." Chadwick: "Even without the tape, everyone felt it. Everyone. In that second, all of his creations felt his death. Right at the end, everyone believed. Everyone. And everyone knew He was gone." Fiona: "I felt it. Right here. Twenty past seven. Like they say about September 11: where were you when Steven Baxter died?" She sighs. Frank, still lost: "He was meant to die. You see? I was right, wasn't I? I tried to kill him. No bastard thanked me." He betrays himself with word choice, doesn't he?
Jude: "...and people were terrified in the first few days after his death, because it looked like he'd died and gone and left us with nothing. But," and I mean, talk about jaw-dropped weeping, "...he left us with everything." The greatest love imaginable. "And yeah, sometimes it looks like nothing, because we can't turn to a book anymore, or a church, or some man in a dog collar. We've gotta look at each other." At the end of Queer As Folk, I'm not ruining anything, but the leads -- having broken every rule; gender and sex and family and marriage and social behavior and criminal law -- they have that Matrix moment where they realize that no matter how many times you break out of the jail, there's another jail. You have to keep going, you have to keep making the world get bigger, cage after cage after cage, because grace is a wave that never breaks. So they go to America, Arizona, where they act like superheroes with guns, and it's a little scary and more than a bit ugly. And apparently people got weirded out by this. But that one tiny thing, that weird little ending, in the Manchester Experiment, made it all make so much more sense. Jude, Steven, Rose's little coming-out moment in "Parting of the Ways," isn't a metaphor for homosexuality. That's as insulting as anything else, and I feel bad about assuming it just because Davies is queer. You better believe I'd snap on a bitch if they ever made those assumptions about my writing. In this body of work, homosexuality is a metaphor -- on an equal plane with Baxter's death and the TARDIS, meaning it's real and you cannot take away the concrete power of it even as it's working as a metaphor at the same time -- for the experience of freedom. Of realizing that you already were free. Bang: power over the narrative. Jude takes us all, at once, to Arizona, and we all become superheroes. Power over the narrative, for everybody. It's been a fucked-up week. Guess what George Michael song just started playing on shuffle. (Total lack of power over the narrative.)