Mental As Anything

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: C- | Grade It Now!
In This Dojo

Now: D'Argo sits in a taskchair; his current task involves stupid laser light show that hurts when he touches it, so it moves around and he has to compensate, except it's all these two-dimensional sheets that come out of a central point, so it's less a maze and more some ugly stupid effects. "Avoid pain and find a way out." Katoya tries really hard to get the concept of "anger will not serve you" across, and whatever, he keeps burning himself, because he's getting more and more angry, and keeps falling on his face in the "mindscape" and Macton's getting off, and D'Argo eventually starts to wig out: Macton stands over Lo'Laan's body in D'Argo's beautiful house. D'Argo screams and pounds his fist on the mindscape floor: "I'll kill you!" Lo'Laan stands in the kitchen. D'Argo begins to howl. Macton pulls back his fist, punching something. D'Argo screams. Lo'Laan lies on the floor, a knife sticking out of her side. D'Argo screams. The collage effect is so of the moment, don't you find. Katoya lets him out of the task and bitches: "To exert even a microt of self-control over your personal impulses is the point of the exercise." Seriously. I am so on the side of the bad guys this week. Our boys are making a really fucking poor show of it. How hard is this? D'Argo slams himself out of the taskchair and flounces around and jumps to his feet, giving Macton exactly what he wants, all the way down the line, forever and ever, amen.

D'Argo prances downstairs and starts packing a bag; Katoya once again tries to talk him into being a fucking man instead of a pissy little boy. "[Leaving] won't provide you with the answers you seek." What answers, he asks. "What questions?" is the reply. (Katoya is also kind of a douchebag, but this is his rodeo, and it's his house, and D'Argo's being a little bitch.) "Look! I'm not playing any more of your stupid games and I do not need to be reminded of my mental limitations. If I stay here, I will kill Macton!" Get this drama: "I! Will! Kill! This! Man!" The drama takes so much out of him that he has to take a breath. Katoya's like, "Um, see? You can control your anger. You have no limitations." They stare at each other for a million years and Katoya leaves and D'Argo sits down heavily. On his tuffet.

(Here's the deal. I like this show. A lot. You may or may not know that. However, there is a poisonous thread running through it from start to finish that says this behavior is acceptable, when the truth is, it's not. How many times does John say this: "I'm just a guy!" How many times does John say that shit, without paying for it. "I'm just a guy! Guys are just like this! They occasionally play dumb! They deserve no accountability! Must have been something I said!" "Dur dur d'être un bébé!" "The rules are stupid! I hate the rules! This place -- which everyone else is managing to deal with like adults -- is so mean! I hate it! And the rules!" "Isn't it soooo sad how I totally beat my wife?" Even fucking Rygel is able to get with the program here, but John and D'Argo? Spend the entire episode pissing and moaning, and it's not the first time either. The entitlement of the American male. "If you don't keep lying to me about the abuse I'm going to leave you! Because I love you! There's no power differential here at all!" It's not that I demand perfection of the characters -- I love them as they are -- but I'm afraid I do demand perfection of the show, and it's the show's lack of concern about this behavior that pisses me off. Rygel and Scorpius spend the entire episode begging them to get their shit together and act like adults, and they simply cannot do it. Can you imagine any other situation where Rygel is the man of the group? And D'Argo and John are the pants-pissing little boys? How is that enjoyable to watch? That, and the fact that such an ugly, manhood-limiting episode is the ultimate endpoint of the Lo'Laan storyline, which has been part of the show since the beginning. Now, it just so happens that the episode earns it, just barely, and with a whole lot of tell and not show, so this is mostly an overall issue I have, which happens to get a lot of play in this episode, which is actually kind of brilliant in a lot of ways. End of rant.)

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