Alicia: "He is a 17-year-old, outrageously cool kid who adores his father, what possible other response would he give?"
Jordan: "I didn't tell him what to do. And with all respect, it was going to sink the campaign..."
Alicia: "-- Not the issue. You crossed it, Jordan. No more talking to Zach. Ever."
This last with a hairless-cat amount of true menace; she towers over him.
Eli, simpering: "Alicia, I'm so sorry. I tried to tell him about how we don't cross it, but I guess he just felt like crossing it, and I..."
Alicia: "I can smell your bullshit from a mile away, Eli. Whatever you're using me to do, whatever the game is here, cut it out."
Alicia: "Okay. See ya."
And then the opposite of contrite, the second her back is turned. I admit, that hurt my heart a little bit. I was like, "Please, please have a human moment for a second," even though I knew he was bullshitting about not bullshitting. But the sheer calories-burned of his acting job -- boyish embarrassment, you-got-me transparency -- just makes it worse. Damn it, Eli. Admittedly, it was glee at having boned Jordan more than anything having to do with Alicia, but there's a certain interpersonal safe word thing that just happened there, with which I personally do even more poorly than Alicia herself.
That moment where she told him to stop using her, and he lied -- not that he wasn't, mind you, but that he would stop; a lie packaged inside a truth, a fake palindrome that looks just symmetrical enough to fool you -- felt like Mike Kresteva that time with the Blue Ribbon Panel: Transforming reality around her. If you don't have the safe word, if you can't say, "I promise I'm not lying" and not be lying... I get that this happens all the time, but it just never stops freaking me out. Like there's no bottom to anything.
Everybody starts out a liar, and they get punished out of it. And then you get old enough to realize you can do pretty much whatever you want, and you probably turn back into a liar for a while. But the next chapter is, you fight demons and monsters and acres of selfishness before you can even approach the beginnings of honesty, okay, but everybody who isn't there yet looks at you like you're the moron, the innocent, because they like the powerful feeling they got from becoming the liar that we all become: That seems like growth, and of course it is, but it's still based on other people. It's still based on what you can get away with. It's sophistication, compared to children, but compared to real adults it's worse than the first thing.