Sunday, March 20, 2016

KP EbE - Your irrational prejudice will be vindicated (Monkey Fist Strikes post 2)

[Added] I'm seriously wondering if I should go with with four posts per episode instead of two because this?  This is long.

Seems like it's at least twice as long as would be a decent size.  If it is indeed twice as long as a good sized post then the solution is to double the posts per episode.  But that would mean each post covered about five minutes and 20 seconds of actual content, which doesn't seem like that much in spite of the verbiage of this post that covers about twice that.

So, people who read stuff, do you have thoughts on sticking with two posts per episodes or or moving to four?  (I don't think the episodes divide into thirds well but I could look into it.)


In the first half of the episode:

Kim escaped having to see her cousin Larry at family game night by saving a baby eagle, complained about Larry apparently nonstop, through the trip home, the night, and the following school day in ways that varied between open hostility towards and dismissiveness of geek culture.  She was particularly appalled by conventions and cosplay, and particularly dismissive of a videogame that Ron likes called "Fortress".

Then Team Possible headed to Cambodia to loot recover a jade idol from a temple.  It was a monkey idol in a monkey temple which triggered Ron due to past trauma.  His vocal distaste for all non-human things simian caused friction between himself and noted British archaeologist Lord Monty Fisk.  Kim recovered the jade idol but it was stolen in the night by a ninja.

Upon her return Kim learned that, because she missed family game night, Larry's mom invited the entire family over for dinner Saturday.

* * *

Kim: Saturday is going to be Night of the Living Larry.
Ron: You know I gotta tell ya, this Larry ... he sounds like a majorly fun guy.

Ron gets some sort of special dispensation for being Kim's best friend since Pre-K, but his opinions are not taken into account.  We saw that at the beginning of the episode when him talking about his interest in the game Fortress (which Kim had just dissed) was responded to with sarcasm and not a hint of reevaluation.

Kim again responds with sarcasm.  She doesn't consider that maybe Larry isn't so horrible but instead they just have differing interests.  She just quips, "Want me to send him to your house?" which only works because of her "I'm not taking what I'm hearing seriously" tone of voice.  If it had been a serious comment it would be a logistical nightmare.  (Kim's whole family is going to Larry's house but she's going to send Larry to Ron's house?  Yeah, that makes sense.)

Wade pops in with new information on the monkey idol and temple.  The good news is that Ron is not reduced to a quivering mass of human misery nor does he experience a flashback to past trauma this time.  The bad news is that he avoids that by covering his ears and going:

La la la No Monkey Stuff!

and so forth until Kim puts her hand over his mouth.

Kim: Please continue, Wade.
Wade: The temple was one of four built by the followers of Monkey Kung Fu. Each temple had a jade monkey.
Kim: Back up. What is Monkey Kung Fu?
Ron: Other than sick and wrong?

Ok, so, there are things.

"Kung Fu" is an umbrella term for several hundred different types of Chinese martial arts.  The temple was in Cambodia and the practitioners are dressed in a way that Kim and Ron immediately recognize as ninja garb -- ninjas being from Japan.

The show has just mashed all of Asia's Pacific coast (mainland and islands) between Indonesia and Russia into a single indistinct exotic eastern locale.

Good work there.

Apparently if it's in the eastern hemisphere, south of Russia, north of Indonesia, and touching the Pacific Ocean it's part of one big place we like to call, "Orientalist Mishmash."

And if there's one thing that we know of oriental martial arts, beyond the fact that they are completely interchangeable and require no fidelity to time or place, it's that they're magic.  Magic, magic, Crouching Tiger, Hidden MAGIC.  Did I mention that the exotic eastern martial arts people, whose location we can't narrow down to a radius of less than two thousand miles, happen to be magic?  Because they're totally magic.

Seriously.  Here is the very next line which doesn't actually answer the question, "What is Monkey Kung Fu?"

Wade: According to legend, when the four jade monkeys were brought together, they gave the warriors mystical monkey power.

Kim: It's the same drawing we saw at the dig.

No.  No it is not.  I will go frame by frame if I have to but that drawing wasn't there.  What's more: it wasn't a dig.  You went to an above ground non-excavated (it didn't need to be excavated) temple and looted it which ... good for you, but there was no dig,  There was you, Ron, an English Lord, and his valet.  There was no dig.  There was no excavation.  There was no anything-other-than-a-campsite.

Um, maybe I shouldn't argue with fictional characters so much.  Resuming:

Kim: It's the same drawing we saw at the dig. But why separate the monkeys?
Ron: Because mystical monkey power is sick and wrong!
Wade: Actually, the legend says that the warriors didn't want anybody else to get the power.
Kim: Maybe the thief believed the legend...

This isn't new information.  "Monkey Kung Fu" was new information, but Lord Monty Fiske already delivered the mystical monkey power bit (using a completely different drawing) before Kim even went in after the idol.  He dismissed it as superstitious natives, but Kim got this exposition dumped on her before.  Four Jade idols that when brought together would create mystical monkey power.

Maybe I'm being too harsh though.  Fiske just said that the legend was that the power would be generated, Wade has added the tidbit that people could be imbued with the mystical monkey power.  Moving on.

Lord Monty Fiske: Bates! Bates!
Bates: Coming, milord. You know milord. I do wonder if it might have been a mistake to call in Kim Possible.
Lord Monty Fiske: Nonsense, the plan worked perfectly. She retrieved the item, didn't she?
Bates: Milord could have handled those primitive booby-traps.

The valet to an English Lord has just called the actually quite awesome and advanced --for example the ancient automated flame throwers still worked, pause for a moment to consider the impressiveness of "ancient automated flame throwers"-- technology of an ancient people, whose artifacts previously mentioned English Lord was taking without so much as an indigenous adviser on hand, "primitive".

I'm not going to unpack that.  I'm not going to touch that.

If you want further reading then look up the fights the British Museum is still having with people who want their culture, heritage, and history back and note that the British Museum's standard response is that they're not yet ready to care for their own stuff.

Be prepared to cry.

- - -

Back to the story.

Bates trips over a plot placed bump in the plot placed rug (that only exists for the tripping scene itself not the other floor-showing scenes before and after) and this happens:

Fiske caught the entire tea set, without losing a drop, using his strangely hairy (but just on the back) hands and one of his very similar feet.

The great revelation of this whole sequence (He's the villain! He's not entirely human!) doesn't exactly come as a surprise, especially if you know the name which... I honestly don't know when they said the name of the episodes.  The names aren't revealed in the episodes themselves (there's no episode specific title screen) but they might have been in the surrounding media ("Tune in tonight for the new Kim Possible episode: Monkey Fist Strikes.")  Regardless, Monkey Fist == Monty Fiske is shown as a villain in the title sequence that plays at the start of every episode so... yeah.

Maybe the fact that he has modified feet is a revelation, and on that topic...

I get why he did the foot thing --a foot with all the versatility of a hand could be of great use in some situations-- but what value there was in modifying his hands is kind of lost on me.

Anyway he's been calm, collected, and generally avoiding reasonable suspicion thus far.  Time for that to change.

Lord Monty Fiske: And risk injuring THESE HANDS!

Yes, perfectly reasonable extreme emotional outbreak.

In a longer episode --one which was also better planned out-- there could be an arc where he becomes more and more unstable as he comes closer to his goal of attaining mystical monkey power.  Sure, it's a cliche but what in Kim Possible isn't?

I just think a gradual change would have worked better than the Cambodia Lord Monty Fiske / England Lord Monty Fiske dichotomy we do have.

In Cambodia viewers could tell that he was the bad guy (I think) but the characters aren't that genre savvy.  Shego's generally the most genre savvy of the lot and she's not in this episode.  Ron's not that bad, but he spent the entire time either non-responsive or irrational due to his past trauma having been triggered.

In fact, the only sign that Lord Fiske made of being a bad guy in Cambodia was intentionally triggering Ron and taking joy in it, but Kim didn't notice because she was looking away.  Even that could be dismissed as him just being a jerk, rather than a villain, who wanted to get back at Ron after Ron's anti-monkey rant and (this is the jerk part) wasn't above triggering Ron to do it.

He met up with Team Possible in bright daylight and then they spent the night with him and not once was there any kind of slip or outburst.

He was calm and collected.

While we might dismiss his willingness to break his calm here as him being comfortable in his own home while no one other than Bates is around (which is why he had no qualms about revealing his modifications with the catch) this is also exactly how he'll act in front of Team Possible when they eventually show up.

There's no transition, a switch has been flipped and he's gone from someone completely under control to someone who goes from calm, to an outraged ball of emotion, and back to calm all in moments.

I'll get to the "back to calm", but before I do I want to point out chronology.

* * *

It's hard as all hell to figure out how things go timewise in Kim Possible but:

On a school day Kim got the mission to Cambodia.  She probably didn't skip school.  School gets out at 3:00 PM, she hopped a military transport jet, assume the fastest around and we get nine hour flight.  This a 1PM arrival in Cambodia which is fine by the lighting of the initial scenes.  Scene lighting is way more important than real world travel time when trying to figure this stuff out.

Sometimes travel is impossibly fast in Kim Possible so if the lighting had disagreed with the military transport jet time we'd have to go with the lighting.  The fact is, though, that the sun wasn't up in Cambodia when Kim got out of school and it was when they arrived so in this particular case the lighting matches a vaguely reasonable travel time.

She stays overnight in Cambodia and arrives back home in time for breakfast.  We don't know how she got home but the good news is, it doesn't really matter.  She arrived at Cambodia in daylight, stayed over night, and got back home in time for breakfast.  That's all we need.

It means she was gone for a little over a day and a half.  39 hours, more or less, if we assume a Six AM breakfast.

Her parents aren't big on her skipping school so it must not have been a school day that she missed.  She must have left on Friday and gotten back on Sunday.

Thus the Saturday get together with Larry (when the A and B stories of the episode will both come to a climax) is a full week after Cambodia.  There's plenty of built in time for Lord Fiske to, say, set up a magical ritual thus allowing scenes during which he slowly becomes less able to keep a grip on things.

We could have seen him going from someone who had a tight lid on his true feelings and intentions to someone who was more and more unable to keep anything under the surface for long and thus had a semi-plausible transition between the two ways he acts in canon.

Instead it's like a switch is flipped and we get: Cambodia Fiske = sneaky schemer who can keep his true feelings hidden or, at the very least, incredibly understated, England Fiske = completely unstable guy who goes between seeming calm and a rage of angry exposition at the slightest provocation and could not possibly pass as a non-villain for more than a minute and a half even if his life depended on it.

* * *

The above aside of what could have been is there mostly because, as it is, you kind of wonder how he managed to avoid going off on a villainous rant for the entire time he was with Team Possible in Cambodia.

But I said I'd get to him returning to calm.

Ok, maybe I should have shown a picture of his outburst so that you'd understand how completely different he was for the "THESE HANDS!" moment that took place between this shot and the last one I showed.  But I kind of just want to get this done so plowing forward.

Lord Monty Fiske: Besides, by masquerading as the ninja I throw suspicion off me.

Who would have been suspicious?

I've got no idea.  Do you have an idea?

Was someone watching his Cambodian expedition that had all of the equipment and attendance of a small camping trip?

Did he avoid being prosecuted for artifact theft by saying, "I didn't loot it, Kim Possible did, and I don't have it, it was stolen"?

Other than plot, what reason is there to have him throw suspicion off himself?  I mean, plot I get.  If he just took possession of the idol by retrieving it then Team Possible wouldn't be involved.  If he stole it by pretending everything was ok and switching it with a fake on its way to a museum then Team Possible wouldn't still be looking into things because they'd consider the matter closed.  So plot required something like the theft to happen because otherwise our heroes wouldn't be involved in this story anymore.

But, beyond plot, what suspicions?  He would have looked like an English Lord taking valuable antiquities from their native land for display in England.  That's kind of what the English are known for.  That and colonialism, which has roots in the exact same fucking mindset.

While Bates concedes that the Fiske knows best, Fiske tosses everything but the teacup and we hear it crash and shatter wherever it lands.  Again, how did he keep himself controlled in Cambodia?

* * *

They go to have a little chat in a secret room where the four jade idols are.

Now... ok, so, I know nothing about doing animation.  That means that this is going into "criticizing shit you don't know about" territory, but the thing is ... I don't have to know that much to know when it's fucked up.

Maybe there's a perfectly reasonable explanation.  Perhaps this was done in a somewhat rushed set of circumstances and there just wasn't time for all of the animators to touch base and make sure they were consistent with their ... it doesn't matter.  Whatever the reason, the idols as depicted in the room are really badly done.

First Fiske and Bates go over to examine the idol that they had Kim recover and then Fiske "stole" except... it isn't the idol that Kim recovered.  It doesn't look remotely like it.  It's not about lighting or texture or some such, the thing has a completely different shape so that if all you had was a basic silhouette you'd still know beyond a shadow of a doubt that that was not the one Kim retrieved.

It's going to be moved at the end of this scene, and we're going to see it in the new position in later scenes, and things will happen to it in the new position, and through all of this it will still be shown as being where it is right now.

It's obviously magic if it can be in two places at once and two shapes at once.  Or the animators were being really, really sloppy.

And it's not just this idol.  This one stands out because it'll appear in two different places in the same shot meaning that there are times where if you count up the four idols you end up with a result of five.  The other idols might not be two places in a single shot, but they change shape drastically from shot to shot and ...

Back to the story.

Bates assumes that Lord Fiske's desire for mystical monkey power is figurative because to actually believe in it as a non-figurative thing would be "crazy".

Lord Monty Fiske: *quickly escalating crescendo of emotion* Crazy, you say? Like it was crazy to spend the family fortune on radical genetic mutation and dangerous experimental surgery? Like it was crazy *starts beating his chest* to become a man-monkey, *gets in Bates face* who violates every law of nature and science!?
Lord Monty Fiske: *returned completely to normal* It's a touch unconventional.

Again, I question how he kept his cool for long enough to not tip Kim off in Cambodia.

Lord Monte Fiske: *menacing* Now, put the magic monkey in place.

* * *

Wade: The leading expert on all things simian is Lord Monty Fiske.

Humans are simians. Is he the leading expert on all things human?

Kim: We helped him, he'll help us.

Aren't you still helping him?  Unless you're trying to track down the ninja who stole the idol for vengeance, it seems to me like this is just an extension of the idol retrieval job he called you in for.

Kim: We helped him, he'll help us. We'll go talk to him this weekend.
Ron: Oh, that'll be a fun conversation!  Monkey this, monkey that, monkey, monkey, monkey!
Kim: Ron, look ... Oh!  Saturday, just remembered my dinner with Larry.
Wade: Can't you flake?
Kim: No, all flaking options denied.

Ok, so some things.  One is that Ron's mental state has actually improved considerably over the course of this episode.  He's gone from being turned into an incoherent quivering mass of trauma at the very mention of the word "monkey" to being merely extremely annoyed.

Second, what of Sunday?  Why not Sunday?  Why wait for the weekend?

I get that a part of what's happening here is a conflict between obligation to family (has to go to Larry's house) and her job/vocation/friends (Team Possible is her calling, her work, and her friends.)

Thus Kim has to choose, and making Saturday the only day for going to Fiske is the way that choice is forced.

It would have worked better if the meeting had been set up before Kim remembered that Saturday was Larry day.

Another reason why this might be better if it had been able to be a longer episode.  She could have gotten all of this talk done in a conversation where she wasn't thinking about Larry, as opposed to this one that started with, "Saturday is going to be Night of the Living Larry," and then after Wade had everything all arranged and called up at yet another time (there's a week to work with here) had that be when Kim realizes she's double booked.

As it is, it all comes across rather forced.

But it wouldn't be a real dilemma without an easy out dangled in front of Kim, right?

Holo-Kim: Can I make a suggestion? Send me!
*Kim walks all the way around the hologram getting a look at all sides*
Ron: Oh no, which one's the real Kim?
Kim: What do you think?

I think that the animators left in a placeholder effect and that's why the Kimmunicator is a basic red outline of a shape instead of the light blue device we've come to know.

Ron: Oh, sure!  Make fun!  But when holographic duplicates start running around, you can't be too careful.
Wade: Think about it, Kim.  My holographic simulator is ready for a field test.
Holo-Kim: Really, Larry?  That's very interesting, Larry.  Nice costume, Larry.
Kim: It rocks, Wade, but I can't do the virtual flake.  I promised Dad.  It is very tempting though.

The scene ends on the temptation of Kim.

Rewind.  Ron's right about the care needed when holographic duplicates are running around.  You can't go around poking people in polite company to make sure that they're the real them and not a holo duplicate.

That said, in spite of being ready for a field test here in episode 3, Wade is never going to use this technology again.  Late in Season 3, the original final season, Ron will mistakenly think Wade has used it again, and at the end of Season 3, the original end of Kim Possible as a whole, someone else will make use of similar technology, but all of the plot possibilities that this bring up?  Never going to be explored.

Well, never beyond this episode.

We're going to cut straight from here to Saturday and Kim's going to be in two places at once.  Which is the real Kim!?

Ron's comment, which is kind of absurd since he watched the real Kim get up and walk around the holo-Kim, is sort of foreshadowing.

On the other hand, what it's foreshadowing is a question just as easy to answer as his question here.  You're not really going to be in doubt about which is real and which is not.

But for the moment there's doubt.  Is Kim going to skip out on what could be a valuable trip for Team Possible where she, Ron, and Rufus (with Wade at mission control) work towards recovering a valuable historical artifact, or is she going to skip out on seeing the cousin who creeps her out, sending a hologram in her stead, in a move that's a direct violation of her father's trust?

Oh, I just can't wait to ... Actually, I can wait.  I could even take a nap right now.  But was there anything else we had to get to?

Oh, right, Wade's holo-Kim planning on being a patronizing condescending ... can't think of the right word so insert pejorative [here] to Larry.

Wade is a science fiction fan, he's a computer game fan, he's a computer fan, he's a geek fan, he's probably a nerd fan.  Why is Wade taking Kim at her word that Larry is a creepy guy who needs to be talked to this way?

Or is he?  Could this be Wade actually talking down to Kim by assuming that these are the only responses Kim could think to give to Larry while in fact being well aware that real engagement and actual discussion is a better route?  Is the holo-Kim's vacuousness a result of Wade taking Kim's word that Larry is vacuous, or a result of Wade thinking that Kim herself is vacuous and so any simulation of her ought to be too?

No idea.  Just something to think about.

* * *

Ron: So what made you decide to do the virtual flake after all?
Kim: Wade really wanted to test out the Holo-Kim.
*Kim waits at door and looks at Ron*
*awkward silence*
Ron: Are we gonna ring the doorbell? Knock? Something?
Kim: Uh, yeah... doorbell.
*Kim steps aside and gestures for Ron to ring it*

And now we know who the Holo-Kim is.  The way the scene at Larry's house is shot, with Kim not touching anything and making responses as vacuous as the ones Wade suggested Holo-Kim could make, makes me feel like they were trying to maintain doubt, but the fact is that the doorbell scene is more extreme than I can do justice in words.

Kim starts out between Ron and the doorbell, even after she steps back to give him space he has to lean in awkwardly, passed her, to ring it.

There's no way flesh and blood Kim would do that.

While Ron doesn't immediately realize, "HOLO-KIM!" the oddness of the situation is not lost on him and her does give an askance glance at Holo-Kim while he has to lean passed her to ring the doorbell she was right next to.

Before we cut to real Kim and Larry, the door gets answered and Bates is surprised to see them meaning that this was not a prearranged meeting meaning WHY THE HELL WASN'T IT JUST DELAYED UNTIL THE NEXT DAY KIM WAS AVAILABLE!?

Excuse me.

Sorry, it's just that the dilemma of "Larry or Mission" is so contrived that I'm more hung up on it than I am on Wade tricking Ron into going completely on his own to face someone Ron doesn't trust in a place composed of concentrated Ron-fear where his trauma might be triggered.

Anyway, Ron walks into the mansion with Holo-Kim who he thinks is Real-Kim.

Then we cut to Kim and Cousin Larry:

And oh my God, I never noticed the awesome purple dragon on the top shelf before.

I'm not saying that I fully get Larry --I for example, would never build or buy a facade to put around my computer-- but just looking at the still I feel like the more you look at his room the more you'll find to like.

The UFO that I think is his ceiling light.  The random other space ship hanging down, retro future chair at the computer, at least one of those action figures has wings and I'm all about the winged people.  The Fortress poster has a woman in non-objectifying, non-revealing, sensible-looking clothing.  His rig has some sort of gaming controller attachment with twin joysticks.

I've never really looked, just looked, at Larry's Room before.

And would you look at that purple dragon?  Damn.  I want a purple dragon like that.  Somebody get me a purple dragon like that.

Ok, deconstruction.  Um... words.

Before we get to what's been said and done, there's a really important thing for you to remember in order to place this scene in context: Kim's been faking enjoying Larry's company since she was three years old. Her dad thinks that she's likes hanging out with Larry and Larry obviously isn't good at reading tone of voice or body language because he hasn't picked up on Kim's distaste either.

We need to view all their interactions in light of the fact that, so far as Larry knows, Kim likes hanging out with him and take into account the total lack of being able to read people, or at least read Kim, that that implies.

Now we're ready.

*Larry holding action figure*
Larry: *dramatic intonation* Greetings Kim, I am Olthar. Maybe you recognize me from Return to Ios.
Kim: Hello, Larry.
Larry: I do not know this Larry of whom you speak.  I am Olthar.  *normal voice*  You really don't get the spirit of role playing, do you, cousin?

Role playing fail on Larry's part for mentioning the movie the character was in even though in-universe the character wouldn't know about the movie unless was Return to Ios was a Spaceballs type film.  Though it could be that he's trying to set the scene for Kim by reminding her which movie.

Also, if he's in character it sort of makes one wonder why he's calling Kim "Kim" except that there's a perfectly logical explanation that doesn't infantalize Larry and make him seem like a small child who picks up a toy and wants the grown ups to address the toy while "the toy" calls the grownups by their real names.  Here's the explanation: Larry is probably aware of Kim's inability to keep in character.

Family Game Night seems to take place at Kim's house so she isn't at Larry's place much, which means that this kind of role playing with figures isn't likely to be how they usually interact but Kim's definitely been here before so Larry has probably tried this before and he doesn't need to be able to see through Kim's fake smiles to tell that she responds better to, "Kim," than, "Akasha of the Nine Mountains," or whatever.

Kim's "Hello, Larry" is not in her usual voice at all.  In fact it really reminds one of Holo-Kim's fake interest, as will everything else Kim says in this scene, which makes me think that there was supposed to be doubt about which was real and which wasn't and that whole thing was blown by Holo-Kim's inability to ring the doorbell in the first Saturday scene.

Leaving the meta and going back into the flow of things, Role Playing with figures didn't work so Larry tries a different tack.

He turns toward the figure shelf behind him and:

Larry: As you can see, my Ios collection has grown quite impressively since your last visit.
*Larry turns back with a different figure and holds it out to Kim*
Larry: Notice anything amiss?
*Kim avoids touching the offered figure*
Kim: *while shaking head*  Uh-uh.
Larry: It's a Bernalus Senator with a silver cape.  *laugh*  Rather dramatic error on the part of the manufacturer, given that the Senators wore only purple.
Kim: Really, Larry?  Isn't that fascinating?

This is actually an almost ideal approach to take with Kim all things considered.  That it fails is because it's the wrong type of collection.  (If it had been a cuddle buddy --stuffed animals that combine two different real world animals into a single plush toy-- she'd really be fascinated.)  That Kim is totally unable to see the point or find common ground is because she can't see Larry outside of the nerd shaped box and can't seem to imagine having anything in common with him.

In fact her "Really, Larry?  Isn't that fascinating?" has the Holo-Kim style false interest wearing off and her just seeming annoyed even though she's still trying to humor him.

Larry seems to pick up on that because he changes tack again.  He's changing tack so fast in this scene that it feels like he's sailing into the wind or something.

Larry: Can I interest you in a game of Fortress?  I can cheat code us right to level nine.
*Kim gives and awkward smile*

I've been playing games since I was too young to remember.  The early memories that I do have are of the Commodore 64 (Donkey Kong and Burger Time!*) and the TI (Star Trek, no other name, just "Star Trek") and in all that time I don't think I've ever heard "cheat code" used as a verb.

A cheat code is a noun.  Cheating is the verb you do using cheat codes.  Besides which, you'd just say, "I can skip straight to level nine."

That's not important though.  Kim's awkward smile could be seen as another, "Could this be Holo-Kim?" thing since Wade controlling Holo-Kim wouldn't be able to play any more than Wade controlling Holo-Kim could press that doorbell, but really the important thing is this:

In less than 40 seconds Cousin Larry has tried three different ways to keep Kim interested and happy.

Roleplaying didn't work.  Collectors items didn't work.  Now he's onto computer games.  If we didn't cut away then maybe we'd see even more things in his arsenal of "maybe this will work."

Kim isn't willing to put any effort into connecting with her cousin, Larry is putting a lot of effort into it.  He's failing utterly, but a big part of that failure has to be because Kim never offers anything he can use as common ground.  Hell, she never talks about what she is interested in so it's no surprise that Larry doesn't know that she isn't interested in this stuff.

She could have brought up the mission she went on.  Ancient temple, death traps that might be like the ones in his games and movies, valuable artifact, fight with a ninja, and meeting a famous archaeologist to boot.

It would be a topic of conversation and even if it didn't go anywhere (it would, for what it's worth) it would at least be something that Larry could play off of to find common ground.

Or, failing that, Kim could just be honest and tell her dad, Larry, and Larry's mom that she doesn't like the time she spends with him very much.

Instead she seems intent on suffering through this while pretending to be nice.  She's not going to actually try to connect or enjoy the time with Larry, but she's damn well not going to admit that she doesn't connect with him or enjoy this time.  Which ... why?

Ok, I get the whole Good Girls Tell Lies toxic culture thing but Kim is visiting other cultures left and right, hobnobbing with people in all walks of life, and generally doing things that should give her a glance outside of that toxic culture.

Yes, if she admits that she dislikes time spent with Larry as much as her brothers do she'll make her dad unhappy and fail to live up to expectations and blah.  But she's got to be meeting people who don't have that "I must lie and suffer to meet expectations rather than be honest with others about the fact that I don't want to meet those particular ones" mindset.

And beyond that, it's not like she isn't meeting with scientists whose work might interest sci-fi fan Larry.  If she's hellbent on hanging out with Larry the way her dad, Aunt June (Larry's mom), and Larry expect then there's no reason it has to be suffering.

She could try to enjoy it by seeing if there's anything where their interests overlap.  Of course first that requires admitting that she's not interested in the things Larry is talking to her about, which is tied up in lying about the whole situation since she was three, which is a result of trying to meet the expectations of others, which is ... go and read the Ana Mardoll post.  This isn't healthy and it doesn't make for a good role model.

And Kim is a role model.  She was thought up by two fathers who wanted a character for their daughters to look up to.

Kim's doing this when it comes to hanging out with a family member once a month, Bella did it with the dating scene.  It isn't good in either case.

Like Bella, Kim deals with the problem through deception and evasion that she knows won't work as a long term solution.  Unlike Bella, Kim doesn't have any longer plan in mind.  She has no out.  She's going to suffer through a once monthly meeting with Larry unless she can rescue a baby eagle as an excuse not to show up and if doing that just gets things rescheduled then she'll suffer through the rescheduling because when it comes to parents "it’s best not to sit down and discuss [not wanting to do the thing they want you to do] with them because that will hurt their fantasy of you as their precious little girl."

She literally says that she can't skip out on this because of her dad.  She's not willing to be anything but his precious obedient little girl.  When she finally does start getting sick of that it isn't the obedience she minds; it's the little.  It's that he still views her like a little kid to the point of dragging her to an event that's meant for kids so young she's actually babysitter to one of them.

Back to story.

* * *

Lord Monty Fiske: Kim Possible, and your monkey-phobic friend.  How delightful.

Bates had said that he'd announce their arrival at the end of the last England scene (I'm not quoting every line) so Lord Fiske has obviously had (off camera) warning and thus isn't shocked and somewhat dismayed the way Bates was, he just got off the chair he was standing on the arm of monkey-style, stood up straight English Lord Style, and put on a normal face in time for Ron and Holo-Kim to meet him.

He's perfectly calm and non-suspicious, the way he said, "monkey-phobic" was downright disarming even though ... well, you know.

Holo-Kim is acting normally, Ron just got spooked by a monkey painting and, in a show of how very much he really thinks he's here with another person, asked for Kim to wait and then ran to catch up so that he'd be less afraid with his best friend/action hero boss at his side.

Kim: Sorry to bother you, Lord Fiske. But we wanted to ask you some questions about--

Lord Monty Fiske: So! You know all about it!
*Lord Fiske walks to a candles on the wall by the fireplace and pulls one*
About my obsession with Tai Shing Pek Kwar.
*fireplace lowers to reveal the passageway to the secret room with the idols*

Like I've repeatedly mentioned wondering: how did he keep a lid on this in Cambodia?

Also, is that a picture of a monkey in a bikini top in the upper left hand corner?

I haven't talked about it because it didn't seem important at the time, but when he's not pretending to be a normal person Lord Fiske here does the kind of knuckle walking you'd expect to see of apes.  Think "gorilla" and you'll have a pretty good sense of it.  Monkeys don't do that.  Monkeys walk on all fours the way a cat or a dog might.

He's not about to do that just yet.  But this a position he favors over ones that arguably look more human.

Anyway, lets talk about Camboida vs. England again.  Ron provoked Lord Fiske in Cambodia.  Ron yelled that anything that can hold stuff with its feet is a freak of nature.  Lord Fiske can hold things with his feet.  Ron insulted everything Fiske is obsessed with.  Not a hint of villain.

Kim directly asked about the symbol for mystical monkey power, the very thing he's obsessed with getting.  Calm explanation and subtle lies.

Now they showed up and, other than dropping by for tea, the only thing they could be doing is coming to ask questions yet as soon as the questions are mentioned he loses his cool and starts going on a "villain explains everything" monologue / unexpected confession because he's just that bad at putting up a non-villain front.

Don't believe me on how bad he is?  This is how Holo-Kim (Wade) and Ron respond:

Ron: Say again?

They don't get it.  They have no idea what he's going on about, so he could, at this point, dial things back.  Be all, "Oh, sorry, thought you were talking about something else.  What did you want?"

In spite of the earlier talk of "crazy", rich and powerful people never are.  They're "eccentric" and while the poor and powerless may become pariahs for their difference from the norm, it's totally ok for the rich powerful eccentric people to have their eccentricities.

It would require a bit of fast talk and adaptation, but this was not a game changing lapse because "Kim" and Ron are completely lost and primed to hear an explanation.  What's more, they've come to him for help (even though they should be thinking about this as trying to make their previous help to him actually count) so the obligation is on them to humor his oddness and not raise any objections.

Cambodia Lord Monty Fiske could have seen that fact and pulled off a save even after this uncharacteristic (for Cambodia Fiske) momentary lapse.

England Lord Monty Fiske is so far gone that it's its beyond lapses or even being lapsed.  It's apostasy and instead of seeing revealing too much as a problem he instead sees the fact that they don't recognize/acknowledge what he's revealed as the problem.

*Lord Fisk has discarded his robe and is now in his Kung Fu outift*
Lord Monty Fiske: Oh, we're playing stupid, I see.
Lord Monty Fiske: *Shouting* Tai Shing Pek Kwar! Monkey kung fu!
*Lord Fiske makes a sort of "urgh" sound and heads down the secret passage*
Ron: Is it just me, or is he walking funny?

Yeah, Ron.  Yeah he is.  But I've already talked about the knuckle walking.

Ron and "Kim" follow into the secret chamber with the Jade idols.  They shouldn't.  Wade, at this point, should have Holo-Kim whisper to Ron that she's not the real Kim and they should wait until they have Kim on hand to investigate.  Then Ron should get the hell out of there.  With Lord Fiske down the secret passage the only one to stop an escape at this point is Bates and Ron can make it past Bates especially if Wade uses the Holo-Kim to be a distraction.

But no.  they follow.  And Ron has no idea how much danger he's in because he thinks that Real-Kim is by his side.

Fiske continues his villainous "reveal everything" speech in the secret chamber

Lord Monty Fiske: But did you know that I spent the family fortune to get these?
*Lord Fiske yanks off his gloves and shows "Kim" and Ron his modified hands*
*Ron gasps in horror*
Lord Monty Fiske: And these?
*Lord Fiske jumps out of his slippers and lands so he's supporting himself on his hands*
*his modified monkey feet, held aloft, are in clear view for "Kim" and Ron*

*Ron gasps again, holds Rufus protectively, and turns to "Kim"*
Ron: Bad road, bad road, bad road!

*Lord Fiske laughs, not maniacal, more like he's being lightly tickled or something*
Lord Monty Fiske: Bow to my power!
* glow ends, Lord Fiske lands on the floor*
Lord Monty Fiske: I.  Am.  Monkey Fist.
Rufus: Bye-bye.
*Rufus runs away*

And we cut to commercial.

This was mostly exposition with a tiny bit of action so there's not that much to talk about.  I do question how he managed to spend the family fortune on his body modification and yet still retained enough money to maintain possession of the castle, fill it with monkey art, install a secret passage and secret room, cover the passage with a large stone fireplace that's on some sort of elevator to allow it to move out of the way, retain or hire Bates, become world famous for his archaeology which is something he seems to do on his own money, and retrieve all four of the monkey idols.

On the topic of the idols it's worth noting the shape.  They'll switch back and forth between two shapes.  One is a cylinder with a rounded top that's carved with a suggestion of a monkey head.  The other is what we see in this scene (also what Bates and Fiske were looking at that was supposed to represent the idol Kim got.)  The first shape can still be seen in the new shape, but the nose, mouth, and ears all protrude outward from it.  Unless they're made of multiple pieces, the second shape would have to be carved from a larger hunk of Jade than the first shape.

Anyway, now would also be a good time to run.

And if you're Wade now might be a good time to call Kim, the cops, backup, people who owe favors, or anything of that nature because Ron's in there all alone.

(This is one line of dialog per shot in the above four part image.  Actions between lines of dialog happen between the shots)

Monkey Fist: So, now you know my secret.
*Monkey Fists posture and expression change*
Monkey Fist: Which you will take to your graves.
Ron: How can you be sure?  I mean a lot can happen in the next sixty or seventy years.
*Monkey Fist approaches Ron and grunts*
Ron: Oh.  Gotcha.

I considered including a shot of how utterly terrified Ron was before the cutaway for commercial, but have you seen all the pictures in this post?  Anyway, either Monkey Fist's brief switch back to calm helped Ron in recovering, or the question of how Monkey Fist could be sure helped.

Plus, while she's not in the shots above, "Kim" is right next to Ron and dropping into a fighting stance as they speak.  So he thinks he's got Kim to protect him.

Monkey Fist tries to attack her, goes right through, and the momentum the attack should have killed takes him right into a wall.

Monkey Fist: She is good.
*Ron looks at "Kim"*
*Ron touches "Kim"*
*"Kim" flickers*
Ron: You're the Holo-Kim!

This was not a good move on Ron's part.  Monkey Fist didn't realize he'd gone through a hologram.  He thought that Kim had somehow dodged or some such.  Now he knows that Ron is the only one there.

That said, it's not like it was a planned move on Ron's part.  More like an exclamation of horror.

Monkey Fist: What!?  Then where is the real Kim Possible?

* * *

Kim has taken to ignoring Larry entirely and we cut to her just as shes starting to watch a Knowing Channel documentary featuring our good old friend Lord Monty Fiske.  Because yeah, the Kimmunicator can do that.  This episode aired in 2002, smartphones were sci-fi back then.  Well, some countries were ahead of the curve (the US was behind it), but real-time streaming video on a portable device of that size ... science fiction.

So when Larry takes a look over Kim's shoulder we get this:

Larry: Is that real-time streaming video?
Kim: Yeah, a Knowing Channel documentary. I'm sure you wouldn't be interested.
Larry: Au contraire. Long have I followed the career of Lord Monty Fiske.

Remember what Kim's dad said last time about Kim knowing better than to judge a book by its cover?  No.  No, she does not.  She takes a look at people and assumes that she knows everything about them.  We'll see this again in episode 18: It Is Positively Inconceivable That A Fashionable Black Girl And A Schlubby White Boy Can Share An Interest Pain King vs. Cleopatra.

If Kim had told Larry about her interests instead of assuming that Larry couldn't possibly share any of them then she would have started out by saying that she just recently met this famous archaeologist she thinks is cool named Lord Monty Fiske and we could have skipped straight to this:

Larry: A little-known fact. He is a master of Tai Shing Pek Kwar.
Kim: *in a bit of shock* What?
*Larry snorts in a "How do you not know this?" kind of way*
Larry: Monkey kung fu?
Kim: *quietly* Monkey kung fu?
*Kim gasps while Larry takes the Kimmunicator from her*
Kim: He was the ninja!

Revelation of who the villain is without Monkey Fist going off on his totally uncalled for villainous rant.  I'll get to the implications of this in a moment, but ...

Placement of quotes is problematic.  This exchange actually goes on for a bit longer, but the rest of it is more about Larry than the revelation on Kim's part and the consequences thereof.  So I guess I'll hold off on the rest of the quote for now.

For now just realize that all Kim had to do was mention Fiske to Larry to figure things out.  In fact, it takes all of 22 seconds to go from Larry saying he's followed the career of Lord Monty Fiske to Kim calling Wade to let him know that Fiske is the bad guy.

That means that if Kim hadn't been such a prejudiced ass Wade would have known that Fiske was the bad guy before Ron and Holo-Kim ever got face to face with Monkey Fist, which would mean that Holo-Kim could have turned Ron right around and gotten out of there.  Ron never would have been in mortal peril.

On the flip side, if Kim weren't such a liar (she could be prejudiced as much or as little as you like in this scenario) then she would have let on that she didn't want to see Larry, would have been available to go to see Fiske on this day, and would thus be there to protect Ron.

It's definitely Wade's fault, not Kim's, that Ron went alone.  That blame can't and shouldn't be shifted.

However it's only because Kim lies to her family, most notably her dad, that she wasn't available.  Without that Wade wouldn't have been able to trick Ron into going alone since the opportunity wouldn't arise.  And it's only because she views Larry as a stereotype in an entirely different pigeon hole than herself (a creepy person that she has nothing in common with), and interacts with him as such, that this revelation is coming too late to actually help.

One last note before we get to the rest of the Kim-Larry scene.

We're back with Kung Fu Ninja again.  Granted here the reasoning is a little bit better than, "Eastern arts are all the same."  Here it's because Kim suspects that the thief, who happened to be a ninja, wanted it for reasons related to magic having to do with a certain type of Kung Fu.  Even so Kung Fu means Ninja is problematic because ... no.

Japan and China are two different places.

Now for the rest of the Kim-Larry scene:

*Larry looks at Kimmunicator*
Larry: Oh, can you play games with this?
*Larry pushes buttons*
Kim: Ron was right; he is bad road.
*Larry holds the Kimmunicator to his ear*
Larry: Hello, away team, do you read me?
Kim: Give me that!
*Kim presses buttons on Kimmunicator.

I... I've got nothing.  Um... 

It's the "Hello, away team, do you read me?" that leaves me flummoxed.  Larry is very much not stupid.  He's not going to think that holding it up to his ear and calling for an away team he doesn't have is going to accomplish anything.  Did he give up on finding out if it could play games so fast that he decided to treat it as a toy?

There are characters who do exactly that sort of thing in all sorts of movies and shows (and real life) but they're nothing like Larry.  Moreover the silly fun with advanced electronics clashes with the fact that he was seriously trying to figure out its capabilities mere seconds ago.

What.  The.  Fuck?

So far Larry has been a nasally voiced person who hasn't been able to engage with Kim (because he's trying all the wrong things) and doesn't seem to realize how much she despises him.  Nothing has set up for this.

He's been presented as too serious and, honestly, humorless for the playful act of taking advanced tech you don't understand and using it as a toy with which you reference sci fi shows.

But the only alternative would be that he actually thinks he's going to magically contact an away team and ... no.  He's been presented as too smart for that.  It's like he was switched out with a different character mid-Kimmunicator-fiddle.

* * *

Back in England Monkey Fist's fight with Ron is interrupted before it can start by "serenity chimes" which lead to Monkey Fist taking a ten second break to "center" (he sits in a meditative pose with his eyes closed.)  Bates says it's because "monkey kung fu is half mental."  Ron thinks "It's completely mental" and bravely runs away.

* * *

Not totally sure what happened between her grabbing it back and here, but it obviously was not something Larry liked.

Kim: Wade, Lord Monty Fiske stole that icon.  I think he believes in mystical monkey power.
Wade: It's worse.  He has the power!  And now he calls himself Monkey Fist!
Kim: And you know that how?
Wade: Ron's in his house right now.
Kim: Why did he go there alone?
Wade: He didn't, exactly... You're with him... sort of.
*Larry now looks interested, perhaps concerned, not angry*
Kim: The Holo-Kim!?

Ok, so, when did it change from an idol to an icon?

Anyway, Kim can now communicate directly with Ron via the Holo-Kim.

Thus we get things like this:

Kim: Ron!
Ron: Kim! Tell me you're real!
Kim: I wish. Wade got carried away with his new gimmick.
. . .
Ron: Gimme a boost.

Kim: Uh, Ron.....I'm not really here, you know.

Everyone involved can see that it's not working.  In fact it leads to this:

Ron's being outrun and outmaneuvered --plus Monkey Fist is the sort to intentionally trigger people and while it isn't leaving Ron immobilized anymore saying "monkey" to him still makes him involuntarily scream in terror-- and back in Larry's room Kim's at loss as to what to do.

Kim: I don't know what to do. If I were there, I could help him, but...
Larry: Give it to me. I have an idea.
Kim: *shouting, angry* This isn't one of your stupid science fiction games, Larry!  Ron's facing a kung fu mutant with bioengineered hands *hesitates* and mystical monkey powers and...
*pause in which Larry just looks at Kim*

Kim: Here.

The beginning of the outburst may be the first time she was honest with Larry in her life.  She thinks his games are stupid, but she's never told him that before.

That's probably why Larry's been having a such a hard time finding common ground.  He's been getting bullshit feedback.  She says she likes things that she doesn't.  She says she's fascinated when she's bored out of her mind.

Anyway, Larry has an idea:

*Ron is boxed in at another dead end and shaking in terror*
*In England a hologram of Larry appears next to Ron*
Ron: Huh? Who are you?
Larry: Kim's cousin Larry, but that's not important.
Monkey Fist: I will no longer be distracted by holograms! Prepare for pain.
Larry: Remember level nine of Fortress? To defeat the Cloud Guardian you must drink from his enchanted well.
*Back in Larry's Room*
Kim: That's supposed to help!?
Larry: Eh; it's a geek thing.

Ron sprints passed Monkey Fist and Bates and heads back into the jade idol room.  In his head he says the words "I must become that which I fear most."

Ron: Hey Monkeys, hit me!

It doesn't look like the magic was created with naked mole rats in mind because while Ron is centered, lifted up, and so forth, Rufus has to hold to keep from being pushed out.  But hold on he does and thus he gets the power too.

Monkey Fist: No!  Mystical monkey power is reserved for me and me alone!
*Ron gets into a monkey Kung Fu stance*
Ron: I must disagree.
*Ron makes monkey sounds*

Cue epic fight between Monkey Fist and Ron in one part, Rufus and Bates in the other.  Rufus wins his fight.

Ron holds his own against Monkey Fist for a while but is eventually pinned to the ground and at Monkey Fist's mercy.

Monkey Fist: Mystical power or not, you have no chance against a master of monkey kung fu!
Ron: That's why I'm pullin' the plug. Rufus! Search and destroy!

Rufus kicks the idols off their pedestals one at a time.  Monkey Fist catches them all:

Remember me ranting higher up about the inconsistency with how the idols were portrayed?  The idol in the background on the right under the candles is one of the four idols.  So how can it be there when Monkey Fist is holding all four of the idols.  Also, they've reverted to their rounded cylinder/bullet-esque shape but when Ron was hit with the power they all had the monkey head with big ears and snout that sticks out shape that the one in the background does.

Monkey Fist drops the one from his mouth into his hands which frees up his mouth for the talking thing.

Monkey Fist: I saved them all!

The one he's holding with his foot magically jumps teleports for a closeup where all four are in his arms.

Monkey Fist: Mystical monkey power will still be mine.

And back down to his foot so that he's forced to stand on one leg (the one not holding an idol) and thus not maneuverable enough to dodge Ron's one liner fight ending knockout kick.

Ron: Monkey this, you hairy freak!

Monkey Fist ends up lying unconscious on the floor surrounded by the now broken idols.  Police cars pull up outside the castle.

* * *

We've finally made it to the end.  The very last scene.  We're back in Larry's Room.

Larry: ... and the rebellion on Bernalus was given such a passing mention in the film.  I wrote my own story about the battle.  You can imagine the debates that raged when I posted it on the fan site, Kim.
Kim: *bored beyond measure* Really?
Larry: I'm not boring you, am I?

And here's the thing.  Larry tries.  He obviously can't read people, not even tone of voice.  Not even over the top body language and over the top tone of voice.  Yet he's trying to make sure that he's not boring Kim and you know that for the past ... twelve to thirteen years probably, every time he asked that question before she lied and said, "No."

That's why Larry is such an unpleasant experience for her.  When things are terrible she gives positive feedback and so things stay terrible because Larry doesn't realize they are terrible for her.  He's taken in by the positive feedback.

This time, though, this time is different.  Is it different because Kim will finally say, "Yeah, I am bored, could we maybe talk about [insert something she's interested in]?"  Not quite.

Ron: No.  No, no, no.  Go on, please.  This is fascinating stuff.
Larry: Hey, you wanna see outtakes from Moon Beyond Ios?
Ron: The deleted footage of the shrieker race?
Larry: Got it at the '99 Tulsa Convention.
Ron: Score!
Kim: You guys are the greatest.  When the chips were down, you both came through.  I'm really proud.
Ron: So you gonna watch with us?
Kim: Not even a chance!  *dismissive*  Later, guys.
*Kim leaves and closes door behind her*
Ron: What?  This is cool stuff, Kim.
Ron: Kim?

The way that she says, "Later guys," is an intonation I associate with, "Later losers," but there is good stuff to pull from this too.

When Kim sees Ron and Larry connecting she smiles at it and seems genuinely happy for both of them.  When she says that there's not even a chance of watching that's as close as we've seen her come to stating her true feelings about Larry's interests she doesn't share outside of the "This isn't one of your stupid science fiction games, Larry!" outburst.

We don't know if she's going to be honest with her dad, we don't know if she'll be honest with Larry in isolation, but we do at least know that when she has Ron there to pass Larry off to she's not going to be putting herself through Hell due to a refusal to be honest.

It's not a lot, but it's an improvement.


And, for the record, this took forever to write and I think I'm getting slower.

* * *

Episode Summation:

Day saved by:
Kim - 0
Ron - 1
Rufus - 1
male not-on-the-team - 1 (Larry)

Kim's Ride Reason:
Tipped them off to an assault

Possible Talk:
Bad Road
(e.g. His Lordship is 500 miles of bad road.)

Camp Wannaweep Phobia:

Don't let you speak your mind about family members

Silently cook breakfast while everyone else is allowed to speak.

Real Friends:
Don't notice when you are mistreated
Insult your preferred pastimes
Are annoyed by your debilitating trauma-induced psychological responses
Lie to You
Trick you into going into dangerous situations alone
Don't give your interests a chance

Climbing Gear
Hair Tie
Jade Monkey Idols


[Previous][Kim Possible: Episode by Episode - Index][Next]
[Kim Possible Index]

- -
- - -
- - - -
- - -
- -

Cumulative Summation:

Day saved by:
Kim - 0
Ron - 3
Rufus - 2
male not-on-the-team - 2

Ron doesn't fit in society's boxes:
He's into fruit flavored lipstick

Camp Wannaweep Phobia:

Number of times Ron has actually lost his pants:

Number of times audience has seen Ron lose his pants:

Are concerned with family image (No Possible has ever gotten detention!)
Don't understand fashion in the least
Go on useless tangential rambling stories only vaguely related to the topic at hand
Don't let you speak your mind about family members

Are generally reasonable.
Get fashion at a glance.
Offer helpful advice.
Silently cook breakfast while everyone else is allowed to speak.

Real Friends:
Hack your bank account -~- Read your diary
Sign you up for jobs you don't want -~- Envy your success
Rescue you from evil schemes -~- Buy you a Jacket
Don't notice when you are mistreated -~- Insult your preferred pastimes
Are annoyed by your debilitating trauma-induced psychological responses
Lie to You -~- Trick you into going into dangerous situations alone
Don't give your interests a chance

Elastic-Constricting Agent lipstick ~-~ Compact
Hair Dryer Grappling Hook Launcher ~-~ Clip On Tie
Climbing Gear ~-~ Parachute ~-~ Hair Tie ~-~ Holo-[Person]
Jade Monkey Idols


* And oh my God, how is it possible that all of my memories of Donald Duck's Playground have been dormant for all these years?

At some point I'm going to have to look through a list of all of the Commodore 64 and TI games and see what else I might have completely forgotten about.  It doesn't take much to jumpstart a memory so who knows what I might end up remembering if I do that.


  1. I don't mind long posts when they're about something I want to read. Nevertheless, I vote for spliting. Because:

    1) four posts instead of two create the pleasant illusion of More Content;
    2) with long posts, at some point, one's eyes might start to glaze over;
    3) people who aren't here for KP would have easier time to scroll past shorter posts.


    1. Thanks for your input. I really appreciate it.

    2. That last part is key.

      Plus it would probably mean you could post more often? Unless you would need to write the whole ep decon before breaking it up to post, but I don't see why.

  2. I have a feeling that the "Kim saves the day" counter is going to be stuck on zero for a very long time in this series, given how often Kim seems unable to do anything related to saving the day.

    I'd also be okay with more posts if it meant that you were able to get thoughts down faster and get less stuck on inertia and things like it.

    1. Actually she has a win coming up. She would lose without an assist from "male not-on-the-team" and wouldn't even be there without ... yeah.

  3. Maybe we can also take a different take on Kim's behavior. She is actually interested in all this stuff, she's not lying to Larry not to fail her dad's expectations, she's lying to herself for the same reason. She knows Larry can't read her tone or body language, and so she keeps the facade of not being interested (to fool herself) while actually giving positive feedback and keeping him going.

    It also explains the apparent contradiction of Ron being her best friend and her dismissing all his interests, she in fact shares those interests and experiences them vicariously through him.

    Then she's not being honest with Ron at the beginning when she complains about Larry, nor at the end when she'll all "bye guys", she's still playing her role. She's always playing it, she's never authentic. How about that?

    1. That reading works too, and it fits with the same general thing. She can get what she wants so long as she doesn't admit, even to herself, that she wants it.

    2. Actually let me add that something like that, though probably not exactly the same, is at work in Being more than a Simulacrum.

      Place starts out exactly like Kim. Most of her differences stem from the knowledge she's a copy, but one of the major differences is just because she doesn't have a Ron by her side to do it for her: she's playful and even childish.

      And on the knowing she's a copy front, that's left her with a way to justify to herself trying (and possibly enjoying) things Kim wouldn't. She doesn't need to fool herself because she's got a reason to take interest in these things: something she likes that Kim doesn't like, or doesn't admit to liking, is something she can use to build her own unique identity.


      The other of the major differences between Place and Kim is almost entirely unrelated, but I'll mention it out of completeness.

      Place is extremely introspective to the point of getting lost in her own head, sometimes in the middle of a conversation. Kim is, very much, directed outward. She's rarely introspective and when she is it's never on the level Place is.

      The reason for this difference is, again, that Place is a copy and knows it. This brings up huge questions of identity and such that turns her attention extremely inward because basically every thought she has carries the question and insecurity "Is that mine, or is that Kim's?"

      The potential angst from that is more or less completely offset by the fun and joy and whatnot that comes from having to be her own Ron since, unlike Kim, she doesn't have an external one.

      She's actually really fun to write.

    3. This definitely got me interested in Simulacrum, I'll save some time to binge read it. =D

      Oh, and I think this reading also explains why she doesn't defend Ron and puts him down. While on the one hand she loves being with him to enjoy her interests, if he's too happy, too successful being his authentic self, she might either be tempted to do it herself (disappointing others' expectations) or have to bear the constant burden of feeling like a coward for not daring it.

      Ron being happy creates a situation where she can't win, so she has to put him down. Which is not to say she's a monster of course, her friendship with him goes way back and it didn't start with any baggage, she does also genuinely like him (they started being friends after both defended the other from bullying after all).

  4. How about the fact that Monkey Fist’s physical appearance changes drastically from Cambodian Monkey Fist to hell-bent villain English Monkey Fist? And not just in a way that can be explained by him slowly slipping into villainous insanity - his hair becoming dishevelled, and dark rings under his eyes - but to the point where his facial features and proportions are completely rearranged? The lines under his eyes disappear in favour of the black shadows, his nose changes shape, his mouth becomes more prominent. I never understood why it was that the animators decided to revamp his look entirely within a single episode. (And it’s not as though it’s an irreversible change linked directly with his descent into insanity - I think the next time you see him in another episode, perhaps the Monkey Ninjas in Space one, you see him practising kung fu in his original ‘neatened’ appearance.)

  5. I always got the impression that Larry spends time with Kim due to parental pressure. It's common for pretend who are friends to expect their kids to also get along to the same degree. The main difference is that Larry is better at faking enjoyment with Kim's company than Kim is at faking enjoyment with Larry's company.