Soon: Chapter 30: Drinking and Ignorance
I’m rewatching Dollhouse. My father hasn’t seen it, got hooked while watching a five-minute clip (which I was using to show him what Jamie Bamber’s accent sounds like), and now we’re watching the whole series, from the beginning, whenever we visit.
My father, a huge fan of the original Mission: Impossible, The Man from UNCLE, and other classic spy shows, loves the technology of Dollhouse. He is fascinated by the different types of assignments the dolls have, how some are altruistic, some are for hire, some are just self-serving, etc.
But watching from the beginning, I find myself most fascinated by what people know, and when they know it. We just saw some Big Reveals (which I won’t specify because if you haven’t seen the show, OMG WATCH IT), and the backlash of those reveals is what sucks me in: the relationships between people who think they are talking to a friend, or an enemy, but are actually…not.
Yeah, it’s awesome. Dark and spooky and awesome. Pic from Fevered Mutterings.
Anyway, it seems apropos to the section of the story I’ll hit today, wherein Paul finds out several things that I consider to be of great significance to the story and Atheistopia, but which Paul doesn’t even seem to notice.
Paul goes to see Harriet Johns for about two minutes. The Big Reveal that I consider quite significant here is that she has NO IDEA that the Christian cell and Specs were unarmed when the army moved in. In fact, she thinks that Specs was:
“…kind of a beach bum, apparently, but heavily armed. They tried to bring him in, but he wouldn’t come without a fight.”
Paul and Harriet are the only two people in the room. She is not using the “cover story” with him–this is what she really believes.
You might think that this would be an opportunity for Paul to clue in Harriet to what’s really going on–NPO agents and the army moving in on unarmed civilians in her jurisdiction.
You would be wrong.
Paul lets the evil atheist continue in her completely wrong facts, and instead asks after Tyrone and other infiltrators. We find out more interesting things: that Tyrone wasn’t just “in it for the money,” he was “a street person, a junkie.”
Um, didn’t we find out that Atheistopia all but wiped out homelessness back when Paul was in New York? Must have been hard for them to find someone like Tyrone.
Harriet describes him as “collateral damage.” That is pretty frakking cold, but she is an evil atheist, after all.
Paul, who didn’t object to Harriet’s “facts” about Specs and the others, has some things to say (well, to vaguely hint at) about the infiltrators:
“Everybody on the task force has to know who the infiltrators are. We could kill them without knowing it.”
This is a sound argument.
The very next sentence…
Paul’s true worry is revealed:
Paul dreaded the thought that he might already have been exposed to other infiltrators.
Ahhhh. So now we see what’s really worrying you, eh, Paul? Not the thought that NPO operatives might get caught in the crossfire, but the thought that you might be shown to be a double agent.
(This is a patently ridiculous worry, anyway. If a NPO operative on the inside ever accused Paul of being disloyal to Atheistopia, Paul could easily explain away all of his kissing up to the Christians by saying that he is just using his Ph.D. knowledge of the Bible to gain their trust.)
That Big Reveal over, we head back to the Allendo mansion, where it is PARTY TIME, YEAH BABY.
Tiny has a sweeeeet game room, where he and Ranold and a couple of nameless movie execs are playing poker, drinking, and hanging with some young hotties.
So, it’s basically a miniature Sodom and Gomorrah in Tiny’s basement.
After all, the basement is that much closer to HELL.
Tiny invites Paul to join the game, and of course Paul declines. After all, he may play chess for trophies, but playing poker for pennies is just plain SINFUL.
As is drinking, even in the company of friends, even when there is no chance you’ll be driving, because GOOD CHRISTIANS DON’T DRINK.
Ranold has been enjoying himself, and Paul notes that Ranold is talking “much too loudly and boozily.”
Remember, a mere six months ago, Paul was drowning his sorrows in Scotch that was not his own. This reads less like Paul being a good, sober Christian, and more like Paul being an obnoxious, hypocritical, condescending prick.
Who drinks other guys’ scotch.
(In the story in my head, Ranold’s excessive drinking here is not because he is an evil atheist, but because the raid brought back memories of the loss of his friends back in the war. This would tie in nicely with the idea that Ranold is operating from his longstanding anger.)
But no, I guess Ranold is just a boozy heathen. Figures.
But Ranold is a boozy heathen who knows what really went on during that raid.
Tiny, however, has no idea:
“Crackpot hacker–with guns.”
So, Tiny doesn’t know, Harriet doesn’t know. It appears that the only people who do know that the Christians were unarmed were the soldiers who were actually on the inside.
But…does Ranold even know? After all, he was not inside during the raid, and now, back in Tiny’s home, so drunk that he’s loud and slurring, says this:
“…we weren’t going to stand there and be cut down.”
So Ranold is either Just That Good at keeping up the story, or…
He doesn’t know, either.