TEC: Chapter 5: Back…Again…with Shane and Stephanie

Bet you guys can’t guess what Chapter 5 in The Secret on Ararat was about!

Yup, it was about Shane meeting with the Seven (who will, as always, Stop at Nothing) to discuss their plans about Michael Murphy.

This time, Bob Phillips throws us a curve ball by having Shane and Stephanie discuss their plans for Michael Murphy.

First, though, we need to be clear on the fact that women who have sex are filthy whores:

[Stephanie] could see the emptiness in her eyes as she looked in the mirror to put on her lipstick.

Do you like being a mistress?  Is it worth the price?

Sorry, Bob Phillips, but Stephanie is still nobody’s mistress.  She is single and Shane is divorced.  They can both sleep with whomever they want.

Stephanie is upset because she “had sold her own pride and self-image for an extravagant lifestyle, for power and influence, and to further her career as a news journalist.”

Um, okay.  The power part I get–they established that in Babylon.  And the extravagant lifestyle I get, as Shane has plenty of money and also is happy to spoil her.  But sell g her own pride and self-image?  She’s dating somebody!  What is so wrong?

And as for furthering her career, well…maybe.  But Stephanie was already a household name long before she started dating Shane, so he can’t have helped her in that way too awfully much.

Stephanie is on a date with Shane in his penthouse, and it appears that Phillips has pushed the reset button on the series.  See, last we left Shane and Stephanie, he had laid all his cards on the table for her, telling her about the Seven and how they owned his ass, and how they were obsessed with Michael Murphy because he sees the End Times coming.

Yet now, Shane inexplicably plays cat-and-mouse with Stephanie, sending her off to visit Murphy and sit in on his classes, simply because “we haven’t had a good news story in a couple of weeks” (really???).  So Stephanie also plays dumb, like “okay, if that’s what you want” casual.  So even though they’ve been together for over a year and he’s told her his secrets, Phillips still tells us that their relationship is “empty.”

The chapter ends with Stephanie giving Shane a hug, which he (correctly) interprets as an invitation for sex.  But we can’t say “sex”… when the monogamous couple is going to have sex.  Instead, Barrington coyly tells himself that “I’ll have a good evening tonight.”  Right on, dude.



Posted on February 1, 2016, in The Europa Conspiracy. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Frankly, theirs still sounds like a healthier relationship than any demonstrated in probably any other of the reviewed works on here.

  2. Obviously, a woman shouldn’t expect to obtain any benefits from a relationship, except for the tightly circumscribed Godly benefits that she gets from a proper Christian relationship.

  3. I am, as LaHaye/Phillips intended, grossed out by the implication that Stephanie finds the sex degrading and only Shane enjoys it.

    However, unlike what they intended, Shane is rather far down on my list of fictional men who I find it easy to believe that about. (Paul Stepola heads the list, followed by Rayford Steele, Cameron Buck Williams, and, oh yeah, Michael Murphy.)

    • It is my personal opinion that Paul Stepola should be at (or at least near) the top of any list involving the ‘Worst Fictional Men’ or ‘Fictional ‘Heroes’ Who Believably Do Bad Things.’ Seriously, he’s worse than most villains in his pettiness and self-absorbed posturing.

      Oh, and the whole ‘genocide of billions’ thing, can’t forget that.

      • In terms of “casualties inflicted by a literary villain while pretending to be a hero,” he’s up there with dudes in Warhammer 40,000 who order Exterminatus.

        That is not a compliment.

  4. Aww, I had almost forgotten about these two! Sucks that the Word of LaHaye has to interfere in their relationship and start redeeming* Stephanie.

    * ‘Redemption’, of course, being much closer to brainwashing than actual redemption in one of these books.

    • Yeah, I wonder if at any point these two will start to matter. Because I don’t think we’d have missed anything if we cut their scenes out from the previous two books.

      • You have a point. Looking back, it doesn’t really seem like they’re actually [em]doing[/em] anything now that you mention it, even for LaHaye characters. The most Shane’s done in terms of being evil is hand out scholarships and offer Murphy a job, and Stephanie’s just reported on what happened with an angle that wasn’t completely pandering to RTC-ism.

        Seriously, why did the Seven (They’ll stop at nothing!) go through all the trouble to recruit Shane in the first place if he was just going to outsource all of his actual spy work to Paul anyway?

    • Now see, if this were fundamentalist Mormon fiction, all three of Stephanie, Isis, and Shari would be redeemed* by Michael Murphy. And I’m not even sure the fundamentalist Mormon part is needed, because I get the impression that Murph is allowed to have whatever woman he wants and the only thing holding him back is Michael Murphy.

      *If it were a slash fic, Shane would.

  5. One thing RTCs can draw really well is relationships where each party is using the other and nobody really feels happy about it. Huh, what a surprise.

  6. Barrington seems like a much better guy than Michael ever was. At least he might actually be fun to hang out with.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for February 5th, 2016 | The Slacktiverse

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