Persecuted, Part 2
So I can tell this is going to be an interesting one right off the bat, because COMMENTS:
Gram Pol said:
“I hate to say it but I’m going to go easy on John for running away at the end. I mean, he did just suffer head trauma severe enough to render him unconscious for a good stretch of time.”
So this is a good point. Having had a Grade III concussion myself, I give John credit for being able to run at all. Granted, he only makes it a few hundred yards before collapsing again, and he does not stop when he hears sirens, which is still kinda odd. I mean, as far as John knows, he is the victim of a strange sort of carjacking. He has no reason to suspect that any kind of political plot or lies are involved. So why not run right TO the police? “Hey, I was knocked out and my car was stolen!”
Oh well. So I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for that, but not for what happens after. John collapses again, and doesn’t wake until broad daylight the next morning. (Meaning that the bad guys have had a good eight hours to get their story out there, but John doesn’t know that.)
Also, the cops who were rushing to the scene didn’t find him? They didn’t think to sweep a perimeter of even a couple hundred yards?
Anyway, John wakes up and almost immediately finds a gas station. The decrepit old pay phone outside is long gone, so he heads inside. He asks to use the men’s room (not the phone???) and the attendant tells him it’s for paying customers only. Nothing daunted, John proceeds to drink some soda from the machine (nice!) and splash some water on his face from the little bar sink.
And then he STILL doesn’t ask to use the phone!
Now, something weird starts to happen, and this is just such a good example of RTC movies not understanding how normal people think and talk. The attendant, and several others, act as though John is a homeless guy. Like, NO, man, you gotta pay to use the restroom. Except John does not look at all like a homeless person right now. He looks like a person who has been attacked or had an accident. He’s wearing business clothes, only slightly rumpled, and has blood splattered down the side of his face. Yet nobody seems the slightest bit concerned about this.
Then John ramps up his asshole rating by asking the attendant, “Don’t you know who I am?”
Oh yeah, John, I guess TV preachers get all the free soda they want, but us regular peons can just BUY some, right?
“No idea,” answers the attendant. This stops John dead in his tracks. Seriously, he looks deeply emotionally pained that this random woman doesn’t know him by sight. So, he just heads out. Again, WITHOUT ASKING TO USE THE PHONE.
Now, if this was any other movie, this would all be signs of John’s hubris, and we would be confident that by story’s end, he would have a bit more perspective.
But for now, John wanders onto the road, and IMMEDIATELY a van pulls up. It has a SUMAC bumper sticker (the same SUMAC featured on the signs of some of the protesters from Part 1), and a bunch of religious symbols like you see on a COEXIST bumper sticker. The driver, a woman with “Helping Hands,” also bizarrely thinks he’s homeless, and offers him water and doughnuts. Seeing not one, but TWO crosses around her neck, I guess John assumes she’s one of the good ones, because her phone is deemed good enough for his precious self. John calls his wife (not 911???), and Monica fills him in on what’s been happening: the police are at the house, his “relapse” involving drug possession and killing a young girl is all over the news, and Monica in fact cautions him against coming home, even though he has no wallet, no phone, and no car.
Um, okay? WTH, movie? As they said in The Fugitive, “running only makes you look guilty.” And again, Richard Kimble had the very good excuse that he had already been convicted of the crime. The crime here isn’t even ten hours old, so why not hoof it back home and get in a hospital, take a drug test, take a polygraph, do everything possible to prove your innocence and try to get the real killer(s)???
But instead they just hang up, and John doesn’t even say “I love you” or even “goodbye.” Nice guy.
Meanwhile, Senator X-Men is playing the whole my-heart-goes-out-to-his-family-but-justice-must-be-served card like a pro. And the Helping Hands lady, who I guess has nothing better to do, drops John off at a Catholic church (????), where he meets up with an old priest friend.
The priest friend of course believes in John’s innocence, and lets John in on the whole conspiracy business. Okay, he actually has no idea who is doing this, only why:
“…by the grace of God, you were able to bring yourself up from the depths of degradation and form a wonderful ministry that has spoken the truth to millions of people. Now, those who believe in nothing must bring you down…”
Let that be a lesson to all Christians. Better your life, and atheists will try to ruin it. Those MONSTERS!
Yeah, bet you never guessed that all this would be blamed on the god-free.
The priest, like John’s wife, convinces him not to turn himself in, because “I think you know how that will turn out.”
Yeah, those evil atheist cops and atheist lawyers and judges and atheist polygraphs!
So instead, they pick Plan B: “prove the truth.”
Wouldn’t a big part of proving the truth be showing your injuries from being attacked and framed, you idiot??!!?!
Nope, proving the truth begins with John taking a shower and washing away as much physical evidence as possible. Then the priest gives him a wad of cash and a change of clothes and a car. Thus equipped, John immediately sets off on his mission…
TO FIND A HOTEL!!!
Seriously, movie? SERIOUSLY???
Look, if John needs sleep so badly, sleep at the damned church. Or if you have to go somewhere immediately (though it’s very clear he feels no pressing need to do so), then sleep in the damned car. But don’t go to a hotel with the news of your fugitive-ness being broadcast on the lobby TV, try to bribe your way into a room, then act surprised when things go south.
Indeed, the young girl manning the front desk is immediately suspicious of this man with open wounds on his face, wearing sunglasses at night (so he can, so he can keep track of the visions in his eyes). Like a good Christian, he tries to bribe her with a $100 bill. She pulls the “just give me one minute to check something, sir,” and makes a call, but when she turns back…John has escaped.
What this really is, mind you, is a direct ripoff of the scene in North by Northwest where Roger Thornhill, also on the run from the police, is trying to secure a train ticket. Except Roger really needed to get on a particular train, whereas John apparently just wants a comfier bed than the priest can provide (oh, wwwwww…).
And now John is out $100, whereas Roger not only didn’t waste any money on an attempted bribe, but managed to get on the train anyway.
Deciding that he hasn’t done quite enough stupid things that could easily get him caught, John then heads…TO HIS OWN FREAKING HOUSE.
GORRAMIT, MAN, WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU???
Yeah, he goes to his own house, not even in disguise or anything. The place his wife specifically told him not to go. The place that he must know is being staked out by the cops, just in case the murderer would be so immensely stupid as to go to his own HOUSE when he is wanted for MURDER.
This is really just so we can see that Brad Stine is over there, opening a bottle of champagne (no, really), and trying to put the moves on Monica (who, for some reason, I keep wanting to call Melissa). Now, he’s doing it in a very Christian, not-actually-touching-her way, but his intent is clear. He acts all sympathetic and stuff, but, like a good Christian wife, MonicaMelissa says nothing…actually, she literally says nothing when Brad asks her point blank if she has had contact with John, letting him assume the negative. So we know MonicaMelissa would fit in just fine in the Left Behind series.
Having thus seen Brad’s car in his driveway, and thus given himself one more thing to worry about, John drives away, cunningly turning his head to the side when he passes the cop car staked out at his own house.
But apparently the cops are not brain scientists either, because they don’t notice the lone occupant of a car, driving very slowly down a suburban street and stopping in front of the very house they are watching.
This is too much stupid for one session. Next time, John (might) begin his extremely time-sensitive investigation into the frame job.
Once he finds a nice, cozy bed, that is.