TEoD: Chapter 44: Feel the Burn

Hey, forget about globetrotting and researching and adventuring and Christianing (oh, like we haven’t already).  Let’s follow Michael Murphy to the exotic and thrilling location of…THE GYM!!!

He starts with stretching (which is actually not the best thing to do—stretching cold muscles is counterproductive), then does the step machine then weights.

Hey, remember two chapters ago when I observed that Murphy would not likely have dumped Isis had he not had Summer waiting in the wings?  Well, hey, there’s Summer!  At the gym in the early morning, at the same time as Michael Murphy.

At this point, it kinda feels like she’s stalking him.  Probably Pastor Bob told her Murphy’s schedule.

Of course, Murphy immediately catalogues how hot she is:

Despite the perspiration, she looked quite attractive.  He noticed that the other guys lifting weights around him had slowed down a little and he could see them trying to get a better glimpse of her.  He thought they might want to change places with him.

Oh, and how much more virile better he is than other guys because this hot woman is interested in him.

It sure is disrespectful of Summer, who is trying to have a conversation with him, when Murphy is looking at other guys, cataloguing their envy.  Summer may be the Dark Mistress of Pastor Bob, sent to distract and beguile Murphy, but I still kinda feel for her—she’s not a person to Murphy, just something to make him look better.

Did she ever look bad?  [Murphy thinks]

Um, yes, Murph, I’m sure sometimes Summer looks bad.  I’m sure sometimes she ugly cries, or gets sick, or just has a bad hair day, has bad days like all of us.  Murphy was married for years and is pushing forty, and he still has a thirteen-year-old boy’s view of women—they are just there to look sexy for me.

Summer explains that she’s been coming to this gym for awhile, but this is her first time working out in the early morning.

Oh yeah, she is for sure stalking him.  Pastor Bob is behind this all, I tells ya!

She then mentions that she likes to jog, but doesn’t do it at night because she doesn’t like to be alone outside at night.  This opens Murphy up for his usual condescending platitudes:

“Our world is not always safe.  There are some real weirdos out there.  You made the right decision.”

Yeah, Murph, and aren’t you lucky that you have never had to make a decision like that…cause women have to make about seventeen decisions like that every day.

So they jog together, and Murphy is “impressed how effortlessly Summer kept up with him,” even though it’s only a twenty-minute light jog, and I know lots of people who work out way harder than that.

When they slow to a walk, Summer, like Isis, proves herself far more empathetic than Murphy, and herself asks after Paul and Shari.  Murphy understates that Paul is “not real well,” and that although the police aren’t sure who did it, he has a pretty good idea.

Yeah, it always works out well when you keep to yourself information about an attempted murderer…

And then he proceeds to tell Summer, a woman he has been acquainted with for all of three weeks, all about Talon, thus revealing far more information to her, a volleyball coach, than he did to his old friend and helicopter pilot, Vern, before Vern took on a job for Murphy which ended with his (Vern’s) hospitalization in Turkey.

Hmmm…I wonder why Vern hasn’t been talking with Murphy lately…

Anyway, Summer, like the good little Christian wife-to-be that she probably is, is suitably impressed:

She sat there dumbfounded at the tales of danger and adventure coming from Murphy’s lips.  She had no idea how perilous a life the Preston University archaeologist led.

Yeah, remember that time in this book when Murphy…

Well, then there was that exciting scene where…


Man, it is seriously CHAPTER 44, and Murphy has done NOTHING.

And Murphy is so self-important about all this shit he hasn’t done, that he has the gall to tell Summer that he is on a mission from God, who has “allowed me to become involved in all this for some purpose.”

Yeah, that’s a pretty ballsy statement, considering how many other people (LAURA, Chuck, Señor SEAL, Token Turk, The Nerd, The Dick, Agent Hank Baines, Dr. Anderson, Stephanie Kovacs, at least one cop, and countless security guards at the Parchments of Freedom Foundation) got involved and ended up dead.  But Murphy keeps going:

“The Bible suggests that in the last days, moral and spiritual darkness will increase.”

Yeah, like people not giving a damn if college students are in critical condition in the hospital for days on end after defending their abusive pseudo-girlfriend.

“We are only beginning to see the edge of this darkness.”

We have a title!

“Somehow I think He wants to use me in battling these evil forces.”

There’s that good ole Christian humility again!

For this, Summer immediately brings up Pastor Bob’s sermons…

Hmm…the same Pastor Bob who just convinced Murphy to break up with Isis and go out with her…

“When he talks about the danger of the occult, it disturbs me.  I have to admit I’m really fearful of the occult.”

Yeah.  Terrifying.

Quite a far cry from Isis and her fearless awesomeness.  The woman who took down kidnappers by herself and stayed by herself on Mount Ararat overnight, and now there’s this chick, who is scared by talk of the occult.

I shudder to think what would happen if I snuck up behind her and went BOOGABOOGABOOGA.

So Murphy tells her all about J.B. Sonstad.

She sat there on the bench with her mouth slightly open and never took her eyes off of him.

Oh yeah, Murphy totally traded up.  Real brain trust, this one.

Murphy then mentions that he and Livie might possibly be heading to Israel to look for stuff sometime in the future, maybe, if they can drag themselves off their couches, and we get our first peek into the complicated inner workings of Summer’s mind:

For some reason, Summer felt just a little sad that he wouldn’t be around.

She’s such a deep and nuanced character, I feel like I know her already!

After this conversation, Murphy once again runs down his list of pros of Summer: “athletic and very attractive…and she was easy to talk to.”

“Hmm…size 2, blonde, and lets me lecture endlessly without bothering me with what she’s thinking or feeling.  Sounds like a winner to me!”




Posted on May 20, 2018, in The Edge of Darkness, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. “The Bible suggests that in the last days, moral and spiritual darkness will increase.”

    To hell with anyone who reads the monstrous stories in the Bible and then tells me that “moral and spiritual darkness” has increased in the 21st century.

    • Such increases in darkness as have been seen lately often have something to do with the guy these RTCs put in charge of the US.

  2. she was easy to talk to

    I guess that’s one way of describing a woman who gawks quietly while you preen.

  3. spiritplumber

    “Somehow I think He wants to use me in battling these evil forces.”

    “Wouldn’t you have to like, get good at doing anything then? Start training?”

    “Nah, being completely useless worked great for Buck Williams.”

  4. Easy to talk to, doesn’t interrupt me with awkward questions like “who is Meth and why is he helping you” or “have you noticed how you never actually manage to retrieve any of these artefacts you keep going after”.

    But actually I think there’s a consistency problem here. The standard genre rules of Christian™-brand fiction say that anyone who says they’re a Christian is OK – presumably because when you convert you instantly get the brain-stamp of RTC vocabulary (see Buck Williams), and nobody could fake that. But snark aside, I don’t think we get any instance of someone claiming to be a Christian and turning out to be a villain anyway. (Please correct me if I’ve missed one.) And that’s a really handy rule – for a start it means you can ignore most of your OPSEC, and OPSEC is hard. More specifically, it means that the Murphmeister can ignore all the danger signs of Summer throwing herself at him, because she’s a Christian so she’s OK.

    Except that in this very same book the tent revival guys do claim to be Christian!

    Meanwhile I see Murphy being impressed with Summer’s jogging, because he does his usual middle-aged wheezing shuffle (which in his head is a three-minute mile), and she doesn’t laugh at it.

    • My previous post got eaten, because wordpress doesn’t like links even if it’s to wordpress’ own site apparently but: There’s the Pretender movie Ruby reviewed.

      But as far as RTC stories about fighting the antichrist’s minions, no, infiltration is something the forces of evil are highly uninterested in. The third Apocalypse movie has a scene of an RTC pretending to be with satan towards other RTCs, because he’s trying to root out satanist infiltrators that sometimes infiltrate these groups, but that’s all off-screen. The real reason for that bullshit scene is to preserve dramatic tension and milk it for a conversion scene.

    • spiritplumber

      Styr Magnor in the Underground Zealot series?

  5. He did trade up, Ruby. Give Murphy the choice between an intelectual equal and a fangirl who stares with googly eye while he brags, and we all know which he’d pick.

    • I’d argue that Isis wasn’t Murphy’s intellectual equal, and in fact she was smarter than him early on in this series before the authors started Stepfordizing her. Summer is much closer to Murphy’s level of stupid, and thus much more fitting for him.

  6. InquisitiveRaven

    The issue with stretching has come up before in The Secret on Ararat. As an update, it seems that the issue is static stretching. Dynamic stretching can be an effective warm up, but it needs to be tailored to the workout. I would be willing to bet that the authors have no clue in that department.

    I will note that what we did in my high school was static stretching. I want to experiment with dynamic stretching for my work outs.

  7. The stretching bit seems in character, though. Murphy is the kind of guy who would be full of inaccurate bro-tips rather than doing any research.

  8. Am I granting the authors too much credit if I suggest that Summer’s fawning, impressed behavior is either her trolling Michael or trying to gain his trust by stroking his inflated ego? (It would add a much-needed dollop of Interesting to this boring shlock.)

    • That’s certainly the way I see it, But then I live out in the fallen world, not in RTCdom where nobody ever has hidden motives.

      • You mean, no one who doesn’t talk about Jesus once every interaction has any hidden motives?

        Over at LoveJoyFeminism they reviewed some RTC legal persecution porn where the charity that used the case of the poor beleagured homeschooling, spanking mom and her awesomely handsome Christian lawyer against the horrible evil child protection services to raise money, but it was run by a con man who kept most of it himself. That was a surprise to see.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for May 25th, 2018 | The Slacktiverse

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