Monday, April 2, 2012

Are you a man? Or are you an NPC?

Gotta give credit where credit is due: In the beginning, Ellanjay manage to create the slight possibility of actual suspense regarding Judd and Lionel's situation. They're being held prisoner by a GC officer and his son. Not to mention,
Samuel's dad aka Mr. Goldberg aka can anyone name a single Jewish character who doesn't have a Jewy McJew kind of name, tells them that while most of their friends manage to escape, one didn't. He refuses to say which one but obviously St. Rayford and Our Buck are safe, Our Buck because he hasn't reached the appointed time and hour in which he must die (frankly I'm surprised Jenkins was able to go through with killing his beloved self-insert) and because Rayford is the friggin' highlander by virtue of being Tim LaHaye's self-insert.

Anyway Judd, like an idiot, rushes somebody with a gun which goes off but nobody isi hurt. Lionel, Judd, and Samuel race down a secret passage and Samuel leads them to an apartment building where they are greeted by a woman wearing a veil. At first, I was briefly hopeful that we had finally gotten a character who is both of a different faith from RTCianity yet is opposed to the GC. Naturally I assumed she and her husband were Muslims (husband's name is Jamal) but obviously that can't be the case because everyone knows that followers of other faiths don't really believe in their faith, they just hate Jesus but they'll be sorry, you'll see. Anyway, naturally Jamal and his wife are RTCs like all good people in this story.

Chapter ends by going back to Mark. He discovers that said aunt he was looking for has died and been cremated. Still don't remember if said aunt was an RTC or if she's being slow-roasted in Hell, but this whole trip was probably a plot contrivance (in an Ellanjay story? Surely you jest) to get him away from the YTF so he can discover what happened to Melinda: she's handcuffed in the back of a GC squad car.

Now naturally you know Melinda will be rescued. By virtue of having a name that means she's not just an NPC who can be sacrificed like a used kleenex just to prove a point. I will give Ellanjay credit: they actually come up with a decent action scene for Melinda's rescue. I don't know how realistic it all is with the GC being helpless against a kid armed with a brick and a motorcycle but I'll allow this because I'm so desperate for something to happen. What happens is this: Mark throws a brick into a shopfront window, setting off an alarm which distracts the GC and enables him to grab Melinda and they ride off together on the motorcycle.

Back to the characters who actually matter according to Ellanjay: Judd and Lionel. Basically, Jamal, who is currently holding the Braincells around here, tentatively suggests that having the son of a GC officer, especially one who has already tried to sell them out before, is a somewhat bad idea. Strangely enough, Judd actually cooperates with this guy (who is one step above being an NPC) and they slip out, promising to make sure that Samuel doesn't rat out the people Jamal is hiding.

They talk to Samuel who tells them that Mr. Stein is in captivity and is severely beaten. Samuel still hasn't said the prayer but no doubt he will because all the damned are off-screen.

Meanwhile Melinda and Mark struggle to escape the GC dragnet. Now back to Judd and Lionel.

Surprisingly enough, it's Lionel who is walking Samuel through the scripture, not Judd. I was certain that Judd, by virtue of being both the main character and a mini-Rayford, would be given this all-important task, rather than Lionel, who plays the part of the Token Black Guy who exists to prove that the hero isn't racist by virtue of being black. Anyway fear not, readers: Lionel's speech is essentially "Jesus is God. The Bible says so, " so those of y'all dreading long lectures, fear not. But Samuel doesn't immediately go, "Oh shit! Baptize me now!" Instead he says he has to go meet his father, leaves some money for them, and runs off. But not before Lionel slips him a scrap of paper with a Bible verse on it. The smart aleck in me hopes that the verse in question is Ezekiel 23:20 but it'll probably be something along the lines of John 3:16 aka the RTCs go-to verse. Naturally the next time we see Samuel, he will have happily abandoned Jewish teachings and become a good and faithful RTC. Because he is a man and not an NPC.


Apocalypse Review said...

Huh! I'd totally have expected Judd to be a bit more action-hero-y considering he's the mini-Rayford but I guess script immunity means he also needs to be a gormless lump while dudes like Samuel actually do things.


L&J could have written a good teenage-action-hero kind of parallel to LB, but instead they just seem to have transferred the do-nothingism to Judd and Vicki.

Firedrake said...

"Oh, and some other guy didn't make it. But he was probably not-really-saved anyway."

Um, how did Mark get Melinda out of the handcuffs?

I rather get the feeling that, in this world, everyone's an NPC except for God.

aunursa said...

Not to mention,

Well let's see...

* Chava Stein
* Chaim Rosensweig
* Tsion ben Judah
* David Hassid
* Eleazar Tiberias
* Naomi Tiberias

The only Jewish or Israeli character in the series without a extra-Jewishy name is Jesus Christ.

aunursa said...

Rats, I should have previewed. The quote to which I was responding was this...

Not to mention, Samuel's dad aka Mr. Goldberg aka can anyone name a single Jewish character who doesn't have a Jewy McJew kind of name,

hidden_urchin said...

"Um, how did Mark get Melinda out of the handcuffs?"

God did it.