About Hurting And Hearing – Chapter 8, Act 1, Strip 31

Well, the laws of physics hold sway, after all, and the bigger guy with the bigger energy reserves easily outviolences Professor Mortis an her team – regardless of the great deal of practical experience that deal has with regards to the liberal application of excessive violence. You can’t beat physics!

Or at least that’s the interpretation I would prefer to explain the inevitability of this outcome. The alternative explanation involves the similarly unbending rules of script-writing, which include such things as the oft-mentioned principle of Chekov’s Gun. There would have been absolutely no purpose to let Latho offer its advice so often and at such length, and have it ignored by the heroes in the most explicit of ways, if that advice would have ultimately turned out to be wrong or irrelevant.

While Mopey is sometimes genre-savvy enough to avoid that kid of trap, that factor isn’t reliably in her favor – it depends on the need of the plot, naturally, and here the plot required her to step right into it. The trap, I mean, but I guess the sentence would work without that added specification in basically the same way. More, if not entirely, reliable is her ability to learn from her mistakes, and she does so immediately and with verve…well, with as much verve as once can muster after having been thrown through the air and then been trampled by a guy with an unspecified but supernaturally large amount of body mass. She is now, finally, willing to listen to the advice Latho had been unsuccessful in offering for so long. By hurting Mopey badly enough to bring her that far, the bad guy might very well have undermined his apparent victory…

More on Monday.

2 Replies to “About Hurting And Hearing – Chapter 8, Act 1, Strip 31”

  1. Fortunately, the necessities of writing also work in the favor of the good guys in the way of heroic resolve. You can’t have the bad guys winning 15-30 minutes into the movie and then the movie is over; your audience will feel cheated. I mean, they’ll still feel cheated anyway but not the right KIND of cheated.
    Walking away from 30 minutes of your life wasted will generally leave your audience with enough resolve to ask for their money back. At the 60-90 minute mark though, they’ll generally be too drained to accomplish that. Oh sure, they’ll tell themselves they’ll do it later; but thankfully forget the whole thing thanks to failing to anticipate that drinking until they forget the experience also means they forget about the whole refund-thing as well.

    1. Yeah, that’s pretty much one of the most important rules in B-movie script writing: if the audience ends up thinking “Well, that was a waste of time”, it’s okay because they’ve seen too much of the movie to claim a refund. If they think “Well, this is going to be a waste of time”, it’s a lot more critical. That’s why it’s important to maintain a sufficient amount of loose threads in a B-movie plot – that way, the audience will (hopefully) reserve judgement until the payout. And then only realize there isn’t going to be one when the end credits start to roll. XD

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