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03 February 2014 @ 02:02 pm
Night Vale: The Deft Bowman  
Once again Night Vale takes up a real world issue and gives it their wonderfully bizarre spin. Also, things continue to get creepy.


I've read a lot of reactions to the latest episode and how the conclusion of Megan Wallaby finally getting a full body is parallel to someone undergoing gender reassignment. Clearly it's not the same thing on the surface for obvious reasons. But certain elements involved such as Megan having to adjust to her new life and her parents also having to adjust to her new life is similar. I personally didn't specifically think this was related to gender reassignment. Rather, I thought the parallel spoke to anyone who has struggled with undergoing significant physical changes in order to be feel like they are the person they want to be. Transgender falls into this category but so do people receiving artificial limbs, reconstructive surgery, cosmetic surgery, physical therapy, etc. It's about adjustment to a new life, receiving acceptance, and hoping for a bright future. In that way, I sort of got emotional when Cecil speculated that one day he might be able to greet Megan on the street and she would reply in a happy, childlike voice...coming out of a middle-aged Russian male body. Same with Megan's parents being so supportive of what their daughter wanted and needed. So once again, good job, Night Vale for tackling a very real world issue in your lunatic way.

On the plot front, time travel keeps rearing its ugly head as someone how being related to whatever is happening in Night Vale. Did the citizens of Nulgorsk get killed in the 80s and Night Vale has been communicating with their past incarnation? Or some OTHER town pretending to be Nulgorsk? Or...is Night Vale Nulgorsk in the future? I'm so confused. I'm sure we'll eventually know about 7 years after Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor figure it out.

Also, we get to meet a representative from StrexCorp. I wasn't exactly sure what I was expecting but Lauren Mallard is the sort of person who would work for a company like StrexCorp. She's very "personable" and "works well with others" but clearly has her company's agenda in mind. It's also been made clear that StrexCorp is very aware of Carlos' movements in a way that suggests that Carlos isn't part of StrexCorp. Which on one hand, hooray! Secretly Evil Carlos feels like less of a thing. But at the same time, there's now a target sign that's getting painted on Carlos' back. Again, something that we probably won't get a payoff for within the next five years but it just adds to this overall feeling of StrexCorp sharpening their weapons and drawing in closer.
 
 
 
X-parrotxparrot on February 3rd, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC)
I think the most interesting thing about the episode was actually the title, which I didn't realize the significance of until a Tumblr post - but given the year in question, it's pretty clearly referring to this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Able_Archer_83
(which I'd never heard of before but one, scary, and two, hmmmmm)

I was kind of assuming Nulgorsk was an alternate reality (AU Night Vale??) but with that - was Nulgorsk all a ruse? have to listen to the ep again though.

Meanwhile Cecil gave his boyfriend's name to Strex, CECIL WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!?!?! (though yeah it doesn't look like Carlos is a Strex scientist. and also Strex seems to believe Carlos is a real scientist? Though I was really curious why Lauren was able to quote bits of Cecil's show but didn't seem to have Carlos's name from it...like she needed Cecil to actually say it to her. ...not that I think this will actually have any bearing on future canon events but it's fic fodder!)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 3rd, 2014 10:31 pm (UTC)
I'd never heard of Able Archer 83 but damn, that is scary. I wonder if Nulgorsk is an AU Night Vale or just a town in an alternate universe where Able Archer 83 did result in nuclear war. I feel like Night Vale is somehow at the center of alternate realities and that's why we have doubles and time shifts. Or what seems like time shifts.

Though I was really curious why Lauren was able to quote bits of Cecil's show but didn't seem to have Carlos's name from it...like she needed Cecil to actually say it to her. ...not that I think this will actually have any bearing on future canon events but it's fic fodder!)

Maybe there's something in Cecil saying Carlos' name directly to Lauren that gives StrexCorp some sort of leverage or ability that they couldn't get through just Cecil saying it as part of his show. That feels like how you have to invite vampires into homes.

and also Strex seems to believe Carlos is a real scientist?

I'm really starting to lean into the idea that Carlos is a scientist but has given up trying to act "normal" in Night Vale and just does and says insane things to fit in better. According to Lauren, he did resolve that Orange Grove problem so that suggests he does have some scientific abilities.
X-parrotxparrot on February 3rd, 2014 11:16 pm (UTC)
Night Vale being at the eye of a reality hurricane...or however that works...would explain a lot!

My brother's belief is that Carlos has given up and is just being completely sarcastic all the time, whenever he talks about science. I lean myself more towards Night Vale having broken Carlos to the point that he doubts all his past scholarship and possibly his entirely existence before he came to town. (either that or you can't actually enter Night Vale at all unless you're already having some kind of existential crisis...)
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on February 4th, 2014 12:08 am (UTC)
you can't actually enter Night Vale at all unless you're already having some kind of existential crisis...

For whatever reason I find that idea rather lovely. It puts Hiram McDaniels' favorite memory from the new "Condos" episode into a new light.