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[personal profile] hjsnapepm

Welcome to my brain. Sometimes it's a strange and cracky place to be, as this post demonstrates.

Dexter/The Pretender

I should be angry. After all, this man has taken away my first official playmate. However, what I’m feeling right now can’t be anger, which is one emotion I am familiar enough with to recognize. No, right now I can’t help but feel intrigued.

The line between Jarod and Dexter is a thin one to begin with, so of course I jump straight from there to Dexter and Jarod both targeting the same criminal, with Dex showing up right when Jarod's doing his thing. Cue Dex making sure his victims see what they've done to earn a place on his table, instead of just killing them.

Inception/The Pretender

Professor Miles and Sydney had known each other for years. They were contemporaries at The Centre during its heyday in the 1960s and their roles in the madness that it spawned--Sydney for The Pretender Project and Miles for Inception--haunt them to this day.

At first it was just because I've never been able to look at a Halliburton and not think of the DSA player Jarod stole when he escaped, but then I rewatched Pretender for the first time in years and, gosh, it seems like the dream-sharing technology would be just the type of thing The Centre would help develop. Then there was the Inception room on SL-27 and my mind just took off from there.


You were right when you said I was never a follower of Rambaldi.

This is the big one. It started out as a joke but now I can't look at the series any other way.

There was a challenge over at [livejournal.com profile] jjverse where we had to write how we would have wanted our show/movie to end and for me, that meant one thing: Jack doesn't die. I've had silly bits of headcanon floating around since the finale aired that maybe Jack got the magic Rambaldi liquid of immortality on him when he blew up the cave, but it was always too messy and improbable for me to really get behind.

I figured it would be a heck of a lot easier to write about if he was already immortal when he blew up the cave and that only made any sense to me if he was Rambaldi. After all, Rambaldi discovered a way to become immortal. It wouldn't make much sense for him not to use it on himself. Rambaldi was Jack's age when he supposedly died and, as we saw with those centuries-old flowers in season two, Rambaldi-induced immortality doesn't necessarily mean you have to look 500 years old to be 500 years old. Heck, it even explained--in a cracky way--why young!Jack is never actually a younger actor like young!Irina, just Victor Garber with badly dyed hair. There is no such thing as young Jack Bristow because he doesn't age.

Exhibit A: 57 year old Victor Garber as 30-something Jack.

The ending did work pretty well that way: Sloane finally got what he wanted--immortality--but Rambaldi ultimately beat him anyway by trapping him in the cave. So I wrote this, got my team some points and tried to move on. Except I couldn't. The cursory bits of research I did when I wrote that got me thinking. Nothing I found outright contradicted the Jack-is-Rambaldi theory and most of it seemed to support it way more than I expected.

There were a couple of holes in the theory from what I remembered about the series, so I started rewatching with Jackbaldi in mind. I took notes. Lots of notes. I used up two pens and most of a composition notebook. Every last one of those holes turned out to be a hole in my memory instead of a hole in the theory.

First thing's first. The Eye of Rambaldi flashes on Victor's name in the first and third season credits.

Exhibit B: The Eye in the credits (Season 1) and Jack surrounded by The Eye on a bunch of monitors (Season 4). I'm not gonna lie, I giggled when I saw it.

Exhibit C: (Season 3) The focus shifts from a vial of living tissue found in a container marked Milo Rambaldi to AN EXTREME CLOSE-UP OF JACK'S FACE. Yeah, I lol'd.

When Irina wondered how Jack never got caught up in the Rambaldi obsession and he said he had something neither Irina or Sloane had, ie Sydney? Yeah, he didn't say it was Sydney at all like I thought he did, Irina said it. He just lets it hang there and gets up and tries to walk away. (If the commentary is to be believed, they never intended for anyone to say it was Sydney. It was supposed to be even more ambiguous, but a network note asked them for some clarification.) He didn't even really have her anyway because he pushed her away. What he had was a very good reason not to fall for the Rambaldi obsession: he was Rambaldi and, frankly, he was sick of the hype.

But what about the Irina box? Surely he wouldn't have married her if he was the one who made the box, andandand--I am an idiot. *facepalm* He didn't know her name was Irina when he married her. And it is very much canon that his feelings for Irina blinded him to a lot of her more suspicious moments.

OK, and how about the number 47? How could I possibly tie that to Jac--oh. Jack Bristow. Four and seven letters. Heh.

Nadia! Out of everyone, Nadia would know because of her visions and how the heck could she possibly have acted naturally around him if she knew he was, like, 500 years old? Surely, she would have been weird around him, but I don't remember...

Exhibit D: Nadia's lingering stares through a good chunk of season 4.

(I personally believe she confronted him about who he really was, probably when he woke her from her coma for information, and their interesting relationship was formed because of whatever understanding they reached. Like, he said he was sorry and he promised to do whatever he could to help her, but Sydney came first. It makes her death even more tragic to me, especially since he was the one who found her. He knew she died because Sloane chose Rambaldi and there was nothing he could do to stop it.)

Jack survives extreme levels of radiation (!!!) by hallucinating a doctor who could help him. A doctor with an unusually long-lived rat named Milo. Jack, your subconscious is amusing.

We know nothing about Jack's family other than an off-hand remark about how his only memories of his father are of him leaving. We know nothing of Jack himself before about 1970, which is interesting. Also, Jack's canon skill-set coincides quite well with Rambaldi's.

There isn't a huge leap between Jack-the-skeptic and Jack-the-cynic, and I can easily see five hundred plus years alive turning Rambaldi into a man like Jack. A man who once sought out immortality but quickly found out it wasn't such a good thing, who carries around a huge amount of guilt that his own predictions put his daughter's life at risk. Distancing himself from Sydney makes sense, too. One day, he's going to have to see her die, even if it's only from old age. Maybe if he isn't as close, it won't hurt as much.

He's a man who will stop at nothing to keep someone else from putting his immortality puzzle back together. After all, when Arvin Sloane finally managed it, who was there to make sure he never left that cave?

The strangest thing about that is, as far as anyone knew, Sloane was dead at that point. Sydney shot him in the head. Jack used his supposedly dying moments to scrounge around for explosives to blow up a cave with a dead man in it. Why? Because he knew what the liquid would do for Sloane.

"You've caused my daughter so much pain. I could have prevented it. I won't continue to make that mistake."

"I think you've overestimated your position, Jack. You can't hurt me anymore."

"True. But I can keep you down here with me."

Yeah. I kind of love the wording of that line.

Screencaps by me, except for the caps from the series finale of Alias which are from here.
Text on the graphics are quotes from Dexter, Inception, and Alias, respectively.
Italicized text directly under the graphics is my own.

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