First let me say that I love this comic and feel that Mr. Twist has done an unbelievable job creating this world and the characters. The one issue I have with this storyline is I feel that the events being portrayed and the characters' reactions are running somewhat parrallel to each other. Mr. Twists' comments also seem puzzling at time. Maybe I am wrong, and maybe it would be different if I read things in one chunk and not a little every day, but It seems as if the characters are reacting towards jealousy plain and simple, when it seems that in reality Sam is reacting to something different. In my mind Sam is not happy that Rick is trying to steal Lauren, but it also doing so in a way that shows Sam absolutely no common courtesy and Lauren lets him (Rick) get away with it. Rick is downright rude to Sam at every turn, yet Lauren does nothing. On multiple occassions Rick fails to even aknowlege Sam's presence, even when Sam calls attention to it, niether Lauren nor Rick make any attempt to correct the behavior. Sam has informed Lauren that he does not like this, yet she has not so much as asked Rick to be nicer.
In a totally hypothetical situation what if every time Christo saw Lauren he referred to her as the "C word", but did so laughing. What if Lauren made it clear she did not like this, but Sam merely said "he's just kidding" and said nothing to Christo about his use of that most offensive term. I would venture to guess that Sam would be seen as quite the bad guy/boyfriend.
Now, the way I view the events, and of course this is Gibson's story so the way he interrpets the story is the true gospel, but the way I see things is that Sam is not so much upset that Rick wants Lauren nor is he worried about her running off with Rick, but he is upset that she does nothing about the incredibly rude behavior of her friend, despite his making it quite clear he does not like being treated like this. (And let's not even broach the subject of possible racial undertones of a black man being completely ignored, dare I say margenalized, by a white man who is trying to break him and his white girlfriend up.)
None of this justifies Sam striking Rick, no matter how satisfying it was for the audience, but it seems odd that this storyline seems to get reduced to "jealousy is an ugly emotion" when it seems to be much more than that. I find myself "siding" with Sam because I feel that Lauren could have avoided much of this by just asking Rick to say "hello" and be courteous.
BTW congatulations Mr. Twist, few storytellers have made me think this much and react this much about their work.
Sorry. Still don't trust him given his prior behavior. This is at least a move in the right direction, so I am cautiously optimistic that he may turn out decent after all. But I'm not holding my breath.
On a side note, Gibson, I'll be you had a lot of fun posting this update and going "ho ho ho, THIS one should make the commenters go nuts". :)
At first, I was irked that Lauren felt bad about slapping Sam, but only expressed it when alone with Rick, thereby, in my mind, apologizing to the wrong person. Then, I remembered that Sam never actually apologized to Rick, either. He basically just gave an eyes-downcast, blanket apology to pretty much anyone who might be close enough to hear, and that was prompted by the bar manager stepping in to bounce him. Both Lauren and Sam snapped and acted violently, but I don't think either of them is handling shit that well now, either. Sam hit Rick, so if any apology needs to be made, it needs to be to Rick, no matter how much of a rude asshole he might have been. Similarly, Lauren owes Sam an apology, not Rick.
Yes, Rick's being totally reasonable. And sometimes, the manipulative guy is someone who's really good to the girl. This is how the guy everyone hates turns into the guy everyone has to admit that isn't so bad after all. Phase II entered ;)
I've never hated Rick. That's why I went anonymous here. My Rick was a life-changing, wonderful person. He was rude to people I cared about, because he could sense something about them I hadn't - they were TERRIBLE people. Seriously, what was I doing with friends who let their friend try to rape me in the back of their car while they were driving? I kept telling him to stop, and they said nothing. So when he treated those people, others who just weren't as good to me as he felt I deserved, and my boyfriend (their brother) like Rick treats Sam, they saw this manipulative guy like everyone sees Rick here. In the end, Rick was one of the best people I've ever met. He introduced me to some of the best friends I've ever had, he cared enough to dig deep into my personality to really get to know me, and fought me until I thought more of myself. Until I saw myself as beautiful. I know these friends aren't bad like some of mine had been, they'd never encourage something like that happening to her... but because of my experience, I just can't rule out that he could be good for her. Even if she ended up with him.
I have a couple of guy friends who are really close and they always include my hubby when we get together. Not once have they ignored him or tried to tell me that he's no good for me. Even if he's grumpy and not really being nice to them, they accept his apology when it comes.
He's been jealous of a couple of them but when he tried to get to know them, they didn't ignore him.
I honestly can't get over the feeling that Rick has just slid into another manipulative phase. Something just doesn't feel right about this guy.
I'm not going to say that Rick is being on the level here (story unfolding and all), but based on some of the other reader's observations here...
Once upon a time I became friends with a girl who worked in a club I used to hang out in a lot. I was very much spoken for, and was more interested in just hanging out and having a laugh with her - we were mates and nothing else. The thing was, I couldn't communicate with her boyfriend or most of her friends. Why? He intimidated the hell out of me; he was built like the proverbial outhouse and was frankly a lot better looking than I was (awkward, gangly, long-haired teenager that I was). I just couldn't talk to the guy. I was terrified of putting a foot wrong because I wanted to not step on this guy's toes, but if I was polite, I was worried I'd come off as being creepy... yeah, he was a bit of big, masculine mountain and he just scared me. Same with her other mates - I was on the outside looking in and wondering if they even wanted me there. Plain and simple. So I kind of hung around on the outskirts of this couple's friends and probably came off the same way as Rick does. If it hadn't been decided by everyone save the girl I was friends with that I was shy, quiet and always there because I was gay (imagine the shock that was to my girlfriend).
There was no jealousy or aggression in this case, and I certainly wasn't up to anything, but I was acting in very much the same way because I was so intimidated. Maybe if I hadn't been (apparently) gay things could have been a lot more negative. I'm not convinced that Rick is entirely on the level (where's the drama in being on the level), but having been "that guy" in hindsight, I think just writing him off as a douche because he's an outsider to the group is a bit premature. Sometimes groups are intimidating, even if they don't seem that way from the inside.
Awful lot of people feel Rick is suddenly acting "reasonable". Rick's acting the same way he's always acted-kind and polite to everyone, except badmouthing Sam in a way that apparently, within the context of the story, is being treated as subtle, but seems hatefully blatant to me.
"I guess some people just can't believe a guy could be happy being your friend". He's telling Lauren that Sam thinks she's not worth being friends with unless you can get into her pants. I ask again, why are we suddenly calling him reasonable?
I wonder if many commenters are experiencing Rick the way they are because the author has done a good job of making us feel like we are a part of the friend group? Of course we feel like Rick is creepy, they do, and if they reflect our own experiences and they think that...etc.
This friend group is a hard nut to crack (most are). All of them got together in the first chapters and now that's it, the only "permitted" newcomers seem to be boyfriends and girlfriends (Vivian, Evan) Alexander turned out to be bad news.
We see that they are in a larger group, but it seems that interaction only comes at events. This is typical, but no one should underestimate how intimidating these groups are to a newcomer.
@Guest: I'm so so sorry you had to experience what you did. I'm glad your Rick worked out for you.
(not that this is what you're saying)But I don't read this group as that anti-social/destructive (maybe some members), I agree it's a lot to presume that if Lauren or any other person broke away from the group that they would be automatically bad off. In fact, that's an attitude that often leads to a toxic group dynamic (us/them, lack of outside influence, pressured homogeneity). Come to think of it...naw, I won't get into predictions, but if I /had/ to, based on my own experience/knowledge, I'd say such a self-isolated group dynamic would (anti-intuitively?) lead to a weakened group, like a shallow breeding pool often leads to a weakened organism.
@Amgodtic: I think he means "happy" like "content". Also, that's exactly what a lot of the noise has been about. I don't see how that statement makes him unreasonable.
Wow, people are really grasping at straws (to make Rick evil)... (lookin' at you @Chris P, that's some deep reading in right there!) Sit back and enjoy the ride for a sec, guys! Less wrongy hangovers next morning. This is all unfolding right here!!!!!!
I still don't care for Rick. I'm female, and the majority of my friends are (and nearly have always been) male. The majority of them were only EVER friends (a couple were friends before we attempted to be more, only to stop because we realized we were truly just friends).
But as this story has progressed, Rick has bugged the hell out of me. If any of my friends treated my husband (or in the past, treated a current boyfriend) with the utter disregard Rick treated Sam, I would have had rather angry words with them. If they cared enough about me to want to be my friend, they shouldn't show disregard for both my significant other AND me by not treating my S.O. at LEAST politely.
So, I still don't care for Rick, but I am glad that it seems he's not as much of a sleaze as it looked like he might be.
@Guest @Chris P: Sorry, I agree with Chris-- that was a jab, he could have said "he didn't hit me very hard", as opposed to "he doesn't hit very hard." It's the little things.
I dunno, Michelle doesn't like him, so right there--there's a good reason for unease. ;) Maybe Rick trying to steal Lauren is just a giant red-herring, but based on his previous behavior, I still don't trust him.
Still think Rick will let the mask slip. Pure weasel. Previous actions (bad mouthing Sam, telling Lauren to leave with him right in front of Sam) aren't overcome with one "sensitive comment. (Which may be a weasel comment anyway...)
Lauren's "paranoid crap" comment interested me because she was running around blabbing about this to everyone who would listen too.... so she's just as hung up about this as anyone involved, if not helping to keep it alive. Talk about self fulfilling prophesies.