Reviews for What He Wanted
just-a-scrivener chapter 1 . 10/31/2013
First of all: well developed, well written.
I agree with you, insofar as the characters were out-of-character during this episode, and that was wicked frustrating. I offer this food for thought, though: sympathy asks, "what would I do/feel/think if I stood in the other person's shoes?" Empathy asks, "what is it like for the other person to wear those shoes?" Both require some understanding of what the shoes are, to begin with. Neal's situation-the figurative shoes, in this case-is well beyond the scope of most people's imaginations, making both true sympathy and true empathy difficult. Peter & El probably want to help, Neal probably wants to reach out. Neal's behavior does make sense, in the context of his situation, but it's not a context the people around him can really grasp. If they stepped back and considered a simplified context, they might be able to at least respond more like friends/family should. Instead, when their efforts at sympathy/empathy fail because they can't relate to his experience, they deal with his behavior as if it were happening in a more standard ("normal") social context. This is of no help whatsoever to Neal. If Peter & El could acknowledge the fact that they don't understand, and if they could sit with the discomfort/anxiety that comes with not understanding-rather than substitute something they do understand and react from there-they would be closer to feeling what Neal is feeling. Resolution, as you've written, would follow, because these people are all smart enough to get there.
When I started watching WC, I wondered if Neal's lack of early history would be explained by his having been in WitSec as a child. It adds a dimension to the show that's easy to miss: the bulk of Neal's life has been about making himself up as he goes along, reacting to the world outside himself but never really participating in it. What happens when he does, finally, have to live in the world on a day-to-day basis? How does he cope? Do the people around him ever realize that he's not an ordinary rehabilitating ex-con-that he's really a rehabilitating person? This is where the show is now, and I think that we're in for a lot of frustrating moments as the characters slog through an enormously complex situation.
Please don't see this as criticism of your writing. Your fic is great! I think you're spot on as to what the characters are capable of. TV will drag it out, both because that's what TV does and because even the most insightful people are not often insightful at the same time, so realistic resolution takes time. Keeps us watching, too.
wotumba1 chapter 1 . 9/19/2012
good story
Chris Danes chapter 1 . 9/7/2012
I really enjoyed your story, particularly the tacit communication between Peter and El. It was all very sweet.

As for your rant, I see a big difference between characters acting out of character and characters acting in ways we wish they wouldn't act. I think we all have instances when we mix those up. The moment in your story when Neal kneels at Peter's feet and hugs his legs is very powerful and dramatic, I absolutely loved it, but I can't for the life of me picture Neal ever doing that in canon. I feel it'd be incredibly out of character for him to do so, drunk or not.

Neal is a grown man, or at least he should be. The fact that he is grieving might make his screw-ups understandable, but Peter can't give him a pass for it, not considering the very nature of his professional relationship with Neal. All things considered, Peter was immensely forgiving in that whole fiasco, probably more than he should for the sake of his own career. If Peter had forgotten his own role in Neal's rehabilitation, I think that would have been out of character. And Mozzie being the devil on Neal's shoulder, well, isn't that what he's always been?

I must say I have no trouble with the writing of the show, quite the opposite. The trust issue has always been there, it has never left, and it's really the main point of the show: those guys love each other, and each trusts the other would take a bullet for him, but Peter can't trust Neal to always do the right thing, and Neal can't trust Peter to put their alliance above what is right. (Above his own job, sometimes; above what is right, nope.) The actors describe Peter and Neal as two friends in a perpetual game of poker, and I think they got it just right. That's what the show is truly about, not about the outside factors, and that's what makes the show special. That's how I feel, anyway.
ansel chapter 1 . 8/16/2012
I like your version a lot better than what actually happened Tuesday night!
Tiggy's mom chapter 1 . 8/16/2012
I cried along with Neal and company I hope vodka is kind to you I know what it cando to a body even though I am gin fan myself
BlueDiamondStar chapter 1 . 8/16/2012
I can't really find the other words for this... CUTE

I melted at the cuteness.

Tell Vodka 'hi' from me LOL
You two worked so great here xD