As you all know the relationship between Chuck and his youngest is more than strained. What do you think, might be the reason for it? Is Chuck only a worried father who wants to prevent his son going on the fast track of destruction? Is his problem the same his own father has had, when he had been a child? Or is he really bothered by his son and does prefer his eldest to his youngest?
This sometimes seems to be difficult to answer, but how do you interpret his behaviour?10/27/2008 #1
I think that this matter was pretty much resolved in the course of the first season. In the old timestream, I think there was something of an adversarial relationship between Taggart and Neil. Mark was the obvious 'golden child' and Neil was the 'spare'- even though he made it into the astronaut corps. I think with them going to the new timestream there is the temptation to fall into old thought patterns, but Chuck seems to have better accepted Neil than he ever did.
The main one who thought Neil was spiraling down was Paige Taggart. She is, IMO, the one who has the shine to Mark and dislikes Neil. Although this matter is resolved in the episode 'Skin', it is never really explored further as Paige is killed in that ep. I don't know if Manny Coto would have brought back the tense relations between Chuck and Neil. It just seems implausible after the end of Season 1 and, unfortunately, the end of the series.4/3/2009 #2
Well, I have trouble to believe the relationship between Chuck and Neil is improving in the new timestream. As example take the episode "Rapture". Chuck doesn't seem too worried about his son and when Neil starts to have his outburst, Chuck not even pays any attention to it. I guess the only imrpovement one can see is Chuck knows his youngest will make it into NASA, at least one of his sons will. So I don't think he's accepting his son better than before. He only lost a little frustration about his youngest. His main attention still considers Marc, who he wants to stop form leaving. I guess their troubled relationship is not solved at the end of the first season. Every of Neil's attempts to get answers to the question why, is destroyed by Chuck in a way like: I don't care, what's does it matter? So IMO there is still a lot of tensions dammed.
But I agree with your thoughts about Paige Taggart. Also when she knows he was the one entering NASA she still has trouble to accept her "misfit" son.4/5/2009 #3
If you look at the chronological order of the first season, 'Rapture' falls pretty early in it. It is hard, given all the episodes after that, to say that Chuck still has it out for Neil. My take is that Neil and Chuck know each other far better than a father and son normally would as they have both have 'lived' the future. One can't deny the dynamic of their relationship to each other HAS changed. I think its too easy to read the animosity angle into every dealing they have. 'Rapture' was also a case of Neil not saying to his father- VERY SERIOUSLY- "Look, there's this Synth compound going around. I need to get a sample to Kurt for analysis! I need you to know this, Dad!" Neil, IMO, should have had the maturity [as an astronaut and as a 22 year-old man] to say that to his father and stand his ground on it. Not go cowering, hiding, and calling in Kurt without really sitting his father down and telling him what's going on. His behavior was not that of a twenty-something, professional man. I think its hard to tack all the blame on Chuck, when Neil was being a wimp for not taking his father aside and saying what was going down.
I'm also of the opinion that Chuck truly does love Neil a lot more than you give him credit for. In 'Vanishing Point' you saw Chuck lashing out at Neil but, hell, the man just lost his wife. You can't blame Chuck for being in pain and harsh words getting batted back and forth. Still, by the end of it, you see Neil getting into rescuing his father and his father does appreciate that- even if Chuck isn't the one to get teary and blubbery about it. In 'Flux' there is the same dynamic of Chuck being 'Chuck the Synth', yet- at the end- he appreciates Neil for his son being there when nobody else in his family would have- given the situation. You need to see that Neil has to do a little acknowledgment that maybe Chuck, his father, needs to deal with things differently than Neil does. I found Neil to be a little twitty in the epsiodes set after Paige's death.
If you want insight into Chuck Taggart, you might want to review the "Begotten" and "The Choices We Make" episodes. They really do say something about Chuck's upbringing and how he related to Paige early on. Is he visiting a bit of his father's disdain of him on Neil? Perhaps, but you can't deny that- in the new timestream- he IS making a better attempt to understand his son [Neil] and has the comfort of knowing the youngest will never be a pot-smoking-dropout-musician. That his son, again, will become the NASA astronaut he was before.
As for Mark and that issue- Chuck made a promise to Paige [ in 'Skin'] that the BOTH of them will try to make sure that Mark doesn't book out of the picture. It was a united effort. It wasn't only Chuck deciding that's the way it should be. A parent would want to maintain a relationship with their child. I think the scene with Mark in 'Begotten' sums everything up- Chuck is trying to mend things but Mark cuts it off, books out and doesn't seem to give two s*** about hurting his father or brother. It seems- pardon my saying- 'the world according to Mark and only Mark'.
You bring up some interesting views, but I still feel that Chuck and Neil do relate on a better level than in the old timestream. They have their issues and tensions, as any father and son would. I just don't think it was the flat-out 'p*** contest' in the new timestream that it was before. Not paradise, but sure not hell either.
Eh, guess I'm just a 'Chuck Taggart' fan at heart. Good debate. We might not see eye-to-eye, but I'm glad to have somebody to discuss 'Odyssey 5' with!4/5/2009 #4
Well, to Neil's behaviour in the episode 'rapture' one might have to say, he's only 22 and his father already was -sorry for the language- pissed after he had gotten to know that it had been Neil's fault this drug wandering around school. And despite that it's obvious that he doesn't call his father like: hey dad I know I already screwed it, but I made it even worse. Only think of the one episode - I guess 'Shatterer - where they are wandering through the forest and Neil talks to Kurt about his very intim problems concerning his girlfriend. IMO this is something between father and son, but maybe I'm only old-fashioned.
And hello, your son witnesses how his friend dies at the age of 9 and you don't notice any changes in your son? 11 years later you can listen to it, but you're no big help anymore.
And take the episode 'LDU-7'. As I think, here you can see, how important his son's career is to him. He's not concerned about his son like: you could lose your dream or something. No it's like: you would mess it up.
But yes, after Paige's death Neil occures to be a little pathetic. Instead to try bringing his father back on tracks from the very beginning he draws back into his shell and crys a river about his girlfriend dumping him.
Later in the show, for example in 'the dark end of the tunnel' Chuck and Neil occure as a team which is working very good, they are in somehow a unit, thus maybe no enemies at this point of time anymore. But I don't go over the bridge that Chuck loves him like a son. His behaviour after his wife died is way to egoistic for my taste.
So, I think Chuck only figures out his son is quite usefull for their mission and thus tries not to p*** him off in case he might lose him.
And yes, it's good to discuss about this with someone else :)4/5/2009 #5
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