Friends at the Table: PARTIZAN 21-28: Millennium Break
July 25, 2020 4:08 PM - Subscribe

For those who live under tyranny, the exhaustion and fear is such that it can be hard to even imagine or recognize what escape or progress or revolution look like. But when Icebreaker Prime came over the horizon, the citizens of Cruciat, beaten down by generations of chic, high-minded Kesh terror, knew exactly what they were looking at.

I decided to wait until the end of the arc to post another one here, and boy howdy did a lot of things happen in this arc.

Gucci gets really into debates.
Milli is now the mom-friend.
Broun flirts with a coworker.
Sovereign Immunity tries to bust some ghosts.
Clementine Kesh is strongly considers having some character growth.
Apparatus Aparatif, night mayor, becomes the mayor of signing forms in triplicate.
Valence looks like the kind of cloud that you could have a beer with.
Gur Sevraq procrastinates.

Austin, Janine, Sylvi, Ali, Art, Jack, Keith, Andrew
posted by fomhar (4 comments total)

We will help those displaced by the war on Partizan.
We will claim supplies only when it adds losses to the ledgers of the unjust.
Free and fair elections will be held every two years.
Burn thrones, build tables.
When we provide for ourselves, we can provide for others.
We will not turn our back on allies in need.
If we must play their game, make sure to bloody their noses.
When we reach the edge, we will Leap.
Look sick as shit. That's the most important one.

posted by fomhar at 4:11 PM on July 25, 2020

That was a hell of a sendoff they gave Clem.

I simultaneously love and have been immensely frustrated by the way Jack's played her. In the Beam Saber arcs, we saw glimmers of a less awful Clem, one who had some inkling of what it meant to lead, and might be willing to do the right thing occasionally, as long as it served her interests. Someone who might be able to, if not beat her mother at her own game, at least play on the same playing field, and do it for a good cause, even if it was from the basest of motives.

Of course, from that very first conflict after taking Fort Icebreaker, Jack made it clear that that was not the way her arc was going. Even when faced with the absolute necessity of maintaining the loyalty of the Rapid Evening and the impossibility of keeping them slaves, she didn't have the flexibility or canniness to play the magnanimous liberator rather than the tin-pot despot.

The touchstone I keep coming back to when thinking about her is Charles I, who even after losing a civil war and being imprisoned by his enemies, still never stopped believing that his divine right as king would be vindicated, either not realizing or not caring that that unerring belief was the thing that meant that he could not be allowed to live, while even a slight relaxation of it might have saved both his crown and his head.
posted by firechicago at 4:36 PM on July 25, 2020

That is a fucking excellent historical comparison.

The most relevant pull I have is that I kept thinking about the Dimmadome hat tiktok meme when they were referencing Leap's pirate hat and I might've missed them bringing it up in the episode.

I really like the way they talk about characterization on this show, most notable in this arc when Janine is asking Austin about Gucci's backstory and motivations around the third(?) episode.

I feel like Art had a lot of fun in this arc and made Sovereign into a much more interesting character between the harmless fluff of the ghost story, the return to extremist politics when he reminded everyone of how he got sent to jail and put next to Clem in the first place, or the vulnerability when he's advising other people that the only trick he has left is people overestimating him.

I want to specifically call out the 'swimming and bartering' olympic event as excellent.
posted by fomhar at 9:27 PM on July 25, 2020

I am extremely excited about Keith playing a Branched in the second half of the show. The more I think about them the more I love the concept and I really hope they live up to how I see them in my head.

I don't normally relisten to podcasts but I listened to this one again from the 3 hour mark on. It's gotta be one of the best examples of storytelling in the medium. I love the way they speak visually, like describing an animatic.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:15 PM on July 25, 2020

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