Transcript Ep45 0:32:46 Percy tells Vax what happened in the Sunken Tomb

Analysis:

This is probably the best example of non-verbal exchange in

Critical Role to date. Most of the scene’s development doesn’t actually take

place with words. Vax and Percy are both very expressive people. Their talk the

night before, camped outside the Sunken Temple (Ep44 1:15:21), was warm,

earnest, and forgiving. It was full of subtext. Here, their inner thoughts are

written all over their faces. But both of them are so caught up in their inner maelstroms

that they’re not reading each other (part can’t, part don’t want to, I think).

Which causes the conflict to escalate.

Percy is drowning in so much guilt that he’s mildly dissociating. His language is extremely passive. “The trap was a bit- there was a trap, and it was well protected.”

He is literally removing himself from what happened by making the subject of

the sentence more anonymous and emphasizing the action over the actor. At 33:18

he tells Vax, “I rushed in, and triggered the trap that almost killed your

sister.” Vax replies, “That killed my sister.” And Percy says,

“I can’t say that.” Percy may quite literally, unintentionally not be

able to say he killed Vex. Dissociation can be a response to trauma. It’s the

reason Percy can’t remember everything that happened during the Whitestone

coup. This is obviously much more mild, but Percy is clearly in great distress.

This is something he flatly says he couldn’t live with. Percy, who’s done some

pretty terrible things and lived with them. He’s making excuses to remove

culpability. He’s drowning and grasping at anything to get out.

Vax is reacting to a few things. No one ever told him exactly what

happened. Vex is the most important person in his life, and he probably just

gave up everything for her, and no one answered

him in the moment or took him aside after. He’s mostly clearly shocked that Vex

didn’t. He seemed to be giving her a pass, like she may not know, until she

tells Yennen before telling him. He ends up learning the bulk of what happened

second hand, to his great irritation. So when Percy takes him aside, but then

ends up being evasive, that adds to Vax’s frustration. Vax is reading Percy’s

detachment as flippant arrogance. Just the night before they’d talked about

sticking together, being a family, making each other better people. Percy had

said, “I apologize, for any of the mistakes I’ve made, and honestly any of

the mistakes I’m likely to make. But, I am starting to imagine a better version

of myself.” But the very next day, he not only commits a monumentally

stupid, disastrous, fuck up mistake, but he’s evading responsibility for it. Vax

hates bullshit at the best of times. Percy also never thanks Vax for making a

deal with The Raven Queen, or even acknowledges it directly. Percy and Vax talk in

subtext most of the time, so when Percy says, “We are going into dangerous territory; We all have to think a little

bit more,” Vax may have taken it as the acknowledgement he was waiting for.

A slight that Percy was glad Vex wasn’t dead, but Vax was an idiot for doing

it. Whether he made that misread or not, that’s where Vax loses his temper. Percy’s

words ring hollow to Vax, at best. Which is why Vax specifically punches “him

in his know-it-all fucking mouth.” Trusting Percy and letting

him in are undoubtedly among what Vax considers his fair share of mistakes (36:03).


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Transcript method notes: http://otdderamin.tumblr.com/post/153539301510/a-note-on-my-transcription-method


Scenes run

1. Grog to Vex: You didn’t die. But you did. 0:15:32 to 0:15:52
https://youtu.be/0uazTyTrk-8?t=932

2. Vax learns Percy set off the trap 0:17:31 to 0:17:56
https://youtu.be/0uazTyTrk-8?t=1052

3. Percy tries to apologize to Vax 0:32:46 to 0:37:32
https://youtu.be/0uazTyTrk-8?t=1966


1. Grog to Vex: You didn’t die. But you did.

0:15:32

Grog: “Corps armor,

hello?”

Percy flinches.

Keyleth: “Oh, corps

armor.”

Percy: “-what we found and

see if what it is we want to…”

Grog: “You know, the thing

that almost killed out friend over here.”

Vex, very matter-of-factly:

“It did kill me, according to you.”

Percy very notably winces:

“It- Yes.” He looks down dejectedly.

Vax looks nervous and twitchy

at the subject.

Grog: Yeah, but I mean, you’re

here, so… I mean, you didn’t die. But you did! But you didn’t. But you did! And

then you didn’t.“

Vex: “Thanks, Grog.”

Grog: “Yep.”

0:15:52


2. Vax learns Percy

set off the trap

0:17:31

Yennen: “So the armor is what

killed you?”

[Percy, Keyleth and Vex talk at once]

Percy: “No, no.”

Keyleth: “No, no no.”

Vex: “No, it was actually

a trap that Percival set off is what killed me.”

Percy, dispassionate: “Yes. The-”

Vax, startled and then staring

at Vex seriously: “What?”

Percy, looking shaken:

“-trap was a bit- there was a trap, and it was well protected.” His

sentence his unusually faltering and he looks deeply haunted with guilt by the

end.

Vax looks between Percy and

Vex, staring looking at Vex like he’s hurt she kept something from him,

sternly: “What?”

Vex, trying to brush off the

incident, but clearly uncomfortable: “What, n- What what?”

Percy: “Yes, what?”

Vex: “What?”

Grog: “He didn’t know

that.”

Vex, brushing the tension aside

with a forced smile and breezy tone: “What? So, these, um, these vestiges?”

Percy’s body language remains very

closed, full of grief and guilt, though he mostly sets his neutral mask back in

place.

Vax looks bewildered, shifting

into great agitation and simmering anger as he clearly turns over his own thoughts

while Deathwalker’s Ward is identified.

0:17:56


3.

Percy tries to apologize to Vax

0:32:46

Taliesin: “I’m going to take

Vax aside, really quick.”

Marisha: “Uh-oh.”

Travis: “Oh shit. Let’s do

that first.”

Percy: “So, I had a careless

moment, and I apologize.”

Vax: “Wait-”

Percy: “And you’re the first

apology I’m putting forward. I don’t know if I would have done anything

different, but I hope you know I would’ve- never forgiven myself.”

Vax: “What’re you talking

about?”

33:18 Percy: “I rushed in, and

triggered the trap that almost killed your sister.”

Vax, point-blank: “That

killed my sister.”

Percy: “I can’t say

that.” He shakes his head and swallows hard.

Vax, looking at Percy in

disbelief: “What do you mean you- What do you mean?”

Percy: “I was

careless.”

Vax: “Well, what happened,

Percival?”

33:41 Percy: “I felt the danger

had passed, and I moved too quickly. And opened the casket without thinking.

That’s all. I just didn’t think.”

Vax, looking increasingly

agitated: “You just opened it? Just like that?”

Percy: “I was tired. I

wasn’t thinking. Sometimes we just move too quickly.”

Vax cracks his knuckles, and looks

like he’s really struggling: “Um…”

34:22 Percy: “But I want you to

know that it would have… I’m very glad that she’s alive because I don’t think I

could have lived with myself.”

Vax: “Alright. Um…”

He aggressively sighs. “Could you do me a favor?”

Percy: “Yes.”

34:54 Vax, clearly trying to control

his temper: “In the future- Um… If there is anything that your little

heart desires inside of a box, in the future, uh… In the future, could you check

with my sister or myself first?”

35:15 Percy, looking more haunted:

“That’s the hope, yes. That was more of a lesson than I was hoping for.

Thankfully not too much of one.” He briefly smiles grimly.

Vax’s body language shifts while

Percy speaks, meeting Percy’s hedging and flippancy, Percy’s attempts to

distance himself from what happened, with increasing outrage.

Vax: “Well, Uh…” He

sighs in disbelief.

35:36 Percy: “And none of us are

beyond mistakes, but that is a mistake that I am going to be thinking about for

a very long time. We are going into dangerous territory. We all have to think a

little bit more. And she especially, I couldn’t-” Percy is very still, but

his body language is very closed, and he looks like he may be imploding.

Vax’s body language shifts again

towards grief. It’s pretty clear he doesn’t think Percy has learned anything.

36:03 Vax:

“Well listen, Percy, we’re not playing a game.”

Percy, very

quietly: “No.”

Vax: “And we

will all make mistakes. And I wager I will make my fair share. I’ve little

doubt.” He sighs and winces. “And Percival, I want to apologize. I’m

sorry.” Percy is clearly taken aback. “But, um…”

Liam: “And I

punch him in his know-it-all fucking mouth.”

Matt: “Do

you attempt to move out of the way or take it?”

Taliesin:

“Yeah, let’s take it.”

36:48 Matt:

“Alright.” He mimics a punch with a sound effect. “Decks you

square in the- You know, for as hefty as a punch it was, it doesn’t hurt quite

as much as you expected, but it’s not the physical pain that hurts, more than

the action, and the knowledge that there are more repercussions to your rash

decision than even you initially anticipated.”

Percy and Vax

stare at each other. Percy touches where he was punched, sighs and grimaces in

pain, tries to work some of the blood out of his mouth, but nods at Vax.

Vax, glowering:

“Goodnight, Percival.”

Percy, strained:

“Goodnight, Vax.”

Scanlan:

“It’s four in the afternoon!”

Taliesin:

“I’m going to work. I’m going into my studio.”

0:37:32

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