Analysis Ep95 to Ep99 Vex and Percy are hiding something

I very much caution against putting the cart before the
horse. Speculation can be fun, but remember that it’s very prone to error, so
don’t get your hopes up. I also advise Ockham’s Razor: the simplest explanation
is usually right. And the least dramatic possibility is usually right. That
said, it’s very obvious that Vex and Percy are holding back some major secret they’re
very excited about from the group, and it’s almost certainly about their
relationship. There’s a peace, contentedness, joy, and stability to both of
them that wasn’t there before the break, and they are acting very much like a
unit. I’ve been looking for space possibilities could exist in, and looking
very hard for contradictions. I’m also considering long-term character
motivations (including what might limit the player’s ability to play a character,
especially in a combat situation).

I’m putting the scene transcripts and analysis up front so
you can draw your own conclusions from the references I found. If you have
other references, I’d love to look at them, and possibly add them.

Happy 100th Episode, Critical Role! And Thanks for all the
subtext!


Scenes run:

[1] Ep95 – Passing notes 0:36:07

[2] Ep95 – Jewelry commissions 0:59:10

[3] Ep97 – Allura’s wedding ring 1:28:33

[4] Ep99 – Ascent to new heights 2:24:37

[5] Ep99 – Vex and Vax talk by the Suntree
3:17:08

[6] Ep99 – Percy is flattered by what Tary told his family
3:30:11


Transcripts:

[1] Ep95 – Passing notes

0:36:07

Vax is talking about getting used to his duties in the Raven
Queen’s temples, and what they are. Laura starts scribbling a long note, very
close to her chest, making very sure Liam can’t read it. She folds it very,
very carefully, and passes it to Taliesin, using body language to very clearly
communicate it was for him. Taliesin looks at it, and gives Laura a very
interesting look while she impishly grins at him.

image

Laura, with an open-armed shrug, nearly silently whispers:
“What do you think?”

Taliesin gets a thinking look staring up off to the side, then
gives an “I got it gesture.”

0:37:32 Sam may have gotten a glance at the note. He says
very quietly, “Do you like me? Check this box.”

image

Laura very quietly throws her head back laughing.

Liam: “Are we married, yes or no?”

Taliesin: “Check one. Carry on, carry on.” He writes
a long reply.

They talk about their trip to Singorn to see their sister.

Laura: “There’s finally this feeling that we don’t
need, at least for me, his approval anymore,” Taliesin raises his eyebrows
at that, “which is very nice.”

Taliesin folds the note back up even more carefully and
passes it back. He has a very restrained, maybe even apprehensive furrowed brow
look at her while she reads it. She gives him a thumbs-up.


 

[2] Ep95 – Jewelry commissions
0:59:10

0:59:10

Taliesin: “But I also a piece of
jewelry commissioned,”

Vex is super excited.

image

0:59:15 Taliesin: “for everybody.”

Vex is happy, but less excited.

image

0:59:19 Matt: “Well, Keyleth helped you
with this one specifically.”

Taliesin: “This one specifically.”


[3] Ep97 – Allura’s wedding ring 1:28:33

1:28:33

Matt: “Uh, interesting, one thing you
do catch, though subtle, is she does have her hands folded on one side. You do
see a small gold band across one of her fingers.”

Percy’s had his focus on Matt, but he immediately
looks towards Vex. He starts watching both Allura and Vex.

Vex, cooing: “Oh, wait a minute!”
She leans in smiling and says under her breath to Allura, “Did you guys
get married?”

Allura: “It was very small.”

Percy’s glances at Vex with a smile with everyone else is looking
at Allura.

Allura: “Very private.”

Percy twitches his eyebrows up smiling, then settles back to
neutrality.

Allura: “But, anyway, uh…”

Vex is beaming at her brighter than anyone.

Percy’s clearly thinking about something.

image

Vax: “Congratulations.”

Allura: “Thank you. I’m sorry, this is conflicting
emotions in this moment right now.”

Vex, waving it off: “Of course.”

Allura: “Thank you.”

Vex, trying to contain herself through a pause, blurting out:
“When did it happen!?”

Percy, laughing: “I was curious if she was going to
explode.”

Allura: “Not but four months ago. We just… It was on a
whim. Uh…”

1:29:24 Percy, quietly: “Huh.” He grins impishly
at Vex. Looks like he may something towards her.

image

Allura: “We talked and discussed a lot about all the
dangers we’d faced over the years together. With you, and the reality of not
knowing how long either of us have on this planet, and figured, at the very
least, why not?”

Both Vex and Percy give very slight nods at each of those
reasons.

Vex: “I think it’s brilliant. Brilliant!”

Allura: “Thank you. We were going to tell you, we just…
it’s been a lot to do in Emon.”

Percy takes a noticeable breath and nods.


[4]
Ep99 – Ascent to new heights 2:24:37

2:24:37

Scanlan: “Anybody else ascend to new heights?”

Taliesin looks to the other table, then turns back towards
Sam.

Percy, lightly sneering: “Yes.”

Vex very, very slightly nods responding to Percy, like she’s
trying to suppress it.

Scanlan: “Yes?”

Laura brushes her hair back, very masked.

Percy, flatly: “Yes. None of your business at the
moment. Tell us your business.”


[5]
Ep99 – Vex and Vax talk by the Suntree 3:17:08

3:16:05

3:17:08 Vax: “This has been nice. It’s always
nice.”

Vex looks at his sideways like she’s thinking “Oh,
shit.” She suddenly gets very awkward and fidgety.

Vex, nervously: “Mmhmm.”

Vax is a little awkward and fidgety, but caught in his own
head and oblivious to the change in Vex.

Vax: “I’m really happy with my setup these days, but,
um…”

Taliesin quickly glances over at them. He’s suppressing a
look of gleeful anticipation at a possible mess.

Vex, innocently: “With Keyleth?”

Vax, looking like he thinks Vex is just giving him a hard
time: “That was the implication, yes.”

Vex, nervously: “Mmhmm.”

3:17:33 Taliesin shifts his posture and body language
towards Laura. As implied Percy, he gives Vex a look of “you know what you
should do, even though you don’t want to.”

image

Vax: “But I miss you busting my balls on the
regular.”

Vex: “I know, right?”

Vax: “Yeah.”

Vex, fidgeting after a slightly awkward pause: “Um…”

3:17:41 Laura glances at (implied) Percy, who’s still giving
her that look, even more earnestly.

image

Vex: “I miss it, too.” She really looks like she’s
struggling to say something.

Vax: “I think we were about the head back,”

3:17:50 Vex is getting more nervous, and fidgety, but is
smiling impishly as well. She’s making eye contact past Vax to (implied) Percy.

image

Vax: “but we’ve got to get this sorted out,
first.”

Vex, chewing her nails: “Yeah.”

Vax: “What do you reckons next? We’re going to Marquet,
then?

3:18:02 Vex: “Yeah, probably Ank’Harel.”

image

Vax begins to notice Vex is acting strangely. Vex and (implied)
Percy are nervously, impishly grinning at each other.

Vax: “Are you alright?”

Vex, still biting her nails, but shrugging and trying to
sound non-pulsed: “Yeah, I’m fine.”

Vax, perplexed: “You don’t seem fine.”

3:18:08 Vex: “Well, uh…” She looks like she’s flinching
from a decision, drops her hand and looks away from Vax. “No, I’m
great.”

image

Vex, shifting back to Vax, and biting her nails again:
“You know, it’s interesting, Scanlan being back…”

Vax: “Yeah.”

Vex shakes her head side to side in a “You know”
gesture.

Vex: “Makes me realize that, you know, he’s not the only
one who keeps secrets.”

3:18:22 Vex smiles nervously at Vax.

image

3:18:24 After a pause, Taliesin smiles like he’s weathering
something but content.

image

Taliesin’s posture shifts back to anticipating something.

Vax: “Mmhmm.”

Vex, shifting into a plaintive shrug, starting to ramble:
“And you can’t blame someone for- for- for keeping things to themselves,
you know?”

3:18:32 Vax’s posture shifts to wondering what this is
really about and what he’s about to get hit with.

Taliesin shifts to looking resigned.

image

Vex: “So, I’m not mad at him anymore for the things
that he… he keeps to himself. Because everybody’s got their something, you
know?”

Taliesin very slightly nods at Vex, and settles back into
his egging on posture.

Vex starts fidgeting again, and looks away.

Vax, looking very confused: “Are you getting at
something?”

Vex, too forcefully: “No!”

Taliesin slightly shakes his head at Vex.

Vex: “I’m just saying I understand where he’s coming
from,”

Taliesin sits back grinning. Silent, laughing exchange with
Marisha.

Vex: “and I’m alright with it now. I’m fine with it.
With the secrets.”

Vax, deadpan: “I feel like I’m missing something.”

Vex, breathily: “No, nothing at all.”

Taliesin snickers, and grins towards Sam, who’s looking away.

Vax, softly and a bit sad: “Well, I’m not mad at
him.”

Vex relaxes significantly when it seems she won’t be pressed
further.

Vax: “And I hope Pike and Grog come around.”

Vex: “I think they will. He’s quite charming. I think
everyone will…” she nods nervously, “come around.”

Vax: “I hope so.”

[6] Ep99 – Percy is
flattered by what Tary told his family 3:30:11

3:30:11

Percy: “By the way, what you said back there with your
family about me?”

Tary, looking apprehensive: “Yes?”

Percy: “That was very flattering.”

3:30:19 Tary: “Well, I know you’re taken,

Vex sits up straighter, shimmying her shoulders with joy.
The grin that washes over her could cast Daylight. Percy looks content.

image

Tary: “and, you know.”

Percy: “It doesn’t mean I can’t be flattered. I’m quite
flattered. That was very flattering. I just…”

Tary: “Well, I meant it.”

Percy: “And, you know, if things were different, I
would feel the same way. If things were very different.” He gives Tary a
thumbs-up.

Tary: “I get it. I get it.”

Percy: “No, no, you’re quite a catch.”

Tary: “You’re sort of making it worse.”

Percy: “You’re quite a catch.”

Vex: “Can you stop flirting with each other?”

3:30:40 Percy, wryly: “Thought it might be fun. Never mind.”

image

Taliesin (Percy smiling at Vex): “I’m going to… gather
up our things, and prop up the table again, and leave… How much gold would be
appropriate for the damage?”

Marisha: “I know we destroyed some.”

Matt: “I mean, technically, the table isn’t that expensive,
to be honest. Between the drinks you guys had, a solid 7, 8 gold will handle
anything.”

Taliesin: “I’m going to leave 10 gold. Be like,”

Percy, earnestly: “I’m so sorry, but try never not to make
it worth your while and be too horrible.”

3:31:25 Innkeeper: “It’s nice to know that the de
Rollo’s are as lively,” Vex looks up and nervously rubs her ear, “as
the rest of the people who live here.”

image

Percy quietly sighs, slightly nods, and slightly grimaces.
Reads as, “Boy, ain’t that the truth.”

Vex flicks a glance at Vax, who’s looking away. Then she suppresses
the fidgeting.

Percy: “Thank you for running this establishment. Have
a good day.”

3:31:29 Innkeeper: “You, too, my lord, my lady.”
Vex impishly smiles and twitches her eyebrows up. Not in the self-satisfied,
accomplished way she was reacting to her title before the break, but with peace
and joy.


Analysis

Vex and Vax’s awkward conversation under the Suntree was the
big red flag that something was up. She’s only ever been that awkward around
Vax when discussing her relationship (or potential relationship) with Percy.
She doesn’t want Vax to disapprove of her, and she doesn’t like the feeling
that they’re drifting inevitably apart. Compare their dynamic here to their
talk in Ep72 1:48:16. Vex’s
awkward deflection, in particular. Vex, “Hey, I’m living a life. I’ve got
Trinket. I’ve got you, sometimes, when you’re not with Keyleth.” So, in
Ep99 when Vax says, “I’m really happy with my setup these days,” and
Vex faux-innocently asks, “With Keyleth?” she’s nudging back to the
division that their romantic lives have put between them as they’ve grown into
separate people. This is where Vex gets intensely uncomfortable and starts
showing there’s something she does and doesn’t want to talk about.

While Percy isn’t in the scene, look at Taliesin’s body
language through it. It has his full attention, he’s tense through the whole
thing, his body language is open towards it, and he’s even slightly crowding
Marisha. He isn’t even trying to hide how much he wants to crawl into that
scene. Percy might not be there, but he’s shifted into Percy’s mannerisms as if
he’s Percy in her head. He’s silently urging her to say something, and they are
making way more eye contact with each other than Vex is with Vax. Taliesin
shifts back into himself only when it’s clear that Vex isn’t going to actually
tell Vax what’s going on.

But Percy’s remarkable stability through Ep99 should be its
own red flag that something is up. He was angry at Howaardt for how he treated
Tary, and for clinging to what he considers the worst notions of nobility (even
more so in Ep97). But when Vax says to Howaardt (1:07:47), “Second chances
are a gift. I pray you don’t squander it.” Percy adds somberly, “And
you’re not the first man to panic at the loss of his shackles. I hope you
eventually enjoy the freedom that you’ve just been given from your
legacy.” He put his anger away in a way we’ve never seen him do so
successfully. He was “very angry” at Scanlan, but he lashed out very
little and reigned himself in well. Most of what he did with that anger was to
sit beside Keyleth, then Vex, state flatly, “I’m really angry,” and
then try to do something productive. Choosing to drink chocolate milk instead
of liquor, and the acknowledgement that he might drink too much, is serious
character growth. A year ago, he was on the edge of developing a serious
drinking problem. Drinking far too heavily had become one of his favorite and
worst coping strategies. Here we see him recognizing it’s an impulse that won’t
help and successfully pushing it away.

Before the year break Percy was very susceptible to getting
overtaken by his emotional patterns. I made a case at Ep84 for Percy
being bipolar
, and it was not remotely controlled. Taliesin also said that
Percy specifically has a lot of anger issues. We’re not seeing the same levels
of mood swings since the break. He’s angry at Howaardt, but lets it go. We see
them all get hit by the emotional wrecking ball of Scanlan’s reveal in Ep99,
but even though he’s angry about that, Percy isn’t consumed by anger. The worst
he throws in Scanlan’s face is that he (or one of them) has ascended to some
new height and it’s none of Scanlan’s business. Petty, but pretty mild. He
laughs through the brawl with Lionel. Study him the still from 3:30:19. Percy
for that moment looks deeply
contented. He could observe anger in himself enough to talk the Vex, and ask
her what to do, but he was more than that anger. Taliesin said Percy has
serious abandonment issues, and we see him disappointed his close friend and roommate
was leaving. But he handled it with positive humor, in the middle of that
moment he looked maybe more peaceful than we’ve seen him, and that happiness is
coming from the idea that he’s taken by Vex.

Now for a closer look at the details of what we’re seeing
and what they might mean. We know that Vex and Percy are living together in
Vex’s house. That’s where he goes after he’s alerted everyone that there’s new
information about the orb (1:21:01). At 1:36:12 he refers to it simply as
“the house.” The others think he means the castle until he clarifies,
meaning they didn’t realize Percy had moved. Percy lived most of his life in
Castle Whitestone. Freeing it from the Briarwoods was an all-consuming goal for
him. One he’d give anything to achieve, including offering “up the souls
of those I took,” which he clearly knows is terrible and wrong. Add to
that the nostalgic pull a childhood home has, and the convenience of living in
the same building he works in. A noble house is also the physical manifestation
of a noble family’s power. That’s why the family is referred to as the house,
and a house is referred to as the family. Motivations like traumatic memories may
be part of it, but it’s a clear sign that he’s separating himself from his
family’s legacy. He’s happy to serve as a civil servant, he’s happy to use his
wealth and power to improve the city, but he’s literally rejecting his house. “I
hope you eventually enjoy the freedom that you’ve just been given from your
legacy.” He’s not bringing Vex into his domain. His place is in her domain,
outside the castle. So, we know that we’re looking at something more
significant than living together.

On the other end of the scale, I do not think Vex is
pregnant. For starters, they know they’re taking their characters into combat, making
that supremely iffy choice. If that were the case, why would Vex throw herself
into harm’s way by choice, and why wouldn’t Percy try to stop her? Matt was
extremely clear that he will never force pregnancy on a player’s character, and
that he firmly believes a world with resurrection magic also has excellent
birth control. A lot of trauma in Vex’s life has come from the stigma of being
a bastard child. Why on Pelor’s green earth would they risk that? They’ve been
dating a little over a year, starting during a very traumatic time, and then
going into a period of taking on tremendous professional responsibility. They
both also have serious mental health issues they’ve had to work on, including
parental issues. I can’t imagine them thinking bringing a child into the middle
of that is remotely a good idea.

The two most likely relationship developments between those
points are getting engaged, and getting married. Moving far away is possible,
though their emotional responsibility in Whitestone makes that unlikely.
Starting a large venture together is possible, but they did start a bakery, and
they sound very busy with other duties, so that also sounds unlikely. Their
reactions and possible motivations both support having secretly gotten engaged
or married. I was deliberately looking in my analysis for contradictions to the
possibility they eloped. I will say that I found none. Actual evidence is a bit
loose, too, though.

Ep95 0:36:07, while describing what they did over the break,
Taliesin and Laura exchanged long, private notes agreeing to something. It’s
quite possible that Sam and Liam’s joke wasn’t far off the mark. The note could
also have been, “Should we tell them? This is what I think.” We can’t
tell what that note said, but it was something very private that from the
context was something to do with what happened over the break.

Ep95 0:59:10, Taliesin discusses the jewelry Percy
commissioned. Look at Laura’s initial reaction, and how that changed when he
finished the sentence to “for everybody.” That’s a very “heart
bursting with joy” initial reaction from her. It’s also notable that both
Matt and Taliesin reiterate, “Keyleth helped you with
this one specifically.” That implies that there’s more than one, and
Keyleth only helped with this specific one. describing finding the pearls in
Ep95 1:19:04, Matt says, “You and Percival both find similar pearls. Imperfect.”
Percy says, “I think I know how to pierce them, then we can put them on a
rope. I’ll be lovely. I’m learning how to jewel.” There’s an implication
that he commissioned jewelry for other people, but he’s still learning the
skill for his own purposes. Although Percy loves fine craftsmanship and
aesthetics, if he were to give Vex a ring, it would mean far more to him that
he made it. Kerrek also set that example well in the ring he made for Keyleth.

Ep97 1:28:33, speaking of rings, we got
some tremendously interesting clues in how Percy, in particular, reacted to
Allura’s marriage. Everyone else is looking at Allura, but Percy is looking at
Vex. A smile for, “very small,” a nod of recognition for “very
private,” and that gleeful, impish, guilty grin he’s failing to suppress
for, “on a whim.” This set of reactions is very strong evidence
they’ve at least considered eloping. Or maybe done so.

Ep99 2:24:37, when Scanlan asks, “Anybody else ascend
to new heights?” Percy derisively says, “Yes,” and Vex nods slightly
in response to him. Despite all the time that’s passed, Percy didn’t gain any
social or professional station beyond what Scanlan already knows about. His
political position in Whitestone was already clearly established. His position
as the diplomat to Emon was already established. Expanding his workshop was
predictable, and Scanlan already knew about the riflemen. “Ascend to new
heights” is also a definite, something that’s already happened, rather
than something you’re planning, however big. It is possible he was referring to
Vex officially claiming her title, but Percy almost never speaks on behalf of
others, especially not Vex, who he regards as being perfectly capable of taking
care of herself. Taunting Scanlan with a secret he wasn’t going to reveal
anyway was exactly the sort of petty slight Percy was in the mood for. This
reads better if the secret is that they got married.

Ep99 3:17:08, could read either way. It’s clear that it’s
something about the progression of Percy and Vex’s relationship that Vex is
very nervous telling Vax, and that Percy wishes she would. Given the history of
all of them, Vex would be no less worried telling Vax they were engaged than
that they’d eloped. Particularly if she could explain why. It’s the separation
and the acknowledgement that there are other people in their lives equally as
important which really pains the twins. Vex may be hoping Vax will figure it
out on his own, like he figured out her feelings for Percy in the first place.

Ep99 3:30:11, as I said before, it’s very important to note
just how happy Percy and Vex are here, despite everything that’s happened that
day. Tary might also be referring to more than the obvious. If they did elope,
there’s a very good chance that they asked Tary to be their witness, and that
he’s the only person who knows. Coming out to his dad as gay by saying Percy’s
the sort of man he’d like to marry may be the direct result of conversations
with Vex and Percy about marriage. When Tary said, “I know you’re
taken,” they may have lit up because Tary is the only person who knows the
extent to which that’s true. It’s also possible they only talked about the
prospect of marriage or future plans.

The end of this scene is also interesting. 3:30:40, Percy
says, “I’m going to… gather up our things.” It’s a good example of
the way in which they’ve become much more attached to each other over the
break. They are almost always together doing anything. It’s a given to Percy
they’ll be leaving together. 3:31:25, the innkeeper says “”It’s nice
to know that the de Rollo’s are as lively as the rest of the people who live
here.” Vex nervously fidgets at that. If that doesn’t include her now,
she’s definitely considering the prospect of it. Percy’s on the same page when
he responds, Boy, ain’t that the truth.“ If they did elope, it would be a
reminder to her that she and Percy fly in the face of social convention.
Deliberately and often. 3:31:29, the innkeeper says, ”[Good day] my lord,
my lady,“ and Vex reacts differently than she did before the break. She’s
not acting like every time her title’s used is a victory that builds her
prestige, but as something that fills her with true joy.

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