Analysis Critical Role C2 Ep014 How Molly manipulates the way people see him

This post is one of a long series examining Molly’s story and character.
There will be an index on my blog collecting all of them.

I spent at least 20 minutes on the same 3 seconds of Critical
Role Campaign 2 Episode 014, teasing out something Taliesin mumbled under Matt,
and it was so exceptionally worth it. This is the transcription archeology I
live for. Hearing the noise in the static that tells the story no one else
heard.


2:12:34 Fjord:
“Can I ask you, when you’re praying over your swords at night, are you
actually doing anything?”

Molly: “Uh,
well, do you know who the Moonweaver is?”

Fjord:
“No.”

Molly:
“Excellent. Uh…” He shrugs. “The swords are cheap carnival
glass. There’s nothing special about them.”

Molly, muted:
“Eh, fuck it.”

Fjord, quietly:
“cheap carnival glass?”

Molly: “I
literally decorated a pair of swords to make them look special.”

Molly, quietly,
mumbled, frank and dejected: “Thought maybe I’d make it less likely they’d
think there’s something special about me.”

That last sentence was the find. That tells us SO MUCH about
Molly and his aesthetic. The coat is special, so no one notices the person in
it. The tattoos are wild to cover up the other marks. The swords are decorated
to look special, so the power is assumed to me in them, not him. Molly’s whole
aesthetic is sleight of hand, so people see exactly what he wants them to see
about him and never see who he really is. He makes himself too much to
overwhelm people and keep them getting close. He cranked up the volume on Molly
to drown out any dregs of his past.

2:06:54 Molly:
“I…” He gestures to himself up and down. “A lot of this was in
the hopes that maybe it would never happen. Keep moving. Keep quiet.” He
shrugs.

This is a theme in Taliesin’s characters. Percy created his
“Man in Blue” persona after an encounter with Dr. Ripley. There’s a
song about constructing identity on his
last playlist
. His character Kayden in “Sagas of Sundry: Dread”
also carefully constructed an identity to hide. He fronted as a stand-offish,
disaffected, give-no-fucks punk, to hide that he was suffering & had no
idea how to process his trauma or hold onto friends he loved but felt he lost. Kayden
knew his past too well and wanted to just bury it and move on. Molly doesn’t
know his past and wants to keep it that way. Both use their aesthetic to keep
people away they don’t want to deal with. A sort of first test of “do you
want to really deal with all this mess?”

Molly dropped his hostility towards Beau in this
conversation when she and Yasha were the only ones agreeing his past was
irrelevant and who he is is only his construction.

2:11:01 Molly:
“I- I found… Peace? in… building a new person. The Moonweaver…”

Beau: “You
know, just because if you know about your past doesn’t mean you have to be
beholden to it.”

Molly: “What
if it feels that I owe it
something?”

Beau: “You
don’t owe your past shit. if I don’t feel anything about my past, but I still
remember it, and I still don’t give a fuck about where I came from, then why
should you care about shit that you don’t even remember?”

Molly sighs, and grins
somewhere between “you get it,” and “you are so naïve.”

image

2:11:59 Molly:
“Never trust the truth. Truth is vicious; the truth thinks that you owe it
something; none of that. I like my bullshit. It’s good, it’s happy, it makes
other people happy.”

Nott: “But
it’s not who you are.”

Molly: “It
is exactly who I am!”


If you like this transcript, please consider donating your
time to Critical Role Transcripts,
@CRTranscript on Twitter, to help them
provide closed captioning to Critical Role. We’d like to share this wonderful
show with as many people as possible, regardless of hearing ability or English
language skills.

Also, consider buying
me a coffee (ko-fi.com/otdderamin). This transcript came about after a terrible bout of pain has
kept me from working for nearly a month, and I’ve already been struggling with
adjusting to disability. Donating helps me justify spending time on these
projects.

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