Monday, February 7, 2011
Twilight Epilogue: An Occasion
1. This last part’s 17 pages long. That’s probably the longest epilogue I’ve ever seen.
2. Edward’s driving Bella somewhere, somewhere that involves her wearing flowers and “elaborately styled curls.” He hasn’t told her where, which means she’s annoyed with him yet again. Which he probably intended: “I really hated surprises. And he knew that.”
Most supposedly intelligent people would consider it time to rethink the status of their relationship if they’re annoyed with their partner as much as Bella. Yeah, no partner’s perfect, but come on. On the other hand, at this point you don’t need me to remind you about all the evidence that Bella’s not smart, not mature, not brave, not kind and compassionate, or any of the other positive traits Meyer tries to pretend Bella has except appealing to the opposite sex.
3. Even as Edward “threw a mocking smile in my direction,” she asks herself, “Would I ever get used to his perfection?” Do you think we haven’t?! I’m not talking to Bella, I’m talking to Meyer. I know these books are your romantic fantasies. Therefore, you want the hottest guy who ever lived in them. However, these are also books you decided to share with the whole world. It’s page 481. Do you honestly think we haven’t caught on to the fact that Bella thinks Edward’s hot yet? Are you that shameless? Or is that the only thing you think matters about him? Attractiveness does not a developed character (or a suitable significant other) make.
4. Alice spent all day trying to find the perfect look for Bella, it seems, styling her hair and having her try on dresses “with French tags I couldn’t read” for some unknown function. Alice waved off any complaints by saying she doesn’t remember being human and asking Bella not to ruin the fun of fashion-shopping. Ah yes, the fading memories thing. How is it that Carlisle and Esme retain theirs, then? Supposing Meyer even noticed that little hiccup in her internal mythos.
5. Remember Tyler, the guy who said he was taking Bella to prom without actually getting her permission? Don’t worry if you don’t, it was like three hundred pages ago.
He’s still going ahead with his plan, and calls the Swan household to ask about picking up Bella. The stupid running gag finally pays off when Edward says he’s taking Bella to prom in the most superior, dickish way possible, sorry non-sparkly mortal loser kid. Don’t believe me? Here it is: “ ‘To be perfectly honest, she’ll be unavailable every night, as far as anyone besides myself is concerned. No offense. And I’m sorry about your evening.’ He didn’t sound sorry at all. And then he snapped the phone shut, a huge smirk on his face.”
Wow, that was totally worth it, Meyer. It even managed to make Edward look like a bigger asshole than anything else in the book. To anyone who’s over the age of 17 and attracted to this kind of thing, grow the hell up. Hopefully those of you under that age will on your own.
6. What’s the occasion Alice got our narrator all dressed up for? Prom, which Bella hadn’t realized at all until they pulled up in front of the place. Making her even more lovable, she whines about it: “But I’d never dreamed he was thinking of subjecting me to this. Didn’t he know me at all?”
Hey sister, don’t YOU know HIM at all? Haven’t you ever noticed how much pleasure he gets from treating his girlfriend like crap? You sure point it out enough times when he acts like a dick toward you. Yet you insist he’s the center of your universe.
Yet another endearing moment: “He wasn’t expecting the force of my reaction, that was clear. He pressed his lips together and his eyes narrowed. ‘Don’t be difficult, Bella.’ ”
Almost over, almost over, almost over…
7. What did Bella think all the finery was for? She thought Edward had changed his mind and the Cullens decided to make a formal occasion of her becoming a vampire. Ha!
Yes Bella, that’s why you’re wearing all those fancy clothes and got your hair done, so you can look your best while you’re spending days curled up in agony letting the venom make its way through your system. You idiot.
8. Next comes something that cements in my mind what a complete and total amateur Meyer was about this. Bella describes what her interactions with the other vampire kids are like since she’s had more time to hang out with them since her ordeal. It doesn’t matter what they are, what matters is how this character development’s revealed. Bella summarizes the way they treat her as she and Edward are sitting in his car in the parking lot.
Meyer wrote a 500-page book, she gave Edward so much attention, and all we really learned about him as a character was his overwhelming arrogance. Here, a paragraph-long blurb is all we get of what the other Cullen kids think of Bella. The other Cullen kids are even at the dance with them, they could've had interactions with Bella right here. They don't, this is it. There's so much nothing in this book it's staggering. I've never seen a writer work so hard at misdirecting their effort before.
I’m left numb. Of course I noticed how bad she was at the whole “writing” thing on the way to this page, but this was what forever clinched it for me.
9. Edward’s not even done being a dick to Tyler yet. When Bella asks if her father was in on their scheme to sneak her to prom, Edward confirms it and adds, “Apparently Tyler wasn’t, though.” The fact that Edward let the kid waste so much time and money makes our "hero" seem like an even bigger cock knowing he doesn’t have to worry about either.
10. Probably the worst thing about Bella and Edward’s abusive relationship is how casual the books are about it: “I sat stubbornly in my seat, arms folded, feeling a secret twinge of smugness. The lot was crowded with people in formal dress: witnesses. He couldn’t remove me forcibly from the car as he might have if we’d been alone.”
How do the fans justify this? Even “so bad it’s good” doesn’t go this far.
11. They do end up going inside and dancing along with the other vampire kids, and Edward can dance because he can do anything and I don’t even have a reaction from it anymore. This goes on until who should show up but Jacob Black, whose dad actually paid him $20 to ask Bella again to stay award from Edward, and if she doesn’t, “ ‘We’ll be watching.’ ” She’s not worth an awful lot to Mr. Black, huh?
He hastens to add “this is his plural, not mine.” Did we need to spend three and a half pages between Jacob showing up and getting to this little tidbit of information? Granted it was spent with one of the few characters who doesn’t make me shake my head and sigh (at least not at this point in the series), but three and a half pages?
Afterward, Bella tells Edward not to be mad at Jacob’s dad for being protective of her. She claims it’s only because he’s friends with her dad, “It’s nothing personal.” Uh, yeah it is. It’s because Edward’s really a vampire, and Mr. Black knows it, and he and his people have a really cheesy reason relating to horror movie icons to be at odds with vampires. Which Bella was told the same time Jacob told her the totally-real legend about the cold ones.
Edward turns his dislike for Jacob into a joke, saying Jacob insulted Bella by calling her “pretty.” You’re so much better at insulting her, aren’t you? Okay, he actually says that’s way underselling her, but I still speak the truth.
Then they dance and Bella notices all her mortal “friends” are there too, and they haven’t been part of the book for such a long time and were such minor presences when they were I don’t know why Meyer even bothered to remind us about them this late in the game.
12. They go outside and it’s title drop again (good luck with that for the other books), and Meyer has Edward try to give it some symbolic meaning that falls completely on its face.
They discuss Bella wanting to be a vampire and Edward wanting “your life to continue as it would have if I’d died in nineteen-eighteen like I should have.” He does nothing to remove himself from her life despite saying this, you’ll notice.
He reminds her it means giving up her old life completely, which she doesn’t think is that big a deal what with being willing to sacrifice her life to save her mom from an evil vampire. Wait, what?!?
The book ends with neither of them willing to give on the issue, the affirmation that “I love you more than everything in the world combined” (considering that’s coming from Bella, it doesn’t sound like much), and a kiss that must’ve been like laying a wet one on Mount Everest.
Oh man, is it…it’s finally over. I almost can’t believe it.
Thank you for reading, and goodnight.