July 24, 2010

Not as Fine as Advertised.

After reading Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour, I found myself constantly thinking up scenarios that would have been more fulfilling and a more fitting end to the series than what I had just read. In the end, though, this kind of thought process is really useless. The series ended the way it did, and it ended… with a disappointment. And now I’m going to ramble about it a bit.

A majority of Scott Pilgrim’s Finest Hour is a fight with Gideon. This is a fight that, for the most part, didn’t need to be in the story. It had basically been written out by the end of book 5. The reason I’ve always loved Scott Pilgrim is that it is, in some ways, a musical. The fights come in places of emotional intensity, and they represent emotion. For the most part, the characters don’t seem to react to the fights as real things. Not only is there very little emotional intensity involved in fighting Gideon, it’s the first fight that really gets treated like an actual fight, which just draws a lot of things into question, like “Has Scott Murdered 7 People?”

In an attempt to make this fight with Gideon relevant, many, many completely stupid things are retconned into the plot, like Gideon somehow having some kind of memory altering ability and having created subspace and all kinds of shit that I don’t really feel make much sense. It just helps to emphasize the fact that, for the most part, the fight served no purpose.

All of the big character moments in this book are Ramona’s. Scott gets nothing out of any of the events in the book, except, I guess, a girlfriend again. He doesn’t really grow as a person. Only Ramona does that. The problem is, she’s such a non-entity in the story for a lot of it, that giving the climax of the story to her just seems… completely stupid. There’s no reason for it, and it just leaves Scott having changed not at all, and us having complete proof of that in the end. I’m not saying Scott has to be fundamentally not Scott in the end. But there’s literally nothing about him that’s changed, besides the fact that he’s employed now, I suppose. It tries to not be a story about him at the very end, where it’s inescapably a story about him.

This book had a lot of awesome to live up to, and while I wasn’t expecting it to be super amazing perfect, I was expecting something better than this. It is a disappointment, to be sure. Thankfully, it hasn’t ruined my enthusiasm for the movie or game, so I’m sure I’ll still get plenty of awesome Pilgrim in the near future. Just wish it would have been good enough. Oh well.

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