The Blackwell Franchise: Joey Uses Rosangela part 2 (5000 words)
Damn, he is trying so hard. Every single ghost of the planet is passing through but the crack isn't wide enough for Joey. Too bad ! Rosa is going to have to die.
As soon as Lauren has died, Joey is passed on to Rosa. The path to the infinite opens in her mind and the ghost appears in the room. It is a critical moment for him as he has to transform a suspicious young woman into an obedient sheep. The fact that she most certainly has never seen a ghost works strongly in his advantage because Rosa is going to have to accept something unbelievable and it is thus pretty easy to make her swallow a few things that are false but still a lot less incredible in the context.
Really, this first encounter says it all. In this scene Joey is the pure manipulator who is in a position of power and takes advantage of a weaker person.
He presents the situation as inescapable and prevents Rosa from thinking about how she could actually escape it. He leaves her no room to question what he says. He indirectly threatens her, and at least uses fear to bring her to do what he wants. He makes jokes and talk in a flirting voice so as to tone down the seriousness of the situation. And actually, he is also flatly trying to seduce Rosangela and to put her under his spell.
Rosangela: “You’re just a stress induced hallucination.”
Joey: “Think about your aunt and your grandmother and say that again.” (Tactful really)
“So who are you ?”
“I’m Joey Mallone. The family spirit guide.”
“Think of me as the Blackwell Legacy darling. I’m passed down from one generation to the next, like a family heirloom. First your grandmother got stuck with me, then your aunt, and now you.”
“So I’m not… going crazy ?”
“Nope, ain’t that grand ?”
“Why have you been haunting my family ?”
“Haunting, is that what I’m doing ? That’s a real ugly word.”
“Answer me. Why are you here ?”
“You got me sweetheart. I’ve been wondering “why me ?” and “why your family” since this whole gig started. Must be some kind of gift your family has.” (Transforming haunting = a curse = something to which the Blackwells are subjected to into a gift = they are responsible for what happens to them and Joey is passive and innocent).
“A gift ?”
“You’re a medium… a medium with a direct connection to the spirit world. And I, my dear, have the unique pleasure of being this connection.”
“I don’t… I don’t understand any of this.”
“Oh you will, babe. You will. It took your aunt awhile, but she got the hang of it. Your grandmother never really caught on. That’s probably why…” (appeal to fear).
“Why what ?”
(Scary voice. ) “Why she didn’t last long.”
(nice voice) “But that's something we can talk about later. You felt something today didn’t you ?”
“Felt something ?”
“Yeah. You felt sick to your stomach. I saw you.” (The pain has nothing to do with the need to save ghosts -why doesn't she ever feel it again- but Joey will use it to make Rosa obey him).
“I’ve been feeling sick all day.”
“And where did it START ?”
“You mean… the dog run ?”
“Yeah, that’s where we’ve got to go.”
“What ? Right now ?”
“Yep, the sooner the better.”
“But it’s the middle of the night !”
“So ? You’ve just had a nice nap. You should be ready for action.”
“I’m not going out to Washington Square Park in the middle of the night.”
“Well, that’s where you’re wrong. If there’s any reason behind this medium business, it’s to take care of problems like your dog park. And we have to take care of them SOON.”
“This is all too much. I’ve got to sleep on this.”
“Sorry, kiddo. We gotta go now.” (Kiddo, darling, babe, common ways to belittle someone’s opinion, indicators of disrespect // of course I choose this meaning in the context of this interpretation, but the funny macho works too if we take a different perspective).
“What’s the hurry ?”
“Let me put it another way. Do you want to end up like your aunt and grandmother ?” (Strong appeal to fear)
“Was that… because of you ? Did YOU do that ?”
“Not me, kid. Not me. I didn’t make them that way, and I don’t know what did. But do you really want to sit here and find out ?”
Think about how this is different from giving Rosa time and space to think about what’s happening to her and digest the whole thing. Not only is it the plain contrary but Joey uses all means at his disposal to avoid such a turn of event… and he doesn’t have an obvious reason to do so. If the spirit guide/medium story is true, none of the violence he resorts to in this scene is justified or even logical. You have to remember that he is a spirit, he cannot physically force her, that makes the words and arguments he uses the most violent means he could have used to make her do what he wants.
There is no point in forcing himself on Rosa like this. He could follow the “don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid. I’m not going to hurt you. Just calm down everything is going to be alright” approach. He could let Rosa ignore him for some time, or lock herself in her room etc… he very well knows that there’s no real hurry. It necessarily took Patricia and Lauren a certain amount of time before they first saved a ghost. Plus, they go and see Alli’s ghost, Joey does some small talk and then he and Rosa go back to her apartment. What was so vitally urgent ? Nothing.
“Let me put it another way. Do you want to end up like your aunt and grandmother ?”
There is no need for the psychological violence, for the forced remembrance of the traumatic experience that Rosa went through when Lauren became crazy. More, it is counterproductive to approach Rosa like that because if he wants her to perceive him as a harmless friend, Joey should in priority show that he can take Rosa’s feelings and interests into account, that she can trust him on that matter. If he behaves so stupidly, it’s because he is in a tough spot. He cannot let her go to bed before she is convinced that he is here to help her save ghosts and not for another far less honorable reason of which he is not conscious anyway. His zeal is suppression into the subconsious of the fact that he has nothing to do here and should simply enter the light in Rosangela's head.
The manipulation carries on the next morning:
“So this is going to be my life from now on ?”
“Pretty much, yeah.”
“You’re going to follow me around for the rest of my life.”
“That’s how it works as far as I can tell.”
“Great just… great.”
“Hey, it ain’t all a bed of roses for me either, dollface. You think I chose to be shackled to your family for the last forty years ? Your grandmother refused to accept it and look what happened to her.”
In that extract you can witness Joey diverting Rosa’s attention from her horrible fate by complaining and indirectly threatening her. It’s truly sick. She is facing the idea that her life is going to be absolutely hollow and meaningless and he doesn’t even leaves her space to grieve upon it. No, he dares suggest that she is selfish to complain or feel sad for herself by comparing her fate to his. His fate ! The fate of the ghost who is given free extra time to roam the world of the living. And because two arguments are always better than one, he brings the grandmother into the equation again. Yesterday, Rosa had to go to the dog run if she did not want to suffer the same fate as Patricia Blackwell. Today, she shouldn’t complain or feel sad if she doesn’t want to suffer the same fate as her grandmother. Tomorrow: “Your grandmother didn’t want to give me a strip tease… see what happened to her !”
“And my aunt ?”
“She… made a mistake.”
“What kind of mistake ?”
“Hey, what is this ? Twenty questions ? What’s with the third degree ?”
“I have a right to know.”
“No, you want to know. There’s a difference. I don’t have to tell you squat.”
Here, I challenge you to give me one good reason why Joey gets all annoyed and aggressive. Isn’t it normal that Rosa would like to know what happened to her aunt ? Isn’t it a legitimate question ? By the way, didn’t he say that he didn’t know what had driven Lauren and Patricia mad on the previous evening ? Now, suddenly he knows more. Ok. We learn in Epiphany that it’s Madeline’s intervention that destroyed both Patricia and Lauren’s mental balance. However, I think that at this point, Joey believes that it’s his fault and that talking more about these tragedies will only bring Rosa closer to realise that he is a manipulator.
But suddenly, something unexpected happens:
“Look, this isn’t easy you know. You’re a ghost. Fine. I’m a medium. Fine. My whole life has turned upside down. FINE. But you could at least meet me half way.”
“You’ve accepted it you say ?”
“So far yes.”
“You’ve only seen a taste of it. Are you ready to go all the way ? Ready to see what’s out there ? Ready to see what this is all about ?”
Rosa happens to be a lot more receptive than it seemed and Joey decides that it’s time to perform the trickiest part of the swindle: show her the doorway to infinity without bringing her to realise that he merely needs to go through the light for everything to be over.
After he’s explained her everything about making the ghosts aware of their death and helping them to come to terms with the matter and go through the light, Rosa can ASK ABOUT JOEY’S STATUS:
“What about you ? Can you go through that hole and move on ?”
“I wish, darling. But I can’t. I’ve tried before, but it just spits me back out. I’m stuck here, whether I like it or not.”
Just after this very convenient explanation a new line of dialogue appears amongst those that were already there before:
ASK ABOUT JOEY’S WELL-BEING
“Are you ok, Joey ?”
“Me ? I’m dandy.”
“You don’t look all right”
“Eh. It’s just this place. I don’t like it… probably because I don’t belong. Maybe someday but not now.”
Talking about “moving on” made Joey feel ill-at-ease because that’s the moment where everything can collapse. The way he justifies his not feeling well is 1-ridiculous 2-comes after he’s tried to deny it. His behaviour is very suspicious.
What’s truly happening is that Joey knows that soon Rosa will be bringing ghosts in this place and that the first thing she’ll think about while watching one of them go through the light will be “why not Joey ?” So, he needs to be the one to have shown her the place and this with enthusiasm and an open mind… and then never come back. This moment is crucial, if Rosa asked him “show me how the light rejects you” it would make things a lot more complicated. That’s why he shows her this doorway to infinity at the minute she says she is accepting the situation, “the sooner the better” as he says. Also, thanks to this Rosa also forgets that he was refusing with hostility to tell her why her aunt lost her mind.
Then the manipulation goes on and on. Joey refuses to tell Rosa how he died and gets angry for no reason whatsoever when she asks as if it was hard to understand that she did:
“How did you die ?”
“Excuse me ? How did I DIE ?”
“That’s a bit of a personal question, isn’t it ?”
“Is it ?”
The reason why he wants to keep it a secret isn’t obvious. More, he uses the excuse of privacy but in Deception when they come across Danny Marconi, Joey remains an ass about the matter (he died because of Marconi). In the fourth instalment of the serie, after Joey and Rosa have been stuck to each other for months, she still doesn’t know how or why he died and he still is very touchy about the matter. It’s not a question of privacy, it’s a question of interests. Joey 1- doesn’t want Rosa to think of him as a guy who died. 2-doesn’t want her to learn that he died in a manner that it is easy not to accept. 3-doesn’t want her to know that Jocelyn Contis and Madeline were involved in the matter.
Rosa only learns about Danny Marconi when Joey finds himself with his back against the wall. She tries everything to have him tell her, he never does and rebukes her like a child. Eventually when he realises that there is a link between Lisa Tenzin and Danny Marconi and it becomes more dangerous not to say anything than to reveal a bit, he does. That’s all. His relationship with Rosa didn’t evolve, he doesn’t trust or respect her more or anything, it’s just that the situation has changed.
On a narrative level it screams “manipulator.” It’s a common trick to have a character behave very suspiciously before quickly making him correct himself so that the audience doesn’t remain suspicious when actually the rectification that the character executed only concerns a superficial level and was triggered by a new element, not by a change in the character’s feelings or priorities.
This demonstration has become a bit strange because all these elements taken on their own are enough to prove that Joey isn’t who he says he is. The number of his reactions that are suspicious is huge. He becomes angry when he should be understanding. He says there’s a hurry when there is all the time in the world. He keeps secrets when Rosa is trustworthy. He makes jokes when the matter is serious.
We accept all this only because we expect answers to come at some point. The thing is, when you rewatch the whole story with all the knowledge that a first playthrough gives, it feels a lot more believable that Joey is very often lying and distorting the facts and that he has no reason to do so or to behave the way he does if he doesn't have a secret agenda.
For example, he flatly threatens Rosa when she considers the idea of talking about him to Nishanti Sharma who is very open to that kind of things, spirituality and such. The old woman shows all the necessary qualities needed to believe and take a person in Rosa’s position seriously. Moti yaps at Joey, and Joey simply forces Rosa to repeat after him “I’m fine.” This sentence is a metaphor for Joey’s abuse of Rosa.
It’s the same thing with the Dr. Quentin who has had Lauren in his hospital for 20 years. He is very interested in the case of the Blackwell family and although he seems a bit insensitive, he would listen to Rosa and would take her seriously. But Joey simply threatens her: « I’ll make sure your life is a living hell. » « keep your yap shut, and we’ll get on just fine. »
We accept Joey’s behaviour because he’s just been stuck with a woman in a room for twenty years and we understand that he doesn’t want to find himself in the same situation. But Lauren remained in a hospital because she had been driven mad. Rosa is still a balanced individual, nobody is going to lock her up.
More, Rosa never tries again. After these attempts at sharing her weight have been suffocated, she never tries again. Joey truly managed to prevent her from looking for support. He truly managed to isolate her from the rest of the world and she will suffer from this isolation terribly and until the end. In Epiphany, she won’t even dare talk about her powers to Sam Durkin who would never dare question them.
To this, you have to add the fact that, not only Joey is the reason why Rosa never talks about her situation to anybody, but he ignores her pain. If truly he had no choice, if truly he wished he could move on, he would be in a position to listen to Rosa’s pain. He would actually be the perfect confident. Instead, he makes her suffering taboo because any initiative taken in order to make Rosa more autonomous and happy, less lonely and isolated, is an initiative taken against Joey’s (hidden) interests. This too, is quite obvious and suspicious and is enough to tell you that Joey is a manipulator. He is sacrificing Rosa’s life to his own interests from the beginning.
There’s another fascinatingly suspicious element at the end of Legacy. Joey beats The Deacon up because his behaviour caused two women to commit suicide. The Deacon is the epitome of the false villain, that is to say a character whose behaviour does a lot of harm to others but who isn’t in a position to be judged because he himself is a powerless victim.
I love the villains of the Blackwell Franchise. They all have strong motivations and are not emotionless or monstrous. Lisa Tenzin is awesome in her refusal to regret what she did. I don’t admire her or think that she was right, I just love the fact that the story doesn’t complacently make the villain say “in the end, I was wrong” because it forces you to take their motivations a bit more seriously.
The Deacon is just terrified by death because he thinks he is going to hell. Alli and Jo Ann committed suicide because of his constant call for help. The thing is, they summoned him through a Ouija board. So, the villain of Legacy is a guy in distress who did not even choose his victims and who kills them by crying for help. That’s all. What a monster. I totally understand why Joey loses his temper, he’s displayed such a propensity to empathy during the whole game. (If it’s not obvious, I’m being sarcastic).
Listen to him explaining how Alli (and ghosts in general) can not remember that they died : “Their death was too traumatic, or too violent, or too emotional, that their little spirit mind snapped.” At some point he makes a joke about Jo Ann or Alli “pushing up daisies” and when they leave the dog run, Rosa states “that place is creepy” because of the dead girl but Joey answers “What ? You don’t like dogs ?” He is absolutely indifferent to the girls’ deaths… that which is understandable actually, to a certain extent. First, he is dead himself, second, how many dead persons has he met since he became a “spirit guide” ? Even Lauren became incapable of caring (but it goes along with a depressed mood, Joey isn’t depressed).
So when Joey starts beating the hell out of The Deacon when the guy is actually just looking for help and we know Joey doesn’t care about the dead girls we can wonder what makes him so angry.
What makes him angry is that The Deacon is only the second ghost that Rosa is going to save and he already is a ghost aware of his death who is trying to avoid entering the white light. The Deacon is the best clue that Rosa could get to make her realise that Joey is a manipulator. That’s why Joey loses his temper; he wants to get it over with as quickly as possible.
Legacy ends on a beautiful emotional note:
“Why did Auntie stop ?”
“Stop what ?”
“Stop doing this ? This ghost saving. Or whatever it is we do.”
“Oh ah. It was you.”
“She wanted to take care of you. Wanted to do it right she said. Stopped listening to me. Stopped saving ghosts. Just put all her effort into taking care of you.”
“And then she… fell into that weird coma.”
“I see. I guess there’s a lesson in that.”
“Is there ?”
"Am I making things clear enough for you Rosa ? You think of yourself, you're dead. You kneel before me ? Everything's fine."
Rosa has taken the bait so hard that Joey doesn’t even have to do anything anymore. “What’s the difference between this conversation and a simple innocent display of friendship ?” you’ll ask me. The difference is that Joey pretends not to understand anything in order to make Rosa think she is the one taking decisions for herself. “Why did Auntie stop ?” “Stop what ?” He perfectly knows what Rosa is talking about… unless is IQ is below 2. The “Oh… ah” is entirely fake and manipulative and his final “Is there ?” is obscenely hypocritical. Rosa reached exactly the conclusions he wanted her to reach.
The emotional reveal “It was you” is a flat lie. Among the numerous things that we learn in Unbound (1973) there’s the fact that no one was ever more determined to stop saving ghosts than Lauren Blackwell. Adopting Rosa (1981) was at most the very last tiny straw if Lauren hadn’t already stopped chasing ghosts before.
Of course, we can delude ourselves into thinking that Joey only means to be nice by telling Rosa that Lauren stopped for her. The problem is that, if Rosa doesn’t know that Lauren already wanted to stop, that makes her the reason why her Aunt became crazy. It’s a crushing responsibility. Rosa is a traumatized person, she saw her aunt lose her mind before her very eyes and hid in a closet (sex subtext later). She did not feel that she had the right to enjoy life for twenty years because her Aunt was in pain. The beginning of Legacy is the beginning of Rosa’s life. It’s the first day of her life and at the end of it, it’s already been hijacked by a manipulator… and the manipulation stops with… her death.
“All the way to the end. I’m with you.” Well, maybe Rosa wishes you weren’t, Joey. A lion too is all the way to the end with the antelope he is eating alive.
Legacy is the episode in which Joey is the most clearly manipulative. We could think that he changes afterwards, that him and Rosa develop a true connection and friendship. The problem is that they never revisit the discussions that they tackled in the first episode. Joey won the fight and can now allow himself to be nicer. He simply doesn’t need to be harsh and aggressive anymore but if he had to, he would (and does). Rosa’s position in their relationship is one of submission. She is not allowed to think about her personal interests, Joey trapped her in a position where she feels that wanting to escape the horrible fate of a medium means not caring about the fact that her aunt sacrificed her life for her.
I don’t know how to explain this because it’s not rational, it only works on the level of feelings. On an emotional level, allowing herself to give up on ghosts saving means “I feel no gratitude for what Lauren tried to do.” It’s hard to enjoy something that someone deprived themselves of for your own sake.
At the beginning of Convergence, Rosa feels that she has to do something :
“Isn’t there something that we’re supposed to do tonight ?”
“I don’t think so.”
“I feel like we’re forgetting something.”
“I’d ignore that feeling if I were you.”
If Joey had an inch of affection for Rosa he would know. It’s that simple. He is a ghost who invades the life of a young woman (who is still a virgin). Even if he didn’t like her that much, he would actually feel bad for how lonely she is because of him and she could count on him to remember all the details of her social life.
Moreover, he did not forget, he is simply keeping the information for himself. Worse, he is trying to convince her that there’s nothing to remember. Of course, we’re given a “funny” reason for this: The grumpy grouchy ghost doesn’t want to go. But it’s not his place to decide. How dare he even give his opinion on the matter !
The truth behind this is that any social interaction that Rosa can have is a problem for Joey. As long as she is lonely, he represents some comfort. If she is able to have friends, or worse, a relationship, she’ll consider finding a way to get rid of him, and she’ll realise that she can.
Joey is like an awful infantile boyfriend except that he's not even her boyfriend, she can't have sex with him and she can't get rid of him.
That’s what makes him a real manipulator. It isn’t only the fact that he hides things from Rosa or lies to her, but the fact that he uses her weakness. She is a five years old orphan traumatized by the death of her parents and the witnessing of her aunt turning crazy. That’s what Rosangela is. Escaping Joey is not about knowing the truth, it’s about having the strength to know the truth. He is preventing her from gathering this strength. And to do so… he needs her isolated.
When investigating the case of Frank Lyons the actor, Rosa states: “I haven’t gone to the movies since… well… you.” Joey ignores the remark.
In Deception, Rosa finds a fortune in bills (2 millions) that Ryan Jacobs stole from the bank where he worked. Joey tells her not to touch the money.
They total a yacht, Rosa almost dies, she has to jump in a river to save her life and they won’t get a dime for their work but Joey remains positive. They saved a ghost. “Score another point for us.” However, when Jeremy calls, asks Rosa for some help and promises to pay her, which is exactly what she needs in her life, Joey isn’t happy about it and just acts negative and pessimistic. “So, we’re moonlighting as reporters now !?” “I doubt [you should have any hope to get a job at Jeremy’s newspaper]” Even more unacceptable, he f***ng jokes about Jeremy’s death when they meet him: « you need our help alright » « snuff is the word ». He simply is happy that Jeremy is dead. One problem solved, the sole guy on the planet who cared about Rosa is now dead.
Joking about any person’s death isn’t very appropriate but joking about the death of one of Rosa’s acquaintances in front of her, tells you a lot about the respect Joey has for her. Even more sinister, Jeremy’s talent as an investigator could have saved Rosa from the ghost. Look at what he wrote in his notebook about Penelope Haines and Gavin:
“She is a victim but she doesn’t think she’s a victim at all, she embraces it. I wish it was uncommon, but unfortunately it’s not.” Rosa is an easily influenced person as her interaction with Lisa Tenzin, Penelope Haines and Gavin show; she perfectly fits Jeremy’s description. Also, the second sentence would feel very gratuitous if it wasn’t there to have us think about who else is like that.
We shouldn’t overlook the fact that Lisa and Gavin attract Rosa because they tell her things that are relevant. They might be manipulating her, they do so by telling her truths.
Lisa “I can tell that your spirit is weak and could use my services.”
Rosa “My spirit is weak. How ?”
“Something is blocking it. It can’t function and flow like it normally would.”
“What would cause that ?”
“In your case, I’d say it was a recent tragedy. Something happened to you recently didn’t it ?” […] “Something that affected you deeply.”
A recent tragedy => Auntie, Jeremy, the Book.
Joey “You aren’t buying this crap are you ?”
“I think I can handle a psychic, I am one after all”
“A blocked Aura, Do I really have a blocked Aura ?”
“How would I know ? For that matter, how would she ?”
“Because maybe she’s a real psychic ? I’m pretty sure they exist. I’m living proof.”
Joey’s reactions aim at bringing discredit on the psychic that which seems quite understandable from a sceptical scientific point of view… it’s a ghost talking. Moreover, we never see him comfort Rosa for the poor sells of her book, or for the death of Jeremy. Lisa’s approach works because Joey is a mediocre friend.
More, the situation is actually very ironical. Rosa is NOT a psychic. Her powers come from the fact that Joey infested her. So when she proves to be easily manipulated by the most unsubtle psychic you can come across and defends herself with “I am a psychic, she can be one” things start to take a very convoluted turn. Truly, this scene depicts how low Rosa has gotten: clinging on to the idea that she is a psychic while so obviously being a sucker for the smallest attention and not being able to spot a fake one.
And when it comes to the argumentation that Joey gives in order to help Rosa escape Gavin’s influence, it’s just a constant flow of deprecating remarks !
“No, I can’t talk to you, I have my own life now.”
“You’re the most confused broad I know.”
“You’re a medium, it’s the only thing you’re good at.”
“I’m much more than that”
“Yeah, maybe it’s good Jeremy is dead and gone. After all, there was no other reason for him to call you.”
Here we spontaneously think that Joey is suggesting that Jeremy was obviously calling Rosa because he likes her, that which makes it all the more shocking that he actually is not. He is truly literally saying that Rosa has nothing that could have interested Jeremy. Gavin is only saying that it took the journalist too much time to call her.
“Think about it. He was a successful reporter. What would you be to him ? Just some crazy girl who talks to herself.”
“Maybe I could have told him. Maybe he would have understood.”
“Maybe you’re right. Too bad you’ll never know since Gavin killed him.”
I can tell you for sure that she would never have told Jeremy because Joey would have found a way to prevent it.
Of course, we accept that Joey is justified in being harsh with Rosa as he is so in order to save her life. But should we ignore the fact that it would have been a lot more convincing to say: “Do you realise that Jeremy didn’t need your help and that if he called, it was just because he liked you and wanted to spend time with you ?”
(actually I think you can say something of the kind but it doesn't work)
Then he makes Rosa proud of rejecting her family, proud of being lonely and sad. And the final blow is… his contempt. Rosa escapes Gavin because Joey “always thinks the worst of [her]” and she wants to prove him wrong. Wahou ! This is such a victory ! “Joey you saved me because you always make me feel so bad about myself ! What a great team we make !”
Joey’s arguments are, ironically or not, exactly the ones you’d expect from a guy like Gavin, from the guru of a sect, from a pervert manipulator: “Your family doesn’t care about you. Guys despise you when I see something in you. You wanna leave me to go to another man ? You’re just as stupid as all these stupid girls…”
And according to Lisa this is not the sole similarity between Joey and Gavin:
“[The doorway to infinity] feels like Gavin. Isn’t that strange ? Believing his words. Accepting the lie. It felt good. Wonderful. I want to hate him. But I can’t. It’s like… it doesn’t matter.” I actually don’t know anymore whether Joey wouldn’t just be consuming the ghosts. Maybe they don’t even reach the afterlife. He simply devours them.