The Phantom of the Bropera: The Masterpost, Part Three


(part 1) (part 2)

Chapter 18 to the end, ahoy!

“Chapter XVIII: Continuation of ‘The Curious Incident of the Safety-Pin'”
oh god

  • “Now we should have no difficulty in understanding why they behaved in so extravagant and undignified a manner” – let’s hope, Leroux
  • given that I lost this guy’s thread about three pages ago, I’m not hopeful
  • ooh, Moncharmin and Richard have a PLAN, Y’ALL
  • aaaaand it looks like their plan is to do literally exactly what they did on the first cash-grab night
  • including, as it so happens, walking backwards.
  • yes, this is truly a splendid plan. ~splendid~, I tell you.
  • this isn’t going to arouse anyone’s suspicions ~at all.~
  • blah blah blah, more slapstick ridiculousness from Abbott and Costello here
  • the important part is, they’re anxious to know if someone tries to steal the 20k francs Giry slipped (once again) into Richard’s pocket
  • Hence the safety pin! Moncharmin has the idea of pinning the envelope to Richard’s pocket, so he’ll feel a tug.
  • now that actually makes a world of sense. yay. finally
  • “You want to ‘pin’ me?” – Richard. I really hope that was a double entendre.
  • ah yes, ’tis midnight, the witching hour, and our slapstick duo is feeling just a wee bit uncomfortable
  • Moncharmin’s wondering if Ghostbro “knocked three times on the table, as we clearly heard just now” – wait, what?
  • hang on, lemme go back through the last couple pages
  • okay yeah unless I’m not looking back quite far enough, there have definitely been no knocks on the table
  • methinks our slapstick duo is drunk. or something
  • ohhhhhhhhhh dang, the pin is still there but the money is gone
  • also, Moncharmin is basically patting down Richard’s butt in order to come to this conclusion, so permit me a chuckle at that image
  • aaaand here comes everybody else. awesome. somebody get the champagne and let’s make it a party

“Chapter XIX: The Inspector, The Viscount, and The Persian”
asd;fladsgjal;kjladsfjasdgj; ugh

  • if I were to make this a drinking game and take a sip every time Leroux called this guy “the Persian,” I’d be well into glass #2 by now
  • Inspector Whatsisface is now explaining to Abbott and Costello what happened to Christine. It’s. It’s not going well.
  • “Christine Daae was abducted by an angel, inspector” – an actual thing that Raoul actually just said
  • Raoul legitimately just called Erik an angel. I just. I got nothing.
  • “the Angel of Music” has been dropped like three times in three lines, and it’s always italicized #theformattingoftheopera
  • so now everybody’s trying to tell Inspector Whosit about the Phantom and he’s just like “literally all of you are high”
  • “all I know about the Phantom of the Opera really amounts to very little” – did Christine’s gigantic flashback just not register at all or
  • so now Raoul’s telling his side of the story, and even Tweedledee and Tweedledum over here are like “yeah this dude’s high”
  • hm, so apparently Philippe’s carriage got the heck outta dodge literally right after Christine disappeared
  • wait, Inspector Dudeperson thinks Philippe abducted Christine?
  • oh man, and did he ever just light a fire under Raoul’s pathetic rear – kid’s outta here like Speedy freakin’ Gonzalez
  • OHO. Inspector Thatonedude just sent Raoul off on a wild-goose chase. Getting him out of the way. Cool.
  • (also apparently his name is Mifroid but see if I care about that)
  • Filed under people who should have been higher billed
  • Raoul’s attempting to leave when who should show up but…
  • “I am the Persian!” jesusfreakinmadia, he even calls HIMSELF that?
  • me rn:

“Chapter XX: The Viscount and the Persian” Leroux, your creativity astounds me.

  • ohforcryingoutloud, Leroux literally just repeated his earlier description of this guy almost word for word
  • like yes, we already know he has ebony skin and jade eyes, and also that you’re a racist piece of crap, CAN WE PLEASE MOVE ON
  • the real question, though: why is this guy so concerned about keeping Erik’s secrets
  • I feel like this guy needs a name besides “this guy,” and I’m definitely not calling him “the Persian”… hang on
  • okay, I’m going to call him Abdul. it’s sure as heck better than “that guy” or *shudder* “the Persian”
  • okay, so it seems as if Abdul is legitimately here to help Raoul. neat.
  • aaaand Abdul just confirmed that, like Voldemort, Erik can literally sense when people say his name. that’s just great
  • blah blah blah, giant running-through-the-halls-of-the-opera-house montage
  • whoops, this paragraph definitely veered into non-sequitur territory
  • Leroux is a teensy bit obsessed with how these two are dressed and how it’s technically a breach of dress code:
  • and the two of them ended up… in Christine’s dressing room
  • and whaddaya know, Abdul brought a couple sweet pistols to this party. I like him way more than I like Raoul
  • “Do you mean to fight a duel?” – no, Raoul, Abdul clearly brought the guns because there’s a shooting range by the underground lake
  • Raoul’s now questioning Abdul’s motivations – first sensible thing he’s done this whole chapter
  • “If I had hated [Erik], he would have ceased his mischief long ago” – Abdul, who apparently thinks extortion and murder are “mischief”
  • like is this dude seriously saying he’s had the means to stop Erik this whole time, and he just hasn’t had the inclination?
  • Raoul said something super accurate for once and it’s a little disconcerting
  • Abdul’s giving us all a physics lesson and I’m like “I see that and respect that but please get to the good stuff”
  • the official explanation for the weird mirror thing: “a very simple system of secret doors.” yeah right
  • anyway, our two pistol-toting dudes are swept into the darkness, yada yada yada

“Chapter XXI: Below the Stage”
for once, Leroux didn’t spoil the chapter- someone give the guy a medal

  • awarded to Gaston Leroux for the achievement of not screwing up for once in this book
    Gold freakin medal
  • I just have this nasty feeling Abdul’s going to die once they get to the cave
  • oh hey, Inspector Millfloss is somewhere in this labyrinth too
  • oh snap, Broni and Abdul just found like three corpses
  • Erik’s racking up so many counts of murder, you’d think he was playing Grand Theft Auto
  • or wait, those three aren’t dead?
  • jeez. okay. Ghostbro’s still a horrible person. moving on.
  • this just in, Raoul is literally too much of a wimp to hold up a pistol for any length of time
  • filed under things that didn’t surprise me one bit
  • somehow they’re only just now reaching the underground part of the opera house?
  • so a random dude in a cloak just appeared, Abdul said he’s worse than a policeman, and we’re going to get no explanation at all
  • literally, Leroux added in a footnote so he could specifically say “sorry, y’all, I’m not explaining jack squat, catch ya on the flip side”
  • was he trying to set himself up for a spinoff novel or what?
  • and for the record, this guy isn’t Erik, he’s another guy
  • “these are matters of national security” – oh, get off your high horse, Leroux
  • oooooh, the mysterious head of fire from like twenty chapters ago returns!
  • it’s not Ghostbro himself, apparently – just another one of his tricks
  • or wait, never mind – EUGH
  • so get this: the fire head is a whole separate ghost who calls himself “the rat-catcher” and brings a flood of rats in his wake
  • good to know I’ll be going to bed in a few hours with that lovely image tattooed on my retinas
  • *now* Abdul and Broni are actually going where they need to go
  • only took you two about ten pages
  • blah blah blah, oh my god Leroux I literally do not even care how this tank you speak of was constructed, MOVE ON PLEASE
  • oh fabulous, they just ran across Joseph Buquet’s probably-rotting corpse, no big deal or anything
  • they FINALLY made it into Ghostbro’s man cave. ABOUT TIME
  • oh wait, Abdul isn’t too happy about this…
  • “We have fallen into the torture chamber!” oh that’s just great

“Chapter XXII: The Interesting and Instructive Trials and Tribulations of a Persian Below Stage at the Opera”

  • congratulations, Leroux, you managed to make the subject sound deadly boring.
  • that is seriously such an Austen-era turn of phrase – “interesting and instructive.” or possibly a 1950s-era one.
  • but hey, we’re switching to Abdul’s point of view – here’s hoping he’s not as horrendous as Broni or Ghostbro
  • ooh, and Leroux is promising backstory, too. you’d better deliver, bucko.
  • so the feeling I’ve been getting is that Ghostbro and Abdul were childhood acquaintances, and bingo I’m right
  • oh great, more of Ghostbro’s hypnotic music. #skimming
  • Abdul, for his part, was so captivated by the music that he almost fell out of his boat. And then Erik grabbed him and tried to drown him.
    Erik: oh wait it’s you
    Erik: lol never mind
  • Abdul: seriously, dude, you almost friggin’ killed me
    Erik: *puffing up his metaphorical tail feathers*
    Abdul: not gonna work
  • “Erik, you promised me! No more murders!” – an actual thing Abdul said
  • jesusmadia
  • Erik: hey guess what I’m not a horrible person anymore
    Erik: someone loves me for me
    Abdul: oh god
  • okay, Abdul, you saw Christine interacting with Erik and you still didn’t put it together that Erik had a crush on her until it was too late
  • also I really don’t think “utter amazement” is the appropriate way to react when Erik literally kidnaps Christine and brings her to his lair
  • [scene is Ghostbro’s man-cave]
    Abdul: hey
    Erik: *punches him in the face*
  • I don’t feel like doing it rn but at some point I’ll photoshop one of those fake rubber nose things onto Gerard Butler’s face and laugh
    • edit to add:  I did it.
  • “if you don’t stop poking your nose in my business I WILL UNLEASH MY WRATH ON PLANET EARTH” – Erik throwing a temper tantrum, pretty much
  • Erik: I can totally have guests here
    Abdul: dude, you abducted her, that does not even remotely qualify as “having guests here”
  • god and Erik keeps repeating “she loves me for myself” – makes me want to either vomit or punch something, not sure which
  • Erik: I love her and she loves me and we’re going to get married and it’s going to be wonderful
    Abdul: what
  • not even kidding. Erik seriously thinks he and Christine are going to get married.
  • Erik is already planning the freakin’ MUSIC for his wedding to Christine, oh my god.
  • wait, no, it’s even worse – he wrote his own wedding mass
  • Abdul, my man, it’s not going to be as simple as Christine going to Erik of her own accord.
  • then again, they’re both under the sway of Erik and his hypno-music
  • I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised at Abdul’s willingness to accept all this crap at face value
  • [insert like five paragraphs in which Abdul discovers the passage he and Broni are going to take]
  • Ghostbro is reminding me more and more of Dr. Strange
  • “knife : gunfight :: guns : a guy who can cast pretty much any illusion he wants” – Abdul, basically
  • awesome, now we’re back to the torture chamber. wonderful
  • good grief, the musical/movie really water Ghostbro down

“Chapter XXIII: In the Torture Chamber”
subtitle: “Continuation of the Persian’s Narrative”
*deep sigh*

  • oh man, this upcoming soliloquy from Erik is something else, y’all
  • I literally banged the book against my head like five times after reading this bit
  • brb, I need to arm myself with gifs in order to cope with this
  • okay, I hope I’m adequately armed with gifs
  • anyhoodle, so Broni and Abdul are in the torture chamber, but Ghostbro doesn’t know they’re there – too busy being dark and evil, I guess
  • “I just can’t go on living like this” – oh, YOU can’t go on? What about Christine, you pig?
  • “I want to have a wife like any normal man” – HEY ERIK, KIDNAPPING IS NOT USUALLY AN ACCEPTABLE FORM OF MARRIAGE
  • “You will be the happiest of women” – YOU ARE F***ING DELUSIONAL
  • “But you’re crying! You’re afraid of me!” – GEE I WONDER WHY
  • “And yet, deep down, I am not a bad man” –
  • “To be good, all I ever needed was to be loved for myself” –
  • okay, I’m going to have to go on a mini-rant here in order to dissect exactly what’s wrong with that statement right there
  • Erik isn’t just begging Christine to love him here – he is literally placing responsibility for HIS future deeds in HER hands
  • the flipside, of course, is “if you don’t love me, then you’re basically responsible for all the evil I subsequently do”
  • that is what Erik is trying to tell Christine, and that is BULL
  • not only is it bull, though, but it’s a tactic of abusers – shifting responsibility for their actions, saying “look what you made me do”
  • Erik is a horrible effing person. I don’t know how this could possibly be disputed at all.
  • oh god. I just skimmed this next page, and it seems I’ve used up my gifs too soon.
  • looks like I’m going to have to break out the big reaction-image guns: the Klahom face
  • this turdblossom literally has a doorbell. a doorbell in an underground cave.
  • on the plus side, that godforsaken doorbell got Ghostbro to leave Christine alone, so now Abdul and Broni can call her for help
  • “[Christine] told us that love had driven Erik insane” – oh honey, this isn’t love. Not even close.
  • oh and btw Erik also threatened to kill literally everyone in the opera house if Christine didn’t agree to marry him
  • okay okay okay who in blazes wrote the script for the musical, because I’d love to chat with ’em and find out how they were able to justify
  • watering down Ghostbro so much, because he’s way way way less threatening in the musical than he is in here
  • I mean, he’s still a nasty guy in the musical, but here he’s EVEN WORSE
  • in yet another stroke of melodrama, Ghostbro calls his keys to the torture chamber “the keys of life and death”
  • me re: this entire situation
    Klahom face
  • oh my god. Christine legitimately tried to kill herself the night before.
  • I just want to take this book and climb to the top of the highest tower around and scream THIS IS NOT LOVE to anybody who’ll listen
  • oh man oh man, Christine’s pulling it together. she’s going to do another season-one Skye on this MF. I can feel it.
  • come on, Christine, you can do this
  • ah yes, Erik’s playing angsty organ music now – wunderbar
  • OH DANG. Christine straight-up nicked Erik’s life-and-death keys. GET IT, CHRISTINE.
  • oh whoops, Erik figured out his keys are missing

“Chapter XXIV: The Torture Begins”
oh, so having to put up with Ghostbro’s abusive bullcrap doesn’t count as torture?

  • oh man. Christine’s still playing Erik. It’s hard, but she’s playing him.
  • uuuuuuggggghhhhhhhhhh, Erik’s reiterating his dreams of domesticity again
  • in addition to being an abusive sadistic delusional misogynist, Erik is also… a ventriloquist.
  • Erik has the world’s biggest Voldemort complex about his nose and it’s getting really old
  • oh crap, I think something in the man cave is on fire – did Erik burn his Hungry-Man meal again or what?
  • or wait, is the torture chamber just a really tricked-out steam room?

“Chapter XXV: ‘Barrels! Barrels! Any Old Barrels to Sell?'”
……………well, at least that’s not an obvious spoiler?

  • okay, an actual revelation here: Joseph Buquet, the dead guy from chapter 1 or thereabouts, was in this torture chamber
  • and apparently he beat up the place more than he thought he did
  • to no one’s surprise, Broni Friendzoni has completely lost it and is now (for all intents and purposes) useless
  • so it’s up to Abdul to save the day, I guess.
  • Raoul: *babbling*
    Abdul: for the love of Pete, kid, I’m trying to work here
    Raoul: *literally does not stop babbling*
  • now Erik’s torturing the now-very-thirsty Abdul and Broni by making water sound effects. this is the cherry on his awful-person banana split
  • bro, we already know you’ve got a Ph.D in horribleness and all that. this is just overkill.
  • Abdul found the door!
  • side note, it really baffles me that we’ve had like three chapters now from Abdul’s point of view, and he still doesn’t have an actual name
  • …okay, so it’s not a door, it’s a trapdoor. whatever.
  • and once they’ve left the torture chamber, what do they find?… barrels.
  • of course, being thirsty and all, they’re sure it’s wine in the barrels. natch.
  • *adds “conspiracy to blow up the Paris opera house” to Erik’s already-lengthy list of criminal charges*

[“Chapter XXVI: The Scorpion or the Grasshopper” – or is it “and”?]

  • and to make this whole clusterfrak even better, neither Abdul nor Broni has any idea how much time they’ve got til Erik blows the place up
  • A wild Christine appears! (god, I have never been happier to see her name on the page.)
  • updates from the man cave: Ghostbro’s graduated to full-on ranting and raving, and oh btw they have like five minutes left
  • oh, ~wonderful~, Erik’s made up a convenient little code for Christine with which she can say yes or no to his marriage proposal
  • turning the (bronze) scorpion = yes turning the grasshopper = no, and also kaboom
  • aaaahhhhhhhh great, Ghostbro has returned to the man cave
  • Erik: option one, you marry me and save everybody in the opera house
    Erik: option two, you don’t marry me and we all die
    Erik: *giggle*
  • God. This nasty MF. I can’t.
    Klahom face
  • and with that, the entire lake is basically being drained into the gunpowder room.
  • …which means that now Abdul and Broni stand a very real chance of drowning. awesome
  • “Thus ended the written account that [Abdul] had entrusted to me.” – omg tag your spoilers

Chapter XXVII, y’all. So close.

  • wonderful, the return of the overbearing narrator *whacks book against own head*
  • we’ve flashed forward a while, and poor Abdul’s got hardcore PTSD from all this crap
  • also, I slightly retract my earlier statement that Abdul doesn’t have a name – he has a title, “Daroga”
  • heck, I’ll just keep calling him Abdul. we’re almost to the end anyway.
  • so Abdul wakes up in that godforsaken Louis-Philippe room in Erik’s man-cave, and he’s just like “ugh”
  • Erik’s perfectly civil now, except for the part where he basically threatens to do Abdul serious harm if Abdul even talks to his wife.
  • this just in, Erik is still a horrible person even though he got his way
  • the next time Abdul wakes up, he’s at his apartment, courtesy of Ghostbro Carriage Services
  • and now we find out that Philippe is dead, almost certainly at Erik’s hand. surprise surprise
  • of course no one’s taking Abdul’s story seriously, as per frickin’ usual
  • would you look at that, Abdul has a visitor. as much as I’d like to hope it’s just the Girl Scouts with cookies…
  • Erik insists he had no hand in Philippe’s death. What is it they say about flaming pants?
  • Erik: *is being his usual melodramatic self*
    Abdul: Erik.
    Abdul: Erik!
    Abdul: what happened to Raoul and Christine
    Erik: *la dee dah*
  • seriously, Abdul keeps asking about Raoul and Christine, and all Erik can talk about is how he finally got kissed
  • oh, Erik. Christine is playing you like a chess game.
  • oh for god’s sake, Erik didn’t even kiss Christine on the mouth and he’s still making a national holiday of it
  • what time is it? TMI time with Ghostbro!
  • I’m just gonna skim this part and move on
  • oh em gee, she ~held his hand, how very romantic~
  • can Erik please just die already
  • Christine ~kissed him on the forehead~ before she and Raoul left, ~omg~
  • (can y’all tell I’m trying really hard to make sarcasm tildes a thing)
  • just imagine if they had actually gotten to first base – I rather think Erik would have dropped dead where he stood
  • on the (kind of) bright side, Erik’s bequeathing Abdul literally all his furniture- Abdul won’t be able to keep it all in his apartment

“EPILOGUE” at long, long last

  • [insert a whole page of Leroux basically being Sarah Koenig from Serial]
  • to no one’s surprise, Debienne, Poligny, Moncharmin, and Richard were all thoroughly taken in by Ghostbro
  • okay, make that like five pages’ worth of Leroux being Sarah Koenig
  • hey, Leroux, you can quit calling Ghostbro a “prodigious, fantastic character” anytime
  • Leroux: Erik totally didn’t mean all that blackmail stuff lol
    Abdul: oh he absolutely meant it
  • Abdul claims Erik was “not held back by moral scruples.” Now that’s putting it lightly.
  • Backstory time: Erik was a circus freak as a kid. Still doesn’t make me feel sorry for him though lollllllllll
  • yada yada yada Erik nearly dies and Abdul makes the stunning mistake of saving his life
  • [insert one last dollop of Orientalism here]
  • “Should we pity him or should we curse him?” is this a serious question
  • “He would have risen to greatness among his fellow-men” – oh, spare me
  • “He had a big heart” – STOP. STOP RIGHT THERE, GASTON LEROUX.
  • you are talking about a dudebro who would have BLOWN UP THE OPERA HOUSE IF HE HAD BEEN REJECTED BY HIS CRUSH
  • Erik does not have a big heart. He is a selfish, violent, abusive monster. Stop pretending otherwise, Leroux.
  • Filed under: authors who genuinely don’t understand their characters
  • And on top of that, Leroux acts like Ghostbro’s only crime is being ugly. JESUSMADIA.
  • “Yes, all in all, the Phantom of the Opera deserves our pity-” NO. SHUT UP FOREVER.
  • Me when Gaston Leroux makes excuse after excuse for Ghostbro’s awful behavior
  • I’m done. I’m actually done with this godforsaken book.
  • And I don’t just mean emotionally done. I’m done-done.
  • not shown: multiple outtakes in which I kick and punch the book (to any librarians reading this: I am so sorry)

There we go!  I have officially livetweeted my way through every book on my capstone syllabus.  This isn’t the end of the Gothic project, though – I’ll be back, hopefully fairly soon, to livetweet Dracula.  Till then…

Screen shot 2014-11-07 at 10.45.35 PM


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