Chapter 18 to the end, ahoy!
“Chapter XVIII: Continuation of ‘The Curious Incident of the Safety-Pin'”
- “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”
- 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
- 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
- OF COURSE THERE’S GOING TO BE SOME SORT OF A DUEL, YOU PANSY
- 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?
- I just. Argh. ABDUL, YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO LET ME DOWN LIKE THIS.
- 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
- 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.
- 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: RAAAAAWR I WILL DROWN YOU
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
- 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]
Erik: *punches him in the face*
- AHAHAHA ERIK WEARS A FAKE NOSE AND MUSTACHE COMBO WHEN HE LEAVES THE OPERA HOUSE
- 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
- “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
- 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”
- 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.
- HOLY [redacted], THE SICK SLUGFACE ***TIED CHRISTINE UP.***
- HOW IS ANYONE ABLE TO ROMANTICIZE THIS MOFO
- 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
- 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.
- IT’S GUNPOWDER. GOD DANG.
- *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
- God. This nasty MF. I can’t.
- THE SCORPION HAS BEEN TURNED
- 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
- 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: 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
- “ERIK IS DEAD.”
DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD
“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 TORTURED A MAN, EXTORTED MILLIONS FROM THE OPERA HOUSE, AND KIDNAPPED A WOMAN
- you are talking about a dudebro who would have BLOWN UP THE OPERA HOUSE IF HE HAD BEEN REJECTED BY HIS CRUSH
- NEWSFLASH FOR YA, LEROUX: YOU’RE FULL OF CRAP
- 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…