You can't write a better line to precede it... (Destiny)

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Monday, April 11, 2022, 11:58 (43 days ago) @ uberfoop

Too bad it's fan fiction, because there is a line preceding it, and that is part of the context in which the line is delivered

Visually the camera frames it as directed at the Chief. Contextually it makes more sense as a response to the Chief. It being trash talk is also more coherent in like of the subsequent part of the interaction, where the Chief continues to physically impede Arby before untangling.

Johnson's line is part of the context in which it's delivered, but transcript position does not imply primary conversation flow; a second party responding to a first party's actions without directly addressing a third party's interjection is not exotic.

You can call it "fan fiction", but I think your position that the line is directed at Johnson is much more tenuous. It's very difficult for me to watch the scene as having that conversation flow, it just doesn't fit the rhythm and geometry, and obviously the dialogue doesn't make sense. I guess we just read it very differently.

We can't wish Johnson's line away with talk of conversation flow and act like it doesn't affect the interpretation of what the Arbiter says. You've said it doesn't make sense, and I agree, but that hasn't stopped many people trying to explain to me how what Arbiter says makes sense in response to Johnson.

A second attempt at a rewrite that serves your narrative.

Johnson: Come on, Chief. For our sake, don't kill an ally.

Arbiter: Were it so easy.

That's a different meaning, and I don't see how it clears up your problem with the scene.

Not so different and not non-sensical as before. We get your interpretation of the cinematic--that the focus is on Arbiter and the Chief, and the Arbiter is trash talking, but we don't, on another level, get our brain tied up over the clumsy dialogue sequence we have just heard.

The "it" is now explicitly "killing arbiter" but the "it" on a visceral level is the Chief sticking a gun in Arbiter's face, which as you insightfully pointed out, the Arbiter has allowed. "It" can be multiple things, and that's the kind of ambiguity I suspect Robot and I like.

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