Gene Hunt Interrogation Technique


(permanent link) added: 2010-06-10 12:14:11 sponsor: voodoochild (last reply: 2010-06-10 14:11:38)

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A subtrope of Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, this type of extracting information isn't quite torture, as such, but it comes fairly close. When using the Gene Hunt Interrogation Technique, the interrogator isn't simply causing pain to a victim to get information, they're doing it creatively, and probably having far too much fun in the process. In the Trope Namer example, it's the hero instigating this technique, but it's more likely to be in the repertoire of the Magnificent Bastard or an Anti-Hero.

Simply put, it's the difference between beating a man senseless and beating him senseless with a pool cue and stripping his clothes off, having your friends hold him down on the table, and striking the eight-ball right into his sensitive regions.

Trope Namer: DCI Gene Hunt of Life on Mars / Ashes to Ashes, who seems to be on a lifelong quest to come up with the world's most imaginatively appalling ways of pissing off the Human Rights Council.

Related Tropes: Gallows Humor, Black Comedy, Refuge in Audacity, Crosses the Line Twice. Compare Cool and Unusual Punishment, which is what happens after you're charged.

Examples of this trope include:

Film
  • Reservoir Dogs. Yeah, you know the scene. Sing it with me now: "Stuck in the middle with you . . ."
  • In the first Punisher movie, the Punisher strings a man up by his ankles and explains that a blowtorch will kill nerves so quickly that the person being blowtorched doesn't feel pain so much as a sense of numbness. He then lights his blowtorch behind the victim so he can't see, directs it at a raw piece of meat, and drags a Popsicle along the man's back. The victim gives up everything he knows almost instantly, totally convinced he can smell his flesh burning even as it's numbed by the intense heat. In this case, the Punisher used intense mental anguish rather than physical agony, but the pain was just as real and probably more severe.

Literature

Live Action TV
  • Life on Mars kicks off Gene Hunt's fine tradition of extracting confessions using some of the most ridiculous means possible in Episode 1.04, where Gene and Sam lock a suspect inside a meat locker until he confesses:
    Gene: My friend is going to ask you some questions. Personally, I hope you don't answer them because I want you to die in here and end up inside a pork pie.
  • Ashes to Ashes. Aside from the incident involving the pool cue, there have been other examples:
    • In 1.02, which was also the pool cue incident episode, there's also Gene throwing Mr. Bonds - a 60-something war veteran - down the stairs because Bonds thinks his son is innocent and threatens to hit Gene with a baseball bat. Ray contributes by spraying soda water into Mr. Bonds's face when he calls Alex a cow and continues to refuse to cooperate.
    • 2.03, where Gene not only eats fish and chips in front of a vegan on a hunger strike, but sticks a suspect's head down a urinal and flushes.
    • 2.06. Four Words - Gene and the crane.
      • To wit, a corrupt businessman's thugs have come after both Gene and Alex, beating Gene with a baseball bat in an alley and intending to do the same to Alex if she hadn't hid. One does not hurt women around Gene Hunt, especially women he has feelings for. Gene goes to find Riley, the businessman, handcuffs him to the inside of a car, and picks the car up with a forklift-crane, interrogating him about the murders they're investigating. Every time Riley denies all knowledge, Gene lowers the car nearer to the crusher. Just in time, Alex, Ray, and Chris get to him with new evidence that proves Riley didn't do anything.
    • 3.04, where Gene chases a suspect through the Blue Peter garden.
  • Aaron Echolls of Veronica Mars is introduced, in his very first episode, beating his son with a belt, and is eventually revealed to be the killer of Lilly Kane, so you don't want to admire anything about him. But in "Hot Dogs", we find out that Trina, Aaron's daughter, is being abused by her boyfriend. In a scene that has quite a bit of Fridge Horror to it, but is undeniably kind of hilarious, Aaron kicks seven kinds of shit out of the kid, singing along with the tune of "That's Amore".


Alternate Title / Redirect: Gene Genie Treatment

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