Sudden, but inevitable, betrayal


(permanent link) added: 2011-12-08 03:54:01 sponsor: vynsane (last reply: 2011-12-13 10:11:13)

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How does it look from there Charles? Still fighting the good fight?
From here it doesn't look like they're playing by your rules.
Maybe its time to play by theirs.

This is the exact moment when Enemy Mine takes advantage of the uneasy truce situation. Maybe they just can't help but be bad. Maybe they think they're still working towards the mutual goal. Maybe it was the plan all along. Whatever the case, Genre Savvy viewers KNOW Enemy Mine will seize the Villain Ball with both hands - suddenly - and betray the heroes the minute they get the chance, sometimes regardless of the advantage it might bring. If they're Genre Savvy, the "good guys" aren't surprised ("We should've seen that coming"). If they're particularly Genre Savvy, the "good guys" already have a plan to deal with such a turn.

This trope accompanies Chronic Backstabbing Disorder and Reliable Traitor in the same way that My Significance Sense Is Tingling accompanies Spider-Sense. Compare to The Farmer and the Viper, wherein the farmer acts unilaterally, asking for no guarantee from the viper.

Anime and Manga

Comics
  • FantasticFour - With Reed Richards busy fighting something and the the cosmic radiation that gave the four their powers causing complications to the birth of his second child with Sue Richards, Johnny Storm, the Human Torch, turned to Doctor Doom for assistance. In repayment, Doom asked only that he be allowed to name the child, a request that was granted. He named her Valeria, after a woman he had loved in the past. Unbeknownst to the FF he also placed a spell on Valeria, making her his "familiar spirit" as part of a greater scheme to increase his mystical powers.

  • X-men - After the two Secret Wars miniseries', Magneto, who had curiously been placed by The Beyonder with the heroes in the original conflict, begins a Heel-Face Turn that ultimately sees him take over for Charles Xavier as the headmaster of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. His tenure was marked with suffering and loss, pushing him to revert back to his more extremist views in a resultant Face-Heel Turn.

Film
  • Blade - In Blade II, Blade is attacked at his base of operations by the Blood Pack, a group of Ninjas. They ask for a truce and his help to defeat a new type of vampire that preys upon humans and vampires alike. It's revealed that, until this new threat surfaced, they had been training to take on Blade himself.

  • Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer has the US Government forcing the titular group to team up Doctor Doom in order to subdue the Surfer. Doom's Chronic Backstabbing Disorder kicks in.

  • Revenge of the Sith - Given the nature of prequels, Anakin's Face-Heel Turn on the Jedi Order and The Republic is literally Because Destiny Says So.

  • X-men
    • X2: X-Men United presents William Stryker, who poses a common threat to The X-Men and Magneto's Brotherhood. The two mutant factions put aside their differences and cooperatively storm Stryker's compound, where, once divided from his collaborators, Magneto takes advantage of the situation.
    • X-Men: First Class, as a prequel, poses a similar Because Destiny Says So situation to Revenge of the Sith concerning the relationship between Erik and Xavier.

Literature
  • Subverted during one battle in the Belisarius Series, where the Genre Savvy Belisarius considered the betrayal by an allied general so inevitable that he actually formulated his plan around it.

  • The Man From Uncle novel The Dagger Affair. Archenemies UNCLE and THRUSH team up to fight the DAGGER organization. Each side exchanges hostages to make sure the truce between them is kept. After DAGGER is defeated, THRUSH tricks UNCLE into releasing the THRUSH hostages early and then tries to assassinate several UNCLE agents before they learn of the betrayal.

Live-Action TV
  • Angel, "Not Fade Away" (the last episode).
    Angel: This may come out a little pretentious, but... one of you will betray me.
    Angel: Wes.
    Spike: [disappointed] Oh. Can I deny you three times?
Turns out it's Harmony who betrays Angel, which Angel anticipated. He fired her but left her a letter of recommendation.

  • Firefly, "Trash" - Known swindler Saffron has a big heist planned and needs the Serenity crew's help.
Subverted when Inara, proving highly Genre Savvy, hatches a plan of her own to snare Saffron after her double-cross, allowing her to believe that this was part of Mal's plan all along (it wasn't).

Video Games

Western Animation
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