Organ Dodge


(permanent link) added: 2010-01-21 22:16:08 sponsor: duralict (last reply: 2010-01-22 09:46:52)

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You know, where a character gets stabbed or shot - usually in the kidney - and it should be fatal. Only it isn't, because they donated that kidney. Or they have dextrocardia. Or that limb was actually prosthetic. Usually given as justification for Its Only A Flesh Wound, but sometimes the central conceit around which a climax - or entire plot - is built. Usually used as an ironic counterpoint to the original injury. This is all but guaranteed to happen to people cheated out of organs earlier in the plot, because it's a good way of suggesting ambiguity - after all, if you still had that kidney I tricked you into donating, you'd be dead now.

If a character is shown to have donated an organ and the genre isn't Medical Drama, they're extremely likely to suffer injury to that area later in the work. Anyone with dextrocardia - where the heart is on the right side of the body instead of the left - is virtually guaranteed to be shot or stabbed where the heart "should be" at some point.

The inverse (Reverse Organ Dodge?), where a character who's learned to cope with a handicap or life-altering injury is injured in a way making the handicap worse, is fairly common in Darker and Edgier works. This is where, for example, a character who's just undergone extensive cosmetic surgery to repair fire scarring gets caught in another disfiguring fire. Sometimes applies to wheelchairs, canes, and other forms of assistive technology as well, where the short-term consequences can be dire without automatically leading to Nightmare Fuel. A popular version in the Police Procedural is to have a gunshot victim with dextrocardia who would have survived if they didn't have the condition, usually played for some combination of tragedy and irony.

Examples:
  • John Locke from LOST
  • a major running theme in Ninja Assassin
  • Serenity
  • A running gag in an episode of Arrested Development
  • The glass eye in Water World
  • Happens occasionally with Professor X's wheelchair/hoverchair in X-Men
  • At least two episodes of CSI
replies: 18

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