Manga: A Cruel God Reigns
Jeremy and Ian.
Also known as Zankoku na Kami ga Shihaisuru
and After Us, the Savage God
, this manga by Hagio Moto
is currently a Japan-only release although translated scans can be found online.
Jeremy is a sensitive teenager who is happy for his mother when she remarries. However, the sweet-talking man who is his new stepfather turns out to be a serpent in disguise ó heís a sadist and a pedophile, and it isnít long before he makes Jeremy his target. After months of horrific, systematic abuse, Jeremyís mind becomes unstable and his thoughts turn vicious. He decides to murder his stepfather in order to get rid of him ó but the plan goes awry, and when he sabotages his stepfatherís car, his mother also dies in the crash.
Shocked and wracked by guilt, Jeremyís reactions seem strange to the average onlooker. His brittle and bizarre behavior isnít just that of a grieving sonís. This is when Ian, the free-spirited son of Jeremyís stepfather, begins to suspect Jeremy of murder. He finds several clues that tie Jeremy to the crime, but in unearthing them, Ian also discovers the fact that Jeremy was abused.
What should Ian do with his evidence? Caught in a moral dilemma ó between punishing a criminal and atoning for his fatherís sins ó Ian begins to be haunted by lust for Jeremy. Is it lust, or is it love? Ian wonders whether he shares his fatherís proclivities, and despite his best efforts, he is drawn into a passionate and painful relationship with Jeremy.
A Cruel God Reigns is a true BL classic written by Hagio Moto, one of the founders of the BL genre. In seventeen intense volumes, A Cruel God Reigns traces both Jeremyís and Ianís journeys towards redemption. The story-telling is rich and unique, and the art is breathtaking. In 1997 Hagio Moto was awarded the Osamu Tezuka Culture Excellence Award for A Cruel God Reigns. To this day, A Cruel God Reigns remains one of the most powerful BL epics ever written.
Tropes for this Manga include:
- Abusive Parents: Only Greg, really though.
- Adults are Useless: All of the adults except for Lindon and Dr. Orson, who dies of *cancer.
- Ambiguously Bi: Ian, Jeremy, and probably Jeremy's roommate William.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Matt
- Anything But That!: This is Jeremy's response to the laundry rope line that Greg uses to tie him up while he whips/rapes him, and not to the necessarily to the abuse itself (although he doesn't want that either.) In his defense, that is the rope with which Greg's first wife Lilya used to hang herself.
Jeremy : Anything but that rope! You strangled Lilya with that rope!
- Archnemesis Dad: Greg.
- Ass Shove: Greg uses the wooden Easter egg Valentine gave Jeremy against him in the worst possible way.
- The Atoner: Jeremy. And in a lot of ways Ian.
- Badass Long Hair: Ian is a mixture of this and Long-Haired Pretty Boy.
- Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Jeremy
- Belligerent Sexual Tension Jeremy and Ian
- Berserk Button: Don't show Jeremy those Embarrassing Old Photos. Or accuse him of having a lover.
- Big Brother Mentor: Lindon is this for Ian.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Matt, although he has his reasons.
- Break the Cutie: Most of the main characters, but focused most directly on Jeremy.
- Broken Bird: All of the girls, and Jeremy. Vivi gets her heart broken when Jeremy tells her he slept with a man Sandra's first husband dies, her next boyfriend abandons her, Greg cancels their engagement, she has a miscarriage, and she suspects Greg is abusing Jeremy. It is implied that Valentine was sexually abused, resulting in her Dumbstruck status. Nadia's heart is broken when Ian cheats on her with Jeremy and then breaks up with her, and of course Jeremy, whose case is the point of the whole series.
- Broken Pedestal: Greg for Ian. Ian near idol worshiped his father, and you feel really bad for the poor guy when he finds out that his father was beating and raping his step-brother. Especially considering this revelation leads to Ian's massive My God, What Have I Done? moment.
- Sandra for Jeremy when he finds out that she knew the whole time.
- Broken Tears: There's a lot of this, from pretty much everyone.
- Bumbling Sidekick: Savage to Ian.
- Bungled Suicide: Jeremy tries to throw himself into a lake after finding out his mother knew he was being raped by his stepfather. Jeremy also has two failed suicide attempts after returning to Boston while he is living with his aunt.
- Sandra has two of these, one pre-series and then another after Greg cancels their marriage.
- Marjorie has quite a few failed suicide attempts. The most notable of these is when Pascal locks her in the bathroom while he beats Jeremy in a drug induced rage. She tries to drown herself in the bathtub.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Ian does this a couple times, although it is long after Greg has died and after Jeremy finally confesses what Greg did to him.
Ian: Have you never cried for longing? Why did you do such a thing to Jeremy? Lilia, whom you loved, Lilia, who hanged herself in front of you- How could you laugh while she killed herself?
- Cannot Spit It Out: Jeremy encounters this a lot. He can't tell his step-brother Ian about Greg's abuse after Ian tells him that he vows to make their new family a happy one. He can't tell his mother Sandra about it out of fear that she will be Driven to Suicide. He tries to tell his boarding school roommate William about it by saying that he got the whip marks on his back from an evil spirit (Greg) that beat him in his house's torture room (his bedroom), but William doesn't get it. All in all, Poor Communication Kills. Literally.
- Subverted slightly after Ian breaks Jeremy out of his Dumbstruck state. He screams "no," which you find out later on is what Jeremy was trying to say when Greg tied him to the bed and beat him.
- The Casanova: Ian. He gets around with pretty much all the girls, and eventually Jeremy. He is also a classic example of Even the Guys Want Him.
- Censor Shadow: The manga plays it nicely by panning away and when it does show anything, it is blanked out.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Marjorie, and Jeremy at times.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: Pascal usually ends up being this for Marjorie, although the job also often falls upon Nadia.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Most of what Greg does to Jeremy, along with a lot of Mind Rape.
- Coming of Age Story
- Conflict Ball: Jeremy tends to do this often to Ian, picking fights with him for seemingly no reason and attempting to seduce him, although considering his Dark and Troubled Past, this could be passable.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Ian goes through a period of conflict where he has to decide whose honor he wants to save- the good memory of his father or his step-brother's innocence in his reasoning for Vehicular Sabotage.
- CPR Clean Pretty Reliable: Ian helps Jeremy breathe and exchanges liquid medicine via mouth-to-mouth after * Jeremy's drowning Bungled Suicide.
- Subverted when Marjorie tries to drown herself in the bathtub and Lorenzo has to give her CPR. It is also not reliable because she ends up in a coma.
- Cry into Chest: Jeremy sobs into Ian's chest after hallucinating Greg talking to him following he and Ian recount all the times Greg abused Jeremy. Mixed with Freak Out.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Most of the main characters. If they don't have one, they are well on their way to getting one.
- Deceased Parents are the Best: Jeremy's dead father seemed like a pretty cool, incredibly sweet guy. Too bad he's dead, or it would have saved Jeremy from his Trauma Conga Line.
- Defiled Forever: Jeremy INSISTS that his body is rotting and that he gives off a bad smell as a result of the sexual abuse. In a slight inversion of the trope, it is Ian who tries to convince him otherwise.
Jeremy: It hurts to talk about my rotten smell with the person I like.
Ian: You don't smell strange. You don't smell rotten, Jeremy.
Jeremy: Did I make you dirty?
- Deprogramming: The main plot of the second half of the series. Ian tries (often in vain) to help Jeremy to recover from the trauma of sexual abuse received from their father/step-father. Using group counseling, several vacations, housing and schooling changes, Love Redeems, Intimate Psychotherapy, and showing Jeremy those Embarrassing Old Photos, Ian attempts to guide Jeremy out of the metaphorical "forest" that separates him from "gardens" life has to offer and to help him feel emotions as he did before the abuse.
- Deus Angst Machina
- The Dog Bites Back: Jeremy to Greg.
- Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Jeremy uses this several times against Ian. He also uses the "I don't need love" and "I don't deserve love" versions.
- Double Standard Rape Male on Male
- Driven to Suicide: Jeremy throws himself into the lake in Lynn Forest after finding out that his mother knew that he was being raped by Greg, but did nothing. He also attempts to asphyxiate himself with a gas oven after returning to Boston to live with his Aunt Karen.
- Sandra has two of these episodes.
- Valentine mentions to Jeremy that she attempted suicide twice.
- Lilya hung herself at Greg's urging.
- Marjorie attempts to drown herself in the bathtub when Pascal beats Jeremy in a drug induced rage.
- Drowning My Sorrows : Although it isn't with alcohol, Jeremy falls into this. He buys drugs (they appear to be LSD) from his classmate Pansy to help alleviate the pain from being beaten by his stepfather. Later on in the series, Jeremy becomes a Hooker with A Heart of Gold and a Functional Addict, and is driven to heroin use to help him cope with the flashbacks he experiences and with the guilt from accidentally killing his mother along with his stepfather.
- Drugs Are Bad: Ian flips out on Jeremy either because he thinks he has been buying/taking drugs or Jeremy actually has been taking drugs, though in both cases Ian reacts perhaps a little too extremely.
- Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Applies when Jeremy accompanies Pansy to a party where he is heavily drugged, carried into a room, and gang raped. Although not completely unconscious, he cannot stand and Ian and Savage had to physically carry him to Savage's car.
- The Dutiful Son: Jeremy endures physical and sexual abuse from his step-father so that his mother can be happy in her new marriage. In fact, if he hadn't done that, Sandra and Greg would not have gotten married in the first place. His role of being The Dutiful Son is what causes Jeremy's Trauma Conga Line and Deus Angst Machina.
- Earn Your Happy Ending
- Embarrassing Old Photo: The photos Greg took after beating Jeremy. These are Jeremy's Berserk Button.
- Even the Guys Want Him: This is often played for laughs with Ian, and is played straight for Jeremy several times.
- Evil All Along: Greg.
- False Innocence Trick: Greg does this ALL THE TIME to poor Jeremy and to a lesser degree Sandra. He promises Jeremy that he only coerced him into having sex because he was confused, that he actually really loves him, and that he only wants to keep it from Sandra because he doesn't want to hurt her. Except that he's actually just Evil All Along.
- Fan Disservice: This series is full of it. Almost anything involving sex is either rape, torture, or a result of (usually Jeremy's) Freak Outs. And then of course every time you see Jeremy's back, it is covered in scars.
- Fille Fatale: Jeremy is one of the rare real life examples in fiction in that in the entire first six volumes are a flashback to the sexual and physical abuse that he received at the hands of his stepfather. While this is going on, Jeremy begins to develop a fetish for drinking Ian's blood, and repeatedly forcibly kisses his roommate William (this is more out of a drive of Sex for Solace). In the latter, present day half of the story, Jeremy is constantly making advances toward or is trying to seduce his stepbrother Ian to essentially punish him for not believing or helping him when he first confessed that he was being raped by their father. He seduces or trades sex for things like drugs from his older classmate Pansy or even a random adult at a party in exchange for a cigarette. Although he is on the older side at 16, Jeremy's flirtations are blatant examples of Fan Disservice and are far more adult than they should be.
- Flower Motifs: Flowers and other foliage are used for a variety of purposes; When Jeremy dreams of his mother Sandra, she is usually in a field of flowers until Jeremy finds out she knew he was being beaten and raped by his stepfather. When Jeremy is being sexually abused, the scenes in which it happens often switch to Jeremy being ensnared in vines and trees, as well as the thorns and flowers growing out of him (usually his head). Later on in the series, Ian compares Jeremy's mental state to being trapped and lost in a forest, unable to reach wide fields and flower gardens.
- Forbidden Fruit: Ian falls for Jeremy, and seems to love him in a deeper way than anyone else he's been with over the course of the series, but not only is he his stepbrother, but he also killed his father and albeit accidentally, his stepmother.
- Freak Out: Jeremy has almost too many of these to keep track of.
- Functional Addict: Jeremy and Cass.
- Gayngst: Jeremy and Ian both go through a bit of this, although a lot of their cases could be chalked up to other reasons. To start off with, Jeremy and Ian are both Ambiguously Bi, or simply have a case of If It's You, It's Okay. Jeremy, who seems to be going through a case of Rape and Switch anyway often refers to himself as the "male prostitute of Lynn Forest" and later agonizes over developing a fascination with Ian. Ian, on the other hand, is trying to figure out whether he is in love with Jeremy or if he is like his sadistic, Archnemesis Dad and only lusts after his stepbrother, coupled with the fact that Jeremy is the first boy he's ever been seriously interested in.
- Generation Xerox: Jeremy looks EXACTLY like his Deceased Parents Are the Best father. And they share the same name. And it is creepily hinted at in just a couple of panels that Jeremy's mother Sandra asked him to call her by her first name when he was a child to replace her husband. It doesn't help that she then appears to kiss him on the lips.
- Get Ahold of Yourself Man: William does this to Jeremy after Jeremy goes Laughing Mad when he is moved to another dorm for kissing William.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Happens to Jeremy after he finds Sandra's diary and reads that she knew he was being abused.
- Grey and Gray Morality
- Hair Contrast Duo: Jeremy and Ian. Jeremy has very curly, shorter, black hair while Ian has blonde, stick-straight, Badass Long Hair. Jeremy, who for the first half of the series is sexually and physically abused, and falls into a pit of post traumatic stress disorder, prostitution and drug addiction is the darker of the two. Ian, who is free spirited and has trouble accepting the fact that his father abused his stepbrother, is the lighter of the pair. The two also fall under the One Head Taller rule: Ian is over 6 ft while Jeremy appears to be around 5'5"-5'7".
- Hates Being Touched: Jeremy
- He Who Fights Monsters: Ian is afraid that if he acts on his anger at Jeremy for being a Hooker with a Heart of Gold and Functional Addict and falling in love with him, he will end up like his Archnemesis Dad.
- The Hedonist: Greg. He is convinced that what he is doing to Jeremy is fine, because "love is about taking what you want." Yeah...
- Heroic BSOD: Jeremy has a few different episodes of this. First is after Greg beats him for the first time and then later he borders on it in and out after he recounts to Ian all the times he was abused.
- Dumb Struck: Valentine and Jeremy until Ian snaps him out of it.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Jeremy and Ian do this to themselves a LOT. Jeremy often asserts that he "smells rotten" and that he makes those around him (particularly Ian) "dirty." Ian, likewise, regrets and agonizes over the fact that he did not notice that Jeremy was being abused, and that when he confessed, he did not at first believe him.
- Hooker With A Heart of Gold: Cass, the Clara sisters, Daisy, and later on Jeremy.
- Hope is Scary: Jeremy fears recovering and feels that he should live out his life in punishment. Lindon is the one to point this out to Ian, using this to explain why Jeremy became a prostitute.
- I Wished You Were Dead: Jeremy often thinks, and straight up tells, to Greg.
- I'm Not Hungry: As result of Greg's physical and sexual abuse, Jeremy hardly eats anything, even when he is at boarding school during the week. Every time the family is eating a meal or he is seen eating with his roommates at school they comment that he needs to eat more, or asks if he's sick because he's picking at what little food he has on his plate. When not brought up directly, the reader is reminded by how sickly skinny Jeremy appears as the story goes on.
Ian: Has he always been this thin? Here and there... Thin body, as if he'd fall apart. The bedside lamp seems to shine through, as if he'd disappear.
- In Love With the Gangsters Girl: Ian recounts to Jeremy when he ran off with a mob boss' wife.
- Innocently Insensitive: Ian does this to Jeremy when he actively tries to make their new step-family a happy one. What he doesn't know is that his father is sexually abusing Jeremy.
Ian: The plan is to make this a loving household of Lynn Forest, aiming to create a peaceful family.
Jeremy: Will it all...work...out?
Ian: We'll make it work Jeremy! And in the end we'll all be happy.
- Interplay of Sex and Violence: Greg seems to really get off on the fact that before he rapes him, he usually beats Jeremy bloody. When Jeremy tries to not come home from boarding school over the weekends, Greg lashes out and says that since he hasn't come home to be his Sex Slave, he's had to physically restrain himself from hitting Sandra- significant in that this is the first time Greg beats Jeremy. Jeremy also fantasizes about seducing and drinking Ian's blood while watching his boxing match. Later on, Jeremy tells Ian during a moment of Intimate Psychotherapy that he wants Ian to hurt him while he is doing it.
Jeremy: I'm breaking into pieces! Destroy me more, more! Break me! Kill me!
- Intimate Psychotherapy: Jeremy and Ian end up having sex after Jeremy has a Freak Out during which he hallucinates that Greg is following him.
- It's All About Me: Greg.
- Jerk With a Heart of Gold: Lorenzo.
- Just in Time: Ian finds Jeremy not a minute too late when he tries to drown himself in the lake.
- Karmic Death: Greg is killed from a car accident in the car that he raped Jeremy in, and that is the reason Jeremy picked that car to tamper with.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Jeremy gets a lot of this, for the whole series.
- Lady Killer in Love: Ian when he falls for Nadia, and then later on Jeremy.
- Laughing Mad: Jeremy after he is moved dorms because he kissed his roommate Willaim. Also happens when the police come to say that Greg's car caught fire.
- Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Ian is a mixture of this and Badass Long Hair.
- Love Hungry: Greg tells Jeremy that he needs to admiration of everyone he meets.
- Love Hurts
- Love Martyr: Although not in a romantic way, Jeremy qualifies as this almost perfectly. He allows himself to be beaten and raped by his stepfather for months on end, even before Greg and his mother, Sandra, got married. He did all of this because he wants his mother to be happy and fears that if she finds out her lover and dream marriage are ruined by his confession of the the abuse, that she will either hate him, commit suicide, or both.
Ian: Why is Sandra that important to you?
Jeremy: Because she's my blood relative, the only one! I love her! It was for her sake!
Ian: Love? Weren't you just a live sacrifice for her? ...Why do you go to such lengths to make excuses for Sandra? Would you take two or three bullets so that she wouldn't be hurt?
- Nadia is also a good example of this. She relentless pursues and loves Ian despite the fact that he cheats on her with Jeremy.
- Love Redeems
- Loves the Sound of Screaming: Somehow, Greg thinks that Jeremy screaming is a pleasant sound.
- Madness Mantra: Jeremy repeats "hallelujah" while Greg beats him around Christmas time.
- Make It Look Like An Accident
- Mama Didn't Raise No Criminal: Jeremy fears that Sandra will hate him if she finds out about his and Greg's relationship.
- Mistaken for Cheating: Vivi thinks that Jeremy willing cheated on her.
- Lilya is mistaken for this by Greg.
- Sandra thinks that Greg is cheating on her with his secretary and Jeremy. Subverted in that Greg really was sleeping with Jeremy, although against Jeremy's will.
- Moto Hagio
- My God, What Have I Done?: Applies to Jeremy after he accidentally kills his mother along with Greg by Vehicular Sabotage in a Make It Look Like An Accident .
- Ian when he realizes Jeremy really was abused.
- Can also apply to Ian when Jeremy finds the pictures Greg took of him after abusing him that Ian kept. Jeremy, as expected, reacts negatively and has a Freak Out , which leads to Ian's What Have I Done.
- Not if They Enjoyed it Rationalization: Greg uses this a LOT to justify his actions, and even Ian tries to rationalize what happened to Jeremy with this at first. Heck, even Jeremy almost falls into this thinking because he becomes aroused when Greg assaults him, until Dr. Orson sets him straight. The trope is PAINFULLY deconstructed, however, as we see the psychological (and sometimes physical) consequences that the abuse has on Jeremy.
Jeremy: That bastard tells me that he loves me. He says that I'm actually in love with him and that my mother is the only thing holding me back. He tells me to be honest with myself. Should I just give in? I despise him, but I can't stop my body and impulses which are responding to his dirty methods! When I think of him coming into my room, I start sweating. After he's finished the headaches appear and I feel like vomiting, but just like he says, will I one day end up desiring him? Do I have no choice to but to let my body rot as it fills his desires?!
Dr. Orson: "Abby!" That isn't right!
- Greg: Don't you feel it, Jeremy? You love me.
- One Gender School: Modeen, Jeremy and Ian's boarding school.
- One Head Taller :Ian is over 6 ft while Jeremy is somewhere around 5'5"-5'7". Also Ian, while thin, is muscular as he is a boxer. Jeremy is stick thin from always claiming I'm Not Hungry.
- Parental Obliviousness: Sandra, but this is later subverted when Jeremy finds out she knew the whole time.
- Please Don't Leave Me: Ian repeatedly begs Jeremy not to leave England, comes up with a lot of conditions to prevent Jeremy from leaving.
- Sandra pleading with Jeremy to stay with her also qualifies as this.
- Poor Communication Kills: One of the reasons Jeremy ends up committing the murder is because he can't tell anyone to get any
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: When Greg discovers that Natasha has witnessed him beating and raping Jeremy, he threatens to destroy the family and begin beating his youngest son instead if Natasha doesn't keep his secret. The threat works and Jeremy is abandoned to his fate.
- Promotion to Parent: Ian gets this after Greg and Sandra die.
- Proper Lady: All of the girls except for Marjorie.
- Raised by Grandparents: Sandra was raised by her maternal grandmother after her mother ran off with her boyfriend.
- Rape and Switch: This seems to be the case with Jeremy. A the beginning of the series, he has a girlfriend and has no interest in other men that he shows, but the longer Greg abuses him, the more interested in men (or more specifically, Ian), he becomes, although he does have feelings for Nadia for a short period.
- Rape As Back Story
- Rape Is A Special Kind of Evil
- Rape Leads to Insanity
- Rape and Revenge: Jeremy eventually gets revenge on Greg by wrecking the breaks on his car. Unfortunately, it also kills his mother and turns his life into a living hell.
- Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Jeremy. And Ian and Greg comment on it. A lot.
- Real Men Cook: Ian is shown cooking a variety of things when he and Jeremy are living in London, and they all look pretty well made. Jeremy, on the other hand, is a terrible cook, and burns/over-seasons everything.
- Renowned Selective Mentor: Dr. Orson for Jeremy. He is retired and has cancer, but he counsels Jeremy for free anyway.
- Sanity Slippage: Jeremy.
- Scars are Forever: Jeremy has scars covering his back from being whipped by his step-father during sexual assault. As the series progresses, the scars do not fade and Jeremy refuses to remove his shirt when he is working as a prostitute, changing clothes in front of others, and swimming. He even refuses to let Ian see his back despite the fact that Ian knows that the scars are there.
- Selective Obliviousness: Ian refuses to believe Jeremy when he confesses to the murder, but also the abuse.
- Sandra also falls into this trope when she refuses to believe that Greg has been raping Jeremy.
- Self-Made Orphan: Jeremy intends to kill Greg, but accidentally kills Sandra.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Jeremy and Ian respectively.
- Sex for Solace: Ian occasionally seeks this out, from Nadia and then Jeremy down the road. Ian and Jeremy may fall under this, but their instances tend to fall more along the lines of Intimate Psychotherapy.
- Slap-Slap-Kiss: Happens quite a bit with Jeremy and Ian in the latter half of the story.
- Shrinking Violet: Valentine
- Sympathetic Murder Backstory: Jeremy may have killed Greg and accidentally Sandra, but you feel really, really bad for him.
- These Hands Have Killed: Jeremy, after he kills Greg via Vehicular Sabotage. He doesn't care so much about that as he does about the fact that Sandra was also in the car. Oops. He spends the second half of the series trying to recover from a massive guilt complex.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Dr. Orson stresses this to Jeremy.
- Thousand Yard Stare: Jeremy displays this very often, every morning after Greg abuses him. As the series progresses, his gaze becomes like this most of the time, especially when he is close to one of his several instances of Heroic BSOD.
- Tin Man: Jeremy is this with an element of the Stoic Woobie. Jeremy actively denies feeling any towards sex, pain, love, or really any emotional attachment. Luckily though he seems to be on the path to recovery.
- Trauma Conga Line
- Traumatic Haircut: Jeremy's hair is partially cut off by some of the other students at an alternative school he attempts to attend while he is working as a prostitute with Cass after returning to Boston. This is particularly traumatizing because the other students cut it off while attempting to sexually assault him, which Jeremy does NOT handle well, considering his Rape As Back Story and understandable Hates Being Touched.
- Troubled Backstory Flashback: The first six volumes of the manga are actually a flashback to before the accident.
- Used to be a Sweet Kid: Jeremy, Jeremy, Jeremy... At the very beginning of the series, he is sweet to the point of being ridiculous, but he finally snaps and kills Greg via Vehicular Sabotage. Actually, it is Jeremy's sweetness that causes his Trauma Conga Line in the first place; He refuses to seek help because it would mean ruining his mother's happy marriage. Although more of a Conflict Ball with Fille Fatale problems than evil, he never really snapped back. Arguably, Jeremy still is sweet kid- he just has some issues he needs to work through.
- Victim Blaming
- You Are Better Than You Think You Are: At the conclusion of the climactic Deprogramming scene, Ian reaffirms this to Jeremy.
Jeremy (crying): I smell, don't I? I smell like I'm rotting, right?
Ian: Even though he raped you, and you prostituted yourself, you don't smell rotten. What happened to you was an incident. It doesn't change you into something else.
- You Should Have Died Instead: This is a literal line from Jeremy when he is standing at Sandra's grave.
- Your Cheating Heart: Ian cheats on Nadia with Jeremy.