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Fridge / The Shape of Water

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Fridge Brilliance

  • A good foil between Elisa and Strickland: Strickland has an obsession with compensating himself with physical gifts rather than liking himself, to the point that he overlooks the contexts of his self-help books. Elisa, on the other hand, learns from the Asset that she doesn't need a voice to be a worthwhile person because he loves her for who she is.
  • Concerning the ending: there's contrast between how the Asset ultimately rewards each for their actions towards him (both to the throat). Strickland is rewarded with his throat torn out, a show of the Asset's violent capabilities. Whereas Elisa is rewarded when the Asset's healing abilities give her gills, fitting of his more peaceful powers.
  • Strickland likes to compare himself to Samson, believing himself is superior to all other men. However, a much better character to compare to Samson would be Giles, as he shown to be bald and has to wear a toupee when in public. After he helps the Asset escape the lab, the Asset uses his Healing Hands to bring back Giles' hair. At the film's climax, he's able to knock Strickland down with a large stick, showing that he'd regained his strength.
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    • Speaking of said strength, the Asset's regeneration ability might have something to do with it too.

Fridge Horror

  • Giles' van clearly ties him to a theft from a Defense site, the sabotage of that site's power supply, the murder of a US Army MP, and several dead Soviet spies. There's no mistaking it; it still has the phony laundry service livery and several bullet holes from Strickland's revolver. He's also going to have to explain what, exactly, he was doing so close to the freshly-killed corpse of a Military Police officer. There's a very real chance that Giles will be facing the death penalty. At the very least, he'll probably be spending the rest of his life in a federal prison.
    • Possibly Fridge Brilliance if you consider his bookending narrations and the movie between could be his testimony while being questioned about what happened and how he's involved.
    • Then again, if Giles were to be prosecuted for his involvement, the government would have to try to explain how two cleaning ladies, a commercial artist, and a research scientist, (the last one also a Soviet double-agent) managed to break into a highly secure government facility and steal a very valuable research specimen, to say nothing of explaining why Strickland apparently murdered at least three people, two of which are also Soviet agents. It might have been easier for the government to tell Giles to keep his mouth shut if he knows what's good for him.
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  • One has to wonder how things could've gone wrong if Dimitri didn't come to Elisa's aid. 1) Elisa would not have a way to free the Asset since she doesn't have a key or anything to pick the lock with. 2) If Elisa did manage to free the Asset, her plan to keep him in her bathtub would not work since she doesn't have or know about the material needed to create the correct water conditions for the Asset to survive in. 3) Giles is quickly found out by security and it's Dimitri's murder of the guard that solidifies the rescue's success, meaning Giles, Elisa, and Zelda would've most likely been caught and severely punished if they managed to make it that far into the escape attempt. 4) If Dimitri never decided to help them, there's a chance that he might've diverted Strickland's suspicions of him over to the group and get off scott free, while probably figuring out a way to free the Asset himself. 5) If Dimitri doesn't manage to come up with a good escape plan, especially if security tightens up after Elisa's attempt, then it's most likely that he'll fail to save the Asset from being dissected and he'll eventually end up being killed by his superiors for his failure.
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  • No matter how it ends for Giles, he will be left alone in a world where no one truly understands him.

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