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Recap / Sanders Sides S 2 E 10 Selfishnessv Selflessness

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Thomas gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when he gets a callback for a movie. Unfortunately, the callback falls on the same date as his friends Lee and Mary Lee's wedding — and Thomas already promised he would go. Thomas considers lying and saying he has a family emergency so he can go to the callback instead, which Patton and Virgil are both vehemently against. When Thomas says he didn't really mean that, Deceit decides to put that to the test by bringing everyone into a courtroom for "the trial of Thomas Sanders vs. Thomas Sanders." With Deceit as the prosecution, Patton as the defense, Roman as the judge, and Virgil as the jury, Deceit poses the question: is Thomas a bad person?

Release date: March 31, 2019

WARNING: Untagged spoilers ahead. Read at your own risk.


  • Both Sides Have a Point: Or rather five Sides have a point.
    • Patton is right that lying to your friends and going back on a promise is just not very nice.
    • Virgil is right that lying to his friends would make Thomas anxious.
    • Roman is right that the callback is a dream come true, and one that will probably only come once in Thomas' lifetime. He's been working for this all his life, so why should he pass it up? He's also right that forcing someone to put your needs ahead of theirs is also pretty selfish.
    • Logan is right that, statistically, Thomas is much more likely to get a chance to attend a wedding (or just make it up to Lee and Mary Lee) than he is to ever get a callback of this stature again. He's also the only person to bring up the merits of both the wedding and the callback — the wedding enhances Thomas' social life, while the callback enhances his career.
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    • Deceit is right that Thomas really wants to skip the wedding, and did even before he got the callback. He's also right that no one can or should be expected to be 100% selfless 100% of the time.
  • Continuity Nod: When Thomas says "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" and Deceit adds "...and that is always true without exception", Logan pulls out his notebook and starts writing something down while frowning at them, the same notebook he showed in Nightmare instead of Christmas where he said he wrote down everything someone said that he thought it was "unprecedentedly stupid".
  • Courtroom Antics: Both Deceit and Patton play pretty fast and loose with courtroom procedure.
  • Courtroom Episode: The majority of the episode takes place in a courtroom scenario of Deceit's invention.
  • Cuckoosnarker: When Deceit starts mocking Patton, he gets so angry that he can't help subtly Flipping the Bird on Deceit, although it is in a Freeze-Frame Bonus shot, disguising it as if Patton was just adjusting his glasses, even though he does so with a revealing murderous glance at Deceit.
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  • Cutting Back to Reality:
    Deceit: This isn't even a real courtroom! You're sitting on your couch with your eyes closed!
    Thomas: (back in his living room, alone on his couch) That's fair, but why say it?
  • Demoted to Extra: Invoked, and played with. Deceit "benches" Logan for the courtroom scenario, presumably because Logan's the only one who would actually be able to be objective. However, Logan is still present in the room, and acts as a witness at one point, as well as explains who Max Stirner was.
  • Foreshadowing: The fact that Thomas is willing to hear Deceit out in the first place is the first hint that, deep down, he agrees with him on some level.
  • Freudian Slip: Seen in this dialogue with Deceit.
    Deceit: Your name is Roman, correct?
    Roman: [happily] The one and lonely! What? Freudian slip! I mean...
  • Going Cosmic: Deceit holds a whole "We Live In A Society"-Monologue, referencing egoist philosopher Max Stirner.
  • Iconic Logo: Before Deceit sinks down, he reveals his logo, the two-headed snake.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Deceit's role in this episode in a nutshell. The fact that he's a slimy, manipulative jerk doesn't change the fact that he's right: Thomas does want to skip the wedding for the callback, never wanted to go to the wedding to begin with, and just isn't as honest as he'd like to be. He's also not wrong when he points out that a lot of rules (laws, social conventions, etc.) are only followed by the vast majority of people for the sake of keeping up appearances and not causing trouble, not because people feel a great need to uphold those rules.
  • Kangaroo Court: Given that it's mock trial set up by Deceit, it's probably not a surprise that there's absolutely no regard for actual courtroom procedure. Let us count the ways...
    • There's one juror instead of twelve.
    • Said juror openly loathes the prosecution.
    • Meanwhile the judge openly favors the prosecution.
    • Thomas and Patton are given no time to prepare a defense.
    • Absolutely no one in the court room has any actual legal experience, and it shows.
    • The judge, jury, prosecution, defense, and accused all know each other personally, which would never fly in a real courtroom.
    • Thomas lampshades this when he tries to invoke the sixth amendment: the right to a fair and speedy trial. As he points out, the trial is anything but fair.
  • Kubrick Stare: When Deceit is discovered impersonating Logan, he stares at Thomas with this ominous glance before taking the disguise off.
  • My God, You Are Serious: Roman's reaction when Thomas says that Deceit can stay is laughing lively... until Thomas frowns at him and he realizes in horror he's serious about it.
  • Non Sequitur Environment: Patton confronts Deceit saying that Thomas is perfect. They're in Thomas' living room when Patton says this. When Deceit answers him back yelling he can defend Thomas all he likes, they're both already in the courtroom and Patton doesn't know how he got there.
  • Spot the Imposter: Deceit tries to fool the group by being Logan. Unfortunately, everyone was quick to note down what he got wrong.
  • Sssssnaketalk: In what is surprisingly his first line like this, Deceit calls Patton a "ssssssssssuck up!" at one point.
  • Strange Minds Think Alike: Virgil and Logan separately have the exact same response to Thomas' rationale for why he's hearing Deceit out ("He doesn't like Nazis").
    That... can't be where the bar is.
  • Villainous Breakdown: After Roman's verdict that Thomas will go to the wedding, Deceit starts screaming and pointing that they are not understanding his point.

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