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Recap / Sanders Sides S 2 E 11 Dealing With Intrusive Thoughts

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Thomas is off to a slow start this morning, because he was kept up all night by unsettling and entirely involuntary thoughts. When trying to avoid the topic doesn't work, they're forced to confront the problem head-on. Enter: the Duke, also known as Remus. Remus is revealed as a Dark Side who is responsible for the negative aspects of Thomas' creativity — manifesting in intrusive thoughts.

Release date: June 25, 2019

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


  • Be Careful What You Wish For: It’s implied this is what Deceit is aiming for by unleashing The Duke, possibly to scare Thomas away from unveiling other facets of himself.
    Remus, referencing Deceit: Speaking of honesty, recently a snake offered me a morsel from the tree of knowledge. He said “You're wanting to be more honest, and be direct dealing with your issues? No longer will you deceive yourself about the ugliness within you!”
  • Content Warnings: The episode starts with a sign alerting people that it contains references to "blood and gore, death, sexual innuendo, violence, disturbing imagery, crude humor, religious commentary".
  • Disappointed in You: Consciously or unconsciously, meaning it or not, that's what Thomas told Virgil with his gesture when he silently stared at him after Virgil confessed he was a Dark Side. No wonder Virgil had to run away on the verge of crying after seeing that face.
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  • Disney Acid Sequence: The Duke's song is bright-colored and trippy. (Behind-the-scenes, Thomas drew inspiration from fan-made animations that use similar visuals and imagery.)
  • Establishing Character Moment: The first three things Remus does, in order, are: ask Thomas if he's ever considered murdering his brother, knock Roman out with a mace and bursting into song.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Remus first appears to Thomas in a whisper, asking him if he’s “ever imagined killing [his] brother,” shortly before physically appearing and violently knocking Remus’s own brother, Roman, unconscious.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During the song, when Remus kneels down, he uncovers a little sign behind him that reads "Aunt Patty Naked" written with blood that is seen only for a couple of seconds.
  • Funny Background Event: The way Remus comes in for the first time looks like this, with him rising from the back of the television behind Roman.
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  • Given Name Reveal: The Duke's is hilariously anticlimactic. He just casually tells Thomas his name is "Remus." Befitting someone who has absolutely zero filter, he has no problem introducing himself right off the bat.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Duke's song implies that Deceit sent him to mess with Thomas.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Patton mentions the brave, handsome, unbeatable Roman... and next we see him lying unconscious on the floor, whining in dreams about how he doesn't want mashed potatoes.
  • "I Am" Song: The first thing Remus does when he shows up, other than hitting his brother on the head with a mace, that is, is bursting into a song introducing himself to Thomas.
  • Insult Friendly Fire: Logan taunts Remus for saying that Thomas' art is bad, but in doing so, he impliedly deprecates Thomas' friends and family, and, obviously, Thomas doesn't like it.
    Logan: Thomas' friends and family is one thing, but his work? Is nothing sacred?
    Thomas: Yeah! ...wait, what about my friends and family?
  • Literal-Minded: Logan gives two examples:
    Logan: Or your reaction is a little too extreme.
    Patton: That's easy for you to say.
    Logan: Why wouldn't it be easy to say? It was an 8-word sentence. That's not exactly laborious.

    Virgil: Do you know what I never got about that movie?
    Roman: Why it won best chick flick? [laughs] I like Just Like Heaven and I'm not a chick!
    Logan: Of course you're not a chick. You're a metaphysical human being and chicks are newly-hatched birds.
  • Medium Awareness: "Okay, I'm gonna make the promo for this video..."
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Roman and Remus, the “Light” and the “Dark” Side of Thomas’s creativity. However, there are indications that the two are Not So Different.
  • Running Away to Cry: The ending implies Virgil is doing this, since he's obviously fighting tears as he sinks out.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: Let's face facts. The bizarre things Remus mentions in his song don't show him as the most sane aspect of Thomas, even though he tries to deny it:
    Remus: And since you haven't puked yet you'll know they're wrong when they call you sick.
  • Screamer Prank: Remus pulls one on the other Sides. He suddenly interrupts the conversation by screeching with a demonic voice, startling everyone, with the only intention of distracting them.
  • Shout-Out: When trying to avoid talking about the intrusive thoughts, Thomas and the Sides have a conversation about Just Like Heaven. It doesn't work.
  • Surprise Creepy: In a show that's usually PG, Remus' arrival requires there to be a sizable list of content warnings at the start of his debut episode.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: Roman does this several times while lying unconscious on the floor, sometimes saying things that don't make any sense, other times saying things that do make a lot of sense.
    Roman: No, mommy, I don't want the mashed potatoes...

    Remus: [to Logan] Shut up, Nerdy Wolverine!
    Roman: [in his dreams] How about you shut up!?
  • Villain Song: "Forbidden Fruit", in which Remus sings about his dark and disturbing ideas, and how Thomas should embrace them.
  • Wham Episode: The second Dark Side is revealed, and Virgil comes clean with Thomas.
  • Wham Line: Virgil finally reveals what many fans have suspected for a while, that he used to be a Dark Side.
    Virgil: "Because... I was one of them."
  • Wham Shot: The fingers creeping up over the top of the TV behind Roman. Then Remus' full appearance staring at Roman from behind the TV with a creepy grin.
  • You Are Not Alone: Logan makes a point of telling Thomas (and, by extension, the audience) that intrusive thoughts are actually pretty common — about one in fifty people have them.
  • You Didn't Ask: Why didn't Roman ever mention he has a twin? Well... he doesn't like to talk about Remus much. (Also, Deceit probably had something to do with keeping it under wraps.)
  • You Do NOT Want To Know: That's what Thomas, Virgil and Patton keep saying to Roman when he asks them what they were talking about when he rised up.

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