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Face/Off 2


On the natural ground of justice

Castor & Pollux were twin sons of Zeus & worshipped as gods in Sparta. Now, the Gemini constellation is opposite the Sagittarius. It takes both Troy brothers to come up with Archer.

Archer meets Pollux twice, twice Pollux is surprised & defeated. The first is a contest of wit, the second, of strength. Pollux dies. The scientists call Pollux a paranoid sociopath. This is a moralistic way of saying he is clever & has a calculating mind with which he pursues tyranny.

Archer has four contests with Castor. He wins the second & fourth, he loses the first & third. They are symmetrical. Midway, the two talk. Castor has become Archer, Archer Castor. Strangely, this makes Pollux useless. The new Castor is both Castor & Pollux. The brothers were both conniving gunfighters, but whereas Castor is given to sex. Pollux was a scientist. The science can be had without the scientist. This implies there is no theory, only practice. Castor is the perfect sophist.

Castor says the life of crime is fun, presumably for him. He is especially given to sexual pleasures, but drugs also. He enjoins Archer to have more fun, too. Everyone fears Castor except Archer. Pollux is in awe of Castor; Castor treats him like a child. His criminal associates admire him even when he abuses them, above all because of his intense, depraved eroticism. Castor acts as if he were immortal.

Castor says Los Angeles is hell & deserves a biblical plague, which turns out to mean a state-of-the-art biological bomb designed by Pollux. He does not mean he will turn LA to hell, but that the city as such is already hell. He must really hate the laws.

The laws cannot protect Archer anymore. His pursuit of justice & the public good has led him to pretend he is a criminal. But law enforcement does not look into a man’s heart. The price he pays for justice may simply be too high. His revenge is fulfilled when he has Castor in the course of extinction. The FBI keeps him alive because they’re dead scared of the bomb. This is no longer Archer’s family problem, it’s the city’s. The police cannot prevent every evil or destruction. This terrorism aims to reduce the public to the private – survival. But the principled Archer cannot abandon the opportunity science proffers, though he recoils in disgust. The temptation is too great. He does prove Castor is mortal. Castor loves his brother more than his own interest. Therefore, virtue is not entirely independent of city & family. The family is the ground of justice & the family preserves its dead. It remembers the good in vengeance & that vengeance is divine.