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for The Little King

3/31/2019 c1 153Linneagb
Aw. Just the weekend... well I guess it turned out more than that, didn't it? I just love the father/ son relationship in between Sandy and Ryan and especially now when Sandy stopped him from going with Dawn. It's so sad there are loads of parents out there like Dawn. Little king... now that's a very interesting name. But it's a very nice name too. Great piece, thanks for writing and sharing
12/24/2018 c1 Guest
Thank you for writing this. Great story
6/2/2018 c1 fredsmith518
I very much like your style, for me, you absolutely capture the tone of the show, takes me right back.
9/4/2017 c1 Guest
Great story, thank you for writing this. Have you thought about writing more stories? Maybe more family bonding moments?
9/1/2017 c1 96Tif S
The pilot is one of my favorite episodes, but I have to say, this rewrite adds something more that's nice as well. I loved your insight into Ryan, Sandy and Kirsten here. I too couldn't help but wonder why Sandy would allow Ryan to go with Dawn. Ryan means Little King, huh that's extremely interesting and fits the moment very well. I'd love to see a take on some other moments in the series with this slight change in mind. This was wonderful. Well done.
6/18/2017 c1 Guest
You inspired me to watch again. I was just as taken with Ryan instantly and moved by him and also by how Ryan and Sandy interact. I do, however, notice what seemed so overly kind and generous earlier, differently now. I think Ryan had me anticipating that he'd be easily forgotten by Sandy and expecting very little, so anything at all was amazing. After all, Ryan was used to nothing, or eventually hoping for nothing instead of getting targeted and hurt. Your scenario through Sandy's POV changes things drastically and would have played out the same.

I did still appreciate so many of the more subtle images, but things that still had to rate so highly with Ryan, like Sandy taking time at all and Sandy spending time alone with Ryan. I never get tired of the tying of the tie and all of the smaller pieces of that whole scene. Sandy does do the advocating up to an extent once Ryan is in the house, until Kirsten puts her foot down. As heartbreaking as it was to have the Chino house empty and Ryan find what he did how he did, I always breathe a sigh of relief, although it was only temporary because this was a different set of circumstances and a very different Kirsten, and she would be for months and years. I literally cringe every time when she harshly asks what if Ryan is using Sandy to case the house. At least the stray puppy remark has some empathy. Some.

Thanks for writing again. Nothing like a Father's Day read for Ryan and Sandy. God knows Ryan deserved and needed a father and a friend and Sandy was forever touched for the better by Ryan.
6/17/2017 c1 Guest
The pilot has always had a very special place in my heart because it's the introduction, obviously, and so many things are possible in retrospect. Also, Ben McKenzie won me over instantly and I loved his dynamic with Peter Gallagher. Now this reboot holds a special place. It doesn't just have me envisioning the most pivotal moments and images again, but speculating on what might have been here and afterwards.

Thank you!
6/11/2017 c1 5ggparisgg
I really liked this rendition. I just rewatched the pilot and I like this, although the pilot is damn good too.
6/10/2017 c1 Guest
Thanks for your revised perspective, Sandy's revised perspective with better choices, a far kinder, gentler, more open Kirsten, and what is heads and shoulders above the show's writers. They introduced some wonderful characters, but clearly without much knowledge or they were at the mercy of network executives and their limited views. I always thought that Ben McKenzie and Peter Gallagher brought magic to the pilot and it was Ben's Ryan who just wanted me to hope that Sandy was sincere about helping him because i had no illusions that anyone gave Ryan anything but heartache, or aches anywhere. I would have settled for anything, however small. I guess I bought into the hopelessness, something that would last for the run of the show, to settle, because that was the best Ryan could usually dare hope for instead of setting himself up for more pain and being failed.

Big thanks!
6/8/2017 c1 Guest
Thanks for a respite from more madness in the crazy world. Of course, Ryan's world is desperate and sad, but there's that glimmer of hope to go with the very steep, painful uphill battles of unknowns. From Dawn's and her chosen predators' clutches to who knows what, although that Ryan would go for a complete unknown can't be lost on Sandy.

Imagine if just a few things had changed, and both of these were significant.

This has me wondering and thinking. It wouldn't have undone 15 years of steady wounds or removed scars, but it would have prevented a host of new ones and could have altered things much more drastically if Dawn didn't get far and hurt Ryan in the process, took out someone else too, or if A.J. was more dangerous and driven by drugs and did worse than a typical beating and then kicking Ryan out.
6/5/2017 c1 Guest
I couldn't decide if some of the oversights, slights, or what I would call holes were by design, the result of poor editing with an inexperienced new creative and production team, or what. I know that they admitted later that they were in over their heads, burned through way too much story without thinking and made plenty of mistakes as first timers, but this was the pilot. It could have been about time constraints and pacing or just ignorance about Ryan's life, Sandy's profession and his character, and just not bothering to learn about society and people beyond their own immediate experience.

You've zoned in on one of the things I always was unsure about, which was how far Sandy would and should go and when. There was never a doubt in my mind that Dawn was drunk and on some kind of drug(s). That was her constant and she was in rare form. It was surprising she didn't kill anyone getting to juvie, never mind driving back. So, as moved and grateful as I was by Sandy not just walking away entirely until a court date, which Ryan would be fretting over and would never forget, as if he needed a reminder, I was taken aback that he didn't do more. Even if he didn't take Ryan home, that first step was crucial. I always wondered if Sandy, as he was in the pilot, regretted not stepping up and keeping Ryan safer. A greater tragedy could have easily happened and he might never have seen Ryan again, or in far worse shape, at least physically. The poor kid was already an emotional wreck, however he had to bury it.

Lots of unknowns, questions and speculating with the other part. Again with the editing, intent, or who knows. This certainly would have set up a far different beginning with Ryan less skittish, uncertain, distant, and walking on eggshells around a Kirsten who called the shots and had some defined barriers in place around Ryan with her assumptions and misjudgments based on any number of things.

Thanks for a look back and a new perspective. So many things could be changed and the ripple effect would be in full swing.
6/4/2017 c1 Guest
I really liked many things about the pilot, namely because it introduced us to Ryan, showcased what I hoped would be a strong relationship over time with Sandy, and was handled more as a drama with substance in compelling way with a very likable, compelling character at its heart. I thought it was a far cry from the melodrama and soap that would surface far too often later with secondary characters and matters as the focus all too often.

That's not to say that it was ideal, but nothing is. It was very strong, but either the lack of experience of the writers and producers were showing, or the network had its own ideas or both. There were definitely cracks and holes that you highlight. Having Sandy torn between doing the right thing right at the curb when his conscience was yelling at him and he settled for handing Ryan the card, more than Ryan had ever had as a lifeline or concern, obviously, but what should have been too little too late was the first wavering. He was just as uncertain with Kirsten in hours, days and at least weeks that would follow when it came to any involvement, commitment, degree of commitment and investment with Ryan.

We only got to speculate about Sandy and Kirsten and what was said or done before Ryan was sitting in the driveway, just as dejected and resigned to whatever fate, and it could be anything, as you describe above. Trying to not think at all about just how pathetic he had become would about fill it. What to even do with that? There are several avenues any attempted or actual conversations could have taken, from none, or a message, some kind of compromise that didn't include Ryan on the premises, Sandy conveying that he was trying to place a client before the weekend, a vaguer answering a call for help early in the evening, or maybe that they had drifted apart enough that Sandy didn't think she'd trust him and he couldn't trust her response, so he just acted. Regardless, in your version, there is more trust. Kirsten is resistant, but not just opposed, end of story. Sandy has input and it's not "Kirsten's house" and only her decision. Sandy pleads Ryan's case as advocate, attorney that he should be, and more. Sandy captures his own emotions and connection to Ryan and conveys them. While the given is for Kirsten or anyone to assume the worst and judge sight unseen, she gets more of an idea than the stereotypical, violent, repeat offender, hostile "delinquent/criminal" that she pictures and assumes Ryan must be. Ryan is humanized more. I always thought that she had an image someone very different than Ryan and had to be surprised by him, but couldn't back down. By asking about him, even getting his name, something Caleb would never let himself use, Ryan becomes more real.

Plenty hinges on the realization that Ryan cannot go near Dawn & Co. and what one display had to mean in the bigger picture. It means not waffling and being firm about more than the minimum for a kid, not a thing or the "stray puppy" referred to in the pilot. This was a kid and his life at stake. That's at the core when Dawn first arrives to give Sandy a lasting glimpse into Ryan's daily life and what Sandy hopes Kirsten can connect the dots about without spelling too much out, if she's the person he hopes she has been and hasn't changed too much with that flying time in their Newport lives. Having Ryan's name to go with trust, instinct and more of the pieces all fit the puzzle.

I'm glad you also brought up what Sandy would have seen, but not spoken with Ryan about, when it comes to his file. Humiliating or questioning Ryan about what he probably hadn't seen from Child Services and domestic issues would have added insults to injury. Wrong time and place, but we never did learn about that just as we never learned fully why Sandy brought Ryan home. Ryan, clearly insecure always on some level with the Cohen, and sadly to the end to degrees, would never want to broach that topic and ask. He might not like what he heard depending on when he asked. He also wasn't one to ask. He had it the best he ever did. Why rock the boat/

Thanks again for writing and for writing this with more of a magnifying glass!
6/4/2017 c1 anon
You have me remembering with eyes more wide open, although the passage of time from first, not subsequent viewings also do, as well as all of the many shortcomings, failings and disappointments over the course of the series, some of which had a serious impact on Ryan and led to avoidable, but weighty consequences.

Sandy makes the correct guest about as much as know about the car. Trey was behind it and Ryan never wanted any part of it, as he clearly stated other times when he saw Trey in later episodes, particularly that awful culmination of Trey's resentment, jealously and misplaced anger towards Ryan that led to him pulling and holding a gun on him, trying to choke him to death- maybe the most personal and arguably a very painful death- or use that old phone for blunt force trauma to literally beat Ryan's brains and skull in. The grayer areas are the circumstances that had Ryan with Trey at all, since Trey had moved out years before, even without juvie and jail in the mix, and it was obvious to both before Ryan was a tweener that they were light years apart and moving further. Ryan saw Trey much more clearly with older than 7-8-year-old eyes, and knew that they had some childhood and shared blood, but not much else. There had to be a reason why Ryan was with him, whether because he was conned, manipulated, guilted, or hadn't been able to be at Dawn's hovel for days and was already desperate before his desperation dropped to new levels when he met Sandy. That will always be shrouded with questions.

Sandy protecting Ryan from Dawn in the hurtling bondo-mobile is one important step to go along with his musings and contemplation. I'm sure he's seen a range of parents and guardians, some accustomed to the routine or familiar with jail themselves, some indifferent, some concerned and then there are the Dawn types, if another like her exists. Shielding Ryan first is an indicator what's to come. I'm sure Sandy also is adept at spotting someone under the influence of take your pick of liquids and other substances. I pegged Dawn for a buffet of mixing and someone who did it regularly. Ryan wasn't at all shocked or the least bit phased by her norm.

Sandy's reaction to Dawn also had to contrast sharply with his time with Ryan. Dawn, however affected by drugs and alcohol, was shrill, loud, foul, crude, nasty, malicious, anything but articulate and made no attempt to be the least bit courteous or hide how she treated Ryan in the open, which was a red flag for what went on behind closed doors. Ryan as Sandy had seen, was quiet, polite, obedient, respectful despite being scared and not knowing what to expect from Sandy, clearly intelligent and articulate, put others before himself, and was everything Dawn wasn't. If Sandy wondered at all about Ryan getting behind the wheel with a dangerous Dawn and what that could mean in the next few miles or less, how about how often Ryan had been at her mercy, or his father's, her boyfriend's, his brother's, and all of that group he had the misfortune to find himself in, since his first breath? Actually, he'd been at Dawn's mercy since before he saw the light of day. What a fate.

The writers provided less to go on regarding what Sandy told Kirsten, tried to tell Kirsten if he wasn't successful in reaching her, or she gave enough information that he shouldn't have this kind of conversation on the phone sight unseen, or whatever the circumstances. The outcome is that if she had refused, what would Sandy have done and what would have become of Ryan? It also would have made her much more the villain without the guise of being tired, overworked, not wanting to be involved, and being protective of herself, her home and her family, even if there was very little to a relationship with Seth, who was bent on boarding school. This way, she could be redeemed with the ambiguity and Sandy could "win her over" and hope that she'd see that it would be heartless and cruel to turn a kid away in such an hour of need.

Just like Sandy couldn't have imagined Dawn in all of her glory in spite of his first musings and reflections, he couldn't have predicted that she'd just give Ryan away to him almost gleefully and spitefully, as if she'd been waiting for the chance and jumped at it. Whether he guessed that Ryan would apologize for the woman who had committed far worse crimes than Ryan's being caught in Trey's web, and had made a habit of committing them as common practice with just the substance-related ones, adding what had to be abuse, neglect and now abandonment to domestics, he doesn't seem too surprised. Ryan should be reeling from the night before, if not his whole life, and from being dumped with a stranger, but he isn't making this about him. I was wishing that Sandy would offer something along the lines of truly wishing that Ryan hadn't had to go through this, but if Ryan doesn't take the comment the wrong way and is more ashamed by his life paraded in all of its ugliness, then he can focus on the part that Sandy is glad to try to help and that Ryan wasn't put in peril more and again with Dawn. Of course, if Ryan ends up back with her, he'd pay for this.

You raise many points to ponder, but I'm glad.

6/3/2017 c1 Guest
From one minefield to another, but the former is far more deadly and deeply, constantly painful than the latter. It's sad that Newport had to be its own war zone for Ryan more often than not. Struggles and battles would be unavoidable, but this suggests ways that he wouldn't have had to endure as much, worry as much, pay such a high price, and have better bonds.

I have more questions, but I'd rather enjoy this for now.

Thanks so much for going back to the very critical beginning and the first magic and pivotal moments with the most magical and pivotal relationship for Ryan.
6/2/2017 c1 Guest
I never questioned the second part, either because I thought that a version of some communication was edited and either Sandy chose to hold back what he was going to do because he was afraid he'd be told not to come home or because he couldn't reach her and didn't want to leave a message about something so important.

I did question the first part because as much as I was glad that Sandy didn't just look and walk away, but that he stopped so far short of doing enough. The writing was on the wall in neon paint that Ryan was in trouble and there wouldn't be another chance once he got in that car. Ryan might not ever get out in the worst case.

Thanks for shining the spotlight and putting this under the microscope. You have me thinking about another 90 episodes or so!
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