Half Pint: Massimo — Episode 45

SPOILER WARNING

If you have not watched episode 4.11 “End of a Line,” this podcast episode contains big spoilers. Turn back now if you do not want to be spoiled on major plot points.


Massimo in Turn to Stone
Massimo was introduced at the end of Season 3 as a mysterious, sexy troublemaker, encouraging Kenzi to feel insecure about her place in the Fae world, but by the end of Season 4 Massimo had revealed himself to be a deeply troubled individual with a massive Oedipus complex. We discuss Massimo as Kenzi’s “drug dealer,” how he compares to Bo, his sartorial choices, and more.

Snappy Dresser or Fashion Disaster?

  • Stephanie and Annie HATE Massimo’s shirts.
  • Kris is just kind of indifferent. And now that the important stuff is out of the way . . .

Creepy Druid Guy

  • Introduced via rune glass plot in Season 3
  • Metaphor for drug dealer — Kenzi’s storyline concerning Massimo reminded Stephanie of Willow’s storyline in Season 6 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • He dangled the possibility of permanent powers in front of Kenzi, but he didn’t know how to become Fae or else he would have.
  • We thought he worked well as a foil for Kenzi.

Crazypants Sociopath with Mommy Issues

  • Didn’t work as well, in Stephanie’s opinion
  • It makes sense that he would have some mental health issues after burning in lava for several days, but Stephanie wishes they hadn’t gone quite so unhinged with the character.
  • The lack of clarity around what the origin seed would do to Massimo also didn’t help.

Nature vs. Nurture

  • Nature versus nurture? Either way, Massimo’s screwed.
  • Vex as a father figure? Really?
  • Oedipal relationship with The Morrigan — In classic Freudian psychoanalysis, an Oedipus complex is when a child sexually desires the parent of the opposite sex.
  • We wish we’d seen more scenes between Massimo and The Morrigan and Massimo and Vex to lead up to the reveals of their relationships.
  • Kris makes a Once Upon a Time joke that goes over Stephanie’s head.
  • Opposite experience to Bo — Bo was a Fae raised by humans while Massimo was a human raised by Fae. Both of them felt out of place, but Bo managed to find a loving community of friends to help her become who she is.
  • Given what we learn about Massimo and his family situation, do we feel sorry for Massimo at all? Some people will say no, but Stephanie and Kris do feel a little bad for him.

Massimo as Big Bad

  • Massimo was persecuted for being human and wanted to lose his humanity in a season where our human characters were very important.
  • Massimo is our second human Big Bad who kind of became Fae. Taft was motivated out of vengeance whereas Massimo is fueled by a need to be accepted by his mother.
  • He made for an interesting final confrontation for Bo this season, given that she became separated from her friends throughout Season 4. In “Dark Horse” she reaffirms the importance her friends made in her life as she faces off with Massimo.

Share your feedback or ask questions

8 Replies to “Half Pint: Massimo — Episode 45

  1. Very nice episode about Massimo. I was interested in the parallel that you drew between Massimo and Bo and their opposite origins and upbringings, and what the result was. I also liked hearing about the concept of one’s looking-glass self and behaving in a way that conforms to (or reflects, ha ha! pun!) how other people treat you.

    Like you guys, I thought the first half of Massimo’s Season 4 story arc was better than the second. His performance especially in “In Memoriam” was chilling. But the whole lava pit/”Mommy” and then giggling maniac storyline just struck me as way over the top and I had trouble taking him seriously. One exception was when he was beating the bejesus out of Kenzi. That was brutal.

    Here is a question that I wish I had thought to ask before you guys recorded because I would’ve liked to hear your thoughts: if Evony despised Massimo so much, then why did she bother having Vex swear a blood oath to look after him? Why didn’t she leave him with his biological father, or if that person didn’t want Massimo, then why not just drop him off at a fire station?

    I think there are two possibilities – one is that perhaps Evony did harbor some maternal feelings about Massimo, or two, that she felt possessive of him (in a “this is mine” way, not an “I love you” way) and got a narcissitic charge from his worship of her, but didn’t want to actually raise him herself. What do you think?

    Finally, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, Massimo’s shirts. I think loud, bright patterned collared shirts work well on their own when worn by a person who can pull them off, and when paired with solid-color tailored pants or dark jeans. But the sweet spot for the type of shirt Massimo favors is when worn with a V-neck sweater, or a cardigan or a blazer (all solid colors, of course). They add that exact pop of fun and whimsy to an ensemble that can take an otherwise forgettable outfit to a sophisticated, modern place. Massimo often wore his shirts with this type of “topper,” which I thought worked well, but I also thought he pulled them off great when worn by themselves.

    But to each their own! If we all dressed alike, then it would be like living on Camazotz. “The horror of the place arises from its ordinary appearance, endlessly duplicated.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Wrinkle_in_Time#Locations

    1. I’m not opposed to brightly colored shirts ON PRINCIPLE. I enjoy a good brightly colored shirt. Massimo just didn’t wear good-looking ones. 🙂

    2. In regards to why The Morrigan asked Vex to swear a blood oath to look after Massimo, that’s a good question. I wish we had a better sense of “typical procedure” in regards to humans born of Fae. The only other one we’ve seen so far (that I can remember) is the son of the Will o’ the Wisp in “Where There’s a Will There’s a Fae.” In that case, Will didn’t seem to know that he had a son, and he was raised by his human mother.

      What we see of their relationship in season 4, The Morrigan definitely got off on his worship of her, but I’m not entirely sure she would see that potential in a baby. But who knows. She does mention being put off by his hugs, so maybe she did feel some maternal feelings toward him (or at least felt like she couldn’t just leave him to become Fae food) and made an attempt at being a mother.

  2. I’m imagining that Massimo had to wear a lot of hand-me-downs growing up or may have even had to steal his own garb off the neighbors’ laundry lines or from the local thrift stores. Can’t imagine Vex would waste a lot of money on clothing a human “brat”. Maybe Massimo’s style is “Stolen-Off-the-Clothesline Chic”.

    1. darkrat, that’s such a good point! How did Massimo not end up wearing leather? Maybe he was sent to a hip boarding school that specialized in thrift stores.

  3. Found it interesting that Bo assumed that Massimo was Fae until she sucked his chi in 4×04 (side note: I don’t recall until S4 Bo being able to distinguish Fae from human or what the person’s emotions were via chi sucking…post-dawning power? post-dark power?), so do most Fae assume Massimo is Fae? I ask b/c when Kenzi enters the Dal with Bo for the first time a big deal is made out of her being human and Bo claiming her; similarly, Lauren wears the Ash’s necklace as a symbol of her slavery but also for protection. If humans in the Fae world need to be claimed, was Massimo Vex’s “pet” b/c it appears that Evony did not necessarily want people knowing that Massimo was her son (the Morrigan with a human child). In fact, it is rather curious to me that Evony even gave birth to a human child. I wonder how long she has been the Morrigan and if she was in that position when she gave birth.

    I wonder if if was always the intention (read: S3) to have Massimo be Evony’s son who was raised by Vex (btw, that makes me wonder *a lot* about the history between Evony and Vex), or if it was inserted into the story in order to further plot points in S4? Regardless, charming/creepy Massimo of S3 and beginning of S4 was really well done but post-meltdown Massimo was simply bizarre. It was also odd to me that Massimo blamed Kenzi for trying to kill him when Kenzi wasn’t even present when Bo threw Tamsin’s hair into the lava pit–and Bo had no idea Massimo was going to jump in after it (apparently Valkyrie hair doesn’t burn?). Massimo said he needed it for his mommy, but Evony didn’t recognize it in 4×12 so I’m not sure what she needed it for.

    Re: Massimo’s shirts: while I wouldn’t personally attempt this interesting style, you have to admit that you noticed them! Perhaps Massimo dressed this way in order to garner attention, to be noticed in the Fae world…or maybe he simply likes 1970’s style 🙂

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