“Every time I cried, or almost-cried, was a little different, though each contained a similar parfait of feelings: a layer of sadness (for the unreal character); a layer of hope (for the unreal character); a layer of skepticism (what does it mean to feel sadness or hope for an unreal character?); a layer of curiosity, both emotional and artistic (how have I come to feel this sadness/hope for an unreal character?); a layer of pride (I feel things so deeply I can even feel sadness/hope for an unreal character); a layer of shame (I feel more for this unreal character than I did for the homeless man I just passed in the street); another layer of shame, this one more specifically inflected by my role as a consumer (how have my emotional responses been so easily manipulated?) but also — it cannot be denied — a layer of consumer satisfaction: I am having a powerful experience, which is part of the implicit contract made between a film and its watchers. We give our time, and maybe our money, and in return we are given an experience that will somehow make us different than we were before we had it.
I don’t care if they just walk into a warehouse and it’s a birthday party that the chief was throwing them. Like there were never any murders and this was all part of the surprise. […] There’s no way for the finale to do me wrong because what’s for sale with that show isn’t the pay-off, it’s smelling the roses along the way.
James T. Kirk: I’m scared, Spock… help me not to be… how do you choose not to feel?
Spock: I do not know. Right now, I am failing.
James T. Kirk: I wanted you to know why I couldn’t let you die… why I went back for you…
Spock: Because you are my friend.