Asexual Representation: Rabbit

One of our favorite little unexpected nuggets of Ace Rep we've happened upon recently comes from the YouTube miniseries Rabbit by Kyle Prue. In only 5 short episodes, we fell in love! THIS is the kind of Ace story we want to see in mainstream media.


Courtney: Hello, everyone, and welcome back to The Ace Couple podcast. My name is Courtney. I am here with my spouse, Royce. And together, we are, you guessed it, the Ace Couple.

Courtney: And if you are a regular listener of ours, then you should be well aware by now that we very frequently talk about Asexual representation in the media. We have spoken about TV shows, books, video games — some of these shorter than others, some of them longer. We even talked about one single episode out of an entire series when we talked about the dreaded House episode. And then, of course, we have shows that are spanning multiple seasons who have a prominent Asexual character, such as one of our favorites, Bojack Horseman, and we have had our various compliments and critiques of these.

Courtney: But one thing that I have been really eager to do is talk about shorter projects, indie projects, smaller operations all around that have very meaningful Asexual representation, but they don’t get on a lot of people’s radar, they do not break into mainstream media, but some of them are very, very good nonetheless. And today I want to start by giving them some flowers. And we’re gonna start by talking about a very short YouTube series called Rabbit.

Courtney: Now, usually, when we talk about Ace representation, it’s either something we have happened upon on our own, it has been well advertised to have Ace rep, so we knew that it was coming, or it’s something that a listener or other member of our community has just told us is out there, so we’ve put it on a list to eventually get to. But this one was so fascinating because it kind of just popped out of nowhere for us. It was not on either of our radars. It was actually my friend and former QPR who texted me in excitement one day saying, “Oh my goodness, have you heard about this thing?” And alas, I had not.

Courtney: So, naturally, we went to put it on our list, but then we realized, “It’s incredibly short. We can just watch it right now all at once.” It is on a YouTube channel by the name of Kyle Prue Official. Kyle Prue appears to be not only the creator but the star of the short series. And there are only five episodes, and they are ranging from about 7 minutes to about 15 minutes, so you can easily sit down and watch them all here. And I’m so excited to talk about this because, for as little as there is here in way of time, it says so much, and I had so much fun watching this. So, let’s get into it.

Courtney: So if you have not yet seen the short series Rabbit on YouTube, and you don’t want to get spoiled, I highly recommend you go watch it immediately before coming back here. We will put a link in the show notes down below.

Courtney: Okay, so episode 1 is called “Break My Nose.” And where do we even start with this? There is so much character in under 10 minutes, right out of the gate.

Royce: It is very dense. We first see Rabbit on the phone, and we relatively quickly learn that Rabbit is some sort of… I don’t know if a hired hitman is quite the right idea. It’s kind of similar, along those veins.

Courtney: It’s hitman. He’s a hitman, just not necessarily always killing.

Royce: Yeah, odd jobs here and there.

Courtney: Yeah. He answers his, like, literally, flip phone. He’s got a flip phone that he answers. And he always says, like, “Hey, I’m Rabbit, and I’m a go-getter.” And it’s some guy who has some kind of operation going on where they hire people to do weird, kind of sketchy jobs. And he gives him his assignment and says, “Hey, all you gotta do is break somebody’s nose.” And on the phone he’s like, “Yeah, okay, not confused by this at all.” And he’s like, “Is this, like, a mob thing, or…?” [laughing] And the guy on the phone is like, “No, our client wants you to break her own nose.” And he’s like, “Oh. Weird. Why?”

Courtney: And it’s very dark comedy. It’s… I think it’s hilarious. I had so much fun watching this. I think the comedy is really good, but a lot of it is very, very dark. The character of Rabbit is also just very oddly charming.

Royce: A lot of the lines come out pretty deadpan.

Courtney: The delivery is spot on, yes.

Royce: Yeah.

Courtney: And this phone guy, I don’t — we don’t know much about him at all, except he’s the phone guy, he gives people their assignments. And to give you just an idea about the kind of dark comedy, like, I know it’s not everybody’s thing, but when asked, like, “Why does this client want us to break her nose?” the phone guy’s like, “I don’t know, maybe she has a custody hearing or something.” And guy on the phone, even though he’s used to doing jobs like this, he’s still like, “Oh fuck, that’s dark.” [laughs] So it’s so funny where the lines are for someone who does all these shady jobs, sometimes in the way it comes out in very clever dialogue.

Courtney: But then he always tries to ask the phone guy personal questions, and he’s like, “Speaking of kids, how are yours?” And the phone guy just blasts an air horn into the phone and is like, “No personal questions!” [laughing] And so he says, “Okay, well then, can I ask you an existential question?” And they get into this — well, I guess Rabbit gets into a very one-sided conversation, because Phone Guy is not having any of this. But Rabbit’s like, “What do you like least about yourself? Because I don’t think I’m very considerate. I don’t think I’m a considerate person.” And he goes on this little short little monologue about how he sometimes sees himself thinking about other people as humans, and he’s like, “Oh, humans don’t like when this happens,” or, “Humans this, humans that,” and he’s like, “But I guess they’re not humans, they’re people. I just, I can’t relate to them.” And so you already get the fact that not only does this guy do very sketchy jobs, he does have trouble relating to people in certain ways.

Courtney: But then, after this one-sided conversation, they hang up, the camera pans out, and you realize that Rabbit is literally on a rooftop, and there is a guy sitting down, back against the wall, completely bloody face. So he is in the middle of one of these jobs as he’s having this new conversation. [laughs] And he just squats down. And what I think is so funny and clever about this is, despite doing these very seedy jobs, he doesn’t seem to revel in doing the individual things or doing the individual violence. But he’s also, like, a good employee, so he’s going to do what he’s supposed to do. But it’s got this element of just like, “Yeah, this is just a guy doing his job.” [laughs] Because — it’s so funny — he squats down and he’s like, “All right, never talk to this woman ever again, or else I’ll… come back and… I don’t know, I guess kill you? I wasn’t given the specifics. [laughing] But don’t talk to this woman ever again.” And then he just leaves this guy’s face all bloody. And that is the opening scene.

Courtney: And that is how you do an opening scene. I am so immediately enraptured with this world, this setting. I want to know so much more about this character, and I just want him to talk more, and I want to see him interact with more humans. Like, right out of the gate, I was like, “Alright!”

Royce: So, the rest of the episode takes place in the client’s apartment.

Courtney: Yes. And they have little code words and everything. Like, he’ll show up and he’ll be like, “Did you hire a professional?” [laughs] And then this woman’s, like, looking on her phone to figure out what the proper code word is, and she’s like, “No, I hired a pro.”

Courtney: And despite sometimes being, you know, a little reluctant to do a job, or just doing the job as he was told without thinking too much about it, there are elements of him taking pride in his work. Because this woman who wants him to break her nose has laid out just an array of things and is like, “Yeah, use whatever you want.” She laid out, like, plastic all over her apartment to catch any blood that happens. But he goes, “Well, since I am a pro, I did my own research.” And he brought his own hammer and everything.

Courtney: And how would you even describe this increasingly escalating conversation that they have as he is about to break her nose? Because [laughs] there were moments when I first watched this, not knowing much about the show, that I was like, “Oh no, we’re gonna start treading into, like, a little bit of ableism here, maybe a little bit of sanism.” But the way it was delivered was so hilarious that I think it all worked.

Royce: Well, I think the reason why it worked is that there is always a back-and-forth that clarified or prefaced something. Because before the job is done, Rabbit starts asking questions about why. “Why all this?”

Courtney: Mhm.

Royce: And she says, “Well, my insurance won’t cover cosmetic surgery, but they will fix an injury. They will do reconstructive surgery.”

Courtney: Mhm.

Royce: So she needs him to break her nose because she wants to change her appearance. But in the middle of it, she starts asking him questions about how she should have it reconstructed. And Rabbit is very much in the camp of, “Your nose looks fine. You should just leave it the way it is.” And that goes back and forth for a little bit.

Courtney: And some of the bits of dialogue are just so funny as you are going back and forth, too. Like, it’s obviously a very serious situation, theoretically, that someone wants a nose job so badly that they’re willing to hire a shady guy to break her nose. But yeah, she’s asking — she’s like, “Oh, do you think I should have it angled this way or that way?” And he’s like, “I don’t know, I kind of like it the way it is.” And she said, “Well, no, I want it up like this.” And he’s like, “It’s kind of Whoville.” And she’s like, “That’s the style! That’s what’s in.” And he’s like, “Whoville is in?!” [laughs] So you get these moments where he is just flabbergasted by the things that she is saying, which also just very much relates to his earlier, like, “I don’t understand humans.”

Courtney: But he ultimately decides, like, “Alright, you, you pay, I do. So, count to three.” And on 1, he brings the hammer down and breaks her nose. And on his way out, he tries to make a joke, and he was like, “Yeah, let me know if you need me to come back and rip your ears off or something.” But she takes that way too seriously, and she’s like, “What’s wrong with my ears?” He’s like, “Oh, no, no, no, no, no, that was a joke. I didn’t mean it.” And she’s like, “No, something’s wrong with my ears. I need to get my ears pinned back. Alright, rip my ears off now.” [laughing] And he’s like, “That wasn’t a serious offer!” But what was the line that just absolutely had me rolling? Oh, he’s like, “What are you going to tell the doctor when you show up with a broken nose and two ripped-off ears? That you got mugged by someone with a cartilage bias?” [laughs]

Courtney: And that’s when there’s an increasing escalation in the conversation, where they’re going back and forth and he gets all flustered and calls her “crazy.” But in that moment, everything stops and pauses. He even puts his hands up to his mouth, as if he knows that he just majorly fucked up. But I mean, talk about perfect delivery. Like, the woman playing this role, too — like, her seething anger that just comes slithering out of her mouth as she lays into him and is like, “Do not ever call a woman ‘crazy.’ First of all, that word has been used historically by men to disregard women’s very real feelings.”

Courtney: [laughing] So she gives him a full-on lecture about “Don’t call a woman crazy,” then grabs his hands, puts them on her ears, and is like, “Now, rip off my ears. [laughing] I will give you $600 cash right now.” And he’s just like, “7,” and they make a deal. The next scene is a cut to an elevator, and we don’t see the ripping off of the ears, but it is heavily implied that it happened.

Courtney: And at this point, at the end of episode 1, I am already thinking that I want this to be a full series. I want a television network or Netflix to pick up this concept and create a full series about it, because it is so much more unique and immediately engrossing than I feel like at least 95% of the things we’ve been watching the last few years are.

Courtney: So next up is episode 2, “Job Du Jour,” which is the shortest episode of the short series. And the opening scene is Rabbit bringing just, like, a small Chihuahua puppy, just driving out into the middle of nowhere, and setting this dog down, and pulling out his flip phone to call Phone Guy, and just being like, “It’s done. I did it.” And clearly, it is implied that his job was to kill this dog. We don’t know why. We don’t know who hired him to do this. [laughing] But he clearly didn’t want to do it. So he’s just — he’s asked, like, “Oh, great! Good job. Well done. How’d you do it?” And he’s like, “I… hit it with… a big ol’ hammer,” [laughing] as he’s staring at this little whining dog that he just sat down. So again, comedy, very good.

Courtney: But the remainder of this episode, other than that opening scene, is just a single scene of dialogue. And he has been hired to break up with someone at, like, a little diner, a little cafe of some kind.

Royce: Yes. The woman present there was expecting her partner to come, and Rabbit came instead.

Courtney: Yes, fiancé. And it was really interesting, because he walks up and she’s just like, “No, don’t, I’m waiting for my fiancé.” And he’s like, “No, actually, you’re waiting for me.” And he pulls out this card that just says, like, “It’s over. -Mark.” And you can see the gears kind of turning in his head. He’s like, “Well, this isn’t the right thing to say to someone you’re breaking up with.” So he starts just making up nonsense while pretending to read from this card, and he’s like, “Mark has valued these last couple of years,” [laughing] even though this says none of that.

Courtney: But the woman he’s here to break up with on behalf of Mark is a criminologist, and she is so fascinated by this guy. She’s like, “How do you get this job? What is this job?” Sort of grilling him. And she says, “Oh, so you’re like a TaskRabbit.” And his response is, “I do things a TaskRabbit wouldn’t do.” And that really gets her going. Because now, she’s like, “Is what you do illegal? Do you do illegal jobs?” And the interrogation continues.

Courtney: But what this extended piece of dialogue actually serves to do is give us a little more about Rabbit’s backstory and why he is doing this job. He doesn’t outright confirm anything, but you can tell, just sort of in his mannerisms, that he gets increasingly uncomfortable. And this woman’s kind of just reading him like a book. So she attempts to order a drink for him at one point while they’re sitting here, which he vehemently refuses, and so she just says, “Oh, I see. You’re sober. You are a recovering addict,” and is trying to figure out, like, “Was this alcoholism? Were you addicted to a harder drug?” She throws out coke as a question, which — he’s dodging all these questions, but getting increasingly uncomfortable.

Courtney: But he does admit in the course of this conversation that he likes this job and the reason why he likes it is variety. And she kind of sticks it to him, and she’s like, “Oh, you just need something exciting with a lot of variety and a lot of highs and lows to fill your sober hours. You’re really just trading one addiction for another.” And he gets very offended and gets up to leave. But on his way out, he kind of turns it back on her. Because she had admitted that, as a criminologist, the way she makes most of her money is as an expert witness in trials. And so he tries to say, “What you and I do is exactly the same. People pay you to say something and you say it, and that is what I do.”

Courtney: And she tries to argue that what she does is an honest living, what she does is a legal living. And they have a bit of a moral debate about whether or not the other actually makes a, quote, “honest living.” And it’s very interesting, because just the moral question has some amount of depth to it that makes you think, but then there are also just rapidfire little short lines of dialogue throughout this back-and-forth that, again, just have me cracking up because the delivery is so funny.

Courtney: And then we’re onto episode 3, “Be My Boyfriend.” This is The Ace Episode ™. And it opens with Rabbit getting a call from Phone Guy, and the very first thing he says out the gate is, “What is your sexual orientation?” And Rabbit’s like, “Uh, hello, dispatch. I thought we weren’t supposed to ask each other personal questions.” And he says, “No, no, it’s related to the job. I need you to pretend to be some guy’s boyfriend.”

Courtney: And Rabbit thinks this is a very weird thing for him to even be, like, asking about instead of just giving the assignment. He’s like, “All the things I have done for you and you think I won’t kiss a guy?” And Phone Guy’s just like, “Grumble, grumble. Well, I already asked Toad and he wouldn’t do it.” So now we’re getting little, little lore nuggets about this extended operation.

Courtney: And again, just hilarious dialogue, very well done, where Rabbit even goes so far as to say, like, “I have ripped out fingernails for you!” And Phone Guy’s like, “I know, I know.” And he’s like, “And I put them back in!” And he’s like, “Wait, why?” [laughs] Rabbit just goes, “Well, you know me, I’m a go-getter.” [laughs] Phone Guy says, “No, today you’re a go-get-him.”

Courtney: And Rabbit, who’s just, like… I don’t know, I guess trying to connect with other people in his own way, but very confused by the way most people interface with this world — he’s just always trying to ask Phone Guy these other questions. So he tries to end the call by saying, like, “Wait, what’s your sexual orientation?” And this dispatch guy just goes “Money!” and hangs up.

Courtney: And so then, we see Rabbit with the guy who hired him to pretend to be his boyfriend. And the thing that’s so interesting about this episode is that… The premise is this guy was mistaken for being gay a decade ago in high school, but this very pretty popular girl that he liked started talking to him when she found out that he was gay, allegedly, and they started hanging out all the time because she always wanted a gay best friend. And he really, really likes her. Like, he eventually wants to have a romantic and sexual relationship with this woman, but in the meantime, he’s just been pretending to be her gay best friend — for 10 years!

Courtney: And, like, for as icky and weird as this concept is, and for how much there are little moments where this guy pretending to be gay has clearly had — like, there are clearly some homophobic moments coming from this guy — the reason why I think it works is that the show and the character Rabbit — they don’t just give it a pass. They don’t just let it slide. Like, they call attention to the problematic aspects of it in ways that are very clear, but also, there is some humor to it, so it doesn’t feel like they’re trying to lecture the audience about what is right and what is wrong and what is homophobic.

Royce: And not just homophobic, but how manipulative this whole situation is.

Courtney: Yeah.

Royce: Rabbit is very obviously and vocally displeased with this whole situation —

Courtney: [laughing] Yes.

Royce: — but he goes along with it anyway because he’s getting paid. It’s his job.

Courtney: Yeah! And whether he says it outright or if it’s just a look or a groan or a something, like, you can tell when he is upset but still just going along with things. And this is also — it’s a wine night, so he shows up early, before this best friend is supposed to come over. And the whole premise is, like, “I’ve never actually dated a guy, so I worry that she’s going to start thinking that I’m not actually gay, so you have to pretend to be my boyfriend.” And he offers him a glass of wine, and he says, “No, I’m sober.” And he’s like, “Well, it’s a wine night, so I kind of want you to drink.” And they settle on, like, pomegranate juice, so it looks like he’s drinking red wine.

Courtney: But this guy — like, after the knock on the door, he’s like, “Oh, wait a minute. Are you going to do, like, a voice?” And as he says “a voice,” he does, like, the one T-Rex arm that’s like, “Is it gay or is it autism or both?” [laughs] But he does that as he says “a voice,” so, very clearly, like, thinking in terms of gay stereotypes here. And Rabbit, sitting here just confounded by this whole thing, is like, “No, I think my character’s actually a little more masc.” And then this guy who hired him’s like, “Really? Between the two of us, no. I’m clearly the masc one. So figure it out.” And, like, they don’t say the obvious that we’re thinking as we’re watching it — we’re like, “You know, two masc gay people are allowed to be in a relationship. Like, there isn’t one who is the man and one who is the woman, right?”

Courtney: But upon this, like, “I’m the masc one, so you figure it out,” Rabbit, like, rolls his eyes because — “Ugh” — he’s very upset by this. But he, like, turns around, he stretches his neck, and as soon as this woman comes in, he’s, like, totally different character, different mannerisms. He does put on a voice. And the complete change is so hilarious. He’s pulling out, like, just about every gay stereotype, like, right out of the gate. Like, “Oh my God, he told me you were gorgeous, but that was an undersell. Truly, I love everything. Gorgeous. Gorgeous. No to the shoes, but oh my God, your nails,” and, like, grabbing her hand. [laughing] Like, completely out of character for Rabbit as we know him. So he’s got some acting under his belt. I don’t know how often he’s been hired for things of this nature, but he’s got some character acting in there.

Courtney: And so this little dinner party goes on. Rabbit is very good and convincing at his job. But he, at one point, says something kind of flirty, and leans in to kiss him — which is, by the way, as he was interrogating this guy about, like, “What’s the goal here? What’s my actual job?” he was specifically told, like, “We need to trick this woman into thinking that we have slept together,” like, those are the words that he uses. So when he, like, leans in to kiss him, this guy who’s been pretending to be gay for 10 years, who’s clearly homophobic himself, like, flinches away and is like, “Oh, uh, help me with something in the kitchen. We gotta go now.”

Courtney: And so they go into the kitchen and have this whole little argument, which starts as a confrontation, where he’s like, “Are you actually into this? Do you actually like me? Is this, like, a thing for you?” And Rabbit’s like, “What? No! I’m doing what you paid me to do! What the heck?” And that’s when he lets out all these, like, “Listen, I want her to think that I’m gay right now, but eventually, someday, I want to say, ‘Oh, I think maybe I’m bi,’ and then, once I start exploring my bi identity, maybe she’ll start seeing me as a prospective sexual interest, and then one day she’ll be mine!” [laughs] Flawless plan. I have no notes.

Courtney: And Rabbit is so confused, and he’s clearly like, “What?” But he even says, like, “Listen, if you really… Like, you hired me to make this woman think that we are sleeping together. I think we should kiss. I think that will sell it better. Let’s practice here so that you’re comfortable out there.” And this guy’s like, “What? Eew. No. I don’t actually want her to see me getting all touchy-feely with a guy, because then she won’t think of me as a sexual prospect!”

Courtney: And that’s when Rabbit outright says, “You know, for someone who’s been pretending to be gay for 10 years, you sure are homophobic!” And this fucking guy, he has the audacity, he goes, “It’s internalized homophobia.” And this just, like, breaks Rabbit. I have never heard him, like, cuss someone out like this. But he just goes, [yelling] “It’s not internalized if you’re not gay, motherfucker!” But then he gets it together again, he puts his character back on, [laughing] and they go back out to the dinner party.

Courtney: But then at some point over the course of the night, they run out of wine. They don’t have any extra bottles left, but there’s a liquor store on the corner. And so this woman, who’s the best friend, is like, “Oh, I’ll go and pick up another bottle, and I’m going to bring your new boy toy with me and, you know, give him the ‘big brother’ talk and interrogate him, and all that.” And that’s when things get very interesting. Because as they’re walking to this place, she just outright says, like, “So, are you actually gay?” And Rabbit, not knowing what to say, is like, “Uh…” gestures vaguely. And she’s like, “Oh, ’cause he’s not. I know he’s not gay. So I was wondering if you’re gay.”

Courtney: And he’s like, “Wait, you knew?” [laughs] And she’s like, “Yeah, he’s been trying to poorly conceal the same boner since 2012.” And it’s like, “Oh no. Oh no.” And he’s like, “Oh, so you’ve known this whole time.” And so she starts questioning him, like, “So, are you a prostitute?” He’s like, “No.” “So you’re an actor?” And he’s like, “Sure, let’s go with that.” And she asks him about why he does this job. And for the first time, Rabbit himself says, “Because I’m an addict and it keeps me busy.” So that’s confirmation from previous episode, when he’s getting the interrogation and not admitting to anything.

Courtney: And after it’s made very clear that she knows that this is all just a gag, clearly he hired someone to do this, she asks again, “So are you gay?” And without missing a beat, Rabbit’s like, “I’m actually Asexual.” And she says, “Oh, so you don’t actually like anybody.” And he comes back with, “I just don’t think about it,” which I think is a very good back-and-forth.

Courtney: And the thing that I really like about this is that I’m already deeply invested in this character. We haven’t had a lot of time with him, but he’s been the right amount of funny and charming and weird in these various wacky situations that I just want to see more of him. So, just having a very simple, casual, he already knows who he is, he openly says the word Asexual. It’s also in the context of pretending to be gay, but the one who hired him to do this is clearly the homophobic one, and Rabbit himself is clearly a lot more sensitive to queer topics and queer identities.

Royce: And a part of what we’ve mentioned is that the dialogue that is around a particular issue does tend to go back and forth, to level itself out. And so shortly after this — because she said, “Oh, so you don’t like anyone,” which I feel like could put some Aces on edge —

Courtney: Mhm.

Royce: — a little bit further into it, she’s sort of explaining her relationship with Rabbit’s client and saying, “I do love him, but not in a…” I can’t remember if she says “a sexual way” or “a romantic way” or basically implies both, but she follows that up with, “Probably the same way that you love people.”

Courtney: “Non-sexually,” yeah.

Royce: Yeah.

Courtney: I think that’s what she specifically said there.

Royce: Right, but in doing that, that is a different take that doesn’t completely take away the idea that Rabbit can’t feel love or doesn’t experience anything like love.

Courtney: Which is also interesting, because we actually haven’t, up to this point, seen him have interest in people in really any way outside of general curiosity. And so I actually saw that scene… The way I interpreted it — and it could be a bit up to interpretation, since they don’t say explicitly in this moment — but I interpreted that as, she’s trying to make a leap to explain what she’s got going on with this guy in a way that Rabbit will understand. But to me, Rabbit still seemed confused by the situation. So the way I interpreted that was that that was not actually a good or correct comparison for her to make in that moment. And I kind of thought that that was the implication: that we were supposed to see that that was not good.

Courtney: But honestly, the thing… If we’re being really, really real here, my biggest gripe of this episode is that that conversation was happening right outside the door of this liquor store. And I don’t know at what point they recorded all of this, but there is a sign on that door, behind this woman, as they’re having this back-and-forth, that says “No mask, no entry,” and they just walk right into that store after this conversation without wearing masks. That is my biggest gripe about this episode! [laughs] How dare they?

Courtney: But yeah, it is very odd, too, because then, as they’re walking back, you know, new bottle of wine in hand, she’s asking him not to tell the other guy that she knows. And she’s like, “Look, I know he’s the one paying you. I’m not the one paying you for whatever this is. But you’ve only been here for a night, and I have been here for 10 years. He has been my best friend for 10 years. So can you really say that we don’t love each other and that we aren’t happy with this arrangement that we have?”

Courtney: And Rabbit doesn’t really answer that. He just sort of observes and takes it in. And, I mean, I always have this very first conversation from the entire miniseries in my head as I see Rabbit going about things, where he’s talking about, like, “Sometimes I just don’t get humans, and I don’t know if I’m very considerate because I start thinking about them as humans, as if I’m a different species or something.” And I find that very interesting, because I can see why he’s so baffled by all these interactions he’s having. Clearly, he’s like, “Why would you manipulate this woman into thinking you’re gay for 10 years?” But then finds out that she knew the whole time, and he’s like, “Why are you entertaining this? Why are you just, like, keeping him like a pet?” And when the woman wanted her nose broken, he was like, “Why? Why would you do this to yourself?” So he’s so baffled by all these things.

Courtney: But there are moments of sensitivity that we see from him. He’s just not connecting intimately, one-on-one, with another person. But he didn’t want to kill the little dog. Instead, he dropped the little dog somewhere off where he wasn’t going to get found. He gets noticeably upset repeatedly at this guy who’s homophobic. So he’s just a very interesting and complex character in that way, I think.

Courtney: But once they’re back at the apartment and they put their characters back on and this woman’s about to leave and she’s like, “Oh, you’re a keeper,” playing along again, and “I’ve always wanted you to find someone great like this.” And then she leaves. And then Guy Who Hired Him just thinks, like, “Wow, that actually went great. She totally bought it. What a great night.” But then of course he asks, like, “When the two of you went to the liquor store, what did you talk about?” And Rabbit’s, like, packing up, getting ready to leave, and he just sits on it for a second. And the final line of this episode, he just looks up and says, “Addictions.” I don’t know what to say. I love it. I love it so much. It’s so funny, but it’s also so thoughtful. And now I’m sitting here at this point being like, “Wow, this very short series on a moderately sized YouTube channel is maybe one of my favorite Ace characters I’ve seen in a while.”

Courtney: Next, we have episode 4, “Make Him Late.” That is the mission. Dispatch calls: “Make a guy late for his flight.” But in this episode, we get to meet the foreshadowed Toad, who works for the same organization. Because Phone Guy had called Toad first, but Toad did not answer his phone and never called back, so he called Rabbit as a backup. But they both end up showing up to this guy’s house as he’s getting ready to leave for his flight.

Royce: And also immediately begin fighting while the guy walks out of his house into an Uber or something and away from the situation.

Courtney: Yeah, like fist-fighting! They are just going at it in this guy’s front lawn in broad daylight. [laughs] They clearly dislike each other. And that was hinted at, actually, on the phone when Dispatch called. He was like, “Oh, Toad never called me back.” And Rabbit was like, “That’s probably for the best.” And even Dispatch is like, “Ooh, I like the little…”

Royce: “Rivalry”?

Courtney: Yeah, “I like the little rivalry you got going on.” And Rabbit was like, “It’s not a rivalry. It’s an aversion.” [laughs]

Royce: Yeah. Well, with both of them showing up to the job at the same time, by the time Rabbit shows up, Toad had just finished cutting the brake lines of the guy’s car. And one of the things that Rabbit asked originally, when receiving this job, was, “What are the parameters?” And the dispatcher’s like, “Parameters. What are you talking about? Don’t blow up the plane. Don’t kill the guy, just make him late for the flight. Like, why are we having this conversation?”

Royce: And so, upon seeing brake lines cut, immediately, Rabbit’s like, “You’ve crossed the line. This is not what we’re here to do. Someone could get hurt.” So he pops one of the guy’s tires. And then they start hurling insults at each other and then fist-fighting.

Courtney: Yep, which ultimately leads to Rabbit, like, choking the guy out on the side of this house. Because this guy is leaving. He comes out his front door, so Rabbit, like, drags this other guy by the neck to the side of the house, and he ends up blacking out.

Courtney: And then they have a very neat conversation in, like, a cafe after the fact. And, like, Rabbit’s got a black eye; he got punched in the face at one point during this. And they’re just, like, passively aggressively ordering things at the bar area of this cafe. Like, Toad goes, “I’ll have some green tea, because my throat hurts for some reason.” And then Rabbit’s like, “I’ll have a coffee and some frozen peas.” [laughs] And the animosity these two have for each other is just beautiful.

Courtney: Because they were, of course, arguing even how safe or unsafe it is to cut the brake lines. Because Toad’s like, “It’s in the suburb, he’ll probably just blow through a stop sign, hit a tree.” And Rabbit’s like, “Or he could hit a kid! He could die! He’s supposed to miss his flight, not the next 20 years of his life!” Which, while they’re sitting at this bar, they just start talking about the nature of what they do and why they hate each other and how they both do the same job, but they view the job very differently.

Royce: Yeah. Toad’s position on this is very much, “I know I’m a bad guy. I know I’m a criminal. I know that laws exist to prevent people like me from doing harm, and that’s the way it is.”

Courtney: Yeah. And so part of his disdain for Rabbit is that he thinks Rabbit believes himself to be morally superior. And he’s like, “Why can’t you just admit that you’re a criminal like me and that you also hurt people?” And Rabbit’s like, “Well, I don’t kill people!” And he’s like, “That doesn’t mean you don’t hurt people!” So it’s a very interesting moral conversation that they’re just having out in the open in public.

Courtney: And at some point in this discussion, Rabbit explains what he would have done to try to make this guy late. And he said, “Well, I looked him up, and he has a daughter, and I found out what school his daughter goes to. So I was going to pretend to be a teacher from the school and tell him that his daughter has been rushed to the hospital and that he was needed immediately.” And then Toad is apparently a father, and he’s like, “You think that’s not hurting the guy? Do you have any idea how painstaking it is to think that your little girl is hurt and in trouble? Like, what you’re doing is not better than what I am doing.”

Courtney: And so we learn in this conversation that, yeah, Toad is a dad, but he is not allowed to see his daughter anymore. We don’t know what the specifics are around that. But he said there is some law in place that prevents guys like him from seeing his own daughter, and he was talking about how awful and horrible this is. And he’s like, “Yeah, it’s a good law. It’s a law that’s supposed to protect people. But, you know, I’m never going to see my daughter again, and you don’t know how painful that is,” kind of a thing.

Courtney: And so, would you say, Royce, that sort of conversations and different approaches to morality is one of the central themes of this short series?

Royce: It’s definitely a major part of it. I think it is present in some form or another in just about every episode, just based on Rabbit’s occupation.

Courtney: Mhm. But yeah, sometimes that’s with a conversation that tries to happen with Dispatch, or it tries to happen with a client, or it’s happening with someone else who works for this criminal organization. Yeah, I think, morally gray readings on things, different morally gray readings on a variety of situations, and just people-watching. I feel like Rabbit is a people-watcher. Because there are… Despite times where there is a lot of dialogue back and forth and a lot of funny quips, there are also plenty of times where someone just says something and Rabbit just looks confused or looks like he’s trying to take it in but doesn’t have anything to add.

Courtney: And somehow, for some reason, the guy did end up getting late to his plane, not because of anything that Rabbit or Toad did.

Royce: Yeah, just circumstance. The traffic was really bad.

Courtney: Yeah. And Dispatch called him and was like, “Wow, you did it! Amazing. How did you do it?” And Rabbit’s like, “Uh, not… probably shouldn’t tell you.” [laughs]

Royce: “I don’t want to incriminate myself.”

Courtney: Yes. But yeah, aside from these conversations on moral stances, clearly another very prominent theme is addiction and recovery. And often, the topic of recovery is brought up parallel to and in the middle of these moral philosophy discussions. Because we talked about that in the “Job Du Jour” breakup episode — that was sort of the first time that those things were paired together.

Courtney: But it happens again in this episode, too, in a different context, where now Rabbit is being forthcoming about being in recovery. And he even states at one point that the reason why he has the outlook he has, and, to a certain extent, the reason why he has a level of contempt for his essentially co-worker, is because, he says, “Hey, I’m a recovering addict. I have to believe that people can get better, I have to believe that they can improve.” And so it seems like, yes, he is just doing his job a lot of the time, but he is trying to find out, in his worldview, the most ethical way of going about them.

Courtney: So when he sees someone like Toad, who is not carefully considering ethical and moral stances, and just says, “I’m a bad guy and I’m just bad and this is just how I am,” that really sets off a trigger in Rabbit for saying, like, “Well, if I parallel that with my addiction, if I am just an addict and that is just the way it is and I cannot improve and I cannot get better,” that is a challenge to his recovery. That is a challenge to his worldview and his aspirations and his desire to grow.

Courtney: And so I just — for how short these episodes are and for how short the series is, I think the character building on Rabbit as a person is just so brilliantly done. Because we see all the flaws in his armor, we see the things that he has an emotional reaction to, we see the ways he is trying to improve, we see the areas when he’s morally gray, and we also see his limits and the things he will not tolerate and the things he refuses to do and why he sees contempt for others. So really, in a very, very short amount of time, they have created a very well-rounded person.

Courtney: And that’s something that we have, on a number of occasions with completely different franchises and series and Ace characters in general, said, like, “Yeah, the Ace 101, the Ace education that’s designed to teach the audience what Asexuality is, was fine. But who is this character outside of learning that they’re Ace?” That’s something that we’ve had a critique for a number of characters with. Whereas Rabbit, it’s like, this is a fully fleshed out and interesting person first, and that is what I want to see from more Ace rep. And also just being the lead character, the titular character — I want this on TV! I want Netflix to pick this up yesterday, and not cancel it after season 1. Like, this is the kind of thing that I think we are missing from Ace rep in mainstream media.

Courtney: Okay. Then, we have fifth and final episode, called “Get Over There.” And this is the very first episode that opens with Rabbit talking to someone from his personal life that is not work-related and not the dispatch guy on the phone, and it is his sponsor. And they are out in the middle of the desert again, just leaning against a car, drinking coffees and chatting. And as they converse, it comes to light that Rabbit had a girlfriend at one point and he has a father, but he currently does not have a relationship with either of those people. He has cut them both off.

Courtney: And the reason he cites is that when you get clean, they tell you not to add anything into your life that you couldn’t handle losing, and he says that this girlfriend of his — which is the first mention and last mention, so we know nothing about what this past relationship was like — that that’s something he couldn’t handle losing, something he couldn’t handle seeing destroyed. And his relationship with his father, he says, is not very steady.

Courtney: One very funny little just Easter egg and reference to a previous episode is that we see that little dog that he drove out here in the middle of nowhere just, like, running and scampering around in the background, [laughing] so that little guy’s doing okay.

Courtney: And Rabbit’s sponsor, he kind of says, “You know, you’re a really easy person to sponsor because you follow all the rules, almost too well, and you do what people tell you to.” And of course, Rabbit’s like, “Well, yeah, I’m a go-getter.” He’s like, “Yeah, I realized that. But what do you actually have to live for? Why do you have a reason to get clean? You don’t have any interpersonal relationships.” He said, “A lot of us choose God.” It’s heavily implied that Rabbit had not done that. And so Rabbit just says, “Well, I have a job that I really like.”

Courtney: And as if on cue, he gets a call on his flip phone from Dispatch saying, “One of our guys has been kidnapped by the Bianco family, and I need you to get over there now. I need you to save him.”

Royce: And what follows, through the midpoint of the episode, is the longest sort of action scene that we’ve seen so far. We’ve seen a little bit of fighting. We’ve seen either onscreen or just after the fact implied violence. But aside from a lot of offscreen references, we haven’t seen just how deep into this sort of odd job career Rabbit gets. But he has to infiltrate a building and takes out a couple of guards, incapacitates a couple of guards, while some music is playing in the background.

Courtney: Very stealth operation. Like, “Do this but don’t get caught.” Which is also funny, because he absolutely decks a guy and, like, headbutts him, but then he also, like, takes his belt off to try to choke out another guy, but as he’s choking out this guy, he’s like, “I’m sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry,” [laughing] like, apologizing quietly to this guy as he chokes him out. And then there are two guys sitting at a table in this building, having a conversation about incest…? Question mark?

Royce: Yeah. Well, Rabbit was getting some things in order, putting some kind of medication or some kind of drug into some drinks to try to knock the two of them out.

Courtney: As he called it, and I quote, “A fuck ton of drugs.”

Royce: The movie kind of super fast-acting drugs that are very time-convenient for the plot.

Courtney: Yes.

Royce: Those drugs.

Courtney: Those drugs.

Royce: Yeah. While this is happening, the two guys there, one of them who is implied to at least be the sort of ranking member at this building of this mob group, or whatever they are — they are essentially debating the morality and relationship and family complications of being in a relationship with a first cousin.

Courtney: Yeah.

Royce: And going back and forth about this, while Rabbit is just hiding underneath a counter poisoning some drinks.

Courtney: Which was so interesting because, like, this guy’s quandary is, “I started dating my first cousin but I didn’t know she was my cousin. And it wasn’t like I was trying to date my cousin. I just found her on Hinge, and I wouldn’t have even known if she wasn’t sharing a memory of her aunt from childhood, when I realized that she was talking about my mom.” And, like, it’s such a weird conversation to be having. But they get into the fact that, like, “Is it actually wrong? Is the only reason why we’re concerned about incest because we’re concerned about, you know, birth defects in children?” And the one really funny line that just, like, had me cracking up was that one guy was clearly like, “No, man, that’s not okay. [laughs] Like, you shouldn’t date your first cousin.” And this guy comes back and he’s like, “Okay, are we imposing a 21st century bias on my relationship?” [laughs] I thought that was such a silly line.

Courtney: But, meanwhile, this conversation is going on, yeah, as Rabbit is poisoning these drinks and then trying to, like, stealthily swap glasses so that the big boss of this place drinks the drugged whiskey. But instead of just waiting for him to fall after he drinks said drug whiskey, Rabbit just pops out and is like, “Listen here! You just drank a fuck ton of drugs, and it is definitely a lethal dose. Trust me, I am the expert. So, you should go to the hospital immediately. Or you can stay here and fight me, but you’re almost certainly gonna die.” And then the guy just charges him. So Rabbit, like, scrambles away and goes, “Oh fuck! [laughing] Like, I didn’t expect you to choose that option.”

Courtney: So they have a fight scene. They’re going at it. A really funny moment when Rabbit just starts, like, punching this guy in the gut and he does not even flinch, and he goes, “I realize I may have dulled your pain receptors.” [laughs] But at the right moment, as the specific drugs necessitate, the guy did fall, and Rabbit was able to go and find his guy, which, in this case, is Toad. Hey, we know him!

Courtney: And as they’re walking away on the sidewalk — it’s now dark, it’s later — Toad reveals that, before leaving, Rabbit made that guy throw up and called him an ambulance. And Toad is like, “Well, I wouldn’t have done that. I wouldn’t have left a witness alive.” And they get into another sort of moral conversation where Rabbit asks Toad what the worst thing is he’s ever done. And the story Toad tells is basically, “There was a homeless man who died because of exposure, and I didn’t do anything about it. I didn’t help the guy.” And Rabbit’s like, “Really? That’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?” And he’s like, “Yeah, because I didn’t do anything.” So then Rabbit even has this moment, and he tells Toad, “I don’t think you’re as bad of a person as you think you are.”

Royce: Part of the story was that this homeless man was a witness to a crime that Toad had committed as well.

Courtney: Yes. Yes. And it almost seems like a very heartfelt moment where they’re starting to find some common ground, because Rabbit says, “You’re not as bad as you think you are.” And Toad turns around on him and says, “Hey, last time we talked, you said that you believed that everyone can overcome and everyone can get better. Do you still believe that?” And Rabbit says, “Yes, I do.”

Courtney: And they go to shake hands before parting ways. And Rabbit literally finds an ace up Toad’s sleeve, which must be somehow indicative of this Bianco family crime ring, because he has a very knowing look and slowly looks up at Toad and was like, “You’ve been working for the Bianco family?” And Toad’s like, “Yeah, have been for a couple years.” And then he just shanks Rabbit, stabs him right in the gut, takes out his flip phone so he can’t call Dispatch, breaks it, and then, before turning and walking away, basically confirms, “No, I didn’t just leave that homeless man to die in the cold. Like, are you kidding me? This is LA. People don’t freeze to death in LA. Like, no, that’s not what happened,” and so, heavily implying that he outright killed this man because he witnessed another crime he was doing, and leaves him on the ground without a phone.

Courtney: But there is a very convenient pay phone not far away, which, now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t know about LA, I don’t know how many pay phones are just out in LA, but I don’t know if I remember the last time I’ve seen a pay phone. I’m trying to picture any pay phones in the area where we live right now and I’m coming up blank. But in the town I grew up in, I know where all the pay phones are. Like, I have a map in my head of where all the pay phones in the city are, but I can’t even think of one that’s near us right now.

Royce: And I don’t know if that’s because they don’t exist or because they just blend into the scenery so much that I don’t notice them anymore.

Courtney: Ah, yes, those highly stealthy chameleon pay phones.

Royce: More that if you’re not looking for something, sometimes you don’t see it.

Courtney: Well, that’s also true, I can’t deny that. But it’s a good thing that pay phone’s here, because Rabbit is able to stand up and get himself to it. And he calls Dispatch on it, as he is sitting here bleeding out. And there’s this very, very vulnerable moment. He obviously says, “Toad’s working for the Bianco family. He stabbed me. I’m hurt. I’m bleeding.” And so Dispatch is like, “I’ll send a guy out. Don’t worry.” But then he says, “Stay on the phone with me. Keep talking.”

Courtney: So Rabbit, as he does, full circle from the very first episode, says, “Can I ask you a personal question?” And Dispatch Guy’s like, “No. No, you cannot do that.” And he says, “Okay, well, can I ask you an existential question?” And Dispatch says, “Yeah, okay.” And the question is, “What is the best quality you think someone can have?” And Phone Guy says, “Loyalty.” And Rabbit says, “Tenacity,” to which Dispatch says, “Yeah, I can see that in you. You have that quality.”

Courtney: And then Rabbit starts — I mean, he sinks to the ground, he can’t stand up anymore, he’s starting to visibly shake, he’s continuing to bleed, he’s starting to shiver. And so, as he’s still talking and having more and more trouble doing so, he asks the guy on dispatch, he’s like, “What’s your name?” And that guy, he’s, like, very reluctant, he doesn’t want to say. And he’s like, “Please, I need this. Like, please, man, just — I’m not going to try to find you. I don’t even know how to find you. I just, please, I need to know your name.”

Courtney: And all the implications of this are Dispatch seems to be the only guy outside of his sponsor that he talks to, and when he asked what his reason was for living, his reason for being sober, it was because he has a job he likes. And he usually works completely alone, just on a kind of job-to-job basis, so Dispatch is the only guy he regularly talks to. So here he is, possibly dying, bleeding out, just pleading to know this guy’s name. And it kills me. [laughing] And I’m sobbing by this point. I am. I’m crying. And Dispatch finally caves in the last moment and says, “Okay, my name is Tommy.” And Rabbit starts laughing, and he says, “That’s my name, too,” and then he falls to the ground and drops the phone.

Courtney: And it’s so good! And it’s just a short, tiny little series on YouTube, and I want more people to know about it. There is an after thing. I just realized that probably sounds weird to our listeners. Have I explained the after thing to our listeners? [laughs]

Royce: What is the actual phrase for that? A post-credits scene?

Courtney: I suppose. Post-credits scene. I mean, that’s what you’d call it at a movie theater. But when I was a kid, pretty much all TV series had, like, an after thing, or at least a lot of sitcoms tended to. But it would be just a tiny, single, short little scene that happened at the end of a commercial break. So, the episode would basically end. You’d have a commercial break. And then there’d be a tiny little after thing. And it was normally just a scene. It was normally something silly. Sometimes it was just referencing something one-off — like, a one-off joke from the episode that wasn’t central to the main plot. And I always thought those were, like, the best parts of the show. I loved the after things, and as a kid, I named them “the after thing.” [laughs] And so when I was trying to explain to my mom at one point when I was a kid — like, a show had ended, and she’s like, “Alright now, time to go to bed,” and I was like, “No, I have to wait for the after thing,” and she’s like, “What on earth is the after thing?” So I still call it that. I’ve called it that my whole life, pretty much.

Royce: So technically, yes, “mid- or post-credit scenes,” but there’s also a history of them being referred to as “credit cookies.”

Courtney: Credit cookies? That’s precious. That’s a much cuter name than the after thing. [laughs] So they give us a credit cookie after thing of Dispatch talking to a guy who seems to have confirmed that he picked up Rabbit. And he kind of says, like, “You know, make sure the kid makes it. Like, keep him alive,” kind of a thing. And then there’s a big poster at the end that says, “Rabbit will return.” So I don’t know if we’re going to get a season 2 on this same YouTube channel. I would love that. I don’t know if they are actually pitching it as a series to a streaming site or to networks. I would also love that.

Courtney: But for such a short, tiny little indie project that you can go and watch right now for free, that not many people know about, I think it’s brilliant. And I want more people to know about it. Because we deserve more complex, nuanced, flawed, endearing, well-rounded Ace leads. We really do. We really, really need it.

Courtney: And I’d honestly like this concept, even if the character wasn’t Ace. I think that’s another thing that I feel is sorely lacking is a TV show that I would love even if there wasn’t an Ace character. Because I want to enjoy the piece of media first and foremost. I want it to be a good story that I can appreciate above all else.

Courtney: So, on that note, as I said, link is in the show notes. If you have not already, please go check it out. Leave some likes and comments to feed that hungry algorithm. And let us know what other short Ace indie projects we should check out next. I know there are some short films with Ace representation, there are animated shorts, there’s even another web series that we’ve also watched that we could talk about. So there are a lot more projects like this out there, and I think we should know about them, and I think we should celebrate them.

Courtney: But that is all that we have for today. As always, thank you so much for being here. And we will talk to you all, same time, same place, next week. Goodbye!