Queer as Folk

Season 2 Episode 15

Rage Against This Machine

Aired Sunday 10:00 PM May 05, 2002 on Showtime
out of 10
User Rating
61 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Rage Against This Machine

While high on E, Justin and Michael begin playing around and draw an idea for a gay super hero. The next day Justin and Brian are hung over but Michael is jazzed about the new character Justin created. The pair decide to begin work on the new character but quickly develop a major case of writer's block. They soon draw inspiration however from watching Brian on his treadmill. Soon after they are locked in alone together till 4am working on the new comic. When Justin finally returns home Brian begins to put the moves on him. Unfortunately for him, Justin quickly falls asleep.

Ted receives good news from the Academy of Pornographic Arts & Sciences telling him Emmet is going to receive the 'Crystal Dick' award for his outstanding achievement at Jerkatwork.net Emmet however is far from excited. He's greatly upset over George's death. When he arrives at George's house, his ex-wife is already cleaning the place out. Emmet announces he wishes to speak at George's funeral but she will here none of it.

Lindsay finds yet another thing to throw herself into; converting her attic to a studio. Melanie, as always is very concerned with how much it will cost. Melanie's exgirlfriend Leda offers to the renovations for them but Lindsay quickly turns her down saying she wants to do it on her own. The renovations however quickly turn into a disaster and Lindsay caves and asks her to do the work for them. Her only concession, she needs a place to stay.

Emmet is apauled at George's funeral. The words being spoken at the celebration of his funeral had nothing to do with his life. He rises to say a few words but is quickly grabbed by security and thrown out.

Meanwhile, back at Brian's place, the new dynamic duo are locked in a creative session. Pittsburgh's biggest man-whore is far from thrilled to see his loft converted to ground zero from the creative comic book bomb. He heads off to Babylon hoping to meet up with Justin and Michael later. While at the bar he picks up two hard bodies in an attempt to make Justin jealous but when he returns he finds Michael and Justin curled up (while fully clothed) on his bed together. In a rage Brian rips down, and rips up the artwork the pair had done. He completes the angry act by pissing on one of the pictures. The next day they confront him at the diner, he responds in silence. His silence is followed by a going over by Deb.

Ted tries in vain to get Emmet to go to the award ceremonies but he cannot bring himself to do it. Emmet then wins the Crystal dick award and Ted goes up to accept the award, but as he begins the acceptance speech Emmet shows up reads the goodbye speech he wrote for the funeral.

Brian reprints the comic artwork off of Justin's computer. After reading it he finds himself rather impressed by the story, and the artwork. When Michael and Justin arrive at the loft he apologises for being so immature, and then promises to help the pair sell their comic once its done.


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  • Brian is the Best

    This episode was such a cute one with amazing character development - mostly for Brian, but also for Justin, Michael, and Emmett. Leda's living with Mel and Linds will definitely cause some drama... season 2 is starting to heat up!
  • Lame Against This Machine.

    This episode was rather boring in my opinion. I've never really been interested in Michael's comic book obsession so of course him and Justin's idea for a new gay superhero doesn't particularly float my boat. On the other hand, I find it cute when Brian gets angry over Justin and Michael's constant hanging out. I think it definitely partially shows his true colors and emotions toward Justin (though I'd like to see him open up more but I know that will come later in the series). Lindsay's need to renovate the attic seems like a filler for the lesbian gap in the episode, and it's rather boring as well. I don't think emphasis on George's death is visually obvious in Emmett, and winning a Crystal Dick for his performance on JerkAtWork is nothing special. Overall, the episode is plain and mediocre.moreless
  • Mike and Justin bury the hatchet while they come up with an idea for starting their own comic while on drugs. We see a side of Brian we haven't seen before. Linze wants to turn the attic into a studio all by herself.moreless

    So while they were high on "E" Justin and Mike come up with a drawing about a superhero that has the letter "E" on his chest. They are making up silly stories and everything. When Mike comes by the next day with a serious idea for starting a new comic about a gay hero, Justin and he become a team. They use Brian as the idea for their hero since they both worship him, and the storyline is following the story lines of their actual life and how it revolves around Brian. Brian comes home to find drawings all over his apartment.The boys get so into the comic they even put off Babylon. When Ben puts a bug in Brian's ear about how creating something is the best form of intimacy, he attempts to make Brian jealous. When Brian brings home two men he doesn't so much mind the drawings all over, but when he finds Justin and Mike asleep in his bed with Mike's hand touching Justin, Brian snaps. He destroys the drawings and even urinates on them, then leaves. Justin grabs Mike's hand in the morning and puts it somewhere below the belt line. The boys wake up startled and thought that each other was Brian and Ben. They find Brian and confront him, who doesn't say anything. They talk about things later and realize a little bit why Brian was so upset. After Debbie opens Brian's eyes and tells him that he was their hero and why they are so upset as well, he understands. She also tells him that even though he denies it, she knows he is jealous. Brian replaces all the drawings and even apologizes. He also says when the boys are done he'll create an ad campaign to promote the comic! In the meantime Linze wants to turn the attic into her own studio, but she wants to do it cheap because she and Mel don't have a lot of cash to work with. Lita offers to do it for them in return for a place to stay, but Linze says no. At first i thought this was because she is jealous of Mel and Lita's past history which still might be true. However, later on after the girls do an awful job they turn to Lita for help after all. Mel goes upstairs and Linze tells Lita that she had her reservations, to which Lita said she knows but not to worry because Mel loves her very much. On her way up the stairs Linze watching Lita take her shirt off and lingers for a bit, then shakes out of it. I wonder if there's something in the future between Lita and Linze? Also, Emmett informs George's wife that he wants to speak at the funeral, and she basically tells him too bad. When Emmett shows up at the funeral to speak anyway, she has him dragged and thrown out like trash. Ted begs Emmett to show up at the Porn Star awards to accept a crystal penis as an award for best newcomer of the year. Emmett says no the whole time but later shows up and accepts the award, and gets to speak about George after all. Great episode.moreless
  • This is the reason I love the series.

    Brian just proves in this episode why he will always be my favorite character on television. He is so different from any others that have come before him, he is so real, he's bold, and he's afraid to show his true feelings. In this episode he gets overly jealous that Michael and Justin are sharing something that he's not actually a part of. And the fact that he catches the two innocently sleeping beside one another, doesn't help matters. This time though he can't hide his feelings, his jealousy just overruns him. He destroys all of work that they did for the comic book. But soon he realizes that he was their hero, and he was the one that they modeled Rage after. I love when Brian actually reminds everyone that he does have a heart, and that he gets jealous only because he loves them more than anything else in the world. Great episode...my love for Brian grows even further.moreless
  • I love Brian more and more with every episode.

    Ever since meeting Justin, Brian can't help but let his feelings become evident. More importantly, Brian becomes aware of his own feelings that he thought he could never have. Brian becomes jealous, jealous that Michael is spending time with Justin. Though I know that Brian is jealous that his best friend and the love of his life are spending time together without him, I think that Brian is more jealous at the fact that Michael is taking Justin away from him, rather than Justin taking Michael away from him. It's like Ben said--what they're sharing is very intimate--more intimate than sex (and by this point, sex has become more than just sex between Brian and Justin. It's an expression of their intimacy). Brian's face after Ben tells him "while our boyfriends are cheating on us" says it all. He's jealous that he's not a part of the most intimate part of Justin's life. And Brian desperately wants to be, if only because Justin means so much to him. That's why he goes into a jealous rage when he discovers Justin and Michael in bed together, with Michael's hand on Justin's leg. He has this fear that he might lose Justin to Michael. But of course those fears are completely irrational, as Brian later realizes with the help of Debbie. I absolutely love the talks between Debbie and Brian--she gets him to realize how much he loves Justin. I love the Brian/Justin scene in bed when Brian is waiting up for Justin. Brian is so tender with him, it makes me swoon! And kudos to Michael! It must've been incredibly difficult for Michael to tell Justin that Brian does love him. At this point, I think that Michael still does hope that maybe some day he and Brian might be something more. So for him to say out loud that Brian does love Justin is a great achievement, and a sign that he's starting to move on.

    Oh, and for the record, I think that the guy hosting the chest competition at Babylon is adorable! The eye makeup really works for him.moreless
Sharon Gless

Sharon Gless

Deborah 'Debbie' Jane Grassi Novotny

Robert Gant

Robert Gant

Professor Benjamin 'Ben' Bruckner

Michelle Clunie

Michelle Clunie

Melanie 'Mel' Marcus

Peter Paige

Peter Paige

Emmett "Em" Honeycutt

Scott Lowell

Scott Lowell

Theodore 'Ted' Schmidt

Gale Harold

Gale Harold

Brian Kinney

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Why was Peter MacNeil in the "Previously on Queer as Folk" section? He did not appear in the episode, and Deb was only in it for one scene.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Justin: All this time I've been fooling myself, thinking he loves me.
      Michael: He does love you.

    • Brian: I don't do jealous. Jealous is for lesbians.

    • Brian: It's fucking four in the morning.
      Michael: Creativity doesn't punch a time clock!
      Brian: Oh my God, that is so profound. Can you hold on a minute while I write it down?

    • Brian: Finally you two boys will have something in common besides me. What a relief not to be the center of everyone's universe.

    • Brian: What kind of dyke are you? You can't even handle a power tool.
      Lindsay: Oh, go and play with your son.
      Melanie: While you still have your legs.

    • (Nighttime at Babylon, Michael and Justin are drawing a character on a coaster while high on E. They stare at a go-go boy...)
      : (stopping someone from using their drawing) Whoa, oh! He's too hot to be a coaster!
      Justin: That's the magic of Ecstasy! Everybody looks good!
      Michael: Good?! He's practically a superhero! All he needs is a spandex bodysuit and he's ready to save the universe!
      Justin: (draws a bodysuit) There! How's that?
      : Now he just needs an insignia on his chest.
      Justin: Uh, a lightning bolt? (Michael makes a face)
      : Uh, an atom?
      Michael: An E! (Excited, Justin draws an "E" on the figure's chest)
      Michael: And a mask, of course.
      Justin: Of course! (draws a mask) Oh, and a cape?
      Michael: Capes are so last century. He does need a superpower. He wouldn't be a superhero without one.
      Justin: How about paralyzing beams that radiate from his dark, smoldering bedroom eyes?
      : Ooh, better yet: de-materializer rays that shoot from the megablaster he keeps concealed in his supershorts. (Justin laughs as he draws that. From behind, Brian approaches)
      : What are you girls all giggly about? (picks up the coaster) OK, no more drugs for you.

    • Brian: I'm not an asshole, I'm just drawn that way.

    • Ben: Something tells me we've been stood up.
      : Over a comic book.
      Ben: More than just a comic book. There's nothing as sexual as the act of creation. When I'm writing and it's pouring out of me, I swear to God, I'm like, completely turned on. Sometimes, I even get a hard-on.
      Brian: Is that what they mean by "stroke of genius?"
      Ben: It's the fucking greatest orgasm there is.
      Brian: You have your orgasms between the pages, I'll have mine between the sheets.
      : I bet it's the same with Michael and Justin. What they're sharing is the most intense form of intimacy there is. Nothing, not even the hottest fuck in the world, can come close. Let's have another drink, while our boyfriends are cheating on us.

    • Justin: Don't tell me you're going to forgive him.
      : Who said that?
      Justin: Knowing you guys' dysfunctional history, you'd put up with anything.
      Michael: Well, you'll be happy to know that even a glutton for punishment eventually gets his fill.

    • Brian: You're doing that wrong.
      : How do you know?
      Brian: When it comes to measuring wood, I'm an expert.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Marvel Comics has an established superhero named Rage. The African-American character debuted in The Avengers #326 (Nov. 1990). Elvin Haliday, 13, hid in a sewer while escaping bullies and ended up having toxic waste dumped on him. The chemicals prematurely aged him into an adult and gave him super-strength and invulnerability. He used his powers against local thugs and drug dealers, while also joining the superhero teams the Avenger and later the New Warriors.

    • The beginning and ending of the episode were made to look like a comic book.

    • Music: Yello - Oh Yeah!


    • Brian: I'm not an asshole, I was just drawn that way.

      Alludes to Jessica Rabbit's line "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way" in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

    • Michael: I was thinking we should have a chiropracter as a villain.

      This is reference to the Season 1 character David, chiropracter and Michael's ex-boyfriend.