As before, white balanced and with just hint or two of purples and reds around the eyes and nose to enhance the suggestion of the sniffles. Well, and Thomas lost all his colour because I wanted attention focused on Abby.
This is one of two scenes where some folks might get squicked out at the suggested impropriety of their relationship, the other being in the kitchen as he was preparing for his final shopping sortie.
My personal take on it is that she is in and of herself inherently so far and so incontrovertibly transverse to the moral ecliptic that no relationship with her can ever possibly be even remotely "proper" unless it ends with her perishing in a fire, in sunlight or having a sharpened telephone pole rammed clean through her chest. Since he failed to arrange any of these things, he himself became an implicit accessory to any death she caused after he'd learned the truth, and thus an traitor to the human race in its entirety. Worse, since he took her part, at first probably as a facilitator and subsequently as an active partner, he became every bit the enemy to the entire human race that she herself is. On these grounds, I could argue that no relationship with him
could ever be "proper" unless it ends - quickly
- with his becoming a corpse.
Maybe he even understood this, and maybe that understanding had already come to him before he clambered into the photo booth with her.
The truth about their relationship is that we don't know all the details about it. We can make some assumptions, but we'd have to understand that many such assumptions are necessarily a matter of projection. Maybe he really was like a father to her when he died, maybe he'd been like a brother when he'd been Owen's age, and maybe - just possibly maybe
- the uncoloured monster in this image was a virgin when he died.
But we can't doubt that they actually had some kind of relationship, and it wasn't just business. More or less the same give-and-take happens in LdRKI happens in LTROI: sometimes, he's the one doing the yelling (and she's the one whimpering), and sometimes she's the one doing the yelling. I interpret Thomas yelling angry profanities into the night as he goes to clean up after her meal in the tunnel not as a man who's being forced against his will to do work, but that of a man who has to go cover up the evidence that his loved one even exists out of fear that she might be discovered and imperiled, and is upset not because he has to work, but because he fears her careless impulsiveness is going to be her undoing. What other man could ever consider rinsing his face with a jar of acid (battery or muriatic?), even with such motivation?
In terms of moral convention, he's a paradox. Most men who marry and have children will occasionally face the same irresolvable conflict between what's "right", what's best for the community, what's best for the family, and what's best for a particular family member, and most reasonably intelligent men understand this even before they start dating. For the Thomas seen in the movie, there's no conflict: Abby needs what she needs, and nothing else matters. Nobody
I don't happen to believe he might be in her thrall, that his mind and will aren't his own. There's no sleeping reason here producing monsters, but I suppose an argument could be made for Thomas being a metaphor for the monstrosity of the emotion we call love, that if it's true that "love conquers all" then maybe said conquest doesn't always result in pastel-coloured baby blankets and big billowy clouds of cotton candy.
All I know, writing this at the wee hours of the morning, is that this particular image conveys "a pained and bitter tenderness" to me.