Moments Easily Missed: The Rewatch Edition – Deacon’s Childhood
Today we’re taking a closer look at 2×02 “Primary” and the face-off between ‘The Scav King’ Deacon and Ramse, after Ramse returns from 2016.
Now this is a feud that’s been simmering since Ramse joined the West VII in season one. Usually when he’s at odds with Deacon, he has Cole around to back him up, but in this instance, Cole is stuck back in 2016 with Jennifer (who is in the throes of a meltdown).
What makes this interrogation between Ramse and Deacon so amazing is that it is a complete battle of the wills, a battle of power and strength but the kind that can’t be fought physically because they are too evenly matched. Deacon has already tried a raft of torture tricks on Ramse in the lead up to this exchange, and it’s evident to everyone involved that Ramse just isn’t going to break. As soon as Deacon backs off, Ramse lays into him verbally, proving once and for all who holds the power in this dynamic.
This is one of my favourite scenes between Deacon and Ramse, because both Todd Stashwick and Kirk Acevedo really nail the tension of the scene.
The way that Ramse winds Deacon up by reminding him of a particularly brutal moment of domestic violence in his childhood is masterfully delivered, with Ramse taking his time to detail every little moment of what he witnessed in the past when he paid a visit to Deacon’s childhood Home. We also learn that Deacon’s full name of Theodore Deacon, ‘Teddy.’
As he talks about Deacon’s father mercilessly beating his mother in their front yard, there’s a brief moment where Deacon’s lip trembles as he fights back tears. With that one lip tremble, Todd Stashwick managers to show Deacon’s vulnerability, making him distinctly human, while also hinting at the simmering rage that is about to bubble over. Clearly, the memory is still very vivid for him too and the fact that it was witnessed by Ramse just amplifies the rage which Deacon already has towards him. This scene is also important because we witness the newly forged relationship between Cassie and Deacon. After leaving Ramse’s interrogation in a murderous rage, it is Cassie that steps in and manages to calm him down. This new partnership will go on to have a far-reaching impact for everyone working at Project Splinter, as loyalties are tried and tested.
For his part, Kirk Acevedo completely captures the essence of what makes Ramse the ethical stalwart of the piece. His delivery of the dialogue, the revelation at the end of the story that it was actually him that saved Deacon’s mother that day by calling the police to intervene, is cold, calculated and cutting. Much like he did in “Shonin”, Ramse demonstrates that many battles can be fought and won with words alone.