By Drew Baumgartner
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
We believe that we are always better off gathering as much information as possible and spending as much time as possible in deliberation. We really only trust conscious decision making. But there are moments, particularly in times of stress, when haste does not make waste, when our snap judgements and first impressions can offer a much better means of making sense of the world.
Malcolm Gladwell, Blink
We’re all bad at making decisions. Or, rather, we’re bad at listening to the parts of ourselves that make good decisions. That’s the main takeaway of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, but its a ubiquitous phenomenon once you know how to spot it. We’re more concerned with the logical story of our choices than we are with the more perceptive part of us that can make the right choice subconsciously. “It felt right” isn’t a satisfying explanation, so we avoid it to our own detriment. To hear Gladwell’s explanation, we then draw out the decision-making process long beyond that initial (and often correct) feeling, sometimes long enough to talk ourselves out of the right choice or miss the opportunity entirely. That’s the path Nick starts down in The Further Adventures of Nick Wilson, but a few swift kicks in the but remind him that missed opportunities might be worse than bad decisions.
Clive Morganfeld, Nick’s old arch-enemy, has a business proposition: sign away his name and likeness rights to a Nick Wilson museum, and Morganfeld will put him on his payroll. The cost/benefits are pretty straightforward — Nick needs a job, but doesn’t trust Morganfeld — so Nick is quick to turn it down, but Morganfeld insists Nick sleep on it. So Nick talks it over with Jane, who is quick to tell him to take the job, though that’s not the element of the exchange that seems to stick with Nick:
Writers Eddie Gorodetsky and Marc Andreyko play Nick’s jealousy subtly enough, but the thought that he had any expectation that Jane — a long-estranged ex-girlfriend he’s only recently reconnected with — would stick around suggests that he thought this relationship was something that it clearly isn’t. Which makes Jane Missed Opportunity 1 of this issue.
Missed Opportunity 2 has a similarly romantic feel — Nick hits it off with a cute girl at a bar, but fails to get her number — but feels even more significant. Gorodetsky and Andreyko give that scene significantly more space to play out, featuring that woman, Coco, on seven pages compared to Jane’s two. They also add a bartender to really emphasize what a yutz Nick is.
Which of course drives Nick to confront the specter of missing yet another opportunity. And so the story of Nick missing that opportunity is averted at the last minute, though who the heck knows if that’s actually the right decision. Having only just met Morganfeld, it’s hard for us to really guess how on-the-level he might be. Is he reformed, or still a crook at heart? Does he still bear any ill-will towards Nick, or is he really just interested in making a buck? It seems like that’s not the story Gorodetsky and Andreyko are telling, so those questions may prove absurd, but I’ll withhold praising Nick’s decision-making until we actually see how this all shakes out.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?