sweet lover // justin nozuka
you guys I met jesse mccartney tonight so basically all my dreams ever have come true
If I weren’t already convinced that there are two Dereks, this shot here would convince me beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Deliberate reflections of something in film are always significant; they can reveal something hidden or indicate that something isn’t what it looks like, as when we see ghosts reflected in a mirror when they are not otherwise visible, or when someone’s true face is reflected in a mirror. Reflections are often connected to issues of character identity and duality, of hidden aspects of something, and this is what we’re seeing here.
Derek sees two separate reflections of himself in the lenses of the sunglasses (which themselves indicate something hidden, since they’re generally used in film to hide a character’s eyes), and he looks very puzzled by what he sees.
(I think it’s because even though his body aged up, his memories didn’t and emotionally, this is still young Derek from the previous episode, and he’s completely boggled by the change not only in his eyes but in his body as well. That is not the face of somebody who recognizes himself. Which would explain why the scene between Derek and Peter seemed so off.)
And we get this shot immediately after Braeden says, “Are we going to talk numbers?”, which is directed at Peter. The logical next shot is Peter suggesting an amount they’re willing to pay, but instead we get Derek looking at his twin reflections in the sunglasses. This break from what we would normally expect to see tells us that this shot is important, and the fact that it’s bracketed by Braeden’ reactions to what Derek is doing only emphasizes the oddness of the shot placement.
It is completely unnecessary to the conversation that was going on and could have been omitted without changing the narrative purpose of the scene in any way—it had nothing to do with the negotiation with Braeden. So it was there to tell us something about Derek.
We’re specifically directed to notice that there are two reflections. Braeden’s line, in addition to its obvious reference to money, subconsciously serves to make us pay attention to a number in the next shot we see. (Again, I refer you to the Leverage episode The Reunion Job as an example of how writers use specific words to manipulate the focus of the audience’s attention.)
And what we see is two Dereks, reflected in an object that signifies something important hidden behind it.
Jeff loves to leave these kinds of visual clues for us to find. Besides the stuff in that link, there’s also the shots of Stiles’ chessboard with Kate still in play and Isaac off the board from last season. So I will be very surprised if this turns out to be the Really Real Derek (Original Version).