This is a GIF from season four of Bosch. It is a good GIF. It is a very good GIF. I could give you the context but I don’t think I will or need to. I feel like it speaks for itself. You’re not even reading these words, are you? You’re just watching the GIF. I could say anything right now and no one would ever know. The moon landing was paid for by Elvis and staged at Graceland. Most dogs can talk but they hide it from us. October is a bad month. God, this is liberating. And you’re just watching that GIF. Honestly, I can’t blame you.
Okay, a little context. Just a little. Not the full amount, though, because this happens during the season finale and if I won’t be able to live with myself if I spoil Bosch for any you. I… I don’t even want to think about it. It’s too ugly. So, we’ll be vague. The man in that GIF is Lance Reddick, an actor you probably recognize from The Wire or one of his many other roles. Here he is playing a character named Irvin Irving, which is both awesome and not something I made up. Irvin Irving is the acting Chief of Police and he has been getting jerked around by the damn fat cats in City Hall. At the beginning of this scene, he gets the upper hand on one of his tormentors. He instructs his driver to pull up next to that person’s car. Then he does it. This.
Not a word, by the way. He doesn’t say a single word. He just rolls the window down, stares a stare so intense that it probably would have melted the glass anyway, then breaks eye contact dismissively as the window rolls up and his driver pulls away. My God, what a power move. No. What a powerful move. If anyone — especially Lance Reddick — ever looked at me like that I imagine I would disintegrate into a cloud of molecules and blow away into the next gentle breeze.
Imagine having that look in your back pocket. I say “imagine” here because I do not and I’m going to assume you do not either. Unless… are you Lance Reddick? Oh man. Hi, Lance Reddick. This is… weird. I did not expect you to read this. I hope it’s okay. Please do not starekill me into a cloud of molecules. I still want to know how Game of Thrones ends.
But for real, think about the power you would have if you could pull this off. Like, imagine pulling up at a drive-thru window…
YOU: And you put the extra barbecue sauce in here?
EMPLOYEE: Um, sorry sir, we just ran out.
Boom. Devastated. Good luck trying to live the rest of your life after that, kid.
Seriously. That place would never run out of barbecue sauce again. They’d be too ashamed. The manager would probably call up corporate and order a year’s supply that afternoon. And the poor employee who caught the look might even develop a complex and start carrying packets of barbecue sauce in his pants pockets well into adulthood, just in case, just to be sure he never has to face that look again. He could end up being the East Coast’s top neurosurgeon and he’ll still have 8-10 packets of barbecue sauce sewn into the inside of his scrubs just in case you should up again 30 years later for brain surgery. That’s the kind of power this look holds. The power to alter lives.
And it gets better, somehow, against almost insurmountable odds. Here’s a screencap of Lance Reddick moments before the action in the GIF took place:
He’s on the opposite side of the back seat. That means, in the time it took his driver to pull up to the other car, he had to shimmy across the seat to be ready to deliver the glare. That is, to be very clear, hilarious, because I had never before considered the possibility that Lance Reddick shimmies. It is also impressive because it is impossible to look cool while shimmying and to recover that quickly and end a man’s life via eye contact just seconds later… I mean, wow.
I do have one question about all of this, though: How did the driver know when to pull away? Because the only instruction he received was “pull up to the car.” Was he just listening for the window? How did he know Lance Reddick was going to drop the silent death stare? Do they do it a lot? The timing of it all suggests they do. No waiting for a conversation to start, not even a dismissive grunt to signify it’s time to leave. The whole thing operates like a well-oiled machine, suggesting that this might not be the first or even the seventh time they’ve done it. I imagine they do it a lot.