Yuri Plisetsky & Agape

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I have seen other studies on Yuri and his connection to Agape, but I feel there is more yet to add. So please read on, and feel free to comment!


Agape is described in the series as selfless, all-encompassing love. In real life, agape is a Greco-Christian word defined as “the highest form of love, charity” (Wikipedia). Viktor choreographed the program, intending it for Yuri (not that he told him that at first, classic Viktor).


Yuri shows a lot of disdain for the song, specifically saying it’s the innocence of the piece that disgusts him. Keep in mind that he’s 15 years old at the start of the series, so he’s still fairly young himself – so why such loathing in someone so young?

There are a few factors involved in this. Firstly, you may recall that Yuri was the main source of income for his family since his early competition days. The government aid for his skating kept him and his family going, so he’s not your average 15 year old in that he’s the bread winner of the house, not his grandfather who raised him.


On that note, agape is also focused on pure, unconditional love – like that of a parent. And Yuri grew up without either parent actively in his life. His personality is based on independence, pride, and strength. As a child without his parents, he did what most children in that position do: try to find a reason why they weren’t there.

Only he took his own path. Based on how he is now, it looks like child Yuri decided it didn’t matter why they left him with his grandfather, he didn’t need them. And he was very young when those thoughts first occurred to him.


So he resolved to support himself and his grandfather without parents, and I’m pretty sure that part of him wanted to make them regret leaving him for the rest of their lives. Yuri Plisetsky doesn’t need your innocent, unconditional love – he’s too powerful for something as silly as that.


Even when he agreed to skate to the program, it was because of his career, because he wanted his senior debut to succeed, and he wanted Viktor to come back to Russia as his coach. On the surface, these are all ambitious reasons that fit the image of himself that Yuri shows publicly.


As Viktor explained to both of them, he assigned these programs the way he did so they could surprise the audience by doing what they didn’t expect. And surely no one would expect the Ice Tiger of Russia to skate to a song about pure love.



Skating to the program requires Yuri to find an “in” for conveying agape well enough in his program so he can win. This pure love he scorns so persistently is now something he’s not just going to have to understand, but depict on the ice as a competitive skater.

As we all know now, he finds that inspiration through memories of his grandfather. But it’s easy to forget that he struggled to get there. Viktor told him not to skate with so much confidence, that this was not the place to show it off. He suggested going to a temple twice, and then Viktor said maybe a waterfall would help.


Yuuri had already picked katsudon as his eros by then, so Yuri was actually falling behind. Losing, at least in his eyes. When they both end up at the waterfall, Yuri says:

“Who cares about agape? Forget all of them.”

Which is odd because agape is not a “them”. He’s talking about people, people who have told him that love is pure and valuable and should be prized – directly contradicting everything Yuri had taught himself as a child. And before, he was right, but by then he needed to understand love, or he would lose.

Why was Yuuri able to understand eros, but he couldn’t understand agape? It was beyond just his external need to win, evolving into a feeling of missing something critical as a person. This is unspoken, of course, and shown most plainly in his expression just after saying those words:


The words are angry, and he even swore moments before that, but this is not an angry expression. This is unease. It’s not just the audience he’s surprising, but himself. That self-awareness catches him off guard more than once, whether he struggles to get to agape or he reaches it well.


This is the end of his performance of Agape in episode 11, but I would encourage everyone to see all of his performances of this short program to compare his thoughts and final reactions to preforming it. This is a physically challenging choreography, true, but there’s an emotional vulnerability that Yuri experiences with every performance that is intriguing to see.

This is a side of himself he’s shown to select few people (his grandfather, Otabek, Yuuko, and sometimes Yakov, Lillia, Viktor, and Yuuri), and that is something you catch a glimpse of when he performs Agape. Not only that, you can sometimes see the vulnerability that Yuuri saw in Yuri when he first found his agape.


For someone who has never valued pure love, never thought he needed it, and indeed looked down it, the realization that he always had it and it did motivate him… It’s not just knowing himself better. It’s a touch of fear because he didn’t realize that he’d needed that all along, and the knowledge makes him face that fear in relation to the person he holds himself to be – fierce, righteous, unstoppable – and now, loved and able to love.

Thank you for reading!

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Who Are You

Read how to join this choose your own adventure story here.
Read the previous post.
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Artist Astor Alexander.jpg
Art by Astor Alexander.

Aiming at the woman standing closest, Tenenbaum cocked the hammer of her pistol. “Who are you, why are you here?!” The little girl rushed to her side, her small fingers burying in the folds of Tenenbaum’s dress.

“Off to a fine start, Elizabeth,” the man grumbled, his voice as handsome as he was, a warm, gravelly tone to it. It nearly reminded her of Fontaine’s, but crisper. She narrowed her eyes. These girls needed her, she could not get distracted.

“Oh, enough, Booker.” The other woman turned her back on Tenenbaum for a moment to scold him, either a sign of trust or innocence. She sighed as she looked back to Tenenbaum, stepping forward. Her face softened, a gentle smile coming to her face and lighting up in her pale blue eyes.

“We’re here to help, Dr. Tenenbaum,” she began, folding her arms casually in front of her. “I’m Elizabeth, and he is–“

“Booker, yes. Why are you here,” Tenenbaum snapped, hearing the other Little Sisters as they shuffled in to hide behind her. Better here than alone, but still…

“We know about the Little Sisters, and how you want to save them.” She took another few steps forward, pausing a few long strides away. “And we want to help, but there’s a little boy that needs us too. I think you know him?”

“Verdammt!” Ryan or Fontaine sent them, Suchong would not have bothered. But this place, it was secure, she’d made sure of it. It was near the sewers, no one cared to look closer. Regardless, Tenenbaum could not risk it. She shifted her aim to Booker, who raised his own weapon too late to stop her firing.

The two screamed, a few of the Little Sisters shouting to kill him. He stood, Tenenbaum in his sights, the woman took cover, and yet… He did not shoot back. Blood stained his sleeve, but not much. She’d only grazed him, it seemed, so why not return fire?

Following his gaze, Tenenbaum looked to the little one beside her… “Ah, you cannot be with Ryan or Fontaine. You are too soft.” She lowered her gun, and he did the same, his expression contorted in confusion or pain. Perhaps with both. She chuckled, patting the girl’s head. “It’s alright, little ones, come out.”

Elizabeth also stood, smoothing her hair. “Dr. Tenenbaum… You’re clearly willing to go to great lengths for the safety of these little girls.” She spoke between breaths, surprised but not afraid. “Doesn’t Jack deserve the same thing? We need your help, and we’re willing to help you in return. Please.”

– – –

What do you want to do, Tenenbaum?

Read the next post.

– – –

Suggestions from the last chapter:


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There’s Still Time

Read how to join this choose your own adventure story here.
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September 1958.

The lab had been falling to Ryan’s men as Tenenbaum saved a handful of the children. So few of those she’d brutalized in her experiments, but there was still time for the others…

These little ones followed her, all eyes on her back. Water dripped around them as they left the crawl space leading into the sewers of Olympus Heights, the city rumbling distantly with the barely contained war between Ryan and Fontaine.

“Miss Tenenbaum,” the first girl said, a whine to her voice. “Where are we going?”

“Home, child,” she answered, opening the doorway she’d designed for their hideout. Shame she had to kill the man who put it in, but… No one could know of this place if they were to be safe.

A smaller door for the girls to crawl through rested in the bottom of the larger door, a source of comfort for the children. It was like the flower chutes, and once inside… She could administer the plasmid to them to free them from what she’d done.


“Go now, quickly, child.” That lifeless look and smile, and she nodded, dropping to her hands and knees to shuffle through the small opening. The other girls went to follow until from the other side came a scream. “Little one!”

She entered the code to open the large door, running in with pistol drawn to see two people, a man and woman, standing among the beds and toys.


Art by casino-toast.

What do you want to do, Tenenbaum?

Read the next post.

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BioQuest: BioShock CYO Story

Greetings to you all!

For those of you who are not familiar, CYO stands for “choose your own”. Meaning all of the readers out there can help steer this story together! There are rules, however. And here, you may find out how to participate in this Choose Your Own Adventure story for BioShock.

Read the first part here.

See the story so far here.

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How it works:

SPOILER WARNING: If you have not played BioShock 1 and BioShock Infinite, and you intend to play (or avoid spoilers), please go play the games and return to participate afterwards.

Comment with your choices:

With each update, you’ll have the opportunity to post your suggestion for what the perspective character does next!

You don’t have to suggest something every time. You can suggest sporadically as the whim strikes or you can suggest something every time – whenever you have an idea for what you’d like to see happen next, comment on the blog post with your idea.


Follow the Little Sister.

Check the room for supplies.

Lastly, please don’t be upset if your suggestion isn’t chosen.

Stay timely:

Avoid posting suggestions on outdated posts, please! Check this wiki to make sure you’re on the latest post.

1 Presentation1

Tenenbaum art on the right side by Astor Alexander.

Know who you control:

There are two main perspective characters you control as the plot moves along: Tenenbaum and Elizabeth.

You can only control their actions one at a time, and each update will show at the end who is the perspective character at that time.

Any suggestions made for other characters or that introduce other elements/characters will not be considered.

Think of it this way: I’m the GM, and you’re all the players. You all have Elizabeth or Tenenbaum depending on the scene, and the setting and all other characters are my pieces.

Update schedule:

This will be updated as regularly as possible, but it does of course require input. The more compelling suggestions there are, the more frequent updates can happen.

What makes a good suggestion:

Make it clear so I know what you’re asking. The example “Follow the Little Sister” is straightforward and leads to more story events.

The example “Check the room for supplies” can give all the people following the story more ideas on what to suggest next based on what they have nearby.

The suggestions that are most popular and/or interesting will be selected. If you see a suggestion you like, remember to actually like it so I can see which ones are the most popular!


Standard actions:

Like any game, there are certain things you can do that aren’t story related.

At any time, anyone can comment with “Check Inventory” or “Inventory Check” to get a list or image of what is in all present characters’ inventories.

If you want to check a certain person’s inventory, you would specify by commenting “Check Elizabeth’s inventory” or “Elizabeth: inventory check”. Note that some characters may refuse or be unable to show their inventory.

You can also talk to specific people and look at certain items with the following formats as an example:

“Tenenbaum: ask Booker how he knows Elizabeth.”

“Elizabeth: look inside the center drawer on the desk.”

Be specific! I can more easily act on detailed requests.

Have fun!

This is about making a story together as a community, so remember to have fun with it! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

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