one day i will write a more coherent post about this (probably after i replay AJ again), but imo the fact that AJ-era Phoenix no longer trusts anyone but himself is like…..really central to his characterization
and, frankly, to some extent, it makes a lot of sense that he would feel that way? setting aside the fact that the entire reason he gets disbarred is because he mistakenly trusts that the evidence he’s been given is legitimate – we all know what the AA legal system is like! we’ve seen that Phoenix’s combination of logic, chutzpah and sheer luck have often been, like, the only thing keeping terrible injustices from happening. it makes SENSE not to trust that system
so then he invests a lot of time and energy into pioneering legal change that would help fix these problems…..and then he jeopardizes everything he worked for because he still won’t trust a jury.
bc the problem isn’t with trusting the system, it’s with trusting anyone else at all
like 4-4 casually reveals that the man has been carrying around a supernatural lie detector all this time??? he has spent years secretly wearing cameras and recording people?
he’s….kind of a broken person. and it’s interesting! but holy shit Phoenix