Alright, Paramount. We’ve had our fun for two movies. But I’m gonna need you to get Agent Stone out of this toxic, one-sided, gay as fuck relationship with Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik in Sonic the Hedgehog 3.
The following contains spoilers for Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
Agent Stone isn’t necessarily a fan favorite like many of the tentpole characters in the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog movies, but while fans are happy to see favorites like Ben Schwartz as the titular blue blur, Idris Elba’s Knuckles, and Jim Carrey’s Eggman on the big screen, this original character played by Lee Majdoub is often quietly stealing scenes.
His characterization is often boiled down to his devotion and one-sided infatuation with the film’s villain. It’s been a running gag for two movies, but for all the ways Sonic the Hedgehog 2 excels above its predecessor, it also shines a light on how Stone’s personal connections are lacking in a series that makes characters feel more like people than they ever have in over a decade of video games.
— Sonic the Hedgehog (@SonicMovie) September 29, 2021
This past Valentine’s Day, the Sonic movie social channels pretty much confirmed what some fans joked about following the original’s release in 2020: Agent Stone has a big ol’ crush on his superior. Most of Stone’s scenes in the first movie were opposite Carrey’s Eggman, but he was often on the receiving end of abuse and intimidation, all of which he takes with a smile as he is so enamored by the doctor’s genius mind. The one reprieve is the compliments he gets as he makes the villain’s coffee. This extrapolates into a bigger gag in the sequel, when he goes on to run a coffee shop following his boss/unrequited love disappearance. But Stone has spent nearly a year pining for the doctor, and even draws his face in coffee foam art, much to the chagrin of his patrons.
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In Sonic the Hedgehog 2, when Eggman finally shows back up on Earth thanks to Knuckle’s help, Stone is thrilled to see his man. Although his look more closely resembles the bald, big-mustached version of the character we know from the games (in which case, Stone’s foam art probably needs some updating). But Stone has been waiting for a year, and slips back into the role of unquestioning, loyal-to-a-fault lackey like one of Eggman’s robot-controlling gloves. The movie goes out of its way to show that Carrey’s character doesn’t give a fuck about him, only offering a passing glance when he can use him. But even as the doctor transforms from mad scientist to magic, god-like entity in the movie’s final act, Stone willfully enters his boss’ chaos, begging to come along.
Not that I was thrilled with the dynamic before, but in Sonic the Hedgehog 2’s final act I finally realized the joke had run its course. Eggman, using the power of the movie’s MacGuffin Master Emerald, creates a giant robot that rivals his most elaborate constructions in the games. As he pilots it from the inside, an electrical field covers him as the robot mimics his movements. At one point, he carelessly puts Stone in the field’s proximity, leading to an uncomfortable 10 seconds where Stone flails in the background, electrocuted, while Eggman controls the robot. But even as Eggman views Stone as an incompetent fool compared to his genius, he keeps bringing the all-too-willing punching bag along, and he rolls with those punches all the same. And you know what, I get it. What gay doesn’t know what it’s like to go above and beyond for a man who could not be bothered to give you the bare minimum?
This is the moment that really drives home what Eggman, and by extension Stone, lacks in a movie about characters finding true connection. Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles find each other as a family and overcome Eggman’s power because of that camaraderie. Eggman loses the fight, but the post-credits scene heavily implies Stone is still devoted after being knocked on his ass without so much as a “thank you.” For Eggman, this works because it vilifies his worldview, but for Stone? My guy is just pining over someone who is incapable of seeing him as anything more than a stepping stone. So while some fans may be all in on the Eggman/Stone ship, maybe instead of hoping that one day the doctor will notice his lackey, we hope the sole canonically gay character in the movies can eventually gain real agency, and find a man who appreciates how much he does for those he cares about.