bloodconfetti: (Default)
bloodconfetti ([personal profile] bloodconfetti) wrote in [community profile] shipmanifestos2014-08-19 09:58 pm

Pineapple Express → Dale Denton/Saul Silver

title: Hawaiian winds stirring up dust
author: [profile] aloneinthistown
fandom: Pineapple Express
pairing: Dale Denton/Saul Silver

ao3 link: link
warnings: blood and injury, spoilers

canon recap:

Pineapple Express is a movie about a man named Dale Denton, who witnesses a murder. He drives away, and everything would have been fine ‒  if he hadn't tossed the joint he'd been smoking, out his window. Unfortunately for Dale, the joint he had been smoking was a very exclusive strain of marijuana. All the murderers have to do, is track down the few people who sell this strain, called Pineapple Express, and then find out which one of them, or their customers was witness to their crime, and have them murdered. Which brings us around to Saul Silver: drug dealer. Dale's drug dealer. Oh right, and it just so happens that the murderers are a cop, and the provider of Saul's stash. Together, Saul and Dale are forced to run from the very dangerous combination of people chasing after them.

dale denton:

Dale is a pretty average guy. There's nothing overly special about him. In fact, the one thing that makes him unique, is probably his level of disinterest, or laziness. He spends most of his days sitting in his car, smoking weed and waiting for his high school girlfriend to call.

saul silver:

Saul, although illegally employed, is incredibly friendly, and cheery. At least to Dale, he is. Being that he's a dealer from his home, and also spends a good amount of his time smoking pot, he spends a lot of his time alone, or dealing with people who only have a relationship with him for his drugs. He comes off as lonely and desperate at times, and unfortunately, can annoy those around him with ease. Which is unfortunate, because he can be very loving, and a loyal ally.

the ship:

Initially their relationship is based off of the fact that Dale wants to get high, and Saul is his enabler. So any time Dale starts to get stressed, gets a little low on his stash, he calls Saul, and heads over to Saul's apartment. Almost the first thing Saul does when Dale comes in, is put a hand on his shoulder, and thing his other, gives him a little massage, and leads him over to the couch for a little sit down.

After Dale sits, Saul sits down, very close, and puts his arm across the back of the couch directly behind Dale, as he begins to play slow jazz music in the background. He even tries to get deep with Dale by asking what Dale thought about the prospect of having to euthanize his grandmother, after Dale complimented the picture Saul had of him and his 'Bubby' up on the wall.

Dale, at this point, is still too selfish, and maybe appropriately uncomfortable discussing such serious things with Saul, so brushes the subject off in favor of getting what he came for. Not friendship; drugs. Even though we already know Dale's not that into Saul from his brush off just then, and the conversation he had earlier with a radio spokes-person about drug dealers, he can still laugh and joke around with Saul about the various kind of marijuana. Which, I suppose, is part of the reason why Saul gets the impression that they are friends.

Sadly for Saul, and Dale, this is where things start to go wrong. Saul likes Dale, a lot, so he wants to hook Dale up, right? Saul's the only guy in town, he says emphatically, who has Pineapple Express.

I find it a bit funny, and sweet, that when Saul goes to grab his cash-box, he stops to spray on deodorant. I'm not sure if the implication here is that he actually wants to smell nice for Dale but... I don't see anyone else in the apartment with him. And while Saul is gone, Dale discovers his special four-sided, cross joint that intrigues Dale enough to make him stay, despite the fact that he does not usually enjoy hanging around Saul. Or maybe he just doesn't want to think he does. He's better than a criminal, money-grubbing drug dealer, right?

Except who's the one who is willing to talk about the morality of pulling the plug on a ill and dying person, who has studied various civil engineers enough to know his first and second favorites? Not the man who abstains from selling drugs, that's for sure. But Dale's too good to hang around to hear anymore about any of that; he gets up to leave, which significantly dampens Saul's mood. His voice becomes soft and he grasps at a way to get Dale to stay and hang out with him for just a little while longer. Saul offers to smoke the cross joint with Dale, the future of weed-smokers everywhere, the joint Dale's children will be smoking. "I can't even light this thing on my own," Saul says. Saul's not the only one, though, who smiles wide and gets excited when he says he'll stay.

I realize it can be fairly typical to share a joint, but, I don't know, I'd like to think it's still kind of intimate. They're also both disappointed when Saul's buzzer rings. It's another client of his, but he makes it a point that he will not be giving this guy the same treatment as he gives Dale; Dale's the one who is special, who gets to have Saul's most prized product.

As more of a side note, because I like to read into the colors in film, Dale by himself is basically just brown, neutral colors. But when he comes around Saul, of course, there's reds, yellows, blues. I mean, it's clear enough as it is that Saul is a more colorful character. Maybe that's why at first, Dale feels like he clashes with Saul, but then eventually comes to realize that Saul compliments him.

The sweet part is, or maybe it's just the selfish side of Dale, but Saul makes an effort to ask Dale a personal question, and Dale responds, revealing his vulnerabilities, just to have Saul reassure him.

Dale: She's [Dale's girlfriend] cool as hell, actually. You'd probably get along with her. I - I guess.
Saul: Really?
Dale: Yeah. You know - you know what sucks is that I go visit her in high school, and all the guys she goes to school with are like strong, and like handsome, and really like funny, and like do good impressions of Jeff Goldblum and shit like that. And like, I just feel like a fat, dumb fuckin', stinky ass turd when I'm there and it's really -
Saul: What?!
Dale: It really sucks for my ego.
Saul: Fuck Jeff Goldblum, man!
Dale: That's what I say.
Saul: You know, don't get down on yourself. You got a great girl, you got a great job where you don't do anything. You get to smoke weed all day. I wish I had that.

At least, Saul tries to reassure him, in addition to sharing just how lonely he is. But Dale's kind of an asshole so he has to point out that Saul has an even more lazy job, rather than paying attention to the relationship portion. Luckily, Saul being laid back (and adorable) means he laughs at himself, along with Dale, and the conversation ends on friendly terms.

Then, before he opens the door for his other client, his puts on hip hop music for his 'image' rather than the jazz music he put on for Dale. Because, for some reason, over the two months of their business relationship, Saul has decided he can show his true self to Dale.

Again, Dale moves to leave after that, but Saul doesn't want him to go, and even asks him what he's doing over the weekend, the same kicked-puppy look on his face as before. Dale declines the invitation to go see Phantom of the Opera with Saul.

Dale leaves, witnesses the murder, and in his utter panic who does he run to? Saul. After some deducing, Dale realizes they're in huge trouble, so they hop into his car and drive off, not knowing exactly where to hide.

This is a little out of context, but the context isn't actually all that important here. I mean, in the grand scheme of things...

Saul: Imagine if I gave you [Dale] a hand job.

Saul gets offended when Dale stupidly suggests that drug dealers are untrustworthy. Fortunately for Dale, he's a liar, so it's easy for him to deny that's what he meant, and presses Saul forward in their quest to figure out how to get out of the mess they're in.

I also think that at this point, Dale's realizing he sees Saul as more of a friend, too. His slip-up with the drug dealer comment like Saul wasn't a drug dealer himself. The way he keeps trying to show Saul 'cool' things while Saul is actually acting like an adult having a phone conversation with his friend Red. And Dale, as we already know, does not have a lot of friends. He basically has Angie, his girlfriend, and that's it. He may still be in denial now, but sooner or later he's going to realize that this relationship with Saul is actually good for him.

Saul: I'm cold...
Dale: You're cold? Oh I'm not cold at all. Here.

Dale even gives Saul his jacket like a perfect gentleman.

Anyway, they're out in the woods, the middle of nowhere so they can't be found, and they're scared, looking for Saul's phone cause alright, fine, sometimes he majorly lacks common sense. I'm allowed to think it's sweet that Saul let's Dale hang onto him and use him as a pseudo-shield from the night, right?

And in the morning they wake up cuddled against each other.

When they wake up, they find that the car is dead and won't turn on because it was on all night after they fell asleep. This is the first time that Saul really reacts in a more immature way than Dale, and Dale doesn't lash out at him, or ignore him. He comes up with a solution, tells Saul to look at things in a positive way, really steps up to give Saul comfort. Not purely for Saul's benefit, I'm sure, because it's easier to work with somebody when you're on the same page, but it does make Saul happier. Actually, I'm not even sure if it makes Saul happy, as much as it impresses him. His smile is more proud than anything.

When they get out of the car, Saul is still clutching to Dale's jacket. Sadly, Dale asks if he can have his jacket back, and of course, Saul gives it to him. The nice part of this, is that Dale says please, and thank you when Saul hands it back, and then Saul says thank you. Dale even adds after, "Thanks for taking care of it." At least they're using their manners after the night of their first date, right?

Then they begin their hike to the road together. They have a sword fight with sticks, after which Dale wipes down Saul's back because he's covered in leaves. And go immediately into a game of Leap Frog.

Ending up at Red's house, things start to go down, so Dale and Saul use 'teamwork' and hold onto each other as the knock a door down with their bodies. More stuff goes down, and they fight together, and for each other, and they win.

When Dale gets to Angie's house to make sure that she's okay, Saul wants to come with him, because he wants to meet the one other person who's of any importance to Dale. Well, Dale wasn't ready for that, so he had Saul on lookout which eventually led to Angie mistaking Saul for a bad guy, and stabbing Saul in the shoulder with a fork. Not the best first impression on either side. But at least Angie and her family get to safety, and Saul and Dale go back out to the woods.

Dale: I gotta say man, out of all the drug dealers I've had, you are by far the coolest. Yeah, I mean they were all dicks.
Saul: Really?
Dale: Yeah.
Saul: Thanks man...
Dale: No problem.
Saul: I really appreciate it. The means a lot to me, you know? You're the first guy that I ever sold to, that I became friends with. They say, like, don't dip the pen in company ink? I'm totally glad that I dipped in your ink, bro.

Saul... he sounds a little like he's going to cry as he thanks Dale for the compliment. And yes, the ink analogy does sound strangely sexual. I think Dale hears it too, because he gives Saul a kind of apprehensive smile. He actually tries to move on from this vein of conversation, tries to talk about leaving town, contacting outside police for help. Saul just keeps staring at Dale as he speaks, and then asks again, to make sure Dale knows what Saul means, that Dale knows how important he is to Saul.

Saul, however, does notice things, contrary to what Dale thinks. He notices the way Dale doesn't agree that they're friends that night, and the next day when tensions come to a head after a car chase, cops shooting at them, and a break-up with Angie, Saul calls Dale out on it. And Dale says the reason he didn't agree was easy: They weren't friends. He actually goes on to say a few other harsh words, and while he tries, immediately after, to apologize for it, Saul's feelings are already deeply hurt, and so he parts ways with Dale, tossing him half the money they earned selling Saul's drugs...

This leads into a montage of loneliness. We seal Dale pick up a toy from the garbage can, and as he gives it a little shake, it says, 'I love you! Do you love me?' I don't know if it's a reference to the fact that Saul ended up in a dumpster earlier (even though he didn't stay in the dumpster for longer than a minute, and it didn't help him hide from anyone, or serve any actual purpose) but obviously the words were basically his. We see Saul sitting alone on a bench for the public buses. Dale goes to a payphone, picks it up, and realizes he has no one to call. Then you have Saul sitting on a swing, crying while he eats a hamburger, the poor thing...

This part of the movie always makes me uncomfortable, but at the same time, it might give credence to the idea that maybe Angie is no longer the most important person in his life, which leaves just one other for the position: Saul. Dale calls Angie, crying, declaring that he loves her and that he'll do anything to keep her. However, when she says she loves him back, he stops crying, instantaneously becoming uneasy, and rejecting the idea that he might have to be with her in any stable sense of the word. He didn't want her back, not really, He wanted Saul back, but he couldn't call Saul, so he called Angie instead, and when she said she actually would take him back, that she even loved him enough to marry him, Dale's alarms went off full-blast, and he quickly backed out of the situation.

After realizing his mistake, he looks up Bubby's address to go find Saul. When he gets there, though, he hears Bubby talking to the police about how two of the murderer's assassins had kidnapped Saul.

Dale goes back to Red's house because he needs help figuring out where Saul is and ends up saying to Red, "You know Ted? He took Saul. And I'm gonna get him back. You know, he saved my life, we've been on the run together, and he's a great friend. He's a good guy. And I was mean to him, man. I wrong him, and I can't let it end like that."

Once Red gets Dale to Ted's hideout where they're keeping Saul, his plan to come storming in with guns blazing fails spectactularly, but at least he ends up tossed into the same room as Saul. Not that his friend is too happy about that; he's still upset about what happened before.

Dale: I'm here to save you.
Saul: No. You just got caught, too. Now I'm gonna die in here with some asshole.
Dale: Okay. You know what? I deserve that. I'll take that because I have been an asshole, man. This whole thing is my fault and I ruined your life. Okay? And I know there's no way to make that up to you except by saving your life. So that's what I came here to do. I'm here to save my best friend. Cause that's what you are, man. You're my best friend.
Saul: You're a mean jerk!
Dale: I was mean. I was mean because I didn't want you to be my best friend. I didn't want to think that that's what my life was. But now I realize I'm lucky to have you as my best friend! Man, you're the best guy I know.
Saul: BFFF?
Dale: Best fuckin' friends forever, man... Seriously.

Saul stands up, smiling, and tells Dale to give him a hug. Not that it's gonna be awkward or anything with their hands tied behind their backs. They basically just stand there, nuzzling each other's necks, and it's absolutely adorable.

Then, Dale promises again, that he will get them out of there. His brilliant idea starts with Saul rubbing his wrists against Dale's belt-buckle, to get himself untied...

Along with all of the grunting, thrusting, and oh-yes face your heart could desire.

Dale even ends up saying, "I'll finish it off with my mouth!" To which Saul replies, "Harder!"

Surprisingly, it works, and the ties come undone. One of the assassins come in (the adorable one, played by Craig ‒  his name is Matheson and he's totally in unrequited love with his male partner) and says, "Look, whatever you're doing, I get it. Kay? See, I don't think you understood me. I can hear everything you sayin' out there. One cough mean you go, two cough mean you take the lead. The belt buckle. Best friends forever. Y'all fuck on your own time, man!"

This speech gives Dale just enough time to decide to take things into his own hands, and move toward Matheson, but Matheson shoots. Saul does the dramatic 'DAAAAAALLLLLLEEEE' call. Then Saul runs into Matheon, wrestles the gun away, shoots him, and comes up to Dale's side. He starts freaking out, yelling at Dale to wake up, saying, "You're not dying, Dale! Not without me!" But Dale's totally fine. Well... not totally, but he's definitely not dying.

After getting out of their make-shift prison cell, it's time to leave the hide-out and hopefully never have to look back. Dale goes to boost Saul, not by his foot, or by his leg, but by wrapping his arms around Saul's waist. Well, and then by his foot. But I think it's cute that the first time Dale lifts him, he almost sort of sits in Dale's grasp.

Saul gets out, Dale doesn't. In fact, Saul could choose to leave altogether, but he doesn't... He comes back in to fight again.

They both end up fighting, actually, and eventually end up back in the same space, Saul momentarily knocked out. So Dale carries Saul to safety. When Saul doesn't wake up soon after arriving in the field, Dale begins to cry thinking Saul is dead, saying, "Oh sweet Saul!" Then he presses a kiss to Saul's fingers.

Eventually, though, Saul sputters back into life, and Dale rejoices, holding Saul by his waist, and wrist.

After they make it out alive, they head to a diner where, despite finding talk radio boring, Saul plays along with Dale, and Dale's first words to his 'caller' are, "You're about to get D'd by Dale. In the face." "Dale Denton?" asks the caller, "You're my hero." "No, you're my hero," Dale replies. Then Saul tells Dale if he were a radio talk show host, he would actually listen to it.


I'm sure that at some point in their life, everyone has known a person whom at first they considered to be annoying, or just generally not that great of a person, but whom eventually came to be a friend, maybe even a best friend, or a partner. There will always be people who we misjudge, but come to realize are just people like us, that maybe they're even people we can love and hold close to us, that end up meaning so much more to us than we ever could have dreamed possible.

Dale and Saul? They have a rocky start, but in the end, there's life-risking involved, and declarations of love and appreciation, and an immediate danger to their relationship that, instead of crashing down, ends up thriving.

They were worth more to each other than they knew, even before all that, and in the end, they found happiness, safety, solidity, and comfort in each other, more than anyone else before. They bettered each other, tested each other, and came out closer than ever. How can you deny that?

fandom guide:


  • Dale and Saul's Archive of Our Own fanworks tag is here.

  • [profile] pinocytosis wrote a 15-chapter mpreg fic; I have not read it myself as that trope is not my trope, but I think it's pretty cool that as small as this fandom is, we even have mpreg!


  • [profile] wincestuouslove did a review of Pineapple Express focusing on the homoerotic side of the movie ‒ it is essentially a manifesto itself. So if you did not particularly enjoy this viewer's take on it, perhaps their view will be more your style.


  • Fuck Yeah Pineapple Express [link]

  • Pineapple Express Movie [link]

  • Pineapple Express ‒ James Franco [link]