Sami first hears about Joe in an email from Rami. Rami is in Australia working on The Pacific. Weekly long distance calls are too expensive so he relies on emailing updates each week to keep in touch with the rest of the family. He sends one general email to everyone. Sami gets a separate email.
Rami likes to tell him about the set and everything they have to do before filming can start. Sami still cannot believe his brother is working with Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. It’s surreal. Rami’s emails ramble on and on, but Sami’s gotten good at deciphering ever since they were separated for college. His attention is caught when Rami mentions Joe though.
The first mention of him is brief:
Remember the guy I talked about from the screentest? The one I thought I had good chemistry with? He was hired and I’ll be filming most of my scenes with him. His name’s Joe Mazzello. He’s actually the little boy from Jurassic Park. Can you believe that?
Rami starts talking about Joe more in his emails after that:
We have to go through boot camp and training before filming starts. Joe and I are partnered up for everything since that’s how it’ll be when we film. I like him a lot. I don’t think I’ve ever connected with another actor so quickly.
When Sami receives the most recent email, he’s surprised to see how long it is. The beginning of the email is the usual updates about the weather and the set. Rami shares some stories about the crew and the other actors. But then he gets to talking about Joe:
Joe and I went out to one of the bars near set and stayed out probably later than we should have drinking. He’s really funny. He’s given me so much good advice about the industry. Can you believe he was working in it since he was a child? I don’t think I could have done what he did.
I’m glad he’s the one I’m sharing all my scenes with though. I had a hard time filming one of my scenes. All the emotions just hit me at once. He didn’t even hesitate before he comforted me. Pulled me right into a hug and told me it was nothing to be ashamed of.
He’s nice and kind and we spend so much of our free time hanging out together. His room in the cast hotel is right next to mine so it’s convenient if we stay up too late talking or watching movies or playing video games. He doesn’t even mind being affectionate which is nice because you know how some guys get about it.
Sami’s eyes look down the rest of the email. He sighs when he sees that Rami goes on for three more paragraphs about Joe.
His brother definitely has a crush on his costar, he realizes. He already feels protective of Rami, who falls in love and gets his heart broken so quickly. He hasn’t even met Joe, but he hopes the guy is worth it. More importantly, he hopes Rami’s crush doesn’t end in tragedy.
Rami decides not to fly home to LA after he’s done filming The Pacific. Instead he goes off to Argentina. He says he needs some time away from everyone and everything. Sami meets him there.
Rami seems tired and distant. “It was hard, you know?” Rami says.
Sami doesn’t know. He gleans little pieces from Rami about what the industry is like but this is the first time he’s really seen Rami so disconnected. It might be the subject matter of the show. But Sami suspects that there might also be more to it.
“How’s your friend? Joe? You mentioned him a lot in your emails,” he asks.
Rami smiles. It’s not the happy smile Sami expected though.
“He’s good. He had more to film than I did so he’s still on set. I hope….” Rami trails off.
He looks dejected and sad. Maybe wistful too. Before Sami can ask him what’s wrong Rami replies.
“I hope we get to see each other again. Before the show premieres. I don’t want to lose touch.”
Sami thinks this is an easy thing to solve. “Invite him to LA,” he suggests.
“I don’t know if he’d come,” Rami says.
Sami feels bad for his brother. He doesn’t like seeing him look so anxious.
“From the way you wrote about him, it seems like you became pretty good friends. He’ll come if you ask.”
Rami does invite Joe to LA later that summer. Joe eagerly accepts the invite and Sami has never seen his brother look happier.
Sami’s all set to put on his protective twin facade when he meets Joe for the first time. He wants to tell the guy not to break his brother’s heart or lead him on.
But then he meets Joe. Joe is loud and friendly. He smiles a lot and makes really bad jokes. Sami wants to dislike him because that’s his job as a protective brother. But he ends up being charmed by him. They hug for longer than normal when they reunite. It’s not the typical hug of two guys meeting, with back pats and a quick ending. It’s long and tight. It’s the hug of people who enjoy each other’s presence and missed be apart.
Rami doesn’t want to seem to leave Joe’s side. He’s all smiles. He keeps touching Joe on the arm or the back. He’s almost glowing from how happy he is.
That tells Sami all he needs to know. His brother is definitely far beyond crushing. Sami thinks Rami might even be a little in love with Joe already.
Rami seems excited to introduce Joe to him. However, Joe seems nervous to meet him.
“Rami talked a lot about you,” he says.
“All good things, I hope,” Sami says.
“You know, Rami. He wouldn’t say a bad word about anyone,” Joe says. He looks over at Rami and smiles shyly. Joe looks at Rami like he’s everything he ever wanted.
Sami knows right then that Joe would never willingly hurt Rami.
Sami sees Joe a couple more times over the year. Joe and Rami always hang out when they’re both in LA at the same time. But nothing happens between them. He watches them both dance around each other.
He doesn’t get it. Sami knows they both like each other. They’re both obvious about it. Even his mother has noticed.
Joe would be good for Rami. He thinks Rami would be good for Joe as well. They’re perfect for each other. Sami wasn’t sure about Joe at first. He was so different from anyone Rami had ever shown an interest in. But the more he watched them together, the more he realized they were perfectly suited for each other.
They’d do anything for each other.
Sami likes Joe. He considers him a friend. He likes the way Joe makes Rami smile. How he makes Rami feel more confident. How he support Rami no matter what.
He refuses to get in the middle of their relationship though. Rami may be his twin, but Sami refuses to play matchmaker. They need to figure their problems out on their own.
Rami mopes when he doesn’t get to see Joe.
“You live in different states,” Sami points out.
“I miss him,” Rami says.
“Just ask him to visit. Or go visit him. Do something,” Sami says, frustrated. “I can’t watch you pine anymore. It’s pathetic.”
“I’m not pining!”
“You are. You miss your boyfriend. It’s okay, I get it.”
Rami looks flustered. “Joe’s not my boyfriend.”
Sami knows this. It’s been a year since The Pacific ended and as far as he knows, Rami and Joe haven’t done more than hugged.
“But you want him to be,” Sami says.
Rami denies it over and over again. Until Sami says, “There’s nothing wrong with it. I know you like him. I think he likes you too.”
“Yeah?” Rami asks hopefully.
Sami nods. “He does. Ask him out.”
Sami doesn’t get to see Joe again until The Pacific premiere. Rami invites him along as his guest.
Rami’s nervous. He’s nervous about the premiere. He’s nervous about seeing Joe again.
He doesn’t need to be nervous. Sami watches as Rami and Joe embrace when they finally see each other at the premiere. Both of them have large smiles and won’t stop looking and smiling at each other. They stick close together for most of the night.
Sami hopes that one of them gets their act together and admits to their feelings. It’s been two years since Rami’s crush first developed. Sami doesn’t want to deal with another year of Rami moping and pining.
To his frustration, nothing happens at the premiere. Nothing happens in the months after either.
“I think he has a girlfriend,” Rami says.
He does end up learning that Joe has a girlfriend. And that’s the end of that conversation.
Rami and Joe keep in touch over the years. They hang out sometimes when they’re both in the same city. Sami joins them on occasion.
He wants to be mad at Joe. He hurt his brother, even if it was unknowingly. But Joe’s so nice and happy that Sami can’t bring himself to be annoyed.
Rami seems okay with it though. He starts dating. Even if he doesn’t find anyone who last long, he at least seems happy and stable.
As long as Rami’s happy, Sami is happy as well.
Rami is almost shaking with excitement when he gives Sami the news about the Queen movie. Sami is happy for his brother. Mr. Robot has helped his career so much and he only wants the best for his twin.
But things become complicated when Rami stops by the house one day. He tells him that Joe’s been cast in the movie as well.
“Are you okay with it?” Sami asks.
“Yes, why wouldn’t I be?” Rami replies.
“Because of the big crush you had on him years ago.”
“I don’t feel that way anymore,” Rami says.
Sami’s not so sure. He has a feeling that Rami’s crush is going to come back once he and Joe are on set. It’ll be like The Pacific all over again.
But this time Sami hopes that things will be different. They’re older and wiser. Maybe there’ll be less pining and more communication.
He’s not at all surprised when Rami calls him in a panic. Filming has already started. Rami and Joe have already reunited.
“I think my crush on Joe never went away,” Rami says.
“I told you so,” Sami says. He can’t help it. It’s his duty as a brother to tease Rami.
“I don’t know what to do!” Rami whines.
“Just talk to him. Is he single now?”
“He is,” Rami admits.
“Then ask him on a date.”
Rami, of course, does not ask Joe on a date. He instead sends Sami a lot of texts worrying about his crush on Joe.
Sami loves his brother. He wants him to be happy. But he never wanted to get involved in his personal life to this degree.
But the time has come to take matters into his own hands. It’s been a decade, after all. It’s gone on long enough. He doesn’t think he could survive another ten years of Rami pining after Joe.
He knows Rami won’t make the first move. He thinks Joe might, though.
Sami sends Joe a text that says, Rami’s had a crush on you since 2008. Forwarded you all the email he sent when you were filming The Pacific. Also sending you all his stupid screenshots pining over you. Ask him on a damn date so I can live in peace!
Joe doesn’t reply. Not that day. Not the day after. Not for an entire week.
Sami wonders if maybe Joe doesn’t have his phone number anymore. Or maybe he was so freaked out by the texts that he’s in hiding.
When he finally does receive a reply, it’s only a heart emoji. Sami chooses to take that as a good sign.
It turns out to be exactly that. When Rami calls him for a weekly chat, Joe’s with him. They both look happier than Sami has ever seen them. Rami is sitting as close as possible to Joe.
“So I took your advice,” Joe admits.
“He really did,” Rami says.
“So you finally got your shit together?” Sami asks. “It only took you a decade!!”
“Yeah, but it was worth it.”
They’re cute together. Sami can admit that much, even though he knew it would be the outcome all along.
“Well, if anyone asks, you can credit me with getting you together,” Sami says.
“I’ll mention it in every interview from now on,” Rami teases.
He doesn’t really need or want credit. Sami is just relieved that his brother is happy.