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Did you notice? : Brian's Bracelet
By willa

Patrick Antosh : "If you notice, Brian wears that little Conch Shell bracelet thing. [Ed.: It's actually a  cowry shell bracelet]. I never thought anything of it for the whole year... the first day we started shooting again, all the extras showed up, and there was like seven guys that had them, so obviously you can buy them anywhere, and it must be directed from the show. I didn't do that on purpose." [from an earlier interview with Michel Chantelois of SoGayTV]


If you didnít notice Brianís bracelet, maybe you should be more careful when youíre watching Queer as Folk, because you canít miss it. But why should you focus on a simple bracelet when you can focus on some way more interesting things? Because I think this bracelet is more important than one can imagine.
There is nothing extraordinary about its history.


Itís been bought by Brian in Mexico and his initials are carved on one of the shells. Thatís all we know, itís just a bracelet. And it appears in the first episode as an insignificant prop. So insignificant that no one seemed to notice the coherence issues itís induced because it keeps appearing and disappearing during the first Brian-Justin scenes.


Brian out of Babylon with his bracelet.

Then at home without it...

With it again when he takes off his pants.

And it disappeared in the next shot...


Until episode 111, Brian doesnít wear this bracelet constantly. He doesnít wear it at work for example, nor at the gym. Then again, nothing seems to indicate that this object has any special meaning. However, since episode 112, the bracelet is omnipresent. I wonít say Brian wears it all the time because it canít be proved, but we donít see him not wearing it anymore. Heís wearing it at work, at the gym, at home, everywhereÖ Just like it became a fetish object, a part of Brianís character.


Then comes episode 219 where Brian realizes that Justin is having an affair, and where Ted realizes his biggest fantasy : being Brian Kinney for one night. On this occasion Brian loans him his bracelet (which by the way shows us how important this object is in the Brian Kinney outfit). Once the bracelet is back to its owner, it mysteriously disappears. I mean Brian doesnít wear it anymore.


It will come back a couple of times though.
In episode 301 for example we can see the bracelet on Brianís wrist while heís waiting for Justinís "double". But if you really pay attention to this scene, youíll notice that this shot of Brian on his bed is in fact a shot from episode 215 (when Brian is waiting for Justin to come back from Michaelís).

episode 215

episode 301


Did the director Ėthe same for both episode 215 and 301- want to give the scene a flashback effect? Or was it just due to technical issues? (Who knows, maybe Gale Harold was sick that day and couldnít shoot this scene again) It doesnít really matter anyway. Even if the first option seems to be the most credible, I guess weíll never know the truth about that, and therefore weíll never know whether the bracelet was supposed to be there or not.


However, the bracelet is making its comeback in episode 304 where itís one of the main characters. Not on Brianís wrist though, on his nephewís who stole it. Whatís strange in this scene is the way the bracelet stands on a table with Brianís keys and cellphone, like he still wears it all the time, but we know he doesnítÖ


Anyway, at the end of the episode, Justin puts the infamous object back on Brianís wrist. And once again the bracelet disappears in the next episode, and for good this time.


I donít know if this object and its presence or absence mean anything. We can find a lot of scenaristic or technical reasons for this afterall. Maybe Brian simply got tired of wearing it, or maybe the PA lost it and had to buy another one especially for episode 304. We could also think that Gale Harold got allergic to the bracelet and couldnít wear it anymore. But I donít want to believe that itís just a coincidence Ėfirst and foremost because it would mean that I spent hours analyzing this for no good reason! Brian stopped wearing the bracelet at a very significant point of the story: Justinís "betrayal.Ē And according to me, if this "fetish" object thatís been a part of the character during so many episodes suddenly disappears, it might be a way to show us that Brian evolved and grew up. That Brian-Kinney-the-seducer is slowly turning into someone more "natural" and opened, without any propÖ
Or maybe he just didnít want to wear a bracelet worn by Ted! Because knowing Brian, he probably thinks this little experiment kinda spoiled the charms of this bracelet.

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