By Michael Peters
Nothing sums this up more (in the film) than when Vincent has been called to the scene of a homicide. A prostitute has been murdered and Vincent seems at ease with it (as if he is used to it). It is only when the mother of the murdered girl runs onto the scene that Vincent is left speechless. He does not know how to verbally console the mother nor does he know how to assist her in any other way. He simply stares at her, lost in her cries of agony.
To put it simply; both Vincent and Neil are emotionally fragile individuals. One is a cop and one is a criminal yet they share a common bond in their lack of understanding of how to connect with someone on a personal and emotional level. That is why the coffee shop sequence (where they first meet) is so crucial to the understanding of these men as emotionally aloof human beings. According to Ian Nathan's 2001 Empire Magazine article, this scene is the foundation for the whole film: “On the surface, it is just a superficial conversation-two guys shooting the breeze-but actually it’s the delicate dance of two disparate souls finding a connection”.