aghst May 22, 2022 Share May 22, 2022 (edited) We've started in the season 3 threads to touch on Barry's irredeemability and his nature, whether he can or deserves to try to transition to a more normal life, as is his stated wish. The general consensus seems to be that Barry's body count is too much to overlook, that he can't quit the life of violence even if he wants to, that he's a danger to people he professes to love. First of all, I hope that Barry goes on for at least 2 more seasons, as long as Hader and Berg remained engaged, turn out great TV. But at some point, they have to end it and determine the fate of Barry the character and to a certain extent, how Barry the show will be seen. I don't think there's intense hate for the character yet, not the way there was hate for a character like Walter White towards the end of BB's run. We're not seeing people post that Barry needs to die or get caught and put to death or life in prison without parole. In general, not just on this forum but outside of it, there is a certain Puritanical impulse, to have people punished for their deeds. So all these antihero characters on prestige TV the last couple of decades, we want them either dead or at least locked up forever. A notably missing option is rehabilitation, whether monsters who kill many people are capable of being turned around or to continue with the religious overtones, be redeemed. It's not surprising since this country was founded by Puritans or those with similar theology. There are a lot of Catholics in this country but it's certainly not the predominant ethos, especially the Catholic allowance for literal deathbed conversions, to reform the souls even of the most wicked. All they have to say is ask for forgiveness and accept God, as the Catholic Church defines Him, to save their souls. So this notion of punishment informs our justice system and also seems to be ingrained enough that we apply it to fictitious characters. A recent example would be: The way Ozark just ended, with the Byrdes surviving and presumably ready to live the life that Wendy envisioned and pursued, leading them to commit all kinds of moral compromises, including murder or having people murdered. Fairly early in that series, it stopped just being about survival and more about her aspirations, enabled by blood money. As one might guess, the reactions were angry and strong, that they "got away with it" while Ruth, who was trying to lead a better life, doesn't survive. The reactions seem more than simply taking offense at an ending they disagreed with. Show runners must be under pressure to provide fan service which would depict bad people getting their just desserts, especially if at some point, characters become the object of hate for the misdeeds depicted on the shows. But is serving this impulse for justice necessarily good story telling? Would Ozark be a much better show overall if one or more of the Byrdes died or was put away? Just to change a couple of scenes in the finale to show them being killed or being locked up? Edited May 22, 2022 by aghst Link to comment
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