Marilyn here, with what started as disbelief, turned into an “is it possible?” and then became some serious thoughts.
Meg and I are both fans of Medium. We like the psychic aspect, and Meg is a fan of Joe. I like him, too, but I watch for Detective Scanlon (aka David Cubitt), the one guy in TV-dom that I might consider leaving my husband for. (Just kidding, Bob! I love you more than my shoes!)
Warning: spoilers here, so if you don’t want to know what happens, stop reading.
Friday night’s episode featured a storyline about Scanlon’s older brother, a sex offender who just recently got out of prison and is now a suspect in the videotaped-Internet-posted rape of a 15-year-old girl. Of course, the cop and the crook have more than the usual brother issues.
The other storyline has Allison meeting a woman who was raped, beaten and left for dead, who now teaches self-defense classes, and investigating the disappearance and murder of a cop posing as a sex offender. Keeping an already-long story shorter, turns out the rape victim is torturing and killing registered sex offenders, and she’s going after Scanlon’s brother. She’s under surveillance; Scanlon relieves the cop watching her, watches his brother go into his apartment and the murderer follow, then tells Allison that his brother is dead; the woman has already killed him. Then he sits back and waits.
Now, who knows what’ll happen in the next episode? Will Scanlon have a change of heart, rush upstairs and save the victim? (Who, granted, is a scumbag rapist who likes what he does and is need of killing. But still, he’s Scanlon’s brother. He’s become a victim of a homicidal whack job. He’s one of those people Scanlon has sworn to serve and protect.)
Thinking about how much easier his life would be without his brother in it makes sense. Actually taking action to let him be murdered, imo, is totally out of character for him. Which leads us to why I love books.
Part of the problem with Scanlon’s actions is the, er, pardon the pun, medium of the show. All we get is what we can see on the screen. We can’t get inside his head. We can’t follow his thought processes or see him agonizing over the decision. After all, he’s got a baby girl, and his brother’s preference for young girls and his desire to be part of Scanlon’s life would scare any father out of his mind. We can’t see him angsting over the guilt he’ll feel if his brother dies, or the shame of the relief he would also feel. All we can see is him lying, saying his brother is already dead, then doing nothing while he (apparently) waits for his lie to become truth.
In a book, if the writer does her job, we get a front-seat on the decision-making process — to know everything the character is feeling/thinking. Nothing is out of character, because we know the how and the why of every action he takes. Of course, being in character still doesn’t mean acceptable behavior; heroes are called heroes for a reason.
Truthfully, no matter how this story arc plays out, I’ll probably be disappointed. If he changes his mind, rushes in and saves the day (or his brother), I’ll be disappointed because, after the cliff-hanger ending, that’s kind of expected. If he does just sit by and let his brother die, I’ll be disappointed because we weren’t privy to the process and it will still feel out of character.
It’ll just have to go in that heap of other TV shows that have disappointed me.
But Scanlon is still drool-worthy, so I’ll still be hanging out in front of the TV on Friday nights.