Seeing as I let the dust settle on this little blog, and almost let it die, it seemed appropriate that I should be discussing death, but not any kind of death, but the one that strikes at major characters on TV.
It’s rare to see such a thing, as writers seem to hate killing the regulars so seeing one die, or get killed is far from the usual red shirt or guest star mishap. So, imagine my surprise when it happened twice in a matter of days. First came the death of Brian Austin Green’s character Derek, from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, then Kutner’s(Kal Penn) suicide on House. Both were handled quite well, and truly unlike we’re maybe used to.
Derek died a soldier’s death, in the way I imagine most people would die when facing a Terminator. Bullet to the head, no funeral, no tears shed. Sure, he was a bad ass, but hey, man against machine, skill count for only so much until luck plays its card. It was in the first minutes of the episode, it was sudden and oh so final that I couldn’t believe it at first. Yet as it settled in, I realized I was happy with how it turned out, no setup episodes, no mourning period as the other characters had no time for it, since such is life on the run, in constant danger.
The suicide on House was off camera. We only saw a body in a pool of blood just as the show was getting into second gear with its usual patient of the week plotline. Yet, though there was a funeral, and tears were shed, this was not so much about the character lost, but the way everyone reacted to the death. There were no answers, no explanations, no note left behind. And everyone handled the event differently. It reminded me that House should aspire to be more like Lost, character driven, instead of mistery driven (some might argue about that, but ultimately Lost’s misteries are there only to flesh out the characters).
These were both unique ways to handle something that is ultimately a big event on any TV show, and served to prove that such deaths can move the story forward as well as be as realistic as possible. Sure, there are other shows out there that do the whole regular character killing quite often but those are shows with an ensemble cast, where one character dying does not come quite as a surprise (24 has lots and lots of deaths, and Lost, well they do get off on killing a couple of people each season).
Posted on April 9th, 2009 by MrWiseguy
Filed under: TV