John Pope: A World of Grey…

Just in case you guys are tired of me! Just kidding, who could get tired of me? It is important to me that this blog not turn into “Greg’s Random Falling Skies Stream of Consciousness”, so today we begin our first guest article! The guy who reads my mind, my hive-mind-member and internet großer Freund,  KidCarnival, kicks this off!

Pope’s (Relationship) Potential

These days, writers for TV shows don’t come up with “original”
characters anymore. That was in the early days of episodic storytelling.
Today, every character is a stereotype to a degree because everything
has already been done one way or another. Writers come up with “good”,
“bad” or “mediocre” characters now. That said, this article is about the
quality that makes Pope a “good” character – maybe even with the
potential to become “great” over time.

We live in the age of shades of grey, where heroes may have flaws and
villains may have valid points. Yet it is still rare to find characters
who truly sit on the fence and possess the quality of being
unpredictable. Rick Grimes, of Walking Dead fame, makes certainly a lot
of weird choices, but in the end, you can expect him to do what’s best
for the group. Dr. Rush, of Stargate Universe fame, shrouds his motives
in mystery, but in the end, you can expect him to do what’s best for his
own, mysterious goal, even at the expanse of the group. Not Pope. He is
neither altruistic nor selfish – he’s somewhere in between; does the
“right thing for the wrong reasons” one day and the “right kind of
wrong” the next day.

Pope carries large parts of the burden to provide the one thing that
makes a group interesting enough to gain a following of watchers:
conflict. Yes, there is Ben and the question where he stands between
humans and skitters, but that is a whole different thing. Ben provides
plot conflict, Pope provides character conflict. Ben’s fate is directly
tied to the Big Bad: the aliens. Pope brings the conflict between
characters, challenges them to take a stand in a different matter – how
far are they personally willing to go, what risks are they willing to
take, what price are they willing to pay for their freedom? He’s the
radical who directs the view of others to their own moral event horizon,
as humans in a pretty bad place, faced with pretty tough choices. He is
the mirror telling the queen that Snow White is prettier, metaphorically
speaking, and demands an answer how she is going to deal with it.

Combined with his status as a wildcard, that makes Pope essential to the
success of Falling Skies. Without him, the core of storytelling –
conflict – is limited and focussed on the enemy. But to make characters
memorable – and likable – they also need to make personal choices and
show the viewer “this is who I am and what I stand for; this is how far
I would go – and no step further”. And that’s exactly what Pope brings
out of others.

Last but not least, someone on [] claimed there’s no reason Pope needs to return soon because “he has no relationship potential”. This
may be a really stupid reason, especially if many people are already
unhappy about the ridiculous amount of screen time dedicated to
(romantic) relationships in the last episodes, but still, let me deal
with that. Because, y’know, I strongly disagree. Pope has a damn lot
“relationship potential”. With me, the viewer. He’s the “frenemy” that
makes my life exciting. The annoying little brother who can’t keep his
mouth shut when he should, but is still my little brother at the end of
the day, and I still love him despite his shortcomings because blood is
thicker than water, if nothing else. The best friend who gets us in
trouble – and out of it – on a daily basis and then says something so
funny that I just can’t be mad at him. Falling Skies doesn’t need any
more romance. But there’s nothing wrong with a little bromance and fire
forged friendship, and for that, Pope sure has a lot potential.

Read more from KidCarnival at Pop Culture Through The Eyes Of A Monster

Keep the Resistance Strong!


~ by The Falling Skies Blog on July 11, 2012.

3 Responses to “John Pope: A World of Grey…”

  1. […] Pope’s (Relationship) Potential Dan Weaver: One Dimensional Stock Character, or Diamond in the […]

  2. […] written for fallingskiesblog Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

  3. […] For the first part of a two-day look at everybody’s favorite anti-hero, John Pope, Contributing Author Tammy returns! Check out KidCarnival’s previous look at John Pope in John Pope: A World of Grey […]

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