Pope 2.0: A Man of Many Words Pt. 2

Tammy returns for the second day in a row to bring us the thrilling conclusion to her look at John Pope!

Snark and the Single Skitter Killer: Why we need humor (and Pope) in a post-alien invasion world

Which brings me to my other line of thoughts on Pope; I really think that somewhere deep (and I mean DEEP) down inside he’s not quite as bad as he wants us all to think and he’s got a whole lot of interesting back story lurking there that I really want to see expanded (a la Tector and Maggie).

So, here are my reasons why he’s not all that bad, then we’ll talk about things in the show, the blogs and podcasts and 2nd Watch conversations that make me thing that he’s got one heck of a history to him.

So let’s take it from the top, when we first see him at the Armory. We know that Billy had in the past been very abusive in a close personal premium cable TV kind of why with Maggie, but John Pope? Not that we know of, sure there is tension between them, and who would blame them for not liking each other, but I don’t think that there was anything physical between them cause if Billy was the first person taken out by Mags, well then John would have been the second.

Let us progress a bit along our history with Pope; he gets put in charge of cooking for the 2nd Mass. Now at this point he is a prisoner of said 2nd Mass, if he were truly evil he would have figured out a way to give most of these folks the worst case of Montezuma’s

Revenge they ever saw or mixed up some sort of poison to incapacitate the group and make his escape. But instead he not only cooks edible food, he blows what Uncle Scott is cooking out of the water with no complaints to Dr. Glass the next day.

Next up we have what I think is the best evidence that he’s not completely gone to the Dark Side. They let him have high explosives and he actually stays and builds bombs for the attack on the Mother ships in Boston and to top it off he even mentors Anthony (in his own unique way) when he sees that Anthony isn’t putting together the explosives correctly. Now, I know what you all will say, but he likes killing Skitters, of course he’s going to stay and help kill them. Well, yes and no. He’s gone off on his own before (blowing up that next of Skitters), but this time he stays, it might be safety in numbers, or it could be that he really wants to help in his own unique way.

What do we really know about Pope before the Amory? I checked up on line for a concise article or two, and from there this is what we know. Before the invasion he did something…. Bad…. and got put into prison (by the way dear wiki authors, there is a difference between the folks that end up in jail and those that end up in prison, prison is for felons, not jails) for an indeterminate period of time. We know that he learned in prison how to cook and managed to cook well enough to keep from getting shanked by his fellow prisoners. We know that he has an ex (so we can assume that he was at one point married) and has a son and a daughter.

That’s it, that’s all what we know from almost 16 episodes (according to IMDB) of having him around, but what can we figure out from what we have seen, and what Colin said about his character? I think what we can figure out (or what I like to guess about) are some pretty interesting possibilities.

Let’s start off with my theory about where Pope is from, now I know that I am going out on a limb (and it’s a wee thing tiny thing, since it’s only from a line in one episode), but I don’t think he’s from Boston. I know that no one sounds like they are from Boston on this show, but when he tells Tector that he can “gag a maggot off a gut wagon” my Southern California detector went off. Now I know that that particular phrase has really gotten around in the decades of my youth when everyone was saying it, but it’s just in the way that he says it…. I’m thinking he’s from parts more Southern than Northern, but then again Colin did grow up in LA and is about my age, so maybe it’s his native Angelino coming out.

Of course, there is the big thing with him having a wife and kids living in Florida, so it’s not out of the realms of possibility that he used to live in South of the Mason Dixon (would even explain his name, that of a Civil War General) and moved up to the Boston area for reasons unknown.

And while we are on the subject of spouses and kids, I would hazard to guess that there has to be a softer squishy center down under all that prickly outer shell. We can see it in the way that he treats Matt during the first season. He’s not a perfect parent, but he’s a lot more patient with Matt at that point than anyone else. Also, during his confrontation with Tom earlier this season he does say that he would take care of the Mason boys “like his own”. This week it was revealed that Pope used to drive from Boston down to Florida to see his kids. I know a lot of dads that wouldn’t drive across town to see their kids. Nope, I think there is something in him that’s not as hard as we think.

Or as stupid for that matter; now the stereotype that most people have of felons and bikers are folks that are not the most educated in the universe (and yes, I know there are plenty of smart con-men and Harley drivers that own multi-million dollar companies), but Pope is different. His language is much higher level than your average street thug. He uses words like “septum” (blog), “beneficiary”, and pre-adolescence (“What Hides Beneath”) showing that he’s got a better handle on language than the others in his group when he derisively says the last book they read had Spot in it. Heck, even on the most recent 2nd Watch Colin is asked about the relationship between Pope and Tom and he says that he like to think that Tom and Pope grew up together, went to the same school, “maybe even the same college” and then went two completely different ways. I just wonder how much of that was something that Colin really knew slipping out, or if he was really speculating.

Which brings me to my last theory; I want to posit what exactly Pope did before the aliens.                        

We know what a lot of folks used to do before the invasion. Antony was a cop; Tom was a history professor, Anne a pediatrician, Lourdes a med student, etc. But not Pope, nope the resident loud mouth doesn’t say anything about what he did pre-invasion. Which leads me to believe that is was either really, really boring or something that he thinks the 2nd Mass aren’t worthy of knowing about.

I’m going for the second one. Why? Well, I’m sure that post prison his job options were no doubt pretty limited. But what about beforehand, what could he have possible been, possible done? Well, he knows about explosives, bombs specifically. Which can mean a few things he could have previously been; construction (demolishing buildings), mining and military/police are the first three that come to mind. I can see him working construction, but not as a miner, but while that would give him experience as handling explosives, I just don’t see what he does constructing those bombs as being something you would learn from doing demo work in the construction business. Military or police work is just right out for Pope. I don’t see him as someone that had been able to follow orders then suddenly when he went to prison changing to the rebellious SOB that we see on the show.

But what if he had gone to school to study something like physics, or engineering? It’s not like the military just comes up with bombs and such by themselves, they have loads and loads of scientists that design and test these sorts of things. What if he studied that, then did something stupid (or even worse, helped Billy do something stupid) and that’s what sent him to prison? It’s a possibility.

For now though, I’m sure that the writers are going to keep our resident Bad Boys past in the shadows, at this point I’m thinking we are going to learn about Dai before we learn about Pope.

Tammy is a Contributing Author here at THE Falling Skies Blog, I believe is in love with John Pope, and like my mother enjoys quilting! She can be found on Twitter, @laughing_coyote, where links to her blogs can be found in her Twitter bio.

Keep the Resistance Strong!

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~ by The Falling Skies Blog on August 8, 2012.

One Response to “Pope 2.0: A Man of Many Words Pt. 2”

  1. And so it begins…

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