**This blog post contains spoilers if you know what my favorite show that’s currently on the air is.**
One of the main character’s died on my favorite show. It was completely unexpected. On the most recent episode, everyone’s still trying to make sense of what happened.
The thing I love about this show is that it didn’t do the things most shows and movies usually do. We’re used to a type of story that includes foreshadowing and a natural series of events but this didn’t have anything like that. Will just died.
But as the letter says, that’s actually how death is. There is no foreshadowing. You don’t always get to say some great last words. Every broken fence isn’t magically mended. It’s just random and sometimes unexpected. You may not always be ready for it.
There’s one quote in the episode following this character’s death that I really like, along with a scene. The quote is from the main character. Upon hearing about his death, she says something like, “But I just talked to him yesterday.” Later, she sees she has a voicemail from him. On it he says, “Alicia [incoherent courtroom chatter]…Your Honor [more chatter]…I’ll call you back.” She plays it twice.
No grand romantic gesture. No apology for the last year. Nothing of import. Just a simple voicemail. (On a side note, my friends should be happy if I ever die but leave them a voicemail beforehand. My voicemails are very thorough. They’re also very nice. I put a lot of time and effort into them.)
It’s real life. People generally don’t announce their deaths to all their friends. It just happens.
Here’s my favorite quote from the letter:
“Television, in our opinion, doesn’t deal with this enough: the irredeemability of death. Your last time with the loved one will always remain your last time.”
It’s my favorite quote because the second half is so true and the first half is so false. Last moments are, always and forever, last moments. We can’t change that. But death is redeemable, just not the way we would think.
Will’s death doesn’t redeem Will. Honestly, I never wanted Alicia to end up with him because he was a shady guy (I guess that’s another way of showing the multiplicity of humanity but I didn’t like it. He did more bad things than good things). Death can’t redeem the dead. Death redeems the living.
Redeem has two main definitions when I google it (I’m classy):
1. Compensate for the faults or bad aspects of something.
2. Gain or regain possession of something in exchange for payment.
Obviously, there’s one death that did that pretty well. It’s sad that the character on this show had to die and honestly, his life wasn’t enough for his death to be any kind of compensation for anything but death is not irredeemable. In fact, death is the only way we can be redeemed.