02 November 2014


Early Edition: Suicides

The unprecedented combination of a heavy workload, an illness, and a new knitting obsession may be slowing down the blog, but that's what old drafts are for, aye? Let's hope that this one is satisfactory . . . 

Sometimes it's easy to know when to act and what to do. I mean, surely a CPR instructor who suffers a heart attack would want you to use CPR on him. (Right???) If only it were always that simple.

It would be nice to have an entire episode dedicated to the moral ins and outs of saving someone from the temptation of suicide. You can't just distract him from jumping today, because he might still want to do it tomorrow: there might be a notice of his death in every "early edition" for years . . . or at least in sporadic issues. This sort of thing takes strategy, commitment, and a wider support network than Gary currently has. And maybe the writers were fascinated enough by the challenge to build a future episode around it, because this one isn't it.

There's a different free will act that Gary considers rash, unwise, and misguided that he must deal with here . . .

Most of us would agree that keeping someone from killing himself is a good thing, but keeping someone from marrying "The Wrong Guy" (which is this episode's actual title) seems like a bad thing. Now, why is that? Both of them involve disregarding an individual's right to make his own decisions, but I guess that only the former is grave enough for this lack of respect for personal boundaries (Ahem!) to be the lesser evil. Is that our only criterion, though? When there is no grave harm to be suffered, are "boundaries"--whatever they may be--to be respected as a matter of course? If so, then why?

This episode stirs the pot a bit by having the happy couple be Gary's ex-wife and Gary's ex-boss from hell. And although it's funny when the ex-boss ends up worrying that he will spend all the years of his future marriage looking over his shoulder for Gary, isn't that exactly what's in store when you marry a divorced person anyway? You marry her "baggage," too. And so the ex-boss gets the best moral. LOL!

One thing that I wish this episode had was a scene in which one of Gary's friends points out that just because he's used to preventing the terrible things that he reads about in tomorrow's paper, that doesn't mean that everything he reads about in tomorrow's paper is a terrible thing to be prevented.

Your Turn to Be the Hero: In what circumstances can you see yourself actively trying to stop someone from getting married?


Brandon said...

I thought it was rather funny that when Gary imagines the aftermath of the Pritchard's murder, he imagines all the employees celebrating. I think he could probably have handled anyone else. (I think in many ways this was one of the funniest episodes. "My employees love me!" BOOM!)

I also thought it nice that here we at least get some acknowledgment that Gary has to make choices about who to save or help -- it doesn't get much play, but I imagine it would be a serious problem in a city the size of Chicago. (But the coincidences also mount up so much that it seems that the paper is doing some selecting, too.)

I don't know if I can see myself actively trying to stop someone from getting married, barring, of course, have good reason to think the other person an axe murderer or something.

Enbrethiliel said...


This is a funny episode! I wish that it had gone on a bit longer, to give Gary and Phil more opportunities to run into each other by accident--all the better to make Phil more paranoid. ;-)

My favourite part was when Phil was being held at gunpoint and he begged the gunman to protect him from Gary. LOL!