Early Edition: Mob Activity
During one of my recent Twitter chats, a fellow blogger said that she doesn't want to commit to a series because she will feel too pressured to finish it. By way of encouragement, I told her that I had committed to writing twenty-three posts, one for each episode of a TV series, last year, and I'm still not finished! =P In fact, Early Edition was supposed to be a project for Lent 2014 . . . and I didn't even get halfway through until Lent 2015! Basically, in blogging, the only one who can put any real pressure on you is yourself.
But all the pressure that bloggers feel is nothing next to the pressure that Gary Hobson feels.
Would you save this woman?
Are there ever some people who aren't worth saving? Not in the sense that their lives aren't worth much, but in the sense that it would be far too much trouble to save them, and your time and effort would be better spent on something else? An earlier episode asks a version of this question when Gary is forced to choose between a six-year-old girl and a plane filled with 190 people (including at least one child traveling alone). But this story makes the issue less about choice than about risk: Gary and Chuck come dangerously close to losing their lives to the Mob (not to mention their freedom to the Feds!), all for the sake of a woman who has been making bad romantic choices since high school. If they had lost big on either gamble, would she have been worth it?
No good deed . . .
Did you notice that I wrote "Gary and Chuck"? I've been tossing around the theory that we are called to particular service not just because of who we are as individuals, but also because of whom we've got around us. People don't live and act in a vacuum, so why do we think that we receive our vocations in one? It's plausible to say that if Gary hadn't been best friends with Chuck, The Paper might not have come to
For although Chuck at first tries to talk Gary out of getting tangled up with mobsters ("You have to draw the line somewhere!"), he soon becomes instrumental to the mission--his role turning out to be the more significant one! And frankly, Chuck is great here. I'll swear that we've never seen him wear that trench coat before--because he's never reminded us of Humphrey Bogart before!
It obviously all works out, but the moral dilemma remains for the rest of us. Is it ever worth it to meddle in the business of hardened criminals and the people who choose to profit by association with them? Gary would say yes--and not just because he believed it was the right thing to do long before The Paper started coming to him. As we saw in the previous episode, he has also learned to trust The Paper's authority in these matters. But perhaps the most mundane reason is that he doesn't have much to lose: no family, no job, no home.
Chuck eventually says yes, too--but only after things get really personal. Which is perfectly fine, of course! When a good deed needs to be done, let's not quibble over what ultimately tipped the balance in favour of doing it.
Your Turn to Be the Hero: Is there ever a good reason not to steer clear of people who've made a whole lifestyle out of choosing the bad?