Thursday, July 7, 2011

Critiques Critiqued: Ricky's Dad

This entry into the Critiques Critiqued series will be focusing on probably my own biggest critique of the show so far - Ricky's dad. If you've been reading my episode reviews, you've likely noticed my frustration with the character and while I am still annoyed by him, I will attempt to play devil's advocate and defend his actions.

Rescued Ricky, Sacrificed Karen

So the dad's first big FUBAR was the botching of the rescue mission in which Mason and his group were going to try and grab Ben so that Dr. Harris could try out a new harness removing procedure. Once the group spotted Ricky and not Ben, it didn't take the dad long to shout out to him and blow their cover.

Obviously his actions were boneheaded and frustrating to many viewers (myself included). However, if you really stop to think about it and try to put yourself in his shoes, you should be able to see where he's coming from. Imagine your kid being abducted by aliens and for the last few months you've had no idea whether or not he was dead or alive. Miraculously, you see him when you're in a position to save him. Not only that, but you had just learned earlier in the day that there's a method that should be able to save harnessed kids. Also keep in mind that Ricky's dad is probably not a soldier so the overwhelming emotions and hope just take over during the spur of the moment and cause him to recklessly run out to save his kid at the expense of others.

Was it a stupid thing to do? Yes. Is it that far-fetched to imagine a father that's been separated from his kid for months would throw caution to the wind and risk everything to save his son? No.

Civilian Turned Interrogator

So what do you do with the guy who just screwed up a rescue mission? Leave him alone with the captured alien of course! Yes, we all probably were screaming at the television when we saw the dad being left alone with the son and alien. It was pretty obvious what was going to happen next and we were wondering who the heck would let that happen.

Playing devil's advocate again, I try and look at the situation through the survivors' eyes. Remember, the two doctors were left in charge of the alien, not soldiers or professional security officers. An alien that was supposedly securely locked up. Ricky's dad was left with his son for obvious reasons (who'd try and keep the father from his son after all that?) The doctors aren't really thinking anybody would try and break the alien out, nor would they think Ricky's dad would try anything with the alien. Why would they? Hindsight is 20/20 but at that time they had no clue Ricky was still controlled by the alien nor could they have predicted the dad's crazy outburst.

As for the dad's outbursts, again, what would you do if you were him? Sure we'd like to think we'd be all calm and collected and that we wouldn't do anything stupid. But if your son just woke up and didn't know who you were and the creature that was responsible was only a few feet away, wouldn't you do something about it?

The removing of the harness at the end seemed especially stupid. But, again, if that were your son and he was being controlled by the alien, you may just rip the harness right back off as well, hoping to either somehow prevent the controlling process from fully taking over again, or simply preferring to risk your child's life rather than have them be a zombie.

Closing Thoughts

Like I said at the top of the article, I'm definitely one of those that have been annoyed by Ricky's dad's character. However, once the initial frustrations wear off you can start to try and think about it as if you were the father that had just found his son again after many months only to have him taken away again. Once you think about it from his shoes, his actions seem a lot more plausible. Sure, I'd still prefer it if he somehow dies off during the next episode or two, but at least his actions weren't too unbelievable.

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