The Obsessed Boys (Played by Patrick Malahide)

Obsession Can Be a Problem:  The Obsessed Boys (Played by Patrick Malahide)

We’ve seen him play Clergymen and Forties characters, but fearless Admin and I realized a while ago that Patrick Malahide has also played a few… rather obsessed characters.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that!  Well, sometimes there is.  But at any rate, we’re sure they haven’t gotten half the attention they deserve, so read on to see what we mean.

Ebenezer Balfour | DS “Cheerful Charlie” Chisholm | Balon Greyjoy | Jack Turner | The “Winner”

Ebenezer Balfour
(Kidnapped, 1995)

General Description:

RF:  Obsessed miser, recluse, and world’s worst uncle.

Nature of His Obsession:

Indulging in one of his obsessions.  Patrick Malahide as Ebenezer Balfour in "Kidnapped"

Indulging in one of his obsessions.

RF:  Gold!!  Gold, gold, gold!  Well, okay, silver, too.  And the estate of Shawes, for which he was willing to give up his lady love to his older brother.  Admittedly, it doesn’t say a lot for the lady that she was willing to go along with that bargain, but maybe she was fed up with Ebenezer after learning he’d give her up for an estate and rents.  Oh, and porridge.  Ebenezer is simply wild about porridge.  Never eats anything but.  He’s a bit of a miser, is our Uncle Ebenezer.  Okay, he’s a lot of a miser.

Admin:  It would have been nice to have learned exactly what she thought of the whole deal.   I haven’t read the book, but it is on my shelf waiting to be read, so perhaps that would give some insight.  It must sting to know, and I’m presuming she knew, that you were bargained for by a couple of brothers.  And it seems like she originally favored Ebenezer over the elder brother.  I can see why; he is very easy to cook for.

RF:  Very true, she wouldn’t need to have a huge cooking repertoire.  :-D  But she might insist on some additional furniture or worse yet, she might also have all of the nice, comfortable dust swept up!  But Ebenezer was probably a perfectly lovely fellow before he was consumed by greed.

What Brought About His Obsession?

RF:  It would be nice to say that it was an unhappy love affair, but it appears to be just plain old greed.  Ebenezer has had possession of Shawes since his brother gave it up, approximately eighteen to twenty years ago, and hasn’t done a thing with it since.  No really, like not a thing.  Even the dust is the same – well, the dust on the lower layers, that is.

Admin:  I think to some extent his hording is a form of punishment or some sort of weird wife replacement.  He didn’t marry the woman he loved; so he married his gold instead.

RF:  He’s pretty strange and awkward when he’s forced to deal with outsiders – even if they’re buying his nephew – so it did look as if he was a nearly complete shut-in.  Interesting to think of it as a kind of self-imposed punishment; even if it didn’t start out that way, that’s what it eventually became.

Are You Sure He’s Obsessed?  Maybe He’s Just Quirky.

Martha Stewart would not approve.

Martha Stewart would not approve.

RF:  Oh no, he’s definitely obsessed.   He’s obsessed enough with holding onto his money to have fired all of his household staff and not have dusted for twenty years.  By now, he probably knows where every single speck of dust is supposed to be and move them back into place, and he can recognize every spider on sight.  They probably have names.  Add to this that he can’t even meet his nephew Davey’s (Brian McCardie) eyes.  The other tip-off that he’s a bit more than quirky is that after his misdeeds are revealed, he attempts to hold off the magistrate with an ancient musket and when that doesn’t work, desperately tries to save his gold first thing.

Admin:  He probably has riveting conversations with those spiders.  I expect the dust bunnies are pretty charming too.  Yeah, it is like the outside world ceased to exist aside from gathering the rent money from the estate’s lands; and he just started hoarding from the moment he took over Shawes.  I really liked the way he couldn’t meet Davey’s eyes.  I do know, at least, that aspect was directly taken from the book: “He was long unshaved; but what most distressed and even daunted me, he would neither take his eyes away from me nor look me fairly in the face.”  Mr. Malahide plays that element perfectly.

RF:  Mr. Malahide did an amazingly good job playing Ebenezer!  It made me uncomfortable just to watch him, yet there were oddly comedic elements to it as well because Ebenezer is just so bizarre!

Admin:  And those comedic elements make him oddly likable, even if he is doing terrible things to his nephew!  🙂

The Name of His Pain:

Ebenezer and Davey in happier times, post-murder attempt.

Ebenezer and Davey in happier times,
post-murder attempt.

RF:  Davey Balfour, of course.  Ebenezer’s unwanted nephew and the rightful heir of Shawes.  Ebenezer is so worried at the possibility that Davey will take Shawes away from him that he tries to kill him with a booby-trapped staircase on his first night there.  When that doesn’t work, he has him kidnapped (hence the title) and shipped out on a slaver.  The fact Davey gets to have all sorts of adventures after that with Alan Breck Stewart (Armand Assante) and eventually returns alive and in one piece doesn’t quite compensate for the attempted murder and seizure of Davey’s inheritance.

Admin:  And, of course, that is profoundly sad because Davey is directly connected to at least two people that Ebenezer must have loved.  I’m guessing he loved his brother; it seems his brother loved him at one time.  We see that when Davey discovers a religious book bearing an affectionate dedication to Ebenezer from his brother.   It really is sad that they weren’t able to connect as uncle and nephew.  Of course, that would have left Alan Breck Stewart out in the cold. 😉 But, you know what I mean.  That said, the scene with the huge mallet is golden!

RF:  There’s a brief moment when Ebenezer discovers that Davey is his nephew and therefore the son of the woman he loved where he seems to stop and consider what he’s doing – but then he goes ahead and rigs the staircase anyway.  But you’re right about the mallet scene; apparently a diet of porridge is very good for one’s physical fitness.  😉

Softer Side and/or Redeeming Qualities?

Patrick Malahide as Uncle Ebenezer : Kidnapped

Remembering David’s mother, “a bonnie lass”.

RF:  We see a hint of Ebenezer’s softer side when he refers to Davey’s mother as a “bonny lassie” with a thoughtful expression and a tinge of regret.  We don’t find out until much later that he was one corner of a love triangle, which seems… incredibly unlikely and bizarre when you look at his current state.  We also see some guilt when Ebenezer sends Davey up the booby-trapped stairs; he wraps his arms around himself and rocks in horror as he listens to Davey scream for help, so he might be having second thoughts… but then he shakes it off and finishes Davey’s porridge.  Wouldn’t want it to go to waste!

Admin:  Like you said earlier, the man likes his porridge.  But, we do see those little moments that reflect what he might have been like as a young man. He seems like he would have been shy and quiet, always in his brother’s shadow, never to inherit.  But, he must have had some special qualities since someone fell in love with him.  He also shows a softer side when tells Davey he could do worse than to read the book his brother gave to him all those years ago.

Any Possibility of Recovery?

Losing the one thing that matters most.  :-(

Losing the one thing that matters most. 🙁

RF:  Sadly, no, definitely not.  When we last see Ebenezer, he’s sobbing over the beloved chest of coins he’s spent a lifetime accumulating, mostly by denying himself the normal joys of life and letting Shawes go to rot.  The estate entailment means that the whole thing goes to Davey.  Ironically enough, before the whole murder attempt and kidnapping thing, Davey would’ve probably been only too pleased to share the estate and the money.  He would’ve let Ebenezer have all the porridge he wanted, too.

Admin:  Absolutely.  If Ebenezer had been honest from the start, there is probably no way that Davey would have cast him out.  Certainly he would have used some of the gold to hire staff and get the place cleaned up, but Ebenezer would have been welcome to stay and be allowed to keep at least one trunk of gold of his very own. 🙂  But, the problem with obsessed boys is that keeping just one isn’t likely to be enough!

RF:  I wondered what happened to Ebenezer afterwards.  I was kind of hoping he got shipped to the West Indies so that he could make some new friends there and get over that whole gold obsession thing.

Admin:  Curiosity and impatience got the better of me, and I read some of the last pages concerning Ebenezer.  Davey takes pity on poor Ebenezer (good lad!), and a contract is drawn up saying that Ebenezer must pay Davey 2/3rds of the rents.  So, Ebenezer actually gets to keep some.  However, that never happens in the filmed version we watched.  🙁

RF:  Ooohh, that’s interesting!  I’m glad Ebenezer got a mostly happy ending in the book version.  One-third of the rents should be enough to keep him in porridge for the rest of his life.

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D.S. Albert “Cheerful Charlie” Chisholm
(Minder, 1979 – 1988)

General Description:

RF:  World-weary, slightly obsessed, and frequently tense “people policeman”.

Nature of His Obsession:

World-weary and slightly insouciant

World-weary and slightly insouciant

RF:  Chisholm starts out with a quite realistic, if somewhat jaded, attitude towards his profession and actually seems not obsessed at all – that is, at first.  He knows his quarries’ tactics extremely well and can usually guess what their next steps are going to be.  Very often he’s got the entire thing figured out before they do.  But…!  Eventually this turns into an obsession with certain  crims (*cough*ArthurDaley*cough*) and becomes unhealthy.  Chisholm will tense up and flee just at catching a glimpse of Arthur, or implode if he actually has to talk to him.

Admin:  Chisholm’s obsessiveness was definitely flexible, often depending on how much it suited the particular episode.  It seems it grew as the series became more comedic.   Fortunately, any Chisholm (world-weary, totally implosive, or anything in-between) is  a total joy to watch.

What Brought About His Obsession?

RF:  Unfortunately for Chisholm, some villains seem to be made of teflon and are especially difficult to pin down.   We can only assume that the stress just built up over continual missed successes and finally got to our poor Detective Sergeant.  Perhaps his rare successes (and it was always a joy to see Chisholm get one dead to rights) were just all the more cruel because they got his hopes up.  But it’s really not his fault!

Admin:  Modern life, specifically modern policing, seems to bug Chisholm.   Sometimes, but not always, it appears the only thing missing is the little, black raincloud over his head.

RF:  I love the image of the little black raincloud.  Remind me to ‘shop that into a meme sometime.  :-D  Chisholm did seem to be a bit of a walking anachronism in a semi-perpetual state of either exasperation or (in later shows) anxiety with the world.  But I agree that no matter which Chisholm we get, he’s a joy to watch.

Are You Sure He’s Obsessed?  Maybe He’s Just Quirky.

Taking the heat, yet again.  :-(

Taking the heat, yet again. 🙁

RF:  Nope, pretty sure it’s obsession.  Chisholm ends up taking a lot of heat from his superior officer and having to explain himself on numerous occasions because he’s been a little too zealous in pursuing Arthur Daley.  This has even led to the odd international incident, although mostly it leads to frustration, highly destructive implosions, and disgruntled venting to his faithful Druid, D.C. Jones, over a pint.  The worst part of it is that he’s usually completely on the right track, but just can’t make it stick!  If he was just being quirky, he wouldn’t be nearly so stubborn.

Admin:  That is so true.  Chisholm is almost always on the right track.  He has a good knack for knowing when people are lying or even just exaggerating.  He has all the qualities to make an excellent policeman, except that he doesn’t often know when to back off.

The Name of His Pain:

He always knows when Arthur's up to something.

He always knows when Arthur’s up to something.

RF:  No question there:  Arthur Daley (George Cole), small-time crim (very small-time), entrepreneur, and purveyor of dodgy goods.  Arthur manages to stay (barely) one step ahead of Chisholm by sheer luck and the timely intervention of the “Minder” writers, although most of the time Chisholm knows he should have Arthur dead to rights.  The other name of his pain is Arthur’s “minder”, Terry McCann (Dennis Waterman), although that’s to a much lesser extent because Terry’s nowhere near as cunning as Arthur is (or thinks he is).

Admin: Arthur is a total albatross for our intrepid DS.  No matter what the situation is,  any investigation is going to reach a point where Daley’s name will come up.  The thing is, Daley has almost always just figured out a way to blunder into the wrong place at the wrong time.  He is never truly in the know, partly because the reals crims don’t think he is worth sharing relevant information with, so his appearance is mere happenstance.  But, Chisholm won’t accept that!

RF:  It really is sort of a Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner chase all over the East End of London – and no, I can’t think why that comparison suddenly sprang to my mind.  :-D  It’s true that Arthur isn’t a serious threat to anyone by any means, but he’s just so aggravating that Chisholm has to take him down.

Softer Side and/or Redeeming Qualities?

Making a funny:  "Bodysnatching more or less went out with Burke and Hare..."

Making a funny: “Bodysnatching more or less went out with Burke and Hare…”

RF:  Chisholm has a very erudite sense of humour, throwing in quips in Latin and literary references that no doubt sail over the heads of most of the people he’s cursed to deal with.  The fact he’s got a sense of humour at all is pretty remarkable in itself; it’s very cute to watch him exchange jokes with Jones (Meic Povey), who’s probably one of the few people who understands him.  However, he’s not completely unwilling to do the occasional good turn for Arthur by chasing away bigger, nastier crims just by his presence (sadly, most of the time he’s unaware of this power).  He’s actually very good at his job:  he’s quick-witted, observant, and knows the idiosyncrasies of the vagrants on his beat; he can put together clues to figure out that something dodgy is going on.  And we’re quite sure that his nan absolutely adores him.

Admin: Erudite, indeed.  Chisholm always has some sort of historical reference to make.  I get the impression he is a great reader.  Partly because he probably hates television, aside from the odd documentary.  And his sense of humor is remarkable, I love it when he and Jones can share a quip.   It is true also that he has intimidated far scarier sorts than Arthur, and he keeps his cool doing.  Just think how cool he was with Freddie in Looking for Micky.  Oh, and of course his nan loves him.  🙂  We’ve speculated about his “nan kid” status when defending a certain brown suit. 😉

RF:  I’m sure he’s got some kind of arts or humanities degree tucked away somewhere – not that he’d ever tell anyone, not even Jones.

Any Possibility of Recovery?

Supremely confident Chisholm

Supremely Confident Chisholm, or
the Policeman Your Policeman Could Be Like

RF:  Oh yes, certainly, although it would probably involve Chisholm getting out of the policing business, at least temporarily.  When we see him as a security guard, he’s a very orderly and thorough employee who has everything planned down to the last detail.  He’d likely be happier if he’d be able to put some of that esoteric knowledge of his to use and do something a bit more creative than community policing. Yet his happiness and joy when he knew he was right about something were such a joy to behold that it would be nice if he could continue in law enforcement in some capacity – preferably somewhere far away from Arthur.

Admin:  He could always give Wales a shot. 😉  I like to think that Chisholm recovered nicely after he finally made his break from Minder.  But, wouldn’t we just love to know what happened to him?  Oh, if only there were a Minder reunion that would tell us such things!! 😉

RF:  I would love to know what happened to Chisholm after Minder ended.  I suppose if they don’t tell us we’ll just have to speculate on our own.  😉

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Balon Greyjoy
(Game of Thrones, 2012-present)

General Description:

Admin: He is the Lord Reaper of Pyke.  That pretty much sums him up, really.

Nature of His Obsession:

-

He’s determined!

Admin: Keeping it old school.  Balon follows the old ways.  His family motto is “We do not sow.”  That is because Iron islanders have historically been pirates and vikings.  Why sow seed and plow fields when you can just take whatever you please, whenever you please?  They call that “paying the Iron Price,” and, to be fair, it is pretty cost-effective.  Oh, and he loves launching rebellions, even if they are doomed to fail.

RF:  Cost-effective for the Ironborn, not so much for anyone else.  ;-)  But Balon does seem to love his rebellions.  He really needs to get out of Pyke more, though.

What Brought About His Obsession?

Admin: Being a Greyjoy?  We aren’t given a huge amount of back story on Balon, but we do know he was taking “salt wives” and captaining his own long ship before he could vote.  Or at least before he was 18.  Why he is such a stickler for the old ways, though, isn’t really shared.  However, his more recent obsession with capturing the Iron Throne (nothing to do with the Iron Islands), seems to have been enhanced by his son Theon’s time spent as Ned Stark’s “ward” (prisoner).  Balon was forced to spend a lot of time behaving himself, lest Theon be executed, so he had some time to make plans.  In fact, he and his daughter Yara (Asha in the books) come up with a pretty good plan.  He just didn’t quite count on Theon turning out to be an easily swayed idiot or leech power.

RF:  You’re right that Balon’s very much a traditionalist in some ways, and yet intriguingly not in others, like declaring YarAsha his heir, which seems startlingly progressive.  It’s almost like someone got word to him that Theon was an easily swayed idiot and that he’d better start rethinking his options.  But it is true that Balon was on his best behaviour while Theon was a Stark hostage, so maybe he’s not entirely indifferent to his last remaining son.

Are You Sure He’s Obsessed?  Maybe He’s Just Quirky.

-

No man gives him a crown.

Admin:  Nah.  He’s totally obsessed.  He is obsessed even by Westeros standards.  He is so obsessed that everyone across the Seven Kingdoms knows he’s the weird, obsessed guy.  OK, he *is* quirky too, he sits by his fireplace, sulking in his chair, day in and day out.  I think he probably sleeps in it instead of a bed.  But, the reason he does this is because he is just so obsessed that he is unable to consider much else.

RF:  What did Cersei call him, the “old squid”?  :-D  Balon is obsessed with the idea of invading the North, yet he’s not so much interested – from what we can see – of doing any of the invading himself.  As you say, he’d prefer to sit in his Sulking Chair rather than actually get out there to do some reaving, or else he’d rather send YarAsha on his behalf.  Maybe he’s out of practice!  But making plans for invasion and gloating over how wonderful it’s going to be seem to occupy much of his waking moments.

Admin:  Yep, that’s right, “old squid.”  Tywin was thinking she and Balon would make a good political match.  Being a bit of a Cersei fan, I rather agree.  I think she should have given him a chance. 😉  Just think of all the plans for world domination they could have made together!

The Name of His Pain:

06

Look at the disappointment in those eyes.

Robert Baratheon used to hold that honor.  It was against his Iron Throne rule that Balon rebelled.  Balon was forced to bend the knee and watch as his last living son was taken from him to be another man’s prisoner.  Now, bending the knee doesn’t seem a very Ironborn thing to do, but Balon’s rational is that he who bends the knee can always get up and try again.  So, it fits in with his determinator status.  After Robert’s death, Theon wind up causing him a lot of pain.  For one thing, he is  a constant reminder of Balon’s past failures, for another, he’s an easily-swayed idiot.

RF:  The Starks, especially Nedd and Robb, seem to come in for much of his disdain too, as well as Stannis Baratheon, likely just by virtue of being a Baratheon since Balon doesn’t seem to have anything against Stannis personally (the same can’t be said for Stannis with regard to Balon).  But Balon does seem to find Theon a particularly aggravating trial, since he’s not at all the sort of son that Balon wants.  What’s with all this talk about making alliances with Starks??  Obviously the boy’s gone daft and weak!  It’s hard for a pirate lord to get good heirs these days.

Admin:  So true!  He’s not a fan of the Starks either.  Balon has an Enemies List that would rival Richard Nixon’s!

Softer Side and/or Redeeming Qualities?

Awww.  Daddy's little cutthroat.

Awww. Daddy’s little cutthroat.

Admin:  He loves his daughter Yara!  He even wants to make her his heir, which completely contravenes his “old ways” rules.  But, it totally fits into his whole stubbornly obsessive thing because he recognizes himself in her.  Or at least he thinks he does.  I’m not sure Yara would fully agree with his assessment.  But, she would have to agree that he genuinely loves her.  And, to his credit, he did behave himself while Theon was held as Stark’s ward.  He didn’t show the same level of compassion when Theon was captured, tortured and maimed by Ramsay Snow (Bolton), but you have to realize that he was acquiring lands and making a lot of progress.  He’s obsessed, remember, it would be asking  too much for him to put it all aside for Theon’s sake yet again.

RF:  Balon does seem to love – and perhaps more importantly, respect – YarAsha in a way that he doesn’t love or respect Theon, and Theon feels it keenly.  YarAsha is the sort of heir he wants and needs, and that’s an excellent point about Balon seeing himself in her.  Although by the time of “Mhysa“, we see that YarAsha may not be as much like Balon as he thinks she is.  To be completely fair, when Balon discovers that Ramsay has maimed Theon, his initial reaction (a wave of rage which he manages to quell) would seem to indicate that he still has some fatherly feelings lurking inside for his screw-up of a son.

Any Possibility of Recovery?

What's this?? Defiance??

Oh, just let Yara take over and learn to relax.

Admin:  I really don’t know.  Maybe.  I know what fate befalls (no pun intended) book Balon, but I guess the real question is could he give up his Quixotic quest for power in order to protect his family and people.  In the books, his daughter has a more pragmatic view to life.  She is actually willing to do sow-y things!!  And she pleads a good case, but we never see her plead it to Balon.  What would have happened had she managed to?  I honestly don’t know, but I think he would have relented.  He does, after all, wind up having to accept that she is setting out to rescue Theon.  I personally think, based on the brilliant scene in the Mhysa, that Balon is rapidly reaching a point where he could be prepared to simply hand over his rule to Yara.  Maybe, just maybe, we’ll learn a little more about his emotional/mental state (and his feelings toward his daughter) in series 4. 🙂

RF:  Yes, we already know how everything’s going to turn out (Spoiler:  wear no-slip galoshes, Balon!) so it’s purely speculative to say so, but I think if YarAsha could make the same sort of case to Balon that she makes to the Pyke kingsmoot, I think she might have a chance of persuading him to reconsider his priorities.  She’s supposed to be his heir and therefore have the skills to replace him, so hopefully he’d pay attention to what she has to say.  It’ll be very interesting to see what develops in series 4.

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Jack Turner
(Hunted, 2012)

General Description:

Admin: Tough as nails Cockney-dockworker-turned-mobster-turned-ruthless-businessman-billionaire.  He’s also a sharp dresser!

Nature of His Obsession:

Thinking scary thoughts (one assumes)

Thinking scary thoughts (one assumes)

Admin: He’s totally into building his own multi-million (soon to be a billion) pound company with as little outside help as possible.  Most conglomerates require massive multi-national staffs and corrupt governments to achieve what Jack as managed to achieve with his own ingenuity, a chunk of the London police force (basically a whole precinct), an economics professor who is very proficient in Lotus 1-2-3, and some guy called “Bingham”.  Seriously, our Jack is just that awesome!

RF:  Yes, “Hunted” taught us that an in-depth knowledge of basic 1990s office software was enough to let one develop an algorithm that can warp world markets and capitalize on catastrophic events to fill one’s coffers!  ;-)  Give Jack a laptop, flash drive, and Bingham (because Jack types too slowly) and Jack will move the world!   Hmm… If Chisholm had been employed in Jack’s police precinct, would he have succumbed to the temptation of payoff?  Naaaaahhh!

Admin:  LOL.  Chisholm never would have tolerated allowing some criminal to hold court at the nick! But, he and Jones would have been too busy hitting the pavement in search of Arthur and his stupid associates that they would never know that Jack had even been there. 😉

What Brought About His Obsession?

"Are you the sort of son to make your father proud? I hope so, for your sake... well, for your dad's sake."

“Are you the sort of son to make your father proud?”

Admin: A particularly nasty conglomerate named Polyhedrus murdered his son “Jack, Jr.”  Since then, he has been on a non-stop crusade to bring them down!  And he would have too, if it weren’t for those meddling spies!

RF:  And Polyhedrus apparently has money to burn but they never bothered to check the Yelp rating on the Byzantium Spy Kids, or they wouldn’t have wasted their cash.  Seriously, they’re completely incompetent.  A lot of property damage occurs, but Byzantium misses Jack every time.

RF:  I was actually a wee bit disappointed by Jack’s being so obsessed with the faceless Polyhedrus corporation rather than directly going after whoever ordered the hit on Jack, Jr.  I thought it would’ve been much more logical (and satisfying) if Jack had taken the direct approach and ordered those responsible to be knocked off one by one, perhaps even taking on the task personally (he’s a hands-on kinda guy).  How badly would these people really be hurt by their company being put out of business?  They’d just go create another one.

Admin:  True there.  He could have at least kidnapped, tortured, and killed some of the head honchos.

The Name of His Pain:

Admin: Polyhedrus to start!  Though he winds up getting massive amounts of grief from some super spy gal named Sam Hunter, though he knows her as Alex….Kent.  That’s the way he says her name, “Miss……Kent” or “Alex…..Kent.” That is because Jack is clever enough to know that it is not her real name.  He also knows she is going to the source of a lot of agony.  And she is. 🙁

RF:  “Miss… Kent.”  :-D  Oh, that was so funny.  And we found out (thankfully!) that Jack had had her pegged from the beginning and wasn’t anywhere near the sitting duck that the Byzantium Spy Kids thought he was.  I’d have to say that the name of his other pain was none other than his second son, Stevie.  Stevie was just as disappointing to Jack as Theon was to Balon, except that Stevie didn’t have any aspirations to raid neighbouring towns, or even fishing villages.

Softer Side and/or Redeeming Qualities?

See? Just a doting grandpa. Making sure grandson Edward is okay after a kidnapping attempt.

See? Just a doting grandpa. Making sure grandson Edward is okay after a kidnapping attempt.

Admin:  Oh, indeed.  He loves his grandson Eddie.  He is devoted to the kid and will do anything to protect him.  Actually, the scenes where Jack was being a granddad were some of the best in the whole series.  In the first episode, there is a scene where he is playfully jabbing at Eddie’s shoulder saying “you’re alright” after the boy’s “near abduction.”  Eddie, seemingly used to his granddad’s overbearing enthusiasm, quickly calmed him down with a big hug.  I think he knew that was the best way to get granddad to stop with the mock punches. 🙂  Jack also loves telling Eddie stories from his youth, but since he’s Jack Turner, they are all scary stories involving factory fires and things like that.  He’s pretty liberal with the ice-cream and sugary cereals too.  All-in-all, Jack Turner is an awesome granddad!

RF:  Oh my God, how I loved the paint factory fire story!  :-D  That did more to cement Jack’s character in my mind than anything else.  It was so perfect, down to his pleased, yet sinister chuckling as he recounted the event – to his seven-year-old grandson!  Who, it must be noted, didn’t seem perturbed at all, so either he’s heard all that stuff before (“Oh, Grandad…”) or he’s a chip off the old block.  Yet it was obvious that Jack adored Eddie and would do whatever it took to give him the best things in life, even if it meant artificially creating an international disaster or two.

Admin:  Eddie was awful flippant over his granddad’s story.  Stevie seemed more perturbed by it. I reckon if anyone had nightmares of exploding paint factories that night, it would have been Stevie!  No wonder Jack favored the grandson.

Any Possibility of Recovery?

... Um... What...? ...Sorry... Got distracted for a moment... [Thunk!] Seriously, if Chisholm became a mobster... wouldn't he look just like this?

Swoooon! I think I’d rather he didn’t recover.

Admin:  Recovery?  Why? If the Byzantium Spy Kids and the weird blank faced guy (Blankie) had stayed away, Jack would have accomplished what he wanted.   As it stands, though, we’ll just say he got up after his little fall from the stairs, patched his head back up again, woke up Bingham (he deserves to live too), and the two of them departed for the West Indies where they could start afresh.  Hey, it worked for Jingle and Trotter!  But, seriously, yes, I think Jack could recover.  If Polyhedrus were exposed for the evil entity that they are and brought to international justice, then Jack would have pretty much no choice but to recover.  Awwww,  then he would be an even more awesome granddad!

RF:  I totally agree.  I can’t see Jack reforming or wanting to; he’d reply to any such suggestion with a scornful snort and keep on doing whatever he was doing at the time – probably typing, which seems to take him a while.  I’ve mentioned elsewhere (at length, so be forewarned) how completely ludicrous I thought “Hunted’s” ending was, so I have no problem with the idea of Jack and Bingham taking off to the West Indies to continue their nefarious ways; he looks too smashing as a gangster to give it up, anyway.  And Jack’s fondness for bright colours would allow him to fit in quite well in a tropical setting.

Admin:  Jack creating a brand new empire with a wardrobe of tropical shirts — I like that image. 😉

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Who’s the Most Obsessed of Them All?

Our winner!

Our winner!

RF:  It’s a tight race, but I’d have to say…  Ebenezer.  Just because he seems to have allowed himself to become the worst off by his obsessions and has fallen the furthest into a somewhat pathetic, pitiable state.  All of the others are more or less well adjusted (for certain values of “well adjusted”), although you could argue that Balon’s willingness to throw Theon under the bus… er, ship… makes him a close second.  I think Balon still has a faint whiff of hope though, because he seemed to realize what he was really doing through YarAsha’s shaming him.

Admin:  I think it has to be Ebenezer also.  His obsession has basically crippled him psychologically and emotionally.   By the time Davey meets him, he’s practically a wreck.  Like Balon, he does seem to feel shame for his actions, but he doesn’t have someone like Yara to fall back on.  So, Ebenezer it is.  Now, pass the porridge. 🙂

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