“When I look around, you know what I see? Losers. I mean like, folks who have lost stuff.” – Guardians of the Galaxy
One of my favorite stories are of people who aren’t the perfect tool for the job, perhaps being physically damaged/brought low by life/or not even from the best stock to begin with, but who offer their services anyway. Because they see a job that needs to be done and their mistakes and imperfections aren’t going to stop them from doing it.
I recently consumed everything Netflix had of Hell on Wheels and felt there was a kinship there to two of my other favorite shows Justified and Person of Interest. The “I may be imperfect as a person but I can do the hell out of what needs to be done” -ness of them shone through. It doesn’t hurt that Anson Mount and Jim Caviezel could practically be the same person. Like, have we seen them in a room together?
Hell on Wheels
Cullen Bohannon is among thousands of ex-soldiers after the Civil War looking to start fresh, outrun some demons, and put a few demons in the ground along the way. While tracking down men who harmed his family while he was away at war he becomes involved in western railroad expansion. The work and constant movement suits him, but tugging at his mind is the horrifying realization that he might have a purpose beyond the narrow focused vengeance he had gotten used to after the war.
US Marshall Raylan Givens returns to his rural coal-mining Eastern Kentucky stomping grounds after a stint in Miami and is face to face with people from his old life that contributed to him going into law enforcement and leaving Harlan County in the first place. Now that he’s back he gets confronted with his choices in life, how he fits into his old community, and what justice is in a place like no other.
Person of Interest
Former military/CIA officer John Reese hits an all time low in life before he meets a wealthy programmer Harold Finch who has created an AI that can identify people involved in impending crimes. It isn’t brains conscripting brawn but rather two people with a similar need for purpose filling those roles for each other. Both Reese and Finch have lost a lot in life but they are similarly determined to use their skills for good even if they are individually imperfect tools for the job.