Respecting the characters

I was watching a fourth season episode of NCIS, and it struck me how Michael Weatherly’s departure from the series last month fit right in with the entire arc of the series.

They respected the character, and the viewers.

Then there’s Criminal Minds, which had the departure of Shemar Moore, who played Derrick Morgan.  Also a very popular character.  The show has run nearly as long as NCIS, and like Michael Weatherly, he’s had a lot of really good character development over the years.

And the writers totally botched the departure. 

It was like they just threw it out there, trying to get some ratings.  In the first of the two episodes, the character is kidnapped and tortured.  The torture was the kind you should never ever do to the character because it was at the point anyone wouldn’t survive whole, and you want your characters to survive whole.  Even if they’re leaving, you want to feel like they’re going to live happily ever after.  Severe PSTD is not happily ever after. 

Story-wise, it felt like the actor decided at the last minute he wasn’t returning, so the writers scrambled to come up with a script to get ratings.  But it sure didn’t respect the character we’d come to enjoy.

I just bought a Gibbs’ rules t-shirt, in Navy blue.  The “rules” are one of those things where once you find out where they originated, it’s wonderful bit about the character.