Over the past several years, we’ve gotten to know two nuanced, fascinating TV characters by the name of Dexter Morgan and Walter White. Dexter is a serial killer who tries to only target bad guys that have slipped under the radar of the law, and Walter is a former chemistry teacher who started making and selling meth to pay for his cancer treatments and provide for his family after he dies.
They’re antiheroes: They do bad things that seem justified. We root for them even though we know what they’re doing is wrong.
That statement has mostly held true over the course of these two shows, but like any well-written show, the main characters have evolved over time. In some ways, Dexter has become more human and relatable, but he’s also stepped outside of his “code” more and more. Walter White has showed us that hard work and patience can pay off, but in doing so, he’s exposed a much darker side of himself.
I’m fascinated every week by these characters. Antiheroes do that–you know you shouldn’t root for them because of the terrible things they do, and yet I just can’t help myself. I want Dexter to get rid of the bad guys. I want Walter White to outwit the other drug dealers.
Because we’re dealing with antiheroes, as we draw near the end of these two shows, they both raise the same big question that most shows never get to raise: Will they die in the end? After all that they’ve done, should they die? Is that the only way to set the world right again?
I’m curious what you think, either about these antiheroes or other antiheroes. The comments are fair games for spoilers, but please don’t say anything specific about the most recent episode.