Heroes, Villains & Victims

Trigger warning – talk about (fictional) death, shooting and suicide.

This is not one of the “feel good” pieces I have been writing lately; however, I just felt I needed to share it.

I watched an episode of “Chicago Med” last night. It started out in the lobby of a movie theatre where a couple and their young son are happily preparing for their show with popcorn and drinks. All of a sudden shots are heard from inside the theatre and people start running out. The mother gets knocked down and successfully protects her boy while the father must stand and watch as she is trampled to her death. There is nothing he could do.

The suspect, a teenage boy, is shot by another person in the theatre (off camera) who is seen as a hero. Only suffering from a head wound, he gets stitches and waits for a CT scan. He is bragging about the fact that he had under a 100 twitter followers in the morning and now he has thousands.

One of the nurses all of a sudden says that the only patient from the theatre that has come in with gunshot wounds is the original suspect. It turns out that the young punk was a prankster and has several youtube videos detailing his schemes. All he had in the theatre was a leaf blower, not the assault rifle his shooter claimed. The boy is clinging to life, in need of a liver.

The woman who died was an organ donor and ironically matches the suspect. At first the husband says there is no way he will give the creep who killed his wife a new chance. However, minutes later, he comes out with the signed document and says nothing. Later, he comes in to see the boy after the surgery. He says that his wife will live on in the boy…then he says that he will track down the kid for the rest of his life and make it a living hell as he is going through without his wife. He is led out of the room quickly.

Back to the actual shooter -hailed as a hero one minute and despised as a gun-toting maniac the next. He says that he did right and he would do it again. Shortly after he is brought in on a stretcher, having stepped in front of a moving car. Despite the doctors’ best efforts he doesn’t make it.

It ends with a newscaster describing the distraught husband as a hero for giving up his wife’s liver to the original cause of this tragedy. They don’t know, or don’t say that he had to be escorted out of the hospital by the security guards.

Intertwined through all of this are the feelings of the staff. Some want the boy to die but know their oath forces them to give it their best. Others show disdain for the man who turned out to be the only shooter.

I thought this was a very good piece on humanity. It is sometimes hard to know who are the heroes, the villains and those caught up in the battle. The boy was never thought of as a hero; however, when he was shot unarmed he became less of a villain in some eyes. The hero turned villain and then victim as he took his own life. There were even discussions about his reasons. The husband, who was most certainly a victim, ended up coming across as a villain with his threats.

I think the real hero of this story is the mother who not only sacrificed her own life for her child, but had the foresight to be an organ donor and helped not only the prankster, but several other people as well.

I have been a victim (with an abusive ex-husband and controlling parents, not to mention rape in my teens) and was once hailed as a hero for pulling the downstairs tenant through his window after he passed out drunk and set fire to the house. And I am sure during my days of horrible PMS and of course bipolar mood swings I have been seen as a villain.

While this was only a television show, I think it shows very clearly how lines can be blurred when it comes to good and bad.



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