It turns out that our last TV Madness contests weren’t even close. Malcolm Reynolds easily got the drop on Shane, the head-rubbing zombie killer, while Ben Linus masterfully manipulated his way out of yet another skirmish with a bigger, stronger opponent. They both move onto the next round. Find out today’s match-ups after the jump.
Today’s match-ups pose, what seems to me, an up-in-the-air type of outcome. Both of the contests feature well-known characters, but ones who aren’t universally loved and adored like some of the other competitors in the tournament. Each has his own unique way of dealing with those who cross him, whether with brains, brawn or dashingly good-looking suits and pastel shirts.
I really like this match-up. It kind of flew under the radar when the brackets were announced, but this one really has an “Anything Can Happen” feel to it. In one corner, we have a suave detective who took care of Miami’s scumbags for 111 episodes. In the other corner, we have a genius who was specifically raised by a faceless organization in order to exploit his intellect, and then escaped and used his powers for good over 86 episodes. Both had long-running shows. Both had devoted followings. Only one can survive.
Sonny Crockett – There’s no one on TV quite like Don Johnson. Sonny Crockett was always great to watch. Hair well-quaffed, suits perfectly pressed, slip-on shoes always sans socks… he was the man. He roamed Miami in the late ’80s like he was the coolest thing to hit South Beach. Most likely, he was.
Strengths: Besides being ultra-cool, Sonny Crockett always gets his man. He and Rico may not have always played by the rules, but as we’ve all learned from TV detective shows, it’s usually the ones who don’t play by the rules that get the best results. Dammit, he’s so cool he even has a freaking pet alligator!
Weaknesses: He got taken in by the wrong lady a few times. Other than that, the coolness factor outweighes any major weaknesses he may have.
Jarod – Unlike Sonny, Jarod prefers to remain anonymous. After escaping from the Center, Jarod used that amazing prodigy brain of his to help out as many people as possible, all the while screwing over criminals in the process. He was like the cerebral Michael Westen.
Strengths: Jarod can assume any identity, essentially becoming anyone, because he’s so smart. If he wants to be a doctor, he can be a doctor. He even became an Army Ranger at one point. The guy can seemingly do anything. His brain is probably one of the single greatest weapons in this tournament.
Weaknesses: Could selflessness be considered a weakness? Jarod spent so much time helping other people he usually forgot about himself in the process.
They’re from completely different time periods, but make no mistake, they’re the badasses of their respective eras. One favors cold steel and might, while the other comes from a time where six-shooters are commonplace. Both have terrible potty mouths. If it came down to an insult contest, I’m not sure who’d take home the crown. But we’re here to see which one would win in a fight. So which will it be, the foul-mouthed Wild West businessman or the carefree Roman soldier/gladiator/all around really intimidating dude?
Al Swearengen – Based on an actual historical figure, Mr. Swearengen is one of the gruffest, most intimidating fellas that has ever graced a television screen. Most of that can be credited to the amazing acting job by Ian McShane, who seemed to tighten sphincters just by being in the room.
Strengths: Were you not just listening to me? It’s Ian McShane! I’m pretty sure I’d soil myself if I had to spend even a few minutes in the same room as the guy. I don’t know why, but he’s just so damned menacing.
Weaknesses: He has a soft side. Well, it’s a kind of a soft side. He smothered a reverend to death because the guy was going to die of a brain tumor anyway. So, yeah, he’s got a… umm… soft side.
Titus Pullo – He’s a troublemaker, who seems to always find himself outnumbered in a fight. No worries, though, because this trained Roman soldier is usually more than a few able-bodied men can handle. Pullo is a brute, and a strong one at that.
Strengths: He knows how to fight. He can wield a sword as good as or better than anyone else in ‘Rome’. Don’t you remember that scene of him fighting in a small gladiator battle? He’s also staunchly loyal to anyone who calls themselves his friend. He’ll do anything for those he trusts.
Weaknesses: Pullo isn’t the sharpest sword in the bunch. Also, deep down, he’s just a big kid. He’s got a good heart. I guess both of these guys have soft sides, huh? Just don’t tell them I said that.