Die-hard ‘Twin Peaks’ fans are probably upset over the outcome of our last TV Madness match-up, which pitted FBI agents Dale Cooper and Fox Mulder against one another. Mulder seemingly pulled out an easy win. Some might call it a landslide. The other match-up was more straightforward. The young Indiana Jones was outmatched in every way by Buffy. She sliced and diced the adolescent relic hunter without a second thought.
I have no idea which way today’s match-ups will fall. In the first fight to the death, we have ‘Firefly’ protagonist, and love of Joss Whedon fans the world over, Capt. Malcolm Reynolds going up against angst-ridden, zombie-hatin’ Shane from ‘The Walking Dead’.
In the second match-up, coming at you from the LED bracket, cocky day-saver Christopher Chance goes up against master manipulator Ben Linus. Who will come out on top? It’s up to you.
This may be a bit of a lopsided fight. Reynolds has a band of Browncoat followers who are still huddled next to their computers, furiously signing online petitions in vain, hoping to bring ‘Firefly’ back to television. The show was another casualty of Fox mismanagement, which in turn gave the series a staunch cult following. Shane, on the other hand, was the preeminent bad dude on a show full of people who the writers tried desperately to make good. Shane spent most of his time trying to convince his friends that they were living in a world full of zombies and they’d better start acting like it. This apparently drove him insane, and gave him an obsessive head-rubbing complex.
Capt. Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds – Reynolds is a cocky, self-assured character that only an actor like Nathan Fillion could pull off perfectly. His show didn’t last very long, however. It was officially canned after only 14 episodes. That didn’t stop a movie spin-off from being filmed, but in the end, Fox simply proved to be too much for the well-liked captain and his crew.
Strengths: He isn’t your normal type of hero. Like I said, he’s cocky and self-assured. This usually works in his favor. His crew is another aspect of strength for him, as they all represent something that he’s lost along the way. Oh, and he has futuristic weaponry on his side.
Weaknesses: Going up against Shane, Reynolds might not have any weaknesses. I mean, Shane is great at killing zombies, but as we’ve seen, he’s not that great at killing someone who isn’t undead.
Shane – I always thought that Shane got a bad rap in the show. It was clear that the writers needed an antagonist, so they made Shane as antagonistic as they come. He sneered and glared at people with his head cocked ever-so-slightly, to indicate that just maybe he isn’t all there. I liked him, though, and felt like he was only acting like someone living in a post-apocalyptic zombie world would.
Strengths: Shane is an ex-cop, so he knows his way around a gun. He’s a survivor, too. He’s a realist, which helps him out when it comes to simply surviving.
Weaknesses: He’s too easily talked out of stuff. Even though he’s mean and tough, he gives in too easily to anyone who professes to have power over him.
Chance is a gun-for-hire, while Linus is a master at manipulating any circumstance and bending people to his will. Chance fights with his fists, Linus with his mind. Chance is a cocky, do-everything type of action hero, while Linus waits in the shadows for his enemies to hang themselves. This is going to be a good match-up.
Strengths: He’s trained in all manner of weapons handling and can get out of the trickiest of situations.
Weaknesses: He’s going up against Ben Linus, a man known to best opponents who are far more physically powerful than he is. Chance may not be up to a battle of wits.
Ben Linus – There was something scary about the way Linus was able to manipulate Sayid. He can bend any situation to his whim. His calm demeanor is creepy and unsettling. Big guys with muscles and brawn can be scary, but watching Linus think his way through a situation is at times simply frightening. You never know what he’s thinking. You only know that he’s up to no good.
Strengths: Out of everyone in this tournament, he’s probably the best evil genius here. His powers of manipulation routinely render stronger, bigger, more skilled opponents invalid.
Weaknesses: He isn’t strong and doesn’t have any knowledge of fighting. If things escalate to a full-on fist fight, he’d be at a great disadvantage.