Great Character #6: I Want an Alice Morgan

I have a confession to make.  I want an Alice Morgan.

Who’s Alice Morgan you ask?

Here she is:

Alice Morgan

Alice Morgan

Now I’ll be honest, from the moment I saw her in the first episode of Luther I was a little taken.  What can I say?  She’s exactly my type.  Beautiful and smart with a cut-throat personality?  How could I resist!

Now, for anyone who didn’t read my Tainted Love post, I’m going to recap what I found so intriguing about her:

What starts off as a psychopathic stalker, turns into a strange friendship, and even later in the series acquires a strange romantic spark.  Sure, it’s recognized more by Alice, which is odd for a psychopath, but Luther doesn’t do much to discourage it.

 

Now granted, on the same end there’d be no careless whispers in the moonlight or romantic trysts, but that loyalty.

Oh my God that loyalty.

Coming from someone with a paranoid mind (that’s me), that loyalty is her most attractive quality.  Mix that in with her intelligence and I feel like we’d be a match made in Hell.  Granted, I’ve no aspirations of becoming a serial killer or a criminal, but if I had someone watching my back like Alice Morgan I would sleep much better at night.

Funny right?  I wonder what that says about me, that I’d sleep better if my life had one more psychopath instead of one less?

What do I do?

Either way, before this turns into more of a shrine to the character, than an examination of how this makes her a great one, I’ll land my plane on the topic.

What I found so interesting about that whole device, is that you could see she held actual affection for the man.  I would even go as far to say that she loved him as much as a psychopath could.  The biggest clue for me?

Her loyalty.

You have to understand, psychopaths/sociopaths really have no loyalty to anyone but themselves.  It’s almost as if they see others as removed from them in some way.  Possibly like they’re not even the same species if the condition’s severe enough.

She’s basically breaking her own psychopathy by even attempting to build ANY kind of relationship with him, let alone a semi-romantic one.

Now, before you start screaming, “Mary Sue!”, at me you have to acknowledge one key fact.

THEY DID IT WELL!

They didn’t have her go all damsel in distress for John Luther, nor did they give her any sappy and emotional moments.

They literally left her as a cold and twisted killer, whom outwardly showed no love or affection for John outside of her random appearances and offers of support.

I promise that smile's genuine...

I promise that smile’s genuine…

You really had to turn your head to the side and squint to see her intentions and that’s what I loved about it.

The subtlety used in crafting this paradoxical character is amazing, and the subtlety was the only thing that stopped me from calling bullshit as I watched their story unfold.

This subtlety is something we all need to not only master, but make sure we employ and every twist and turn.  It keeps things believable, because we’re only changing or adding one element.

One, tiny, little, element, is all that’s needed.

Did you notice how you read the above line slower because the commas were there?

We’re trained to pause after a comma.  I often use this to show a word being stressed in dialogue.  Imagine subtly changing or adding to a character’s personality like using a comma in your sentence.  The contents all the same, but different aspects of it are accentuated.

It adds a very interesting dynamic, and it’s a sign of great writing.

So as usual, what do you think?  Agree/disagree/think I’m nuts?  Please, leave your reactions in the comments below and let me know what you think.  I can’t wait to hear from you below.

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I own no rights to the pictures used in this post, or the featured image.  If you own the photos, and want them taken down, please contact me.

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