Watching this week’s episode, during one of the commercial breaks, the wife and I started discussing who our favorite character in the series was this season. Hers remains Vic, while for me it’s Charley all the way. “He’s a great villain,” she said, to which I replied, “Yeah, but he’s not really evil.” “He’s pretty evil,” she said. “Not really. Sure what he does is evil, but in his mind, he really is saving those kids. He sees it as they’re better off in Christmasland than home with lousy parents. “But he’s benefiting from what he does to them,” she said. “He is, but he sees it as a reciprocal relationship.” “That’s because he’s a sociopath,” she said. I couldn’t argue with that. ‘On some level, Charley knows what he’s doing is wrong,” she continued. I also couldn’t argue with that, though I did suggest the regret he feels for what he does is buried deep, really deep. “But does he feel regret?” she said. “At all?”
And there’s the crux of it. There’s no debating what Charley does—kidnapping children and stealing their lifeforces to preserve his youth—is wrong. But does he realize it? If he doesn’t, you could argue that he’s insane, thus not completely responsible for his actions. If he does realize it, does he feel any sense of remorse? That’s the determinator as to whether or not he’s truly evil or just maladjusted. “You’re just cutting him slack because he’s a cool vampire,” my lovely better half said.
I couldn’t argue with her on that, either.