>>An earlier post says that Alan was not manipulated at all. I do not
know how else to describe the scene in which Neil does his infrequent nice
human being act, wishing Alan well when he's plotting to decimate his
>>...I think Neil dislikes Colin because what he did is exactly the sort of
thing Neil would have done if he felt he hadn't proved his worth to get
into the Sandbaggers (that is conjecture, I know). As the story unfolds, I
think that Neil is at much at fault in the overreactions as anyone - he had
the choice of confronting Colin far earlier). Piqued, he has to play squash
the bug with Colin, then gleefully (for Neil) uses the information he's
I agree that Colin's little game is just the sort of thing Neil would try.
It is ironic that he can't stand to see his own sliminess in others. It's
okay for him to play every trick in the book, and he does.
That is what makes the series so interesting to me. There are no easy
answers. Neil is brutal one moment, as with his treatment of Sally, then he
turns around and shows his emotions at Edward's death and to some degree
with Laura and Willie, on occasion. He is a complex human being, although
more emotionally repressed than most. The respect versus love thing is
right on the mark.
All the other characters are just as complex. Look at the loveable Willie,
who makes his living killing people when it makes him sick. Diane and
eventually Marianne are strong women who put up with a patriarchial system,
and are codependent in it. They may stand up to Neil, but they keep on
making his coffee. The first C is aesthetically sensitive, listening to
Bach in the late hours, but by day finds himself making life and death
decisions. Even the second C does not want to use Neil's ruthless methods,
but tends to operate in a more preventitive fashion, until pushed. In the
end, they all do their jobs, which are pretty seedy jobs, at best. Some may
find it heroic, but not me. By doing what they do, they just perpetuate the
crazy system of spys and double-dealing. And they are so caught up in it
that that they can't conceive of a better way. Neil and Willie have that
discussion, talking about why they just carry out orders. But for many
reasons, they do keep on doing it.
Thanks for the good discussion from everyone.