What happens to the characters in our favourite shows, movies, comics, or songs when their story is no longer being told? Continue reading
The Old Man died in 1979. His wake was held at the bar, and Bill played “Danny Boy” to close it out. It was the last song he ever played there.
John at the bar was wrong – he couldn’t be a movie star. However, a night helping cover for a certain piano player when he had a sore throat revealed a previously unknown talent – John was a really good singer. He never made it big on the pop charts, but he did make it big on Broadway throughout the Eighties and Nineties, eventually becoming a mentor figure to the likes of Neil Patrick Harris and Lin-Manual Miranda.
Davy did stay in the Navy for life. He served with distinction, rising the rank of Lieutenant before he retired in 2009. He wrote a well-regarded book on tactics of submarine warfare in the 21st century, and occasionally pops up as a military expert talking head on cable tv.
The Waitress stopped practising politics and got serious about it. In 1982, she was elected to her municipal council, and in 1992, she rode Bill Clinton’s coat tails into a congressional seat that she held until 2016. After the end of her political career, she sat down to write her memoirs, but discovered that she greatly preferred writing children’s books (which were also – mostly – less controversial).
The Businessmen are mostly retired or dead of cocaine overdoses now, but their successors can be found in the same bar, at the same time, doing the same things.
Bill became a high school music teacher in Shermer, Illinois.
…and the piano sounds like a piano, and the microphone smells like a microphone.
It’s been more than thirty years since that fateful day in 1984, and the original members of the club are now pushing 50. These are the long, strange trips they’ve had.
Brian Johnson is the most prominently successful of the group. The kid who took such pleasure in writing an essay in detention, and whose fierce insistence on treating people with the respect they deserved surprised the others with its intensity realised, in the end, that he wanted to tell the truth. He’s now a journalist specialising in long-form pieces and the occasional book on popular science and the like – a rival to the Malcolm Gladwells and Douglas Rushkoffs of the world. More than any other member of the club, he’s succeeded in staying friends with all the others. Brian finds, even now, that his mental pursuits are more satisfying than romantic entanglements, although he has a long-standing friendship with benefits with his agent.
Andrew Clark eventually realised that wrestling was not for him. At a high school or college level, where it was a sport, it was fine. But growing up in the era of Hulkamania soured him on the sport (especially once Brian explained the meaning of the word “kayfabe” to him), and in his senior year, he switched to football, where he was successful enough as an offensive tackle (usually a left tackle) to get a college scholarship. He and Alison broke up at that point with no real hard feelings on either side – she understoof better than him that they couldn’t maintain a long distance relationship; after some initial bitterness at being dumped, Andy was quick to discover the many romantic and sexual possibilities being a college freshman offered. Partying and injuries took their toll on his athletic performance, and he washed out of college in the end. His father never let him hear the end of it, and Andy eventually moved out to the west coast to get away from him. After accompanying a nervous friend to an audition one day and getting the part himself, he found a new career as a voice actor. He makes enough to support his wife and kids, and is very careful not to pressure the little ones about their futures.
Claire Standish found her world turned upside down when her parents finally did divorce – the week after she went away to college. With no clear idea of what she wanted to do in life, other than not be like her parents, Claire drifted into political activism and studied the humanities. After her degree, she transferred colleges to pursue postgraduate study. When she completed a PhD in History, she went on to work as a volunteer anywhere she felt she could be useful, and finally learned how important money can be when you don’t have any of it. Today, she is the chief financial officer of Human Aid International, a global charity dedicated to improving health and education in third world nations. She doesn’t see her partner very often, but when they do get together, it’s as passionate as ever.
Alison Reynolds, perhaps more than any of the others, found her life changed by the events of March 24, 1984. She’d never really had friends before, and although her first few months trying to were rocky at times, she learned quickly. Being more connected to her cohort also helped her grades along – in geography, she discovered what would become her abiding passion in life: the study of tectonics. At college, she would likely have sunk back into her old ways had not her roommate dragged her along to social events until she made friends. Alison studied hard and good grades, but didn’t see a need for more than the occasional one night stand. But that all changed when she and Claire were reunited. Without either of them really planning it, the pair fell into a relationship with each other, and as of 2015, are married. Alison’s parents used this as an excuse to refuse to speak to her at all.
John Bender, to his own surprise, ended up becoming good friends with Brian after the two partnered on a group assignment in Shop class. They became study buddies, and even hung out occasionally. In 1987, they attended a screening of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (Claire refused to come along, and the argument about the film eventually led to their break-up), and a joking observation by Brian that if Bender had been a member of that group, Freddie would have been annihilated by their scornful laughter got him thinking. Bender realised that not only would he not wish his shitty life on anyone else, he’d also like to help other people deal with theirs. With the support of the rest of the gang, he studied hard and scraped into a local college. Here, he studied psychology, intending to become an encounter group therapist. He is credited with having helped several members of the so-called “fight clubs”, a domestic terrorist organisation, return to normal, happy lives.
Carl Reid took a long look at how twisted Principal Vernon had become, and decided that he wanted more out of life. He went back to school, doing night classes to qualify as a real estate agent. He now works at the same firm as Katie Bueller.
Dick Vernon was found dead in his office in 1993. He had slashed his wrists. His suicide note blamed the ingratitude of his students.
They’re all dead, of course. C’mon, it was nearly 2000 years ago. (Well, maybe not that Jesus guy. Some people reckon he’s still alive. And his mum.)
Oh, alright. Here’s what the rest of their lives were like:
So, after five crazy years of the wildest ride in comics or science fiction journalism, our heroes – and for that matter, our villains – have been out of the game for another five years. So, where are they now?
As always, spoilers abound – right up to the last episode. Read on at your viewing pleasure’s peril.
Man, it’s hard to write an introduction to this one without spoiling large portions of the film. Never mind. If you’ve seen it, you’ll understand why this particular “Where are they now?” is a little different from the others. And if you haven’t, you should. It’s Tarrantino’s best film to date.
First, the good news: the rise of iTunes and Napster and the like sounded the death-knell for the Music Town chain. So that’s nice.
The last episode of The Wire actually did a pretty good job of showing where most of the cast were going to wind up – but not all of them.
So, while obviously John Sheridan isn’t around anymore after the events of Sleeping in Light – but what about the rest of the cast?