Once upon a time I labeled the character of John Mulligan as a cad.

who, me?
who, me?

but also defended him with the opinion that he was a former bad boy just trying to get by.

yeah, let's go with that
yeah, let’s go with that

John confused me with the way he seduced the emotionally vulnerable Ellie by playing on her confidence issues. he’d talk down to her, reinforce how down on her luck she currently was–how far she had fallen from his previous conceptions of her– then flirt and build her back up again in the same conversation. that kind of manipulation never sat well with me but, ironically, I felt manipulated by the way the story was told through Ellie’s eyes, and so I fought against it. 


I was adamant that the pivotal scene when the drugs were found in her luggage, was not a set-up by John: he may have been hiding the drugs from her but he wasn’t using her to transport them….I was riding high on Mulligan charm.

it's the layers. chicks can't resist all this loud fabric.
it’s the layers. chicks can’t resist all this fabric!

somehow I misunderstood when Ellie said they should just use one suitcase for their trip instead of two. I was under the impression that they were sharing the same suitcase and thus the drugs she found were not intended to be transported by her alone. 


I must have also missed the part where John urged Ellie to go check and see if she had enough gas in the car, leaving him alone with the luggage–which was in actuality two separate suitcases–giving him the opportunity to either switch the drugs from his case to hers or to purposely place the drugs in her case as he intended to do all along. 

distRActed-part 2
distRActed-part 2

so, my opinion regarding John’s intentions has changed. I feel better about it now because I was fighting the creepiness before, the mental abuse John was exhibiting through his emotional manipulation of Ellie. I didn’t like it but I overlooked it because it didn’t fit in with what I wanted to see. but before you let out that breath you were holding in fear for my sanity, I must confess: I find prison John the more enticing of the two.

neck porn
neck porn

once he’s caught and gives his speech to Ellie, knocking her down a few pegs by pointing out that all the nice things she currently owns was bought with his money; the difference between the two personas is more apparent. it’s clear to me that prison John is the real him, and I dig his confidence. even though the jig is up, he’s resigned to his fate. he’s not blaming anyone for putting him there, he got caught and that is that.


before, I thought the look in John’s eyes at the end was regret because he really did like Ellie and he was sad that he lost what might have been.

Danger! Danger! do not look directly into the eyes!
Danger! Danger! do not look directly into the eyes!

but now I don’t see that look as loneliness or disappointment, but rather irrelevance: he just doesn’t care. I can respect that more than the smooth talker I thought he was before.

emptiness is the new sexy
emptiness is the new sexy

truth, even if it’s not the good kind, is preferable to a lie.

unless it's delivered while wearing this jacket- then all bets are off
unless it’s delivered while wearing this jacket- then all bets are off.

We Loathe Him (don’t we?)

After being so impressed with Thorin and Harry, I needed to hunt down other Richard Armitage characters. I turned to YouTube to see what was available to view on-line. Over the next several days I became familiar with John Mulligan from Moving On, Lee Preston from Cold Feet and Paul Andrews from Between the Sheets.

naughty Thornton know what I mean gif
I keep my socks on too

They were all womanizing cads! No redeeming qualities whatsoever!

Lucas That's right! gif

At least, that’s how I was supposed to feel but did I really? Let’s break this down and take a closer look.

*Spoilers Ahead!*


John the Con-Artist

Mulligan from jail
Con-Artist sounds so negative

former bad boy trying to make a name for himself by buying and selling properties. potential investment turns out to be an old flame from his younger years. he’s interested in more than the house she’s selling.

Mulligan on date gif
can I drive my purple Porsche into your parking space?

he plays a confusing game of cat and mouse, every compliment is followed by a thinly veiled insult. this seems to work though, because soon they end up in bed together and a relationship.

Mulligan in kitchen
I should insult you more often!

friends and family are constantly throwing wrenches into things, making Ellie second guess every action and reaction. finally the naysayers are proven right when John is brought up on drug charges. Ellie offers evidence, when she finds drugs in their weekend getaway luggage. At this point I’m feeling conflicted.

Mulligan peeks through window
does this mean no conjugal visits?

I don’t think I would have turned him in, no questions asked, like that. Everyone is telling her she was being used by him but I think she was also being used by them, making her constantly doubt the relationship. I believed John’s heartfelt speech from jail; does that make me a sucker too?

Verdict: John made bad choices, but was doing so as a means to an end. He wasn’t respectable, but was trying.


Paul the Inept Probation Officer

Paul kisses daughter
we know, us too

in a long-term relationship with an older woman who has an unruly teenage son, and emotional baggage from the untimely death of her husband. she’s a straightforward, brash, and somewhat emotionally stunted therapist who thinks that sex is the answer to every problem.

Paul in bed
wait, this isn’t the answer to every problem? I’m confused

Paul is a probation officer with emotional needs that haven’t been met in years, and is being accused of having an affair with one of his teenage charges. It seems to me that he is indeed guilty of the affair but is convincing himself of his own innocence while trying to cover his tracks.

Paul looking sincere
believe you? not really, but you talk a good game

I hold out hope that I’m wrong, clear ’til the end. the relationship seems to be on the upswing, when Paul let’s the guilt get the best of him and decides to tell the truth. My reaction: dumbass! the finish-line was within sight, why tell the truth now?! Not my finest moment.

Porter judging you gif

Verdict: Paul is a cad, but could possibly be reformed.


Lee the Player

Lee wink gif
meet me after, ight?

Lee is such a womanizing flirt, it’s comical! He’s dating a firecracker of an older woman who should give him a run for his money, but always seems to play right into his hands instead.

Lee makes out on couch
you are feeling verrry sleepy

Lee checks out other girls while sweet talking his girlfriend, and plays strip poker with coworkers while she’s at home playing house. it’s all a game to him that he just wants to win.

Lee strip-poker gif
oh, so that’s how you play stud poker!

after having drunken sex with a coworker, he asks girlfriend to move in with him. after they fight, girlfriend leaves. then he asks girlfriend to marry him. after coworker starts avoiding him, he actively pursues her again. Ugh! The tone of the program was funny, but Lee’s actions were not.

Verdict: Lee was a cad! no regret, and clear intentions of doing it again.


So I’m left with one misunderstood cad, one emotionally needy cad, and one womanizing cad. but each of these characters kept me engaged, kept me guessing, and stayed in my head long after the program had ended. Richard Armitage did his job wonderfully, yet again.

Sydney shrug

Do you think I’m off my rocker for sympathizing with these fellows? Which of them, if any, crept under your skin?