Long before Youtube was a thing, back in the early 90s, there was a television show called Forever Knight. It was a story about a repentant vampire named Nick (long before Twilight and Buffy) who had taken up a job as a police officer, and used his dark powers for good. He protected innocent people to atone for a long, checkered past full of misdeeds.
In the third and final season of Forever Knight (which aired in 1995-1996), the writers basically used poor Nick like a chewtoy, systematically destroying every shred of hope he had, culminating in losing the mortal love of his 800 years. That was the final straw, and Nick ultimately begged his master to kill him. The final shot of the show being a stake raised and ready to strike through his still, but giving heart. He surrendered to the darkness of death.
Nick, while not squeaky clean, was noble and good when the viewers knew him. But in the end, he gave up on life. As a teenaged fan, I had adored Nick and was devastated by his surrender. To this very day, I still find myself wondering why the writers pounded on him so much, why they couldn’t have written his final moments being the hero one last time.
Now in 2017, with Who Killed Markiplier?, we have Damien. In the first episode/chapter, we’re introduced to this charming and gentlemanly mayor who only wants to protect the innocents of his fair city. While he himself is not squeaky clean either (as the newspaper headlines in the detective’s office imply he’s under investigation for something related to his campaign), he’s ultimately noble and kind.
In the second episode/chapter, we see him emotional over losing a friend but trying to hold everything together for the sake of his remaining friends. He’s hurting, but he’s trying to protect those he cares for. In the third episode/chapter, things are going off the rails and he’s just trying to hold on, scared and desperate to save his loved ones. The events have steadily worn him down, but he’s still trying to keep a handle on things. He’s still trying to help.
Then, the final episode/chapter. Damien is gone for a long time and, when we finally find him, he’s surrounded by darkness. He’s despairing and angry, and he lies to our faces about wanting to work together to fix things.
In the end, he gives up his humanity. He gives up on any attempt at rebuilding his life, becoming a cold and vengeful monster. He gives up on himself, surrendering to the darkness.
I was promised a fun murder mystery, and I could accept the introduction of the supernatural into the story. What I cannot accept is what was done to Damien. I would have much rather he sacrificed himself to the dark powers to save his loved ones one last time, rather than… this. Ultimate and final surrender to that darkness, giving up on humanity. He’s not the Damien we knew. Not anymore.
Two loving, kind, noble characters I adored. And I watched them both fall into despair, into a spiritual death, all the life and good in them sucked away, their hopes dashed and being beaten until they couldn’t get back up. That’s why it hurts. It hurt then, and it hurts now.
Nick and Damien both deserved better. Because they were better people than most of us could imagine. They tried so hard to be good, to do good, to help others… but it amounted to nothing. In the end, they both gave up because they had nothing left to give.
And that’s why, right now, I’m crying. Again.