I regard these viewing practices of mine as harmless and insouciant, brief timeouts from the serious business of life and the exigencies of writing. They constitute a separate zone of artless indulgence on which reality does not impinge or, alternatively, in which reality is not mutilated. That is, until recently, when the awaited Tuesday arrived and I settled in to watch an episode of NCIS called “Faith.” I soon found myself growing increasingly uneasy as the plot developed. A Marine who had converted to Islam had been murdered at prayer; in the course of the investigation, it turned out the culprit was his younger brother, who committed the crime in order to salvage the family honor, for the father, a former military officer, was now a Christian minister. A curious inversion seemed to be occurring in which Muslim honor killing, usually targeting a daughter who is deemed to have violated the tenets of the faith, was now chiastically transposed into a Christian honor killing, targeting a son who had embarrassed his observant family.
Troubled in mind, I proceeded to watch NCIS: Los Angeles, which occupied the next hour slot. This episode was called “Brimstone” and, sure enough, a strangely similar story unfolded. A group of wounded soldiers recently returned from Iraq were being systematically eliminated by a mysterious serial killer. Suspicion fell on a Muslim soldier, a member of the unit who had been disfigured by a roadside bomb and who had gone into hiding. But as the investigation continued, it ultimately became clear that our suspect had been falsely accused and that the killer was a crazed Christian evangelist and fellow soldier, seeking redemption for an imagined battlefield atrocity by blowing up his comrades.
Tomara que os autores tenham apenas exagerado no eggnog.