Nate on 'Leverage' and Five Other Characters Living Dangerously
by Allison Waldman, posted Jun 19th 2010 2:00PM
Have you noticed that some of the most popular and dynamic TV shows have lead characters who like to court danger? Whether it's Nate Ford on 'Leverage' heading up a crack team that's on the run from Interpol, or Michael Westen on 'Burn Notice' inviting an enemy to kill him if he can, today's TV characters are precariously living their lives on the precipice of danger. Take a look at our six examples of TV characters that are living dangerously. Are they intrepid or just plain crazy?
Nate Ford, 'Leverage.' When we first met Nathan Ford, he wasn't interested in becoming a Robin Hood. He was mourning the loss of his son. But opportunity has led to him creating the 'Leverage' squad, and with each case, they seek justice for those in need, but not without risk. In the finale last season, Nate not only was shot and arrested -- taking one for the crew -- but when asked to explain who he was, Nathan finally admitted that he's a thief, not an insurance investigator. In the new season that starts June 20, Nate is up to his ears in danger since he's locked up in prison.
Michael Westen, 'Burn Notice.' He's not a burned spy anymore and there's not a lot of reason for Michael Westen to continue living so dangerously, but he does. He's now working for the people who burned him originally, but can he trust them? And while doing their life-and-death missions, he's continuing to be a local fixer for hire -- with Sam and Fiona's able assistance -- which puts him in the line of fire. Between the possibility of getting killed doing right by his clients or chased down by bad guys coming after him for revenge, Michael's constantly flirting with danger ... and not looking to duck and hide.
Dexter Morgan, 'Dexter.' Could there be a man whose life is more dangerous than Dexter's? He's put himself in this position, of course, by becoming a serial killer and even he finds a way to justify all of his actions, that doesn't make him any safer. He can cover a lot working in the crime lab, but as the past seasons have shown, the danger of exposure is creeping closer and closer to Dexter. And now that he's got a new family paradigm, will Dexter be forced to change his dangerous ways for his child?
Jackie Peyton, 'Nurse Jackie.' "Hello, my name is Jackie and I'm a drug addict. Ha!" Yeah, that's what Jackie said when her dangerous, drug-addicted lifestyle was challenged. Jackie isn't about to admit the truth about her double life to anyone, even when cornered by her husband Kevin and her best friend Eleanor at an impromptu intervention. Nurse Jackie loves to live dangerously, probably in part because she's hopped up on Oxycotin most of the time. She's a tough-talking liar and chip-on-the-shoulder New Yorker. Taking chances, like ripping off an epileptic who was carrying $12,000 worth of prescription meds, is the kind of daring move that keeps Jackie's heart beating.
Raylon Givens, 'Justified.' You could say that danger comes with the job for Raylon. He is a U.S. Marshal after all. Still, Raylon's a lawman with a penchant for pulling the trigger rather than hauling in the bad guy. He would have been more at home in the old west, not modern day Miami Beach. So when he shot a criminal in cold blood -- okay, he warned him -- the Marshal service had a problem with Raylon. He was sent back in Harlan County, Kentucky, his home town, but that's an even more dangerous place for Raylon than Miami! He has more evil lurking there surrounded by his family and friends. The Crowders are out to get him, now more than ever.
Jesse Pinkman, 'Breaking Bad.' Even more than his meth-making partner Walter White, Jesse Pinkman is a danger seeker. It's more than his wanton drug use -- which he had kicked for most of the last season before sliding back to crystal. Jesse also is delusional about being a bad ass-bad guy. Jesse puts himself in constant danger, never more so than when he tried to kill two drug dealers by engaging them in a showdown like it was a western shootout. Only Walt's car and quick actions saved Jesse that time, but as a result they are both up to their necks in danger. Jesse is almost suicidal the way he takes on scary situations. Does Jesse have a death wish? Is that why he lives so dangerously?
So, are these danger lovers courageous or crazy? Sound off in the comments.