Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Tribute

It was on this day 29 years ago that the world lost one of the greatest actors of all time.  LuckyLadybug mentioned last year about how it seems strange to lament an actor gone before our time—I’ve gotten that before, too.  It’s all too true that Simon passed away before I was born; how then, in a world where television and movies have taken a vastly different direction since the time Simon was on the screen, was he able to strike a chord with myself, as well as Ladybug?  How can we both miss someone who never even existed at the same time we did?

I’ve pondered over this many a time—the numerous times when I get a blank look after naming Simon as one of my favorite actors.  It seems to be the fate of a character actor—to have their faces known, but not their names.  Simon even mentioned something along those lines in an interview about how people would often walk up to him and ask him if they knew him from somewhere, and how he believed that it was simply because people saw him on TV so much, people felt that they knew him.

And then I looked at that interview again, and it hit me.  That’s it.  That was it.  It didn’t matter if he was before my time; seeing him on the screen, in his element, breathing life into people that were just so believable, they do seem so real…  There’s a part of his spirit and soul in every character he brought to life, even the villains, which, in another interview, he had said that he tried to make them the slightest bit sympathetic—or, at the very least, give them hidden depths.

It is through Simon’s many characters that it felt as though I had gotten to know him as a person.  Only I wouldn’t be making the same mistake as those people who would idly think they knew him from somewhere and just couldn’t place him.  No; I’d be the shy, awed fan who would truly be able to appreciate the talent and genius of a brilliant actor and Renaissance man who deserves far, far more credit than he ever received.

That overdue credit is one of the main reasons why, last year, LuckyLadybug and I decided to put this blog and website together—because we couldn’t find any tribute sites to Simon already in existence, and we determined that just would not do. 

And while we wish that Simon had not left this world before our time—that he’d have lived long enough to hear that there were two fans of his determined to ensure that his name is not forgotten—there’s a part of me that wants to believe that, somehow… he knows.  Even before watching Kolchak, I’d always believed that the line between this world and the next was not an impassable, one-way barrier—that those on the other side can still be aware of what goes on here.

And I’d like to think that every time Luckyladybug and I make a post here, update the website, or excitedly discuss with each other about the latest role of his we’ve discovered, somewhere on the other side, Simon just shakes his head and gives a good-natured chuckle, thinking, There they go again.

It’s a thought that manages to make me smile, even as I miss him.

~Crystal Rose

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Birthday Tribute Post!

… Well, that was interesting, in a bad way. I’ve just wasted over thirty minutes trying to access the blog. It refused to let me in, even though I know I had the right password. I double-checked and double-checked. I don’t know whether it was hacked or if the website is just being a moron, but I am royally aggravated. I finally had to reset the password.

ANYWAY! It’s hard to believe that this blog has been up for over a year. And today is the first anniversary of the accompanying website.

We have been looking for new Simon material to watch, and while we’ve been waiting, we’ve kept Simon in our hearts despite the lack of posts here. And now, finally, on the 97th anniversary of his birthday, I can report on two more of Simon’s wonderful guest-spots.

The first is part of a show about Ellery Queen, a little episode called The Adventure of the Pharaoh’s Curse. Simon plays Norris Wentworth, a wealthy man who is into aircraft manufacturing and has just donated a mummy to the museum. His wife is seeing someone else, his son hates him, and an Egyptian is furious with him for buying the mummy and then donating it to be on display. He wants the dead laid to rest. Can’t say he doesn’t have a point, but he becomes far too emotional, making a huge show of it right at the unveiling and threatening Norris.

Apparently the poor man has been disliked for years. During World War II, he was accused of not building his airplanes strong enough, causing the deaths of many young airmen. His wife is quick to point out that he was acquitted of all charges and that he always insisted he hadn’t done it.

Norris is eventually, mysteriously murdered, as it turns out, by suffering a heart attack after the guard in the museum tries to literally scare him to death with the mummy. His son was one of the airmen who died. The guard snarls about how cowardly Norris became when he realized he was going to die, and how he sniveled and pleaded for his life.

The thing about Norris, I was quick to realize, is that nowhere in the episode did it ever say he really had been guilty for ruining those airplanes. The guard was convinced of it, but many people were, and we have to remember what Mrs. Wentworth said. And that, as well as the guard’s confession, are the only times it’s brought up. Thus, the question has to be faced, What if Norris really was innocent? What if the ruined airplanes were the fault of someone else in his company, maybe some lazy bums working in the plant? It’s a sad and sobering thought.

Norris is a gruff and serious sort, but he’s friendly and likes a good drink. He also doesn’t believe in superstitious nonsense, or at least, he doesn’t want to. He knows his son doesn’t like him and feels badly about it. And I felt plum sorry for the poor man, even moreso since we don’t even know that he was guilty of the terrible crimes he was killed for.

Recently, thanks to Netflix, I was also, finally able to see Simon’s guest-spot on the Ronnie Schell comedy Good Morning World, in the episode The Lady and the Pussycat. It’s one of Simon’s rare appearances in a comedy of any kind, and it’s a gem. This time there’s no doubt that his character, Harry Lewis, is a good guy.

Harry is the father of the main character, and he sells surfboards and other assorted items in Honolulu. He’s come to the mainland to see his son and daughter-in-law, and also the two women he’s trying to choose between for a wife. He’s lonely after fifteen years of his first wife being dead, and each of these women has touched him in a special way.

The younger Lewises aren’t sure what to make of either one of them. The first is a girl much younger than Harry, but they get along well and seem to enjoy each other’s company. They met when she went surfing with a rented board from Harry and he decided to go out after her since she hadn’t had experience. They ended up wiping out in a wave, but Harry ended up nearly dying and Genevieve had to perform artificial respiration on him (!).

David doesn’t like the idea of Harry being with a girl so much younger than himself. Linda doesn’t seem to mind so much. When David tries to talk with Harry about it, Harry reveals that there is another girl too, and he’s having trouble deciding which one.

This girl, Mary-Margaret, is closer to his own age. She’s very conservative—doesn’t drink, doesn’t like modern music—and she brings cookies for David and Linda. But there’s something I didn’t like about her, and it seems Linda was bothered too. David was too caught up in the cookies and the ages to notice. I’m not fully sure how to explain it, but she felt somewhat snooty. Maybe it was just in her aristocratic accent. But I really had the sense that she didn’t care about Harry, at least not as a romantic interest. When she’s leaving, she even arranges for a cab instead of having him drive her home. She claims it’s so he can spend time with the kids, and that could be, but I had the feeling that maybe she didn’t want him to drive her home, period.

It’s not really surprising when she turns down his off-screen proposal later on. She feels he’s too immature for her. And when he asks Genevieve, she feels he’s too old. But she must still like him and want to be friends, at least, as she comes with him to dinner once again. When David asks what his father is going to do, Harry gives him a mischievous grin and says, “Try to age her a little.” They then embrace.

Harry Lewis is quite adorable, a lovable teddy bear of a man in his fifties who doesn’t feel he’s too old to still have some fun in life. I like to think that Genevieve later changed her mind about him. Despite David feeling both girls were wrong for him, I felt that he and Genevieve were very nice together. They certainly felt more real and lively than Harry with Mary-Margaret. And Genevieve would definitely have a hard time finding a catch anywhere as good!

So once again, there we go with two characters who are extremely different but whom Simon played to perfection and believability. Today we honor and remember Simon on what would have been his 97th birthday. A wonderful actor and human being, lost far too soon. But we will treasure all of the characters he left us. Simon’s acting legacy lives on.

~Lucky Ladybug

Monday, June 18, 2012

What Might Have Been...

In the light of the recent deaths of Davy Jones and Richard Dawson---two actors I adore as much as I adore Simon---my thoughts have admittedly been elsewhere as of late.  But they still, nevertheless, come back to Simon while bringing these new thoughts with them.  Among those thoughts is the disappointment that while Davy and Richard did have a chance to work with each other, they didn’t have a chance to work with Simon.

I have been wondering lately about what a collaboration between Simon and Davy or Simon and Richard would’ve been like.  The most likely possibility would’ve been Simon making a guest appearance on The Monkees and Hogan’s Heroes---two shows that did air around the time that Simon made multiple guest appearances on several shows.  The thing is, however, that the shows in question are both comedies.  Simon has proven himself to be quite the comedic actor, but as I mentioned in an earlier entry, Simon’s brand of humor was a wonderful, understated kind of humor that is rarely seen.  Would his brand of humor even fit?

I think, for Hogan’s Heroes, the answer is yes.  Understated humor fits very well into the show; Ivan Dixon, who played the role of Kinch (and had worked with Simon more than once) was often one of the sources of it.  Simon could’ve easily played a transient officer trying to get some secret in and out of Stalag 13.  There would’ve been plenty of opportunities for Simon’s understated brand of humor, whether rolling his eyes at the antics of Newkirk, LeBeau, and Carter, or making a few deadpan cracks at the heavy flow of traffic in and out of the tunnels beneath the stalag.

For The Monkees, however… well, it’s a long shot.  Understated humor isn’t exactly the show’s credo; the show ran on utter madcap nonsense---quite a contrast to Simon’s brand of humor.  And yet, I have every bit of confidence that Simon would’ve made it work somehow.  If he had been on The Monkees, I imagine that Simon would’ve played the ultimate straight man opposite the Monkees---vainly trying to keep some semblance of sanity as the four crazy musicians turned everything upside-down.

Even though neither of these collaborations came to pass, I can still vividly picture what they would be like.  That is the mark of Simon’s prowess as an actor---that it is possible to picture how he would handle and take on a role.  And there’s also the knowledge that he would’ve succeeded, no matter what the role or situation.  There’ll only ever be one Simon Oakland---just like there’ll only ever be one Davy Jones or one Richard Dawson.  But one of each of them is all we really need when each of their talents were meant to be one-of-a-kind.

~Crystal Rose

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sal Jarrett and Doctor Asgard

Who has seen Simon play a crooked politician with Mob connections? Yes? Well, what about a scientist seeking to prove that humanity is corrupt and that they will always turn against each other, no matter how close they appear to be?

Finding appearances by Simon is growing more difficult. There are so many not readily available at all. But I recently saw two new (to me) characters: Sal Jarrett, from the Quincy, M.E. episode Passing, and Doctor Asgard, from The Starlost episode And Only Man is Vile.

Sal is kind of the typical crooked politician, but Simon manages to make the role unique. I love that he doesn’t want the Mob people backing him up to kill the woman who’s putting the pieces together concerning an old murder they were all involved with. Even when he learns that their actual plan is to incapacitate rather than kill, he is not all for it. Of course, he does nothing to stop them, but his displeasure is very evident.

My favorite line from Sal is in his first scene, when he goes to his receptionist and complains about the latest promotional picture of him. He exclaims something about hating the picture and that it makes him look like he eats kids for breakfast. Classic Simon.

Doctor Asgard reminds me a little bit of a mad scientist character I created years ago. She is always looking to pick apart the human mind and see how strong and resilient it and the ties that bind are. Doctor Asgard, meanwhile, is researching how to best teach the young people onboard his section of a giant spaceship bound for who knows where. He wants to be sure that they will have the stamina to last wherever the ship eventually puts down, and his idea of giving them that stamina is to teach them that man is a monster—always has been, always will be. The law of survival is the first and most important instinct.

His scientific ally, Diana Tabor, disagrees. She believes humanity is inherently good and that if they’ve been given moral, ethical teachings they will not stray far from them. To this end, she sits and watches while Doctor Asgard performs his experiment on the show’s hapless three main characters. While he believes he can break up their friendships, she believes he will fail. And in the end, although it looks rough for a time, he does.

It would be nice to say that Doctor Asgard became convinced of his error and came around to Diana’s way of thinking. As it is, we really don’t know. He jumps up and exclaims that the experiment failed because there were too many unknown factors. In one way he behaves as though his opinions have not changed. But his exclamations seem shaky, as if he knows it’s more than that. I have to wonder if a chink was made in his thinking.

He’s definitely the antagonist of the episode. And yet I don’t know that I can call him an out-and-out villain. He is fully convinced of his beliefs, which are not entirely unfounded. He doesn’t appear to have any malice towards the trio, albeit one wonders what he experienced and studied to give him such a grim outlook on mankind. (Perhaps it was even more studying than experiencing, and the few experiences seemed to back up his research.) And by the end, he does act as though he may have realized there’s more to humanity than what he thought, even if he can’t bring himself to admit it yet.

Once again, Simon proves himself masterful at making all kinds of characters believable, human, and very three-dimensional. I’ve yet to see a one-dimensional character from him. I doubt he could play one if he tried.

~Lucky Ladybug

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Books and Their Covers: the Multifaceted Roles of Simon Oakland

When character are introduced, it’s usually very easy to see whether or not they will be an ally to the main character, or an antagonist---writers try to establish a character’s stance within the first five minutes of the first scene featuring them.  Nine times out of ten, that’s what the writers go for, and the ratio seems to be about the same for the many characters that Simon Oakland has played; the opening scene of the “Justice Deferred” episode of Bonanza, for example, shows you everything you need to know about Mel Barnes---the twist being that it takes a while for the other characters and the audience to realize that it was Mel Barnes and not his unfortunate lookalike Frank Scott.

However, sometimes, it is that remaining one character out of ten that is the most intriguing---the antagonist with the hidden depths, the antagonist with the surprisingly sympathetic backstory, or the antagonist who seems like an adversary while really being on the same side as the protagonist and respecting them.  Given Simon’s preferred acting method of trying to make all of his characters as multifaceted as possible, it is in roles like these that he shines even more brightly than usual.

Jim Nation from the “Overland Express” episode of Gunsmoke is a prime example.  His first scene features him shooting at Matt and Chester, clearly on the run from them, and, upon his surrender, Matt confirms that Nation is wanted for murder after killing a man in Dodge City---to which Nation insists that it was in self-defense.  At this point, neither Matt nor the audience knows whether or not to believe him, and they are left wondering again when, as they ride the stagecoach back, Nation insists that one of their fellow passengers is a wanted murder who is likely planning to hold up the stagecoach.  When this turns out to be true and the man demands that everyone surrenders, Matt counters Nation’s “I told you so” with a request for help---for Nation to pretend that he’s going to side with the murderer so that he can make his escape and avoid being put on trial for the murder he committed.  Even Nation is surprised by how much trust Matt is giving him.  Luckily for Matt and everyone, Nation is absolutely sincere and plays his part marvelously---the same man who, in the episode’s beginning had been shooting at the protagonist, ended up being the hero.  And even when Nation realizes that he has the chance to truly escape, he decides not to take it and willingly returns to Dodge with Matt to stand trial---after which Matt promises him that that Nation’s character is enough to convince him to testify on his behalf that he would only kill a man in self-defense.

Another example would be Simon’s portrayal of Sgt. Driscoll in the “No Sanctuary” episode of Medical Center.  Driscoll appears to be using rather callous methods to try to get an assault victim to identify her attacker, ignoring the doctor’s insistence that she is in no condition to talk about it, still in shock and trying to recover from a punctured lung.  Furthermore, he brings the suspect to the victim in the hopes that she will confirm that she knows him, yet only succeeds in nearly giving her a complete breakdown.  Without a positive identification, however, Driscoll has to let the suspect go, yet continues to tail him, only to be shot by the suspect once he figures it out.  Facing an operation performed by the same doctor he had been clashing with earlier, Driscoll eventually reveals to him that his late wife was killed during a similar assault incident---and that he had to let the perpetrator go because no one would identify him, explaining his furious zeal in pursuing this particular case he had been working on, giving a heart-wrenching and sympathetic side to an otherwise abrasive character.

Even Tony Vincenzo, one of Simon’s most famous roles, started out like this.  In the first Night Stalker movie, most of his scenes seem to suggest that his character is there to stand in Carl Kolchak’s way as he tries to save Las Vegas from a vampire.  It’s only in the final scene that Carl and Tony share that it becomes apparent that Tony really does respect Carl---something that becomes clearer in the second movie and then the series proper as Tony evolved from adversarial boss to concerned boss.  Tony still doesn’t believe in the monster stories that Carl uncovers and still refuses to publish the stories, but his genuine concern for his unlucky employee manifests itself in more obvious  ways, such as the numerous times Tony bails Carl out of jail or checking up on him if he hears him yell out in fear.  It eventually becomes clear that, rather than being a foe, Tony is one of the very few true friends that Carl has.

Characterization has always been one of Simon’s strong points as an actor.  And while it’s always fun to watch him play a straight-forward good guy, antagonist, or all-out villain, the true peak of his talents can be seen in the characters that keep you guessing---the books you can’t judge by their covers.
~Crystal Rose

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Simon alongside other actors

I’ve been pondering on what my next topic should be. I at last decided that perhaps I would highlight some of my favorite performances Simon made alongside other actors I especially like and/or actors who were quite in the big time—as well as bemoaning the lack of interaction between them in some cases where they appear in the same production but had no scenes together.

As mentioned repeatedly by both of us but especially by Crystal Rose, there is Simon and Darren McGavin. It would be sacrilege not to bring up their amazing chemistry! Crystal speaks of it so well I doubt I could ever hope to do better, but I want to add my voice to how wonderful their time together is. The strength, or at least one of the strengths, of Kolchak: The Night Stalker is their characters’ interaction. There must have been a reason why Simon was called back to play Tony again and again after the initial Night Stalker movie, first in The Night Strangler sequel and then in the TV series proper. No one else could bring that character to life as incredibly as did Simon.

I also greatly enjoy seeing Simon appear alongside Steve Ihnat, in their guest-spot from The F.B.I. Steve was an amazing actor we lost even sooner then we lost Simon. I first became acquainted with him through his performance in The Outer Limits and from there began to deliberately seek out other things he appeared in. I was excited to discover that he and Simon had worked together! Their characters are close friends and their scene, described in detail in my post for The Maze episode, is a joy to watch. Steve and Simon have appeared together other times too, including in the rare series The Name of the Game. I wish I could locate that series, for that reason among others!

In The Outer Limits Simon has several scenes of interaction with Don Gordon. Aside from this episode, I have only seen Don in another venture of The Outer Limits and in the movie Bullitt, which also featured Simon. He is a good actor and I enjoy stumbling across him while watching things.

Bullitt brought Simon in contact with two very well-known actors: Steve McQueen and Robert Vaughn. As the boss of Steve McQueen’s character, Simon portrays a gruff and serious police captain of the highest level of integrity. He trusts Frank Bullitt and tries to allow him the leeway he needs to bring the bad guys to justice. And he refuses to give Robert Vaughn’s character the time of the day when he’s tempted to play politics. Simon only has a handful of scenes in the film, but they’re very memorable. Simon was deliberately chosen for the role by the director, and it’s very easy to see why.

In West Side Story Simon has a scene where he interacts with both Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno. It’s one of my favorites, where we see his character Lieutenant Schrank doing a better job of keeping himself composed than he does when dealing with the teen gangs.

I wish there had been more of him interacting with his apparent police partner, Sergeant Krupke (played by William Bramley). Actually, he only addresses one or two lines to Krupke throughout the film and they have two silent scenes together. Interestingly enough, I think their first silent scene says more about both of them than it might have if they had spoken. It’s only a few seconds long, set during the Tonight Quintet sequence. Krupke is driving, looking for the gangs to try to stop the impending rumble. Schrank is going for a cigarette, agitated. Krupke gives him a worried glance. Their obvious concern shows how deeply they care about the kids and don’t want them to get hurt, a very different image than what they usually seem to project when they’re interacting with said kids. It takes really good actors to make a silent scene come off so well.

One of my earliest encounters with Simon is in Susan Hayward’s intense vehicle I Want to Live! Playing real-life reporter Ed Montgomery, he documents the arrest and trial of Barbara Graham. Although initially he believes her to be guilty of the murder she’s accused of committing, he comes to feel that she is instead innocent and works feverishly to undo the damage his previous stories caused.

He has many scenes with Susan Hayward. Their relationship is shown starting with the antagonistic and gradually developing. His sincere regret comes out very well later, although Barbara does not want to discuss it. By the end of the film she seems to have warmed up to him. She leaves him a last letter, which he reads in the final scene, after her execution. He then trudges back to his car, pulling out his hearing aid so as not to hear any of the busy sounds around him. It’s a very powerful and poignant scene.

Another favorite actor of mine appears in this film, but regrettably, he and Simon do not interact. At least, not that I recall. He is Wesley Lau, probably best remembered as Lieutenant Andy Anderson on Perry Mason. His role in I Want to Live! is small but important, as the deadbeat husband of Barbara Graham. I would have loved to have seen Wesley and Simon play off of each other.

They do both appear in the Gunsmoke episode Miguel’s Daughter, but I can’t remember the extent of their interaction. Wesley plays, I believe, one of the guys harassing Miguel’s daughter. I don’t know if he’s the one Miguel kills or if he’s the other one. I watched that episode before Wesley really meant anything to me. I need to watch it again.

And, according to, they also appear together in the TV movie Crosscurrent. I’ve been trying to get hold of that for some time. I have no idea if they actually have any scenes together in it or not. According to, Crosscurrent was a failed TV series pilot that became a TV movie instead. Were it to have been a series, Simon would have been a regular as the police captain. What a shame it didn’t work out. Then again, if it had, perhaps we wouldn’t have Kolchak: The Night Stalker, as Crosscurrent was made around the same time.

When it comes to main Perry Mason actors, the only other one I can affirm as having interaction with Simon is Raymond Burr. Sadly, they did not interact in either of Simon’s Perry episodes, but on Ironside they did. In the Puzzlelock episode, which I believe Crystal has spoken of, Simon plays a former policeman who is a friend of Ironside’s. He is also the villain of the episode. We have since seen one of his other two Ironside appearances, Love Me in December, in which he plays a reporter. This character initially comes across as a slimeball, but in his last scene his strong reaction to the truth behind the crime suggests that he really is a good person. I don’t recall that he interacted with Ironside in that episode. His other appearance, Lesson in Terror, we have not found yet.

Richard Anderson, Lieutenant Drumm from Perry, played the bad guy in The Night Strangler. He did not interact with Simon. They both appear in an episode of Burt Reynolds’ series Dan August. I have no idea whether Simon interacts with either Richard or Burt in that episode.

I most lament over the fact that Simon never interacted with William Talman, my other most favorite actor right now. They had no scenes together in the one Perry episode in which they both appeared. But I like to think that they met off-screen, on the set. I wonder what they thought of each other.

~Lucky Ladybug

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sgt. Tremaine: Noble to the Bitter End

Some postings ago, LuckyLadybug talked about the needless, tragic death of one of Simon’s characters: Captain Caldwell, from Perry Mason.  Not having seen the episode in question, I couldn’t quite grasp what it must have been like, to see that… until I saw a similar needless death befall one of Simon’s other characters: Stg. Austin Tremaine, from The Raiders.  And I found it just as heartbreaking as Ladybug found Caldwell’s death.

Sgt. Tremaine, much like Captain Caldwell, only appeared onscreen for a very little amount of time, but he was an incredible, morally strong and upright character.  He was a former Southern major in the Civil War, but joined the re-unified US Army after the war, apparently not minding too much that he had to be an NCO after being a major.  When one of his old colleagues from the war, Genera McElroy, starts causing trouble by leading a band of Raiders to pillage wagons and trains in Texas, Tremaine makes it clear to McElroy that, under no uncertain terms, he will have to fight against him if ordered to do so, regardless of their mutual past.

This is, of course, what inevitably happens; Tremaine’s acting commander, Captain Benton, soon has enough of McElroy’s raiding ways, and orders Tremaine to set up a deathtrap for McElroy---conceal a Gatling in what appears to be a lumber shipment to fire upon the raiders with.  Though Tremaine knows that McElroy has to be stopped, he is very much against such an underhanded trap, seeing it as murder.  Despite not wanting any part of it, Benton pulls rank on him, forcing him to go along with it.

When the time comes to spring the trap, however, McElroy has a counter-maneuver that will result in the death of everyone on board the train if Tremaine opens fire.  Benton assumes McElroy to be bluffing (he isn’t) and orders Tremaine to fire; Tremaine points out that McElroy did a similar trick during the Civil War, but Benton refuses to believe him and again orders him to fire—this time, at gunpoint.  When Tremaine again refuses to fire upon McElroy and the raiders, Benton cruelly shoots him, killing him on the spot.

Wild Bill Hickok arrives immediately after this to apprehend Benton, declaring him a murderer under no uncertain terms, and both Hickok and McElroy lament that Tremaine’s death was indeed needless, given the circumstances.  And those watching the movie will surely agree with them.  McElroy does stop his raiding ways, but the overall price is that of Tremaine’s life---a heavy price to pay indeed, given how Tremaine’s only thought had been to save the lives of those on the train.

Despite the role being a tragic one, Simon brings Sgt. Tremaine to life just as well as he does with any of his various other characters.  Due to his limited screentime, very little is known about him.  Did he have a family?  Friends?  Plans for the future?  And yet, with what little he has to work with, Simon clearly shows us how good a person Tremaine is---that he probably knew full well that Benton would kill him if he continued to refuse to open fire on McElroy, yet still willing to hold his ground to save the lives of innocents.  Simon also shows us that Tremaine is a man of honor; he was willing to follow orders up until Benton came up with his underhanded scheme, and even then continued to follow orders until the lives of others were at stake.

As needless as Tremaine’s death is, he did what he had set out to do---save those innocent lives.  And after that, McElroy’s raids stopped, restoring calm once again. 

At the very least, then, Tremaine’s sacrifice was not for nothing.

~Crystal Rose