Just wondering if I was the only one who felt bad for General Alexi in skeleton key I mean I know he tried to bomb Russia, start a world war, and create a European wasteland but still…just having these feelings…
He’s one of my favourite AR villains (and I think he’s Horowitz’s too).
To me he’s one of the most human of the bad guys.
He lost his son. He broke off his marriage. He lost his position of power. He saw his country turn its back on the ideals he believed in and sacrificed so much for.
And then, just as his plans to set the world back to how he believes it should be, he runs into Alex,a boy with a name so similar to his own, and who’s looks and actions remind him so much of his dead son.
He cares about Alex. In Alex he sees his own strength and bravery, he sees an opportunity to be the father to an orphan who lost his parents before he ever got to know them, and he sees a second chance at raising a son.
But Alex being Alex, he can’t allow him to get away with his plans. He can’t allow him to do something that will lead to the deaths of thousands of people, no matter how righteous the general may think the cause is.
He fights back. He does everything he can to escape and alert the authorities. He pushes the general so far that he realises Alex will stop at nothing to achieve a goal that is the exact opposite of his. He has to choose between one boy, and changing the entire world in a way which he believes will ultimately save it.
So he chains Alex up at the detonation site, knowing that if his plan works, he’ll lose Alex, and that if it fails, the boy will live. What he doesn’t predict is that Alex will get loose and be the one to stop the count down. Or that when confronted, Alex will throw away the one piece the bomb can’t work without, knowing that by doing so, he will be shot.
Except when it finally comes down to it, the general can’t do it. He sees Alex, the boy he came to think of as a second son, willingly facing death to save the lives of strangers. He sees himself and his lost son in Alex. He can’t kill him. But all his plans have fallen apart. He’ll be carted off to prison, to either rot there forever, or else to suffer a little ‘accident’, or be tortured by the Russian government for information.
He’s got nothing left to live for. So instead of killing his enemy, the boy he’s come to love, he shoots himself right in front of Alex.
And Alex, who’s just saved the lives of so many people, finds himself the cause of this man’s suicide. He sees the general put a bullet in his own head, just a few steps away from him. All because of Alex.
That’s a terrible thing for anybody to witness, let alone a 14 year old boy.