Friday, September 18, 2009

Blog #20 - Escaping Your Fate

Even the bus is #42!

In the episode of the Unusuals, "42" that we watched in class, we saw how Detective Leo Banks tried to escape his perceived fate (to die at 42 b/c of family members who had done so). As a foil to Detective Banks, there was the psychic who wholeheartedly accepted her fate and did just about everything she could to meet it with open arms.

On the other hand, Detective Cole has altered his destiny of crime and reinvented himself as a religious young man who became police officer. His former accomplice (and villain in this episode, Frank Lutz) appears to be very jealous of Cole's transformation and demands that Cole pay some sort of restitution for this. In the end, detectives Schraeger and Walsh cover for Cole and Lutz ends up dead. In essence, they approve of Cole's new life by not turning him in.

And in a superstitious way, Banks, Walsh and Delahoy refused to go into the hospital for various reasons. But, it could all be just a way of avoiding the ever-present danger of death prevelant in their job.

Each person, in their own way, dealt with their fate either by changing it (Cole, Banks), accepting it (the psychic), fighting it (Lutz), or avoiding it (Walsh and Delahoy).

Question: If you had a similar fate with one of the characters in the story, pick one and tell us how would you deal with it? Where would you fit into this scenario? Why?

Due Monday, Sept. 21. (150 words minimum).


  1. If my destiny was to die at age 42 like Detective Banks, I would try to change it. Forty-two is an age at which I imagine myself married with children. It would be very devastating to leave a family behind. Beyond leaving behind a family, forty-two is a very short life and I don’t think I will have fulfilled all my life’s goals and aspirations by this time. But truly, if I had a psychic trying to predict my death and sway me into believing it, I would tell her: “Sorry, but your dumb and I need to go live my life.” And even if it were possible that my father and grandfather had each died at age 42 and the number 42 would just keep randomly showing up everywhere, I would probably think it was funny and once again continue living my life. I don’t believe that destiny works this way. Personal fate is chosen by each individual, there is no hierarchy that predetermines fate at birth. I believe in God, but I don’t believe that he assigns destinies and I definitely don’t believe that if there is such a thing as fate/destiny, that a fortune teller or psychic can tell it to you. If you believe that everything is destined to happen and nothing can be changed, then you're extracting the freedom out of your life. Certainly, I would not believe in a fate of “death at 42” as Detective Banks believes.
    Nawar Dimitry 2nd Period

  2. If I had a similar fate to Detective Banks, where I was going to die at 42 because of family members had done so, I wouldn’t try to change it. The biggest reason why I wouldn’t try to change it is that I don’t believe that I’m going to die just because two of my family members did. I would just see that as a strange coincident, I wouldn’t think of it as “fate.”
    Even if I did accept that as fate, I wouldn’t try to change it. I wouldn’t put my life on hold or make living a chore just to survive past an age, because if I did survive to 43 I would always feel like I’m about to day, because I made it past the day when I should have died so whoever controls my fate would have thought that I cheated and would be looking for revenge.
    If it really was my fate, then no matter how hard I try to change it, I will die at 42. The only way I could possibly get passed that age would be if my fate were to get passed 42. Therefore any efforts I made to “cheat” my “fate” would all be futile. So I just wouldn’t try to change it. If it’s going to happen it is going to happen. I wouldn’t embrace it and do everything I could to fulfill my “fate”, but I wouldn’t freak out and wear a bulletproof vest around for a year.

    2nd hour

  3. In the episode of the Unusuals that we watched, each one of the characters had a different reaction to the thought of death and their fate. For example, the psychic embraces her fate by trying to force it upon herself. She knows that she will die in a bus, but what I don’t think she realizes is that she herself causes this incident. If I were put in her position about knowing when and where I would die, I would accept this fate as she did but I would not do anything to try and make it happen sooner. This seems a bit ridiculous. If she really believed in fate she would just let it happen naturally. I would go about my daily routine as usual, and then what happened to me would not be my fault; and my fate would occur as it is supposed to. Perhaps the psychic changed her fate by trying to make something happen to herself.
    Claire Hayes

  4. If I had a fate like the one Leo Banks has, I would probably handle it similar the way he’s handling it. I don’t think it’s the best way, but people don’t always accept their fate especially when it’s a fate that determines whether you’ll live or die. I connected with his character because I’m paranoid and neurotic . I think that everything such as time , apartment numbers, dates, and other things are signs of something. If the psychic lady had told me that something was going to happen to me at 42 I would stay in the house for the rest of my life because I’m not ready to die. My life is not together, and what if when I die and that’s the end of the road? Even if it is my fate and I’m going to die anyway I would stay in the house b/c I’d just rather die in my own environment. I would feel safer. I could really see myself wearing a bullet proof vest everyday, but I’m so paranoid I would be thinking.. “what about my head ! And like should I wear a helmet ?” Only thing I would do differently is try to start a family before for example if I found out I was going to die at 42 at age 17, I wouldn’t spend as much time in college and I would start my family immediately. Because that’s what I want to do with my life - share it with family. That’s my fate. -Shar

  5. If I had to pick any character that I’m like in the show, it would have to be Detective Cole. I say this because it’s not so much that he changed his fate as much as he just lived his life the way he wanted to. The way Det. Cole swapped from being a criminal to becoming a police officer is very much like how I switched from being an all-around jerk to a guy who just likes a laugh. I believe that Cole and I saw the changes in our lives very much the same way; that I didn’t like who I was, so I went and changed in order to like myself. And if someone says that I ran from my destiny, I would say to them “in that case, you ran from your destiny too”. The way they are defining running from destiny is people making changes in their lives, and I know no one who hasn’t made an adjustment to their life here or there. Adam Sadler

  6. If my fate was to die at 42 like detective banks I would definetl try to change my fate. 42 is a really young age to die and i wouldn't look forward to living my life. At 42 i am expecting to be stelled down happily married with children. I should have accomplished all my goals that I set for my life. I would try to change my fate by chooseing a safe and stable carreer.I would also live somewhere where the crime rate is low. I think i would always be worried and cautions of my surroundings and life period. Fate is not chosen and its persoanl. A random number shouldnt determine your life and life is what you make it. Life is a improtant word and its everything. Ive never experinced anything such as beleiveing in a number but i fit in the senario by being worried about life and what type of ending it could come to.
    Jasmine Cain 2nd hour

  7. I would prefer to be Detective Cole. His destiny was really detemined by him when it came to telling on himself and admitting to his wrong. I believe detective cole really wasn’t in that bad of a position, seeing as how he served his time. Although he changed his identity to run from his past he still should have just admitted to other what his past was really about and how he changed. I would have never tried to run from my destiny after I served my time I would try to start over and admit my wrongs. If you let someone have control over your future you will never be able to let things go. Frank Lutz tried to blackmail him, that when I believe he should have came forward and told the cops what was going on to lock his old time buddy up. Detective Cole finally did tell on his old friend and in the end he felt free from his past.
    Alanna Albritton

  8. I personally do not believe in fate or destiny. I believe in choices and coincidences. I am definitely afraid of death, especially since I’m not sure what would come after.
    If I was told I was going to die at a certain age I would do everything in my power to stop it, however I wouldn’t cover my desk in padding, that is a bit extreme. If I were in Det. Banks’ position and a Psychic tells me that my life is about to end, I’d choose to discard that kind of information, and not spend every second dwelling my own mortality. Although Banks believes in fighting his fate, and gives that advice to the Psychic, he spends his time being paranoid about the “signs” that are presented to him regarding his potential death at age 42. For example, one of the bus robberies took place on “fourth” and “second” street and had 42 passengers, the numbers on the cash register read “$42.42” at another crime scene. To me these things are just coincidences.


  9. Daniel Sherwood
    If my fate was similar to that of Detective Banks I think I would have had a similar reaction. However, I don’t think that I would have been as concerned as the Detective was. I think the makers of the show wanted you to think that he was overreacting so they had him do some things that were clearly paranoid. For example; the wearing of the bulletproof vest to sleep, or the wrapping of his desk in foam, were probably a little unnecessary. But the fact that the crime took place on 4oth and second or the bus was number 42 was understandably a little scary. So if I would have been in his position I would try to avoid things that looked like they would end in definite death but I wouldn’t go overboard. I think that a fate, if important enough, will find it’s way to be fulfilled and If he was meant to die at age 42 he would have died.

  10. Chelsea Rosenbaum

    If my fate was to die at age 42 like Detective Banks I wouldn’t run from my fate, nor would I chase my fate. I would just accept my fate. I believe that there is no way to run from fate, because by running from it, you are actually running into it. I think that chasing after fate is an even stupider idea. It is FATE, it is what is going to happen regardless. That is why I would accept fate. If I know I am going to die at 42, then sweet, ill make sure to get some life insurance. I would then make sure to live life with out regrets. Instead of going to Italy on my 43rd birthday, I would go on my 41st birthday. I wouldn’t keep grudges, but mostly I would live my life the same way I always had. There is no point worrying about the enviable. This is the way I live my life. I am one of those people that believes that something catastrophic is going to happen on December 12, 2012. For a while I was stressed constantly worrying about the fact that we were all going to die, and people telling me it wasn’t going to happen didn’t make me feel any better. One day I was sitting in my room, thinking about it, and I realized that it didn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if I am going to die when I am 50 or when I am 19, either way I am going to live my life the same regardless. I am still going to wake up for school in the morning tomorrow, and still have to do my homework the next time. There is no point in worrying about something you cant control. When it comes to fate, if something is meant to be then it will happen in the end. Would you pick up a book and read the first chapter and then skip to the last chapter? I personally would rather read the book and live my life, and experience the raising and falling action.

  11. If I had to pick a character with a similar fate to mine, I would pick detective Banks. I think I am similar to him in many ways. I am scared of death and get freaked out my common numbers. I think that detective Banks made a big deal of the number 42, because of his family history. I know that if I had family history with my relatives dying at 42, I would be freaking out just like him. I think that overall, Banks fate was not to die at 42 because he saw the physic and that led him to not getting on the bus and doing different things to not get killed. I don’t think that Banks changed his fate, I think that everything happens for a reason, and Banks was a good example for that. If my fate was that I were to die at 42, and I was a detective cop, I think that I would have been just as paranoid as Banks, and would have taken every number that has to do with the number 42 very seriously.

  12. If I was Detective Banks and I thought I had a “fate” that I was going to die at 42, I would definitely try to fight it. I don’t really believe in having a “fate” such as where I think I know when I am about to die. If both my family members have died at 42, I would consider it more so ironic, rather than “fate.” I would also probably think it would be scary if I did die at 42, considering the circumstances, but I wouldn’t be so hung up on it. I would like to believe that each human has the ability to choose their own fate. As each person grows, they make decisions for themselves and their life and the choices they make gradually becomes their fate because it’s what they have decided their life should be like. I do believe in god, but I don’t think that he decides a certain fate for everyone. I think your fate is something your gradually receive on your own by the choices you make throughout your life.

  13. If I had the same fate as Detective Cole, I believe that I would have also chosen to run away from my previous life and start again. I think that for the most part, Cole’s life was not that much affected by fate. His life of crime was his own choice, not something predetermined for him. Although some criminals come from situations where they need to break the law to survive, his choice of crimes seemed to indicate that there was no necessity behind his actions. Cole didn’t go against his fate by turning his life around and reinventing himself, he simply exhibited more free will. Although his old partner in crime does come back, this isn’t his fate trying to bring him back to what he was meant to do, it’s simply the repercussions of previous decisions that he had made. I believe that Cole made the right choices, even when encountered with challenges.
    -Alex Aginian

  14. In my opinion, I think that Detective Banks and I would have a similar fate in that scenario. Unlike the psychic, I wouldn’t accept my fate of possibly dying at the age of 42. And even if I expect that I would meet that fate I would do as best as I can do avoid it or delay it as long as possible. When the psychic said “Why fight it, it’s your destiny?” I agreed about what Detective Banks said, “Don’t go on the Bus.” If I knew that there was a certain place that would endanger my life, I wouldn’t even take a second thought about going to that place.
    Know I wouldn’t take all the precautions that Detective Banks took. I would be less cautious and if the worse happens on a random day then it does. But a disturbing part of the episode for me was the psychic frequently put herself in danger and then chalked it up to fate and destiny. It seemed like it was her own free will to put herself in danger, and eventually we learned the Detective Banks saved her from her predicted death. However since she once again put herself in a dangerous situation she lost her life. To me that was an example about how that wasn’t fate and how she chose to put herself in that predicament.

    Collin Parson

  15. If I had to pick a character from the show, it would have to be Detective Banks. I say this because we are both similar in how we think our life should be. Det. Banks was trying to escape his apparent fate, to die at 42 because that is what age his family members had died at. Throughout the episode, he does everything imaginable to avoid, but then he comes across the psychic, who is ready for her fate and will do anything to make it come true. Personally, I would try to change my fate if I knew about a family history like that. For example, breast cancer runs through my family and there is always a chance that I could get it and I am scared to death of the word cancer. If I were put in Detective Banks’ shoes, I would act the same way he did because it is scary to think about death and all that stuff at a relatively young age.

  16. In the episode of the Unusuals, "42" that we watched in class, we saw how Detective Leo Banks tried to escape his perceived fate (to die at 42 b/c of family members who had done so). If I were him I would go about life as usual. I would not want to spend my days walking around with a bullet proof vest on and thinking about everything as a danger to my existance. I do not believe in fate so I do not think I would worry about dieing at age forty two. If I did then I would worry every day. And then what would happen if I lived until forty three; would there have been a mistake in fate? Would I still have to worry about dieing everyday because I outlived fate? Would I need to worry even more because now I was at higher risk of dieing? Or would it mean that I would not have to worry about dieing anymore? The answer is no, it is just an unfortunate coincidence that Detective Banks' family members died at age forty two. Also, whether I am forty two or eighty two, I can die. I guess I can die at any age, even if I was walking around wearing a bullet proof vest everyday like Detective Leo Banks.

    Lauren Peterson

  17. If I had to have a similar fate with one of the characters in the Unusuals episode we watched, it would be the fate of Detective Cole. When he was young, he made the wrong choices and hung around with the wrong crowd. He got in a lot of trouble with his friends robbing people and causing other harm. He moved from city to city trying to make his life better but his past kept following him. His friend lutz wouldn’t leave him alone. Cole chose a new path but lutz couldn’t accept that. I would handle it almost the same except I wouldn’t have caved into lutz’s blackmail. I would have informed the other officers about what was going on and get their help to solve the problem. But I respect Cole for making the right decisions and changing his fate for the better. Afterwards everything worked out perfectly and went back to normal. A famous line that I believe in from Led Zeppelin is “there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road your on.”

    Jason S.
    2nd hour

  18. Before I answer this question, let me just say that I believe fate and free will go hand in hand. Where we are going is already planned out for us (fate), but how we get there (free will) is up to us. The physic seemed to only embrace the fate side, rather than the free will. What I don’t understand is why fate automatically foreshadows death. If fate directly means death then of course we all have fates, because we all have to die. Why can’t fate be something we’re meant to do with our lives? Or something/ someone we are mean to dedicate our lives to? If I were in the physics situation, I would see my fate as using my gift to help people. Maybe I will die on a bus, in a robbery, but I can use the time that I have to predict other crimes, like she did for a short while in the show.


  19. If I had to choose one of that fates that was shown in the show The Unusuals, I would pick the fate of Detective Cole. I would pick Cole because I do not believe in destiny, in the sense that everything is pre-determined from the day I am born. Of course when you make certain causes, specific effects are bound to occur if you continue to action based upon them. But you can definitely change your destiny. It is all up to you. Life is like a drama, and we are the protagonist, star, hero, and writer of our lives. I admire Cole’s character because he summoned forth the ability to completely change his circumstances, and he is now leading a much better life. If he continued the life of a thief, he would not have accomplished what he has now. He proves that you write your own destiny, if other characters in the show knew of his past, I believe he would be a great inspiration and a form of actual proof that everything is up to the individual, not some force beyond our capacity.

    John Cassetta
    2nd Hour

  20. If I had to pick a similar fate to one of the characters I would pick the physic. If I was put in her position I would be very scared and nervous about what was going to happen. I would wonder how badly it would hurt or if I would feel any pain at all. But if I had been married and my husband was dead then I would not be as scared to leave Earth as most other people. If dying that day was my actual fate then I would have to accept that and deal with it as much as possible. I think if God’s plan was for me to die at that certain time then I feel there is a reason for my death and I wouldn’t try to fight it. I guess I would fit into the scenario by accepting my fate because I don’t think there would be much I could to do stop it. In the end if I were the physic I would one hundred percent accept my fate and what would happen to me, even if death was my fate.
    Chelsea Kozlowski

  21. To answer the question “Which philosopher makes more sense to you?” I would have to say I agree with the majority of the responses from the rest of my class. I am a bit stuck between the two great philosophers; however I am leaning towards Aristotle. I believe in my senses over reason, but I still think reason is important. If I smell chocolate chip cookies, and can see them, how are they not there?
    Also, I would have to disagree with Plato’s theory that we are all born with innate ideas. I learn from observing (using my senses) and the experiences that I have had, not because I’ve these ideas from birth. Plato comes up with an idea of a perfect society, a utopia where different people have different jobs based on what they’re good at and the power is balanced. While Plato contemplated a perfect of society, Aristotle focused on improving the society in which he lived in. In Plato’s Utopia, the philosophers dictated, leaving all the power to one social class. Aristotle disagreed with this. He believed that the power should be spread out between classes. I too believe that political power shouldn’t be given completely to one group of people. To me, that is more of a fair balance than Plato’s idea of balance.



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