FB: #iknowthatfeelbro

Flo and I both believe in character change, and there are some strong examples of it through my career. Fans’ most central character goes from a stuttering teenage virgin wallflower to a battle-scarred retiree in a poly marriage. Penny and Aggie’s title teenage characters go from enemies to allies to (briefly) lovers before ending the series as adults with a hopeful but uncertain future.

Even among Guilded Age characters, there are some dramatic turns. When we met him, Penk was a homesick nobody: now he’s the troubled leader of a battalion with increasing political power and responsibility, and in the future, he’ll be basically president of an empire. Carol’s gone from chirpy, cheerful assistant to a hag-ridden fusion of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, and she’ll play a role in the series climax that neither her past nor her present self could’ve imagined.

There are also characters who stubbornly refuse to evolve in any meaningful way, even as the world around them shifts or their own circumstances change. Taro’s one of those, and for all his depths, so is Harky.

Payet Best, for most of the series’ run, seemed to belong to that category…and that’s what may make his change unique. He had false starts, superficial transformations, but always seemed to end up right back in his “skill exceeded only by his ego” template. Until now. I’m sure he was a frustrating read for that reason, sometimes…but it’s moments like this that, I hope, made all the buildup worth it.