Playing With: The Chains of Commanding
Basic Trope: The responsibility, isolation and pressure of being in charge causes someone a great deal of stress.
Back to The Chains of Commanding
- Straight: After one Sadistic Choice too many, The Captain suffers from a Heroic BSOD.
- Exaggerated: The captain Wangsts over every little decision.
- Downplayed: After a successful mission, the team's Binge Montage is intercut with the cap Drowning His Sorrows alone in his office.
- Justified: He genuinely is Surrounded by Idiots, and yet held entirely responsible for every mistake they make. He's A Father to His Men but it's his job to put them in harms way.
- Inverted: The Pointy-Haired Boss was Kicked Upstairs into a position of minimum power for maximum prestige. He doesn't have a lot to worry about.
- Subverted: The captain likes the men to believe that he has the weight of the world on his shoulders, as they respect him more and are less likely to want to usurp his position. But really, he loves being able to boss people around and eat off the good china while Sgt. Rough does his dirty work for him.
- Double Subverted: ...but this is just another facade, this one for the benefit of his fellow officers. The Bad Dreams he suffers from every night show him to be more conflicted than he lets on.
- Parodied: An Affably Evil character angsts about the stresses of being Dangerously Genre Savvy. He doesn't enjoy shooting loyal servants in the face while putting deadly enemies in easily-escapable traps, but it's what's expected of him...
- Zig Zagged: Depending on the severity of the situation and how much is at stake, it's either good to be the king or it sucks to be the king.
- Averted: The Captain's job isn't shown to be any harder than anyone else's.
- Fans have taken against the Captain for being too cold and bloodthirsty, while in the writers' heads he's a Reasonable Authority Figure. They decide to give him A Day in the Limelight to try to make him more sympathetic by showing the kind of problems he has to handle.
- The plotline, culminating in the Cap taking leave to sort his head out, is an excuse for the character to be Put on a Bus that can be easily recalled later if needs be.
- "As the Good Book Says, "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown"." "That was Shakespeare. Can you numbskulls get nothing right?"
- "I've got a phone call in five minutes that could determine whether millions of people live or die. I get that you're pissed, but could you come back later? I'm a little busy right now."
- Invoked: The crew dislike their new boss, and try to stress him into stepping down.
- Exploited: The Starscream notices the cracks beginning to show, and tries to get his boss to break so the spot will be open to him.
- Defied: "I knew the pressure of command when I took the job, I'm not going to whine about it now"
- Discussed: "Hey, Lance, lay off the Cap. You couldn't do the job he does."
- Conversed: "How does this guy have any time to plan missions with all the angsty brooding he does?"
- Deconstructed: The captain has a mental breakdown. He comes to realise that if he's going to be an effective commander he has to learn to compartmentalise this stuff, and if he can't do that he might be better off letting someone else lead.
- Reconstructed: The captain has a mental breakdown. He decides that as long as he Does What He Has To Do, if he beats himself up about it afterward that's his problem.
- Played For Laughs: The Captain is The Eeyore, and his incessant ineffectual grumbling about how hard his job is is a Running Gag.
- Played For Drama: The captain's leadership becomes affected by his mental state, and he tries to hide what he perceives as "weakness" from everyone else, only giving him further stress to deal with.
Back to The Chains of Commanding