God in Fiction: The Professionals - Part Three

God in Fiction: The Professionals - Part Three

The Final Installment: Lots of Threatening to Quit, Anger, and Worry, All for One's Partner

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This is part three of my exploration of God in the British show The Professionals.

Slush Fund

Doyle, posing as a man CI5 wants to catch, is left hanging in a dangerous situation. When Cowley and Bodie come across a man killed by the criminal, Bodie gets mad: “I don’t give a toss what he wanted! Like Churchill said, ‘If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen’!”

“Yeah, and it wasn’t Churchill, it was Harry Truman,” Cowley says.

“Ah so what, who cares? The point is, we’ve left Doyle hangin’ by his thumbs in the middle of all this!”

“So we warn him.”

“If it’s not too late. Another foul-up, another piece of incompetence.”

“Another piece?” Cowley says.

“Yeah, that’s what I said, yeah.”

“When was the last?”

Bodie pauses. “Well, who remembers, it’s all the same, isn’t it? Send in boys to do a man’s job, and look at this one, he hasn’t even begun to shave yet!”

“You’ve never fouled up, your records are immaculate?”

“Look, if you want my resignation just ask for it, all right?” Bodie yells.

“I’ll tell you what I want! I want you to get on that phone, warn Doyle and stop behaving like a prima donna!”

“I mean what I say,” Bodie says, dangerously calm.

“Now, is that clear!?”

Bodie does go to warn Doyle, but by that point Doyle has been kidnapped. However, he manages to escape the trunk of his kidnappers’ car when they crash, and eventually finds a phone and calls Bodie.

Bodie is the complete opposite of what he was earlier: relaxed and jovial now that he knows Doyle is okay, he pulls over beside where Doyle is on the side of the road and says, “Do you want a lift? How the hell did you get out here?”

“It’s a long story.”

“Oh, you banged your head,” Bodie says.

“I’ll bang yours in a minute,” Doyle says.

“Now don’t be like that,” Bodie says, opening the door for him.

Despite the casual demeanor, note Bodie's behavior when Doyle was in danger. Bodie cares about Doyle so much he would resign, giving up his position, his pay and what he enjoys. Just like Christ gave up his divine power for us. That’s pretty powerful.

Discovered in a Graveyard

A wonderfully surreal episode with some great cinematography—but that’s not what I’m here for. Doyle is shot by a girl who is friends with some foreign students whom CI5 were investigating, and from there on the story goes back and forth between Doyle’s sem-hallucinatory dreams and Bodie working to get justice for him.

When Bodie learns that something happened at Doyle’s flat he rushes over, and when he can’t get ahold of Doyle over the intercom he runs up the back stairway. Seeing Doyle lying on the floor, he moves quickly to clear Doyle’s airway and staunch the bleeding, but the stricken look on Bodie's face and his rushed and frustrated movements all betray his fear: he runs to get towels, he moves quickly to push them under Doyle’s coat, he throws the phone down in frustration, he sprints down the hall to the car.

One of Doyle’s first dreams is of him and Bodie—perhaps when they first met—and of Bodie saying Doyle’s medical report is “very uncool. Hot temperament. Still a good man, the tops, worth knowing. You won’t fall if they push.” Whether this scene ever actually happened or not, it’s interesting to see Bodie’s present dedication to a man who might not be the one hundred percent best qualified person to be an agent. Regardless of Doyle’s personality “flaws,” Bodie still cares a lot about him.

In the ambulance Bodie leans over Doyle and yells at him to tell him who shot him. When Doyle doesn’t respond Bodie yells, “Ah come on Ray, for Christ’s sake who was it?” His fear seems to be showing itself as anger—of course Bodie wants to get the bad guys, but Doyle has been shot dangerously close to the heart and right now Bodie is clearly mostly concerned with Doyle. At the hospital he tells Cowley he’d prefer to stay there. “And do what? There’s nothing you can do here,” Cowley says, and Bodie acquiesces to leaving.

It’s clear Doyle is questioning living—in his dreams at least—feeling his life in CI5 just results in the death of innocent people, and when the surgeon says Doyle isn’t fighting hard enough Bodie says, “Well I know what he means. Give Ray half a chance, he’d blame himself for the invention of gunpowder.” In that same conversation with Cowley Bodie looks remarkably sad, not his usual tough self. Yet he still believes Doyle will pull through; even later when he says, “Come on Ray, you’ve got to do it for yourself,” the closest he comes to admitting doubt in Doyle’s will, he continues to cheer Doyle on. He stays positive and wants Doyle to stay positive too—just as God does with us. God doesn’t want us to suffer but to trust Him and live.

When Bodie sees Doyle’s finger move he knows just who shot him. It’s amazing. The two of them are so close that just the movement of a finger can convey Doyle’s thoughts to Bodie and confirm to Bodie what he might already be thinking. This shows not only how similarly their minds work as agents, but how well they know each other as human beings. You can’t get much closer than that—except to God.

Later Doyle dreams of his funeral, only for Bodie to break in: “To the pure, all things are pure. Better than working on a lathe. Come on Doyle, don’t let ‘em beat you.” He seems to be commenting on Doyle’s continued hope in humanity and what one might call “innocence”; he seems to be inferring that Doyle is pure, and because he is pure, his work is pure; he can't be blamed for innocent deaths. This sounds a lot like how Christ makes us pure, too. Bodie's other point is that at least working at CI5 enables Doyle to help people where another job wouldn’t. Again, although he may not want to, Bodie looks at the positive for Doyle's sake.

When Bodie finally finds the girl who shot Doyle and gets her to the embassy, the embassy won’t take her because she is dying of a bullet wound herself. Bodie, perhaps seeing Doyle in the girl, takes her and rides with her in the ambulance. For once he doesn’t want to get revenge.

At the end of the episode Bodie carries Doyle’s laundry for him, and it’s obvious both men are glad to be alive and well. Bodie brings up the fact that Doyle was “technically dead, you know” and Doyle plays it off nonchalantly, but Bodie wouldn’t have brought it up if it weren’t important to him.

The Ojuka Situation

While protecting a foreign man (Ojuka) attempting to re-gain power in his own country, Bodie and Doyle run into some trouble with people who want the man dead. When those men try to kill both Bodie and Doyle in an attempt to get at Mr. Ojuka, Doyle and Bodie gun the men down, protecting each other. Doyle, from the landing on the stairs, shoots a man coming up behind Bodie, and the look shared between them is ripe with unspoken communication: Bodie grateful for his life and Doyle thankful he protected his partner. Bodie actually acknowledges this with, “Reckon I owe you one,” but Doyle only responds with, “One down, eight to go” and a slight grin, as if his action was just a part of the day’s work. In a way it is, of course, because he’s always looking out for Bodie.

Later, the men find Doyle and Ojuka and kidnap them. When Cowley gets to the scene he tells this to Bodie, who is at the house of John Avery, the man Cowley thinks might be in charge of kidnapping Ojuka. “We’re a jump behind them, Bodie,” Cowley says. “They’ve taken Ojuka and Doyle with them. Killed the girl at the hotel.”

“What about Doyle?” Bodie asks. Doyle is the first one he asks about, because Doyle is the most important person to Bodie. Ojuka matters, but only so much.

“I want no action ‘til we get there,” Cowley tells Bodie later when the men arrive at the house.

“Yeah, what if they move?” Bodie asks. “Doyle’s in there, you know.” Again, no mention of Ojuka; Bodie is only concerned about Doyle.

“I’ll have no heroics on Doyle’s behalf, Bodie, is that clear?” Cowley says, obviously aware just how much Bodie cares about Doyle.

Bodie looks very annoyed as he responds: “Yes sir.”

And then, of course, he runs toward the house. When he alerts Cowley to Avery’s arrival, Cowley again orders him to stay put, but this time Bodie doesn’t even respond; he just moves closer to the house. It’s obvious he’ll disregard even his boss to help Doyle, implying that Doyle is even more important to Bodie than his job—or his own life. As the men bring Ojuka out of the house, Bodie murmurs, “Bring him out, you bastards, bring him out”—clearly looking for Doyle. He no longer cares about Ojuka in the slightest.

Doyle is able to free himself, but as soon as Bodie hears a gunshot he runs, trading fire with the men. Then Doyle appears, and both he and Bodie focus on Ojuka and the men. But the worry, angst, and relief on Bodie’s face is clear.

“You disobeyed an order, Bodie, I told you to stay put,” Cowley says.

“Couldn’t let them get away with it. How d’you think you’d feel if you let them get him?”

“My concern for Ojuka had nothing to do with insubordination—”

“I wasn’t talking about Ojuka, sir,” Bodie says, and looks at Doyle.

Doyle nods and grins at him, as if to say thanks and perhaps acknowledge Bodie’s concern.

In Conclusion

The Professionals still baffles me because I almost think I’m reading too much into the episodes—but I know I’m not, because the actors’ movements and gestures bear me out. The occasional line supports me too. Bodie and Doyle have a very close relationship; even if this is not regularly shown, it’s hinted at through all the things I mentioned above. The two are very devoted to each other, even when they are angry at each other, even to the point of death. This is the essence of Christ. Though their love is much more subdued than other characters’ because of their culture and environment, it is just as strong as the others’. It really is hard to explain, though; especially with this show, you really have to watch in order to understand the depth of Bodie and Doyle’s relationship. Several episodes are on YouTube.

More works might be added to this series as time goes on, but for now I will let it be as it is. Thanks for reading.

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