Alex is a character that seems to magically appear at the right time for the group. To quote Alex everything about him is quite magic. This is a look into the personality and motivations of a character we did not spend enough time with yet there is quite a bit of meat to him despite the time disparity.
From what we know of Alex’s childhood we can gather a couple of things. We know that he tends to move around bouncing to one place to the next. Considering he has stated that he has never had a true friend before and that he is use to being the new guy. He is use to not having many attachments in his life and living his life in a random fashion. We also know that his grandmother was a strong influence in his life. She was eccentric and uncouth in many ways. He grew up hearing the myths and legends of his grandfather through his grandmother. From the way his grandma talked about his grandfather we can tell he was a charming, adventurous, and risk taking guy. This contrasts drastically with Alex’s father who is busy, absent, tired, and looks as if he leads quite a conventional life. His father often does not listen to Alex and throws money at Alex as if it will create a bond or fill the minimum duty of being a father. Alex has a hard time standing up to his Dad in the way that he wants though he tries especially when it comes to keeping his grandmother from a home.
The key though to understanding Alex is with the grandfather, because in many ways he sounds quite similar to the Alex we have come to know. A thrill seeking and flirty guy who lives for the day and may not think of the consequences of his actions. Alex’s grandfather died at sea due to his thrill seeking. Something that may have caused Alex’s father to become more conservative in his approach. It happens quite a bit. Conservative parents often raise rebellious children and rebellious parents often raise conservative children. Alex craves and seeks escape in his life from the entrapments of the conventional, the mundane, and the demands of his father.
Alex has a game he plays that in many ways could be seen as a strange religion. He puts a bunch of things he must do on an index card (he has multiple) with the numbers one through six. Six is always run away. These numbers coincide with the numbers that exist on a die. Alex throughout his day will randomly through his die and whatever number shows up he MUST complete the task that is attached to that number. This purposely throws in adventure, danger, risk, and also allows his life to be dictated by chance oppose to choice. A think an interesting debate in terms of this religion is that on the surface it may seem as if Alex is brave but is it bravery or escapism. The only constant on the index card is “run away.” To remove yourself from a situation, a setting, a person, or to just be free of the emotional attachments that may seem to bring people down. At the same time though Alex seems to crave a friend and he is excited to find Liv someone who shares many of his adventurous instincts.
He also does this in terms of his sexual relations as well. Relying on a social networking tool that locates available gay men in the area who are interested in a random hook up. Again, bravery or escapism? Maybe both. Despite this though Alex is a character that offered the main gain a bit of an escape and it also gave them someone who was removed from Grace who could be more objective. His storyline was closely entwined with Liv’s; however, he also strikes a friendship with Nick who he tries to help on multiple occasions. Nick being somewhat of an outsider even in his own group of friends even if things have improved drastically over the last year he still seems separate at times. Rich and Alo each other. Liv and Mini have history. Mini and Alo are connected romantically (though he may not be aware of this), Matty is gone, and things with Franky are well complicated. Nick ends up being the odd man out most of the time and Alex I feel sees this. He sees many things due to him being an objective outsider including Alo’s jealousy over Mini giving attention to other males.
When I wrote the review for Alex’s episode I made an observation that I still find quite beautiful. In many ways the gang is a victim of chance and consequences. They all have an event at the forefront of their minds. The car accident. The event that moved everything forward. Then this new person walks into their lives. This person manufactures chance and accepts consequences. He also loses someone and accepts it as part of life. He is in many ways what the others cannot be at the moment. While watching his episode the contrast was striking.
Alex was a great character that was used mainly as a plot device; however, he is still a character that many have responded to. Plot device or not. This charming, adventurous, and risk taking individual changed the game for Liv, Nick, and the audience.
(gifs by jssula)