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Written by Timothy Sexton
Fergus is a particularly lackluster terrorist…or freedom fighter, depending on your perspective. A thirty-something Irish with a perpetually hangdog expression and a devotion to following the dictates of where his nature may lead him, whatever the consequences, he essentially neither terrorist nor freedom fighter, but simply a good man. When loyalty is put to the test, he truly does try to come through and if he fails, he doesn’t shy away from taking on any guilt that may be appropriate. His nature leads him from kidnapping a British soldier to becoming friendly with the hostage to promising to check in on the soldier’s girlfriend to falling in love with the soldier’s girl to staying committed to her even when she turns out to have a penis to taking the blame for a murder she committed and going to jail. Fergus is very much a bad terrorist, but he's very much a good man.
Jody is just another British soldier stationed in Northern Ireland looking to have fun where he can get it. His interest in the political struggles between the IRA and England extend to doing whatever his commanders may one day order him to do. The only reason he got abducted in the first place is because he was looking to get lucky with a blonde named Jude. He loves cricket and a girl named Dil back in London. His lack of any notable political ideology makes him an ideal partner in the odd couple that develops between Jody and Fergus. Unlike Fergus, however, Jody ultimately reveals a nature that isn’t trapped permanently in the moment, but may have been shaped just enough by his military experience to design a longer-term strategy with a devastating payoff.
Dil works in a hair salon by day and spends most evenings at a club popular with transgender females and drag queens who perform on stage. Dil also performs. Her relationship with Jody is less than clear, though it is clear that Jody knows she is transgender when he urges Fergus to check in on her in the event of his death. It is also clear that Jody purposely keeps this vital bit of information to himself.
Jude is most assuredly a true believer and a fine terrorist…or freedom fighter, depending on your perspective. She expresses few qualms about using her sexuality to entice targets of IRA ire and the presumption that she would have no problems with literally sleeping with the enemy seems remarkably grounded. Blonde when she lures Jody into the trap, by the time she arrives in London to force Fergus into one last act of terror, she is sporting a very short and very black bob haircut. Ultimately, Jude proves that in the world of true believers, the female is every bit as cold-blooded as the male.
The leader of the small IRA cell charged with kidnapping Jody for the purpose of ransoming him in exchange for the release of IRA prisoners held by the British is also a true believer and better terrorist than Fergus, though perhaps not as good as Jude. Like Jude, Maguire is presumed dead by Fergus following the British military assault on the safe house where Jody was being held hostage. And like Jude, he shows up months later in London as a key player in the planned assassination of a judge. Fergus has been essentially blackmailed into taking part, but his delay in arriving at the appointment time and place force Maguire to act impulsively and in the process he winds up dead after successfully carrying out the assassination.
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