While Gale probably isn’t your favorite character by any stretch, this scene is heartbreaking and encapsulates Gale at his core more than any of his other actions. He is fiercely loyal toward his own, to a fault at that, but loyal nonetheless. The burden of feeling responsible for people dying when you think you could have done more eventually becomes unbearable for Gale. It’s a terrible thing to have to live with, even though we as audiences know that Gale in his utmost effort to save District 12. As a result of this chip on his shoulder, his moral resolve is broken and he no longer cares about innocent collateral damage, something that I don’t believe the Gale before the bombings would have necessarily agreed with, at least not with such vigor and malice. Although Gale has made alot of shitty choices, he too is a caution to the wind about the consequences of war, that the darkest moments of war can reveal the ugliest sides of humanity, something that was intended by Suzanne Collins no doubt.
You do not have to like or even respect Gale’s other decisions, but you should understand that his later actions are influenced by the anguish that he will always carry with him, and that is not all his fault.
A thick fog rolled down between the lines of dun-coloured houses, and the opposing windows loomed like dark, shapeless blurs, through the heavy yellow wreaths. Our gas was lit, and shone on the white cloth, and glimmer of china and metal, for the table had not been cleared yet. Sherlock Holmes had been silent all the morning, dipping continuously into the advertisement columns of a succession of papers, until at last, having apparently given up his search, he had emerged in no very sweet temper to lecture me upon my literary shortcomings.
- Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Copper Beeches