Reinhardt Wilhelm is
100% to blame for Jesse McCree.
Okay, bear with me
So, I know everybody
likes to act like McCree dressed as a cowboy from his time with the
Deadlock gang, but the Deadlocks have their own, distinct Aesthetic.
They’re Bikers (As we see with Torbjorn’s Deadlock skin). Sure,
they may be based out of the southwest, but their mark is all over
diners and gas stations and garages.
by their hideout, they’re into some very big, very Dangerous stuff.
But, it must be more
than that. If they were just another criminal syndicate, Overwatch
would be the ones to fight them. But, we know Gabriel Reyes was
involved, which means that Blackwatch was given the job. The
operation to take them down was a sensitive one, so an overt
Overwatch operation was out of the question.
Which brings us to
tiny little Jesse McCree. A hardened criminal by fifteen, embroiled
in a life of violent crime. This would not be the smooth talking
gunslinger with a southern drawl and a ridiculous belt. This would be
an angry child who models himself after the violent criminals whose
fraternity he has joined.
So, where does
Reinhardt Wilhelm come into this? Why, Fareeha Amari of course.
is planning to take on the Deadlock Gang. This is a dangerous
assignment. He’ll be going in Personally.
Fareeha is a
soldier’s daughter, she knows about Violence. Renegade Omnics,
terrorists, Talon, ect, but she’s still young, and Ana has been
trying to keep her away from the more gruesome details of what
Overwatch does. So, when she starts hearing chatter about the
Deadlock Gang, she starts to ask questions. Who is the Deadlock Gang?
Now, Ana Amari
probably would have said “Don’t worry about that Fareeha.”
Jack Morrison would
probably have said “Bad Guys, but don’t worry, we’re going to
Gabriel Reyes would
probably have said “A small army of sadistic murderers, involved in
running guns, drugs, prostitution, assassinations, extortion, and who
knows what else across the whole southwest. The world will be a
better place when they’re in the ground”
And all of
those would have been decent answers (Although Gabe, you should
But, Fareeha didn’t
ask any of them. She asked Reinhardt Wilhelm.
Wilhelm, as we all know, is RIDICULOUS.
Jesse James!” he says, as he mimes quick-drawing a pistol. “They
rob trains, steal cattle, and tie young maidens to railroad tracks!”
Reyes has shut down a major Deadlock Operation. Sure, some of the
roaches got away, but the rest are either dead, or in Blackwatch
custody, ready for Jack to make a big show of handing them over to
And he’s left with
a skinny, battered teenager named Jesse. The kid fought like a demon
when Blackwatch kicked down the door, even after a bullet hit his arm
somewhere during the firefight (Yeah, that’s not looking too good.
Stupid kid should have kept his head down). But, Gabriel Reyes knows
Evil, and this kid ain’t it. He’s just a kid with nowhere to go
(just another kid from LA with nowhere to go) who jumped at the first
chance he saw (Hello Son. Reyes is it? How would you like a chance to
serve your country), and let that decision define who he was(Sgt
Gabriel Reyes, Test Subject #2693, Ready for the experiment, Sir!).
If he put him
in chains, that would be it. Justice would not be kind to a Deadlock,
even after he got out, he’d be a criminal for life.
But, it wasn’t too
late. He could be given another chance.
So, Jesse McCree was
recruited into Blackwatch, and brought back to Overwatch HQ.
Where he found
himself in an odd place. He was hardly the only Overwatch agent with
no family, the Omnic crisis had killed lots of people, but the other
agents tended to be adults. They had homes to go back to, and they
were not considered a pet project for Gabriel Reyes ( I pulled you
from that warehouse, kept you out of jail, and got you a new arm. I
vouched for you. Don’t make me regret it, Ingrate). So, he kind of
lives at HQ, and one day he meets Fareeha.
you were with the Deadlock gang. You don’t look like an
“Well, what does an outlaw look like?”
And so Jesse McCree
gets a Hat.
Next comes the
drawl. It’s a joke at first, when they’re hanging out around the
base between work (And Gabriel Reyes puts him to work. There are no
slackers in Blackwatch, Ingrate!), he puts on the hat and does the
voice. But before long, he gets used to it. Back in the Deadlock gang
they swore every third word and never called anybody “Sir”. But
he finds that doing the Voice helps filter that out, keeps his
language clean (I didn’t bring you here so you could insult your
betters, Ingrate!), and even if it sounds a bit silly, the Sirs and
Maams come out naturally.
Hanging out with
Fareeha helps cement the cheesy lines. Ana “Mama Bear” Amari
wouldn’t dream of trusting Gabriel Reyes not to screw this kid up
even more, but Ana strictly prohibits any soldier talk around
Fareeha. There is to be no discussion of Combat Operations, or raids
against Talon, or getting pinned down by sniper fire until an
airstrike levels the buildings opposite. Plus, the stuff he does with
Blackwatch is classified so high that he’s not sure he’s allowed
to know about it. So, any conversations about “Work” quickly
devolve into cheesy lines about “Dispensing Justice” and
“Stopping the Bad Guys”. Deadly firefights become high-noon
shootouts. Talon Assassins become “Dastardly outlaws”.
Even when Fareeha
stops being amused by it, Jesse McCree keeps it up. He gets to be
known as The Cowboy Guy, which is better than being the stray dog
Reyes dragged in. The Boots and the Belt come shortly afterwards,
gifts from his fellow agents.
When Overwatch falls
apart, Jesse McCree doesn’t know who he is. Jesse McCree, Deadlock
Rebel was clearly going nowhere. Jesse McCree, Blackwatch Agent?
Sure, he was good at it, but Blackwatch is gone.
somewhere, around the table, he’d told stories of Jesse McCree,
Gunslinger, Defender of the Innocent and dispenser of Justice. He’d
never actually been that man.
But hey, he could
give it a try. After all, he had the hat for it.
I don’t think she’s written as some sort of siren luring him onto the rocks. But I think the female protagonist is [usually] going to encourage the male away from danger and away from violence and I like the way we’ve made that upside down. I think for Tulip she just misses her pal. She missed her pal on the road and there’s a comfort in that life that they lead that’s familiar to her and I don’t think she wants to lure him to his death. I think for her it’s quite simple. It’s like “We had a good time, didn’t we? It was fun.” I think what’s frightening for her is anything else, is change. For a lot of us change is frightening and there’s something about him trying to get on the straight and narrow that terrifies her that she would be left behind or he won’t love her anymore. There’s also this aspect that she inherently thinks that’s all she’s good for, that life.
Ruth Negga, when asked the following by IGN: “Initially, she is somewhat the devil on Jesse’s shoulder because she is trying to lure him back to a life he gave up. As you said, she doesn’t come off as an evil person but she’s kind of skewed in a certain direction.” [x]
Once again, Ruth discusses how for Tulip that kind of life wasn’t about the danger - it was about living on the outskirts of acceptable society because she’s never been allowed to live any other way. And Jesse didn’t just make it liveable he made it home for her - but without Jesse she’s lost her bearings and has literally no one else - no family or loved ones - and it’s not as if he’s doing better off without her, drinking himself blind and barely being able to get out of bed in the morning. If anything she’s doing better than he is without her.