See, this is how you make us like Lars.
Just showing the lazy, apathetic douchebag we’ve gotten for the past hundred-twenty-odd episodes doesn’t work. He’s annoying! He’s a prick! He’s not even a funny prick! Sure, some of the things that happen to him make you empathize with him a bit, but he’s such an unlikable toolbag that even the stuff he DOESN’T deserve feels karmic.
Show us who he is. Show us how afraid he is to try, how nervous he gets when something he DOES like to do gets scrutinized, how hard he finds it to believe that people like him for who he is and also like the things he does. Show us that Lars, y’know, sometime in the first couple seasons, and everything else you’ve tried to do with him SUDDENLY WORKS.
Reaching an audience isn’t logical. Here’s an example–in the James Cameron summer blockbuster Avatar, Jake and Neytiri and the Na’vi are the good guys and Colonel Quaritch is the bad guy. We know this. However, the movie doesn’t sell that to us very well; Quaritch is violently loyal to the people under his command, fights on the front lines with them, and in general walks the walk of looking out for them, whereas the Na’vi, while intellectually justifiably so, are immediately standoffish and look down on the humans, and stay that way for long enough that THAT gets established as their character in the gut feelings of the audience, instead of the spiritual, beautiful people that they are.
Not to mention that Jake spends so much time trying to get his dick wet that he doesn’t warn the Na’vi about what’s coming until the last possible second, getting WAY more people killed than would have happened otherwise and costing the Na’vi their sacred home in the process. And Neytiri still sticks with this tool? Ugh.
My point is that despite clearly being capital-E Evil, Miles Quaritch is sympathetic, while Jake and the Na’vi are FAR less so, because the movie miscommunicates who they are to the audience. Similarly, we started with annoying jackass Lars Barriga, which is fine, but we mostly stayed there for a HUNDRED EPISODES, yet were still expected to sympathize with him. It’s only NOW we’re really getting to see under his skin in a way that isn’t reactive towards people in his life. This is him, ALL him, and it’s good to see him doing something that IS him.
And it makes me like him.