Reaching for a wallet, going slow, middle of a strange city and lost and the guy with the gun tweaks and pulls the trigger. I can't think of a better way to describe it--these stories, which were often cheesy or shrill or clumsy, weren't something it even occurred to me to judge. I was invested in The X-Files and Mac Gyver and Quantum Leap and Roseanne and Night Court and more, and once I made that investment, it was all basically there. Back then, I didn't really think of shows in terms of "good" or "bad." I knew what I liked and what I didn't, but I never considered how a series I liked could vary in quality from week to week.
Our consciousness allows us the questionable luxury of knowing we have a conclusion, and there are some days when that's all I can think about. It also addresses our mortality without blinking, balancing an almost unbearably brutal pessimism with just enough hope to be honest. Maybe it's the understanding that, miserable or not, this is the life we get, and we might as well live it.
The real point is, well, it's hard to find any point. "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" is my favorite episode of The X-Files because it's funny, suspenseful, does well by Scully and Mulder, and creates some indelible characters.
Bangs for some, whimpers for most, but the circumstances only matter in the moment. I have meaning, same as anybody, and that should count, because otherwise why bother with anything?
Maybe I'll be that exception to the only rule that has no exceptions, because I'm special and smart and kind and clever.
Some of these gags fulfill thematic purpose, some to reward us for paying attention, but the point here isn't that coincidence and happenstance add together to create a larger meaning.