I guess what I mean by mixed is that the general consensus on these characters, especially from reviewers, doesn’t quite gel with me.
Firstly Nikki, who many prop up as a kind of champion of justice, an ex con turned righteous soul. Only I have to question just how righteous she actually is. Her character’s arc starts and ends in unnecessary murder. While the stoner definitely deserved comeuppance for “accidentally” killing Gloria’s step father, the obviously moral thing would’ve been to call the police on him, not crush his head. Then, less gray, her last act before dying is killing an innocent police officer, to whom she could’ve just surrendered. It seems to me she was way less a seeker of justice, and more a seeker of revenge, a violent person who’s simply against the right people most of the time. I can’t help but think that Ray Wise meant her to give the speech ‘to the wicked’ to Varga, not Emmit; but she was too blinded by her hate for him.
As for Emmit, someone I’m not going to claim is good through and through, I have to again question those who claim he’s evil; I’ve seen people who say he’s like a second version of Martin Freeman’s character which baffles me. The dude does a lot of shitty things, but none of them seem deliberate; more accidental and mistakes stemming from his own flaws as a character. Though he felt “free” when Ray died, the actual act was a mutual accident. When he turns himself in, it’s an earnest act of repentance, he had no way of knowing that two more people would die because of it. When Nikki corners him he’s about to let her shoot him out of guilt. He didnt even con Ray out of the stamps for the money, he just liked them. Now he still has flaws, he didn’t even try to help Ray when he’s dying nor does he try to stop Varga until the very end, you could say inaction and ineffectiveness is his sole defining trait, but he seemed to me like a character with extremely bad and good luck. Horrible things keep happening to him out of his hands, but he still manages to worm out of them through no action of his own (Actually, typing this, I cant think of anything he actually does do. He’s so extremely passive. Outside of turning himself in, which does nothing, everything that happens is due to people around him. Sy, Ray, Varga, even Nikki all act for and against him, live and die because of him, while he just kinda facilitates it; similar to how he just kept signing contract after contract Varga handed him) So when Mr. Wrench finally gets him, I dont have the feeling “He finally got his comeuppance for what he did” like many say, I simply felt “Oh, his luck finally ran out” or maybe it was simply re-balancing again after allowing him 5 years of happy family life.
So I dunno, both seemed a lot more gray then I see a lot of people taking them as.