Never Stop Running

If Kimble's integrity gets him into trouble at times, it is also (and almost always) an asset. Most obviously, we frequently see other characters coming to trust him and believe in him because of his ethics and integrity. More centrally, though, his integrity is an asset because it is what keeps him a whole person. Notice the etymological similarity between "integrity" and "integrated"—in this context, it is one's character that might be said to be "fully integrated." Plato, for example, describes the just person as having attained a state of inner harmony, harmony with respect to himself. The just person "rules himself. He puts himself in order, is his own friend, and harmonizes the three parts of himself . . . , and from having been many things he becomes entirely one, moderate and harmonious."11 In this view, the three "parts" of the psyche (namely, reason, emotions, and appetites) are brought together for the sake of one's overall psychological well-being. One way to understand integrity, then, is to see it as involving the pursuit of a kind of psychological wholeness. Though it is agonizing for him to risk capture to save Aimee Rennick's life, it is so obviously (to him) the right thing to do that it is worth the risk. This wholeness helps mitigate the temptation to violate his own principles for the sake of expediency, even in cases where he risks capture.12 Kimble is thus not only a person others might see as worth saving, he is a person he himself sees as worth saving, and that is partly responsible for his fortitude. His perseverance in pursuit of the one-armed man must have required considerable strength of character—never giving up, never giving in to despair. It would be difficult to continue that way if one were additionally burdened by a guilty conscience or if one had lost all sense of personal value. Although it put his quest—and his life—at risk, his commitment to his real self, to his principles, is also what made it possible for his quest to have a successful resolution. And in the final episode, Kimble does clear his name, and Gerard kills the one-armed man. The finale brings home even for the casual viewer that The Fugitive really is classic TV noir: we learn in flashbacks (shot in even more than usually unsettling camera angles) that there had been a witness to the slaying of Helen Kimble, whose testimony might have saved Kimble all the trouble, but whose efforts at redemption help set the stage for a tense climactic chase sequence in an abandoned amusement park. As in the best of classic film noir, Kimble successfully emerges from his dark world. After four years slinking around in alleys and freight yards, in the last scene he walks in the sunlight on a crowded street. Kimble and Gerard shake hands and go their separate ways.

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