"Choir boy. Cub Scout. Starving actor. Mega-star. Husband. Father. Adulterer. Cradle-robber. Murderer. Who is the real Aaron Echolls?"
SCRIPT: Aaron, à la Jack Bauer, uses desperate means to retrieve tapes from the enemy agent whom he encloses in a junked fridge over which he pours gasoline to get her to talk. Her associate interrupts and the two men fight fiercely. Aaron, bloody but unswerving, sets the gasoline alight..."
The action figure settled it. Aaron Echolls had it made. The movie star looks and career, the adulation of fans, the love of a good woman, two fine children. Behind the glitter, it was not so golden: the looks faded, the career grounded in trash despite eight figure pay checks, the paparazzi prowled. His life was a show. Even his philanthropy was an exercise in public relations. So he gave it all up to look after the family he loved and who loved him. Except not. The good woman is good and gone, straight off a bridge in response to his philandering. The fine son is a screw-up whom Aaron has been known to beat with a belt. Old-time punishment or abuse? His daughter is a needy personal and professional failure who brought out the protective father in him. The violent, beat-sleazy-abusive-boyfriend-to-a-pulp kind. That addiction to sex and violence proved fatal to his young lover, Lilly Kane, daughter of Jake Kane and his own son's girlfriend. Aaron murdered her to stop her from using his homemade tapes of fornication with her to ruin his life. But Aaron, you ruined your life, and the lives of your nearest and dearest, long ago. Bastard.
Postscript: Never forget that Aaron is a product of Hollywood, and Hollywood just has to have its happy endings. It would not do for a hero of the screen to be evil. Replace the scriptwriter with canny lawyers, witnesses with flaws to exploit, and other witnesses who conveniently disappear; manufacture evidence that tells a different story; and the movie gets a new ending. In the new and improved version, Aaron never slept with Lilly. He just fooled around with her a bit, an admission given with just the right touch of shame for being foolishly flattered by the attentions of a beautiful but promiscuous girl who made him feel young again. He broke the relationship off the day she died, but she stormed out, stealing his Oscar. He followed her to the Kane residence to retrieve it. He failed to do so as she screamed and threw an ashtray at him. Aaron left when Lilly's brother Duncan arrived. He described Duncan as crazed. Veronica, he claims, is attracted to celebrity and seeks to emulate Lilly. She found the tapes and offered them to Aaron in exchange for sex. He and Veronica drove away from the Kane party together, but she crashed the car. The nearby homeowner assisted them, and they waited on the porch for a tow truck. Keith arrived and, seeing Veronica in a compromising position, attacked Aaron.
Isn't that better? The jury thought so: Aaron was found not guilty on all charges.
Post-Postscript: Freedom is fleeting and karma's a bitch. Justice was served when Duncan ordered the family factotum to do what the courts wouldn't. Aaron's victory was reversed when Clarence Wiedman put two bullets in his head.
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Harry Hamlin plays Aaron Echolls.