This PE proposal is for one of Red vs. Blue's main villains, Chairman Malcolm Hargrove.
What is Red vs. Blue?
Red vs. Blue is a machinema webseries (though they've greatly expanded to CGI animation) from Rooster Teeth, using the Halo mechanics to tell the story of two teams of soldiers initially stuck in Blood Gulch fighting over territory before expanding to mind-boggling adventures including a secret government project that they were pawns of, a civil war on a distant planet, and most recently a time-travel adventure.
Who is Malcolm Hargove and what has he done?
Malcolm Hargrove is the Chairman of the UNSC Oversight Sub-Committee and later revealed to the the CEO of Charon Industries, which has antagonized the protagonists for a long time, albeit from the shadows. Initially Hargrove (before his name was even revealed) message the Director of Project Freelancer as part of his investigation into the program, eventually determining that the Director violated military protocol and placed him under arrest before seizing control of Project Freelancer's assets. The flashback segments of the Project Freelancer saga reveal his full name and his rising roll in the UNSC, already showing interest in the Director's actions involving the AI fragments.
But Hargrove's acquisition of Freelancer assets is later revealed to be part of his years-long campaign of orchestrating a civil war on the planet Chorus; as the CEO of Charon Industries, he was the true leader of the Insurrectionists, which were Charon's privat security force, who had gone up against Project Freelancer years before. Also as CEO he hired Space Pirates to infiltrate both sides of the civil war on Chorus to further provoke them to eventually wipe everyone out; global genocide so he could seize their resources and make a profit off of the ancient alien tech on Chorus. As is the usual in the series, Hargove underestimates the Reds and Blues, and despite the sacrifices they made along the way, the Reds and Blues successfully stop Hargrove and is now incarcerated for his crimes.
Freudian Excuse/Mitigating Factors
As far as character traits, none. The only other mitigating factor would be the usually comedic setting of the series, though after the Blood Gulch Chronicles they have been a bit more dramatic.
In order to show why Hargrove is above the heinous standard, I will compare his actions to other main/major antagonists throughout the series:
- O'Malley/Omega- The primary antagonist of the Blood Gulch Chronicles, Omega is an AI who was able to inject himself into any soldier with an open channel, with the goal of destroying the universe. Omega's desire to destory everything was purely comedic and meant as a parody of the typical, mustache-twirling villains of Saturday morning cartoons. Even if it wasn't for comedy, Omega would be disqualified as Pure Evil upon the revelation that he is a fragment of an original AI, Alpha, and that because Omega inherited Alpha's 'Rage' trait, Omega's actions would be part of his programming. Hargove, as a human, has the ability to make conscious choices. And rather than negotiate some form of business deal with the leaders of Chorus to make a profit for himself and possibly save the planet, Hargove chooses to manipulate them into wiping each other out and taking their resources instead.
- Meta/Agent Maine - A former freelancer, Agent Maine was an honorable soldier who looked for his friends, but a throat injury in the field led another freelancer, Carolina, to sacrifice her chance of inheriting an AI fragment so that he could communicate with others. Unfortunately, that AI was Sigma, who desired to achieve metastability, using Maine and destroying his mind to the point where he would become obsessed with stealing the other AI fragments, turning him into a mindless killing machine. Maine was manipulated into his actions. Hargrove had no one above him pulling his strings; he made all the decisions on his own, more like Sigma. Speaking of whom...
- Sigma - The AI fragment that was obsessed with achieving metastability and becoming the Alpha. Like Omega, Sigma inherited traits from Alpha, 'Creativity' and 'Ambition'. And also like Omega, his programming is partially responsible for his villainous actions, once again highlighting Hargrove's human (or rather inhumane) choice to wipe out Chorus for profit.
- Director Leonard Church - The Director of Project Freelancer put his soldiers through a lot of trials and tribultations, many of which were immoral and illegal. But from the beginning, the Director was known to have suffered a tragic loss and his experiments with AI and Armor Enhancements was part of his plan to revive her. Ironically, a lot of what Hargove accused the Director of being guilty of, Hargrove himself was even more responsible for. The Director had somewhat honorable goals motivated by grief and humanity's survival. Hargove's motives were based on greed and selfishness. And most notable...the only thing greater than the Director's crimes were his remorse for said crimes, spending his days of hiding watching footage of his beloved Allison. Not only does Hargrove not have loved ones, he also shows no remorse for his actions.
- The Insurrectionist Leader - As the leader of the Insurrection, aka Charon's private security force, the IL was technically Hargove's subordinate despite IL being in command of the entire faction. But like the Director, IL had a loved one, CT, who he was shown to greatly care for, as well as his fellow soldiers. Hargrove views his soldiers as expendable. The IL viewed them as comrades, and their deaths, and eventually CT's death, sent him into a similar state of grief as the Director.
- Locus and Felix - the leaders of the Space Pirates that are Hargrove's right-hand men in his plot to wipe out Chorus. Locus had done some monstrous things for the sake of being a 'true soldiers' but is shown to have remorse over the loss of his comrades in arms (like the IL) and has spent the last few season working to make amends for his past actions. Felix is the only other character that is closer to PE than Hargrove, but like Omega, Felix is partially played for laughs, and is still shown to have more human emotions. Not to mention Felix's actions were more about self-preservation than for actual genocide of a planet.
- I'll keep this last bullet point short with Mark Temple and Chrovos/Genkins. Temple is like the Director and IL in having lost someone close to him and viewing his fellow soldiers as brothers in arms, even if they're all trying to destroy the earth. Chrovos/Genkins, the Big Bad Duumverate of the Shisno Paradox saga, are technically like Omega in trying to destroy everything in their path, but are also played more for comedy that would make them pretty evil, but not pure evil.
And in addition to all of this, there is Hargrove's Moral Event Horizon...after his crimes are exposed to the galaxy, he makes his way to Chorus and launches one final attack meant to completely exterminate the planet's citizens. Not only is this his first time directly commiting crimes personally against Chorus, it wouldn't even make a difference for him...he would still be arrested for his crimes. His life was effectively over. He still tried to kill them purely for revenge and retaliation.
It might be hard to believe that a campy, comedic sci-fi series could produce a PE villain, especially when most of the series is 'animated' through Halo's game engine. But lo and behold, Malcolm Hargrove out-villains nearly every villain in the series so far regardless of their nature and deserves a spot on the Pure Evil list.