As the old saying goes “The apples don’t fall far from the tree” and once you see Jeremiah, a certain amount of Troy’s behavior makes much more sense.
In fact, now that I think about it, that might be one of the worst things Jeremiah did: Turn Troy into the killer he became.
I’m not talking about teaching him proficiency in weapons and such, frankly, the part of me that wrote The Rules applauds Jeremiah’s foresight in this department. No, what I’m talking about is just the generally terrible way he treated Troy as a child, which, ultimately, made Troy what he was.
While much of this stemmed from Jeremiah’s struggles with alcoholism, even after he kicked the bottle, he was much harsher to Troy than Jake. Undoubtedly, this would eventually help to mold Troy into the killer we met.
Yet, even without that, several of the darker aspects of Jeremiah’s personality came to rub off on his son. While Jeremiah’s inherent distrust of different people (Or any outsider, for that matter) was obviously passed down to Troy, what might not be so obvious is that Troy’s jealous streak is borne from his father, too.
As long-time friend Vernon chooses to leave the ranch with his family, Jeremiah tells Madison that he considers Vernon “Dead” to him, this is the exact same thing that Troy says about Vernon’s son, Mike in the same episode.
But, terrible as how he may have warped his son is, it is not the worst thing Jeremiah did.
Nope, that “honor” rests with the senseless murder of Qaletaqa’s uncle for merely asking the whereabouts of his brother.
One might be able to make an argument justifying Jeremiah’s killing of Walker’s father — He was terrorizing Jeremiah’s family and trying to kill off his livelihood — however, one absolutely cannot argue that Qaletaqa’s uncle’s death was anything but a cold-blooded murder.
Worse still, when asked to finally face the music for that killing, Jeremiah, in a display of the jealousy which would lead to Troy’s worst crime, essentially told Madison that he’d rather let all the people who came to him for help and guidance die horrible deaths than own up to his crime or let Qaletaqa’s people stay on the ranch.
Jeremiah Otto is a man who shows an ugly shade of humanity. He was a stubborn, jealous, racist old alcoholic, who’d rather let innocent people, including his own sons, suffer and die rather than own up to the skeletons beneath his floorboards.
Next: A Snake In The Oasis