I'm absolutely in love with this show; the characters, the story. It melds this line between real ideas of death/souls/the afterlife with magic and the supernatural. And the characters. Oh, my God, the characters. I find myself yelling, laughing, crying at them/for them in every episode. (And my heart is breaking while I'm writing this because the show ends on Monday.) It must start with my obsession with all things vampire, (My favorite show of all time is Buffy, which inspired the novel I'm currently writing.) but that's really beside the point.
This last season has dealt so much with "what if's." A recent episode had Sally (the ghost on the far left) travel back in time where she changed the events of her own death, and in effect, created an alternate reality. It got me thinking about how the tiniest things- choices, events, circumstances, things you might think of as coincidental, or inconsequential- end up setting in motion a chain of events that lead to something huge. And that something huge can't happen without that something tiny.
Think about every great story, and that one event that starts everything: what we writers like to call the "inciting incident." If that event never happened there wouldn't be a story, or the story could go in a drastically different direction. So fundamental and so simple at the same time.
One of my favorite examples is Harry Potter (I know, I know. But really, it is perfect for this). The inciting incident doesn't even happen in the books, and, up until book 5, it's that Voldemort tries to kill Harry. But it really goes back to why Voldemort wanted to kill Harry in the first place. Snape overhears the first part of a prophecy and the whole things stems from that. If Snape might have heard the whole prophecy, the story probably wouldn't have even been about Harry. An entire book could be written about the possibilities of what might have happened had Voldemort heard the full prophecy. Like I said, simple. So much beauty in storytelling is in the simplicity.
And in life too. It brings to mind 500 Days of Summer when Summer tells Tom that he was right about meeting the right person. That if she hadn't been at that particular café at that time on that day, she might never have met her husband. You never know where the smallest decision may take your life.