The upcoming Fast X movie has promised the return of franchise characters such as Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto and Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty Ortiz. Several new actors including Jason Momoa and Brie Larson have also been confirmed to be joining the franchise.
With all the talk of new character introductions and the return of classic Fast and Furiousfamily members, it’s hard for fans not to think of one key character whose absence has been noticeable in the past few films: Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner.
While the franchise is now know for its frequent absurdity, O’Conner was once one of the characters who balanced out his bad decisions with a lot of smart ones that became franchise-defining moments.
5. Earning Dom’s Respect
Dominic had a reputation for keeping his family close-knit, so Brian had to get creative when it came to earning his trust in the first movie. It became clear to him that before ever earning Dom’s trust, Brian would have to first earn his respect.
It was a smart decision on Brian’s part because respect was the foundation that Dom had built his family on and if Brian didn’t have it, he would have never been brought into the family.
Trust and respect went hand in hand for Dom so when Brian broke the trust, he knew the only way to recover would be to once again earn Dom’s respect, something he had already learned how to do.
4. Going Rouge
In The Fast and the Furious Brian was easily able to mold himself into the street racing scene as an undercover cop since he already had a long history with cars after having been sent to juvie for committing grand theft auto. That same history is what led him to going rouge.
Brian officially left his position in law enforcement at the close of Fast & Furious, and it was a decision that was long overdue. He had become a bit of a hypocrite trying to selectively uphold laws that he himself was constantly breaking.
He had also fallen in love with Torretto’s sister Mia so continuing to work for the people breaking apart her family would’ve made a relationship impossible.
3. Letting Dom Go
If Brian hadn’t let Dom go at the end of The Fast and the Furious, none of the subsequent films would’ve been made without some serious adjustments to the great car racing movie’s most iconic plot points. Brian letting Dom go was a risky move for him at the time but had a serious payoff.
By letting Dom drive away at the end of the franchise’s first movie Brian kept alive the chance of a future relationship with Mia. He was also able to keep some of the respect that Dom had for him which is the only reason they were able to team up again in the future. As a cop, it was a decision that had more repercussions than advantages at the moment, but it helped set up his better future.
2. Breaking Dom Out Of Prison
Luckily Dom never actually made it to the prison he was being transported to at the end of Fast & Furious. His transport to the prison was intercepted by Brian and Mia, marking Brian’s true departure from law enforcement as all three of the became wanted fugitives.
The only reason Dom didn’t kill Braga and didn’t run is because he wanted to do the right thing and hoped the judge would be lenient.
When the judge instead went in the opposite direction, Brian made the smart choice, the only one that would allow him to live with himself, and kept Dom out of prison. It also released him from the shackles that working for the law had put on him.
1. Leaving The Team
Instead of recasting Brian after Paul Walker’s death or killing the character off, Brian was instead written out as having left the team. Not only did it perfectly play into the trajectory of the character, it was also the smartest choice that Brian could’ve made after the lifestyle had put his growing family in jeopardy.
Brian voiced his apprehension to becoming a father in Fast 5 since his own father hadn’t been there for him but he was able to be better for his kid. He did start to miss the bullets but ultimately saw that nothing would ever be more real for him than the life he created with Mia.