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Angel the Series Icons

spike
23 AtS icons beneath the cut, mostly from season 5.

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It’s kind of amusing how much I like Russell T. Davies’ writing, given in his fondness for relationships with enormous power imbalances, and my…lack of fondness for the same. It occurred to me that this is why I don’t really ship Jack Harkness with anyone: All his relationships are too unbalanced in his favor, except for his relationship with the Doctor, which is too unbalanced in the Doctor’s favor.

I briefly shipped Jack with Martha, after watching her on Torchwood and on the Season 3 finale of Doctor Who, but after watching the rest of Season 3, I realized she was younger and more…young than I’d given her credit for, and the relationship started seeming too unbalanced for me.

Someone online was complaining that they overdid Martha-is-wonderful in her guest appearances on Torchwood, trying to compensate for her sometimes questionable treatment on DW. I wasn’t sure about her in my first watching of Reset, because, as the person pointed out, everyone seemed to just love her, but the second time around, I believed it. Jack obviously loved her, and if Jack loved her, the others would fall in line.

And note, the one character who doesn’t seem taken by Martha: Toshiko Sato. This is probably because the writers had already chosen her backstory, and knew she had issues with UNIT, but it fits with what I’ve noticed: Tosh isn’t as taken in by Jack as the others. She’s not going to love someone just because Jack does, whereas for Gwen, Owen, and Ianto, Jack’s feelings are enough.

And if you think Owen’s flirting with Martha had nothing to do with Jack’s adoration for her, just remember what he did the last time Jack brought a new woman into Torchwood and displayed obvious favoritism for her. Season 1 Owen was much rougher around the edges, and his treatment of Gwen was less like flirting and more like sexual harassment, but he obviously wanted her in bed, and I’m quite sure he wanted her in bed because she was Jack’s golden girl. His argument with Ianto in Death in the Death (where he says that Ianto has “won” because he goes out in the field now, and is “shagging Jack”) makes it clear that he considers having sex with someone as a way to get status, and Owen is nothing if not focused on status. Gwen was very much Jack’s golden girl in Season 1 (and still to a lesser extent in Season 2), and I’m sure that’s a large part of why Owen wanted to sleep with her. Also why he had no interest in Tosh—Owen perceived her as being below him in status, and therefore something to be avoided. Also, she’s a blatant geek, and Owen is a closet geek who associates geekiness with weakness, and will do just about anything to avoid both.

Buffy's attitude towards Spike in early S7

buffy/spike
This post is part defense of Buffy’s attitude towards Spike in early S7, and part explanation of her point of view (which is not, itself, a defense). I’m not sure if there are any fans who still feel that Buffy was too harsh on Spike in early S7—it’s not a complaint I’ve read recently—but I know there were at one time, and this bugs me, so on with the defense/explanation.

I’ve already discussed Buffy’s decision not to tell the Scoobies about her mistreatment of Spike here. This is more general about Buffy’s behavior in early S7.

*Warning for discussion of rape and abuse*

First of all...Collapse )

The Girl Next Door

sam & dean
(The icon is ironic.)

Today I am going to write about my current favorite one-shot character on Supernatural: Amy Pond. The girl who killed her mother to save a stranger, and the woman who killed strangers to save her son.

It's interesting to compare Amy to Madison, another monstrous women whom Sam is romantically involved with and identifies with. While Madison's monstrousness is separate from her consciousness, a part of herself which she can't control, Amy's is completely integrated within herself. While Madison is a martyr, choosing to die rather than life as a monster, Amy is a ruthless survivor, who will go to extremes in order to not cause harm, but won't lay down and die, or let her son lay down and die.

I say that Amy won't lay down and die because I do believe she killed as a girl, on the run after killing her mother. I don't see how she could have kept from doing so (just as I don't see how her son could keep from killing after her death--see below).

It's common for fans to say that Amy, in saving her son, killed only bad people, but re-watching the episode, I'm not so sure. One of her victims, it's true, is described sarcastically as a "Real mensch", and who had been "Busted...half a dozen times", but it appears that Amy may be targeting not "bad" people, but rather addicts and drug dealers. Victimless crimes. Not people who deserve death, but people whom it is convenient to target. Notice that neither Amy, nor Sam in his defense of Amy, claim that Amy is targeting people who deserve it. Their arguments are about her need to save her son, not a defense of her acting as a vigilante. It's quite likely that Amy simple panicked when she realized her son was sick and went after the people who were most vulnerable, without even thinking about the idea of going after people who deserve it.

In this context, Amy's self-righteousness ("I'm – I'm not just some murderer.") is worrisome. Amy did what she had to do to keep her son alive, and believes she is justified, no matter who else was hurt. In the hunter community, there are only two options for her: death or getting off scot free. In an ideal world, there would be a third option. Perhaps Amy would serve prison time for her crimes without getting a death penalty sentence for a choice made to save her son. But our characters don't live in that world.

I've heard it argued that Amy Pond is a typical monster storyline told from the monster's point of view. There is some truth to this. Many the monsters Sam and Dean encounter need to eat people to survive, and they are treated quite unsympathetically, with villainous speeches, as opposed to the sympathetic Amy Pond.

But Amy is not your typical monster. She took a job specifically so she would not have to eat people. There are other monsters who go out of their way to avoid killing, but they are the exception, rather than the rule, and Sam and Dean typically let them go.

Given all this, you might expect that I have sympathy for Dean's decision to kill her. Well, I did. The first time I watched. However, in part because of later events, I have changed my mind, and here's why:

1. Benny and Cas. Note exactly what Dean says when he kills Amy: "But people... They are who they are. No matter how hard you try, you are what you are. You will kill again. Trust me, I'm an expert. Maybe in a year, maybe ten. But eventually, the other shoe will drop. It always does." This applies equally to Benny and Castiel--and in fact, with Cas the other shoe does drop, when he kills the nephilim. Yet when it's Dean's friends, the rules are different.

(I wonder if Sam ever thought that this logic applied to him, and the only reason Dean hasn't put him down is because Dean loves him.)

I find Dean's words when Sam brings up Amy in "Southern Comfort" particularly telling: "Well, I guess people change, don't they?" The exact opposite of the reasoning he gave when he killed Amy. Now that I have a monster friend, people can change. Now that your friend is dead, people change.

2. Dean is willing to let mass murderers go under some circumstances, even without a promise to never kill again. Take the witches in "Shut Up, Dr. Phil", only two episodes after Amy's death. They were serial killers who had no remorse for their actions, and no desire to keep it from happening again, who killed for no reason but their own petty feuds. Sam and Dean had no problem letting them go--and please don't tell me the duo who took out Lucifer couldn't handle a couple of witches if they really wanted to. Furthermore, Sam and Dean are always allying with dangerous demons like Meg, and Crowley, and then letting them go, despite the fact that they know the demons will go on to wreak more horror.

3. Lying to Sam. I love how Sam is too mentally ill to hear the truth about Amy, but not too mentally ill to be punched in the face. And who punches their mentally ill brother who's recovering from a head injury in the face, anyway? Word to the wise: it's wrong to lie to someone who is recovering from a mental illness even if you haven't promised to be stone number one of their reality. People who are recovering from mental illness are very unsure of their world, and benefit greatly from knowing that the people around them can be trusted, even if their own mind cannot. I know this from experience.

4. Leaving Jacob alive. I love that Amy can't be trusted, but Jacob is obviously telling the truth when he tells the guy in the knife in his hand who just killed his mom that he never killed anyone. Now it's true that Jacob is a brave kid--he threatens Dean despite said knife--but that's not why Dean believed him. Dean believed him because he didn't have the stomach to kill a kid. Now, more people will die. Okay, maybe the person Jacob had to go to was a coworker of his mother's who can feed him pituitary glands, but Dean certainly didn't make sure of that. The most likely thing that will happen is that Jacob will be forced to kill to eat, and people will die who would have lived had Dean left Amy Pond alive.

Numbers 2 and 4 make me wonder if Dean's motivation for killing Amy really was to save lives. Perhaps instead it was about his psychological drama with Sam. I've never heard an explanation of a Sam-related motivation that fully satisfied me, though.

In my ideal world, Sam and Dean would have both admitted they were wrong after the Amy Pond conflict: Sam would have admitted he was biased, and that was a problem. Dean would have admitted that maybe killing her wasn't unquestionably the right thing to do. But of course, Dean couldn't do that. Acknowledge that he put a child through the same hell he and Sam went through for bad reasons? Not so much.

So those are my Amy Pond thoughts, as of today. I'm sure my thoughts will continuing changing and growing as time goes on, but here is how things stand now.
jack disappear
The Empty Child/Doctor Dances two-parter of Torchwood, particularly Children of Earth. It occurred to me that Jack in CoE or Torchwood is somewhat parallel to Nancy, the girl who looks after the children in the Empty Child two parter.

(“It’s all my fault”, Nancy says at one point.)

And the solution is the reverse of the solution in CoE. The young blond male child to whom Nancy has been lying to about their biological relationship has to be saved to save the world. In CoE, Jack murders the child to save the world.

I remember, the first time I watched the Empty Child two-parter, how interesting it is that Jack is so upset about having lost two years of memories in the Doctor Dances, and then in Torchwood is administering Retcon left and right. It’s also interesting in that Jamie’s story is a metaphor for keeping secret from children…if anything slips out, just shut the door, hang up the phone, try to shut it in, don’t let the child know, but this only makes things worse. To make things better, you have to be honest, to tell them the truth. This is interesting in light of how secretive Torchwood is, and how much they hide things.

Meme from selenak

willow/oz
Give me a character and I will tell you...

* How I feel about this character
* All the people I ship romantically with this character
* My non-romantic OTP for this character
* My unpopular opinion about this character
* One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon.
* Something about them I consider true, even though it's only my head canon/fanon

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Warren Mears: Misunderstood?

willow/oz
*Warning for entire unserious defense of rape in a fantastic situation*

Was Warren Mears really that bad?Collapse )

I'm joking, I promise.

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Icon Post

willow/oz
I've been experimenting with making icons, and have decided to share some of the better results of my experimentation. I hope you enjoy!

Yoko Ono, Buffy, Supernatural, TorchwoodCollapse )

Brief CoE thought

jack disappear
It's interesting that Jack is talking so much when he and Ianto are challenging the 4-5-6, and doing so little.

When he kills Steven, he says nothing.

Actions speak louder than words.

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