Friday, September 4, 2015

5 Fandom Friday: Five Fandom Deaths I'm Still Upset About.

*This post contains SPOILERS for: "Dollhouse" (season two), "The Walking Dead" (season five), "Game of Thrones" (season four), "Torchwood" (season two), and "Firefly"/Serenity (movie).* *EDIT: Also, The Hunger Games trilogy (book three: Mockingjay).*

Naturally, the only 5 Fandom Friday prompt this month that I'm interested in doing happens to fall on Dragon Con weekend...and it's one of my suggestions, too, so I really want to do it, no matter how strapped for time I am! :-P

Sometimes, death in fiction makes sense.  It's poetic, or it wraps up a loose end, or it's just necessary somehow, and so, whether we like it or not, we accept it as part of the story that needed to happen.  But other times, we're just left screaming "NOOOOO!" and sobbing into the nearest pillow, because NOOOO.

So here are the five fandom deaths that I still refuse to accept:

1. Bennett Halverson ("Dollhouse")

I could populate this entire list with deaths I hate in the Whedonverse.  Death is something Joss does really well--unlike other writers, who often seem to try to make sense of death in their writing, Joss captures how, in real life, death just doesn't make sense.  He kills his characters off in the middle of life--mid-action, mid-romance, mid-sentence.  They leave a hole behind, full of unfinished things.  It's beautifully painful in the way he captures the utter wrongness of death in the real world.

Like most Whedon shows, "Dollhouse" is brimming with unfair deaths, but the one that I hated the most was Bennett's.  Topher was one of my absolute favorite characters throughout the series, and Bennett was his perfect crush--they were adorable.  Didn't we all ship them from that first awkward handshake?

But literally within a minute of their first kiss, Bennett dies.  We go from "Yay!!" to "NOOO!!!" in a matter of seconds.  Moreover, she's killed by a character we didn't know was bad until that very moment, so there's the added shock of finally discovering the mole's identity, and then we have to watch Topher, still covered in blood spatter, desperately trying to find a way around the finality of Bennett's death--in a world where brains are downloadable and transferable, she was shot in the head, rendering the process he perfected useless.  She can't be brought back.

I also hate how Topher's story ends in the show's finale, and I'm convinced that it would have gone very differently if Bennett had survived.  UGH, THE FEELS.

2. Beth Greene ("The Walking Dead")

I hated Beth in her first season.  She was selfish, moody, and unreasonable.  She was a burdensome weakling, in my mind, and I wouldn't have minded if her half-hearted suicide attempt had been successful.

It took a long while for Beth to grow on me.  But, like Carol, I think she ended up being a great example of how much an unlikely person can adapt once they make up their mind they have to.  Beth started off too weak to survive a zombie apocolypse, then swung too far the other direction and became hard and uncaring towards the end of their prison stay, but finally found her own kind of courageous strength by the time she was left to fend for herself in Dawn's hospital.  Though the episodes with just her and Daryl in season four were downright painful, I began to really like her on her own in season five.  But then, just as we're about to get a happy ending, Beth has to go and do something noble and brave and necessary, making me love her even more right before the bullet goes through her brain.

Also, I was never a Caryl (Carol + Daryl) OR Bethyl (Beth + Daryl) shipper right up through Beth's death, but after that mid-season finale, I went back and rewatched season four while I waited for the second half of season five to start.  Rewatching her and Daryl on their own after the prison made me see how kind of perfect she might have been for him--she was strong enough to stand on her own, but she still had a sweetness (post-prison) that I think Daryl needed.  But it doesn't matter, because she's dead now.  UGH.

3. Oberyn Martell ("Game of Thrones")

I'm still about half a season behind on the show, and have only made it about a third of the way through the fourth book, but I'd read this scene of Oberyn battling the Mountain before watching it the week it aired.  As far as I've read, it's the most nail-biting scene in the book series.  It had me on the edge of my seat, anxiously imagining each blow, and I was exultant when the Viper took down the Mountain (who is my VERY least favorite character in all of literature, ever--oh, how I hate him), and I think I nearly dropped the book (confession: I mean Kindle) when Oberyn, despite my verbal warnings not to get too close to the fallen Gregor (not kidding, I was definitely talking out loud to him), got too close and ended up getting his eyes gouged out and his skull crushed.  I was horrified, shocked, and devastated along with Tyrion at his champion's fall.

So, you'd think I'd be prepared for the same scene in the show, right?  Wrong.  Going into it, I knew how it was going to end.  I knew the Viper would take down the Mountain, but the Mountain would take him down, too.  Yet somehow in the heat of the battle, I was on my feet cheering for Oberyn, and completely forgot that I'd foreseen the outcome already.  I was, once again, utterly devastated.  And felt a bit like an idiot that I'd gotten so emotionally invested in the moment...but, damn, do I hate Gregor Clegane.  He deserved what he got at Qyburn's hands afterwards.

But Oberyn deserved better.  He deserved vengeance for his sister, and the glory of ridding the world of a hideous monster.  And Tyrion deserved justice.  Oberyn's victory should have balanced the scales, but his death tipped them to the favor of the least righteous.  Not cool, George R.R.  Not cool.

4. Hoban "Wash" Washburne ("Firefly"/Serenity)

I was a bit late jumping aboard the Browncoat bandwagon.  I actually discovered the "Firefly" series through the movie--in college, my friends and I were looking for something to do one evening and decided to go see "that sci-fi movie with the funny guy from A Knight's Tale" in theaters.  We had no idea there was a show that preceded it.

So, after loving the movie, I dove into the show knowing how Wash would end up.  Hence, every scene that made me love his character--from that first "inevitable betrayal" bit, to him talking with Zoe about having children--was bittersweet for me.  I knew what was coming.  And I hated it more and more with each episode.  Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal, Joss Whedon!  I am a leaf on the wind; watch how I--

5. Owen Harper & Toshiko "Tosh" Sato ("Torchwood")

I'm cheating with a twofer here, but only because this is the one that breaks my heart.

I didn't like Owen at first.  He's kind of a douchebag.  But as season one progressed, we saw a bit more depth, and moral character, to him, and he grew on me.  And then there's Tosh--sweet, hardworking, Tosh, who has everyone's back and whom nobody seems to notice.  Her crush on Owen bothered me a bit at first, because I felt like she deserved better, but I do think she saw in Owen the goodness we get glimpses of as the show goes on.  So I started rooting for him to notice her.

Then Tosh finally worked up the courage to ask Owen out...and he completely missed it.  But when he realized what had happened, he asked her out for drinks.  And then he GOT SHOT (fatally) before it had a chance to happen.

But it didn't end there.  In the next episode, Owen was brought back...but not quite to life.  His consciousness returned to his body, but his body neither decayed nor regenerated--wounds wouldn't heal, and bodily functions wouldn't work.  Unlike the immortal Jack Harkness, Owen found himself cursed with an existence of forever dying, denied by his deadness three of his favorite things: food, drinks, and sex.

But Tosh still had his back.  Even when he was mean to her, and even though the relationship that she had wanted would never happen now.  I think she saw him as a wounded animal, lashing out in hurt and anger over his incredibly unfair situation, and while she deserved better treatment than Owen sometimes gave her over the course of their continued friendship, she was just one of those supernaturally patient people who could stick around long enough for her support to eventually be appreciated.

So I spent all of season two hoping the Torchwood gang would find a way to restore Owen, so he and Tosh could finally have that date.

Until Tosh got shot.

But it didn't end there, either.

In the midst of saving the world, her wound took long enough to kill her for her to keep walking Owen through something about nuclear containment, over a comm device.  He knew something had happened on her end, but, from afar, he bought her lie about being fine, and he had no idea she was dying.  Then something went wrong at the nuclear facility, where he was, and he ended up trapped where the stuff (clearly science is not my strong suit) was going to be vented, and he was absolutely going to die this time.

Owen: *screaming* "I'm going to rage my way to oblivion!"
Tosh: *quietly* "Please don't."
Owen: *still shouting* "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't keep bloody screaming!"
Tosh: "Because you're breaking my heart."
Owen: *silence, then quietly* "I'm sorry."

Owen: "We never did get that date, did we?  You and me?  We sort of missed each other.  It was my fault.  I didn't--I didn't notice, until it was too late.  I'm sorry."
Tosh: "Me, too."

THE FEELS.  And the part that gets me the most?  That whole time, he had no idea she was dying.  He put aside all his anger at his own death, and calmed down to talk to her, because he cared about her--not because these were her final moments, too.  I HATE IT SO MUCH.

So there you have it: the five (well, six) fandom deaths that I just can't accept.  Because NOOOOO.

What fandom deaths are you still upset about?

EDIT: I can't believe I completely forgot about Finnick!  But I was so depressed after reading that part in the books, that this list is just incomplete without him and I can't leave it that way.  So:

6. Finnick Odair (The Hunger Games trilogy)

Please excuse me while I go sob some more now. *Cue ugly-crying.*