i’m sure everyone has already discussed this but i have so much respect for this show even solely from a writing standpoint so i’m going to talk about my feelings anyway.
i’ve written so many things (mostly for classes) about female characters and agency that i may or may not have cheered a little bit when laura stood up for herself. i can name a lot of books/shows/films that are popular and loved (which is fine, but also a post for another time) but also totally shaft their female characters and strip them of their agency. (the hunger games comes to mind since i wrote a research paper on it last year.) and a lot of times, unfortunately, it’s not presented as problematic by the writers or taken as problematic by the consumers.
but the issue of laura’s agency is tackled head-on here. she tells danny, “you meant that ‘laura’s too dumb to know what she can and can’t handle, and needs to be protected by the big-strong-grown-ups.’ that’s all anyone ever wants to say to me. my dad, the zetas, you…everyone” (1:39). in doing so, not only does she assert her own agency, she makes it clear that she’s sick of everyone else trying to take it from her. they can’t have it. laura’s not as naive as they all think, she doesn’t need to be babied, and she certainly doesn’t need people trying to protect her at the expense of her own agency.
she’s clear with how she feels, and regardless of her crush, she calls out danny’s behavior. (fandom partner in crime has already discussed danny’s white-knighting here, so i’m not going to get into it.) and it’s not just danny she calls out. a pointed look and that last bit of her line, “…everyone” does not leave carmilla off the hook (re: you are a child, and you know nothing). and you can tell by the looks on danny and carmilla’s faces that they understand what laura’s telling them, and that they respect it.
BUT NOT ONLY THAT. danny says, out loud, clear as day (this is the internet-equivalent of telling someone to pinch me), “okay, fine, i’ll back off” (2:17). no, “well, if you change your mind” or anything. she accepts it — she’s clearly upset, because she really likes laura too, but she does accept it. and she says she’ll see her in class.
a lesser series would 1) not be about lesbians and vampires but also 2) be about lesbians
and possibly vampires but hinge on that as the progressive point of the material and then fall back on problematic — in this case, Nice Guy — tropes. (or claim they’re super progressive w/o really being progressive…come ask me about jkr and dumbledore some time.) and so often shows play the Nice Guy card expecting audiences to fully sympathize with this poor nice boy. and so often, audiences do.
but not here.
here, we can sympathize with both, and while they do yell and get into a legitimate argument, danny and laura are very open and honest with each other. there is no Nice Guy propping up of danny lawrence. there is no, “well then i’ll just wear her down.” no. there is danny and laura being mature enough to recognize that they need different things right now. and maybe later, they’ll need the same things. maybe not. we’ll have to wait and see. but the fact that this show could have easily fallen back on typical relationship infrastructures and instead chose to pretty much dismantle them and show everyone how it’s done is incredible to me. and did i mention this is all within a narrative about lesbians and vampires? AND GIANT MUSHROOMS?
tl;dr - i have the utmost respect for this show’s writers and so many of the narrative decisions they’ve made so far. ladies x agency otp!!!!!