Hey, you know what’s getting really fucking old? I mean, besides people bitching endlessly about Natasha in AOU. Besides that. You know what else is getting really fucking old? People bitching about the Agents of SHIELD season 2 finale because of all the deaths.
Yes, there was a body count. Yes, three women of color were killed. Though, in addition to this, a bunch of caucasian people were killed, maimed and tortured as well, so it seemed like an equal opportunity murder storm to me. But apparently not everyone feels this way.
I don’t want to sound like an ass here, I really don’t, but when I see people still making furious blogs about this all these weeks later like the writers committed some kind of reprehensible crime that has ruined the whole show, it really gets under my skin.
I saw a post the other day that irritated me to no end. I’m not going to reblog it because I don’t want to draw any more attention to this person, but basically, they’re complaining on and on about how awful the finale was and how much the show sucks because Raina, Kara and Jaiying were killed, as if there weren’t perfectly logical reasons for these things to happen.
Their first complaint: Jaiying was made a villain and wasn’t given a chance to be redeemed before she was killed. Really? The woman who was talking about committing genocide on the human race not getting a shot at redemption offends you? Forgive me, but once she was so far gone that she was ready to murder her own daughter just because Skye had the gall to stop her plans for mass murder, I’m pretty sure Jaiying wouldn’t have been interested in being redeemed even if the chance had presented itself; they made that pretty clear. And it’s rather atypical for villains to have redemption arcs in the first place; (plus, they were already doing one with Cal) that’s why they’re villains. In this case, Jaiying’s arc was about her starting out good and tragically becoming a villain. If you’re taking offense to the tragedy part, then I’m afraid you’ve missed the point.
The next thing they were going off about was that Raina deserved redemption after everything that had happened to her and she shouldn’t have died. Um… I don’t know what show you were watching, but redemption is exactly what Raina got. She accepted herself for what she’d become, accepted her new role as a protector of her people and received a fitting sendoff with a purely altruistic act that gave her character closure. She knew that seeing Jaiying kill her would be what showed Skye that her mother needed to be stopped. She knew she would die and she did it anyway. Raina went out like a fucking hero after she’d spent the last two seasons being motivated entirely by self-interest. If that’s not redemption, I don’t know what is.
And if you’re pissed about them supposedly killing Raina unnecessarily… RUTH NEGGA BOOKED A LEAD ROLE ON ANOTHER SHOW! SHE WASN’T GOING TO BE AVAILABLE ANYMORE! WHAT THE FUCK WERE THE WRITERS SUPPOSED TO DO?! GAH!
Oh, and let’s not forget their third self-righteous diatribe about how Kara only died to give Ward more “manpain,” how the writing was terrible because May’s trick was stupid and Ward would never have fallen for it and blah blah blah. Look, you may not have noticed this, but Ward has become quite unhinged over the last season and a half. He’s not exactly the most level-headed character these days. He also thinks an awful lot of himself and has a habit of underestimating people when he probably shouldn’t. I really don’t think him falling for May’s trick was that farfetched. And he’s clearly wanted to even the score with May for a long time, so Ward being so eager to put a few bullets in her that he didn’t take a moment to consider that it might be Kara he was shooting seemed in character for him at that point IMO.
And as for Kara dying to motivate Ward, okay, fine. Kara was killed so Ward could be pushed into becoming the Big Bad of season 3. She was brainwashed by a terrorist organization, kind of lost her marbles, then devoted herself to the guy who tried to help her pick up the pieces and wound up dead because of it. It happened. You can argue that she never got her agency back if you want to, but she was given a chance to be redeemed when Ward left her with SHIELD and she chose to betray them anyway because she wanted to take revenge on Bobbi even though it seems that Bobbi was in an impossible situation and chose the lesser of two evils – the only call she could make really. Yes, Kara got screwed over as a result of that, but like Bobbi said, they both knew what they signed up for. It sucks that she couldn’t handle the consequences, but, hey, that’s life. Shit happens and you have to deal with it.
I felt sympathy for Kara, but as fucked up as her situation was, she still made some really bad choices. Once she decided that she was down for torturing Bobbi and using her as bait to get a fellow agent killed, I didn’t feel so sympathetic toward her after that. Was there more they could have done with Kara? Yeah. But it’s not like her death didn’t serve a purpose.
And don’t bother playing the fridging card because I simply don’t buy it. That argument may hold water in some cases, but it doesn’t apply to everything. Just about every character death on TV ever has been done to motivate other still-living characters. This is how story-telling tends to work.
You can’t complain about fridging every single time a character who happens to be a woman dies to motivate a character who happens to be a man. That’s taking an overly simplistic view of the situation and you just limit potential storylines if you do that. Yes, this practice can lead to unnecessary, inappropriate female character deaths when it’s done cheaply or carelessly, but I don’t feel like that’s what happened here. There were major storyline ramifications for Kara dying.
Plenty of caucasian characters have been killed on AOS too, you know. If you’re suggesting that all ethnic and/or female characters should be exempt from the chopping block simply because they’re ethnic and/or female… well, I’m afraid that’s not how this works.
I know this is a place where a lot of us like to feel like keyboard warriors by ranting and raving about anything we think warrants even a sideways glance, but can we all please step off our soapboxes long enough to get it through our heads that not everything on TV and in movies that bothers us is some kind of egregious insult with malicious intent behind it that deserves all the venom we can dish out?
Not every female or ethnic character death that happens on a TV show is meant to be some hugely significant statement about gender and racial equality in the media or lack thereof. Sometimes they’re just logical deaths that the story calls for because said character has served the purpose they were introduced for and it’s time for them to go.
Yes, three female characters of color were killed off in the season finale. It doesn’t automatically mean that the writers are racist or were trying to make some kind of veiled point about the ethnic and gender status quo in television today, especially since (1) a woman of color co-wrote the episode this happened in, and (2) we’re talking about a show that just built the entire second half of the season around its multi-ethnic female lead. It was a fucking coincidence. That’s all.