Sunday, December 2, 2012

Week Eleven

Lundy Watches...
The theme of the week is becoming a better version of yourself, either to improve the quality of your own life, or to conform to the ideals beset upon you by others. For some it is being more attentive to those you love, or to go back to your roots and consider what had made you the person you've become today, while for others it means giving up everything that you are in the name of what's right.

Secret Diary of a Call GirlThree's a Crowd [3]

Romantic relationships are, at least for Hannah (Billie Piper,) unexplored territory, and it's an opportunity for her to change who she is, how she relates to people, and gain a better understanding of what it is she really wants from her life. Unfortunately, with her nightlife as Belle often taking priority, managing to balance her work with Alex's (Callum Blue) feelings are sometimes a difficult task.

When she had previously been challenged to take time off from her work, most notably in last series' "Pro Bono," she had found herself growing bored and unable to think of anything outside of working. Here she admits to not having taken on a client for over a week due to spending all of her time with Alex, and for the first time she really understands what it is to be dating someone, what it is to be so invested in someone else that they take priority over everything else in your life. Being with Alex makes Hannah want to be a better girlfriend, but she knows that Belle's life would never allow her to be that girl, and for the first time it has her considering hanging up her whips for a chance at a normal life.

The issue is that Hannah loves Belle's work, and she would never consider anyone above what she does, but it is something she knows will trigger pained feelings in Alex. Introducing him to her friends should be a large step forward in their relationship, but when all of her friends are well aware of her clandestine activities, it becomes a guessing game of who will be the first to make the big reveal.

DariaThe Teachings of Don Jake [3.5]

Jake (Julián Rebolledo) has always been presented as the less intelligent of the two Morgendorffer parents, and while his joie-de-vivre often excuses him from his lack of awareness, it has often been questionable as to why Helen (Wendy Hoopes) had married him. Through flashback we see that the two of them had previously been a pair of tree-huggers, and while we aren't privy to their transformation from hippie to buttoned-down corporate-types, we can imagine that this would create a certain amount of stress for the both of them, even if only subconsciously.

Throughout the story Jake reveals that his conformity to the status quo, whether to the corporate culture he now finds himself in or the hippie counter-culture he has now left behind, is due to the pressures of those close to him that he feels the need to please. Being at constant war with what he actually thinks and how he thinks he should be thinking must be incredibly stressful, and here he finally cracks, breaking down and needing a vacation from it all.

Unlike her husband, Helen proves capable of handling whatever life throws at her, and while she welcomes a rest from the work week, she secretly brings her work along with her hoping to get more done when Jake's unaware. The two of them really compliment each other, Jake as a reminder to Helen of a more innocent time in their lives, and Helen keeps him on track with where he needs to be.

Buffy the Vampire SlayerProphecy Girl [4]

At sixteen years old, Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) learns that she is destined to die at the hands of the Master (Mark Metcalf,) and, should she shirk her responsibilities and run the other way, she will be bringing about the end of the world. Having assumed that she had a lot of time left, learning instead that she has only a few days is devastating, and, worse yet, the choices she has in her situation are limited either to laying down her life or ending the lives of everyone she's come to care about.

Naturally, Buffy does everything she can to find a way around the prophecy, trying desperately to convince her mother (Kristine Sutherland) to take a vacation for a while, to get away from Sunnydale, and she finds herself shot down every time. Suffering in silence from her friends, Buffy still has to deal with the drama surrounding the prom, and while leading a normal life is important to her, giving her friends the chance to do the same is the best gift she has to give.

Despite Giles' (Anthony Stewart Head) protestation, Buffy heads off to face the Master, knowing that she will never see sunlight again, and it's there, in his lair, that she learns that, had she not come to him, he would never have been able to rise above. In her final moments of life, doing this act she was told to do to protect the world, Buffy realizes that she could have run away, she could have laid down her stake and walked away, and the world would have survived. Instead she is bitten, drowned, and dead, and the world will still fall at the hands of the villainous Master.

Fortunately, Xander (Nicholas Brendon,) too, has had an awakening in regards to who he can choose to be, allying himself with Angel (David Boreanaz) to save Buffy's life and stop the end of the world from happening. Where Xander had been rejected by Buffy, and wondered whether she still had a place in his life, he came to understand how important he still was to her, and she to him, and chose instead to back her up once more regardless of their relationship because it's who he needs to be.

Life on MarsFalling in Love is Against the Rules [3]

This story is very much about Annie (Liz White) trying to prove herself as capable in the eyes of the rest of the department, taking risks that she likely should not be taking and hoping that the ends will justify the means. As the first woman that had been accepted by Gene (Philip Glenister) into the ranks, she has a lot to prove, and there is a certain expectation from her peers that she will fail, one that she needs to battle against every day in her work.

Annie makes numerous attempts to take control of her situation here, listening to Sam's (John Simm) orders and taking them to their full extent, often disobeying the limitations that he had set in place for her under the assumption that she could get the job done. What ends up happening is that Annie works herself deeper and deeper into the investigation, to the point where she's in very real danger, and it's not that she's trying to get herself hurt or actively trying to ignore instructions from her superiors, but she honestly believes that she's doing the right thing in trying to bring an end to the investigation.

Sam had taken a risk in promoting her, putting a lot of eyes on himself as she was now his responsibility, and Annie here is simply trying to live up to his expectations. Should she prove capable, then everyone will congratulate Sam on his instincts about her, but should she fail miserably, not only will she be demoted, but Sam will likely face consequences, too. Annie wants very much to prove herself, but she also wants to make Sam proud, and it sometimes makes her more headstrong than she has been in the past.

Better Off TedJabberwocky [5]

Veridian Dynamics, as a company, wants to give off the impression that they care about the people and work only to improve the state of the world at large. In actuality, the company couldn't care less about the environment, but understands the value that the green initiative could have on sales, and, from there, decide to release a statement about going green, despite the fact that they have no plans to follow up on the statement in practice.

Linda (Andrea Anders) has been very vocal about her dislike of the company she works for, but her support of the green initiative gives her hope that Veridian Dynamics can change for the better. While Ted (Jay Harrington) is well aware that the company isn't really doing anything to help the environment, he desperately wants Linda to believe otherwise, and creates a fake project in order to appease her, ultimately forcing the company to start working on the greening of their company without actually knowing about it.

Ted understands that the employees of Veridian Dynamics work better when they believe in what they're doing, when there's no doubt about the morality of their actions, and he justifies his lies here with the fact that he's promoting company loyalty in Linda as well as doing something for the environment. Veridian made their commercial to ensure that the public would be more welcoming of their image, and Ted followed through on it to facilitate the same feeling in his employees.

FireflyTrash [4.5]

A woman of many names, Saffron (Christina Hendricks) has spread many lies throughout her life, but the one thing she has always known is exactly who she is. We have seen, time and again, her manipulations of men, but this is the first instance wherein we witness her feeling regret. When she first appeared in "Our Mrs. Reynolds" Saffron was something of a sociopath, taking what she wanted from the men in her life and feeling completely justified in doing so, but here she shows that there's more to her than that.

Having made her living by fleecing men out of their money, Saffron was unprepared to fall in love when, under the name Yolanda, she married Durran Haymer (Dwier Brown.) Intending to play Durran as she plays all of the men in her life, instead she developed real feelings for him and made an attempt to play the role of the dutiful wife. Her happiness wouldn't last and she grew restless, eventually faking a kidnapping in order to spare Durran the pain of knowing who she really was, and she told herself that, no matter how hard things got for her, she would never steal from the one man she truly had loved.

Forced by circumstance to revisit Durran's home, Saffron does everything in her power to get in and out without his knowledge, only revealing the truth when she's cornered by him with no other option. As Durran tells her that he knew she couldn't be trusted, there's a visible break in Saffron's facade, and it's clear that she had hoped he would never know what she truly was, wishing instead that she could live on in his memory as the woman she could never hope to encapsulate.

Winner of the Week • Buffy the Vampire Slayer

While not technically the best of the week, Buffy the Vampire Slayer offered a great potential ending to the story, closing up all the loose threads and offering farewells to the characters we've come to know under the assumption that it would be the last we would see from them. Gellar really shines in her performance here as she struggles with her duty to protect the world from vampires and her desire to live to see another day.

The final confrontation between Buffy and the Master is relatively short-lived, but the main focus of this story is not on the impending apocalypse or the fight between good and evil, but the interaction between these people as they try to find their way in the world. Buffy learns that she's going to die, and while she had known she would die young ever since being called as the Slayer, she was never given a specific timeline. Being told that she would die within the week makes things extremely real for her, taking the possibility of death and turning into certainty, meaning that she would need to say her goodbyes now or risk her family and friends never knowing what they truly meant to her.

Worse yet is that she suffers alone, as none of the people around her can learn about fight or they might put themselves in danger trying to save her life. In the end she follows her calling, giving up everything in the name of those she loves, and in return she gets the greatest gift of all: a second chance.


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