Somewhere (a closet?), they keep a genius yet utterly insane writer, like some kind of screenwriting gimp. Every so often, he gets out and alters completed scripts, probably in the morning (when everyone else is hungover?), or substitutes his crazy-what-genius scripts. Because there's no other explanation for a show this fucking campy to manage to have mind-blowing arcs that I didn't even realize were really arcs going somewhere because again, this show is adorilarious campy awesome.
Yes, I am talking about Charlotte.
So granted, my trust in TV is super low right now, which is part of the reason I went back to Lucifer; there was no goddamn way even by accident I was going to bond or have expectations other than casual watching. Luckily, while Lucifer got on my nerves every so often (he always exceeds my expectations on how self-absorbed he can be), Chloe and Maze were amazing, and Maze and Linda's friendship was fantastic and then there was Ella because I assume someone has really good blackmail material on the writers and uses it every so often to add another fully-fleshed female character in. Go you, blackmailer!
Charlotte coming back for actual screentime I didn't expect, but whatever, it was really cool to see how different she was from the Goddess. I really didn't expect her to become reccuring, but the fact she was traumatized--as in, ongoing--from her time in hell (and the time someone else was living her life)--that's like, development. And fuck me, a redemption arc, like the kind where she does good things because they benefit her and for no other reason, then starts to do them because--holy fuck--they're the right thing to do.
Yes, I did just ugly cry through her death three times--I watched it three times--which I haven't done since a couple of months ago, I finally watched Sweets' death on Bones (so much goddamn ugly crying).
In another entry I was talking about how The Magicians screwed up and writing tragedy is easy, and it is, but this--this wasn't a tragedy. A tragic event, yes, but not a tragedy. Sure, I'm in a Charlotte-induced vulnerable place, but this death worked. I was surprised and fuck I'm gutted--what is with this show and complex female characters who aren't always likable but you never stop loving them?--but it was--I didn't feel cheated.
In Lucifer, Hell is a place you send yourself due to your own guilt, which at first sounded like a great deal if you were a sociopath or just really flexible with your conscience, how simple. Even Charlotte's dreams of Hell kind of reinforced the cause-->effect thing. It wasn't until I thought about it and added in the context of that resurrected cop that it occurred to me there was another interpretation.
(Who, by the way, was one fuck of a lightweight compared to Charlotte; did you spend forever having your entire family murdered in front of you on a loop asshole? No? Let me introduce you to Charlotte, who went through all that shit, came back, found her entire life in shambles, family gone, no friends, and managed to change jobs, forge actual friendships, start a healthy relationship, build a new life, and become a better person. What did you do again? Went on a trauma shopping spree and recreational murder. Okay then.)
It's not the actions that you commit themselves; they're just a symptom, and they're what is used in Hell to show you a fundamental truth about yourself. Actions can be forgiven. The source of your suffering is you could have been a better person; you didn't have to be the kind of person who defended monsters or killed people, that was a choice you made. That would be the root cause, and something almost impossible to forgive, because the only person who can give you forgiveness is yourself. And how, looking at your life, can you possibly forgive yourself for the harm you willingly caused yourself?
Which was very true of Charlotte. She quit her job, tried to be less abrasive (nice?), started prosecuting criminals (apparently all the criminals, the DA's office probably had an un-fucking-precedented conviction rate and a considerably cleared backlog), tried to help Amenadiel break up Chloe and Pierce for God's plan, etc, etc, but it was all about buying redemption with a scorecard to balance bad acts with good ones or negotiating it without actually addressing the problem; herself. She still thought of herself--and therefore was--as a bad person who was doing good works to make up for that. She didn't--couldn't--believe all she had to do was stop thinking of herself as bad and forgive herself for not being better then, and move on to realize she's making the choice now, every day, to be better.
She fell in love with a good man and started to believe he actually did think she was wonderful, that whatever he saw when he looked at her might just be real; she built friendships with other women in fits and starts by learning to accept they accepted her, that they wanted to accept her, for herself; she thought she was going crazy, despaired, raged, walked the world with invisible wounds that always hurt and never seemed to heal--but she didn't give up.
She thought her arc was about buying mercy for being a bad person; what it was really about was realizing she was so much better than she thought she was or thought she could be. A person who took down a scumbag that murdered women, and this....
She couldn't change the past when she was among those that protected him (and those like him). Nothing she did now was going to change what he did to those women, she couldn't make up for that; instead of wallowing in it, she chose to accept that, to take responsibility for her actions but not and never his, and to move on. She had now, right now, to make a future where no woman would be hurt by him again; she chose to do it. Not for guilt over the women in the past--though yeah, she was guilty--but for unknown women she'd never meet, never know about, would have no reason to ever care about--but she chose to care about them. She chose to defend them with the most effective weapon in her arsenal and in the best way possible; she assured that they would never need to be defended at all.
She saw a gun pointed at Amenadiel and chose to get between him and those bullets. She chose to care about him; she chose to defend him; she only had one thing in her arsenal and she didn't hesitate to use it.
She became the person she couldn't have imagined; one who could make those kinds of choices. Her actions weren't what made her good; they were just proof of who she'd become.
Fuck Lucifer for making me feel. Lucifer, you're forgiven the suburban-stiletto-heels Goddess bullshit for giving me this.
(I have so many thoughts on Maze's arc and development but I'm still kind of amused by the entirety of her descent into Totally Demon Maze Really So Evil Murder Betrayal Stabbing!!!! Mostly due to the fact that Totally a Demon Really Maze was--from beginning to end--emotionally reacting like any other human on earth, just with more weaponry. Someone should tell her that. Linda. They really need to get together goddammit.)
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