Heroes in the Whedonverse

| Thursday, April 8
I sat down to start watching Angel from the beginning, streaming from Netflix the other morning, and as I was watching Season 1 Episode 1, "City of" a thought came to me. Many of Whedon's male characters have some seriously similar traits. Though it is not ALWAYS the case, Angel, Mal Reynolds and Paul Ballard are often very chivalrous heroes, relating to female characters without much sexual motivation.  And when they do finally give in, "bad things" happen.

**Warning: Dollhouse Spoiler if you've not seen the whole series!**


Angel: In "City of" he offers his apartment to the woman he's just rescued as a safe place for the night. She basically offers herself to him on a silver platter by saying something along the lines of, "I guess you'll want a reward." The vamp simply brushes off her offer and goes about his business. He learned his lesson the hard way. When he did the deed with Buffy, he lost his soul AGAIN and became evil AGAIN and had to break it off.

Mal: Our swashbuckling captain seems almost asexual in some episodes, only truly showing his desires in banter with Inara (and sometimes Jayne) and that one time in "Heart of Gold." In "Our Mrs. Reynolds," Mal suddenly finds himself with a wife, Saffron, and Book tells him he's going to Hell if he does anything to her. Mal wants nothing to do with her other than to get rid of her in a kindly manner.  When he finally caves to her "womanly wiles," he finds himself unconscious and his ship in the middle of being hijacked by scrappers.

Paul: Agent Ballard is on a mission. From the very beginning of Dollhouse, he wants to save Caroline from the clutches of the Rossum Corporation. He doesn't have feelings for her, but he does fall for his neighbor, Mellie, who he thinks is just a typical girl-next-door. Little does he know. Sadly, he does end up sleeping with her even though he knows she's a doll, but he regrets it and is horribly conflicted. When he finally gets to Echo/Caroline, he eventually falls for her, too, and gets hurt SO badly that he has to have doll hardware implanted in order to survive. In doing so, the part of his brain that held all memories of his relationship with Echo is destroyed.  He lives, but he never gets the girl. 

Moral of the story: If you are a male lead in the Whedonverse, come in on your white horse and save the fair maidens, just don't bed them, or disaster will find you.

10 comments:

catherine said...

niiice!

and poor paul ballard...(i gave up on dollhouse, but i was curious to know what happened...kinda). sigh. no one can EVER seem to be happy in the 'verse.

Katie said...

Nice analysis! Were you ever a film major in the past?

Kara said...

Actually, at my university, Film Studies fell under the jurisdiction of the English dept, so I took a few film electives as part of my major. Also, I'm a big geek.

Magpie said...

Oh Mal, you will have my heart FOREVER.

*drools*

fallingfromprams said...

I completely agree and LOVE this post! Dude where have you been my whole life?

Eleni said...

Poor Paul. Well, he kind of got the girl in the end...or rather she got him...kind of...

When Mal does bed a woman in Heart of Gold, something bad happens to her. Frustrating that we don't get more resolution between him and Inara.

Kara said...

I kinda like to think the Mal/Inara thing would've been resolved if the show had continued.

Gnetch said...

It's really weird that Dollhouse was never shown in this part of the world. One of my blog friends is TOTALLY into that show. I should buy a DVD. ;)

Supergreensunbear said...

Lol, I think you got that one down to a T.

Though its not the Whedonverse, I was very glad when Dr Who got Captain Jack on the scene and Tourchwood got going... I was getting worried for a moment there that something similar was going to go down with the last of the timelords. Not that it would be bad but the 'will they get together' story lines go mad.

Kara said...

Man, I LOVE Dr. Who, but have just recently gotten into it. I've gotta go back and watch more old eps. And yeah, there have been some "will they won't they" storylines there, too. Oh, and don't even get me started on Bones. (another Boreanaz show!)

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