Thursday, March 22, 2007

It's Deep and It's Real: The Love-to-Hate Relationship

I now give you permission to hate anyone who threatens your OTP.

You’re allowed to hate Early Addison. You’re allowed to hate Juliet the Other. You’re allowed to hate em-effing Karen Fillipelli.

The problem is...besides being interested in/involved with half of your OTP, these three women haven’t really done anything wrong.

Addison might have been a bitch with her Manolo entrance, pointing fingers in Meredith Grey’s face, but I probably would have put on my best suit and my best red lipstick if I was going to meet my husband’s mistress.

Juliet hasn’t done anything at all. She brought Jack sandwiches. I want my lovey to be fed! I still hate her.

And Karen Fillipelli? All she’s done is capitalized on the most eligible man in Scranton.

It’s so much more fun to watch when the producers—not just me—allow us to hate that threatening bitch. When somebody’s getting in the way of your favorite couple, you don’t want that person to be sweet.

You want that person to be Lauren Reed. You want that person to be Diana Fowley.

These Bitches-With-a-Capital-C are my favorite characters to hate. They’re there not only to provide an obligatory OTP angst-fest, but also to ultimately further the storyline of the couple you love and care about.

Diana Fowley was never going to end up with Mulder. We just had to suffer through episodes like “The Sixth Extinction” because it provided the necessary contrast to Scully’s entrance into Mulder’s little hallucination. Diana left, but Scully—and the Cigarette Smoking Man—stayed the same. Without Diana, there would be no path to Mulder’s sweet speech to Scully: “You were my constant. My touchstone.”

In a more light-hearted way, she created tension between the agents when Gibson Praise intuited that Mulder was thinking about “one of the girls [he] brought.” Later, he tells Scully, “I know you’re wondering about that other girl. She’s wondering about you, too.” It was moments like that which created the MSR. Without those little scenes, there would have been no reason to hope for an eventual union between the two.

Those horrible scenes between Diana and Fox (including that piece-of-shit scene in “Biogenesis” where she says goodbye to whatever evil person she's telephoning and then disrobes) were important because we got to see—finally!—that Scully was jealous. In her mind, in whatever way, he belonged to her.

Plus, how freakin’ amazing is the reveal in “Two Fathers” that she works for the Cigarette Smoking Man? I remember sitting there hoping it would be her—I was twelve years old. That moment was like the official go-ahead to despise that traitorous whore. Yeah, maybe she saved Mulder from certain death, but who hasn’t?

I much prefer the reveal of the duplicity of Lauren Reed, who I believe, incidentally, is a direct descendant of Diana Fowley (but that’s a story for another blog). Sydney Bristow’s taking a patient to the emergency room when all of a sudden shots are fired and the patient—Adrian Lazarey, somebody who knows too much about Rambaldi for his own good—is murdered. The camera slowly pans to the roof, then to the gun, then to a very-eyelined Lauren making a victorious phone call.

In a subsequent episode, “Taken,” her evilness is revealed to Jack, who overhears Sark tell someone “Not if I see you first, love,” on the telephone, only to catch Lauren say it to Vaughn later in the episode.

I have never loathed someone as much as I loathe Lauren Reed.

Nope. I take that back. Billy Crudup. My high school journalism teacher. Luka.

Anyway, I loathe her a lot. (My sister does a hilarious Lauren Reed Face. It involves shoving grapes in her mouth.)

However, even though she stole a lot from Sydney and Vaughn—including an entire season of fluff possibilities—the angst she created was brilliant. Some of my all-time favorite Sydney/Vaughn moments come from Season Three.

There’s Vaughn’s little speech to her at the airport that, “I’m not going to lose you twice.”

There’s Sydney’s subconscious attempting to compensate for her loneliness by recreating the night of her Covenant abduction, turning it instead into a sweet moment for the couple in an ambulance.

And, of course, there’s "Crossings," where Sydney and Vaughn, fearing death, cling to each other and share a kiss and what they think will be their final words: “We’ll find each other. We always find each other.” Gets me every time.

The absolute angst of Season Three paved the way for Seasons Four and Five, which, in my opinion, were much more interesting for my Alias OTP than was Season Two. Season Two was pretty much smooth sailing once they finally hooked up. Even their first date gone majorly awry was pretty fluffy. Vaughn and Sydney’s do-over was so much more sweet and meaningful because of the time they spent apart.

What I’m saying is that I’d rather Karen Fillipelli turn out to be a mole for Staples than to continue to make no contribution to the story whatsoever. To be a proper obstacle, you need to either let me despise you or make me fall in love with you. So far, Addison’s the only one who’s ever led me toward the latter. The rest of you? I’m gonna despise you whether you’re one of Kim Jong-Il’s lackeys or just that mindless drone who sits next to Phyllis. At least give me a reason.

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