22.2.09

Idea for Angel Season 6

Some notes ago, I spewed forth pretentiousness about the tv show Angel. Apart from banging on about how it wasn't as good as Buffy (a semi-subconcious reaction to weirdoes who thought it was), I gave my own interpretation on what the show was ultimately about. In long, Angel started off as a divinely backed Champion of good in Los Angeles, city of demons. As the series went on, the god-like 'Powers That Be' that guide him on his quest for redemption (through visions sent to a sidekick) are stripped of their benevolence. In the third season Angel gets a son, and loses him to his worst enemy. In the fourth season, his conduit to the Powers is gone, and eventually one of the Powers emerges as the Big Bad. In the fifth season, the Powers' promise to Angel to turn him human is undermined by the arrival of Spike, another eligible Champion. Angel in any case has compromised his position by working for the bad guys. At the very end, we leave Angel and the gang with no reward for their labours, but facing an even bigger battle than the ones fought before.

All this powerfully suggests that Angel's predestined course in the first two seasons has gone badly awry. The Powers no longer perform miracles for him ('Epiphany' 2.16, 'Amends' Buffy 3.10). Providence, the guiding hand of a transcendent power, has been replaced with the chaos of life. Free will is what is important -- creating a purpose for your existence that comes from within.

Following on from this interpretation of the series, I got to thinking about how to square the benevolent Powers of the first two seasons with the ambivalent/malevolent ones in the last three. My brain juice came up with a simple idea: the Powers are crazy. They are insane, completely unpredictable, and they get some perverse pleasure from meddling in the life of our protagonist. This keeps the emphasis of the latter half of the series -- life is random, there are no greater explanations apart from the ones you form yourself. This is in line with Joss Whedon's professed existentialist/absurdist philosophy (right?).

Confession time. This idea isn't really original. I wish my brain juice had such talents. I encountered it in Slaine, by British comics legend Pat Mills. The Earth Goddess that Slaine worships is also crazy. She has three faces (maiden, mother, crone) and she constantly switches between them. In other words, she is completely unpredictable. Slaine can't ever rely on her help when he is in trouble. No deus ex machina and no clear path. In the end this leads to no God, at least in the traditional sense (Pat Mills probably doesn't mind you worshipping the Earth).

Won't this work rather nicely as a final statement for Angel? Or is it nonsense? Angel Season 6 is going on, but I'm not reading it. If no mention of the Powers is being made in there, then I suspect a lot of the above may be a giant sack of manure. Then again, you never know what an Angel series has in store. I live in hope.

No comments:

Post a Comment