Welcome, welcome, welcome!
In keeping with my newish habit of using downtime to post in my “Best Of / Worst Of” series, let me direct your attention to this evening’s BTVS offering: Season 8, Issue 21… the Harmony issue.
In preparing to post this addition, I needed to answer a fundamental question for myself… Is Harmony Kendall A Protagonist To Explore? The truth is, Harms has never really been like other vampires, but she also can’t be accused of being a Spike or Angel either. I think I’m able to dodge this particular bullet because she’s still acting like her vacuous, bitey self – but once she becomes a spokesperson for non-fatality living with the undead, it’s going to require more thought.
So, for this particular issue, Harmony is not among our focused characters which really hurts our list of potentials to investigate. We will be including: Andrew Wells, the Slayer Soledad and I’m going to include the demon Clem because he’s always struck me as the relatively decent sort.
Our Characters Are Terrific!
Andrew- Andy doesn’t do anything to earn a kudo, as he’s only there long enough to try to recruit Soledad into Buffy’s army… which he almost did until Buffy blew it with her pre-canned girl power speech.
Soledad- Soledad doesn’t earn herself any kudo either. It’s nice that she left the girl gang she’d become a part of and I do give her credit for that, but it’s not enough on its own to earn her awards. And as a solo Slayer – she was brash, clumsy, arrogant and dead.
Clem- Clem earns himself zero kudos for hooking himself to Harmony’s wagon. EW, Clem – I’m so disappointed.
Okay, so despite Harmony being a soulless vampire I do feel the need to give her some credit for not leaving a trail of dead bodies after her. She embraces the non-fatal biting [albeit for self-serving reasons] when she could’ve just as easily played both sides of the predatory line if she’d wanted. I’ll issue her a special Half-KUDO.
Our Characters Are Terrible!
Andrew- Andy doesn’t do anything to earn himself a demerit.
Soledad- Soledad, as mentioned wasn’t much of a beginner Slayer and gets herself dead mostly by accident and acting rashly. But I’m not going to issue a demerit just for that; I’m more just feeling sorry for her.
Clem- CLEM. I’m disappointed enough in Clem helping Harmony to issue a Half-DEMERIT. After everything that Buffy did for you [like not treating you as a demon and killing your ass], you hook up with soulless, half-wit Harmony?? You could be helping Dawn, who actually really liked you!
The news media in general gets a bad rap these days and infotainment “news” is even worse as far as I’m concerned, but in this case I think a DEMERIT is well-earned for jumping on the Harmony Is A Victimized Celebrity bandwagon. It’s disgusting.
I was going to issue a special half-demerit at Harmony for the killing of Soledad. My thought process was that the newbie Slayer was already grievously injured, so there wasn’t a reason for the coup de grâce of tearing out her neck. But then as I was typing that explanation I thought about Harmony’s position and I came to the conclusion that actually she shouldn’t be punished for reacting with vampire instinct in this case. She was, in her own thought-bubble words, terrified as she recognized she was fighting a Slayer and that definitely put her in the fight-or-flight instinctive response. And Soledad was the aggressor here – Harmony didn’t seek out this confrontation, and even if she had… vampire. It’s hard to remember that Harmony Kendall isn’t actually Harmony just because she still acts so much like she used to be. So, no demerit – even though I’m bizarrely a bit disappointed in her for not restraining herself.
I also wanted to issue a demerit against The Slayer Organization and Angel Investigations crews for not eliminating Harmony before now, considering how high profile she was living it up. A vampire is a vampire is a vampire [with the exceptions of Spike and Angel, ‘natch] after all. But then I decided not to because Harmony just wasn’t a priority until her high-profile, national exposure and by this time she was already well into her “don’t kill” public persona. It’d be a disaster to kill her now and everybody has way more important things to focus on, as long as Harmony isn’t out slaughtering. And as mentioned, Soledad’s death, cruel though it may be to say, was her own damned fault.
Which means that I’ve issued Harmony a net positive: The world has done gone crazy!