Making the world a better place, one show at a time.

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I guess you would like to know a little bit about the person making all these proclamations upon good taste and horrid characters. I'm Andrea and when I was 15 I fell in love. An hour after meeting "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" I was forever altered in the way only love can, and I never questioned for one minute afterwards that television offered me an amazing chance to experience lives and moments that I could never imagine. So now, when I'm not getting distracted by my real life, I write about TV. I also read, am finishing a Master's degree in English Literature, travel, am attempting to learn vegan cooking, am the 5th of 6 children, and drive my roommate nuts by constantly cleaning our already clean apartment. Now that we're old friends, time for you to take my opinions as the be all and end all.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fictional Throwdown: Personal Attributes and Up-Bringing

Welcome to the first category of Fictional Throwdown. So what can these boys do?

Our First Competitor: Sam Winchester

Sam may very well be the anti-christ, and dude I’m not kidding. Sam was marked at six-months old to lead a demon army. At this point it isn’t quite (explicitly) established whether Sam was chosen because of his powers, or he has powers because he was chosen. Sam does not utilize his powers because he thinks they/their source is evil, but because of other characters on Supernatural we know what his powers are. He has premonitions, can control others' actions (first through words, then just through thought), project images into others' minds, move objects/material with his mind, stop someone heart by touching them, incredible strength, electrocution, and last but not least he can summon and control demons. Okay, not too bad. But powers aren’t everything. Sam, just as a human being, is a total badass. No joke, badass. He is a weapons expert, agile and determined in hand to hand combat (he’s a bit rusty in the pilot episode where Dean kicks his ass, but don’t be fooled), quick-thinking and adapts to his situation, knows Latin, prays daily (I’m not being a goody-two-shoes, this is made explicitly important on the show), can hold his liquor, has a collage education (which he utilizes), and can break into any building (either with a lock pick or charisma). In addition to all this, Sam’s greatest asset is his experience. After their mother was murdered in a house fire set by a demon, Sam and his brother Dean were raised by their father John (the wondrous Jeffery Dean Morgan) to fight the forces of evil. On the show it's called being a hunter, but Sam and Dean were raised to be a warriors. Sam has had roughly 15-20 years of training and field-work: his record of saved lives, atrocities avoided, and evil things killed or exorcised testifies to his skill and accomplishment. The possibility is open that he may be evil (I don’t think he is, and will address this under “Character/Moral Understanding), but I repeat; badass.

Our Second Competitor: Peter Petrelli

Funny enough, there isn’t a simple word for Peter’s natural power. I guess you would say Peter is an empath (this is not actually a noun). Peter’s power is to absorb the powers of those he comes in contact with. In two seasons Peter has accumulated quite a few talents. Lets list them and the origin: flight (Nathan), prediction/painting talent (Isaac), cellular regeneration (Claire), time stopping and traveling (Hiro), mind reading (Matt), telekinesis (Sylar), freezing (Sylar), invisibility (Claude), strength (Nicki/Jessica), nuclear-ism (Ted), observation (Mr. Deverauex), electricity (Elle), persuasion (Mrs. Petrelli*). (*Okay, this hasn’t actually been revealed yet, but there is no way Peter wouldn’t have his mother’s power, and I’m fairly sure this is her power.) These are all that I can think of, and according to Mrs. Petrelli Peter is the most powerful of all the heroes, so I think you get the point with this list. Peter is a very powerful being, but for all his strengths, he has some crippling weaknesses. There are two limitations to Peter’s power. First of all those he comes in contact with limit him. Since the powers he uses all come from sources outside of him, he can only have powers that others have. He will not increase in power by spontaneously generating abilities. Secondly, he is limited by his ability to recognize and use appropriately the power he absorbs. Claude taught him a great deal about controlling his abilities, but he simply hasn’t had enough practice. He took on Sylar, but wasn’t able to fight and control his own abilities at the same time, so he exploded anyway and couldn’t fly away. Furthermore, Peter isn’t depicted to have any important attributes aside from his powers. His heart, his innate empathy with the human condition (which makes him loving and loyal), is his only quality that seems to be of any importance, and even that is the natural reflection of his meta-natural power. Maybe Peter’s most obvious defect is that he was not raised to be a leader/fighter. Everyone assumed that Nathan would be the savior and the brothers were raised accordingly. Peter has emerged as the more powerful sibling, but Peter has only been using his powers and fighting the good fight for roughly six months. Peter is hindered by both his inexperience with his powers, but also his lingering discomfort with understanding himself differently than the way in which he was raised.

Up Next: Character/Moral Understanding

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