The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

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Zara
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Re: The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

Post by Zara »

222333 wrote:*
I have tried many times to compose a reply to this thread, but it’s difficult. I have lots of thoughts crossing my mind. The first thought is of course that what I read in the past posts is beautiful and consistent, and you know how much I admire consistency. The second is that it does not sound “right” to me. From a very general point of view, I guess it’s because such approach puts V and C in a “special” category, which is not close to me enough to be inspiring. You also know how much I like the symbolical meaning of “everything” in this show, but it is a symbolism that I can use myself, for my human growth. The growth of a human being who perceives and wants to feed in tales telling that life is much more than what you have “inside” or “outside”, and “that truth is love”.

...

The approach outlined in these posts places the lovers in a mythical position, which is absolutely okay and one that respects and founds the whole development of the series, even more consistently than what the writers did. But doing so, it places them also too far from us, from me. Catherine is a flawed character which finds her redemption drawing Vincent back from death. Vincent is a flawed character which is made “man” by the sublime and terrible acceptance of his mate. Now, I love those flawed characters and I love precisely that they are flawed, what I don’t love is that in that fated approach, they find their closure, and become something other. And Vincent becomes comfortable with himself and his dangerous side, his focus becoming something else, the Above being only a place of anger and evil. And especially, Catherine becomes “disposable”. Her parable is completed, and she sacrifices herself until the supreme sacrifice. That done, we can honor her and move on, a stepping stone. Apart being not fair, fairness being a whole important chapter in my approach, in such trajectory she is not inspiring. Or not in a way I like. And it’s no wonder, Zara, that you also prefer Diana, who is much more “real” and inspiring. Which I very well understand, given these premises.


Yes. This is a great danger of dancing with archetypes, as I like to do. I would very much like to hear more about your important chapter of fairness, because I see already how building an interpretation closer to our Everyday Hearts than to Distant Myth...requires fairness to nurture hope.

I will say that my greatest problem with Catherine as a character, our primary rendering of the Beauty from folklore, is that not only is she constructed as a Damsel-in-Distress, but a Damsel-Who-Frequently-Concocts-Her-Own Distress. I credit all of my personal affinity for Catherine as a character to the superior and humanizing dramatic talents of the actress, Linda Hamilton. The storytellers *had* to make Diana be a different version of Beauty who is unlike Catherine, and so while Diana faces similar dangers, the "damselness" is absent. Diana, as her name implies, is a Huntress in my typology. She fits perfectly into the new tale being told in the third season of the show.

Sobi wrote:Yes, to do it I must make an arbitrary decision, as it’s not what the series show. But I feel entitled to do it, because, as I have said many times, this is just entertainment.


*smiles*

The daydreaming and decision-making are essential acts of creativity. It is how we discover and share meaning in life, from many sources, entertainment included. I am glad you feel entitled, for you are.

Sobi wrote:When I was completely and horribly crushed by the 3S, one of the reasons why it happened is that the story appealed to these religious and symbolic undercurrents, but then it left me alone to cope with my killed hope, as… it’s just a TV show. Powerful enough to make me fly, but not enough to raise me up when I’m broken.


A while ago, I was watching con videos on YouTube and a comment Roy Dotrice offered really resonated. He essentially said of The Powers That Be, "People were depending upon this story for hope and truth and beauty in their lives. How dare they take that away from us?" It is an ancient problem: the battle between Patrons and Artists. Today, it is manifested in the battle between Publishers and Content Providers, and B&B was a casualty of the war...and so many fans' heartbreak with it. I am saddened and aggravated to know that this happened, and continues to happen with other worthy stories that bring less profit to the Patrons even as they foster greater humanity in the Audience.

Pat wrote:Zara is the mythical expert here...


*grins*

Try Zara = She-Who-Loves-to-Share-All-the-Neat-Stuff-She-Discovers-Via-Topical-Fascinations. I don't feel I'm an expert, only an amateur who spends a lot of time pondering notions that catch my attention.

Pat wrote:I would have been interested to see George RR Martin's original plan. He wanted to explore the costs of Vincent's violence, a coming to grips with that side of himself, and keep in it the coming together through love that Catherine's pulling him back to her provides. Then I could hope that the adult relationship aspect might have come into the show more and get the story I would have liked.


His original plan would be great to see. However, my impression regarding Martin's take of Vincent is that Martin wanted to tip our Beast more deeply into the Monster/Werelion/Beastial domain than Koslow ever permitted. Don't get me wrong; Martin's are my favorite episodes in the series, and I'm convinced the other writers should have given much more credence to their resident fantasy/horror/sci-fi-genres novelist. But Martin's emphasis on Beauty pulling Beast out of violence does not cohere with Koslow's vision of Vincent's character, which gave us an integrated Beast who serves as a guide for Beauty, showing her what is truly beautiful in life and love.

I am now wondering, as I write this, whether a significant portion of the disconnection between the majority of the show and the Dark Turn is actually rooted in the imbalance between Koslow's whole and hale Beast...and Martin's dualistic and fragmenting Beast. I know, I know, I am oversimplifying the interconnected aspects of the writer/producer team. But for the sake of discussion, these seem to be the two most prominent visions of the character and the way he balances himself. (Setting aside the external demands for cops-and-robbers/Hulkcent scripts, which the storytellers collectively did their darnedest to resist.)

~ Zara
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Re: The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

Post by Maclurv »

the battle between Patrons and Artists


Yet another balancing act.

Okay. Comparatively speaking, you are an expert on mythology. And, yes, you must spend a *lot* of time reading and pondering!

But Martin's emphasis on Beauty pulling Beast out of violence does not cohere with Koslow's vision of Vincent's character, which gave us an integrated Beast who serves as a guide for Beauty, showing her what is truly beautiful in life and love.


I need to re-read George's interview where he goes over his plan, but my memory doesn't recall Catherine pulling Vincent out of violence as much as love reclaiming him from death/dream state (ambiguous for the audience supposedly).I found this in my book:

As we're dramatizing that, we're also cutting to Vincent in the Land of the Dead, where he's dealing with all the people that he's killed through the years. Characters from previous shows, thugs, villains, and so forth, with Paracelsus, of course, providing over them. At the end of this, his love for Catherine would bid Vincent to return to life. ...Was Vincent really dead and in the Land of the Dead? Or was he in some strange catatonic state that resembles death, in which he had this wild dream?


In my optimism, I took from that the violence would have been faced, examined for appropriateness/non-appropriateness, and perhaps some thought given to how to proceed best with their lives in future. I can dream, can't I? :D

I am now wondering, as I write this, whether a significant portion of the disconnection between the majority of the show and the Dark Turn is actually rooted in the imbalance between Koslow's whole and hale Beast...and Martin's dualistic and fragmenting Beast.


I'm going with no, based again, on reading in the book. I think Koslow was in on the re-vamp and there was a consensus how to move forward.

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Re: The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

Post by Zara »

Dream on, and dream always. May the dream live brightly in all our hearts! :D

And sorry, regarding Martin, I was also reaching all the way back to episodes like "Terrible Savior" and "China Moon," where Martin wanted to see Catherine stopping Vincent from killing Jason Walker outright, and he also thought it a good idea for Vincent to respond to the Tong leader's "only a monster" taunt by ripping out the guy's liver. Okay, okay, it would have been TV-friendly, but that's Martin's pervading preference. His Vincent was consistently more werewolfy than Koslow's Beast. And yes, the conditions surrounding the Trilogy and the 3S opening had Koslow on board and the whole team striving to resolve the 2S storyline. Apologies for confusion.

I too would love to have seen the Land of the Dead arc. Talk about Underworld Mythology in action! :mrgreen:

~ Zara
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Re: The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

Post by Maclurv »

Yes, on occasion, Catherine did stop Vincent, but I always took that to be her desire to prevent the cost to Vincent that killing exacted on him.

George apparently felt the end of the Tong leader was a cop-out, and that a star thrown at the chest would not have killed him. I think it was an interesting dilemma for Vincent: he was unarmed, yet he spoke of never stopping, bringing more and more people into the fight. I think it would have been a stronger statement to have Vincent kill him. He would do anything to protect his community.

His Vincent was consistently more werewolfy


I admit to not watching horror films (okay, one or two very old black-and-white films at a sleepover as a kid). Could you please explain what 'werewolfy' means to you?

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Re: The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

Post by Zara »

Pat wrote:Could you please explain what 'werewolfy' means to you?


Quick and eager to kill without cause, or to kill as a first recourse rather than a last resort.

In the episodes as they stand (scripts and drafts aside) I can recall Catherine calling for Vincent to stop killing on two occasions, both times when Vincent was in a heightened frenzied state, both times after Catherine had been threatened with rape. "Down to a Sunless Sea" and "The Outsiders." That might make an interesting discussion topic in and of itself. But can anyone think of other occasions that my mind is missing this morning?

Otherwise, Vincent seems able to "stop on a dime," as the saying goes. He can go from silent shadow to roaring attacker to softspoken spokesman moment by moment, and he is not violent or lethal unless there is no other immediate way to stop an opponent's violence and/or intent to kill. The Werewolf typically embodies imbalance (although there are wonderful exceptions out there in film and literature), a monster in conflict with its humanity, and who is violently out of control. Vincent, however, demonstrates nuanced balance, great self-control, great self-awareness, and a healthy mistrust of violence as a means to solve his problems.

"China Moon" *did* cop out of the ethical question raised, but it did so in a way that mollifies me, at any rate. No, the star should not have killed the Tong leader...but this particular wrinkle in reality allowed evil to do something that evil often does best: turn on itself in the end. I can forgive the cheese factor there, even if I wish the Tong invasion had been less caricatured in an episode that dealt so directly with ethnicity. I can also see how Vincent killing the leader would make a strong statement about his devotion to protecting the community. On the other hand, he's already proved both his dedication and his capability in that direction.

Maybe the stronger statement is to show a character who *can* take a life so frequently choosing *not* to take that life. Vincent spares the villains who are supplying destructive orders to obedient minions more often than he kills them.

A Zara-list.

Leaders Vincent kills:
    *Marty Belmont in the Pilot (extortionist behind the original attack on Catherine; and the man had a gun in Catherine's face)
    *Naj in "A Children's Story" (child abuser extraordinaire, and incidentally an unarmed man)
    *Detective Danny Yates in "An Impossible Silence" (Laura's armed and advancing kidnapper)
    *Lincoln in "Sticks and Stones" (gang leader about to brain Laura with a cinderblock); although it's unclear whether that's a full death or merely an incapacitation...I vote death, based on performances
    *Micah in "The Outsiders" (who threatened Catherine sexually as well as cornering her in the Tunnels)
    *Cameron Benson in "The Hollow Men" (who kills prostitutes for sport, threatened to kill Catherine, and just shot Vincent)
    *"Father" as impersonated by Paracelsus in "Ceremony of Innocence" (who is unleashing venomous evil upon Vincent and the Tunnels community)
    *District Attorney John Moreno in "Nevermore" (Catherine's betrayer and Elliot's attacker, who also just shot Vincent...twice)


Leaders Vincent does not kill:
    *Leo Mundy in "Siege" (ringleader of the enforcers ousting tenants from Micha's building, who directly threatens Catherine)
    *Jason Walker in "Terrible Savior" (Subway Slasher who directly threatens Catherine)
    *Chris in "No Way Down" (gang leader and Vincent's torturer)
    *Mitch Denton in "The Beast Within" (Vincent's childhood friend turned mob enforcer who just shot Catherine)
    *Professor Edward Hughes in "Nor Iron Bars a Cage" (university scientist, Vincent's abductor and captor)
    *Professor Alexander Ross in "Dark Spirit" (Voodoo cult leader who poisoned Catherine and had a knife to her body when Vincent arrived)
    *Chiang Lo Yi in "China Moon" (Tong leader threatening Vincent's home and loved ones, also challenging Vincent's humanity to his face)
    *Paracelsus in "Remember Love" (interesting that Vincent dreams not of killing Paracelsus but of being executed by him)
    *Bernie Spirko in "What Rough Beast" (invasive reporter; they did not know Spirko hadn't set up the attack on Catherine at that time)
    *Louis Horner in "In the Forests of the Night" (Vincent knew only that this was the guy in the suit and private office in the drug lab at the time)
    *Gabriel in "Invictus" (unmitigated evil in the flesh)

The list shows me that Vincent makes active choices in each situation he encounters. Not that I'm arguing against anyone here, exactly. Just hoping to add a new point to the conversation, to show that Vincent is not werewolfy. I think I prefer a Vincent whose balance is weighted in favor of life, even when he is situated to deal out death. Martin seemed to argue for greater ambiguity in the balancing act.

~ Zara

[Edited to add details to villain descriptions.]
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Re: The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

Post by Maclurv »

Love your list!

Given your definition of 'werewolfy' I can agree with your points. I do think Vincent had a lot of control. I think in the situations with Catherine where he seemed furtherest from reach was when the threat to Catherine was upon her/begun in action, and either very personal in nature (the rape) or likely to be lethal to her.

"China Moon" *did* cop out of the ethical question raised, but it did so in a way that mollifies me, at any rate. No, the star should not have killed the Tong leader...but this particular wrinkle in reality allowed evil to do something that evil often does best: turn on itself in the end. I can forgive the cheese factor there, even if I wish the Tong invasion had been less caricatured in an episode that dealt so directly with ethnicity. I can also see how Vincent killing the leader would make a strong statement about his devotion to protecting the community. On the other hand, he's already proved both his dedication and his capability in that direction.


I agree that Vincent didn't need to prove his devotion, but it would have shown just how far he would draw the line in his need to do so. I like your thought about evil turn on itself in the end, but had the writers thought of that and crafted a tad more believable way to achieve it. Altho, as you say, the cheese factor of watching the star sail through the air and Vincent ducking at the last moment is kinda on the cool side!

I think your statement:

to show a character who *can* take a life so frequently choosing *not* to take that life.


demonstrates another balance for Vincent. For one who has so much power, both from the physical sense, and from his quiet leadership, he shows that power is something to be used carefully, thoughtfully, and with discretion. But it must be used at times, and cannot be ignored if one is to have the world as they have defined they want it to be. Responsibility and ideals take defending. Corrupt either side, that is shirk one's responsibilities or corrupt or lessen the ideals, and defending that becomes hollow. Or take power to its ultimate and use it to destroy indiscriminately, and you corrupt the very responsibilities and ideals you claim to be defending.

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Re: The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

Post by Maclurv »

We see a lot of principles and values at play in our show, but little to nothing about religion or religious practice. I was wondering if Vincent would be more likely to believe in God, or a Supreme Being, because of who and what he is - or - would who or what he is make him less likely to believe in God?

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Re: The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

Post by Zara »

Sensing a major shift in topic, I'm opening a new thread for this. My response is there.

Hope it's cool with everyone.

8)

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Re: The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

Post by 222333 »

*
The conversation moved on, but here are my replies and opinions anyway.

Maclurv wrote:
such approach puts V and C in a “special” category, which is not close to me enough to be inspiring.

Could you explain this a bit more for me? I'm trying to understand how you see it as "special."

*
Let’s see. This is what I’m trying to understand myself, while writing it down. I’m open to discussion, of course.

I have been watching the show as a tale that symbolically teaches deep truths about personal growth and about how to approach a relationship. A “normal” relationship, as the fundamental truth where I see such relationship rooted is that you have to look at the others, and at the other who is your partner, with the eyes of the heart. Vincent is a unique being, but the dynamics of approaching a relationship with him are not different from those I have to use for approaching any other real life relationships.

Usually, normal relationships do not involve a supreme sacrifice like the sacrifice requested to Catherine to rescue Vincent from himself, from an “other” that is a personification of an otherness that, to be inspiring for me – that is, to see it in myself and to draw teaching from what the show says – must not be separated but still part of the being that is Vincent and that can also be “me”.

That dimension of a supreme sacrifice is a mythical one, which is fascinating, which may occur in relationships, but which is not the “normalcy”.

Until the Dark Turn, the development of the relationship was a “normal” one, its trial and tribulations “inspiring” inasmuch not too different from those I might face dealing with a real life man or woman.

With the Dark Turn, as the writers declared, they decided to explore the dark side of Vincent. They decided that Vincent is not only symbolically different, but he is different altogether, and to address such otherness. So, they put him in a different category, and Catherine had to deal with him as such. Hence, her supreme sacrifice to accept that un-tamable difference nevertheless.

The moral of AHL was that “what we have is worth everything”: love as a relationship. The moral of the Dark Turn is that “though lovers be lost, love shall not” – the lovers being less important than love itself.

The Dark Turn development is consistent (once accepted an inconsistent shift) and even admiring, and to reject it, I have to arbitrarily put a full stop at a certain point, when the relationship is still “normal” and could continue on a normal path. Accepting the rest means accepting all the interpretation perfectly explained in the past posts of this thread, which, given the premises, I absolutely agree with. But it puts the tale in a mythical category, and it becomes not so different from Abelard and Eloisa, Tristan und Isolde, Aida and Radames, Cyrano and Roxanne, Navarre and Ladyhawke, and so on and so forth. Or even from B&B itself, in its fairy tale incarnation. Tales. The B&B 1987 show is something more for me.

(>>tangent, maybe for another thread – I think that my “normal” Vincent struggle may be precisely to go from a similar Great Hall tapestry idea of love to this “normal” Catherine’s love. In the first episodes, we see him declaring his love to C in many romantic and literary ways. “You look like an angel... With love light wings… When I look at you I feel a happiness… Haply I think of thee…” – which disappear once Catherine becomes a “real” possibility. Cold feet?)

Finally, I don’t like neither the “normalization” of the Beast, where the otherness is just ignored and V becomes a furry guy plus the bond, which is a favorite approach of fanfiction and fandom, nor the “extraction/isolation/distancing” of the Other in the Beast. Vincent talks to the part of otherness that I also have in myself, and Catherine talks to me for the effort to see, understand and love such otherness. (and Much More than this, but for now we're speaking of this)

The Dark Turn has different goals. Personally, I am not interested in them, which does not mean they are not there and are not honorable.


Maclurv wrote:
to be inspired by a love story which is in progress, as you say about Catherine, always on her way; she makes vital progress throughout the story; and the same is valid for Vincent.

This came up in BBTV. I wish they had been able to go on as a couple and show a more adult relationship, one in which they talk about issues, and resolve the problems that stand in the way of their being together. There are enough dysfunctional relationships on TV. It would have been nice to have one more functional, even if contained within a structure of a fairy tale.
I would have been interested to see George RR Martin's original plan. He wanted to explore the costs of Vincent's violence, a coming to grips with that side of himself, and keep in it the coming together through love that Catherine's pulling him back to her provides. Then I could hope that the adult relationship aspect might have come into the show more and get the story I would have liked. :D

*
Well, exactly. The mythical development and final sacrifice prevents them from going on as a couple and develop a more adult relationship in my opinion.


Maclurv wrote:
B&B has deep religious roots and resonances, but it’s not a religion.


No, it's not. Yet it can teach us universal truths in a way that is meaningful and entertaining. Nothing wrong with that!

*
Nothing wrong, and a lot, A LOT of beauty!

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Re: The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

Post by 222333 »

Zara wrote:Yes. This is a great danger of dancing with archetypes, as I like to do. I would very much like to hear more about your important chapter of fairness, because I see already how building an interpretation closer to our Everyday Hearts than to Distant Myth...requires fairness to nurture hope.

*
I’m far from finding anything wrong with archetypes. Only the personal idea that archetypes are not “enough”. This miracle that is B&B supplies a borderland <smiiiile> where I can find a fruitful environment between archetypes and real life. But it further needs “me” on one hand to give an adequate value to archetypes, which are reflections of deeper truths, and on the other hand to draw inspiration from a beautiful tale that is ultimately “just entertainment”. Sorry, the concept of this warped paragraph is clear to me, I fear I did not manage to make it clear for the reader.

As to fairness – in a nutshell, the focus of the show before the Dark Turn is the relationship, not Vincent. So, a more or less happy ending or continuation that gives a future to Vincent and not to Catherine contradicts the premises that made me decide to watch the show and the delight I found in it. In a way, it’s unfair to Catherine. But also it’s a disappointing cop-out. It’s unfair to me.

I will say that my greatest problem with Catherine as a character, our primary rendering of the Beauty from folklore, is that not only is she constructed as a Damsel-in-Distress, but a Damsel-Who-Frequently-Concocts-Her-Own Distress. I credit all of my personal affinity for Catherine as a character to the superior and humanizing dramatic talents of the actress, Linda Hamilton. The storytellers *had* to make Diana be a different version of Beauty who is unlike Catherine, and so while Diana faces similar dangers, the "damselness" is absent. Diana, as her name implies, is a Huntress in my typology. She fits perfectly into the new tale being told in the third season of the show.

*
I have to confess that I don’t find Linda Hamilton that fantastic. Or, better, there are many times that I find her acting exaggerated. And many others absolutely terrific, of course. But the actors are not especially interesting for me, I normally rather draw my delight from the situations. Ron Perlman is usually perfect – but also for him there are some scenes (usually related to the “unique” side of Vincent, not necessarily the beasting out) that make me roll my eyes. (EG the ridiculous attack to Paracelsus in DOW).
The Damsel-in-distress is less a feature of C as character and more a feature of the scripts, in my opinion. They need action and they have to put C in a situation where she needs being rescued (but less and less as the series proceeds). I’m not saying that the blame is on the writers, I just want to point out that for me C is more a inclined to test herself and determined to win her battle than to recklessly put herself in dangerous situations waiting for V to rescue her. It’s a flaw in her character nevertheless, but a different one. And I chalk the diminishing of rescues to the growth of Catherine who slowly learns to correct this side of her character. Which is consistent thoughout the episodes nevertheless.

His original plan would be great to see. However, my impression regarding Martin's take of Vincent is that Martin wanted to tip our Beast more deeply into the Monster/Werelion/Beastial domain than Koslow ever permitted. Don't get me wrong; Martin's are my favorite episodes in the series, and I'm convinced the other writers should have given much more credence to their resident fantasy/horror/sci-fi-genres novelist. But Martin's emphasis on Beauty pulling Beast out of violence does not cohere with Koslow's vision of Vincent's character, which gave us an integrated Beast who serves as a guide for Beauty, showing her what is truly beautiful in life and love.

I am now wondering, as I write this, whether a significant portion of the disconnection between the majority of the show and the Dark Turn is actually rooted in the imbalance between Koslow's whole and hale Beast...and Martin's dualistic and fragmenting Beast. I know, I know, I am oversimplifying the interconnected aspects of the writer/producer team. But for the sake of discussion, these seem to be the two most prominent visions of the character and the way he balances himself. (Setting aside the external demands for cops-and-robbers/Hulkcent scripts, which the storytellers collectively did their darnedest to resist.)

The list shows me that Vincent makes active choices in each situation he encounters. Not that I'm arguing against anyone here, exactly. Just hoping to add a new point to the conversation, to show that Vincent is not werewolfy. I think I prefer a Vincent whose balance is weighted in favor of life, even when he is situated to deal out death. Martin seemed to argue for greater ambiguity in the balancing act.

*
Exactly! And although I consider Martin a genius, Koslow’s vision is my vision. Eventually, they instead followed the “Martin” one, for countless reasons. But the magic balance disappeared. And they became a mythical couple. It's not only a matter of killing Catherine. In the original plan for the Land Of Dead arc Catherine was alive ad kicking and her love was going to resurrect Vincent. Wonderful tale, but quite another thing from the almost-credible story that we'd seen until then.

S
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Re: The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

Post by Maclurv »

The conversation moved on, but here are my replies and opinions anyway.


Not at all. Just waiting for more contributions!

Thank you for your explanation. I think I understand where you are coming from.

Usually, normal relationships do not involve a supreme sacrifice like the sacrifice requested to Catherine to rescue Vincent from himself, from an “other” that is a personification of an otherness that, to be inspiring for me – that is, to see it in myself and to draw teaching from what the show says – must not be separated but still part of the being that is Vincent and that can also be “me”.

That dimension of a supreme sacrifice is a mythical one, which is fascinating, which may occur in relationships, but which is not the “normalcy”.


I may not fully subscribe to the mythical interpretation that Zara has, yet I find it interesting to discuss and can learn much from it as well. I guess I look for ways to view things so that I may take more realistic and human teachings from whatever the source, be it metaphorically, or theoretically. I would comment in two respects to your above statements.

One is about an 'other' in regards to Vincent. In more everyday human terms, I view the 'Other' in Vincent to be that side of ourselves that is capable of doing things we might ordinarily never do, or even believe ourselves capable of doing. Taken to an extreme, if our 'other' side takes over, we become the sociopathic/psychopathic types who operate with violence in the world. In much less of an extreme, we do acts that we know are wrong, yet something motivated us sufficiently to turn away from what we know to be right/good/just and do them anyway.

Second is about Catherine and the sacrifice she makes. Keep in mind the paragraph preceding this one. When we choose to love someone, we may choose only to love what is good about that person, which means we then try and bring the parts we don't love into alignment with the parts we do, in other words, we try and change that person. This is not an especially successful approach to loving another. To love unconditionally means to embrace the whole. To love the transgressor while condemning the transgression. How is a person who 'has gone bad' ever supposed to be rehabilitated, to turn away from that path, if not through love? So I can view Catherine's sacrifice in this way, and while it is being portrayed in a much different manner, I can still find a parallel to apply to my life. Might I acknowledge here that this is no easy task to fulfill. It takes tremendous courage and faith, along with love, to believe in a person to this degree, to hope for a more positive outcome. I also think it takes an assessment of the readiness of all parties. Sometimes, you even have to walk away. That is a sacrifice in itself.

So while I can agree that

With the Dark Turn, as the writers declared, they decided to explore the dark side of Vincent. They decided that Vincent is not only symbolically different, but he is different altogether, and to address such otherness. So, they put him in a different category, and Catherine had to deal with him as such. Hence, her supreme sacrifice to accept that un-tamable difference nevertheless


I still can see parallels with human life. I just stretch my thinking a little further, search for ways, look for things that might apply. It does provide quite the mental workout! :D But this show is worth the effort.

Okay, more explanation please for this:

the “extraction/isolation/distancing” of the Other in the Beast.


Actually, if you would explain where the balance is for you regarding not liking the above or the normalization aspect, I would be interested. :)

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Re: The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

Post by Zara »

Thank you for further elucidation! Fear not, you are explaining perfectly well enough for me to follow. :)

S wrote:Finally, I don’t like neither the “normalization” of the Beast, where the otherness is just ignored and V becomes a furry guy plus the bond, which is a favorite approach of fanfiction and fandom, nor the “extraction/isolation/distancing” of the Other in the Beast. Vincent talks to the part of otherness that I also have in myself, and Catherine talks to me for the effort to see, understand and love such otherness. (and Much More than this, but for now we're speaking of this)


*That* I had not thought of. The clumsy presentation of Beast + Other during the Dark Turn feeding the misapprehension of Vincent's character in fandom. Pondering now...

Hmmm,

Zara
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Zara
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Re: The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

Post by Zara »

And one thought I just had about Catherine's sacrifice...

The love she expresses toward Vincent in the cave ("The Rest is Silence"/"Though Lovers Be Lost - A") results not in death for either of them, but in life for both of them. The sacrifice she makes there is the sacrifice of releasing the last strongholds of her old life and accepting complete unity with her beloved, come what may. I consider it an extension of the "Beauty and the Beast" fairy tale theme that was so prominent in Season One. Catherine's death at the end of "Though Lovers Be Lost" has nothing to do with Vincent, per se. That was the result of the new story that opened *after* the scenes depicting Vincent's transformation/recovery.

With regards to the Season Three material, I think it important to note where the Dark Turn of "The Hollow Men" through "Though Lovers Be Lost - A" story ends, and "Though Lovers Be Lost - B" begins the new story arc that carries the tale into Vincent's Quest for the Lost Child. There are separate storylines in play there.

~ Zara
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Re: The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

Post by Zara »

New thought about Vincent's balance and the Other.

Leaving aside the storytellers' issues for a moment...the Other seems to be a construct of Vincent's internal world. Vincent is the only character who chooses to speak about the Other, and the only one who ever "sees" the Other as a personified presence. So I am guessing that this is an aspect of Vincent's self-concept. I perceive the shadow of this concept as early as "Terrible Savior" (V: "Even the gentlest man has a demon locked inside of him"). But other characters (mainly Catherine and Father, but also Mary) repeatedly turn our attention away from Vincent's violence and aggression...or try to redefine it in their own terms rather than accepting Vincent's own insights about himself.

What does it do to Vincent's balance when no one will discuss his shadow-side with him? Perhaps when Paracelsus began applying direct pressure to this vulnerability in Vincent's personality, our Beast discovers that he does not have the help he needs to find a post-Catherine balance with the part of himself who is not a Man. *smiles* I could make a list of character-instigated evasions and lost opportunities, if you like, throughout Seasons One and Two...

And finally:

S wrote:I have to confess that I don’t find Linda Hamilton that fantastic.


Nor I. Do not number me among Linda Hamilton's fans. But her abilities seemed vastly superior to the writing in many cases. Which is why I credit her with making Catherine remotely interesting to me.

S wrote:but also for him there are some scenes (usually related to the “unique” side of Vincent, not necessarily the beasting out) that make me roll my eyes. (EG the ridiculous attack to Paracelsus in DOW).


*sigh* The use of slow-motion to convey Vincent's beastiness is one of the series' most serious flaws, I think. Slo-Mo instantly dates the show. Also, its almost exclusive use for Vincent's stunts generally detracts from the actor's performances, even at times obscuring his actions. Full disclosure, ha ha, I am a B&B fan because I was a Perlman fan first, so maybe it's natural for me to blame Vincent's worst eye-rolling moments on less-than-ideal shooting and choreographing choices.

That said, I think the storytellers had a stronger concept for their Beast than they did for their original Beauty. Both characters had their moments of flux and strain as opposing positions vyed for prominence in the storytelling. But modern heroines create special challenges for fables and fairy tales, because so many conflicting views of womanhood constantly yank those characters in any number of directions. Catherine stands as a consummate 1980s mainstream career-woman success story, an educated, high-class lady with powerful professional skills who takes up humanitarian causes after getting her first taste of street-level life in NYC...but keeps ending up in situations she cannot get out of without the violent intervention of her Beastly protector. I can sympathize with some of her struggles, but I guess I'm a Tunneldweller at heart. Catherine doesn't offer me much that I wish to emulate. So I will trust the positive insights of you who *can* connect with this character, and hope that my critiques of her flaws remain useful to the conversation.

Okay. I think I've written out all of today's thinkings now. :D

As ever,

Zara
Maclurv
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Re: The Balancing Act That Is Vincent

Post by Maclurv »

What does it do to Vincent's balance when no one will discuss his shadow-side with him? Perhaps when Paracelsus began applying direct pressure to this vulnerability in Vincent's personality, our Beast discovers that he does not have the help he needs to find a post-Catherine balance with the part of himself who is not a Man. *smiles* I could make a list of character-instigated evasions and lost opportunities, if you like, throughout Seasons One and Two...


This is a tough one to respond to. On the one hand, I can see your point. On the other, I can also see how both Father and Catherine are trying to let him know that they see more in him than violence, that they see Vincent's ability to control that aspect with his intellect and heart, and that these are greater than his 'Other' side. What they don't address, or acknowledge, is his fears and his struggles with this part of himself. But then you know my thoughts about more direct conversation already! :D As an audience, think what we could have learned about the character of Vincent and how those who loved him responded to learning more about him and his fears. Does Vincent not share in this issue, though? He says many times to Catherine, to leave him when he is 'like this' or in a darker mood. Perhaps his aloneness helps him to think that he needs to deal with his problems by himself.

Both Father and Catherine have direct experience with his Other. Father in The Alchemist, and also Catherine, and then when Vincent is ill and staying at Catherine's apartment, she sees that part of him to a degree (she does not see his 'hallucinations' of the Other. But more directness would have been appreciated (at least by me!)

By all means, share your list! It helps us see where you notice these things. (and saves us the trouble! :lol: )

S wrote:
I have to confess that I don’t find Linda Hamilton that fantastic.


Nor I. Do not number me among Linda Hamilton's fans. But her abilities seemed vastly superior to the writing in many cases. Which is why I credit her with making Catherine remotely interesting to me.


I am more a fan of Linda than either of you, and I certainly identify with the Catherine character. I agree with Zara that she definitely elevated the writing many times. From what I have read, she was getting frustrated with the 'damsel in distress' also. I think it speaks well that it wasn't detectable (at least to me) in her performance. I also found a comment in my book by one of the producers who felt she gave more to (Ron)Vincent than the Diane actress did. Plus, they did have chemistry together. :lol:

Catherine stands as a consummate 1980s mainstream career-woman success story, an educated, high-class lady with powerful professional skills who takes up humanitarian causes after getting her first taste of street-level life in NYC...but keeps ending up in situations she cannot get out of without the violent intervention of her Beastly protector.


Yes, to this! She was, on balance, more of a desirable female character than many in that era, along with Stephanie Zimbalist in Remington Steele (the first several years; later years her character weakened more). Yes, she got in situations, but much of that was forced IMO for story-telling purposes. If it wouldn't have been to rescue Catherine, they would have turned Vincent into a crime fighter. They wanted action. I'm happier with the former than the latter.

Pat
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