How far is too far, until a character becomes completely irredeemable?
I was struck by this thought as I was watching one of my favorite TV series this week and a once favored character of mine took yet another step closer to becoming too far gone to be redeemed.
At this point I don’t see how she possibly can be.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am utterly and completely obsessed with Riverdale. The character in question is none other than Alice Cooper. Season one, I was not a fan, yet over the course of the back half of the season and onto season two I really started to like her as a character. As her past was revealed, her past actions and reasoning started to make a little more sense and I felt she became quite sympathetic.
Until three that is. If you haven’t seen it, beware minor spoilers.
Alice suffered a terrible trauma when her husband being revealed as a serial killer and found solace at the farm, which turns out to be a cult. I mean, I get it, the poor woman was pretty broken at the end of the season.
Yet she becomes so involved, seeming to care nothing for her daughter as she makes a series of decisions which now makes me want to throw something at my TV anytime she is on screen. Which, honestly, I don’t see how they are going to bring her back from this.
I mean, as if sending her daughter to an asylum run by some severely shady characters isn’t enough, nope, she also goes ahead and drains her daughters collage fund to give to the cult.
Not cool Alice!
Another example that springs to mind is Tamlen from A Court of Thorns and Roses.
I gotta say, this one kinda hurt actually. I loved Tamlen in the first book, I thought I was reading this lovely beauty and the beast style romance, until Tamlen turned and got super unlikable and became an utter dick.
Locking your traumatized girlfriend in her room and then tearing the kingdom apart, betraying everyone in the name of “love”, yeah, started to hate him. The books are long, but lets just say, Tamlen? Not a nice guy.
Kind of a douche.
He has a bit of a redemption arc in A Court of Mist and Fury, but even then, I dunno if it’s just me, but I just cannot forgive him. He did too much damage. When we see him again in A Court of Frost and Starlight i had absolutely no sympathy for him at all!
Did he go too far? Is he redeemable?
And how about Harry Potters Severus Snape? Everyone LOVES to disagree about this guy.
Firstly, I loved Snape. He was a great character who was brilliantly written. I am not, however saying that he was a great guy, because, well, he wasn’t.
He was a death eater, he betrayed and turned on the girl he claimed to love. His only friend. Actively fought on Voldemort’s side, again, against the woman he supposedly loved. And, treated her son terribly throughout the series.
And yes, I cried like a baby when he died. It was heartbreaking.
But, was saving Harry at the eleventh hour enough to take back all the awful things he did? I mean, obviously were glad he did and Harry survived, but was it enough?
What do you think? Are these characters redeemable?
How far is too far?