If you’re anything like me, I get incredibly attached and invested in fictional characters. To this day, I cannot watch “The Mountain” and the “Viper” episode of Game of Thrones in its entirety because of the outcome. (Curse you, arrogant Oberyn!). To that end, I am tortured of memories, both wistful and bitter, about how so many characters never got to truly shine from a show being cancelled, or the character being killed off, or because writers had their head up their asses, or those same silly scribes might have had powdered noses from having too much fun in the Riverdale writer’s room. In any case, I decided I needed to rant a bit about some of my favorite characters whom I believe deserved so much more. Don’t be fooled though! My list is way longer than just these 5, trust me. Never doubt a nerd’s ability to hold on to many, many grudges.
Helga Sinclair – Atlantis: The Lost Empire
This sassy woman is one of my favorite animated characters of all time. Introduced to us as a militaristic personal assistant/lieutenant of deception, Helga represents what happens when you underestimate a gorgeous femme fatale. She was strong, self-assured, and had half a teaspoon of empathy more than the main big bad of the movie. (Which doesn’t say that much, but I LOVE HER OKAY?!) That kick she gave Roark aboard that hot air balloon at the end of the movie lives in my mind forever. I wish she returned in the sequel or at least had some kind of satisfying closure to her story. Along with Shego from Kim Possible, I’m pretty sure the Lieutenant was a part of many people’s queer awakening.
Anna Fang – Mortal Engines
”I don’t really do subtle.”-Anna Fang
Played by the gorgeous Jihae, Anna Fang was an unknown name to me until I watched the 2018 Mortal Engines movie. Now, the movie is garbage, but the one shining beacon within the bleak action film was the pilot and leader of a rebellion, Anna Fang. She ruled the skies on her plane, the Jenny Haniver, and terrorized slavers and imperialists alike. I would say the film is worth the watch, only to see how badass the renegade pilot is. Anna Fang’s characterization was so impactful to me that I wrote a whole article on just her. Read more here.
Saffron/Yolanda/Bridget – Firefly
Firefly is one of my favorite sci-fi shows, and I loved the plethora of guests actors we got from the ill-fated and short series. One of them was the incomparable Christina Hendricks. I don’t want to get too much into spoilers, but I highly recommend watching episode 6, “Our Mrs. Reynolds.” From the moment her duplicity was revealed, I found Saff/Yo/Bridge to be a compelling character. I would have loved it if the writers had time to dive more into her past. She was enigmatic, sure, but she was capable, ruthless, and quick to anger. She managed to incapacitate the crew of the Firefly before *almost* getting away with it. Getting punched in the face by Nathan Fillion’s character may have pricked her pride, but it’s better than a brutal death that she would have swiftly deserved. QTNA: Did she train as a companion? What is her real name? I NEED TO KNOW.
Ariel Eberhart – Grimm
Now, this character is a very niche reference. Back when I was in high school/undergrad, I really enjoyed the earlier seasons of the fairytale cop show, Grimm. One episode introduced a belly dancing snake lady. Portrayed by goodie-two shoes Disney kid actress, Danielle Panabaker, I remembered her being cool and WAYYYYYY better than Nick’s other love interests. Her story ended on a cliffhanger, and they never acknowledged her later due to my knowledge, which was a HUGE missed opportunity for an epic enemies-to-lovers plot line/Selina Kyle + Batman kind of vibe. It really is too bad; the steam and chemistry between Nick and Ariel was way hotter than what we got with anyone else.
Katerina Solensan – Cowboy Bebop
“Asteroid Blues” (the first episode of Cowboy Bebop) is devastating; a haunting ode to tragic love. It’s made morbidly complete by Katerina Solensan, the solemn beauty brought to God by her love for a doomed man. We follow Spike Spiegel, bounty hunter, try and capture Katerina and her drug-addicted partner, Asimov, before they’re killed by gang members they stole from. Hearing about Katerina’s hopes and dreams, even in the middle of a bloody, doomed landscape set the tone for the series. Is it a heart-wrenching episode? Hell yes. But Katerina showed us what happens when you choose to allow love to blind you until it’s too late.