Main Offstagevillainy Discussion

Collapse/Expand Topics

06:07:57 AM Dec 28th 2013
I'm cutting this Battlestar Galactica example:

  • This is very much how the war crimes of Battlestar Galactica's Admiral Cain are handled, at least until Razor. Until that point (said Tv movie was aired 1.5 seasons after Cain's death) the only person who says anything about those crimes is Colonel Fisk, who is later revealed to be corrupt enough to use his own duties as Pegasus' new commanding officer to line his own pockets. This troper was left wondering if Fisk had been exaggerating, or even telling the truth at all about Cain's previous actions. It wouldn't be beyond him, though this would also make him a Magnificent Bastard who tried to manipulate Tigh, Adama, and Roslin to kill Cain so he could have her job.

We get to see the battered 6 who has been gang raped by the crew, on Cain's orders no less. And then we get to see them "interrogate" Sharon by raping her (in the extended cut at least).
04:37:35 PM Apr 8th 2010
I'm pulling The Wizard of Oz (and all the replies it has built up) from the top of the film section until we can get it to a more manageable level. The original entry is wrong — she does do evil things from very early on. It's open to debate (and worth discussing) just how many evil things she did, but someone's skimming over a little too much.

  • Watch The Wizard of Oz closely. We never see the Wicked Witch of the West actually do anything to harm anybody who wasn't trying to harm her. Throughout the entire film her only motivation is to retrieve her sister's Ruby Slippers from the person who killed her (accidentally). Sure the Witch sets the Scarecrow on fire, imprisons Dorothy and sends her flying monkey-things out to capture her friends, but remember: The Wizard sent them to assassinate her. And she only tried burning the Scarecrow after he infiltrated into her fortress, and after she had used non-lethal methods (Poppies & threatening messages) to slow them down or scare them.
    • This is actually a case of Adaptation Decay. In the original book, she enslaved the people of the land she ruled over, enslaved Dorothy (a bit much, even considering they were sent to kill her), and the poppies (occurring before they were sent for her death) were suggested to be of an effectively deadly nature — if they hadn't escaped when they did, they would never have woken up.
    • Revised in Wicked, where she becomes a not-quite-as-tyrannical ruler with at least a decent claim to the throne.
    • Apart from the fact that the poppies put them in serious danger, she also tried to set the Scarecrow on fire earlier in the movie, in the same breath as a series of elaborate death threats.
      Wicked Witch of the West: Helping the little lady along, are you, my fine gentlemen? Well stay away from her, or I'll stuff a mattress with you! And you, I'll make you into a beehive! Here, Scarecrow - want to play ball?
02:33:43 PM Jun 21st 2010
Lawyer Dude: I posted that one originally. Here's the thing. In the film, when the Wicked Witch is introduced, Glinda says, "She's worse than the other one was." How and why we're never told. We're also told that "Only bad witches are ugly." Again, why? Finally, Glinda tells Dorothy to hold onto the Ruby Slippers (which don't belong to her) for no other reason than because the WWW shouldn't have them.

At this point, we have not been shown or told of anything the WWW has actually done to merit the label "Wicked". As far as threatening the Scarecrow and Tin Man, well how many times have we seen "heroes" outright kill those who help his enemies without hesitation? She's still justified in taking lethal action against people who pose a direct threat to her life.
03:43:47 PM Jul 3rd 2010
The thing is, they weren't posing a direct threat to her life at that point, at least that I can remember. At the moment, I can't come up with any "heroes" who killed someone for helping someone who had taken something from them. I'll grant that this would make for a pretty flimsy villain on its own, and as one of her few explicit evil acts, I would agree that it warrants pointing out and analyzing. However, I also think it goes a long way toward vindicating all of the not-so-clear indications of her wickedness.
07:14:57 PM Aug 1st 2010
Think about every action movie where the Hero has no qualms with killing Mooks by the truckload; even ones who are just doing their jobs, or standing around guarding someplace the Hero wants to get to. Think about movies like Taken where the hero brutally tortures people working for the men who kidnapped his daughter.

Now think about the WWW. Her sister got killed. She wants her sister's shoes, which are her rightful property. Glinda only tells Dorothy that the WWW is evil. So far, she's done nothing but express totally justified anger at her sister's death. As far as she knows, Dorothy and Glinda murdered her sister and stole her property. Glinda never denies it and in fact does nothing but threaten the WWW with another house-dropping.

I stand by my point. The Wicked Witch of the West does nothing on-screen that could be called Wicked for somebody in her situation.
06:49:54 PM Aug 4th 2010
edited by Caswin
In response to your first question, at least off the top of my head, I can only think of movies where such mooks are on the payroll of unambiguously evil "bad guys", which makes it hard to sympathize. I haven't seen Taken, so I can't comment.

Again, the Witch threatens to kill Dorothy's friends for "helping the little lady along", and does so in gleeful detail, not to mention threatening her pet dog for good measure. That doesn't sound like righteous anger to me. Then there's the way she later laments the end of her own "beautiful wickedness". In another context, you could argue for the things she does later in the movie, but (Wicked notwithstanding) it's a serious stretch to paint her as a good-hearted victim.

...we're not going to reach a conclusion on this without a third party, are we?
Collapse/Expand Topics