Post by vandergraafk on Jun 28, 2008 11:56:13 GMT -5
Who is Cole Turner? Was he basically a good guy condemned by the winds of fate to be dashed in his dreams whenever they seem near fruition. A Charmed Odysseus, as it were. Or, was Cole Turner the n'er do well who can never fully be trusted, a backslider whose word is neither etched in gold nor valued upon closer inspection? A Charmed trickster, as it were.
In the Charmed Cafe, I offered a convenient shorthand as a way to understand the twists and turns in the evolution of Cole, especially with respect to Phoebe, the be all and end all of Cole's existence. I noted:
"In other words, this is really about relationships. The guy, Cole, wishes to do well in the marriage. But, because of his bad bachelor ways, he stumbles and bumbles while aiming to do the right thing. Phoebe, on the other hand, thinks she's found the one, but realizes that the edges need to be polished. Only the more she peels off, the more vexing the finish appears. She can never quite mold Cole the way she wishes him to be. Frustrated, the artist jettisons her creation. And, he, the sculpted one, seeks an end to it all."
Post by vandergraafk on Jun 28, 2008 12:03:24 GMT -5
Reaction came swiftly as pubesy offered this seductive counterpoint to my glossy synopsis. In the Charmed Cafe, she contended:
"the drama between phoebe and cole was always about relationships, good and evil was just the problem in the relationship. but seeing that this is a was cole evil? thread, i think i is relevant to discuss the good and evil aspect.
i guess we differ in terms of analogies!
see my analogy would go along these terms. . .
boy meets girl. boy likes girl.
girl finds out he is a drug abuser. girl hides boy's drug abusing from family
Family finds out, attempts to make girl dump boy. Boy tells girl he can change his drug abusing ways.
girl believes boy. girl and boy agree boy should attend rehab.
boy attends rehab, but constantly relapses into abusive ways.
boy each time tells girl "next time will be different"
girl and boy go on holidays with boys friends, which she finds out LATER are also drug abusers.
in a moment of weakness, girl agrees to take drugs.
family finds out and forces girl to make a choice between boy and family.
girl choses family over boy.
girl dumps boy.
girl (who has always wanted a baby) finds out she is carrying a drug addicted baby, and has to terminate pregnancy.
boy comes back high on drugs telling girl he can change.
girl finally accepts that boy will never change. girl refuses boy."
Admittedly, this analogy seems highly revealing. It appears to explain a lot and was proclaimed "a good metaphor" by Sammi. Still, I remained skeptical and posted my counterpoint:
"On one level your analogy works well. Drug addiction is an evil of sorts, one that has ruined many individuals, relationships, and entire families. However, one should not overlook the obvious: drug addiction emanates from a physical need produced by a body whose abuse has led to unfettered craving of the very drug that has upset the chemical balance of the body in the first place.
For the sake of argument: let's agree that Cole came into his relationship with a physical propensity towards "evil". The Belthazor "half" of his body craved the use of violence. Indeed, Cole fears that unleashing Belthazor in Black as Cole will push his hybrid self beyond a point of no return.
Cole, however, attempts to hold this craving in check. For one, he will never get close enough to the Charmed Ones if he merely gives full reign to Belthazor. Second, his attraction to Phoebe, tactically as well as amourously, compels him to reign in Belthazor. In short, he is a powerfully addicted hybrid who must keep his addiction in check in order to function in society.
Yet, at a critical juncture (Power Outage), Cole is able to will himself free of his craving. Despite every advantage and opportunity, he cannot bring himself to kill Phoebe. He risks the wrath of the TRIAD and the scorn of Andrus, who reveals his secret ability, the ability to possess an entity such as Cole, in order to complete what Cole refuses to execute in its entirety.
This is where the addiction analogy breaks down completely. Yes, there may be some drug addicts who can will themselves to break free of the craving. Still, even a willful rejection of addiction requires cold turkey, the breaking of the phsyical craving that compels continued drug usage. And, even this might require the use of another drug, say methadone, to prevent the craving from roaring back.
Many reformed addicts are unable to continue in their recovery. They regress and many succumb anew to the evils of their previous addiction. In part, this is testament to the power physical hold that drug addiction has on the body. But, it also is a function of the milieu in which many recovering drug addicts find themselves in: a social scene that encourages drug abuse (take that Britney, Lindsay or any of the other myriad "stars" prone to repeated abuse of drugs and alcohol) or the true grit of an impoverished envirnoment where the use, abuse, and distribution of drugs is an everyday fact of life. It's not easy resisting temptation.
As a reformed "addict" to evil, Cole is constantly tempted. Yet, he wills himself free from the use of "evil" in the service of the TRIAD, evil incarnate. He escapes punishment by flitting through various planes of existence and remaining out in the cold for a while. Such reprieve isaves his from retribution. It also removes him from his milieu. Yet, salvation is only temporary. The Zotars have the capacity to hunt him down and are hot on the trail. Other bounty hunters, perhaps lured by the prospect of currying favor with the Source, seem equally motivated. In short, Cole has the will to shake his drug dependency; he cannot avoid the drug dealers, and their henchmen, who have every interest in keeping him hooked.
I challenge anyone to find one instance in Charmed where Cole willfully chooses to use his powers for nefarious purposes between the events of Power Outage and Sam I Am. Yes, he does resort to evil, does bring along Phoebe into his underworld, does sire an evil offspring, and does everything a not to be trusted drug addict would do. However, all of this occurs when Cole is possessed by the Source or Frankie or mindmanipulated by Fear. This is why the analogy breaks down and is completely misleading."