Season 3 (part 3) – Repercussions

Season 3

Season 3 has 3 areas of concern:

Check your watches, Animals. It’s time to talk about:

Origin

In season 3, the origin theme is expressed as:

“Repercussions”

There are two common ways you see this repercussions idea play out:

  • Debts
  • Revenge

Debts

This is where someone is owed something. We then see the repercussions of paying that debt.

We see a prime example in Supernatural. In season 3, we learn that the thief Bela made a deal with a crossroads demon once upon a time. She sold her soul, to rid herself of her abusive parents. Now, a decade later, the hellhounds have come to collect that soul. They’re here to collect that debt. This parallels Dean’s own struggle all season, to get out of his crossroads deal and avoid going to hell. But a debt is a debt, and the hellhounds always collect.

Let’s take a look at how debts play out on The Shield. In season 3, Vic Mackey’s old partner shows up asking Vic and the Strike Team for a favor. Vic feels compelled to help, even though he’s knee-deep in his own troubles. Vic feels he owes him a debt, so he helps him out.

Revenge

Here, past actions have incurred someone’s wrath. A past mistake is chasing down our characters to hurt them back. It almost feels like a specific kind of “debt.”

In Angel season 3 we see the demon Sahjhan pull vampire hunter Daniel Holtz from the past, and bring him to the present. Back in the day, Angel and Darla killed Holtz’s family. Holtz is here to exact revenge. That’s some big time “origins” and “repercussions.”

For a more subtle, real world, example – let’s look at the new 90210 – (2008-2013).

In season 3, scumbag Oscar shows up. He and Ivy used to be friends when they were kids. Turns out, Oscar blames Ivy’s Mom for his own mother’s suicide and he’s here to get his revenge. First he seduces Ivy’s Mom.

Yikes.

Then he breaks up Ivy’s relationship with Dixon, and seduces her. He even takes her virginity for good measure. It’s kind of an odd way to get revenge. But hey, revenge is revenge.

So whether it’s through debts, or revenge, make sure you service that origins idea in season 3, via “repercussions.”



Season 3 (part 2) – Creation

Season 3

Dramatic Structure:

Season 3 has 3 areas of concern:

Let’s take a look at the:

Positive

In season 3, the positive theme is expressed as:

“Creation”

The most common forms of “creation” you see in season 3’s are:

  • Newborns
  • Resurrections

Newborns

By “newborns” we mean anything that is being created for the first time. It could be a child, a business, a program, a piece of art. Whatever it is, it’s brand new.

We see a clear example of a newborn on Angel. In season 3, Angel’s son Connor is born. Vampires aren’t typically capable of having babies – yet this little guy comes into the world anyway.

A less obvious example of this newborn idea would be what we see in the third season of The O.C. Sandy spends the season doing his best to get his hospital project off the ground. It would be a new hospital built from the ground up. Ultimately, it doesn’t happen. But he spends all season doing his best – trying to birth it into the world.

Resurrections

By “resurrections” we mean bringing something back from the dead, literally or metaphorically. It could be literal, like a person – in a sci-fi or fantasy story. Or metaphorical, like a failed business coming back to life, or an old romance rekindled.

In the third season of The Vampire Diaries we see several members of the Original Vampire Family, literally brought back from the dead. Brothers Kol and Finn are awakened from a state of suspended death. Their father Mikael is also brought back from a suspended death-like state. And their mother Esther’s ghost is brought back from “The Other Side.” All four of these characters have literally been brought back from the dead. Literally resurrected.

We can see a more real-world example in a show like Parenthood.

In season 3, brothers Adam and Crosby go into business together and start their own record label. They buy the building and re-open the well-known, but long defunct, “Luncheonette Recording Studio.” They resurrect it.

Whether creating something entirely new, or bringing something back to life again, season 3’s positive theme is all about “creation.”



Season 3 (part 1) – Power

Season 3

Dramatic Structure:

There are 3 areas of concern:

Its:

Connection

theme is expressed through the idea of:

“Power”

It’s all about power.

This “power” theme has two common ways of being expressed:

  • Loss/Gain
  • Sexual Violence

Loss or Gain of Power

It’s exactly what it sounds like. Some element of your story, like a character or an organization, will either gain power they didn’t have before, or lose the power they already had.

Let’s look at some examples:

At the end of the second season of LOST, Desmond turned the key in the floor of the hatch station. When we pick up with him in season 3, he’s gained the superpower of having premonitions and mentally jumping around in his own timeline. That’s some power – gained.

In Mad Men season 3, we see Sterling Cooper bought by P.P.L. – Putnam, Powell, and Lowe. Our characters now have bosses. Bosses that now control the direction of their company. This is a clear case of power – lost.

Sexual Violence

In season 3, you’ll commonly see instances of sexual violence. Why? Because it’s not really about the sex. It’s all about power.

Let’s put our peepers on some examples:

In season 3 of Nip/Tuck the main bad-guy of the season is “The Carver.” He was first introduced at the end of season 2, but season 3 is all about him. He’s a serial rapist who likes to disfigure people’s faces. Yikes. He’s even attacked one of our main characters, Christian. The character of the Carver is this “sexual violence” idea made manifest. He’s all about rape and violence, specifically as a means of power.

In The Shield season 3, Aceveda gets raped at gunpoint. In that moment, he is powerless to stop it. We see another level of this power idea at play when Aceveda later uses his power as a police captain to completely destroy the life of his attacker. Power lost, and power leveraged.

While we’re talkin’ about The Shield, let’s dig a little deeper.

Season 3 also sees the inclusion of the serial “Cuddler” rapist character, William Faulks. He rapes victims, cuddles with them, and towards the end – starts murdering them. The interesting part about this instance of sexual violence, is that Dutch is convinced that the raping and the killing are all about exerting power. But once the Cuddler is caught, he explains that it was never about that. For him, it was about that unexplainable thing he feels when he watches his victims die. He asks Dutch to explain what that thing is to him. But Dutch can’t do it, he doesn’t understand it. Dutch’s big case culminates in him feeling completely powerless to explain the very thing he thinks himself an expert in – the inner workings of the criminal mind.

Everywhere you look it’s all about power.