Pidge – the heroine with Schrödinger problems

Translated and edited by @Nadezhda932

I think it’s worth saying a few words about Pidge, because as far as it seems no one ever spoke about the problems of her character.

Actually, even her creator, Lauren Montgomery, after the release of S8 with greatly changed original script began to insist that Pidge was fine and had no flaws.

Although Pidge’s problems were voiced by Keith in the first episodes of the series.

This is absolute indifference to everyone who is beyond her personal circle of people, everyone she doesn’t like or cares.

“You can’t leave everyone to the mercy of fate for the sake of personal desires!” – says Keith, who, with all his teenage issues and egoism, is a very responsible guy (that very trait which will help him grow to the Black Paladin over time).

“I really can!” – Pidge answers confidently.

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Pidge is a supporting character, but her problem was announced almost immediately. Why? Because she is the favorite character of the main screenwriter, Lauren Montgomery. A good screenwriter knows that a hero without flaws and problems is of no interest to anyone.

You know, there is an interesting point in that Lions (with the exception of White and Black) are in many respects opposed to each other.

And if the first and most obvious coupling is Red and Blue, then the coupling of Yellow and Green is in the background and remains invisible, although it was also shown quite early.

The Yellow Lion is a self-confident rock, a support for others. The strongest and most massive of all. If Blue is the one who consoles and wipes away tears (healer in game terminology), then Yellow, as a powerful shield, will take all the fire upon himself (tank). Do you need to be reminded of what happens if a healer or a tank fails in a game during a raid on Boss? It’s shitty, despite the fact that they have the lowest attack in the group.

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The first appearance of Yellow is marked by the fact that he stands between the Blue and the enemy as a shield.

The Green Lion is … an extravagant scientist, shallow and fidgety. This one will not protect anyone, but will crawl anywhere and achieve her goal. She doesn’t have a powerful attack, but she has a trick. In game terminology, she would be called an assassin-horn, the most insidious class (that’s who exactly from the ninja clan …). She is an even greater loner than Red – who, although selfish, is held by Black, as his right hand. The Green Lion is on her mind, her motives are not always understood by others, but she doesn’t want to be understood. 

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It’s funny that the paladins always used Green to sneak past the Galra imperceptibly

Paladins reflect their Lions.

Hunk, despite his fears, immediately stood up for the inhabitants of Balmera, simply because if not him, then who? He is the person who is ready to stand up for the first comers if he sees that they need his help. It doesn’t matter: Galra, humans or some new unknown race.

Hunk is a born negotiator, he knows how to understand people and is always ready to make contact.

And Pidge is… his exact opposite. She was ready to abandon everyone who depend on her, for the sake of saving her father. What about establishing contact with strangers… it’s not something that she can’t do, she simply doesn’t want to. She always says what she thinks, not caring how much it hurts others. Do you remember how she said to Allura something like: “Your father is dead, but my one is alive”? Can you imagine how painful it was for Allura to hear this?

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Allura couldn’t have done that. And it’s a pity, in S6 it would be very useful to her.  

And this is her problem. This is a problem for many children spoiled by their parents.

After all, these are the roots of Pidge’s behavior.

Let’s recall her childhood.

Katie is a special girl from a special family: brilliant scientists, not like everyone else. Because of this, she had conflicts with her classmates – but on the other hand, the family itself nurtured and cherished her, assuring that it was good to be special.

“You are exceptional and that’s wonderful” – they said. Forgetting that there’s nothing remarkable in the inability to communicate with peers in a normal way. And that surely the conflict was not only one-sided – sorry, but Pidge isn’t made of sugar. No wonder her entire company in the Garrison consisted of Lance and Hunk – VERY flexible and patient ones in communicating with other people. Blue and Yellow paladins, remember.

But the problem was ignored, it was solved by stroking the daughter on the head.

The girl was cherished, the girl was spoiled. The girl is a genius, which means that everything is excusable to her. The girl abandoned her mother without hesitation and fled, for the sake of the mythical opportunity to save her father and brother.

Think about it: what it was like for this unfortunate woman? Her husband and son went missing, and the daughter followed them. And not for a day, not for a week. For months and years.

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Pidge didn’t think about it. Pidge didn’t want to think about it.

And this is a problem that remained unresolved.

You know, a person’s character is revealed when he or she doesn’t need to keep their wool on. When he or she isn’t obliged to establish good relations, when this person is the master of the situation.

And the authors directly showed us how deplorable the situation is with Pidge.

Do you understand what I’m talking about? I’m talking about the very scene when the issue of giving of Lotor to Zarkon was being decided.

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Stop the planet, I’ll come off… quiznak, it’s all the same in the entire universe.

There is something very significant in that Lotor then stood in front of the paladins without a helmet, face to face. More precisely – eye to eye. Since this is very important. Stormtroopers in Star Wars, Galra soldiers in VLD series, and even quite real death row in modern China – they all have their heads covered. At least the eyes. Because it depersonalizes a person. No personality – no empathy. You can abstract from it, you can stop considering this man alive. He’s not the same person as you, which means that there’s nothing wrong with his murder.

That’s why the scene where an inanimate robot takes off his helmet and turns into a person with eyes – windows into the soul – is always very important in any motion or animated picture. He is now a person. He is alive. You need to step over yourself to raise your hand on him, and his death is no longer something insignificant for the plot.

And now a little girl of 14 y.o. screams almost with foam at her mouth, demanding that this living person – completely dependent on the decisions of the paladins – must be put to death.

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I need to say, the rest of the team was slightly shocked too.

Didn’t you have a jump in your soul? No thoughts about Christian values, psychological barriers to killing a person. Well, you know, about things that should seem to matter in our culture.

I understand that Pidge wanted to save her father. But I absolutely can’t accept how easily she was ready to kill Lotor, who completely depended on the mercy of the paladins and didn’t show any aggression towards her. Like, “if I don’t shoot him myself, but through third parties, everything is normal”? The hands are clean and conscience too. After all, the latter snores sweetly.

Of course, you can say about the enemy, and that there’s no place for compassion, but you’re the paladins, not unprincipled Galra. You’re the good guys.

Or not so good anymore?

Even from a position of profit and simple logic, the Galra prince could bring much more benefit in war than a scientist from an industrially backward (from the point of view of the universe) Earth.

But what benefit, what compassion we’re talking about. “Give me dad back!” and that’s it.

As a result, the paladins didn’t even think of giving Lotor at least some (!) chance for the rescue. They didn’t come up with at least some plan. They stupidly decided to give him to Zarkon, knowing that for Lotor this was a one-way ticket, and knowing that with a high probability Zarkon would deceive them – that is, Lotor’s death could be in vain. Bayard was given to Lotor by Kuron, after Haggar ordered to activate the third phase. Haggar didn’t want Lotor’s death.

And this is a big problem, actually. Because Haggar-Honerva herself showed how dangerous a brilliant, but unprincipled scientist is. But if Honerva became so because of quintessence, then Pidge is a direct result of improper upbringing.

Alas, in this series this problem wasn’t solved. Because the entire story arc of Pidge in S8 was cut out.

What was this arc? The realization that not the whole world revolves around you. That not only your interests matter. That you can objectively be wrong with others, and you must be able to admit your wrong.

Simply put, the Pidge’s arc must be connected to two figures:

The first figure is a figure embodying one-sided attachment for Pidge. Love without bestowal, as it often happened with the love of parents to Pidge herself.

The second figure is an absolutely alien person for Pidge who is not in the circle of loved ones. Pidge was often rude with such people, and she must realize how wrong this behavior was.

Who are these figures? I think the answer to this question is not difficult: Lance and Lotor.

Pidge got used to the fact that all the people who are not indifferent to her revolve around her. In particular, Lance and Hunk. But in his chase for Allura, Lance began to move more and more away from his friends. They ceased to be Garrison Trio from the first seasons, who used to do everything together.

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Nothing unites people like a joint escape from the cops… at least it used to unite.

For Pidge, this was very unusual. And very hard. Especially the moment when Lance, with the help of his “retinue”, invited Allura on a date. Now they’re not a company of friends – Hunk, Pidge and Lance. Now Lance is with Allura, and they’re somewhere on the side.

Pidge feels that for an important person she is now in second place. And she really has a hard time feeling it.

She’s used to take care of loved ones, and she continues to take care of Lance. But she has to personally face what you feel when your care isn’t appreciated and remains unnoticed. When your love is taken for granted and never comes back. She’s in the place of her own mother, whom she so easily abandoned, ignoring the fact that her mother might worry about her.

Does it hurt? Yes. But it’s necessary. Alas, this part of the plot was never developed.

There’s nothing to talk about Lotor, remembering the events that I described above. Do you remember the paladins apologizing to him? No, you don’t, because it never happened. And Lotor – oh, such a bad guy – forgave them and pretended that everything was fine, just an everyday matter.

Lotor is used to the fact that people around him treat him like a piece if crap. He forgave the generals, forgave the paladins. He forgives everyone, what a vile bastard he is.

But since the entire arc of justification or redemption – no matter – of Lotor was cut out, the whole arc of Pidge was cut out too, the arc where she realizes her wrong.

There’s no awareness of wrong – there’s no rethinking of oneself as a person. No growth, no development.

Pidge remained convinced that everything she had done was right.

And it’s just awful, because children see it. They see and find something close to themselves in Pidge. And they see the message – yes, that’s right, that’s okay.

Then these children will grow up and some of them will become not a small Pidge, but a big Haggar.

And it won’t be funny at all. 

4 thoughts on “Pidge – the heroine with Schrödinger problems

  • May 6, 2020 at 12:08 am
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    This was an amazing analysis! I haven’t watched the show since s8’s release because it was just too painful mentally and emotionally. Recently I’ve been reading up on it again, rejoining the fandom discussions and I’ve been having trouble recalling exactly what Pidge’s arc was; she, much like my other green girl Toph, seemed a very static character to me and because of the obviously attention drawing backdrop of war and other major characters it was very difficult to recognise let alone remember what her flaws/arc was or would have been. Thank you again to TPL and this guest contributor for articulating perfectly what Pidge and her arc was and would have been resolved by in s8!

    Reply
    • May 8, 2020 at 4:10 am
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      Thank you, Cosmic Royalty is a wonderful team and we’re always thrilled to host their work! Her arc is one that’s near and dear to us all, and it really is a tragedy that the edits to the final seasons flatten her character. We’re so glad you’ve chosen to rejoin the fandom conversations, it can be hard to come back to a story if it hurts, but it just goes to show how much of an impression VLD leaves on fans.

      Reply
  • May 6, 2020 at 2:47 pm
    Permalink

    Have you got any analysis’ on Hunk or Keith planned or is someone welcome to contribute guest essays on them? I just wanted to know since I have some thoughts on him but of course I don’t want to publish anything if you already have ideas in the works

    Reply
    • May 8, 2020 at 4:11 am
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      As of right now we don’t have a draft for either of them in the works, but even if we did we absolutely welcome guest essays! We want fellow fans to speak up and make themselves heard. Here are our requirements for posting, and if you have further questions we are always reachable on all our social media platforms (@TeamPurpleLion) or by email at TeamPurpleLion@gmail.com:
      https://www.teampurplelion.com/publish-with-tpl/

      That said, if you would rather post to your own platform, feel free to share the link with us and we’ll be happy to give it a read!

      Reply

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