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Jaden thoughts. Thom, too. - moonspinner
moonspinner
moonspinner
Jaden thoughts. Thom, too.
From what we see in the pre-hiatus episodes, Jaden and Thom were f**k-buddies. I actually think that the show does a good job of portraying a friendship where someone has deeper feelings for the other person who is falling in love with someone else. Nothing wrong with that. But I have a big problem with Thom’s actions in ‘Guardian’, when Birkhoff is trying to set Jaden up for breaking into Percy’s office and he does nothing. Fine, I get that he didn’t want to get Alex into trouble either, but he doesn’t even scold Alex later for keeping silent and letting someone else take the blame for her actions. I have a problem with that. I liked that Alex didn’t step up and vindicate Jaden because it shows that intrinsic Udinov ruthlessness that we only saw flashes of until ‘Alexandra’ and ‘Echoes’, but I don’t like Thom’s role in this at all. Even worse though is that the show doesn’t even seem to acknowledge that anything was wrong in that scene. The show seems to think it’s inconsequential that Jaden is being framed for Alex’s crime (because she’s what? A bitch? Alex has never been Jaden’s victim. If anything, she has not only given as good as she got, she’s became the one in the position of power after ‘One Way’; but more on that below*); and that it’s also inconsequential that ‘Nice Guy’ Thom doesn’t even register that his old friend Jaden would have got into serious trouble because of what Alex did.

*I believe that Jaden would have helped Alex with Dr. Lecherous if Alex had asked her nicely. When Jaden finds Alex’s escape tunnel she whistles and says, “home girl escaped” and there’s no glee or triumph on her face, but something like awe, like respect. I don’t think she had any intention of reporting Alex. And earlier in that episode, when she pairs up with Alex for weapons, Jaden is actually friendly and it’s Alex that “gets her bitch-game on”. It bothered me that Alex blackmailed her and effectively killed any chance of them becoming natural allies; and it bothered me even more that when she comes to Thom with evidence in “All the way”, he promptly betrays her and gives Alex a heads-up even though Thom has seen enough suspicious behavior on Alex’s part to at least consider Jaden’s suspicions.

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Comments
staringiscaring From: staringiscaring Date: March 8th, 2011 03:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree on all these thoughts about Jaden. Hopefully, the writers will flesh her character out.

I wasn't ever on the Thom-bandwagon so I wasn't impressed with his 'nice guy' cred.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 8th, 2011 05:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay! Jaden fan! I acually liked Thom on first viewing and felt bad when Alex had to kill him - and not just for Alex. But on rewatch, Irealized just how shitty he treated Jaden in 'Guardian'. She could have been cancelled. And he didn't even confront Alex with that or do something... And 'll the Way' does hint at a past relationship with Jaden, even if it was purely physical (on his part; it seemed to have been a bit more on her part).
staringiscaring From: staringiscaring Date: March 8th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
He wasn't boring. I just think he just looked nice because Division is filled with sociopaths and trained killers. I just didn't like how he treated Jaden and how he dropped her like a booty call to make nice with Alex. His words were nice but his actions weren't.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 8th, 2011 06:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
THIS. I actually felt very sympathetic towards Thom until I did a re-watch and went all, 'wow! you are a really shitty friend, aren't you?'
staringiscaring From: staringiscaring Date: March 8th, 2011 06:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yup, same here. Jaden isn't my favorite but she didn't deserve his lack of concern.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 8th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
lol at your icon. :D :D
staringiscaring From: staringiscaring Date: March 9th, 2011 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I just love that little guy.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 9th, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Who is he? *curious*
staringiscaring From: staringiscaring Date: March 9th, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't know. Found the icon at ONTD and fell in love. The credit to the original artist is in my userpics.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 9th, 2011 05:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, whoever he or she is, sure are cute. :D
frelling_tralk From: frelling_tralk Date: March 8th, 2011 03:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think it's hard because the show has never outright portrayed Jaden and Thom as in a relationship. So much has been from Alex's POV that it comes across more as Jaden just has a crush on Thom, and an unfair grudge against Alex from the first moment they met and Jaden attacked her. I think the show should have opened up Jaden's POV more and all it would have taken would be one or two scenes of her and Thom together and showing Jaden pained at him being less invested. Instead we nearly always only see her from the perspective of giving Alex a hard time

And I know that Alex can give as good as she gets, but that still doesn't help Jaden come across as a more rounded character
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 8th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think Jaden's grudge on Alex would have been unfair even if she and Thom had been in a relationship - understandable, yes, but still unfair. But I actually think that in 'All the Way', it's made unambigously clear that she and Thom had a friends-with-benefits thing going before Alex came along. (When he says he can't hook up 'again' with her because he's now an agent...)

But even without opening up Jaden's POV, I think the role Thom played in Birkhoff's almost-frame-up of Jaden was still a shitty role. Sure Jaden wasn't nice to *Alex* but she hadn't done anything to Thom. She was his friend, if nothing else, at least a fellow recruit like himself and he knew she was innocent. I wasn't expecting him toturn in Alex but he could have at least confronted her with it later: 'Hey, you know what? Play around all you like in Percy's office for your file or whatever but next time they try to cancel another recruit for your actions, own your shit.' or something.
foxrafer From: foxrafer Date: March 8th, 2011 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just wanted to say I agree with you. I've been getting a little tired of how they've been using Jaden in the series so far.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 8th, 2011 05:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
*hi fives* Let's hold out some hope that my icon will come true right?
beagleinspace From: beagleinspace Date: March 8th, 2011 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't think you're the only Jaden fan, but I'm sorry to say I'm not on that bandwagon with you. I think this is due to how she's been written so far. She's sort of all over the place.

I've read that people think that the Jaden and Alex will eventually end up friends (or want that to happen), but I'm on the train that wants to see Jaden and Alex develop into enemies. (Part of which is caused by Alex's own behavior towards Jaden.) I think that would be more interesting to watch.

As for Thom, yeah, I was wondering throughout that scene if he was going to let Jaden take the fall for Alex's actions or if he were actually going to speak up if Michael hadn't put a stop to Birkoff's plan to frame a recruit. (I didn't really care for the Alex/Thom/Jaden storyline in general so I can't remember if Thom followed up with Alex on it.)

I liked that Alex didn’t step up and vindicate Jaden

I loved that scene! I thought for sure we were going to see Alex start to crack a little, so I was surprised when she didn't. When I first saw it, I thought it was Alex being that dedicated to her role as Nikita's mole. I haven't thought about it since, but I like the idea that it was also part of who/what Alex came from.

The show seems to think it's inconsequential that Jaden is being framed for Alex’s crime

Actually, now I kind of wonder if it's not so much they think it's inconsequential, but more they were laying the groundwork to show, as you said, Alex's "intrinsic Udinov ruthlessness."
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 8th, 2011 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sorry, I didn’t mean to come across as all melodramatic and OMGONLYJADENFANINTHEWORLDWHATISWRONGWTHFANDOM at everyone. :P I guess all the talk on TWOP about how Jaden was useless/ should be killed off so Hines can be sacked and the budget freed up etc. was really, really getting me down.

I think this is due to how she's been written so far. She's sort of all over the place.

I don't think the writers pay enough attention to Jaden's arc but I think the little that we see of her, and her inner life, is quite consistent.

Obviously, I’m all for Jaden and Alex not becoming friends, mind, but allies with a touch of Nakama down the road. But the one thing I will ask for if they do stay on opposite sides is that Jaden does it for something more than vengeance for Thom, who was a shitty friend to her. I confess that I’m sort of projecting Alias S1!Anna Esponsa’s relationship with Sydney on my wishes for Jaden/Alex. I always though Sydney and Anna will team up ‘the enemy of my enemy’ style but not only did the show not go that way, they changed Anna from a rather ruthless mercenary who found Sydney irritating to a crazed religious zealot obsessed with Sydney. As much as I like f/f mentor/student relationships, I also love to see contemporaries interacting and it’s been a while since I’ve seen that in a spy show.
Thom never followed up with Alex about near-letting-Jaden-take-the-fall – hence my rant. Like I said earlier, Jaden might have been a bitch to Alex but she was *his* friend and they had an on/off physical relationship (All the Way confirms this) and regardless of his feelings for Alex, you don’t just throw your old friend-with-benefits under the bus especially if that bus can be a cancellation!

Actually, now I kind of wonder if it's not so much they think it's inconsequential, but more they were laying the groundwork to show, as you said, Alex's "intrinsic Udinov ruthlessness."

I’m certainly getting that vibe post-Echoes, but I think it would have been done more effectively and certainly made more in-verse sense if Thom had lampshaded it. I didn't care much about the whole 9021007 thing with Alex/Thom/Jaden pre-hiatus but since the writers had bothered to set up that dynamic, they should have followed it through.
beagleinspace From: beagleinspace Date: March 8th, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I didn’t mean to come across as all melodramatic and OMGONLYJADENFANINTHEWORLDWHATISWRONGWTHFANDOM at everyone.

Oh, no I didn't get that feeling! I know what it's like to be in the minority of fans who like a character.

Maybe it's my knee-jerk reaction to the show being on the CW and shows with girls being frenemies, but I for one would love to see Jaden develop into a Division agent who a) likes her job and b) is good at it. I don't know why, but I feel that Jaden and Alex actually being on opposite sides would be something fresh and different (at least for me). I do agree though, I'd hate for Jaden's story to just be about avenging Thom.

you don’t just throw your old friend-with-benefits under the bus especially if that bus can be a cancellation!

Again, I do wonder if there was more to that bit of storyline that ended up on the cutting room floor due to time. The way the writers seemed to present Thom, I wouldn't think he'd leave Jaden hanging if Michael hadn't stepped in.

I didn't care much about the whole 9021007 thing with Alex/Thom/Jaden pre-hiatus but since the writers had bothered to set up that dynamic, they should have followed it through.

I just have to say, I love the 9021007 phrase :D It seems like Thom was always destined to die, but I wonder if perhaps the Alex/Jaden dynamic part of the story has suffered a bit because of the CW mandated tweaks the show was supposedly given.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 8th, 2011 09:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
The idea of a Jaden - or any young agent for that matter - who is not only good at her job, but has fully drunk the Division Kool-aid and believes that working for Division=serving her country/ getting a second chance at life is really cool. Thom was supposed to be that but he's dead now. It's certainly a gap that can be filled by Jaden.

While I think Jaden's character has suffered from the truncuated Alex-in-Division-arc (I think the original plan wasfor her to graduate at the season finale?), I don't think that's the reason why Thom never reacts to what Alex allowed Birkhoff to almost do. Because it would have been so easy for Thom to have brought it up with Alex during their romantic post-mortem at the end of the episode. Instead, when she thanks him for not saying anything, he's gracious about it: and there's this creepy moment that I, as a viewer, sees Thom being labelled a 'nice guy' for keeping Alex's secret at the cost of burning Jaden, and no one even acknowledges that. I think it's really the lack of acknowledgement that bugs me more than anything. If it's part of Thom's persona to casually dump his old friends/fuck buddies when the newest recruit turns up, and not care if they are cancelled, then fair enough. But that's a complete disconnect from everything else that we are shown of him.


TL DR but I think my own theory is that Jaden drew the short straw with the truncuated Hogwarts Divison semester, but the shitty job that was done with her character would have happened in either case. As it stands, as a viewer, I can only work with what actually appears on the screen and not what could have/ought to have/ was originally planned to have appeared on the screen. And what's up there paints a rather horrible picture of Thom.
beagleinspace From: beagleinspace Date: March 9th, 2011 03:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Honestly, I thought the Thom/Alex storyline was going to be a version of Michael/Nikita with Thom slowly questioning Division's purpose, so the writer's fooled me there.

Oh no, I didn't mean I thought the Thom non-reaction to Alex letting Jaden take the fall had anything to do with the cuts to the Division arc, I think/hope it had more to do with the time allotted for the episode itself. Here's hoping there's a deleted scene on the DVD that addresses that issue. However, the way Thom had been presented to us, I can't not see him at least trying to provide an alibi for Jaden had Birkoff continued to press her on her whereabouts. I feel the only reason we didn't see him eventually stand up for Jaden was because Michael made it unnecessary.
pylarwoman From: pylarwoman Date: March 9th, 2011 02:15 am (UTC) (Link)
A bit late to the party, but you're definitely not the only one who likes Jaden. And I agree with everything you've said, omg.

I'm hoping there's more emphasis on her character after the hiatus, but it's a small, somewhat dwindling hope.

moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 9th, 2011 05:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's dwindling for me to... but I have to be optimistic.
jyorraku.dreamwidth.org From: jyorraku.dreamwidth.org Date: March 9th, 2011 05:27 am (UTC) (Link)
I actually liked Jaden better in the pilot better than the later episodes when it became clear she was picking fights with Alex over Thom. Ugh. I'd much see a rivalry over who's better at disarming a bomb.

I, too, hope Jaden drops the Thom angle over the hiatus, and works on the fact that she knows Alex is Nikita's mole. I wasn't too invested in Thom in the first place and having her seek vengeance for a guy who was a dick to her makes me all eye-rolly.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 9th, 2011 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I actually liked Jaden better in the pilot better than the later episodes



YES! THIS!



Until 'Guardian', Thom doesn't seem to have anything to do with Jaden's beef with Alex. The first physical fight is after Alex gets activated and when Michael issues the ultimatum and Thom makes them work together, they actually seem to get along on their mini-project in a competitive way. (I reasoned that the reason why Alex ended up inardvertedly aiding Division against Nikita was because she got carried away with trying to one-up Jaden). I really hated the whole 'Don't let me see you with Thom' line from Jaden in Guardian because wow, way to reduce an interesting character to your typical Sassy Black Girl/ Loser ex-Girlfriend stereotype.



I, too, hope Jaden drops the Thom angle over the hiatus, and works on the fact that she knows Alex is Nikita's mole.



I have a theory that Jaden's knowledge (of Alex as the mole) could go either way after Thom's death. She may have thought it out and realized that it was really Thom that was the mole after all (and the finger-print thingummy thing she found in Alex's room was actually planted there by Thom). Perhaps she'll be looking to be recruited by Nikita when she becomes an agent. It could be problematic if the idea is that she loved Thom and Nikita would help avenge him for her. But it could also play out that, Thom was her friend, for better or worse, and someone who she admired and she is now wondering: 'if Thom thought Division was evil and was trying to bring it down, perhaps there's food for thought about this...' On the other hand, she could strongly suspect Alex is the mole but keep quiet because: 1, she doesn't have enough evidence and it's down to a recruit's word against and agent's; and 2, she doesn't know who to trust in Division.
redbrunja From: redbrunja Date: March 9th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
I actually liked Jaden better in the pilot better than the later episodes when it became clear she was picking fights with Alex over Thom. Ugh. I'd much see a rivalry over who's better at disarming a bomb.

Same here. I actually don't like the idea that Jadan and Thom were fuckbuddies (and may need to rewatch the episode because I don't remember that line at all) because it makes Alex and Jaden's rivalry About A Boy and not about Jadan being pissed that the new recruit was a.) a threat to her position and b.) getting lots of attention.

Honestly, I think the writers did not do a good job with Jaden's character – we only really see one side of her, and it's not a side that's going to make a lot of people sympathetic to her.

As leia-naberrie said, "The idea of a Jaden - or any young agent for that matter - who is not only good at her job, but has fully drunk the Division Kool-aid and believes that working for Division=serving her country/ getting a second chance at life is really cool."

It's too bad that the writers didn't spent more time on that idea, instead of having Jaden and Alex trade bitchy comments.
jyorraku.dreamwidth.org From: jyorraku.dreamwidth.org Date: March 11th, 2011 07:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Same here. I actually don't like the idea that Jadan and Thom were fuckbuddies (and may need to rewatch the episode because I don't remember that line at all) ...

Jaden said she wasn't looking to hook up again when she was showing Thom the makeshift fingerprint pad.

...because it makes Alex and Jaden's rivalry About A Boy and not about Jadan being pissed that the new recruit was a.) a threat to her position and b.) getting lots of attention.

I know, right? I would like to think that was either that tweak that the CW wanted or that Hines had break off to go film Bones, that Jaden's character turned out the way she did. I'd hate to think they planned it like this. :p
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 11th, 2011 11:35 am (UTC) (Link)
I could fanwank it either way, but I'm inclined to think that yes, they did plan it that way all along. Thom was obviously being set up as a romantic interest for Alex and it's easy to look back on the fight in 1x2 and realize that Jaden was pissed at Alex because Thom had helped her in Computer Lab (and was wearing his attraction towards Alex on his sleeve) and that her aggression during Weapons was because of that.
redbrunja From: redbrunja Date: March 12th, 2011 06:36 am (UTC) (Link)
...because it makes Alex and Jaden's rivalry About A Boy and not about Jadan being pissed that the new recruit was a.) a threat to her position and b.) getting lots of attention.

I know, right? I would like to think that was either that tweak that the CW wanted or that Hines had break off to go film Bones, that Jaden's character turned out the way she did. I'd hate to think they planned it like this. :p


Sadly, Nikita had done enough 'storyline of least creativity' that I wouldn't rule it out...
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: March 11th, 2011 11:44 am (UTC) (Link)
It's too bad that the writers didn't spent more time on that idea, instead of having Jaden and Alex trade bitchy comments.

I guess it was bad enough that they had two women in a mentor/protégé relationship; making two female contemporaries friends was the absolute limit!
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