Mysticons Played Its Fans Like a Violin

When writing about shows that haven't ended yet, there is always a risk of analyzing something that may no longer be valid a few weeks later. This has happened to me twice with Once Upon a Time when I pointed out that Tiana did not appear to be a princess by birth in the series, which turned out to be false a couple of weeks later and later that their Rapunzel storyline wasn't actually about Rapunzel, whose storyline turned out to be covered the following week. Despite these minor incidents, though, I have never felt quite as duped by a TV show as I did with last week's episode of Mysticons entitled "Twin Stars Unite." You may recall my post about the new princess in Mysticons, in which Proxima, who had mainly been a background character up to that point, was revealed as Princess Arkayna's long-lost twin sister. The writers proceeded in having us believe this lie for an unprecedented five episodes, which translates to over a month in viewing time, before revealing the actual twin in last week's episode (spoilers ahead).


It was a pretty common fan theory that the Mysticon Ranger, Zarya, was the true identity of the missing princess, and it would have even made sense if it had been revealed right off the bat. She is the only other human in the core group of magical girls, was raised as an orphan with no knowledge of her family, and has the same short temper as Arkayna. It may not even have come off as much a surprise for the two to discover their sisterly bond, considering how many trivial things they bicker about with each other. I suppose that was the problem, though. The writers didn't want us to see it coming. They wanted it to be so much of a surprise that they included a red herring for over a month before revealing the truth. By now, it seems like it should be too late for them to change the direction of the story so drastically. Not only have do we as an audience feel as though we have had the wool pulled over our eyes, but Proxima's character is also likely to fade right back into the background now. It's no wonder she had trouble accepting the truth during the final few minutes of "Twin Stars Unite."

It's no secret that Mysticons likes to torment its characters. What they've done to Proxima this late in the game, though, is almost unforgivable. When she was discovered as Arkayna's sister, the two needed to be kept apart because being united under the wrong circumstances would result in the main bad guys releasing the Spectral Dragon that had the power to destroy the entire realm. To prevent this, Proxima was sent into hiding in our world (which is a pretty miserable existence, if you ask me) until Tasma found her and brought her back to Queen Necrafa, the main villain of the show. When Arkayna and Proxima were placed in Necrafa's trap to release the dragon, it didn't work for some reason. During the final few minutes of the episode, Zarya "accidentally" leaned onto Proxima's pillar. Arkayna's hand leaning on the other side activated the machine, releasing the deadly Spectral Dragon. It was only then that they discovered they were wrong about the identity of Arkayna's long-lost twin.

If Zarya had been the red herring and Proxima turned out to be the actual twin princess, I think I would have been less angry at the writers than I am now. Zarya was already an established lead on the show as the Mysticon Ranger. She was already friends with the main characters without needing to be related to any of them by blood. Zarya was already a Robin Hood-like hero who stole from the rich and gave to orphan children before she even became a Mysticon. She was also a sky pirate and an honorary big sister to Piper, my favorite of the Mysticons. It's not necessary to make a her a princess on top of all of that. There's also the fact that being a princess it goes completely against her personality, so she probably is not going to be very happy about it when push comes to shove. In the episode "Star-Crossed Sisters," it was incredibly touching when Arkayna thought Proxima was her twin sister and tried to get her to open up and allow other people into her lonely life. In one foul swoop, the show's writers undid all the ground-breaking plot twists they had established over the past month.

Using a character solely for the purpose of being a red herring is a pretty cheap plot twist. As a writer myself, I found it somewhat offensive. The emotional impact of a meek lone wolf like Proxima finding out she had a family and then immediately losing it is enormous. I do not appreciate being played this way by the show's writers and hope that this is something that will be addressed in future episodes. They owe her a big story arc to make up for what they've done to her. We've all been duped by shows in the past, but for me, this took it too far.

Comments

Anonymous said…
What are you talking about? The writers clearly WANTED us to know the sister was Zarya. Hence all the hints and relationship building between the two. If they wanted it to be a surprise, they would NOT have shown the image of the twins together in Episode 20, where Arkayna's twin clearly had Zarya's hair and eye colors.
Lisa Dawn said…
Hi there! Thanks for reading my blog. You are extremely observant, and I commend you for that. It's interesting how people can interpret the same things so differently. Looking at the picture of the twin babies from the episode at http://mysticons.wikia.com/wiki/File:Baby_Arkayna_and_Zarya.png, Arkayna's twin definitely looks like she has the same eye color as Proxima http://mysticons.wikia.com/wiki/Proxima_Starfall. Zarya's eyes look like more of a bluish green to me, but I can see how it could work both ways. I actually didn't even notice that the small hair wisps on the babies were different colors. You did a great job figuring that out, and I hope you continue to enjoy the show as well as my other blog entries. Take care!
Hope35 said…
Now it's getting even better for poor Proxima. Instead of having her fade into the background she's now the main villian who wants to get revenge on the heroines?

The show is missing a valuable opportunity to teach its young fans the importance of hope, faith and resilience when you're faced with heartaches and disappointments.

Instead they made her into a disposable villian cliche who I can only hope will get some form of redemption before this season ends.

This is still a cute fun show but this writing with Proxima is REALLY bad.
Lisa Dawn said…
Yeah, but I'd like to think she's only acting that way because of the mask. Hopefully, they can get her to take it off, and then she will be able to redeem herself.
Hope35 said…
Good point! It could be the bad masky, as Piper would call it.

I also realized something about the Proxi/Zee switch that lead to evil Proxi: the day baby Proxi's ID was switched to pretend she was the lost Royal twin she became a big-time protector of Zee, the Royal family, Drake City AND Gemina making her a superheroine in her own right even as a tiny baby.

Go Super baby Proxi!

Now will this show recognize this awesome heroism or will that be ignored?

I personally hope they do and that it helps in her redemption.
Lisa Dawn said…
Heh, that's a good point! I thought Proxima was a very unique and interesting character when Arkayna took the time to get to know. It is a shame that she became a Saturday morning cartoon villain for the time being. I do find it interesting that all of the estranged sisters of the main characters on the show seem to turn evil. First Tasma, and now Proxima (if you consider that Arkayna saw her as a sister). Maybe they're trying to tell kids to be nice to their siblings?
Hope35 said…
The get along with your siblings idea is a good one.

I definitely could see Kay seeing Proxi as a sister. Like you said in your blog post
about them when it was 1st thought that they were the royal twins IMHO the show blew an incredible amount of great storyline potential with not having them turn out to be the twins.

Zee & Kay would have become close as sister type friends anyway & I think Kay also sees Em & Piper as being her sisters too.

Another observation: there are only 3, possibly 4, teen Astromancers (if you count Doug who might age differently due to not being human) the only ones made big-time evil were the 2 girls with the boys being kept good.

Not that I want to see Mal or Doug majorly corrupted but for a show that wants to be progressive with an all girls hero team having the 2 young villains both also be only girls is a huge step in the wrong direction.

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