Friday, August 14, 2015

31 Day Miami Vice Challenge, Day 8: Least Favorite Minor/One-Time Character

Like I wrote back on Day 5, Season Four came pretty close to tying Five for the title of my least favorite season, and today's character is a big reason as to why. As a one-shot character, Caitlin Davies would have been awesome. She was gutsy, stylish, talented, passionate, and played by Sheena Easton, who actually did a really good job in the role. Hell, even if she had been a recurring character, trying out a long-distance relationship or something would have been okay. But instead the writers chose to have a whirlwind romance, where she and Sonny get hitched in, like, a day and begin a rather stupid venture called marriage between an undercover cop and a high-profile pop singer.
Via Deux Flics A Miami
Now, I can't necessarily give the show shit for giving Sonny an Insta-Wife since my husband and I got engaged after knowing each other only two months (if even that) and then married just a short time after that, but I'm going to do it, anyway. Because seriously. They hated each other, realized stuff about each other, had sex, decided to get married despite their respective careers, all in the span of less than a week. Then the rest of the season was about them dealing with the issues they hadn't really considered - like when Sonny's undercover persona is discovered in contrast to Caitlin's squeaky clean public image, but neither can do anything to prove anything to the contrary because that would ruin any work Sonny had been doing up to that point - and getting into fights but being all, "But we LOVE each other, so it's okay."

To be honest, if it had only been the complete ridiculousness that was that situation, I would have been somewhat okay with the plot. But by the penultimate episode of the fourth season, it was pretty obvious as to why Caitlin was introduced: to get fridged. Because Vice had become Sonny Crockett's Woes. And also to stir up hype, like the "Who Shot JR?" cliffhanger that Dallas - at the time, Miami Vice's main competitor - used. The there was the whole pregnancy angle, to add insult to injury because, hey, why the hell not? Basically, Caitlin was poorly used and written to be this hand-wringing sex object for Sonny to grieve and eventually use as a reason to turn into his alter-ego, Burnett*, fueling the first part of the final season of the series.
Via Getty Images**
It's similar to how I feel about the death of Tara***: it completed the descent of a main character without actually considering the life of the significant other. I know that real life doesn't always have that courtesy, but dammit, this is fiction and done for a purpose. And I'm aware this was made in the 80s, but things have not improved since then. How often to video games or movies or novels or any form of entertainment use the meaningless death of a loved one, usually a woman or girl, to fuel the righteous rage of a man?

Caitlin deserved better. Sheena Easton deserved better. The audience deserved better. But all we got was the sappiest song ever to be released:

Sheena Easton - "Follow My Rainbow" Live  

Sheena Easton - "Follow My Rainbow" (Miami Vice Version)


BACK TO CHALLENGE

* Well, kinda. An explosion gave him The Amnesia, but the grief, combined with his lack of belief in the justice system, make it all the easier to assume that he'd believe he was a cold-blooded drug dealer. 
** I love this look, even if I just realized that this is essentially an oxford shirt with the sleeves used as a belt, but hey, it was the 80s. Also, Sheena's hair is amazing and I want it in its asymmetrical glory. 
*** Joss Whedon has said multiple times that, had Willow still had been with Oz, he would have been murdered by the stray bullet from Warren's gun. 
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