Liquid Engineer (liquidengineer0) wrote in juniper_lee,
Liquid Engineer
liquidengineer0
juniper_lee

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Leila.

I'm going to apologize in advance. I'm sleepy, so parts of this may be a bit ... off. But I really wanted to make sure I got this out there before I forgot what I wanted to say.

So, I watched tonight's episode, and while it was wonderfully funny madness of hair and cross dressing dogs that actually deserves a lot more detailed discussion than I'm prepared to give right now, but I wonder...

Does anyone else feel annoyed by Leila?

Don't get me wrong. I think she's a cool character. I like that she's actually drawn in a way that's foreign enough to say "I'm not human," but not alien enough to make the fact that she can blend in believable. I also appreciate the detail they put into how she moves and fights.

But her presence irks me to a degree. We were told one of June's friends will find out the secret. How many here assumed--wanted--it to be human friend? We're far more emotionally invested in them at this point. And it would've required a real change of the status quo re: telling secrets to people who aren't supposed to know them.

So yes, if it turns out that Leila is who he was talking about, and not one of the characters I've spent the last two seasons falling in love with, I'll feel very let down.

But we got Leila, and so far one of her main functions seems to be to remove non-magical life/magical life conflict for June. In "Citizen June" she spent most of the ep looking for the demon thing so June would be free to run for President. To me, this sort of thing removes a lot of the best kind of conflict in the show: June having to actively balance both of her lives. With Leila in play, that doesn't seem to be nearly the same sort of problem it used to be. She's like a helper elf that isn't a con man.

Then there's the issue of just how capable she's turning out to be. Yes, they had the sense to make sure she doesn't approach June's level of power, but she can still hold her own in a battle. This also irks me. I want to watch June deal with these things. I'm not nearly as interested in Juniper Lee and Her Amazing Friends, especially when the Amazing Friend in question was just introduced two weeks ago and is eating up screen time that'd go to her other friends that, as I've said, have been around for two seasons and not gotten nearly enough showing. Then there's the matter of how she repeatedly showed June up just in this ep (I didn't see "Feets to Big," unfortunately).:

She can "smell evil" and pegs the purple thing as a fake right off. Note that for dramatic purposes not only does June not believe her, but she also become this frightening baby-talking version of herself that really doesn't make a lot of sense. The thing is cute, but not that cute. That whole stretch, IMHO, made June look like a complete idiot. And though she's made a few mistakes before, the one thing June is not ... is an idiot. Sure, Jasmine knows more than she does, but Jasmine's 69, and June's only been at this for about a year with a couple years to train.

The whole back to nature montage after the power went out. Yes, Leila should be used to doing without modern conveniences, but she was a virtual McGuyver. Not only did she have a solution for every situation, but by the end of the ep Jody, Ophelia, and Roger wanted to spend more time with Leila and June had become almost a third wheel. That she didn't seem to mind seemed off to me...this is the girl that normally flips out every few eps because she doesn't get to spend time with her friends. Where's the righteous indignation and jealousy she felt towards Ashley? I'm not saying June has to hate Leila. I just want an explanation for the difference.

And finally, the matter of Leila's essential otherness. June has to work her butt off to blend in. It causes problems for her and hurts her relationships with her friends (she made Jody cry in "Citizen June," and I don't think that just had to do with Jody being nervous about the election). She had to throw several competitions by order of Monroe to conceal her powers. (BTW, I agreed with Monroe on the necessity of this.)

But Leila gets to dig giant holes in the ground ... in about five seconds ... and bury meat and eat bark, and no one seems to think anything beyond "she's weird." That's almost buyable, if not for the speed at which she dug the hole. No one notices her leaving the school with all those books and raises the WTF alarm. Less easy to swallow because someone besides June should've noticed, but still basically plausible.

But June could've made it look normal if she'd won every event at the sports event thing. The "Leila Treatment" whereby Leila created enough force by waving her arms to blowdry Ophelia's hair with more force than a powered blowdrier is simply not physically possible for a normal 11 year old human. Suspension of disbelief only gets you so far. How did none of them catch on to the fact she's got super strength? Ophelia at least should've noticed. She's the shrewdest out of all the human friends. The only explanation I can think of is "plot hole for the sake of Leila's awesomeness," and as you might imagine I'm not entirely thrilled with that.

That last sentence is an understatement.

So Leila is using abilities and knowlege of the type June has to hide to make herself more popular. June could do this, but doesn't because it would violate the whole "Veil of Secrecy" thing she's supposed to be upholding. And she still gets stuck as the Princess of Flakes.

So it comes down to this. Am I the only one that's getting the feeling that Leila is veering heavily towards being a Mary Sue? That maybe she's already there, to some extent?

I realize this may have come off a bit harsh, but I felt like I needed to get this off my chest.

Thoughts?
Tags: leila
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