Tess: Evil or Misguided?

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Peachykin
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Post by Peachykin » Wed Nov 02, 2005 6:31 pm

A little late in replying to this one, but here's my take on Tess...

I think the problem with Tess being, for lack of a better word, gray, is because we have a hard time reconciling her as a character and what the writers had her do.

There are those of us who see her as having tremendous potential as a character, but for whatever reason, the show coming to a possible end at that point, it was hastily wrapped up and instantly Tess is evil, versus the complex girl we'd been presented with in the weeks leading up to Departure.

Nature versus Nurture in this case becomes, what this character Tess, have been allowed to become in the hands of different writers?

Tess is a character, and so the writers can and did with her what they were wither told, or wanted to do. Her character having killed Alex is deplorable, but so is the fact that the writers chose that route. So, I think its difficult for some of us to say that yes, Tess was inherently evil,

Tess was a smart character and the biggest injustice to her was that she was turned into what she was in the writers hands or Katims mind.

I know to some there is no gray. Black and white, Tess is evil, and I respect that. That's what makes our viewpoints so interesting. We all watched the same show, but viewed the characters in a very different way.
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Post by DreamKeeper » Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:07 pm

I never really liked Tess. But that's because I never really forgot what she was like when she first arrived in Roswell. I found her to be manipulative, and she enjoyed playing the games a little too much. The fact that she played nice for awhile didn't mean much to me.

It's not necessarily the killing of Alex. That can be argued as an unfortunate accident until the next millenium, just a mistake that she had no intention of making, but somehow happened. That's possible.

That's not what makes her evil to me. What gets lost is the fact that she superimposed her will over another to get something that she wanted. She took away Alex's free will because she wanted the book translated. She kept him in virtual slavery for months, away from his friends and family, holed up in some supercomputer lab in Las Cruses.

It can be argued that she didn't know that the mindwarp would kill him. It cannot be argued that she didn't know she was taking away another person's freedom. Shades of William Wallace, I'm having a Braveheart moment here.

She had a rotten upbringing. So did a lot of other people who managed to rise above it. That excuse can only be taken so far.

As to whether or not she atoned at the end by blowing up the base, I'm not sure enough that she died to decide that.
Last edited by DreamKeeper on Wed Nov 02, 2005 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by cookiely » Wed Nov 02, 2005 7:22 pm

have to agree with a lot of things you said, especially the bit about Tess being complex. I think she was the most complex character of them all and I hate what the show did to her. Not necessarily because they turned her evil (even though I preferred her nice), but because they made her such a pathetic bad-guy
:? After the first season the show had only pathetic villains.
Nicolas had potential if they had kept him as creepy as he was in Harvest, but they made him whiny and comical. :? And Khivar :? ..they just totally wasted him
She kills Alex, is ready to kill the others, but at the same time she's obviously jealous of Max's love for Liz which implies her having feelings for Max, which doesn't quite make sense if you ask me. And then suddenly she turns into a martyr? Yeah right. Way too many contradictions

:D Now, I am trying to bring reason into the unreasonabel
:? with "trying" as the keyword

Through the whole series Tess was looking for a home(similar to Michael).
When she grew up with Nasedo he told her, that there were others like her out there, who cared for her and loved her and wanted her to find them,
So this family was the only hope for Tess during her childhood, somethin she fixated on. But when Tess arrived in Roswell
she had been rejected by her "family" and that because of beeings that were in her oppinion inferior. This was propably something she didn't expect at all and couldn't fathom . At this point she was bitter and propably decided to go through with Nasedos plan.So she could go to her other home, where she was Queen and well respected and accepted and where the ones who rejected her would be punished for their behavior.

Even though she bacame more and more part of the group in S2 she kept being the outsider most of the time.
There were no girlnights with Isabel and when Nasedo died dhe didn't move in with Micheal but had to live with Kyle, whom was an outsider in the group as well ( at that time he had only cantact with Liz). When Tess finally had Max (and that only because had Liz rejected him again and again) the bitterness over the first rejection still stung and she decided to go on with the plan even though a part of her still loved him or rather the image she had of him.

A part of her propably loved the Valentis as well, but she oppressed the feelings because she had been taught to dislike humans


When she went to Antar she was rejected again and with that her last hope to find a place where she belonged died. She hadn't been accepted by her "family" she hadn't been accepted by her own people and she didnt want to be accepted and to live with humans. So she had nowhere to goand no hope to live on (at this point she propably thought that her son would be better offf without her) and her only way out was suicide.



Besides, the fact that she killed Alex didn't make much sense from the start. Going back to Antar some day was the general plan for all of them, so there was no need for secrecy regarding the translation of the destiny book. Besides, since when was she strong enough to mindwarp a person for months? Even if she had hidden her tremendous powers from the others, we know exactly how strong Max, Michael and Isabel were and it makes little sense that Tess was so much stronger than them, despite her "advantage" of growing up with someone who knew everything about her powers there was to know and who could train her.

:D okay, its nearly impossible to find logic in that :D so I give up


I allways thought that they had something diffrent planned for Departure but then heard that they were canceled they didnt want to anger their fans by ending the show with M/T. So on the last minute they came up with the "Tess killed Alex" plot :? at least thats the feeling I alway get when I watch Departure

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Post by Raychelxluscious » Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:26 pm

DreamKeeper, I understand a whole of what you said. Tess *did* take away Alex's free will, and in the process murdered him. It's awful, it's terrible, and pretty much unforgivable. I completely agree with you on that front.

I also agree that a lot of other people have grown up in less than desireable circumstances and have come out fine and a better person. I don't, however, think that Tess was either strong enough to do that, or had enough of an opportunity to do that (mainly due to the writer's ignorance.)

That plays into a lot of what cookiely said. The Valenti's were very accepting towards Tess, and though I loved that blossoming relationship between the three of them - and I miss it - I think it would have been better if she had lived with Michael, and had spent more time with Isabel. She would have been able to relate more with them, being as they were the same species. Kyle was a wonderful influence on her, but I think it should have gone that next step and the other three aliens should have made a better effort as well.

I can honestly say that in the beginning, I didn't like Tess. At all. Period. She was getting in the way of Max and Liz and that was unacceptable. And then the series ended. And then I began to watch reruns on Sci-Fi, and I saw Tess from a different light. I kind of "grew up", I guess, and tried to put myself in her shoes.

There's a lot of things I would have done differently if I were her. No doubt. But still, to this day, she is one of the most complex characters I've ever come across and I enjoy "dissecting" her a bit. -lol- I'm sure she wouldn't like to hear that. ;) -lol-

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Post by maxandliz4ever1357 » Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:38 pm

I have to agree with the growing up part. I disliked Tess because she ripped Max and Liz apart, so I didn't like her way before she was revealed as the villian. Then, I just had more of an incentive to hate her after she killed Alex and showed she was bad. But it's been what, 4 or 5 years? I've had a lot of time to ponder, and now I tend to be more forgiving of her. I guess I "grew up" as well. It wasn't fair to hate her because she interrupted my favorite couple, and dissecting her *is* so much fun, lol.

If you look at everyone and take them for what you see, the show tends to be a tad boring. If you delve into the why's and the how's and the who's, it gets more interesting. And it keeps it alive.
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Post by Raychelxluscious » Wed Nov 02, 2005 9:42 pm

maxandliz4ever1357 wrote:I have to agree with the growing up part. I disliked Tess because she ripped Max and Liz apart, so I didn't like her way before she was revealed as the villian. Then, I just had more of an incentive to hate her after she killed Alex and showed she was bad. But it's been what, 4 or 5 years? I've had a lot of time to ponder, and now I tend to be more forgiving of her. I guess I "grew up" as well. It wasn't fair to hate her because she interrupted my favorite couple, and dissecting her *is* so much fun, lol.

If you look at everyone and take them for what you see, the show tends to be a tad boring. If you delve into the why's and the how's and the who's, it gets more interesting. And it keeps it alive.
-hehe- Very well said. And, of course, I agree completely. It's exactly what I said just more...eloquent. Good job! LOL ;)

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Post by SAFIRESKYE26 » Sat Nov 05, 2005 5:32 pm

Obviously, there have been a lot of harsh words and people feeling as though they've been attacked on this thread so instead of quoting anyone else I'm just going to answer the question.

EVIL OR MISGUIDED?

EVIL!

From the very moment Tess entered the other 3 alien's lives, their worlds were turned upside down. I understand that she'd been raised by a killer, but that excuse can only take her so far. I believe that the so-called "dreams" were in fact mindwarps. If the dreams were really intended to awaken them, then why had they never dreamed of each other in such a way before Tess's arrival?

Tess arrived with an agenda and made it known that she wanted to pursue their destiny despite the fact that the others were happy. I understand she was thinking of the "Big Picture" but I don't think they had to be with one another romantically to fight off their enemies. Again, she was persuing HER agenda regardless of how they felt.

I don't believe Max ever remembered Tess! I think his memories of her were planted there by her! She admitted in S3 that she had to do whatever it took to get him to activate the granolith...well she did whatever it took, killing Alex along the way!

As far as her sacrificing herself in FAAAB...I believe she only did this because she knew it was inevitible! I'm not saying she valued no human life because her son was human, but I think her wanting to protect him was more maternal instinct than a redeemable quality. Because of the many people she killed on the base, there was a good chance her son would die, so in her final hours she saved her son. One redeemable action (not quality) does not make you misguided rather than evil! Tess was seriously twisted :twisted:

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Post by Kzinti_Killer » Wed Dec 14, 2005 5:13 am

Speaking for myself I believe that she was neither evil nor misguided. She was mis-written. I see Roswell and it's characters in an odd light. I don't blame the characters at all for their actions. If I did then there's blame aplenty to go around for all of them, not just Tess. I see what they were, what they could have been, and what they became under the egregious mismanagement of those fools in charge. Tess could have been a great character. Emilie's chemistry with Nick was so damn obvious that it was practically written in flourescent neon. In time Kyle and Tess could have rivaled Max and Liz for "A" couple status. Think about what I'm saying here...because I really love the hell out of Max and Liz as a couple. (All the couples actually)

Writing fan fiction has given me a sense of perspective. The characters can only do what the writer lets them do. Some writers can capture a character's voice, while others insist on putting their own voice in the character's mouth. Roswell imploded because the majority of it's latter season writers and producers were of the second variety. Fortunately for us, the majority of fic writers are of the first variety. Thus the Roswell universe lives on, to borrow some cheesy words from pop culture, better...stronger...faster than it was before.

Tess wasn't evil. She was made to play evil because those with the power to make her do so were stupid enough and venal enough to think that it was good television. Instead of being a good solid dramatic character, she became a two dimensional villain. Snidely Whiplash in tight jeans. Darth Vader with T&A. Her villainy was cheesy, her use in an extended love triangle was cheesy, and her eventual death was cheesy. It wasn't because the character herself was cheesy. It was because the people writing her words and actions were cheesy. They were so impressed with their own precieved cleverness that they thought that they could do no wrong. So they did what they wanted.

I have a sort of code by which I judge my writing. If, by some interdimensional miracle of transmigration, I ever had to meet these characters some day, in real life....could I look them in the eye with the knowledge that I had done right by them? That I had done my best? I think that I can do that. Katims and his Krew certainly cannot. Not for any of the characters, let alone Tess.

Tess wasn't a villain. She was just made to play one on TV.

Laters,
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Last edited by Kzinti_Killer on Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:18 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Post by killjoy » Wed Dec 14, 2005 5:41 am

:idea: What K.K. said

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Post by Sologirl102 » Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:04 pm

the first time I watched Roswell all the way through, I agreed with SAFIRESKYE26 all the way. I hated Tess. In fact I probably posted some reply on here saying I hated Tess. But yeah, I've mellowed, and I can enjoy reading her as a either a villian or a good guy. For me she can go either way. And I do agree with Kzinti_Killer now. She didn't really have much choice in the matter, it's the writers fault. They either should have made her good, or thought through the possibility of evil, not just slapped something together full of holes.
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