We here at The Threeway understand that the community at large has varying opinions on February 14. Some see it as a schmaltzy Hallmark-manufactured holiday to be reviled, others see it as an opportunity to express their love and (hopefully) not be pepper-sprayed, still others see it as the day before Discount-Candyageddon (that fateful day when wallets and waistlines begin a devious inverse relationship).
But lets put all that aside for now and take a look at what really matters this Valentine’s Day: our favorite sci-fi/fantasy couples.
3. Zoe & Wash, “Firefly” – Alright, let’s get this out of the way, if you’re looking for gut-wrenching, kick-you-in-the-teeth relationship dynamics, you need go no farther than Joss Whedon. Honestly I could easily make this list all Whedon couples and be completely satisfied. But I’ll limit myself to one (maybe two). Zoe and Wash sport a wonderful mix of swapped gender roles (Joss loves to toy with those). But where in many hands a “hard woman, sensitive man” dynamic comes off as preachy and sensationalistic, Whedon gives us characters that are deeply comfortable with each other and with their relationship. Indeed, watching them mess with people’s heads when they try to pick at the couple is one of the things that made “Firefly” work so well.
2. Spike & Faye, “Cowboy Bebop” – For all you non-anime fans let me break it down for you quick: Spike is a badass amnesiac bounty hunter with deep relationship issues. Faye (Valentine, natch) is an equally badass amnesiac bounty hunter with deep relationship issues. They spend the majority of Cowboy Bebop’s run antagonizing each other to the point of gunplay. Refreshingly, Faye never breaks down and declares her love for Spike (maybe because she knows she can never break the hold the hazy memories of his lost love have on him); but the build-up is there, piling on the tension and the investment you have for both characters. Both want a connection of some sort, something normal; but both realize that it’s completely unobtainable. When the final episodes aired they were all the more tragic because of what was unsaid between these two.
1. Buffy & Angel, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel” – Yeah, there’s no way I couldn’t have these two as my top. I wandered in to “B:TVS” during Season 3 after years of declaring the series to be the stupidest thing on TV. Turns out I was really, really wrong. So I went back and watched Season 1 and loved it as much for the completely fucked up love story as anything else. Then I watched Season 2, where Angel changes to Angelus and watched Whedon rip apart the sweet relationship he’d established in the previous season, bit by painful bit. Even though I knew it was coming, even though I had read the synopses when I was watching Season 3, that moment when Angel finally reverts back and Buffy has to run him through anyway is one of the most devastating couple scenes I’ve ever watched.