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What Would You Change About Connor?

Discussion in 'Season 4' started by timbitsmama, May 14, 2014.

  1. timbitsmama

    timbitsmama Townie

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    Just saw a thread about Connor yesterday, and it got me thinking a bit. I agree with most posts and replies on his character in regards that it was terrible acting, a bad choice to put Vincent Kartheiser as Connor, and that the scripts surrounding him were weak and annoying. However, put that all aside for a moment and think of it this way--Angel has a son. Period. The son grows up from a baby to a teenager in a matter of months in Earth time and comes back to see Angel. If you consider it that way, the concept of Connor, his potential actions, interactions, and plotlines surrounding Angel Investigations is really cool. What would you do with him if you only knew those things about him? He could've actually turned into a really stable and fascinating character in the series. I would really love to see a long lost son of Angel's (while he was human) turn up, and say that he is a vampire too, and that in itself would be Connor. You know, as if Liam had an illegitimate child. That would be so cool!
     
  2. Robb Stark

    Robb Stark King in the North

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    Sineya
    Quite a bit.

    First off, I would change the actor. Vincent Kartheiser was good on Mad Men, but he was garbage as Connor when Angel was on the air. The kid had no range. Granted, some of that was probably in reaction to the scripts he was handed, but he did nothing of any substance until S5 (where I liked him).

    Acting aside, I would have written him very differently. I had no problem at all with his origin story, I actually thought it had depth, but the character was written very poorly. Connor was whiny and sulky the entire season. The ENTIRE season. I wish the guys writing Game of Thrones this year could have handled Connor back then. Connor never changed, he never grew, he never displayed anything to keep the viewer engaged in him. He was static through all of S4.

    I would have given him more to do, expanded him beyond just hating Angel (which dragged on forever). All of the emotional beats they did give him missed their mark, his fling with Cordy being the chief example.
     
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  3. Lyri

    Lyri Buckle Up Tight

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    Sineya
    Nothing.

    I wouldn't change a single thing.

    I love Connor, he's my favorite character. I thought Vinnie was the perfect choice for the role, given Connor's nature and how he grew up. I thought he played the role brilliantly, even when he was brought back for S5.

    I thought his arc and storyline were brilliant, even in the rush that was S4 and how everything was so hastily thrown together. Connor's storyline was still true to his character in that he followed Jasmine, even though he could see her real face, because she never once lied to him. She was straight with him all the way when everyone else in his life had lied to him, either to protect him or abuse and distort his view on the world. And because of that, he just couldn't trust the people around him, couldn't trust his own father and that just made him even more confused.

    Sleeping with Cordelia - while gross and disturbing from our point of view - was still within his character, because he had a bond with the real Cordy back in 'The Price' and at this point, he was still under the impression that it was the Real Cordelia. Cordelia was real and solid in a world he just didn't understand and she was offering him something that he'd never had before. Jasmine was using him, yes, but at this point, Connor was an 18 year old boy being seduced by a 23 year old woman while the world was burning outside.

    Connor's arc is one of my favorites from the whole verse.
     
  4. Robb Stark

    Robb Stark King in the North

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    Sineya
    [MENTION=6332]Lyri[/MENTION],

    For me, Connor's actions within the context of the story weren't the problem. I thought him sleeping with Cordelia and his hatred made sense, but that doesn't mean they were entertaining.

    I never really saw Connor as having much of an arc in S4, to be honest. While his relationship with Angel recovers, kinda, he still ends S4 in a terrible, terrible place. I mean, and I'm asking honestly, what arc, what development, does he have? He has an intense distrust of Angel for a long time, he kind of begins to trust him and then he crumbles completely after Jasmine.
     
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  5. Lyri

    Lyri Buckle Up Tight

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    Sineya
    I didn't say I found it entertaining - in fact, I said it was gross and disturbing. What I also said was that I thought it was very in character for Connor to go there and I understood why the writers did that. But whether I enjoyed watching it or not, I still wouldn't change it and I wouldn't remove it because I think it works for Connor and his arc.

    Connor's confusion about the world and Angel is what draws me in. I love that struggle, I love seeing him try to hate his father while at the same time knowing that he's like him in so many ways. He struggles with the darkness inside him, the darkness that Holtz created and nurtured and towards the end of the season, that darkness begins to win because Connor can't put his hatred aside to really accept Angel as his father. He sees himself as being alone in the world, with no connections and it's why he attaches himself to Cordelia when she has amnesia, because she has no one either, and that attachment continues when Jasmine takes over because he doesn't realize there's anything wrong. Even the mystical pregnancy wouldn't be anything unusual to Connor because he has no knowledge of how reproduction works and so he saw no need to tell anyone that anything is wrong.

    Jasmine uses Connor's loneliness and abandonment issues to make him loyal to her, even going so far as to talk him into killing an innocent girl and it's this act, I think, that really sends Connor over the edge. He knows what he did was wrong, but in his eyes, 'Cordelia' is the only one in his corner, the only one who is on his side 100% and he feels a sense of loyalty towards her that he only felt for Holtz.

    When Jasmine is 'born', that loyalty continues, because he views her as something he and 'Cordelia' created. But Jasmine knows that Connor doesn't like to be lied to, so she uses that against him and is completely upfront with him about everything. And he takes it in stride because of that loyalty that Jasmine created when she was masquerading as Cordelia.

    But Connor's guilt starts to get to him. He watches all of these people die for Jasmine and he has no shiny happy people juice to make it all seem okay. He's just going on faith, only now he doesn't have Cordelia to make it all seem like it's going to work out fine.

    Failing to kill Angelus is another thing that gets to Connor, because that's what Holtz was training him for his entire life. That's was his ultimate goal. And he failed. The one time he had the opportunity to kill the actual monster that killed Holtz's family and he couldn't do it. It didn't matter that there was a Slayer in his way, it didn't matter that there was a witch making the monster go away, Connor still failed.

    So he throws everything he has in with Jasmine and, ultimately, that fails, too, because he has to listen to his father. He knows that what Angel is saying is true and he has to stop Jasmine before it's too late. So he kills her, choosing, in his mind, the lesser of two evils.

    Everything that Connor has tried to do has failed and along the way, he has done some horrible, heinous things and all of that weighs on Connor until, ultimately, he can't take it anymore. He sees himself as evil, something produced from evil and something brought evil into the world. He can't reconcile that, so he instead, embraces it, just long enough to take himself out of the world completely. If he's as evil as he thinks he is, then he should kill innocent people because that's what evil people do.

    But Angel doesn't let him, he makes a deal and gives Connor a second chance, a chance of a life without Angel being a part of it, without demons and witches and vampires and Connor grows up great.

    When he finds out the truth, instead of turning against it, he has the upbringing and the presence of mind to embrace it, even going so far as to come back and try to save Angel - the man he should blame for everything, but instead he learns to accept him and trust him, choosing now to call him 'Dad', when before he called him nothing at all.

    THAT is Connor's arc, in my mind. All that darkness building up inside him because he doesn't know how to BE. Doesn't know how to use it for something good because the only thing he's known in his life is evil and hatred and vendettas. He doesn't know how to be a person and he blames the wrong person for that.

    When Connor gets his memories beck, his different upbringing allows him to view it differently, to see how Angel isn't really the bad guy in all of this. He changes, becomes a force of good and uses what Angel and Darla gave him to BE good.

    I could go on and on about Connor all night, but it's 3am and I have to be up at 8. I think that's enough for now, lol.
     
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  6. Blaze

    Blaze Let it Burn

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    Black Thorn
    I'd change the actor also. I don't think Vincent Kartheiser is necessarily a bad actor (I'd rate him similar to Marc Blucas, wooden at times, but I did like Marc as Riley a lot), but VK just seemed wrong for the role.

    I think for me it comes down to Connor having no charisma. I love the Angel having a kid idea, I love the idea of Connor, I would probably like Connor on paper, but it did not translate well on film. I really want to like him but he's one of my least favorite, he just doesn't work for me.

    I guess I can see Connor's appeal though; Dawn is one of my favourite character on BtVS and both do have their similarities. To me Michelle T. just conveyed the bratty teenager in a likeable way, VK did not.
     
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  7. HisMrs

    HisMrs The Walking BED

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    Sineya
    This. Exactly this.
    I hated the way they made Connor go in the series. I hated his story arc, Vincent Kartheiser's acting... All of it. He made me want to punch him in the face in almost every scene.
     
  8. AnthonyCordova

    AnthonyCordova Giles Award Winner, 2017-thanks!

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    Sineya
    It might help to offer the reminder that s4 takes place over the course of just a few weeks. Connor isn't actually on the show for very long in terms of actual real-world time. Therefore, it makes more sense that he doesn't change very much or "develops". Most of the action and story happens in a very short and condensed period of time.

    As for the dispute, I can see it both ways but in the end I kind of agree with [MENTION=6332]Lyri[/MENTION] more.
     
  9. Robb Stark

    Robb Stark King in the North

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    Sineya
    Here's my issue with this line of thinking.

    A story that makes sense is important, there's no questioning that. However, it is not the most important thing. Entertainment is the most important thing to a television story. If a story is not entertaining, people will stop watching. We see the ultimate result of this by the conclusion of S4, when Connor is effectively written out of the show.

    I've never thought that Connor's story or character didn't make sense. Within the confines of the show's mythology, they absolutely do. However, that only matters so much. Buffy's story with Parker is probably the single most realistic story arc in the entire Buffyverse, but it's still annoying as hell. A realistic storyline does not by definition equate to a good storyline, that's part of the allure of fiction.

    I found [MENTION=6332]Lyri[/MENTION]'s post to be a very interesting read, I haven't come across to many fans who are really into Connor (it was a nice change reading the points of someone with a differing point of view), but here's my problem. If an arc is boring or repetitive or tiring, then its effectiveness on me as a viewer is limited, no matter how real or in-character it is.

    I want to add, that I really liked Connor in S5, and I LOVED him in the IDW Angel comics. I thought the writers masterminding him in those instances really utilized what happened in S4 and Connor's history with Angel well. That was an arc to me. S4 just seemed to keep Connor in the same place, doing the same things over and over again.
     
  10. janas

    janas Bangel in the soul

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    I believe that Vincent Kartheiser is a good actor. When he arrived in the Angel's cast, even though he was so young, he had already a lot of experience. He also starred with Charlton Heston and Thora Birch and at that time he was only sixteen years old. I think he played well the role of Connor, an obnoxious adolescent at the limit of psychopathy, and the fact that Connor is so hated, is a confirmation that Vincent Kartheiser played his part well. I think he was the right choice, I see him good as Connor, so much that I almost can see the physical similarities with Darla: lol:

    For me it's impossible not to feel empathy for Connor. I work for years with adolescent abused and marginalized, and I can see "Connor" in each of them . These boys aren't cute, they are arrogant, often unbearable. It's easy to hate them and it's hard to love them, but as soon as you can look beyond the surface, you can see all their fragility, their need to have a "real family" because their whole life was just a lie. The desire to be able to survive their Quor-Thoth, and their abused childhood, by adults who would have had to love them and protect them, often conduct these "Connor" to behave just like their abusers, they are animated by a destructive force and self-destructive. "Connor the destroyer" is always lurking inside them, ready to re-emerge in the face of life's difficulties, because they have internalized their "Angelus", that is the dark side of their abusive fathers, that they hate so much to want to lock up the father in a wooden crate and bury him forever in the unconscious depths of the ocean. But more they try to kill his father, more him emerges and these "Connor" realize they are becoming just like their fathers. Until, finally, they understand that to get out of the swirl of the horror of their personal hell, they must get help. They enter into the recovery community, become Connor Reilly, and only then are able to forgive their fathers. As adults become Connor Angel, fully embracing the good father and they make peace with the world and with themselves.

    The Connor's arc it's perfect for me because it's real. You remove demons, vampires, seers seductive and you will see all this in the real world. For me it's impossible not to feel love for Connor.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  11. Aimee

    Aimee Scooby

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    Coincidently, I've only just finished watching Origins (nearly at the end of Season 5 - again). I really liked "Origins" Connor. He was more fun & he could still kick serious arse.

    One thing that's always puzzled me about Connor is how much he hates being lied to but is so willing to accept lies that are appealing to him.
     
  12. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    I see something of a disconnect between the description of Quortoth and how Connor comes out. For someone who has survived in the "darkest of dark worlds", he does not appear to have the commensurate post-traumatic stress disorder. In one place, Connor describes hunting to stay alive. Is this a hell dimension or Valhalla?

    In our own world, we have people who have been virtually disabled by the things they have had to do. The "darkest of dark worlds" didn't seem to be much more than a tough neighbourhood.

    I agree entirely with [MENTION=11975]Robb Stark[/MENTION] that this was not an entertaining diversion in the Angel story. It added an ugliness to the story and compounded that by being repetitive. The writing was substandard for his part and it made me want to change channels when he came on. They had the wrong actor in the wrong part in a dismally bad story line.

    How appropriate that my 666th post would be about a hell dimension.
     
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  13. Lyri

    Lyri Buckle Up Tight

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    Sineya
    It's boring, repetitive and tiring to you. I, on the other hand, found it completely compelling viewing and I was - and always am - completely involved and interested in Connor's character and his story.

    Different strokes...
     
  14. thetopher

    thetopher Member of the Church Of Faith

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    Sineya

    You're forgetting that Cordelia did some 'mystical soul scrub' thing to Conner when he got back. Washed the Quortoth right out of him, a lot of that pain and darkness went as well.
    (although having said that Holtz seemed to be pretty much the same evil vengeful guy that went in...)

    About Conner, do I wish he'd been a bit less one-note? A little.
    I would've been nice if his relationship with Gunn or Fred could've been gotten back to at some point. As it was his only real relationships were with Angel (didn't go anywhere until S5) and Cordelia/Jasmine (which went icky a few episodes in and then just got uncomfortable to watch)

    I found that I liked Connor more and found him less static when he interacted with new characters on the show. His confrontation with Angelus was one of my favourite scenes with him in, (and its a really good episode anyway) and his attraction/admiration/conflict with Faith was also an interesting change, and it made sense. :)

    I mean, what meaningful interactions does Conner have with Wesley or Lorne or Fred? Nothing, and it's a real shame.

    Dawn, another teenage character, has a relationship with every other character on the show, that's why I don't find her as...jarring, would be the right word.

    So, if I were to change anything, it would be Conners relationship with the other characters, make him a little bit more a part of the group. As it was it felt like a missed opportunity. :(
     
  15. Wesley Junior

    Wesley Junior Potential

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    What I would have changed is his arc in Season 4.

    At the start of the season, just as Angel is haunted by his own predicament, Connor is haunted by what he did to him. At first, it seemed righteous. But, over time, it has become this terrible weight on his soul. Making it worst is how good Fred and Gunn have been to him while Angel has been away. Connor tries to bury his guilt by hunting and killing monsters. However, it is working less and less as an outlet. It reaches a point when Connor reaches out to someone who knows what it is like to feel guilty and live with it: Wesley. Connor is aware of his role in his abduction and wants to know how he can cope with all the guilt. Holding Justine prisoner, Wesley figures out why Connor is asking him this and gives Connor a chance to atone for what he did. Finding his guilt too much to bear, Connor agrees to take it and Wesley makes him a part of the plan to rescue Angel from the bottom of the ocean. He also makes Justine tell Connor the truth about Holtz making it look like Angel killed him. Connor is crushed by the revealed act of manipulation. After rescuing Angel from the ocean, Connor accompanies Wesley to the hotel and confesses to Gun and Fred about his betrayal. Gun and Fred are outraged. They are also hurt that Connor would tell Wesley the truth first instead of them who have been there for him for months. Angel admits he is going to need time to forgive Connor and trust him again. The rescue is a good step but not enough for Angel want to have him stay at the hotel. So he kicks Connor out. Luckily, Wesley is willing to have Angel's son stay over at his place for the time being. Wesley sees it as a part of his atonement towards Connor. Over a period of episodes, the two of them work together as monster hunters.

    That's all I got for now.
     
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  16. bespangeled

    bespangeled Scooby

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    Black Thorn
    I like that Wesley - it actually gives Connor some chance to grow. What I really couldn't stand is that Connor seemed like a device to make the stories move, once he came back. He'd get a bit better - the wash job from Cordy - but fall back. I really didn't see Angel's love for him - I knew it was supposed to be there but I saw more affection fro Faith and Wes. It never felt right - in fact, I never felt.
     
  17. chasesummers

    chasesummers Cordy Lives

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    Personally, I think Connor should have not existed altogether but that's just me.
     
  18. Buffy Summers

    Buffy Summers Yataro Staff Member

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    Sineya
    I would have made him grow up to be Billy, but aside from that, I wouldn't have made him angry at Angel for so long. That just got so so old.
     
  19. Taake

    Taake Tweedledee Staff Member

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    Black Thorn
    That would've been interesting!

    Otherwise, yeah, have him not stay mad for as long. I think even the actor complained about how whiny he was. That was a mistake from the writers/creators. I mean Connor could've still been distrusting but if he had at least shown progress as a character, of going somewhere, I think audiences would've liked him more. (I do like him already, I just wanna give him a long hug, but the character was stagnant and it was problematic)
     
  20. Ethan Reigns

    Ethan Reigns Scooby

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    Sineya
    I would have had him shake hands with Gwen Raiden. Might shock the whiny bitch out of him.