A Station Eight Fan Web Site
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Dear Mr. Weisman,
Thanks for a wonderful show; I'm a big time travel nut, and one of the things I look forward to if there's a third season of some kind is seeing how that's wrapped up! :) The show is really amazing in the steps that it's taken to include people of all walks of life, and I don't think any of us can thank you enough for that.
1) First of all, I really want to thank you for M'gann: she's had a very strong impact on my life. I've been involved in the fandom for a really long time, and I'm sure you remember fan reaction to her and her "Hello, Megan," among other things. =P I also wasn't a fan of that phrase or even her in general, at first, but she /really/ made me think. I consider(ed) myself very media savvy and well-educated (we actually share an alma mater! I am a fellow fuzzy Stanford alum. My freshman-year RA got elected Tree by covering himself in baking soda and jumping into a kiddie pool of vinegar, haha) at the time. However, M'gann and the fan reaction to her made me take a step back, and I realized that some rather misogynistic ideas (girls definitely have them, too!) had seeped into my preconceptions about what "(strong) girls should be like." I think I've become a better person by reevaluating my ideas around "perky, feminine" girls and "strength/power" thanks to M'gann. Also, of course, the dynamic between "who M'gann knew she was" and what Martian /society/ expected her to be was /fantastic/. Really brilliant, and thank you so much for that. Female-fandom's relationship with women and media is super, super interesting (and occasionally scary. But mostly interesting).
2) As a sort of side note, looking at some of the previous questions about Wally, wow, I would have /never/ called my views on Wally West (good and bad) "middling," but it looks like they actually might be, and /I/--and maybe this isn't a good thing to admit, but whatever--I've run a blog for the last three years dedicated to Dick and Wally called Birdflash (don't ask, haha). All you need now is an essay from a Spitfire fan and a (different kind of) M'gann fan, and you'll have collected the entire rainbow of post-series Wally West "feels."
Anyway, here it goes. I've come in before: while Wally's /initial/ quitting didn't bother me that much, I invaded the comments a while ago to ask why Wally was staying away (I'm "Mags," the one with family in St. Louis--and I'm also sorry if I overstepped my bounds there). I was lucky enough to catch you that day, and while I thought that your response that Dick had ordered him away said some really sad things about the state of their "friendship," if that's what happened, that's what happened.
However, when one answer to a related question explained that Dick did it so that Wally would look like a "grieving boyfriend," someone else pointed out that Wally had reacted to what he thought was Artemis's real, /actual/ death in the exact opposite way in FAILSAFE, and I'm lost again.
Thinking about it, I'm a little surprised that M'gann and Conner didn't find his reaction /suspicious/, given FAILSAFE, and if Wally actually wanted to help out, I can't see any strategic, tactical, or (theoretically) personal reason for Dick to lock out one of the most experienced and powerful Team members. That Dick and Wally thought that the Team would think that "if Wally /did/ step out to help, it would somehow mean that Artemis was alive" (as if he would only bother to save the world if she were in it? I'm not sure) in the first place is also pretty confusing.
The Hall of Justice was leveled; the Earth got a second /moon/; the Reach /still/ had an (smaller-ish) armada (by the way, what an extremely clever way to get rid of most of the ships! That was really cool.), and these people had /nuked/ his /hometown/. All of this was on the news or in the sky.
Would the Team really have found it so shocking if Dick had asked for his help, that Wally would help? Even when Dick was completely alone, without League help, with a REAL rogue Team member, or even it was him and M'gann against the War World, he didn't want to "risk" telling Wally this and asking him to come to help save his kidnapped cousin? Wally wouldn't have even had to "pretend" to be furious with Dick but willing to help out anyway.
That Dick (and even Wally) would think that the Team thought that about Wally--or that he'd just be too broken to get out of bed for anyone else after three months--is heart-breaking, especially when it wasn't even /true/.
It's just so sad that Wally couldn't even get Dick to /let/ him help over a period of six weeks, or maybe stopped trying even though things were so crazy after DARKEST. Even that fight in DARKEST felt like it came to nothing: Dick didn't even /LISTEN/ to him. Nothing changed in the "extreme" plan, and as far as the /plan/ went it "worked out"--(I /also/ think that Conner bore some serious responsibility for his secret-keeping, maybe even more so than Dick, in the disaster that was M'gann's willingness to brainwipe Kaldur)--and the things that Wally said about Kaldur were proven false fifteen minutes into the next episode.
Wally was never the most observant person when it came to M'gann, but I like to think that he'd matured beyond that, and that if there had been another pair of eyes who knew her and Conner for the last five years, a pair of eyes that wasn't also running a Team without a safety net of the League and dealing with clones and kids from the future and disaster after disaster, he might have noticed something was wrong.
I know this is just a story, and that if TPTB wanted Wally dead, he would have died, no matter what.
It just … it feels like in the end, Dick didn't ask Wally for help--even given Wally's reaction in FAILSAFE and the fact that he /was/ willing to help--ignored what advice Wally DID show up to give, and then ... nothing. That says some really sad things about their "closeness" and "friendship," to me (particularly since they didn't even bother to say "hi" to each other in the game). That Dick didn't think it was safe to rely on Wally, to let him in on their problems--not even for /advice/--when he was completely and totally alone--
--that that's the legacy of PERFORMANCE is crushing.
And if Wally just changed so much that /no one/ even questioned that he'd react to a s1 defining moment in the exact opposite way, I'm not really sure why /we'd/ know what--if anything--still applied to him from s1, much less "everything." :(
Man, I didn't mean to end on such a depressing note; please know that--if the ~2500 people who follow the blog are any indication--the two of them are dearly loved and dearly missed, and that's what's really important.
Thank you for an engaging and--perhaps even more than is healthy for me (haha)--life-changing show. I've learned so much about so many things watching it, met incredible people, and I really appreciate it.
It seems that the game sold out in several places (including Best Buy /online/ and I think Amazon), and I hope that there's a third season or sequel! Best of luck on your book; I have my copy pre-ordered!
P.S. Thank you that when Wally finally found out about M'gann and Conner, he at least dropped it and was perfectly nice to her. All too often, guys complain about being "friendzoned" and mock girls or call them names because the guys were nice to/came onto a girl and she had the gall not to sleep with them. Some of us were worried it would go that route, and how truly nice it was that it didn't.
1. If anything we did could make you step back and consider these issues, that's extremely gratifying. Of course, we were ALWAYS big fans of M'gann. But I'm glad you came to appreciate her too.
2. Look, we can argue over the details of Dick's plan endlessly. I'm absolutely willing to accept the idea that he made a mistake by not utilizing Wally/Kid Flash more. Maybe things would have gone better if he had. But he made a call. It may have been wrong-headed. It may have been a selfish desire on Dick's part to keep his friend safe - or at least to respect Wally's desire to walk away and have a life even as (paradoxically) he felt he had no choice but to totally mess up said life. I'll happily leave those interpretations to you.
But it is what it is. I don't think the plan itself was "sad". What it was, ultimately, was SUCCESSFUL. Artemis' death and her new identity as Tigress stayed a secret from the Light and their allies until Ra's noticed the Glamour Charm in "Summit". That's what the plan should be judged against (i.e. did the Light buy the cover story?). Not whether we wanted more screen time for Wally and/or Kid Flash.
And the notion that Dick didn't "listen" to Wally is just ridiculous. Dick was defensive in the moment, but they heard each other. Kaldur made a dangerous move, that put a number of people at risk. It was not a move that Wally would have approved of - and I believe he had legit reasons for reacting badly to it - but it was done. Dick convinced himself that he approved of it after the fact, because in essence (a) he had no choice in the matter and (b) it ended up working out (marginally) well in the end. Ultimately, Wally got on board with Kaldur's plan too, for the same reasons. You don't see any lingering bitterness between Wally, Dick or Kaldur in either "Summit" or "Endgame". These guys are friends to the core. Doesn't mean they always agree. Doesn't mean they can't argue (especially in private). But they will always back each others' play. Always.
And no "TPTB" wanted Wally dead. (I'm SO tired of that rumor. Hopefully, now that Wally is returning in the New 52, we can finally put that idea to bed once and for all.) Wally's death was a decision that Brandon and I made that we felt was best for the series as a whole.