Born out of a love for all things Joss, my sister and I decided to do a series of eulogies on our favorite characters from all of Joss’s shows: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, Dollhouse and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog. But there are so, so many characters, so we enlisted the help of Elspeth and Rachel, we have tackled the long list of deaths that have affected us in Joss’s (wonderful) work.
The first time I saw Kendra, Vampire Slayer, for that is how she introduces herself, I was confused. Once I got over the shock of understanding why there are two slayers, I took to Kendra easily. She is the epitome of the perfect slayer. She knows all the right moves, she’s fast and skilled, and she’s read the Slayer’s Handbook.
All this makes her seem a little anti-social, though. This is a girl who has spent her life training, in the hopes that she may be called to be the slayer. This is a girl whose parents gave her up, because she showed “potential” to become a slayer. This is a girl who has lived a hard life, and takes her calling very seriously. Where Buffy doesn’t take her training seriously, Kendra is all focus. In a way, they are good for each other. With Buffy’s help, Kendra relaxes a bit, and becomes more sociable. We really start to like her.
Kendra appears in 2 (well, technically 3) episodes, but it’s when she appears in Becoming, Part 1 that she makes her biggest impact. Sent to Sunnydale to help stop Angel from ending the world, Kendra’s role is of utmost importance. She is to protect Willow while she is attempting to cast a spell to return Angel’s soul. Set upon by vampires, however, Kendra’s throat is slit, and she dies, immediately.
Kendra’s death is one of the first that really impacted me. Maybe it’s because I didn’t see it coming. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t expect such a “lesser” character to die. But the sad truth is, Kendra worked hard every day of her life. She worked closely every day with an old British man. Her one friend probably didn’t even realize that she was the only person in Kendra’s life anywhere near her age.
As Buffy cradles Kendra’s head in her lap, all you can see is a young girl whose life was cut off too short, for a cause she believed in more than anything. She lived her life in training, her days full of hard work until finally, with the sweep of a hand, she was finally at peace.
Bottom line is, even if you see them coming, you’re not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So, what are we, helpless? Puppets? Nah. The big moments are gonna come, you can’t help that. It’s what you do afterwards that counts. That’s when you find out who you are. ~Whistler, Becoming Part 1