Lachlan Watson's character on 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' part 2 may be changing, but fans are not happy with the results
Susie Putnam, played by Lachlan Watson, was a fan-favorite character in 'Chilling Adventures of Sabrina' Part 1 and justifiably so. The non-binary star did enough justice to the queer character, who struggled with an identity crisis and was a victim of bullying. While Watson still shines as Theo in Part 2 of the witch drama, fans are disappointed about how the character was written and developed. The anticipation of what's next for Susie was almost the same, if not more than Sabrina Spellman's (Kiernan Shipka) after she signed her name in the Book of the Beast.
But what actually transpired in Part 2 was nothing more than what was teased in Part 1; Susie wanted to transition and in Part 2 Susie did. But what is more to Susie, now-Theo, besides being a trans person? The answer is limiting.
Bullied in Part 1, Theo is still bullied in Part 2 especially when he wants to try for the basketball team. The sexist coach and the jocks mock Theo and deny him all opportunity until Madam Satan aka Miss Wardwell (Michelle Gomez) intervenes and gives Theo the opportunity to show off his skills. However, there's one problem- Theo sucks at basketball.
But thank Satan for Sabrina, who walks in at the time of the tryout and renders spells to empower Theo to shoot one basket after another. The story ends well for Theo, he gets into the boys' basketball team. But that does not stop him from getting bullied. In fact, he also takes a darker route as Sabrina and heavily relies on spells to teach his bully a lesson. He ends up hurting a jock.
"Is it just me but is Theo kind of the worst?" the question was posted on Reddit. The thread started buzzing with comments on how Theo went out to do a disservice to the LGBTQIA community and argued why his character did not make sense.
"While I understand that they’re doing their best to portray gender identities in a short timeline, ( and be respectful to Lachlan Watson, who plays Theo, and is actually non-binary) and I’m super supportive of the LGBTQ+ community, I honestly feel like it’s a disservice to him that the only interesting thing is that he’s transgender. He has no hobbies, interests, crushes, whatever. He’s trans. It’s his entire identity. I feel like it’s unfair to LGBTQ+ people who literally fight to prove that they are more than their gender or sexuality," said a Reddit user named WalterWhitesHairLine, adding "at the same time though, I am glad that it’s a conversation starter. A lot of people are ignorant to the social issues transgender individuals experience and maybe this storyline will open some eyes or spark some curiosity for further research."
When it comes to the storyline, many pointed out that Theo not being a good basketball player and blaming all of that on sexual identity basis wasn't a fair argument. "The whole first episode of him trying out on the basketball team just didn't make sense. He was apparently terrible at basketball and seemed to be doing it out of spite? The writing for characters around him is just so unrealistically bad. On top of all that, Theo has no personality of his own beyond being trans. Just a "woe is me" sad sack," wrote a Redditor by the name of Friendlyvoices.
Another concurred; "I was honestly really bothered by the "Theo joins the basketball team" story. So the boys on the team made fun of him because they assumed that he was terrible at basketball, calling him a "four-foot-nothing who can't dribble". In the end, Sabrina used her magic to make the ball go in the hoop on every shot. So... he actually was fucking terrible at basketball. The other boys were right, Theo can't play basketball for shit. But Theo gets sweet revenge by giving the captain of the team compound bone fracture, also using magic."
The despise toward Theo does not end there. The fact that Theo knew about Sabrina's magical help all along, and did not say a word about it till the end makes him even more of a hypocrite, fans opine. "Let's not forget that Theo mentions later on that he knows Sabrina used magic for him to even get on the team and seems to have no problem with that at all," a Reddit user pointed out and another commented that was wrong on so many levels. "It suggests that trans people need special help to be equal, like if there were disabled or something like that."
A fan come to defend Theo and noted "I'm not trans, but I am disabled and gay. That scene gave me absolutely no hints of any sort of suggestion like that. All I got from the scene was a character who felt like he needed to prove himself by doing something he's awful at. Theo being bad just happened to coincide with Sabrina's heroine "must help everyone" complex."
Theo still is more a less a mysterious character and we are yet to understand if he, like Sabrina and Roz, isn't a cent percent mortal. Or how else would you describe Theo seeing the ghost of his ancestor Dorothea Putnam? Given the character is yet to expand, maybe we shouldn't just conclude that he is the "worst." Let's keep Part 3 and 4 to determine that.