THE ANTIGONE THING
**Actually, there's like two pages there that are totally about Linden, looking back. I try not to quote myself too often, because I'm only mostly a douchebag, but:
"It's where civics and sociology intersect with the person's actual, subjective, personal experience... Where Antigone tells the lawmen to fuck off, because she loved her brother and the Gods more than whatever crack Creon's smoking. It's the part where Cassandra refuses to sit down and shut up, knowing full well she's flying blind and all alone. But she's an ace. When your dæmon tells you things that can't possibly be true, your option is to follow it -- search, unbending... wait for the day [when the math] finally comes true -- or lay down before the world outside, and take the road more usually traveled, and give up your angel to fear."
Or the kindest, most accurate thing you could probably ever say about Sarah Linden:
"...The most interesting part of the Hero's Quest is the end... [T]he Hero comes back to town with magic powers, [knowing the Language of Birds], in contact with divinity, and everybody looks at him crazy. And the reason everybody looks at him crazy is because, by all standard measure and by all the things that make us a society and not a monstrosity: He is. He can't tie his shoes, he can't walk straight, can't balance his checkbook; he can't summon the right words to speak, because he's learned a better language. He is insane."
If Sarah Linden were a man, I promise you words like crazy and CPS wouldn't even be a part of this story. He'd be dedicated, and righteous, and strong. He'd have conviction. Which makes the woman Sarah Linden, to my mind, even more of a hero -- a capital-h Hero, Orpheus descent into the Underworld, the whole bit -- and this show, in turn, a hundred times better than it needs to be.
It's my favorite story, probably, that can be told. It's the reason I love and write about the shows I love and write about, because it's always about knowing the truth in a world that says just knowing the dangerous truth is enough to condemn you, that the world and society save their own stasis by eliminating the ones who see behind the curtain. Starbuck, Sarah Linden, even Alicia Florrick make easy sense in this context. What I've never been able to do is convince anybody that Serena van der Woodsen, or the Pretty Little Liars -- despite being automatically pointless and shallow and stupid by virtue of being young women, of course -- are doing the exact same thing. Telling the exact same Yellow Wallpaper story, because it's real, and the conversation about how it's not real is a huge part of why it's real.