Let me tell you - I adore video games.
From the moment I was allowed to hold a controller in my hands, I’ve been obsessed. I’d regularly watch video game movies, and get excited when a new game I've played is coming to movies or TV, such as The Last Of Us show coming to HBO. For years, video games were my safe space just as much as movies and TV were, but the one game I hadn’t played for years was League of Legends.
To be honest, I was always a console person, and the only game I ever played on a PC was The Sims - go ahead, you can call me basic. But when I heard about Arcane coming out on Netflix, I knew I had to check it out, because even if I hadn’t played the game before, I had still come to appreciate the lore and the story surrounding it.
Arcane came along, and boy, was I blown away.
With a Season 2 confirmed for the popular Netflix series, now is the perfect time to talk about my favorite character from the show, Jinx (voiced by the lovely Yellowjackets star, Ella Purnell). From the start of her story to the bitter end, here are my reasons why Jinx from Arcane is one of the best-written villains on TV right now.
Her Villain Origin Story Is Tragically Beautiful
In my experience, when it comes to villains on television, there are some that don’t really hit the mark with me. For example, The Night King from Game of Thrones was menacing, but I feel like we were never really given a solid backstory on him and he’s still shrouded in mystery. This is a big show with a big following, and yet the main antagonist feels very…meh.
But, in the nine episodes that we’ve seen both Powder and Jinx in Arcane, I can safely say I can compare her villain origin story to that of Negan from The Walking Dead as being one of the better origin stories for a villain I’ve seen on television in a long time.
Powder, like Negan, started off as someone with a family. While they both made mistakes, at the end of the day, they cared about their family so much that they would do anything for them, and both ended up in a tragic position because of their mistakes around love. Powder, wishing to be like her sister and save lives, accidentally kills not only Vi’s friends, but also their adoptive father.
And it’s through this that Jinx starts to be birthed. Vi and Powder always had such a close relationship, because even if Vi’s friends thought of Powder as a jinx, her sister always stood up for her. But now, in a fit of anger, her sister calls her the very word she hated, jinx, and before she can even say she was sorry, she was knocked out, leaving Powder to think her sister abandoned her in her darkest time.
The scene of her sobbing, begging for her sister to return, hits home, and you can tell that just that one moment changed her life forever. It’s tragic, but her story was beautifully done.
The Transition From Her Normal Appearance To Her Villain Appearance Was Well-Done
While appearances don’t always matter in a villain - Gus Fring looked like a regular businessman in Breaking Bad - Jinx’s appearance was essential to her villain transformation and was perfectly done.
When she was Powder, she was very stable. She had a fine haircut, was sweet, tattoo-less skin, nothing wrong with her. She was a normal kid despite living in the underworld of Zaun.
However, as soon as Silco basically adopts her as his daughter, and Vi abandons her, she drastically changes her appearance. She grows her short hair out into long braids that practically reach her feet. She wears different clothing, has tattoos, all to show that she’s not Powder anymore. She is Jinx, through and through.
But, it’s not even that which makes her villainous. It’s the fact that she’s doing it more to prove it not only to Silco, but to herself that she doesn't need Vi. She doesn’t need anyone. For years, she identified as Powder but now, Powder is in the past and she must move forward.
We can even see this in the last episode, “The Monster You Created,” when her eyes are now purple from Singed (one of Silco’s associates) attempts to save her in the episode prior with Shimmer, showing her full transformation into Jinx. It’s so well-done.
However, You Can Still See Moments Of Pureness
Jinx has done so much to prove herself since Vi abandoned her. She proves herself worthy to Silco through her machinery and her willingness to basically do anything because he was the one who saved her. She changes her appearance to better fit her new identity as Jinx.
Despite that, there is still some of Powder in her. There is still that innocence of a little girl who just wanted to be loved by her sister and knew that she made a mistake. You can see this so many times, especially when she hears voices in her head.
Oftentimes, when Jinx is questioning her decisions or hears some news about her life she didn’t know, the voices of her former friends, Clagger and Mylo, would often pop into her head, telling her horrible things about herself or conflicting information that always sets her off. It’s in these moments that we see that there’s still fear within her about what she did.
She still feels grief and sadness, and wishes for the past days of her life. We see this when Ekko gets the upper hand on her during their fight scene in “The Boy Savior,” and he still sees his friend, Powder, and the fear in her eyes when he looks like he’s about to kill her.
We see this when she cries after meeting Vi again and hugs her. Powder is still there, but she and Jinx are constantly in a battle for dominance.
Despite Everything, She Still Has Personal Connections To Her Sister
Even if Jinx has done some truly horrible things and was constantly trying to prove herself to Silco as a villain, it’s clear she still cares for her sister, until the very end of the first season. If not, she wouldn’t have lit up a flare to find her, or hug her - heck, she wouldn’t have given Vi the ultimatum if she didn’t care or want her in her life.
But, it’s at this moment that Jinx realizes they will never be the same again. She captured Silco and Vi because Silco had kept the truth from her about Vi’s abandonment for years, and was planning on killing him. She captured Vi because she wanted to give her the choice - kill Caitlyn, the Enforcer and the enemy, for her to get Powder back, or she would never be in Vi’s life again.
She has an internal battle with a machine gun in her hands that makes her experience a breakdown, shooting everything in sight - with most of those bullets ending up in Silco. And just as he’s dying, he reassures her of his love for her, despite his betrayal about the truth of Vi’s abandonment, saying he would always love her and never give her up.
That, right there, is the final nail in the coffin. You can still see she had affection for her sister and loves her, but after Silco’s death and him calling her “perfect,” she knows that Vi will never accept her for who she is now, and that she’ll never love her like she used to, so she gives into becoming Jinx, fully. No more Powder. She’s fully a villain.
It’s heartbreaking and realistic in so many ways and that’s what makes her the perfect villain on TV right now. She isn’t spawned into becoming a villain through a blind need for revenge or any other reason - she becomes Jinx because she realizes there’s no one left in the world who will love her for how different she is, so why not give in?
Despite her affections for her sister, there’s no point in holding onto them anymore, as Vi doesn’t see Powder. She sees a maniac. Jinx can’t handle that, so instead, she'll push her away from now on, becoming the person Silco always wanted her to be.
While Jinx is a villain for now, I wonder what Season 2 of Arcane will bring. Until then, I can say she is expertly written and I'll love every step of her journey and watch more shows like Arcane to be reminded of her. I don't think Season 2 is going to be popping up on the Netflix 2022 TV schedule, but a girl can dream.
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Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!