Written by Kristina
So, I sat down at my computer to write my next monthly column, and drew a complete blank. I procrastinated a bit on the web, and ended up looking at screen caps from "Birthday." And wow. Cordelia has grown so much since her days as the resident vacuous cheerleader at Sunnydale High. I mean, she became part-demon in order to keep her visions, and help Angel. How many people would do that? (uh... you, in the back - that was rhetorical!)
When Cordy first came to LA, she was interested in one thing - becoming a star. She met Angel at a party, where she hoped to be discovered. Of course, she was discovered - by Angel, and began working for him. Along the way, she met Doyle, he fell in love with her, he saved the world, died, and passed his visions onto Cordy. When she first got the visions, she tried giving them away by kissing guys that came up to her, including Wesley and Angel. When this didn't work, she resigned herself to the mind-numbing pain of these visions. She changed - slightly. She was still looking for her big break, and she was still very Sunnydale-Cordelia. She gossiped with her friends in Sunnydale after she got her new apartment, and looked out for numero uno - herself. But then, Vocah marked her. She had vision after vision, and she saw pain. She saw torment. And she changed. She finally understood what she was up against. She took care of Angel and Wesley. She even took it upon herself to become Gunn's protector. (And by the way, I would like to know what happened to that. She protected him for one episode - "First Impressions" - and that was it. What's up with that?)
However, this change became clearly apparent when she was in Pylea. If she com-shukked with Gru, he would absorb her visions. She would be vision-free, which is what she wanted so badly after being given the visions. And she declined. She had to keep the visions, because they are a part of who she is, and she needed them to help Angel.
Cordy: "You can't take my visions! I need them! I-I use them to help my friends fight evil back home!"
Groo: "And I will use them here to fight evil, just as you have done."
Cordy: "Groo - I can't give up my visions. - I like them. Okay, I don't like the searing pain and agony that is steadily getting worse."
Groo: "You are pure human. - You are not meant to carry such a burden."
Cordy: "Maybe not. - But I'm not ready to give them up either. - They're a part of who I am now. They're an honor. "
~ "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb"
When Lilah paid a psychic hacker to torture Cordelia with painful visions, she was scared of losing them. She kept secret how her health was failing, not telling anyone about the medication she was taking, because she was afraid of losing the visions. And finally, when Skip and TPTB granted her a new life, she went back to the old one, which included Angel and her visions.
Yes, Cordelia has changed. She is more concerned with other people's safety now than she ever was. She has come a long way from when she dated Xander, and lived in Sunnydale. And this change is good. Had Cordelia not changed, with all she had been through, she would have been static, and uninteresting. What would be the point of watching a character that didnít have a hope of becoming anything more than the vacuous cheerleader she was in high school? Not only does Cordelia provide proof that people can change, she provides hope as well. Hope that eventually, we will all learn our purpose in life (although maybe not quite as dramatically as her), and change, for the better.