Was Charlie ever redeemed?
November 14, 2017 5:51 PM   Subscribe

The character Charlie (aka Scottish sniper with PTSD) in Wonder Woman fails to take a shot at a critical moment in battle due to his own issues. This is a relatively common trope which is traditionally followed up by the character getting a hero moment later on, usually by performing a similar action under impossible circumstances. Charlie is seen fighting later, but he never gets his moment.

Kicking it around we've come up with three theories:
  1. There wasn't time in the movie and/or it would have been a distraction in the final act
  2. Charlie was already redeemed by Diana accepting him. When the half-deity accepts you into her vanguard nobody is going to question your courage
  3. The lesson that Diana learned from the incident was that people aren't always able to perform their best. She didn't feel he needed redemption, and neither should we
Have we missed any perspectives here?
posted by Tell Me No Lies to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Didn't he have a moment where he broke into sweet, innocent song? It's been a bit since I saw it, but I think that was him. My takeaway was that Diana had made possible that healing moment by accepting him unconditionally even at the moment of his greatest shame.
posted by ourobouros at 6:19 PM on November 14, 2017 [7 favorites]

That was the whole point - his sniper rifle is later not used as a weapon but only as a scope, and his voice is raised in song that they join in, a moment of joy recognised by Diana. He's been badly broken by war and killing, and given an alternative way to be a contributing part of his group that's non-violent and valued.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 6:24 PM on November 14, 2017 [25 favorites]

I thought it was more towards#3, that Diana, essentially a warrior goddess, became his leader/accepted him under her protection and accepted the broken warrior as a valued person deserving of comrade rue - and capable of bringing joy.

I personally found it a refreshing take in PTSD. He’s a bit messed up, oh well, move on.
posted by warriorqueen at 6:26 PM on November 14, 2017 [7 favorites]

Charlie's "redeemed" when he realizes he's got more to offer the team than just his skill as a sniper.

Patty Jenkins’s Diana, however, doesn’t ask Charlie to continue to fight for her. She doesn’t need him to kill for her. She doesn’t try to encourage him or make him feel guilty for not being able to kill anymore, or turn him away because he’s can’t. She simply asks him to do what he can. She simply asks him to sing, and tells us that we don’t need to fight to be strong enough to stand beside Wonder Woman.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:42 PM on November 14, 2017 [36 favorites]

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