Part 1: Will the real Selena Coombs please stand up?
Who is Selena? Schoolteacher, siren, seductress, slave, sidekick, suffering soul seeking solace from sexy Sheriff? All of the above? Let's take a walk through Trinity and see how we discover Selena and how she grows in front of our eyes.
We first meet her in the Pilot, very much in her seductive sidekick role. She follows Lucas's orders and seduces Ben, but even then she's asking Lucas "How much do you love me?" The vulnerability behind the siren is clearly signalled, but she's covering well.
In A Tree Grows in Trinity she manages to shock Lucas with what she's done. I have to say that the look on Lucas's face after the "bite his tongue off" comment is one of my favourite moments in AG. Still very much in sidekick mode, she again shows us that there is more to Selena in her concern for her victim and the gentleness and regret she displays when she pulls the blanket over his face. Like a loyal slave she does what Lucas wants and distracts Matt when the coroner is working.
Eye of the Beholder adds little other than a confirmation that Selena has a way with words that can some times rival Lucas. The "firm hand" comment is a classic Selena double entendre.
Damned If You Don't and Dead To The World she continues to be Lucas's loyal slave, supporting him while doing her day job with the science fair. She even sabotages Boone's archery practice to help Lucas with his plan to get Caleb to win the contest. But we also have a hint of something deeper between Selena and Lucas when in his disappointment with Caleb, Lucas turns to her for comfort (if you can call a dripping candle comfort g) The relationship between Lucas and Selena is being developed and we see additional layers emerging.
In Potato Boy, Selena's character takes a leap forward in our knowledge of her past and the depth of her character. We now know that she was brought up in a religious family with a pastor/priest as father. Who and where is her mother? Unknown, but we do now that she is estranged from her drug addict father and this hurts her terribly. In her pain she reaches out to the wrong source of comfort, Caleb. The ambiguity of the adult/child relationship here is uncomfortable. Selena appears to be a person who equates sex with love. In reaching out for love, she comes damn close to seducing a child. Lucas warns her loud and clear that this is entirely unacceptable, but sadly does nothing to help her with the cause of her actions. Big surprise. So Selena is left suffering, unable to reach her father, unable to find any refuge from her loneliness.
Meet the Beetles shows Selena back on form. Despite the rift between her and Lucas, she stand up for herself well here, playing with Lucas's weaknesses and showing that she can have the strength to stand up to him at times. She flirts with Drey, but does it go any further? There's no evidence either way. This brings me to an interesting query. Is Selena the 'loose' woman that everyone assumes? She says herself, "just 'cause I'm free with you doesn't mean I'm easy." She rejects 3 separate men in this episode. Other than Lucas and Billy the only other men she is seen with in the series are the ones that Lucas has instructed her to seduce. I can find no evidence (tell me if I'm wrong!) of Selena being the slut she is often perceived to be. And would the people of Trinity accept a slut as a teacher for their children? We know that Drey was told that she was the Sheriff's girlfriend. Is that how Trinity sees Selena? The last scene with Lucas in the swimming pool is another favourite, with Selena right at the top of her form.
She next pops up in To Hell and Back in the Blues bar with Matt. Is she there on Lucas's instructions? It would appear so from her attempts to get Matt to take a drink. Later Lucas acknowledges Selena (in his own warped way) as one of the only two friends he has. Ben and Selena are the nearest he gets to a dependant relationship. I'm sure that Lucas sees them as dependent on him, but it cuts both ways.
In Ring of Fire we see the first stages of the breakdown in her relationship with Lucas. And inevitably it's another woman who causes it. It's implied in Inhumanitas that Lucas has a string of women, and this obviously hasn't bothered Selena before. But Gail is different. She can see the potential for something more than sex between Lucas and Gail and that's more than she can bear. She jealous and even Gail (just for once not totally self-absorbed) can see that Selena loves Lucas.
Resurrector sees her back in her simplistic role as Lucas's slave and sidekick, as she seduces Mel. Is this a last attempt on Selena's part to prove her loyalty to Lucas and win him back?
If so, it has some success as in Inhumanitas, Lucas is seen to be firmly back in her bedroom and to turn to her when he needs comfort again. Is there anyone else he would have told he was scared? Whatever is going on between Lucas and Gail at this point, it's Selena he turns to in a crisis and she's happily there for him. The kitchen table scene has to be the hottest in the entire series and I'm going to have to break off there to take a cold shower.
More on Selena and some final conclusions tomorrow.