Why? Well, for starters, her sister. I’ll get to fair Kenya in a minute, but whatever Kenya is, she is because Amanda didn’t let her die as a child. That right there makes me like Amanda. Her mother was clearly a self-serving coward who abandoned her children when times got rough, but Amanda wasn’t. And isn’t. No, Amanda is a caretaker, and always has been. Not only that, she does what it takes to get the job done. I don’t for a minute think that Amanda didn’t beg, steal, and borrow her way out of some rough patches as a teen, and perhaps even took a turn at that oldest of professions because she had to in order to feed herself and her sister, but I bet she always made ends meet.
And somehow, against all odds, she came through all that mostly unscathed. Eventually, after a stint with the Earth Republic left her disillusioned (how’d she manage that as a street urchin, anyway?), she found gainful employment as a janitor, and she worked so hard at it, the mayor noticed her. Handpicked her to be her assistant at first and then her successor later. This is not the life story of a boring character to me. This is the tale of a hard worker; of someone I can respect, and who is worthy to lead Defiance. So yeah, I like Amanda. I like her grit. I love the fact that she is loyal to a fault. I adore the fact that she is apparently one heck of a sniper. And the fact that once upon a time she was too scared to go through with a pregnancy? Well, that just makes her a real person to me. Real people have baggage, and sometimes, even when they are no-nonsense mayors who sport the amazing braid of justice and raised their kid sister on their own as a kid themselves, they get scared. And that, dear readers, makes for an intriguing character after all.(opens in new tab)
Now, Kenya? She’s a whole other ball of wax. Where Amanda has always been strait-laced, Kenya was carefree. She was the wild child, the one who had fun. So much fun that she turned it into a profitable business. After it cost her dearly in the form of an abusive husband, that is. We don’t know how long Kenya was married to Hunter Bell, but I’d bet the marriage was a form of rebellion against Amanda and wasn’t exactly well thought out.
Yeah, Kenya screwed up there. And she made an even bigger mistake by staying with the guy for however long it took for Nicolette to kill him. While this may seem to make Kenya look like an idiot, you know what? People sometimes do very stupid things in relationships. So I can forgive Kenya this. After all, this was probably the first time she had nice clothes and plenty to eat in her whole life. And what she did after she was free from Hunter is what makes me forgive her even more. She took the NeedWant and turned it into a truly successful business. I can respect that. And her loyalty to her girls seems to be a family trait. Kenya would do anything for her employees, including risking her own life to save them from trouble.
Kenya’s smart, too. Some might think Amanda has the lion’s share of the family brains, but not me. Kenya is at least Amanda’s equal, even if she lets her emotions overrule her brain sometimes. The success of the NeedWant alone offers proof of that, but Kenya also figures out the adrenaline-stealing maze, and she very nearly succeeds in tricking the trickster, a feat no one else has come close to yet. Of course I’m referring to her meeting in the woods with none other than Stahma Tarr. Kenya not only attempts to double cross Stahma, she doesn’t drink her Kool-Aid, which is more than anyone else on the show has managed. It’s truly a pity that once again Stahma was one step ahead of even Kenya. That girl really should’ve worn gloves. Sigh. I’ll miss her.(opens in new tab)
Or will I? We never saw a body, did we? And though I know it’s good storytelling for Kenya to be deader than a post, I can’t help but hold out a little hope that she isn’t. Because like her sister, I like this character, faults and all.
Yup, turns out I like both Rosewater ladies just fine. Amanda can be overbearing and Kenya was more than a bit naïve sometimes, but I still like them. And as a woman who has a sister, I enjoy their dynamic on those rare times when we get to see them together. It just rings true to me. I’m looking forward to seeing what season two of Defiance has in store for them, even if one of them will likely be in a box.