If I ever had to describe their relationship in a nutshell, it’s:
Worst Romantic Development Ever. (Times Three).
Once, it’s fine. Twice, understandable. The writers just don’t know how to get them right. THREE TIMES, in THREE different universes, with THREE different writers, and strike out.
That’s THREE times where Tim/Cassie came out of fucking nowhere. I kind of understand some of the rage of the Wonderbeetle shippers (even if I don’t ship wonderbeetle) because at least there’s justifiable reason to ship them. They had a cute banter, comradery, subtle flirts, etc. THAT is a good way of building up a relationship. Not the headsmacking method of keeping the pairing in the background and not saying anything to each other throughout the whole season and then suddenly dropping a bomb on the fans at the last episode. You know what’s it called? Being Strangled By The Red String. And oh look! There’s already an existing entry in that TV Trope page about Tim/Cassie, even before YJ!
Tim/Cassie is all about the *potential* (being good-looking and attractive and competent fighters and co-leaders together) but fails to deliver any substance when they finally get together. There’s no spark. No chemistry. Just awkward kisses, forced romance, and a hella lot of rushed/random hookups.
Pre-flashpoint — hooked up because they were mourning over the death of Conner. After Cassie joined a cult to resurrect Conner and Tim was crying over a failed Conner clone experiment (you got to be fucking kidding me Tim), they decided that if they can’t have Conner, might as well have each other instead. Lol what. Geoff Johns what the hell were you smoking when you wrote that storyline? And then they proceed to have this not-there-neither-here relationship which crashed and burned after they tried the whole civilian dating thing and found out they had no spark together and decided to be friends instead (in which they are INFINITELY better as best friends than lovers). Tim only wanted to be together with her because he thought that he was obliged to be with her, and Cassie got all pissed at Tim for thinking that way. And then anyways Steph comes back to Tim and Conner is resurrected and their pre-New 52 romance ended there. Apparently Cassie even said to Conner that her fling with Tim was nothing, and Tim told Dick that they only kissed once (when I was pretty sure it was more than that). Shame, perhaps? Maybe they just wanted to forget that their hookup ever existed? Whatever it is, it was a trainwreck from day one.
New 52. Wow let’s just have awkward hugs and conversations together, everything from the point-of-view of other people rather than them themselves, and then let’s just skip the whole ‘courting’ stage (you know, confessing your feelings for each other, having their first kiss on-panel, deep meaningful conversations together) and GO RIGHT TO THE SEX! YEAH! Mind-control sex, too, for added surprise and
disgust drama! Fans who were following the comic were left scratching their heads — “When did they get together?”. Which feels like Deja Vu, because —
Young Justice. ‘Let’s-randomly-hook-them-up-last-minute!’ beats everything else. No, I don’t count all the background ‘standing-next-to-each-other’ excuse because that’s not the fucking way to develop any decent fictional relationship.
You know which comic got it right? The original Young Justice series, written by Peter David. Cassie was the only girl on the team who wasn’t the least bit interested in Tim because she knew/respected that he was in a long-term relationship with Steph, and was a Superboy fangirl anyways. But they were good friends and even better co-leaders together. They shared secrets and hugs and fun adventures. *That* is a Tim/Cassie relationship I find the most well developed, and Peter David didn’t even need to pair them up romantically to get that effect.
Maybe one day a writer will understand that Tim/Cassie doesn’t need to be forced into a couple because they work much better as friends. But alas, for now I have to bear myself with watching a beautiful ‘potential’ ship being butchered by unconvincing romantic plots over and over again.
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