Final Girl Spotlight: Micki Foster! (Friday the 13th: The Series)
One of the hallmarks of the Friday the 13th series, despite the constant cry of misogyny by irate critics, has been strong, resourceful final girls, as evidenced with our beloved Alice, Ginny, Chris, Trish, and the like. But what happens when one of these girls is the final girl every single week, battling it out against a myriad of enemies and lurking dangers? Her name is Micki Foster, the main protagonist and final girl of Friday the 13th: The Series.
While Micki never had to confront Jason (although how cool would that have been?), for each of the 72 episodes of the series, she had to rely on her wits, strength, and quick thinking to survive monstrous and diabolical supernatural forces. When we first meet Micki, played by the likable and talented Robey, she’s not interested in Curious Goods, the antique store her Uncle Lewis bequeathed to her in his will. She just wants to marry her lawyer boyfriend Lloyd, who looks like every preppy douchecanoe in every 80s teen sex comedy. Her cousin Ryan and their mentor Jack convince her that this is her destiny, and each week, Micki grows more passionate that she must rid the world of the cursed antiques Uncle Lewis sold as part of his deal with the devil. She’s quite a fashionista, always looking like she’s stepped right out of a Motley Crue or Poison music video; rocking shoulder pads and couture outfits that would make Joan Collins jealous. And then there’s her hair, which some weeks grew so large it could take up the entire t.v. screen. But that’s just more of Micki to love.
As the series goes on, Micki is nothing short of earnest, hard-working, thoughtful, and courageous. Her love for Ryan and Jack is quite clear; she’s not afraid to show emotion when they’re in danger, but she’ll wipe those tears away and use her brains and bravery to fight back against the darkness. This was a time where we hadn’t met the icons Buffy (who was imbued with extra powers) or Agent Scully (who carried a gun); there weren’t many kick-ass, three-dimensional heroines on t.v. at the time, aside from that wily Angela Lansbury on Murder, She Wrote. Micki only had her bold fashion choices and shrewd thinking to protect her and she helped pave the way. This is before Google, the internet, cell phones, and all of our electronic assistance; she had to rely on quick thinking, logic, planning, and many times, a well-placed sharp object to defend herself.
Micki frequently found herself in the crosshairs of several horrifying and heinous madmen (and women). In Scarecrow, the evil Marge Longacre sends the titular beast after her. When the Negleys abduct her and Johnny in The Long Road Home, she rescues Johnny and sets their escape from the crazed family in motion. In The Quilt of Hathor, we watch as her heart breaks when Ryan decides to stay with the community they’re investigating, but she’s also the one who realizes the danger isn’t over and saves him. She even beats down an antagonist with a shovel in Bad Penny. Do you think Kimmy Gibbler would have been up for the job? Although come to think of it, that’s an interesting crossover. For every time Ryan and Jack saved her, she saved them back. They’re a team, but Micki isn’t just a screaming damsel in distress.
It’s not an enviable position. Give up your regular life to save the world from cursed antiques. Some of us might love that, but the job fell to Micki, and she rose to the occasion with great valor and fearlessness. She evolved from a one-dimensional character into a full-fledged warrior, something many characters on shows never do. Micki Foster, you are the ultimate survivor. May you and your white leggings always be safe and sound from danger.