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Jordana Brewster’s portrayal of Mia Toretto has been a significant presence in the Fast & Furious franchise. As one of the few characters to have endured from the 2001 original film to the latest installments, her journey has allowed viewers to witness her growth and evolution over the span of more than two decades.
However, in Fast X, Mia’s appearance unfortunately signals that the moment has arrived for her character to bid farewell to the series.
This decision is not only essential for the trajectory of her own narrative but also for the continuation of the story of her beloved partner, the late Paul Walker’s Brian O’Conner. It signifies a pivotal turning point where their stories find closure and allow the franchise to move forward in new and compelling directions.
Mia meets Brian in The Fast and the Furious, as he becomes a regular customer at her family’s grocery store. Their connection deepens, leading to a romantic relationship.
However, Mia’s heart breaks when Brian unveils his true identity as an undercover police officer. His mission involves investigating Mia’s brother, Dom, and his crew for a string of daring highway robberies—a revelation that confirms their involvement.
Despite her hurt feelings, Mia sets them aside and collaborates with Brian to save Dom and their crew from the perilous consequences of their latest heist.
Forged by Fate
Maintaining her anger towards Brian for a span of five years, she expresses her resentment when they reunite in 2009’s Fast and Furious.
In this film, Dom and Brian find themselves compelled to join forces against a drug cartel, whom they suspect of being responsible for the demise of Dom’s lover, Letty. As Brian assists Dom, Mia begins to forgive him, ultimately leading to the rekindling of their relationship.
In 2011’s Fast Five, while on the run after freeing Dom from imprisonment, Mia discloses that she is expecting a child, and in Furious 6 (2013), she gives birth to her and Brian’s son Jack. In Furious 7 (2015), Mia discovers she is pregnant again but hesitates to inform Brian.
She fears he might grow weary of family life and yearn for his former adventurous outlaw existence. Eventually, Mia reveals that she is carrying a baby girl, prompted by concerns that the team’s mission to take down Deckard Shaw could jeopardize Brian’s safety.
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A Farewell to Outlaws
Brian is overjoyed by the news and reassures Mia that he is content with their life together. The film concludes with a poignant tribute to Walker, who tragically passed away before its completion, as Brian retires from the outlaw lifestyle to wholeheartedly embrace fatherhood.
Although Brian’s departure from the series inadvertently resulted in Mia’s absence as well, it was a natural and fitting way to provide a satisfying conclusion for the characters following Walker’s untimely passing.
In 2017’s The Fate of the Furious, both characters were notably missing. Letty, who was revealed to be alive in Furious 6, acknowledged that the team had agreed not to involve Mia and Brian in future missions. The group honored this decision even when faced with a startling disadvantage caused by Dom’s apparent betrayal.
However, in F9: The Fast Saga, Letty contradicted herself by reaching out to Mia for assistance in dealing with the team’s current crisis. While this raised some questions about why Brian wouldn’t be involved, it was easily understood that the film’s antagonist, Jakob (played by John Cena), was Dom and Mia’s estranged brother.
A Mother’s Resolve
Given the circumstances, it was plausible for viewers to accept that Mia chose to engage without Brian’s direct involvement, presumably leaving him to care for their children.
Mia’s presence in Fast X becomes notably awkward. Brewster’s appearance can be described as a mere cameo in the new film, where Mia is called upon to look after Dom’s son Brian Marcos while Dom and Letty confront Dante Reyes.
Mia Toretto and young Brian engage in playing video games until they are unexpectedly attacked by mercenaries working for Dante. While Mia puts up a fight against some of the assailants, she eventually becomes overwhelmed.
Their dire situation is ultimately resolved when a reformed Jakob comes to their rescue. Following the encounter, Mia Toretto entrusts her nephew to Jakob’s care, explaining that she intends to check on Brian O’Conner and their children.
Regrettably, Mia’s role fails to contribute significantly to the plot, as young Brian could have been placed under Jakob’s protection as soon as Dom and the team became aware of Dante’s threat.
Furthermore, her character remains largely undeveloped throughout this particular appearance, lacking meaningful progression.
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The mention of Brian O’Conner accentuates the dissonance between the film’s narrative continuity and real-life circumstances in an uncomfortable manner.
Considering Brian’s character and his commitment to protecting his found family, it feels out of character for him not to be involved in the confrontation against Dante, especially considering the significant threat the villain poses to their collective safety.
It becomes even more jarring to witness Mia Toretto in peril while her partner apparently remains safe and absent from the scene.
While the majority of viewers, particularly adolescents and adults, are likely aware of Walker’s untimely passing, the explanation for Brian’s absence relies on behind-the-scenes knowledge that diminishes the immersion within the story’s world.
To circumvent such discomforting distractions, it is regrettable but advisable for future films to exclude Mia’s character, except for, perhaps, one final return in the franchise’s ultimate installment.
By doing so, viewers can resume envisioning Mia Toretto as safe and content with Brian, free from the constant reminder of the real-life tragedy that prevents his presence in the new films.
This approach allows for a more seamless immersion in the narrative without the weight of the real-world circumstances overshadowing the story’s progression.