*WARNING: contains spoilers
Sam and Dean Winchester have been on many adventures of the thirteen years the show has been running. Seeing as they deal with monsters, demons and anything else the writers can think to throw at them it is obvious that part of the narrative along the road would feature death (who is a character within the show – well, sort of).
Personally I have just finished season 10 (I know, I am behind) and was horrified at the death of the character of Charlie – a woman who became a sort of hunter after her time in Oz and several run ins with the Winchester brothers. Unfortunately Charlie is not the only female character to meet her doom within the show, a large part of the early seasons was the Winchester brothers and their father, John, reacting to the murder of Mary Winchester (Sam and Dean’s mother).
The show seems to do this a lot, introduce an interesting and strong female character and then a while later kill her off without fully fleshing out her character in a major way. With Charlie as well you could see the warning signs a mile off – only two episodes before while hiding from the Stein family she remarks how happy she is to be alive if this is what doing the job [being a hunter] consists of; staying in cabins and researching old texts. (HINT: do not have characters rejoice about retirement or being happy to be alive as these are narrative signs that come across as not very well planned/written). The Maze Runner did a similar thing in the first movie by forcing interactions between Thomas and Chuck that filled us in on how much Chuck missed his parents and I called his death within moment of the films main conflict starting.
One thing the show could do is have a female led spin-off, this is not just to balance the scales though. The show needs to create a more positive image of women within its world. They are not merely the princess to be saved or the witch to be killed. One argument for this could be that at the core of the show is the story of two brothers who lost their mother at an early age. Heck, by the end of the first episode two women have died; Mary and Jess. This along with fan favourite Bobby Singer also passing on along with a handful of other male characters – though the counter for these would be it is a) a more significant number compared to women and b) we encounter some of them again beyond the death i.e. Bobby helping Sam get Metatron out of Heaven’s jail. As well as Mary Winchester encountering her sons when they jump through time. Though we are informed that hunting as a profession is mainly a male dominated world within the show and yet we seem to bare witness to fewer of these other incidences that statistically have to take place.
Season five of the show saw Ellen and Jo killed off under attack from Hell hounds and demons. While Bela did not make it that far through the third series before meeting a very similar fate as Ellen and Jo [Hell hounds].
An example of a female character that seems to be navigating the world of Supernatural well is Jodi Mills. She has managed to survive throughout the events of the series – though at the cost of her character being heavily tainted in the storyline of her son being a monster and eating her husbands face. This we see in season 10 again as causing her to withdraw from people and only really rely on herself.
Do not get me wrong, Supernatural is not the only major television series to kill off lots of characters for a specific reason. AMC’s The Walking Dead, in the early seasons, had a pattern for keeping the group the same in terms man power and skill by replacing certain characters with others. Sofia dies and shortly after (about a season, which I consider short after 8 years) Meaka and Lizzie take over as the young girls of the group now that Carl is old enough to fend for himself for example. MTV’s Scream television series balanced out its cast for season 2, unfortunately Noah still was alone at the end.
For a horror show to be scary there has to be fatalities though writing them in to be surprising but also feel genuine and balanced are important too. If you are killing off characters for the sake of killing off characters then it gets too trigger happy as a show and you sort fo stop rooting for people to survive. Supernatural seems to be a show where characters fates are never one hundred percent certain, with the idea of resurrection and the afterlife existing within the lore of the show it is clear that we could easily see a beloved character return. Though I feel the writers need to find a happy medium within how it creates these characters and to flesh out their functionality within the shows over arching narrative. Maybe for once one brother does not have to save the other and a blade wielding bad as female could save the day, maybe Eve should come out from the Garden of Eden and just end all this business having eaten the fruit of the tree and knowing everything to ever know; like how to save the world perhaps.
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