Dear Geekiary – Supernatural: Women in Season 10
Hi! I saw your tweet today and just felt compelled to write something. This is not a question though but an opinion. I hope it’s okay!
I’ve noticed some views about season 10 from fans that somewhat bother me. Every time there’s an important female character appearing in an episode this season, some people are quick to come to the conclusion that they will die. Which is not that far-fetched since this is SPN and they have a long history of doing that. And that’s bad.
However, this is season 10. Between season 9 and 10, somebody somewhere must have been listening because something about the way the show is treating women has changed, so either those viewers are stuck in the past and didn’t pay attention, or they simply didn’t watch every episode.
From the moment Ann-Marie was set to appear in the season premiere, everybody said she would die. She doesn’t. She’s even awesome enough to give Demon!Dean a piece of her mind. There’s also Dar who Sam tortured, but she’s not as important as Ann-Marie and she’s only as important as the other male demons Dean killed.
Adina died in episode 3, but so did Lester who Dean chose to kill instead of the wife. In episode 4 Kate, the more important female character, lives. Tasha who dies in this episode, dies in her own sister’s hands. In episode 5, all female characters survive, even the teacher! They even help Sam and Dean take down the MOTW. In episode 6, Olivia dies but she is the MOTW. And before somebody points out how she dies gruesomely in Dean’s hands, wait until episode 9 when Dean overkills the guys.
In episode 7, Hannah doesn’t die, neither does her vessel Caroline. Caitlin (iirc), the only prostitute that matters who symbolizes something good coming out of the ordeal compared to the other women, survives. In episode 8, we have Jody and Donna and a mention of S9 character Alex. All survive. In episode 9, we have Claire and she survives. Misha said he’s hoping that Claire will be a recurring character. That implies she’ll survive beyond episode 10. As for Rowena, she’s still around the last time I checked.
What made it even more awesome is this fact that a lot of people ignore, that all 9 episodes out of 9 this season have passed the Bechdel test. All! And it’s a wonderful change for the better! When has SPN ever passed the test in a single season or even half a season? The answer is never!
Sorry if this got too long. Just something I want to get off my chest for a while now. I just wanna say that while it’s bad that SPN has this unfavorable history with women, they’re changing and it’s something that needs to be acknowledged and encouraged. While there are still lots of room for improvement, IMO this is a good start.
Hello Tia! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. In the past Supernatural has definitely had more than a few problematic moments with how they handled their female characters. We’ve seen them tortured and/or killed, sometimes for no other reason than to die (Sarah anyone?!), or female characters created just to be the love interest, some not having much of a personality of their own. I would argue that Amelia was like that. She wasn’t very interesting and didn’t have great chemistry with Sam. She was a love interest, but who was she beyond that? We knew very little. She didn’t serve as much more than a plot device, despite having a multiple episode arc. It’s sad to see. And yeah, it’s mostly a boys club. This may or may not be the reason we get female characters who aren’t always well developed or are just killed off.
Between season nine and ten, fans did speak up – quite a bit – about what was bothering them regarding the show. One of the big issues was definitely how women were represented and treated in Supernatural. This season has been very refreshing. We have more multiple episode female characters who add to the storyline. Anne Marie as you mentioned, was great. She had a recognizable personality and was not afraid to not put up with Dean’s crap. I may love Dean and found Demon Dean fascinating, but it made me so happy to see Anne Marie put Dean is his place about the way he treated her. Supernatural did and does have plenty of strong women characters, but most of them at this point, sadly, are dead. I loved seeing Donna and Jodie again. They weren’t just damsels in distress. I loved Claire Novak. Her reactions to the people who were associated with her losing her father were understandable. She’s hurt, but she’s strong and I do hope to see a lot more of her.
You brought up the Bechdel Test, Supernatural is doing quite a good job passing it this season. And I’m with you; I hope this trend continues. If it does, then maybe fandom wouldn’t have to worry every time a new female character is introduced. Fans can get burnt out and its hard to trust. Supernatural just has to keep up this positive trend!
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Author: Jessica Rae
Jessica has a BA in music with an emphasis in voice and spends her day typesetting, editing, writing, and moderating webinars. Jessica primarily reviews anime and comic book series. She also offers insights on various movies, books, games, and other geeky topics.
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