rhoda_rants: (sam)
[personal profile] rhoda_rants
This recap/rant is brought to you by my upcoming recap of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azakaban, subtitled “Werewolves Are People Too;” my previous rant/recap of SPN Episode 2.17, “Heart”; and the larger repercussions of writer Robbie Thompson’s palpable absence from Season 12.

SO. I'm caught up, more or less, and while Season 12 has been quite enjoyable for the most part (I love Mary, and I REALLY love Mr. Ketch, if you aren't following me on Twitter), some aspects of the way this show is going are bothering me.

Let's talk about that.


GIF of Sam at a table tossing back a drink with a grimace.
Source.



SPOILERS Y’ALL. I'm caught up through "The Memory Remains,” fyi, but I don't have much to say about it here. (Although I did a brief Twitter recap here if anyone's interested.)

Anyway! Claire got to become a werewolf! For about five minutes. First, you should know that every time SPN revisits werewolves in a way that doesn’t involve killing them, I get pissed off about Madison all over again. Every time. I also strongly prefer my werewolves to actually look like wolves, as opposed to people with goofy contacts, claws, and pointy teeth, but that’s more of an aesthetic preference, so I can live with it.

No, what bugs me about werewolves on SPN is that whenever we meet a new one, we find out some detail that the Winchesters were totally wrong about. Like that killing a werewolf’s maker will reverse the curse (wrong). Or that they can’t control themselves enough to not kill innocent people (wrong). Or that there is no “cure” for werewolves (wrong).

Part of that is just spitballing the rules of your fictional universe as you go, and that’s fine. Every writer does that. You don’t have to know everything about your world before you start playing in it. Figuring out how the pieces fit together is one of the most fun parts of the creative process.

The fact that the Winchesters still don’t know exactly how werewolves work is not a problem. The problem is their When In Doubt, Put Them Down approach to dealing with any creature they don’t fully understand. The problem is we’ve been shown that, unlike most of the monsters on this show, werewolves don’t need to kill to survive, and when they do their attacks aren’t random, but our heroes keep behaving as if it’s the opposite.

The other thing about werewolves is it’s easy for me to empathize with them, more than any other type of monster--yes, even vampires. Queer folks especially have a tendency to attach our egos to creatures with a “secret” or “hidden” identity that doesn’t necessary turn them evil, but will make other people wary or suspicious if they find out about it. The physical transformation is tied into this (the frightening onset of feelings you didn’t know you had and/or wish you could turn off), as is the dichotomy of the more “civilized” public persona versus the instinct-driven “animal” persona.

I have a lot of feelings about werewolves, and you’ll hear more of them when we get to Pride Month.

It’s worth pointing out that SPN’s canon, textual inclusion of LGBT characters has dropped off sharply since Robbie Thompson left the show. Not that I hold that against him really, because he’s busy, but when you kick out the only LGBT writer on staff and give more episodes to the Dastardly Duo, things . . . change. Don’t think I haven’t noticed.

Now, getting back to Claire: I did not think for a second that she would die here. That would have brought down the wrath of Jodi Goddamn Mills, and we all know how that would’ve turned out. And I am glad that the episode made it clear that Mick killing whatshername earlier on was a Bad Thing and he should Feel Bad about it. (I do not like Mick. Ketch is a trigger-happy sociopath, but at least he owns it.) And Claire got a nice, solid character-building moment where she claimed her identity as a Hunter and stopped pretending to go to school to fulfill someone else’s expectations. These are all good things.

However. She could have been a werewolf. Just think about that for a minute. Here’s this kid who has a volatile temper and a thirst to prove herself as a Hunter. She has struggled to find her place in the world since her father died, finally found a family that cares about her although they still don’t treat her like an adult, she has rules forced on her that don’t jibe with what she wants for herself.

And then she gets bitten. What if she had to step back and learn how to manage that volatile temper through the lens of the inner Wolf, who can cause a lot of destruction she won’t be able to undo? What if she had to weigh each case in risk and payoff not just for the danger to her, but to others if it’s close to a Full Moon? Since her Not!Sister Alex shares this inner-monster-who-wants-to-do-good history with her, they could use that history to build trust that exists separate from their relationship with Jodi and the Winchesters. It could be a message about not letting the scumbags who inflicted monsterhood on you control your life, but instead use that monsterhood as a source of strength, endurance, and more effective Hunting.

But no. She got cured instead. It’s such a wasted opportunity. And it’s been way too long since we lost Ruby. I miss my badass monster girl, and I need another one. It could have been Claire. I guess I’ll just have to wait until Rowena comes back in a non-Buckner/Leming episode.

Date: 2017-04-23 07:34 pm (UTC)
ada_hoffmann: velociraptor looking at the camera (argue - raptor)
From: [personal profile] ada_hoffmann
Queer folks especially have a tendency to attach our egos to creatures with a “secret” or “hidden” identity that doesn’t necessary turn them evil, but will make other people wary or suspicious if they find out about it.

Yup. And they aren't the only ones. (I read a really fascinating article a while back about a LARP by and for autistic teenagers, in which a huge theme was characters who were cursed or part-demon or otherwise had a side of themselves that was frightening and potentially destructive/uncontrollable, and who wanted to spend their character arc learning how to deal with that.)

I've never watched any Supernatural and don't plan to, but these posts are interesting to me.

Date: 2017-04-25 04:52 pm (UTC)
author_by_night: (cool_large)
From: [personal profile] author_by_night
Don't really watch much SPN, but I have seen a few episodes (due to having some friends a few years ago who were OBSESSED with SPN), including the Madison one. Actually, those friends and I did a multifandom RPG, and Dean casually told Tonks (the character I was RPing) he'd killed werewolves before. Oops.

I did wonder if killing Madison was necessary, especially as she was just a normal, nice enough girl the rest of the time. Plus, most versions of werewolves I've seen - admittedly not many - have really emphasized that a person who is sometimes a wolf is still, you know, a person.

I also prefer werewolves to look like wolves, although I've been influenced not just by Harry Potter, but a book I read in middle school, which was my introduction to werewolves. However, in Hollywood they've often looked more like hairy monsters than wolves, so the only time I haven't given it much of a pass was the PoA movie, since the book makes it clear werewolves look like wolves. And I just hated the PoA movie.*

*I've since relaxed considerably on this stance. If I'm honest with my 20 year old self, I wanted Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot & Prongs: The Movie. Yes, I do think the movie still left too much out, and their portrayal of Ron was terrible, but I also think my focus was so much on the Marauders that it was going to be a hard sell no matter what.

Date: 2017-06-02 06:52 pm (UTC)
gothrockrulz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gothrockrulz
The fact that the Winchesters still don’t know exactly how werewolves work is not a problem. The problem is their When In Doubt, Put Them Down approach to dealing with any creature they don’t fully understand.

Agreed. Dean is especially trigger-happy in regards to this, and it's bugged me for a while, too.

And I am glad that the episode made it clear that Mick killing whatshername earlier on was a Bad Thing and he should Feel Bad about it. (I do not like Mick. Ketch is a trigger-happy sociopath, but at least he owns it.)

Dude, you said the thing! I had been trying to figure out how to parse that Mick gets on my nerves more than Ketch, even though Ketch is more nefarious. (Besides the skill and charisma of Ketch's actor, of course.) You put it eloquently.

Kinda in awe how you track who writes what episodes, BTW. I never really paid attention to writers in TV shows, and probably need to get better informed on that.

Also, totally a tangent here, but when they played a song from The Pretty Reckless in this episode, I SQUEALED. It's perfect, not just for the tone/mood of the episode, but for Claire's character as a whole. And it's a very Wayward AF type of song as well. ;)

Date: 2017-06-05 06:42 am (UTC)
gothrockrulz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] gothrockrulz
Dean does make you work for your fangirling, in his regard, that's for sure!

Yeah, the Mick sympathy doesn't make sense to me, either. I could understand/forgive Mick following orders like that if the British Men of Letters had leverage over him--like a captive family member or something. But when you have the power to walk away from a messed-up situation and don't, nope, it's on you, buddy.

The Pretty Reckless bit was pretty awesome. I love the way they use music in this show. That has been consistently fabulous the whole way through.

Agreed. It's a rare treat.

Also, tangent, but you still prefer no emojis/smilies on your blog, right? I think I forgot and slipped one in on my last comment.

Date: 2017-07-04 05:11 am (UTC)
gothrockrulz: (mikasa)
From: [personal profile] gothrockrulz
Late reply is late, but yeah, I like the actor, not so much the character.

I must've gotten you mixed up with somebody, or else dreamed it up. LOL!

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