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.

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.
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