Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ilana, avert thine eyes...

There be beaucoup spoilers for Supernatural Season 4 here...

And this is going to get very weird and be of no interest to anyone who doesn't watch Supernatural.

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k... So there's a question of whether or not Sam has been having sex with Ruby off-camera this season. Now, personally, I doubt it. I mean, yeah, it's possible, but it hasn't been at all confirmed, only very vaguely suggested by circumstantial evidence and in ways that could have completely different explanations, and until it is confirmed - either by Kripke himself or because it's said or shown directly on-screen - I won't believe it. Sam doesn't show any kind of affection toward her. He just won't let Dean send her back to Hell. She doesn't show any particular affection toward him, unless one can take a sympathetic tone of voice as affection. And I've heard many plausible explanations for why Ruby was walking around Sam's motel room in her underwear and a tank top in "Lazarus Rising" (and btw, Sam was nonplussed and fully-dressed himself). It seemed like roommates to me, friends maybe, but not friends-with-benefits.

Even though Jared said this. Actors are often wrong about assumptions they make about their characters and where story lines are going. For example, several years ago Daniel Radcliffe said he thought JK Rowling would kill Harry Potter in the last book and that's how it would all end, which obviously didn't happen. And Orlando Bloom thought that Legolas was younger than Arwen and that Boramir's death was the first time he'd ever had to deal with someone he was close to dying, even said that's the way he was playing things, with these character details in his mind, even though there is nothing in The Lord of the Rings, related novels or movie scripts that would suggest either of those things. In fact, the strongest evidence, found in The Silmarillion, is that Legolas is actually even older than Elrond, Arwen's father, and that he's been battling evil things in Middle Earth since at least the First Age (The Lord of the Rings is set in the time period known as the Third Age). Jared could be just as wrong in his assumption about what Sam and Ruby have been up to in the interim between seasons.

But this question has started some of the most angry and impassioned debate this fandom has ever seen, I think. And if Sam has been having sex with Ruby, I do agree in a very general sort of way with those who have said that Sam would then be raping the woman Ruby has possessed, and indeed, helping Ruby to torture the poor woman. And that is unequivocally wrong and so not cool and Sam should be beaten about the head and neck for not realizing it, and even more so if he did realize it and did it anyway. A swift kick in the balls would be nice too. And if Kripke and the other writers didn't realize that that's essentially what would be going on here if they took this route, they need to have their laptops confiscated for a while and have a time-out to think about what they've done, followed by an appropriately contrite apology for being impetuous and not thinking things through. And if they did realize that Sam would be raping this woman and did it anyway and on purpose, then they just went way darker than I ever thought them capable, and I'm not sure what an appropriate punishment would be in that case because I'm far too shocked by that possibility to come up with one.

Because by Supernatural's own mythology, a person who is possessed by a demon can be conscious of what's going on around them, and to them, but they are entirely trapped and unable to do anything to help themselves or anything or anyone else. Therefore, a woman (or man for that matter) who is possessed is incapable of consenting to anything. And even if the woman whose body Ruby has possessed has been killed, as the Katie Cassidy version of Ruby turned out to be, as we saw in 3.16, if she wasn't dead at the time her body was possessed, her soul and consciousness could be kept alive and trapped inside her body by the demon, as we saw with Meg in Season 1. Even if she dies instantly or within minutes of Ruby leaving her body because of damage incurred while she was possessed, like Meg in "Devil's Trap," that doesn't matter. She still would have been in there while all this has been going on.

However, if the body that Ruby is possessing is essentially an animated corpse, as the FBI agent in "Jus In Bello" and Isaac after he died in "The Magnificent Seven" both seemed to be, if the woman's soul and consciousness is no longer there and she wasn't killed or pushed out by Ruby in order that Ruby could possess her body, I don't have nearly the problem with it. In fact, I don't think I would have any problem with it. Other than, ew, Sam, did you have to? She's a demon! And before anyone brings wank here about it being necrophilia in that case, I disagree. The body isn't dead and rotting as long as Ruby is in it. She lives and breathes inside that body, and eats french fries and pizza, and her heart beats and her brain thinks, so essentially, it would have become Ruby's body, and it's alive as long as she's possessing it.

Furthermore - on the ever-growing list of reasons why I don't think Sam has had sex with Ruby - since Sam has been possessed himself and made to do horrible things he didn't want to do by the demon who had possessed him, I can't for one minute believe the feelings and perspective of the person being possessed by Ruby wouldn't occur to him before he did something stupid. No, and I don't care that it might have been out of blinding grief over loosing Dean. Sam has been shown to be too freaking up tight about such things time and again, even while his opinions on other subjects have changed drastically. He always has seemed to keep his physical needs under tight control, bolted down, and he internalizes more than he seeks outside comfort. I'm not saying it's healthy, but that seems to be what he does. I think it would have been far more in-character if he went out and killed some evil things and then went back to his motel room - alone - to bury himself in a bottle of Jack in order to deal, than that he at any point fucked the grief away with Ruby in the body of a poor possessed woman.

Also, Sam is and always has been shown to be what I would call an exceptionally Good Boy when it comes to how he conducts himself around and toward women. He's entirely sincere with no pretense or ulterior motivation with both Jess (yeah, that's different because that was a long-term relationship) and Madison, and as much as he can be with Sarah Blake. He doesn't flirt casually, even with women he finds attractive. He seems to see that women are not objects of any sort at all and each is a unique and complete person unto themselves, and when he talks to them, it's in a straight-forward manner. I'd argue that while Dean is not a misogynist - that he loves and respects women in general and in particular - he also has a tendency to objectify and put females into nice little boxes without necessarily seeing very far beyond the label he's given them, or they've given themselves, especially if he sees them as a focus of sexual desire, because boy doesn't think with his upstairs brain enough to do otherwise. (It's cute though... in fiction, anyway. Despite myself, I have to admit that. But I also think what Sam does is just as cute and would have a lot more real-life success, at least with me.) Dean has almost nothing else but pretense and ulterior motivation when he talks with women he's attracted to... he wants to get in their pants and he'll say just about whatever he needs to to get there. Now, I won't say he's wrong to do this (he only seems to do this with women who know the score and aren't likely to be offended by his attempt or surprised when he kisses them good-bye), I'm just saying that he's very different from Sam.

In a most recent example of this kind of difference between the two of them, Sam was disgusted when Dean called the barwench a "barwench" in episode 4.06, and he seemed not a little disgusted that she let Dean get away with calling her a "barwench." Now, in the barwench's defense (and yes, I know her name was "Jamie" and that she was a perfectly lovely person), I myself in a similar situation - dressed as a St. Pauly Girl barwench, serving drinks in a bar during Oktoberfest - wouldn't blink at being called a "barwench" by a patron either. It's part of the costume and the persona in that case, and it's all in good fun to play along and go with it. Dean just was being harmlessly flirtatious, he was playing and she knew it and played back (though he was entirely sincere in his desire to pick up said barwench for some after-hours nookie, and he got shut down cold that time too, though he was eventually successful). It's as my friend Karina pointed out, guys who call their brothers out on the inappropriateness of calling a woman dressed as a barwench a "barwench", like Sam did, are not the kinds of guys who would have sex with a woman who can't consent. It does not jive (to borrow the usage from television production) track.

So yeah, I think if anything indecorous was going on with this Sam and Ruby situation, without the writers walking us down the path with Sam to let us know just why and how things have been turned on their head in this area of his character as well, which they have not, it would be seriously, seriously out of character for him. Saying that Sam was trying to be more like Dean wouldn't cut it here. If it were just anonymous one-night-stands, that would be very Dean-like and very anti-Sam-like of this supposed new more Dean-like Sam, but Ruby wouldn't be a one-night-stand, she sticks around, and that she's a demon in a possessed body would go against both Sam and Dean's characters.

Okay... This was weird. I know. But I wanted to post it here because this is the most likely place where I post such things that Kripke and Co. might find it, if (and that's a very big "if") they ever would.

11 comments:

La Duchesse said...

Mine eyes are averted! :P

I will not read spoilers. I will not read spoilers. I will not read spoilers. :P

Rachael said...

LOL! Good! :D

Bard Girl said...

I totally agree with you since there are other possible explanations for things said or even implied. Since Flo mentioned being able to smell souls she could have smelled Bobby and Dean coming and got her clothes off to throw them off the trail.

It would be totally out of character for him to sleep with Ruby although I'm not ruling it out since it could happen. It is strange how someone would take an actor's opinion on his character as the absolute truth. Jared has the right to say what he thinks but that doesn't make it true. It would be true until something is actually shown like them doing it or kissing.

I don't really like the new Ruby and I think she might not even be Ruby since that's a possiblity. I think I'll drone on more about this at my website so I don't fill up this page with my random thoughts about the subject.

I would be fine if Dean called me a bar wench. I loved him in the lederhosen which was funny. It was great to see Melinda in a non psycho capacity since she played Pretty on Days. I'm talking about the girl that played Jamie. Okay I'm going to shut up now.

Rachael said...

Thank you for your comments! :D I completely agree with you as well.

Yeah, I don't really like the new Ruby either. Katie's version was so much more bad-ass, even when she wasn't fighting and just standing still, than Genevieve's is.

I never watched Days and I didn't know that the actress who played Jamie was also on that show. Was she on Days at the same time Jensen was?

Bard Girl said...

I'm not even convinced that she is Ruby since she could be another demon. It could be Meg since she was never actually killed or whatever her real name is.

Oops I had a dumb moment. No actually Jamie was on Passions. I don't know why I said Days. I guess it would be a slip of the keys since I'm starting to watch that again and a couple of the actors from that are going to pop up on it.

I think the confusion could have come about because I just heard the other day about James Reily who created Passions and worked on Days died. Sometimes my brain just doesn't want to work right. I've also said Dean when I meant Sam I guess that has to be with my slight okay maybe a slight obession with Dean.

Bard Girl said...

I think I responded but I'm not sure because I'm having computer weirdness. Yeah Genevieve is just so very blah.

Sorry I had Days on the brain since a couple of actors from Passions are going to be on that soap. No Melinda played Pretty Crane on Passions. Oops sorry about that goofup.

Rachael said...

Yeah, sorry about that! I didn't check my e-mail for a couple of days, so the turn around on getting comments approved took a bit longer than usual...

Oh, Passions! Yeah... I watched that a little bit years and years ago when if first started... something about a doll that came to life, a good witch, an evil witch and a closet that opened into Hell... that's all I remember about Passions... but never watched Days.

Maybe she isn't Ruby. She certainly doesn't act like Ruby... But I think she might be anyway because Kripke said back in July (I think?) at ComicCon that Ruby isn't going anywhere any time soon, even though they had to switch actresses...

So very blah, exactly!

Mobutu Sese Seko said...

Rachael,

I like your blog, and I also like Supernatural (despite a recurring problem with how nakedly they poach on both stories and presentational details from The X-Files, which is a huge argument that can be hashed out in a better forum than a comments section), but it kills me to see you use "jive." The term for correlating, agreeing or indicating that something makes sense with something else is "jibe."

It's totally understandable how this mistake occurs: most people don't speak clearly, and so the indistinction gets passed on aurally. What's weird, though, is that jive gets used to indicate consonance when its most common usage generally indicates "bullshit." In a way, it's like mishearing "can" as "can't" and then saying, "Yeah, look at all the sensible parallels here, where everything agrees. It can't make sense!"

Rachael said...

I stand corrected.

La Duchesse said...

I always liked Tabitha.... she amused me no end.

Rachael said...

Was she one of the "witches"? I can't remember...

Also - I hope you haven't been spoiled!