As all Supernatural addicts know, hellatus is, well, hell. So I’ve been anxiously awaiting October 3rd and the start of season 8. In the meantime, I’ve been scouring the internet looking for any scrap of information I can find about the upcoming season. Yes, I know I have a problem. Don’t judge me! 🙂 At any rate, I saw the articles a couple months ago talking about the young lady ( Liane Balaban) who will play Amelia, Sam’s love interest in season 8. Some SPN fans I talked to were thrilled about the idea of Sam gettin’ a little lovin’ in season 8. Others were upset about it because they didn’t want anything distracting from the Winchester brothers’ relationship. Clarissa over at TVOM wrote an article (which you can find here) posing the question: does romance have a place on Supernatural? That’s a complex question.
On the one hand, this show is built around the relationship between Sam and Dean. It’s really the heart and soul of the series. Whenever the story strays too far away from the brothers’ relationship, the show flounders. That’s part of the reason that season 4 is one of my favorites. There was a lot going on, but the core of that season was the crumbling relationship between Sam and Dean. So I can see the argument for keeping romance out of the story. But on the other hand, Sam and Dean need to be fully fleshed out as characters. Love and romantic attachments are a part of what make us human. Additionally, romantic love is different from brotherly love. So the interactions and relationships that the characters develop with romantic partners is a much different dynamic than they have with each other. In short, romantic relationships help to round out the characters. SPN’s format makes it difficult for the main characters to have steady girlfriends though. And let’s face it, these guys are pretty emotionally damaged so it would be very difficult for them to have a love life anyway. However, I’m not completely opposed to the idea of a regular, recurring romantic figure on the show. I actually thought Dean/Lisa could’ve worked out like that. Yes, Dean is a hunter. Yes, it’s dangerous. Yes, Lisa and Ben became targets after Dean went to live with them. However, I’m still disappointed that the writers chose to end that storyline the way they did. Lisa knew what Dean did. She knew his life was dangerous. But she and Ben chose to love him anyway. When Lisa told Dean to hit the road again with Sam, I was actually kind of excited for how the storyline could’ve played out. I’ve always looked at Sam and Dean as soldiers, and the Dean/Lisa storyline really had the opportunity to show that. Lisa was really in the position of a soldier’s wife. Dean had to go halfway around the world (or in this case the country) to fight, and she had to keep the home fires burning. When he could take leave, he would go see her, and then it was back to the battle zone. I don’t know if it could’ve worked out forever. But I really wish the writers would’ve given them more of a chance. There was so much emotional ground to mine there, and so many layers that could’ve been added to Dean. For instance, Dean is always saying what a terrible person he is and how no one should ever want to be like him. Yet when you look at how he loved Ben and how he took on such a fatherly role with him, it’s completely incongruent with Dean’s feelings of inadequacy. Lisa was also a good equal for Dean. She wasn’t a hunter. But she was independent and she was a fighter. She didn’t let Dean get away with keeping her in the dark, and she never asked Dean to be anyone other than who he is. There was so much that could’ve been done with that storyline. I feel like Dean/Lisa deserved more than what they got.
I’m on the fence about Amelia. I think she has the potential to be a wonderful addition to the SPN story if she’s written and acted well. SPN has a reputation for killing off all the female characters. There’s some validity to that, but let’s be real. Supernatural kills off ALL the characters. Females aren’t unique. Supernatural has had some wonderful female characters on the show. My favorite to this point is Ellen. She was tough as nails, but at the same time, it was obvious she loved the Boys. She could handle herself and she was never the damsel in distress. Also, Samantha Ferris was awesome. Sheriff Jodie Mills runs a pretty close second for many of the same reasons. This usually gets me into trouble within the fandom, but I also liked Bela and Ruby. I liked Bela because she wasn’t a supernatural problem. She was human and caused human problems for the Boys. She was also quite resourceful and quick-witted. I enjoyed the back and forth between Bela and Dean. I’ve always believed that Bela suffered because she was introduced during the year of the writer’s strike, so TPTB weren’t able to devote as much time to her as they should have to flesh her out some more. I liked Ruby because that character created such a different dynamic on the show. She seemed like she really did want to help the Boys out (clear up until On the Head of a Pin) and for a while I really believed she was on our side. She helped to propel the season 4 storyline in a major way and I firmly believe season 4 wouldn’t have been as interesting without her. I just want to go on record as saying that I don’t think what Sam and Ruby had was love or romance though. He was stressed and vulnerable and she was manipulating him. However, their relationship revealed more about Sam’s character than we would’ve ever found out without her. The point is, all of the characters that I like on SPN are well written and well acted. If Amelia has those two qualities, and she can add layers to Sam, I’m all for having her around on a recurring basis. I don’t mean that I want her riding along in the back seat of the Impala or anything, but it would be nice for Sam to have a relationship with someone other than Dean. I actually think this could be good for Sam. Sam hasn’t really let anyone get close to him since Jessica died. Yes, he’s had a few relationships along the way ( I am totally not counting that whole Soulless Sam period because good lord he was a manwhore!) but for the most part, he hasn’t let anyone get close. I can’t say that I blame the guy. He opened himself up with Madison, and look how that turned out. I also think Sam is in a different place now. He’s older, more mature. He’s also spent so much time closed off from everyone else, I think he might be ready to try to let someone in again. Sam has always been the more hopeful of the two Winchester brothers. It’s not always worked out well, but he still hopes. Do I want Sam’s romantic life to turn into a major storyline? Of course not. But I would like for Sam (and Dean) to get some relationships outside of each other that are important to them.
Well, that’s my rambling for this evening. I’m interested to hear some of y’all’s thoughts about romance in the SPN universe. Oh, if you’re interested in reading some great fangirl articles, go on over to my friend Kelly’s blog (here) and check it out. She’s more of a fangirl than I am. 🙂 Until next time, peace, love and joy to all. 🙂