Exploring the roles of women on Supernatural


Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW Image Acquired from CW TV PR

For 12 seasons, Supernatural has had many women in recurring roles, but has yet to have a female series regular. With the prospect of a female-led spin-off on the horizon, let’s explore the role women play on Supernatural.

When you think of Supernatural, you immediately think of Sam and Dean Winchester. That makes sense, as they’re the main characters of the show. They are what hold the show together. Over the years, the show has added other characters to its roster. Castiel, Bobby, Crowley, all were at one point series regulars. Lately Alexander Calvert has been added as a series regular. But, notice how they are all men? Where are the women?

Sure, in the twelve seasons of the show, there have been several female characters who have recurred, but none who have become series regulars. This show definitely does not pass the Bechdel Test very often.

There has only been one “female” character who has been in every episode of the show. Even

Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW Image Acquired from CW TV PR

though she doesn’t have the ability to speak, an entire episode was built from her point of view. That character is Baby. Dean’s car.  Baby is the closest we get to a female character being a series regular, and she’s a car.

Fans often criticize not only the lack of female characters on the show, but also how they are treated.  However, even though there’s never been a series regular, there have been several women who have recurred.  Let’s look at the roles women play in the  show.

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The villains

Often throughout the series, women have taken on the role of the villain. Early on, we had Ruby, the demon leading Sam astray. Then we had Abaddon toward the middle of the series. Followed by Amara, or The Darkness, in a recent season. All of these women were strong female characters, but they were on the show as the main antagonist for their seasons.

While it’s great the show is willing to give the important “big bad” role to a female character, sometimes these antagonistic characters were the only women present for an episode. Meaning the only female representation on the show at any given in time, could be in the form of a villain, which could rub some people the wrong way.

Always dying

In one of the first scenes of the show we watch Mary Winchester die. In Season 2 the show introduces us to Jo and Ellen only to watch them sacrifice themselves in Season 5. Later, we spend several seasons getting to know and fall in love with Charlie, only to have her killed off as well. Supernatural  has the annoying tendency to kill off their female characters when they’re finished with them.

Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW Image Acquired from CW TV PR

Death isn’t a stranger to the show. We often see The Winchesters die, at least once a season. We’ve even seen Castiel and Crowley each die at least once. However, while their male counterparts  will often be resurrected, female characters typically remain dead. Unless you’re Mary Winchester, that is.

At the end of Season 12, Lucifer killed Rowena off screen. Since her death hasn’t been confirmed, could she become the exception to the rule and be the first female to be resurrected?

The future

Photo Credit: Supernatural/The CW Image Acquired from CW TV P

This summer, the show runners announced the spin-off Wayward Sisters. The show will center around Jody Mills, who has been a recurring character for several seasons. Also joining the show will be Claire and Alex, who have also spent several seasons recurring on Supernatural. Having a show that

features female leads will be a breath of fresh air. However, it is taking away most of the current recurring female characters on Supernatural to go star in their own show.

With Jody and her motley crew of troubled girls heading to their own show, and the newly returned Mary Winchester trapped in the alternate dimension, where does this leave Supernatural in terms of female characters?

Next: #WCW: Why we’re so excited for Missouri Moseley’s return to Supernatural

So, what do you think?  Does the show need to be able to pass the Bechdel Test more often? Are you a fan who’s critical of the show and their treatment of female characters? Please let us know in the comments.

Supernatural returns October 12 at 8/7 central on The C.W.