Oh, My Pop Culture Religion: Villainy and Hope


Darvasa, aka the “Door to Hell” in Turkmenistan. (image via wiki commons)

In Dante’s Divine Comedy, he tells us that above the gates of Hell is written the phrase: “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” Hell is the final punishment for evildoers. The idea is that once you’re in Hell, there’s no hope for change or redemption, so you sink into despair. Hell is supposed to be the worst of all possible consequences. Hope, on the other hand, is supposed to be the thing that keeps you going even when times are tough. Many religious people hope for a pleasant afterlife for themselves and divine justice for all. Hope is one of the most powerful motivators, sustaining people through the worst of circumstances. But it’s precisely that kind of power that makes hope such a dangerous weapon in the hands of a villain, and why any Hell-on-Earth must include some modicum of hope.

Spoilers for The Dark Knight Rises and The Hunger Games below the jump.

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Oh, My Pop Culture Hell: Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here

Two weeks ago, Saika wrote a post about pop cultural interpretations of Paradise. This week, I want to explore our ideas of Hell. What I think is most interesting about Hell is not how many different interpretations of it exist, but the fact that most people don’t actually believe Hell exists. While some have good reason—the concept of universal reconciliation is a theologically nuanced doctrine that states that all are eventually reconciled with God in the end—many just plain don’t like the idea of Hell. Even if Christians today are more than happy to imagine an other-worldly life of eternal happiness, many don’t actually believe a place of eternal suffering and punishment is real. Why is this the case? Pop culture might have something to do with it. 

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Ace plays Final Fantasy X: The Dead

Final Fantasy X has so many religious themes going on. Of course, that’s not surprising when you establish a world heavily ingrained with religion and base that religion on three very popular faiths and ways of life: Buddhism, Shintoism, and Catholicism. Sometimes, FFX feels as though it’s all over the place, as if the writers couldn’t figure out which religion should dominate. But for the most part, and excusing any plot holes, Yevon seems like a solid faith that I could see existing given certain circumstances.

But like with all things religious, an afterlife must exist, so it’s only natural that Final Fantasy X makes mention of the dead. In fact, if there’s one aspect more dominating than religion in the game, it would be how the dead affect the living. And also like with everything else involving this game and my over-thinking things, yes, I found some more plot holes.

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Theatre Thursdays: The Devil’s Carnival

Once upon a time, if someone had asked me, what musical I thought was the most sexist and damaging to women I would have said, Grease. Grease, most people will agree has a terrible message, which is basically, “hey, ladies, compromise your morals and integrity in order to get this asshole guy, who doesn’t treat you right anyway, to like you and stay with you—then you’ll be happy!” But what I usually hear people say is, “Yeah, Grease has a terrible message, but at least it has good music.”

That’s a lame excuse for letting a musical get away with being horribly sexist, but I grudgingly admit that the music is good.

Now, if someone were to ask me what I think the most sexist and damaging musical is I could no longer say Grease. Grease now has the number two spot. And on top of being horribly sexist, this musical doesn’t even have the benefit of having decent music.

Ladies and Gentleman, I give you, The Devil’s Carnival!

TheDevilsCarnival_Soundtrack_CoverThe Devil’s Carnival is the most heinous pile of crap I have ever seen. It was written by Terrance Zdunich, who also wrote Repo! The Genetic Opera, which I actually love. I love dark gothic musicals, so I was excited to watch The Devil’s Carnival. I tried to like this musical, I really did, but on top of having terrible music, the musical claims everyone who is in hell was sent there by God, because they didn’t fit his idea of perfection, that grief is a sin, and that women who fall for bad guys and then get hurt (killed in this musical as well as implied rape) are sinning, because they trusted someone they shouldn’t. Yeah…

[Warning: Discussion of Rape, Murder, Victim-shaming, and Suicide below.]

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Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: Christ Figures

Believe it or not Jesus often comes to save many of your favorite geek characters. I have to assume at this point that Jesus was and still is a bit of nerd, because he seems to be featured much more often in nerd movies, books, TV shows, etc. Either that or nearly every nerd is a Christian, or maybe it’s because the Christ figure story is very compelling.

The story, for those of you who don’t know it, usually goes something like this, special baby is born, special baby grows up and faces horrible trials, dies selflessly to save everyone from whatever horrible thing they are facing, and then is resurrected and defeats evil for good.

Usually, there are other indicators denoting a Christ figure as well, such as some kind of Trinitarian aspect to the character, a descent into the literal or figural hell, and usually some connection to royalty or a very powerful father figure.

So let’s talk about some of my favorite Christ figures.

I know you’re all thinking it, so I’ll start with the first and most popular Christ figure.

“Because I’m Jesus.”

Aslan, from C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, I sometimes feel is less a Christ figure and simply Christ, but that’s just me being silly. Basically if Jesus isn’t actually in your book, then whoever stands in for him is a Christ figure, and Aslan is one of the best. Chronicles of Narnia is an allegory; that’s what C.S. Lewis meant it to be, so Aslan is literally Jesus. He is the king of Narnia (meaning Everything), he selflessly sacrifices himself for Edmund (humanity), is tortured and killed for it, then rises from the dead to defeat the White Witch (Satan/evil). Furthermore, it is clear that Aslan has always existed, the same as Christ: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Jn.1:1)” Aslan describes something similar to the Witch in the movie saying, “Do not cite the Deep Magic to me, Witch. I was there when it was written.” There are so many parallels to be drawn between Aslan and Jesus, because C.S. Lewis intended it to be a pretty literal retelling of Christ’s story. Though the books have much to offer adults they were originally intended for children, and it shows. There is no way to confuse the message in Chronicles of Narnia, at least where Aslan is concerned.

J.R.R. Tolkien, a close friend of Lewis’s, wrote a little series that you may have heard of called The Lord of the Rings. If anyone has a market on Christ figures it’s Tolkien—he has a total of three Christ figures in one story. I should note here that Tolkien was very, very, very Catholic and it shows in his writing. Our three Christ figures in The Lord of the Rings are Frodo, Aragorn, and Gandalf. Gandalf is probably the most obvious, because he literally dies and is resurrected, and when he comes back he’s white, glowy, and impressive. Yeah, Tolkien pretty much hits you over the head with Gandalf, but I think he did that on purpose. The reader expects Gandalf to do something amazing and mystical because he is a wizard, so when Christ figure aspects start appearing with Frodo and Aragorn we’re pretty surprised, but it simply shows that grace/Christ/goodness can be found in the strangest of places. A ranger can be a king underneath, and a simple Hobbit can save the world.

Aragorn is a king that has been gone from his kingdom and is destined to return and bring harmony back to the land. If it sounds like the second coming of Christ, that’s because it’s supposed to. There is also a reference to a journey into hell when Aragorn journeys to find the Dead Men of Dunharrow.

Frodo is another Christ figure. He carries the ring to Mordor, which gets heavy throughout the journey. This parallels Christ carrying the sins of the world, as well as Christ carrying the cross to his crucifixion. The parallel between Christ and the cross and Frodo and the ring is made even more explicit by Sam helping to carry the ring and Frodo up to Mount Doom when the weight gets too heavy for him, in the same manner that Simon the Cyrenian helped Christ carry the cross. Frodo is also pierced in the side by the Witch-King on Weathertop, similar to Christ being stabbed with the spear while on the cross. Though Frodo does not literally die nor is reborn like Gandalf, he does appear to be dead when poisoned by Shelob and later wakes up in Mordor. And finally in the end Frodo goes to the Undying Lands (aka Heaven) with the elves, reflecting Christ’s bodily ascent into heaven.

The reason that I mentioned Tolkien being very Catholic is because these three characters combined show the three offices of Christ. This is something I believe I have seen other Christians talk about, but it seems more often emphasized by Catholics, but to any Protestant out there, feel free to correct me if this is untrue. The three offices of Christ are priest, prophet, and king, and these three characters represent that almost perfectly. Aragorn clearly fits the kingly role, while I would say Gandalf represents the prophet role by revealing truth to his companions, and finally Frodo by going through a similar trial of crucifixion symbolizes the priestly role.

Now if you’re sitting there reading this saying, “but Lady Geek Girl, none of these three figures seem to be perfect analogies for Christ.” Well, that’s because they aren’t. In fact Aslan is probably the only one on this list that fits nearly perfectly into the Christ role, again because Lewis was writing an allegory. Tolkien despised allegories, which is probably why he had three Christ figures instead of one. All three characters, Gandalf, Frodo, and Aragorn together, could make up a perfect Christ figure, but separately they do not because Tolkien did not want to do a strict allegory.

Okay, phew! That’s enough talk about Tolkien; let’s move on.

I always find it funny that so many Christian groups burned Harry Potter books and refused to let their kids read them because of the “evil witchcraft.” I further find it hilarious that everyone, even fans of Harry Potter, where shocked by the fact that Harry died to save everyone and then rose from the dead to finally defeat Voldemort. J.K. Rowling actually tried not to talk too much about the fact that she’s a Christian. In an interview with Max Wyman from the Vancouver Sun on October 26, 2000 when asked if she is a Christian, she said:

Yes, I am. Which seems to offend the religious right far worse than if I said I thought there was no God. Every time I’ve been asked if I believe in God, I’ve said yes, because I do, but no one ever really has gone any more deeply into it than that, and I have to say that does suit me, because if I talk too freely about that I think the intelligent reader, whether 10 or 60, will be able to guess what’s coming in the books.

I’ll admit, I didn’t see it coming. I thought that it would be appropriate if Harry died but I never thought she would actually kill him. But Harry of course is a Christ figure and rose again to fight another day. But Harry’s resurrection is actually not what makes me love Harry as a Christ figure. I love him because of all the Christ figures he comes closest to being a pacifist. Yes, Harry uses the Unforgivable curses in the books—again it’s not a perfect analogy—but after Harry rises from the dead he seems to have a more Christ-like perspective on things. For the first time he truly empathizes with Voldemort. When Harry fights him he already knows Voldemort’s wand won’t hurt him so Harry is pretty confident at this point, but I do think it’s important to note that Harry could have just killed Voldemort here, but he doesn’t. Voldemort kills himself in the books, because he can’t kill Harry once again and his own killing curse rebounds on him. Harry never kills him. He actually tries to appeal to Voldemort’s humanity. He calls him Tom and, yes, he does kind of mock his arrogance, but near the end of the battle Harry practically begs Voldemort to repent for what he’s done.

Harry Potter: “Yeah it did, you’re right. But before you try and kill me, I’d advise you to think about what you’ve done…. Think, and try for some remorse, Riddle….”

Voldemort: “What is this?”

Harry Potter: “It’s your one last chance, it’s all you’ve got left…. I’ve seen what you’ll be otherwise…. Be a man…. try…. Try for some remorse….”

This scene is amazing! How many other stories show something like this! Harry wants to save Voldemort. He wants him to be human again instead of the monster he has become. I always kind of wished that this would have worked, that Voldemort would have repented. To see that transformation would have been amazing, but alas it didn’t happen, but we still get a great Christ figure out of it.

Now let’s step away from British fantasy novels, which seem to hold the market on Christ figures, and move into some American comics.

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird… it’s a plane… no, it’s… Jesus…. But seriously if you don’t think Superman is a Christ figure then you are not reading his comics or watching his movies right. I mean dearest Jor-El basically spells it out for us when talking about humanity.

They can be a great people, Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. For this reason above all, their capacity for good, I have sent them you… my only son.

Jor-El here takes the form of God and seeing that humanity is good sends his only son to help guide them. This quote is repeated in Superman Returns, which continues the Christ figure narrative. When Lex Luthor creates a continent made out of Kryptonite that will wipe out a good portion of the United States, Superman selflessly sacrifices himself and nearly dies when he hurls the landmass into space. In the movie, he passes out while still in space and his body plummets to earth in a classic crucifixion pose.

Add to this Superman’s basic good moral compass and his unwillingness to kill and Jesus is pretty much spelled out for you. There is a reason Jesus wears a Superman shirt in the Godspell musical.

Superman, furthermore, in the comics and the movies, has his dual identity as Clark Kent and Superman, which people argue can be viewed as him being God and man at once. It’s not a perfect analogy, but I can see how it works. However DC Comics has in my opinion a much better Christ figure and analogy for this.

If you have read the graphic novel Kingdom Come, then you probably already know whom the next Christ figure is. The title alone should give you a clue at how heavily religious this graphic novel is. The story tells about the growing conflict between humans and the growing superhero population. Superman tries to mediate between the two groups but fails. In the end an all-out war between the heroes—those with and against Superman—happens, while the humans simultaneously decide to bomb where all the heroes are fighting. Someone has to stop the bomb and save the day, but this isn’t a job for Superman. It’s for Captain Marvel. Billy Batson is a boy magically given the gift to be the great Captain Marvel, but Billy and the Captain are the same person, but also separate. It’s hard to explain. Perhaps the easiest way to do so would be to say that he is God and man, two natures, together and distinct. Yep, just like Jesus and just like Billy. Superman could stop the bomb, but if he does the heroes will run rampant. If he doesn’t they die. Superman proclaims that he can’t choose because really Superman has never been a human person. He’s always a hero—a god.

But you, Billy… you’re both. More than anyone who ever existed, you know what it’s like to live in both worlds. Only you can weigh their worth equally.

In the end, Billy dies. Choosing to sacrifice himself so that both groups can live, and like Christ, by doing so he leaves behind an example to follow.

I asked him to choose between humans and superhumans. But he alone knew that was a false division and made the only choice that ever truly matters. He chose life in the hope that your world and our world could be one world once again.

Billy may be my favorite Christ figure because the message he leaves behind is so powerful and expressed so beautifully here. In the other stories the death and resurrection seem to have little effect on people. It works like magic and is used to defeat evil. Billy doesn’t rise from the dead but is arguably the better Christ figure because he chose life and he let that be his answer to Superman. His legacy is that we need to choose unity and life over death and destruction.

Christ, the real one, didn’t die on the cross for himself or even to defeat evil. He was leaving  an example, a legacy, to follow. And out of all the Christ figures I know of, Billy is the only one that comes closest to this.

“But wait,” you say, “this can’t be the end of the article. There are so many more Christ figures.” Yes, there are, and I would be happy to discuss these and others with you in the comments below.

You know I am kind of disappointed there are no women on this list. There are female characters kind of like this but they are less Christ-like and more… divine.

Next time on Oh, My Pop Culture Jesus: The Divine Feminine

Tune in next time and find some religion!

The Road So Far: A Supernatural Midseason Review

A lot has happened to our merry band of heroes since we first took a look at season seven’s premiere episode. Now, before you all settle down to watch the show tonight, let’s take a look at how our boys have fared so far.


For the sake of moving quickly and efficiently through this midseason review, I’m going to save some episodes (“The Girl Next Door”, “Defending Your Life”, “Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!”, and “Death’s Door”) for the end of the review, mostly because there is either some controversy surrounding these episodes that I feel the need to address or because I just have some particular gripe with them.

And now for the review:

Hello Cruel World: I’m going to be honest. When going back over the various episodes of season seven, I completely forgot about this one. Which seems odd since it sets up all the successive episodes. Cas takes a dive in a lake, allowing the Leviathans to start possessing people. We see that the Leviathans’ first priority is to a) learn more about the world through their hosts, and b) eat! Preferably humans. Gross!

Meanwhile Dean is pretending to be okay, while Sam is having a hard time figuring out what’s real due to seeing Lucifer all the time, and Bobby is being the best dad ever, worrying about his boys.

Yeah, I love Bobby!

As I said earlier, this episode mostly sets up for later ones. We are reintroduced to Sheriff Mills and we get see how the Leviathans work and function.  Sadly, Bobby’s house has been burned down, Sam nearly shoots everyone, and we have a brief scare where we think Bobby is dead but he turns out to be fine.

This episode was okay. Not exceedingly memorable. Only three things really stand out: Cas’s swan dive, which has become iconic in the fandom now, Dean’s voice mail to Bobby showing the complete emotional instability that Dean is experiencing, and finally and my favorite, Lucifer. In a very dark episode, Mark Pellegrino made me laugh at Lucifer’s equally dark humor.

My only criticism would be that after one episode, the ‘Sam sees Lucifer’ thing is pretty much dealt with. Despite everything Sam supposedly went through in hell, he seems to have gotten off pretty easy. Yes, it is referenced a lot throughout the series that Sam has Satan Vision 24/7, but we never see Pellegrino again nor do we see Sam really having trouble with this. The attitude seems to be that he pretty much has this problem under control. Dean spends all of season four recovering from hell. Sam spends time with Lucifer and he has it under control? Yeah, I’m not buying this one, writers.

Shut Up, Dr. Phil: Perfect! I have no complaints about this episode. James Marsters and Charisma Carpenter were golden throughout the whole episode! Sam and Dean trying to council the insane couple at the end was absolute win! Perfect! Perfect! Perfect!

Oh, and there is some plot-related things about a Leviathan hunting Sam and Dean that James Marsters’s character temporarily incapacitates for them. For the most part, not much plot is in this episode, but an awesome bit of filler and seeing Buffy alumni is always a plus in any TV show.

Two thumbs way up!

Slash Fiction: Let me say this—Curse you, Supernatural writers, for deceiving us about the nature of this episode!!! Grrrrr!!!

Okay, now that any slash fan complaints are out of the way… this episode was interesting but did repeat some things we have seen before. The whole ‘Sam and

Dean are wanted by the law again’ thing. (RIP Hendrickson! I miss you!!) I mean, haven’t we seen this already, like a lot?!

Honestly though, with this new twist that it was actually the Leviathan versions of Dean and Sam drawing attention to the brothers, that they had to go so deep undercover that their usual standbys (such as Sam’s computer, the rock IDs, and even the Impala! *gasp*) were taken from them, could have been really interesting and awesome… if the writers committed to it.

But Leviathan Sam and Dean are killed at the end and once again the real Sam’s and Dean’s deaths are faked, making you wonder what this hunted by the law and changing their old habitats was really for! Despite getting rid of their old IDs and the Impala, the boys are still caught almost immediately, and everything still works out right away at the end. If it wasn’t for the scenes with Bobby, this episode, while amusing, would have been redundant.

Bobby’s plot line does finally tell us how to kill the Leviathans though. It’s with cleaning supplies.

No, seriously.

I know this twist caused some fans to scoff, but personally I liked it. It reminded me a great deal of the season two episode of Buffy called “Innocence”. The villain, an ancient demon who proudly states that “no weapon forged can kill [him],” so of course he is defeated by modern weaponry. It makes sense that only something more modern would kill the previously ancient and unkillable Leviathans.

Some people object to Sheriff Mills discovering the Leviathans’ weakness when cleaning up for Bobby, stating that it was a poor and sexist use of a good character. I can see what fans are saying, but at the same time I don’t feel like that’s anything too bad. I will be disappointed if this is the last we see of Sheriff Mills. If she fulfills her cleaning purposes and then conveniently disappears, I’ll have to agree with them on this but until then… well, I guess it’s better than the violent death that most Supernatural women get… *sigh*

We also meet the leader of the Leviathans in this episode, a politician named Dick Roman. We’ll see him more later.

Best moments in this episode: Dean singing, Leviathan Sam and Dean analyzing the brothers, Crowley bringing muffins to Dick Roman, and of course, the kiss between Bobby and Sheriff Mills.

The Mentalists: Sam and Dean have split (again) after Sam learns about what Dean did in the episode “The Girl Next Door” (more on that later). The boys meet again on the same case in Lily Dale, the most psychic town in America. They fight a bad guy having a creepy affair with a ghost—seriously, it’s very creepy—and the boys make up by the end of the episode… because apparently Sam is very forgiving and the world is very black and white for hunters (more on this later too).

The episode has its problems, but those will come up more when we talk about episode four, “Defending Your Life”.

Overall, the psychics were amusing, but probably the most memorable thing for me in this episode was Dean’s issues being brought to the forefront (kind of) when Ellen (God, I miss you!) speaks to Dean through a psychic.

Dean’s emotional turmoil is reaching a fever pitch this season, but if you didn’t know before, this episode really spells it out for you. Dean is not okay, and it’s just getting worse as the season continues.

How to Win Friends and Influence Monsters: To me, this episode is way less fun than the title makes it sound. The episode starts as a simple hunt for the Jersey Devil, but it’s then discovered that the Leviathans are testing a drug on humans to make them good and complacent food for them. The only problem is, about one percent of humans became violent and start killing people. God! Someone rent the Leviathans Serenity. This is like classic sci-fi mistake 101.

This episode introduces us more to Dick Roman, and can I just say, I’m very underwhelmed by this character. When we were introduced to the Leviathans in episode one still possessing Castiel they seemed much more fun. They seemed crazy, intelligent, and funny, as well as scary. Where did that go? Aside from Leviathan Sam and Dean, I don’t think I’ve seen one that has that same insane quirkiness that was reflected in that first episode. I’m not saying that the Leviathans are bad as they’re portrayed now, but the first episode promised me something that hasn’t been delivered yet.

I will admit, the Leviathans being ordered to eat themselves by Dick when they screw up may be the scariest thing ever on Supernatural (other than Lilith, that girl was terrifying).

The episode ends with Bobby being shot in the head by Dick Roman. Which come on, Dick, being fascinated with humans, making weapons like guns I understand, but why would he use that more than, oh I don’t know, his massive teeth, super strength, etc? It just seems like a fancy excuse not to add more stunts or effects to me… just saying.

Now to talk about the more controversial episodes, “The Girl Next Door”, “Defending Your Life”, “Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!”, and “Death’s Door”.

“The Girl Next Door”, “Defending Your Life”, and “Season Seven, Time for a Wedding!” all have a similar problem—women.

The Girl Next Door: This episode introduces us to Amy Pond, an old childhood crush, and a kitsune, a monster that feeds on brains. On a side note, Madame Ace would like me to inform all of you that kitsune are actually Japanese fox demons and do not eat brains. We looked it up on Wikipedia. What did you do Supernatural writers? Anyway, Jewel Staite—who is very famous, at least in geek circles—plays Amy Pond, and her involvement in this season was really played up at SDCC. But she dies. At the end of the episode.

Amy is a good monster, only eating the brains of dead things, but when her son gets sick he needs fresh meat, so she starts killing people for her son. Sam tracks her down, she explains her situation, Sam sympathizes and lets her go. Well, Dean finds out and kills her. Why, because she’s a monster and killed people.

A lot of people get uppity because they say that Dean killing Amy is out of character. I disagree. Dean sees a lot of the world in very black and white terms. Furthermore, he is worried about Sam’s wall being broken and is nervously waiting for Sam to break down. I see him killing Amy as a way to take back control of a life that is slipping out of his grasp. He rationalizes it and tries to justify it, but in the end he knows he did something wrong and feels guilty about it.

So Dean’s characterization doesn’t piss me off. It’s Amy’s death that bothers me. At SDCC it came off, to me, as if Jewel Staite’s character was going to be a new recurring female character, as the show has been criticized for its lack of diversity, but Amy dies after one episode.

Imagine this, Amy lives, and becomes a recurring character. This allows the writers to address how the monsters can be good, which has come up before in Supernatural, but has never been something that the show fully explored. This juxtaposed with the very dangerous Leviathans could be very insightful, showing good and evil monsters overcoming primal animal instinct and/or submitting to it. On a much more human level you would also have issues such as Amy being a single mother, and having a connection (and potential relationship) with Sam, which would further force Dean to face his own protectiveness over his brother and trust issues with people.

(Lady Saika says: And and and! On top of all that, Doctor Who had an Amy Pond first!! Seriously, why would they use a name so well-known from a show that’s basically the same genre as Supernatural? It just blows my mind.)

Defending Your Life: The Egyptian god Osiris puts guilty people on trial, their own guilt is what condemns them in the end and allows Osiris to punish them… yeah, he kills them.

So who do we know that constantly feels guilty and blames himself for everything and recently killed someone against his brother’s wishes? If you answered Dean Winchester, well then, gold star for you! Dean gets put on trial, Sam defends him, and Jo shows up…

Jo’s return was also herald at SDCC. Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I heard that Jo was coming back I assumed she would be resurrected much like Dean, Sam, Bobby, Castiel, or even Samuel. Nope, she is just a ghost. Bringing Jo back as a ghost for one episode is not Jo coming back, writers. *grumbles*

I said we’d talk more about the episodes “The Mentalist” and “The Girl Next Door” later. Well, it’s now later. The witness that condemns Dean in “Defending Your Life” is never actually called to the stand. Yep, it’s Amy. He feels so guilty about what he did that Osiris doesn’t even need to call her to the stand. But later in “The Mentalists”, Dean tells Sam to get over being mad at him for killing Amy because he did the right thing, and by the end of the episode Sam agrees. What starts out as Dean feeling guilty for murdering a woman in order to make himself feel better is now transformed into a noble act. No, that’s not total bullshit at all!

Season Seven, Time for a Wedding:  For the most part I liked this episode. It was funny, kind of, but once again the portrayal of the female characters is potentially problematic. Though this one was the least upsetting to me, that didn’t make me any less disappointed in Becky’s portrayal. Becky has always been the crazy fangirl, but she was also resourceful and helpful at times. Elevating Becky to the level of creepy stalker was just the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. Sure, you can argue that Becky thought the potion would just bring forth any desires that Sam already had for her, but even in the world of fanfiction, this episode would at least get labeled dubious consent, especially when Becky realizes the potion is wearing off and doses Sam again.

There is also the issue that what’s happening to Sam is portrayed as funny. While Becky’s actions aren’t condoned, Sam being kidnapped and forced to love Becky is clearly shown as being something laughable. The episode is meant to be funny. This shows a dramatic double standard with men and women. A man being stalked and forced into a sexual (though it didn’t reach that level in the episode) situation is just as serious as when it happens to a woman and should be treated as such.

Overall, this episode ruined Becky’s character for me, which makes me all kinds of sad.

Finally we come to the mid season finale “Death’s Door”. For the sake of those of you who decided they didn’t care about spoilers and started reading this article, I’m going to say once more: MASSIVE, MASSIVE SPOILERS BELOW!!

Death’s Door: Bobby’s in the hospital and on death’s door, get it, ha! The entire episode shows Sam and Dean either trying to deal with or denying the possibility that Bobby might die, while Bobby desperately tries to navigate his worst memories in order to come back from his coma and tell Dean and Sam what he learned about the Leviathans. We gain a lot of insight into Bobby’s past, as well as his familial relationship with Sam and Dean. We get to see Rufus again, one of the few black characters on the show. Too bad he is a ghost/memory, which much like Jo’s return was a disappointment. And of course, Bobby dies at the end of this episode, leaving Sam and Dean alone.

Now it’s not made completely clear that Bobby actually dies. The episode leaves it open for interpretation or maybe it’s left open in case fan reaction to his death is so bad that they are forced to bring him back for the sake of the ratings, but I doubt that will happen.

While shocked that they actually killed Bobby, I do think that he is actually dead, and no, I don’t think he’ll be resurrected, but I don’t have a problem with his death. It was well done, giving the character the respect he deserved. Bobby went out in a dignified way and on his own terms, which if Bobby has to die it’s how I would want him to go.

My only problem with his death is… now this is pure speculation on my part, so don’t take it too seriously. Castiel “died” at the beginning of the season, but most people knew that he wasn’t really dead. I think most fans have realized that Sam, Dean, Castiel, and Bobby are never going to really die. So I have to wonder: was Bobby’s death used as a way to prove to us, the viewers, that they, the writers, would actually kill off some of their main characters. This tactic has been employed by TV shows before, and since now it has been revealed that Misha Collins is returning to the show (though we don’t know in what form yet), Bobby’s death could be viewed as a way to keep audiences on the edge of their collective seats with worry for their favorite characters.

So far the newest season has not been without its problems, but like always the Supernatural writers have put out good episodes that will keep us coming back for more. I know that I’ll be watching the newest episode tonight!

Though all this talk about the female and black characters this season made me think, there really is a lot of sexism, racism, and homophobia in Supernatural. Keep tuning in to Lady Geek Girl and Friends to read about the sexist, racist and homophobic issues in Supernatural.