Season Ten ended ominously. The Darkness was loose, Metatron was free, Rowena had the Book Of The Damned, Crowley was evil, Cas was an attack dog, Death was dead, and the Winchesters were apparently on the verge of (insert theory here).
Yet somehow the event that has ravaged fanzines in the season’s wake was the death of the unforgettable Charlie Bradbury.
It’s obvious why everyone’s gutted. We all loved her. And some people are very angry over it- not me so much, since this is SPN and everyone dies, and at least her death served a purpose plotwise. But it’s interesting to see what this might mean for the show and the characters.
Last time Charlie was absent for a long period of time was after she vanished into Oz in Season Nine’s Slumber Party. She doesn’t reappear til Season Ten’s There’s No Place Like Home. It’s obvious why they needed her out of the way- Charlie’s a stabliser. She brings out things in the boys that no other characters do. If she’d been around to help, no way would Dean have spiralled down in Season Nine the way he did, and he probably would have thought better of taking on the Mark. And if they’re removing her again- not necessarily permanently, as we all know that on SPN the dead have a habit of returning to haunt us, but certainly for a while- it means some serious crap is going down. And it probably means that the Winchesters are going to make some very, very stupid decisions- ones that they wouldn’t make if Charlie were around to snap them out of it.
And if I were to take a guess? Sam and Dean’s plotlines have both reeked of suicide for seasons on end. Season One’s Skin, with Dean shooting the shapeshifter wearing his skin and his memories. Dean selling his soul. Sam trying to sell his in I Know What You Did Last Summer. Dean giving in to Michael in Point Of No Return, to which Sam says, ‘You were going to kill yourself, right?’ Then there’s Swan Song, where Sam jumps into Hell. The Man Who Knew Too Much depicted Sam killing two different versions of himself. Dean kills his leviathan self in Slash Fiction. Sam in Sacrifice, saying ‘So?’
First Born was effectively about suicidal Winchesters. We have Sam with the giant needle- of course he’s pulled back from the edge by Cas, in an example of friends stablising Winchesters- and Dean taking on the MoC. This was suicidally reckless in itself, and the decision killed him. There’s probably more examples.
Then we had The Werther Project, which was explicitly about suicide. But here we come to a divide between the Winchesters- Dean does not kill himself because he knows he will return as a demon if he does so, and also because he knows that Benny, the real Benny, would never tell him to do that. So we have a Winchester being saved by a friend. (And to digress, HOW BEAUTIFUL WAS THE PURGATORY DREAM SEQUENCE.)
Meanwhile Sam is bleeding out in the basement, on a drive to save Dean.
Eventually he is saved by Dean- but it’s clear that he would have died otherwise, and the issue of his self-worth, or whatever it is, is never really addressed. I predict a return to the suicide topic in Season Eleven- and with no Charlie around, we have one less stabilising influence on the Winchesters. It’s not looking good.
By the way, does anyone know why the header bar is mysteriously a rainbow?