The present’s destiny might be determined in Might.
Spoiler warning: This text comprises plot particulars for Supernatural Season 13, episode 10, titled “Wayward Sisters.”
Feminine characters have not all the time had the most effective survival charge on Supernatural — a shortcoming that has earned TV’s longest-running style present its share of criticism over its 13 season run, even often from members of its own cast.
Whereas the horror sequence has had an exceptionally excessive physique rely throughout each genders (hell, the present’s three male sequence common characters have all been killed a number of instances), and no scarcity of scene-stealing girls, it is arduous to not acknowledge the disposability of the ladies who’ve traditionally interacted Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) — whether or not they’re short-lived love pursuits, season-long villains, or succesful allies whose premature deaths are used to inspire our heroes.
However the CW mainstay is aiming to flip the script with its potential spinoff, Wayward Sisters, utilizing its midseason premiere as a backdoor pilot for the idea, which, if ordered to sequence in Might, will function a various, all-female solid that will make even Buffy and Xena envious.
In contrast to The CW’s earlier try at a by-product, Supernatural: Bloodlines, which might’ve targeted on warring monster households that viewers weren’t accustomed to, Wayward Sisters facilities round beforehand established characters: the level-headed Sioux Falls Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes), who was launched again in Season 5; Season 9 additions Sheriff Donna Hanscum (Briana Buckmaster) and Alex Jones (Katherine Ramdeen); headstrong hunter Claire Novak (Kathryn Newton), a personality who first debuted again in Season four however took on an even bigger position throughout Season 10; and newer additions like Endurance Turner (Clark Backo) — the psychic granddaughter of beloved character Missouri Moseley — and orphaned Dream Walker Kaia Nieves (Yadira Guevara-Prip), who each joined the present in Season 13.
“[Wayward] is a solution to that [criticism] and I believe it did develop from a way that there are these ladies we’d like to see protected and nurtured in their very own atmosphere,” stated Supernatural author and co-executive producer Robert Berens in an interview with Elle. “I believe followers noticed Wayward as a chance, and I believe they have been additionally happy with the way in which these characters have been handled and developed over time.”
Wayward Sisters, like a lot of Supernatural’s legacy, started with its passionate fandom — a loyal, protecting, and constant viewers that has loyally adopted the present by way of quite a few timeslot shifts, showrunner modifications and even a swap in networks. After Jody provided Alex a house in Season 9, adopted by Claire in Season 10, the followers began to understand the potential within the idea of a “midway home for wayward women,” as Claire jokingly referred to it in episode 20 of Season 10. Following the episode, two fans set up a campaign to advertise the idea on social media and thru a petition, which quickly caught hearth among the many fandom, actors and writers.
This type of proactivity is a trademark of Supernatural fandom (aka #SPNFamily), which has raised tons of of 1000’s of for charity over time, promoted the present on journal covers and at awards exhibits, and cast an enviable group on-line and in actual life, uniting through conventions, social media and even worldwide scavenger hunts.
Whereas it took the present some time to put the groundwork for Wayward Sisters, the care and thought behind it was evident on display when the pilot aired on January 18 — in distinction to Bloodlines, which didn’t join as a result of it relied on characters with no ties to Sam and Dean or the bigger Supernatural mythology, the ladies who populate Wayward Sisters have had time to develop organically and earn their very own followers by way of the actresses’ compelling performances and the emotional weight of their tales.
The eagerness behind Wayward Sisters is paying homage to the large display fervor that constructed round Surprise Girl and Rey within the Star Wars franchise — there are a lot of explanation why The Final Jedi, Surprise Girl, and Magnificence and the Beast turned the best grossing movies of 2017, however a big a part of their success got here from audiences who have been hungry to see ladies driving their very own tales, being handled as equals in genres that for too lengthy had ignored or marginalized them. The identical is true of Wayward Sisters, which is not attempting to take the highlight from Sam and Dean (who will all the time be the center and soul of Supernatural, and the first cause why followers proceed to tune in after greater than a decade), however merely to excavate one other nook of the world and inform different, equally entertaining tales from a distinct perspective.
“Supernatural has had lots of actually implausible feminine characters, however at its core, it’s sort of a mono-gendered entity,” Berens informed EW. “It’s obtained this male melodrama cleaning soap opera high quality that’s so wealthy and attention-grabbing and truly pretty distinctive in style TV. So making this an all-female ensemble [felt like] the precise proper transfer to make. We now have not seen a style present the place all of the conflicts are filtered by way of that sensibility and embodied by feminine characters. I believe that was undoubtedly one thing that excited us about this.”
“That is one thing [the fans] noticed themselves in…and inside that, they stated, ‘We deserve extra. We need to see ourselves, we need to rejoice ourselves, we need to discover what our selves might be on this world,'” Rhodes informed Elle, crystallizing what was so resonant concerning the episode.
Supernatural has taken loads of storytelling dangers over time, often focusing episodes on characters aside from Sam and Dean — generally with blended outcomes — however “Wayward Sisters” was an enticing hour even with the Winchester brothers taking a backseat, buoyed by the fascinating dynamics between these six ladies. (You picked up on the chemistry between Claire and Kaia too, proper?) They are not all professional shooters or fighters, however every girl comes along with her personal expertise, passions and insecurities, and most significantly, when the chips are down, all of them have one another’s backs.
Very similar to The CW used Arrow as a launchpad for The Flash, quickly increasing their superhero idea right into a full-blown TV universe, it is apparent how a Wayward Sisters sequence might stand by itself whereas cross-pollinating with Supernatural, having characters cross over, share intel over the telephone, or commerce instances between the 2 exhibits, additional deepening the mythology of the universe the way in which Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel did in The WB’s heyday.
However maybe essentially the most refreshing facet of “Wayward Sisters” as an episode was the way it clearly wasn’t attempting to emulate Supernatural — the pilot paid homage to the sequence that impressed it, and used the characters’ connections to Sam and Dean because the impetus behind their mission, however there is not any technique to replicate the particular sauce that has made the Winchesters’ journey so addictive for therefore a few years. “Wayward Sisters” did not attempt to shortchange the followers by making an attempt to suit it into the mothership’s mould, with Berens and the episode’s different author, Supernatural showrunner Andrew Dabb, clearly ensuring that the present — like every of the “Sisters” themselves — had its personal distinct voice.
Whereas each ideas use interpersonal relationships and household drama to floor the narrative, Supernatural was designed as a street present, whereas Wayward Sisters looks like it will be predominantly primarily based in Sioux Falls, utilizing Jody’s house as HQ. Likewise, Sam and Dean’s brotherly bond is straight away totally different from a makeshift foster household constructed with ladies of various ages, backgrounds and expertise ranges, which ought to add fascinating texture and loads of alternatives for battle if the present goes to sequence.
Style TV has lengthy been an area for female-led tales, nevertheless it’s particularly heartening to see Supernatural taking care to appropriate previous missteps and permit feminine characters to be in control of their very own tales and destinies, moderately than supporting gamers in another person’s. The present has all the time featured ladies who’re succesful, courageous, and heroic, however Supernatural’s core format — two brothers saving the world and one another — inevitably makes it quite a bit more durable to offer recurring or guest-starring feminine characters the narrative actual property they deserve.
Wayward Sisters might be the reply to that — though a female-centric spinoff nonetheless would not let Supernatural off the hook by way of introducing extra fully-realized feminine characters along with Jody and her gang, or enhancing the variety of feminine writers, administrators and crew members the present employs, as ladies nonetheless make up solely 28% of all creators, administrators, writers, producers, government producers, editors, and administrators of pictures working throughout broadcast community, cable, and streaming TV, in accordance with the most recent report from the Heart for the Examine of Ladies in Tv & Movie.
And whereas I used to be initially infuriated by the choice to kill Kaia, the Sister I discovered most compelling, the episode’s twist ending (which revealed that Kaia was seemingly murdered by her Unhealthy Place doppelgänger, who adopted Claire again to our world) undoubtedly left me itching to know what occurs subsequent — the mark of any good pilot. Here is hoping Wayward sticks to Supernatural’s rule and permits the actual Kaia to be resurrected by some means if it goes to sequence, particularly since Berens wasted no time teasing fans on Twitter following the episode.
Whether or not the spinoff is given a sequence order or not (and it rattling positive needs to be), the episode stands as a testomony to the ability of fandom, illustrating simply how a lot we are able to accomplish after we work collectively — which is strictly the sort of tenacity that Jody, Donna, Claire, Alex, Endurance and Kaia embody.
So keep on, Wayward Sisters — the street is lengthy, nevertheless it’ll be one hell of a journey.