In the too short third season of Supernatural, viewers were introduced to 2 new cast “regulars”. Bela was one, Ruby was the other. What can be said about Ruby?
There’s the obvious first: how does she stack up against Meg (the show’s other demon-possessed blond)? Although Katie did try her best, the material itself didn’t get Ruby near the sparkle that Meg had. Generally every appearance by Ruby just reminded us how much we missed Meg. I found Katie Cassidy’s turn as Lilith at season 3’s end to be better suited to her talents. Here’s hoping she becomes Lilith as Fredric Lehne became the YED.
But how was Ruby as a character? The most often trait used is “mysterious”, but we have to always ask, is a character truly mysterious because of unrevealed information or because she’s plot-hole Spackle Sally? Let me explain. Poor writers will often use “mysterious” characters to move the plot along whenever they get stuck. Need someone to betray the good guys? Get the “mysterious” person. Need someone to betray the bad guys? We have the “mysterious” guy again. Need someone to show up at just the right time? etc etc. And whenever it’s asked “why is this person doing these things?” the answer can always be “he/she/it is MYSTERIOUS”. Truly mysterious characters have hidden motivations which will eventually be made clear, and when it is all made clear, everything makes sense (indeed, it makes rereading the story a pleasure as you are able to see everything in a new light). So which was Ruby? At the end of it all, it appears she was more the latter, we learned she just remembered enough of what it was to be human, and wanted to fight on our side. But was this for the best?
Part of me wishes that we had a genuine demon who had no love for humanity, but was following Sam because of the chain of command. Sure he/she hates the Winchesters, but he/she was extremely loyal to Azazel (YED). A more wicked Dobby so to speak. Sam would not want this guy/girl around but he/she keeps showing up and doing whatever Sam orders (to an extent) anyway. What to do? After all, having a demonic servant or two could get pretty tempting… We could have seen even more demons later join Sam’s cause because they are more interested in just “chilling” than fighting a war (like Casey). Here’s hoping that in season 4, we get a bit more about the pure demons* fighting each other for supremacy (even if it’s already happened, just some confirmation that it did) and Sam is looked to as… a “third party” candidate so to speak. No I’m not hoping that demons become the Winchesters’ little pets and we all learn to get along, but a little moral struggle and questioning could spice things up and lead to some fascinating stories.
So in the end what did I think about Ruby? I’d have to say, I found her underutilized and it might have been more fun to have had her be even more evil than she was (which was not at all). I do quite enjoy Supernatural for it’s black and white view of things but it could have been a fascinating debate about how much do you tolerate from your allies? How far do you go in War? (looked at a little in Jus In Bello). Ruby didn’t quite bring these challenges as strongly as she could have. Here’s hoping we see more of Katie as Lilith and future allies that are more entertaining. (I for one, am ready for a bad-ass female hunter to join the crew. Maybe even have some Winchester babies with Dean [if he ever gets out of hell] and raises a third generation to carry on the family business. Someone get Sienna Gillory on the phone!)
Until next time, watch your allies while hunting…
*Tangent alert! I’m using the term “pure demon” as one who was never human. I know Ruby said that all demons were once humans but there are a few problems with this. Biggest one is “Who made the first deal?” Casey tells us that Lucifer is real so there’s at least 1 demon that was never human and we can guess that people made deals with him first, etc etc. However, if we take Azazel’s and Lilith’s names as clues to their origins (and prescribe to the Judeo-Christian view of the supernatural) then there should be more fallen angels than just Lucifer. Thus, my theory that any demon which does not have the standard black eyes is actually a “pure demon”, one who was never human but an angel fallen from heaven.
Bonus Points: Looking at the Hebrew legends of Lilith, does she count as being formerly human or not?