One of the most disconcerting things I see written about Supernatural by the self-appointed critics and experts, are the phrases “the fans didn’t like”, “most fans were upset” or “the fans were turned off by this character.” I often wonder who these mysterious fans are, because I have been a fan of the show since it began and not one critic or expert on Supernatural has ever contacted me to ask me what I think about the show or a character. I would love to hear from anyone who has ever been contacted by these mavens and asked their opinion before writing a column.
I can only speak for myself and my cadre of Supernatural followers about what we think. And, despite what opinions other blogs or writers may have conjured up against Bela Talbot, I liked her, I liked her storyline and I was sorry to see her go. I also liked the eye-catching actress Lauren Cohan (Va Va Voom as my grandfather would say) who brought Bella to life and fleshed out (pun intended) her character. She was an intellectual and physical match for our boys and someone who never told the truth. Well hardly ever. A classic example of a fluid character who adapted to whatever situation she was in and things usually went her way. But not always. The boys’ frustration with her as their match was fun to see and we always wondered what they would do after Bela pulled a sleight of hand trick to fool our too trusting heroes as she called to rub their noses in their defeat. She just couldn’t help herself.
Any really good story line has to have the beautiful bad girl who walks all over our hero(s) and he/they love it even if it means their downfall. She is Sadie Thompson, the fallen woman of silent films, the film noir-femme fatale Brigid O’Shaughnessy, the bad girl/spy/adventuress Modesty Blaise of the 1960’s and Mystique of X-Men. If you are not a cinephile you can Google these nefarious female characters. They are women who have overcome a bad circumstance and now play by their rules. We do see into Bela’s abusive history and why she became who and what she was when the Winchesters met her. No longer the victim, she aims to win at all costs. Even when she loses a round, she has not lost the war, which makes her more like Dean and Sam than they let on to the viewers and each other. This is seen when she is introduced in “Bad Day at Black Rock” when she is out foxed (by Dean no less) and loses a valuable rabbit’s foot but is able to make off with $46,000.00 in lottery tickets as a consolation prize. “Son of a bitch” would be Dean’s usual retort.
Let’s face it, both of them could have been the male equivalent of Bela had it not been for John Winchester and the memory of their mother. Bela also deals with the supernatural elements, but only when it suits her and if it would add to her bank account in the Cayman Islands. Artifacts are merely commerce to her and she does not get wrapped up in the human elements of such items. But our boys deal with the human elements and not commerce which shows them to be 180 degrees her polar opposite and making this dichotomy great television. I have seen it written that Eric Kripke was not happy with the way the writers kept introducing Bela and that the story lines were absurd. I did not feel so and rather liked the inventive way she popped up here and there and, for a brief minute, took focus off our boys. Even when you have the best of things, every now and then you need to clean the palate.
Overall she made six appearances, became indebted to the Winchesters, put them at risk, was ensnarled into helping them save Bobby and ultimately succumbed to a demon contract held by Lilith. Or does she? As her death is not seen and only implied there is always the chance she has worked out some angle to avoid the fiery pits of hell only to resurface to once again to vex our boys. Bela would be a prime candidate to be an irritant to both Crowley and Cas and could even assume the mantle of hunter, given the right circumstances. And give teen-aged boys many sleepless nights. Can you even imagine the havoc she would wreak on the tender psyches of the Ghostfacers? Or Garth? So, despite what apparently “everyone” else thinks, I would like to see a resurgence of Bela and her wicked, wicked ways before the end of the show. Perhaps as a supernatural Laura Croft with a touch of avarice and mortal ambivalence?
I would definitely tune in to see that! I wonder what “all” the other Supernatural fans would think?