For the fans of the Winchesters, we have had multiple opinions about the character of Ruby, her incantations (four actresses played the part and one won the heart of Jared Padalecki in real life) and her motives. I have heard her character was to try to bring in the feminine element for the younger male viewers or even to explore the demon/human bonding between Ruby and Sam. For whatever reason, her character has caused some stirring among those faithful viewers and how she is treated within the scripts. We first see Ruby in “The Magnificent Seven” played by Katie Cassidy, daughter of the pop icon David Cassidy. Then, there were three other actresses who played Ruby (the demon in different female meat suits) Genevieve Cortese, Michelle Hewitt-Williams and Anna Williams. Now, there will never be any full acceptance of any female character that becomes involved with one of the Winchesters due to the rabid following of the female (and some male) viewers. There is the feeling that as long as they remain unattached there is hope for others in the fantasy world of Supernatural. Besides, the bond between the brothers is so ingrained in the storylines that any distraction by an interloper will be dismissed as an unnecessary evil. The Beatles had Yoko and the Winchesters had Ruby.
We have all had single best friends who we have hung out with and possibly even killed a few demons along the way. But once there is a romantic interest that enters the picture, the friendship dynamic changes as the friend begins to side with their new love/sex interest over past bondings. The “third wheel” analogy applies here. This is what happened with Sam as he defended Ruby to Dean, changing the brotherly relationship and driving an emotional wedge between the brothers. Ruby being a “bad girl” only added to the animosity of fandom as we saw how her presence shook the foundations of the show and how most people wanted to shake some sense into Sam and tell him to dump her. Or let Dean kill her. Either way the result would have been the same with her out of the picture. Jeez. That is a lot of emotional investment into the show, but that is how the fans felt with her insinuating her way into Sam’s affections and his bed, while Dean could not understand why he would chose her over his own brother.
Ruby was not all bad, as she was there for Sam when he needed someone, even if her methods were of the dark arts instead of sunshine and roses. But let’s face it, Sam does have a weakness for the type and he has to learn of his failings in judgment and, then in later episodes, have to be willing to forgive Dean for similar missteps. One of the concepts of Supernatural is to unravel the lives of our boys with all their flaws and how they learn from their mistakes. This happens in life and this happens within the show. Bros before demons. While the concept of having four different actresses play Ruby may have been economic or a result of casting problems, I felt there was an interesting nature versus nurture display as each actress had her own grasp of the character and played that aspect of Ruby’s personality of tough chick, to the confused chick to the girly chick to the ultimate betrayal of Sam. As each actress assumed the role, it was interesting to see how they would play the character and bring their physical assets to the character development. I rather liked the element of surprise as you would not know from episode to episode who would be playing Ruby or what facet of her demonology would be emphasized.
Ruby is doomed to be disliked no matter how they write her character or how much Eric Kripke tries to defend her. She will never be a fan favorite. And of course their suspicions were vindicated when Ruby exhibited her demonic traits in the last episode “Lucifer Rising”. Contrast this with the flirtations of Jo and Dean. This butt kicking daughter of hunter Ellen Harville would never get between the two bothers as she understood this bond and would have made an easy transition into the family should she and Dean ever got together. But because she would have been the equal partner the Winchesters would have needed, she had to die for them to live. Their life just could never be that happy. That is the fate of the lonely hunter. So Ruby had be in the series to show the Winchesters and the fans how there may be detours and bumps in the road, but the brothers will remain united despite all odds and whoever tried to derail that emotional cement between our heroes. Ruby wasn’t a great character nor was she the worst, but one that was necessary for the shows expansion and development of what hunters have to contend with in their quest to save the earth. Quite a feat and quite a price that has to be paid.
For those of you familiar with Danny Zella, here is his rendition of “Wicked Ruby”.