Hi Supernatural. How are you. Although this is technically a breakup letter, it’s not a hate note. It’s a love letter, and a fond farewell. Am I angry? Sure. Disappointed? Beyond measure. But the purpose of this is not to yell at you for what you did (although there will be some of that as well), but instead to thank you for what you have done in the past, and to explain why we no longer have a future together.
My life changed when I fell in love with you. Your characters were fun and ever-evolving, your dialogue was sharp, your monsters were scary, and your heart was unwavering. I am not one of your fans who fell out of love with you after Season 5. I happened to think the leviathans were cool. Soulless Sam was played to perfection by Jared and Crowley’s greater involvement in the show was a gift. Losing Bobby was devastating, sure. He was as beloved as a character ever was. But “Death’s Door” was so beautiful, so touching, so incredibly moving, that I was able to let him go. After all, he was a hunter who had been in the game for a long time. His death made sense to the story and was treated with all of the reverence and attention that it deserved. That episode remains one of the most heartbreakingly beautiful things you have ever created.
Demon Dean was nothing short of a revelation. The idea was brilliant, Jensen’s transformation of Dean was absolutely terrifying, and some of the best acting that has ever been on television. The only possible complaint to be made about it was that it was too short-lived.
There was a moment along the way- one single moment that almost caused me to leave you. When Kevin was killed off without really even a decent reason, I was baffled. He had so much story left. His death was pointless, and beyond giving us an episode of Winchester man-pain afterwards, was treated as a throwaway. This beloved character who had been so skillfully written as to evolve from a scared kid in advanced placement who was suddenly thrust into a life he did not choose, into a cynical, (adorable), and valuable member of the Winchester family who was quick enough on his feet to become Kevin freaking Solo when the occasion called for it, and brave enough to stand up to the King of Hell himself, was somehow disposable all of a sudden. The lone person of color on your show at that time was snuffed out for seemingly no other reason than to give us a shock at a mid-season finale. The ghost episode took the edge off, sure, but it was just a bad choice overall and the terrible loss of potential was frustrating.
In the first few seasons, side-characters dropped like flies but it didn’t matter because they were mostly written to be throwaway characters. They were simple and basic, because they were cannon fodder. And that was okay! It worked perfectly in the context of the show, because it was initially a horror show about two brothers and only two brothers. But as the show continued on, amazing side-characters (besides Bobby, and Cas, who I now consider to be a main character) started to emerge. The show was evolving into something else and that was amazing, and also necessary in order for the show to stay fresh. So with Kevin all of a sudden being reduced to a red shirt, yes, I was furious and sad. But I still had enough in me to keep going.
But once upon a time you gave us Charlie. Robbie Thompson and Felicia Day gave us this woman who was the anti-Becky (Becky being the not-so-kind parody of a fangirl). Charlie was nothing short of a love letter. She felt like a beautifully perfect tribute to the female fans (us) who support you by paying money to go to Cons and voting for you to win awards and basically making sure we do everything in our power to keep you alive. She is a queer nerd who is brave, loyal and kind, and whose passions (LOTR, Harry Potter, video games, comics, etc.) are never played as a character flaw. They are actually played as a sign of her strength and goodness. She has a vulnerability about her that makes you want to protect her, but she has also always held her own- even more so in her recent episodes. She has demonstrated over and over again that she is NOT to be underestimated. She is a genius. Felicia Day plays her with so much skill and so much joy that there has not been a single episode her presence has not made a thousand times better. You gave us Charlie and it meant the world to us. The first ever canonically queer character on Supernatural matters. The only surviving long-running, truly relatable strong female character (outside of the amazing Jody Mills who if you touch, I Swear to God) matters. A character like her existing in your universe MATTERS.
Now at the end, what did you decide she was worth? A lackluster, off-screen death that made no sense at all. Kickass, resourceful Charlie- taken down seemingly effortlessly by a wounded enemy in a way you didn’t even bother to show us. An enemy that Charlie had already demonstrated she could evade or beat- and that was before he was wounded. Plot integrity? What plot integrity? All in service of Dean’s man-tears, rage, and his ten-year quest to be the man with the most guilt and self-loathing in the world EVER. You needed to piss off Dean? Pretty sure there were about 100 other ways to do it. Considering how close he was to the edge, Charlie being taken hostage instead of murdered would have easily done the trick, and made more sense, incidentally. Leverage and all that. But you sacrificed plot integrity for shock value. Again. It’s tired. It’s so very tired. How many times are you going to taunt us with these occasional breaths of fresh air when it comes to representation and diversity then carelessly murder them in order to make some straight (or “straight” in Dean’s case) white dude sad? How many of these deaths is it going to take before you get off the merry-go-round and think of a new plot device to make sure Dean always has enough of the guilt that defines his character? Because I’m pretty sure he’s full up at this point so you could probably move on. (P.S. There is also this character named “Sam” that we like a lot, maybe you could do something with him, IDK just an idea.)
Charlie’s death has closed a chapter in my heart. I have spent thousands of dollars on cons (that I have had a BLAST at- so thank you for that), spent countless hours watching your wonderful episodes that I have loved (again, thank you), and most importantly of all- I have made so many incredible, beautiful friends while watching you and for THAT, I owe you the most. I don’t regret a second of it. But I will no longer be able to go to your cons or watch you. And please know that it is not out of my anger or about making a statement, it’s because you have made it impossible for me to care about you any longer. If, after all these years, you can’t understand how killing off these wonderful characters we love so much just to give us more of the same Winchester angst has gotten stale, then I don’t know what to tell you. It doesn’t make me sad any longer; it takes me out of your story and makes you feel empty and pointless, as though you are on an infinite loop.
Although your fan base may be male and female; you know full well who goes to cons. You know who buys the merchandise and live-tweets the episodes. You know who your strongest supporters are. And guess what- we are not “Beckys” (most of us, anyway). We are Charlies. We are all Charlie. We are nerds, but we are also nurses, teachers, mothers, wives, scientists, writers, political activists, soldiers, computer geeks, and doctors, to name a few that I personally know. We are bright, fully-functional adult women with families and friends and other areas of interest. But we adore you because you provide us with an escape from our stressful lives and allow us the joy of a common bond. There are always going to be mistakes and missteps during the course of every show, no matter how awesome, but until “Dark Dynasty” you have never been able to destroy that bond. But taking our hero out of the equation so pointlessly and thoughtlessly was a slap in the face to every single one of us. You sent us a message, loud and clear, and we have heard it. I am leaving you because you do not value us.
Supernatural, you are a hot mess. If you would just suck all of the time it would be so much easier but instead it is always one step forward then three steps back when it comes to character development, plot devices, and representation. You create so many wonderful things and make these huge strides then you turn right around and undo it all with the next episode. I would tell you to get your shit together but it is officially too late. I suppose that part of me knows that, just as in the case of Kevin Tran, you never fully understood what you had. And you never fucking deserved her.
Yes, I will be okay. There will always be walkers and crossbow-toting heroes, green-clad protectors of cities, timelords, and consulting detectives. There will always be Starks and Lannisters. But I will always love you, Supernatural, for the show you were and for everything you have given me. I will never stop watching your DVDs and crying over Swan Song or getting chills over Lazarus Rising.
I will remain a fan of all of the actors, who I’ve learned over the course of many cons are some of the most loving, generous people out there. I will always follow their careers and support their causes (I am wearing my “Always Keep Fighting” t-shirt as I write this). You brought Misha Collins into my life and I will continue doing GISHWHES and being involved in whatever mad scheme he comes up with next. In short, you were amazing and you gave me so many wonderful gifts. But my heart has left the show with Charlie and I can’t care about you anymore, no matter how much I try. I realize losing a few dozen, or even a few hundred fans over this isn’t the end of the world for you, but after so many years of loyalty and devotion, I care about you too much to leave without telling you why.
So, with that…
[Edit: It is worth noting that the people who were allowed to write the episodes killing off our last two most beloved side-characters were the same writers who were responsible for some of the weakest episodes in SPN history, including your two most universally reviled and offensive episodes ever (Route 666 and Man’s Best Friend With Benefits, in case there is any way you do not know). Writers so awful, obtuse, and racist, there is no way they would have this job if not for nepotism. This is not just a question of sensibilities- this is a total lack of depth, and of skill. If Charlie had to go, I know that Robbie would have at least sent her out like the badass that she is. I don’t know, maybe saving the world, or even someone’s life, instead of bleeding to death in a bathtub like an extra on Law & Order SVU. But he has made it clear since that he strongly opposed killing off her character, so I doubt he would have been willing to write it, even if they had asked him.
Robert Singer and Jeremy Carver and anyone else who allowed this travesty to happen: You are 100% completely out of touch with the fans and you should learn to listen to the people you employ who actually involve themselves in the fandom. In case you didn’t figure it out from the immediate outrage afterwards- it was bad. You made a bad choice.]