A friend and I were recently having a fun discussion about television characters who need to die. Most of our picks, such as Claire Bennett (Hayden Panettiere) on Heroes, were based on the fact that a character had become annoying or outlived his/her usefulness on a series. However, a much better reason to kill off a major character is because it’s the best way to serve the story. It doesn’t always make the fans jump for joy, but oftentimes killing a beloved individual is the most gut-wrenching way to jump start new and exciting plotlines.
Strangely enough, after I was done mentally whittling down the cast of Heroes, one other character who needs to bite the dust was left twirling in my mind: Supernatural‘s Dean Winchester.
Now, before you break out the claws and the shotgun filled with rock salt, please let me explain myself. I love Dean as a character, and I have no desire to see Jensen Ackles leave the series. In fact, if such a thing ever happened it would probably ruin the show and leave me with little desire to watch it. Though I do want to see Dean die, I only want it to be a temporary setback.
Throughout Supernatural‘s fantastic third season we have been told time and again that Dean is destined to die and go to Hell. We’ve also been reminded numerous times that there’s nothing that Sam (Jared Padalecki) can do to save him, and it also appears that Ruby (Katie Cassidy) can’t help him break his deal either. All signs point to one solid fact: Dean is doomed.
The writers behind Supernatural have now left themselves with only two options: kill Dean, or invent some sort of deus ex machina that magically comes in and saves the day. I have no desire to see the series stoop to some last minute Hail Mary ploy to save Dean’s soul. It feels too late for that. They’ve been telling us that the older Winchester brother is doomed for months, and the only satisfying end to the season will be if they actually go through with killing him.
This plotline actually reminds me of the situation that Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) faced during the third season of Lost. We were told that Charlie was destined to kick the bucket all year long, and in the season finale his destiny was finally fulfilled. This was horribly depressing, but also completely necessary. After such a huge build up, any other outcome would have been completely anticlimactic.
So what should happen to Dean when the season finale of Supernatural comes along? I definitely think he should die and go to Hell, but then find some way to escape in the first or second episode of season 4. Maybe he’ll come back part demon, giving his character and Jensen Ackles new shades of gray to work with. It would be extremely intriguing and emotional to see the ultimate hunter grapple with actual internal demons, and it could lead to the show’s best season ever.
The creative minds behind Supernatural are fairly brilliant, so I’m certain they’ll find a satisfactory way to wrap up season 3. However, if Dean happens to end up six feet under, I won’t be too terribly surprised or upset. As long as he comes back, of course.
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of the CW)