Supernatural is a show about two monster-fighting brothers who are so macho, my friend once asked me if their impossibly deep baritone voices were a joke. The Winchester brothers — played by two strapping men from Texas — love classic rock, old school muscle cars, and their trunk full of weapons. It’s decidedly the CW’s most testosterone-fuelled show. That’s why the news of a backdoor pilot for this fall’s season 13 made me gasp so loudly, my coworkers believed I had a seizure. The upcoming episode would be for a prospective (and very feminist) spin-off called Wayward Sisters and it’s basically the most important thing to happen to Supernatural in years. I’m not being hyperbolic.
The in-the-works spin-off would follow the much-loved and already established character Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes), who’s become a foster mother to the various young women orphaned by supernatural tragedy over the last 12 years of Supernatural. Although Deadline, which first reported the backdoor pilot news, didn’t name which young women Jody would foster in the prospective series, the sheriff already counts fan-favourites Claire Novak (Big Little Lies daughter Kathryn Newton) and Alex Jones (Katherine Ramdeen) as adopted daughters. Jody is also close friends with fellow supernaturally-informed cop Donna Hanscum (Briana Buckmaster). It’s a Supernatural community of women that’s grown organically since Rhodes joined the drama seven years ago, and fans have grown attached to it all on their own.
The CW series has only been able to survive for literally historical lengths because of its monumentally dedicated and mostly female fandom. These woman are the ones who helped Supernatural, which hasn't had a female series regular in years, win every "Save Our Show" poll in its early years and stayed loyal amid the rough periods. It sometimes felt like these fans were rewarded for all that dedication by barely seeing themselves on screen. For all the Jody Mills and badass villains like season 9 big bad Abaddon (Alaina Huffman), we got random female cannon fodder and killed-off characters like Jo (Alona Tal), Ellen (Samantha Ferris), and Charlie (Felicia Day). The latter one hurt especially, since the beloved Charlie, who also happened to be a lesbian, was brutally murdered in season 10’s "Dark Dynasty." Internet genius Charlie felt like an audience surrogate, so seeing her limp corpse lying in a shower, smeared with her own blood, felt crueler than usual. It only felt worse when it became obvious Charlie’s gruesome death would simply be used to fulfill the terrible trope of using a woman’s murder to fuel a man’s revenge story. It was Dean Winchester’s revenge story this time and the hunter (Jensen Ackles) would’ve ended up killing the bad guys whether Charlie was dead in a motel room or not.
Soon after Charlie’s unnecessary death, the WaywardAF social media community began, pushing the need for a Supernatural spin-off that actually embraced its wonderful, well-developed women characters. The #WaywardAF hashtag has since become a bastion of woman-to-woman support, love, and feminism, with Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster as the group’s extremely vocal queens. The show’s other most noteworthy actresses are also very involved, tweeting right along with fans. There are charity campaigns, tank tops, inspirational quotes, and so many heart-warming selfies of women going to see Wonder Woman. The passion around this movement cannot be questioned.
That’s why the CW desperately needs Wayward Sisters. In 2014, the series aired a backdoor pilot for Bloodlines, a potential spin-off starring a guy no one had ever heard of battling monsters in a big city Supernatural had never dealt with. It felt like a wasted opportunity to capitalise on the tapestry of memorable characters we’ve met through the Winchesters. Sisters would never have that problem. It’s based on the three major tenets that have managed to keep Supernatural running for over a decade: saving people, hunting things, and the family business. "Under Mills’ training and protection, the women will emerge as a supreme monster-fighting force," Deadline explains. "Unlike the original series, which centres on a biological brothers, Wayward Sisters is about a sisterhood of girls in a foster family."
Just this past season, the Winchester adventure series included a confusing, ghost-related rape a sexual assault storyline in episode "Family Feud." It's so infuriating, I still haven’t finished the episode. In times like these, there’s nothing Supernatural needs more than to be a little more Wayward AF.