The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Soulless Characters on CW Shows
Spoiler alert: This article contains information from Arrow and Supernatural episodes that may not have aired yet in some regions.
Season 6 of The CW’s Supernatural saw Sam Winchester acting differently. He was cold and unfeeling. Castiel explained to Dean that when Sam was brought back from Hell it was without his soul.
On Supernatural’s Wednesday night companion show Arrow, Sara Lance is resurrected from the dead using the Lazarus Pit but again, without a soul.
Why does The CW seem to prefer taking away their characters’ souls? From a plot purpose, this is the perfect way to explore a different side of a beloved character. A soulless character has no emotions or guilt so they can basically get away with things they normally wouldn’t attempt. Case in point, Sam Winchester almost killed surrogate father Bobby Singer. Over on Arrow, Sara became a feral, dangerous being who almost choked the life out of Oliver’s sister Thea.
These two characters are heroes on their respective shows who committed villainous actions.
Although storyline possibilities are endless using the soulless plot device, this strategy can backfire. What if the beloved hero character commits an unspeakable act, something they can’t come back from? Or what if the writers are unable to come up with a plausible explanation to restore the soul?
Supernatural’s eleventh season arc is dealing with a character named Amara who sucks souls out of people in order to get stronger. The writers will have their creative hands full figuring out a way for the Winchesters to stop Amara and restore the stolen souls.
So, there are advantages and disadvantages with having soulless characters. But because it keeps viewers interested, it’s worth the gamble.
Arrow airs 8/7c and Supernatural airs 9/8c Wednesdays on The CW.