Before we all collectively forget Supernatural and eradicate it from our cultural consciousness I’d like to take a moment to appreciate my favorite female character from the show: Bela Talbot. Sadly, she was only around for a brief period of time in the third season, but boy, did she make an impression! Bela Talbot was an amoral conwoman and thief who traded in cursed or supernatural objects. For her, it was all about the money. She was unapologetic about her actions and didn’t really care about the consequences. It was refreshing to see a female character who wasn’t caught up in being good or bad; she just did what she did for money and took care of herself.
Gradually, it is revealed that Bela made a deal with a crossroads demon; Sam and Dean assume this was so she could kill her parents and inherit their fortune — and Bela is happy to let them think that — but flashbacks reveal that it is likely Bela was being sexually abused by her father and made the deal to escape the abuse. Since then, she’s been on her own, doing whatever it takes to take care of herself and keep herself secure. She’s a great thief, as she says herself. She even burnt off her own fingerprints.
Bela is cool and ruthless, with a playful, nonchalant demeanor. When a hunter threatens to kill her when she doesn’t give him the information she wants, she doesn’t flinch. She’s pragmatic and realistic. She’s also greedy and selfish and cynical; she doesn’t think the world deserves to be saved, nor does she care if it does. She’s out for herself and she doesn’t care who she hurts in the process of getting what she wants. Though she was mostly seen by hunters as nothing more than a nuisance, not a true danger, she seemed to get under Sam and Dean’s nerves a lot, because she cons them several times. That said, she was an absolute delight. It was so much fun to see Sam and Dean get played by someone this damn cool.
Bela, like all of Supernatural’s female characters, deserved way better. Alas. She lives on in my memory.