Today I am going to write about my current favorite one-shot character on Supernatural: Amy Pond. The girl who killed her mother to save a stranger, and the woman who killed strangers to save her son.
It's interesting to compare Amy to Madison, another monstrous women whom Sam is romantically involved with and identifies with. While Madison's monstrousness is separate from her consciousness, a part of herself which she can't control, Amy's is completely integrated within herself. While Madison is a martyr, choosing to die rather than life as a monster, Amy is a ruthless survivor, who will go to extremes in order to not cause harm, but won't lay down and die, or let her son lay down and die.
I say that Amy won't lay down and die because I do believe she killed as a girl, on the run after killing her mother. I don't see how she could have kept from doing so (just as I don't see how her son could keep from killing after her death--see below).
It's common for fans to say that Amy, in saving her son, killed only bad people, but re-watching the episode, I'm not so sure. One of her victims, it's true, is described sarcastically as a "Real mensch", and who had been "Busted...half a dozen times", but it appears that Amy may be targeting not "bad" people, but rather addicts and drug dealers. Victimless crimes. Not people who deserve death, but people whom it is convenient to target. Notice that neither Amy, nor Sam in his defense of Amy, claim that Amy is targeting people who deserve it. Their arguments are about her need to save her son, not a defense of her acting as a vigilante. It's quite likely that Amy simple panicked when she realized her son was sick and went after the people who were most vulnerable, without even thinking about the idea of going after people who deserve it.
In this context, Amy's self-righteousness ("I'm – I'm not just some murderer.") is worrisome. Amy did what she had to do to keep her son alive, and believes she is justified, no matter who else was hurt. In the hunter community, there are only two options for her: death or getting off scot free. In an ideal world, there would be a third option. Perhaps Amy would serve prison time for her crimes without getting a death penalty sentence for a choice made to save her son. But our characters don't live in that world.
I've heard it argued that Amy Pond is a typical monster storyline told from the monster's point of view. There is some truth to this. Many the monsters Sam and Dean encounter need to eat people to survive, and they are treated quite unsympathetically, with villainous speeches, as opposed to the sympathetic Amy Pond.
But Amy is not your typical monster. She took a job specifically so she would not have to eat people. There are other monsters who go out of their way to avoid killing, but they are the exception, rather than the rule, and Sam and Dean typically let them go.
Given all this, you might expect that I have sympathy for Dean's decision to kill her. Well, I did. The first time I watched. However, in part because of later events, I have changed my mind, and here's why:
1. Benny and Cas. Note exactly what Dean says when he kills Amy: "But people... They are who they are. No matter how hard you try, you are what you are. You will kill again. Trust me, I'm an expert. Maybe in a year, maybe ten. But eventually, the other shoe will drop. It always does." This applies equally to Benny and Castiel--and in fact, with Cas the other shoe does drop, when he kills the nephilim. Yet when it's Dean's friends, the rules are different.
(I wonder if Sam ever thought that this logic applied to him, and the only reason Dean hasn't put him down is because Dean loves him.)
I find Dean's words when Sam brings up Amy in "Southern Comfort" particularly telling: "Well, I guess people change, don't they?" The exact opposite of the reasoning he gave when he killed Amy. Now that I have a monster friend, people can change. Now that your friend is dead, people change.
2. Dean is willing to let mass murderers go under some circumstances, even without a promise to never kill again. Take the witches in "Shut Up, Dr. Phil", only two episodes after Amy's death. They were serial killers who had no remorse for their actions, and no desire to keep it from happening again, who killed for no reason but their own petty feuds. Sam and Dean had no problem letting them go--and please don't tell me the duo who took out Lucifer couldn't handle a couple of witches if they really wanted to. Furthermore, Sam and Dean are always allying with dangerous demons like Meg, and Crowley, and then letting them go, despite the fact that they know the demons will go on to wreak more horror.
3. Lying to Sam. I love how Sam is too mentally ill to hear the truth about Amy, but not too mentally ill to be punched in the face. And who punches their mentally ill brother who's recovering from a head injury in the face, anyway? Word to the wise: it's wrong to lie to someone who is recovering from a mental illness even if you haven't promised to be stone number one of their reality. People who are recovering from mental illness are very unsure of their world, and benefit greatly from knowing that the people around them can be trusted, even if their own mind cannot. I know this from experience.
4. Leaving Jacob alive. I love that Amy can't be trusted, but Jacob is obviously telling the truth when he tells the guy in the knife in his hand who just killed his mom that he never killed anyone. Now it's true that Jacob is a brave kid--he threatens Dean despite said knife--but that's not why Dean believed him. Dean believed him because he didn't have the stomach to kill a kid. Now, more people will die. Okay, maybe the person Jacob had to go to was a coworker of his mother's who can feed him pituitary glands, but Dean certainly didn't make sure of that. The most likely thing that will happen is that Jacob will be forced to kill to eat, and people will die who would have lived had Dean left Amy Pond alive.
Numbers 2 and 4 make me wonder if Dean's motivation for killing Amy really was to save lives. Perhaps instead it was about his psychological drama with Sam. I've never heard an explanation of a Sam-related motivation that fully satisfied me, though.
In my ideal world, Sam and Dean would have both admitted they were wrong after the Amy Pond conflict: Sam would have admitted he was biased, and that was a problem. Dean would have admitted that maybe killing her wasn't unquestionably the right thing to do. But of course, Dean couldn't do that. Acknowledge that he put a child through the same hell he and Sam went through for bad reasons? Not so much.
So those are my Amy Pond thoughts, as of today. I'm sure my thoughts will continuing changing and growing as time goes on, but here is how things stand now.