Icarus was a test pilot (galwithglasses) wrote,
Icarus was a test pilot

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Thoughts on Claire Novak

As we approach the end of the winter hiatus, I've been thinking a lot about where we were left at the end of 10.09. You'd think I'd be worried about Dean and the MoC or Sam, left to clean up Dean's mess, or even Cas, who seems to be having some sort of burgeoning vessel-awareness crisis. The one I keep thinking about though is Claire.  At first, I thought that bringing her back was to give Cas a story of his own for part of the season and although I'm not spoiled, I think she'll be important to restoring Cas's grace.  After having a couple of weeks to mull it over, I find that I've ignored that part of the story entirely and spent entirely too much time wondering how Claire's situation parallel's Sam's from the beginning of last season.  I'd like to think that the show has worked her back into the story partly for that reason.

Most of my thoughts have to do with her in light of the way a lot of us reacted to Gadreel's possession of Sam. With Sam, loss of bodily autonomy was a big deal, particularly in light of his past history. Sam's consent to becoming a vessel came through deceit. There were some comments that drew parallels between the possession and rape, particularly in terms of the language the show has used to talk about angel possession. Dean was accused of abuse because he facilitated the possession and then lied about it. We know from a few of the comments that Sam made afterward that he has memories of what Gadreel did while he was running around in Sam's body.  I'm not sure whether we came to the end of that storyline or if it will become important again at some point.  Sam seems to have put it behind him.

I guess I'm left wondering where that leaves Claire. She was a vessel for Castiel when she was a child. I don't know how old she was but I'm guessing somewhere around 11 or 12. Certainly well before any age of consent. We never did see Claire say yes to Castiel but I'm assuming it must have happened. It came after the point that she had seen and been held at knife point by a family friend possessed by a demon and then kidnapped by a demon wearing her mother. She seems like she was a kid that was probably raised to believe that angels were forces of good.  Saying yes probably seemed like the best option she had at that point. She couldn't know that Castiel had his own agenda and not her family's best interest at heart. It was certainly manipulation, if not coercion and outright deceit, that got her to say yes.  How much does the way we have interpreted what happened with Sam also apply to the situation for Claire?

Now we find out that she's been in the foster care system for years, abandoned by her mother. She's taken to trusting adults offering manipulation under the guise of caring. She's seen violence resulting in dead and bloodied bodies twice in her life now that we know of in the company of Cas and the Winchesters. And now I'm guessing she's on the run with Cas who may be trying to make amends but it's more about him than it is about her at this point. They are traveling in the company of two adult men who, however much they may care, are in a bad position to offer this girl any sort of assistance and will probably make the situation worse in short order. I don't think they are callous enough to just dump her somewhere but I'm not sure what they should do with an almost-adult that has been as battered by the supernatural as she has. I just know that having her spend much time with these guys just feels really off to me especially in light of my reaction to the whole Sam-Gadreel storyline and how Claire has reacted to the adults in her life.

I was really upset with Dean for his roll in Gadreel's using Sam as a vessel and from comments I've read, I'm not the only one.  How does what Dean and Gadreel did to Sam compare with what Cas has done to Claire?  I didn't let Dean off the hook for what he did to Sam and I can't let Cas off the hook either.  Cas isn't the character on SPN that I usually focus much energy on but I find I can't ignore his role in how screwed up this kid's life has been.  I know we know nothing about the backgrounds of any of the high school girls we saw in the Fan Fiction episode but Claire could have been any one of those girls given her age.  I've seen posts where people have commented that they hope she and Cas can have a good relationship and that he can become some sort of parental figure for her. I can't help but think that this is coming from the same impulse that makes people want to get Sam a puppy and a warm blanket. It's all about the comforting of Cas. I think it leaves the needs of Claire entirely out of the picture. I don't have the answer here about what is the best for her but to leave her in the custody of Cas at this point feels capital-W Wrong. I guess I'm surprised at the strength of my reaction to this and I'm wondering if anybody has anything else to offer.
Tags: 10.09, angels, claire, meta maybe?, spn

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