On this day one year ago, Halestorm’s “I Am The Fire” began to play while a montage of some of the most kickass scenes in the Supernatural series appeared on our screens.
“Wayward Sisters” was a backdoor pilot that brought together some established fan-favorite series characters with newer faces, who were all working together to rescue Sam and Dean from Apocalypse World. It was the first time all six of our Wayward women had been on-screen together, and the chemistry was unmistakable. Claire’s courageous but dangerous no-holds-barred hunting style was tempered by Jody’s sensible wisdom. Donna’s humor and confidence helped to balance Patience’s trepidation and hesitation to embrace her gifts. Kaia was the women’s link to other worlds, and Alex was there to provide medical and technical help when necessary.
Supernatural‘s Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, and Misha Collins each helped promote the episode on social media. The show was watched by 1.87 million viewers, which was higher than the previous episode’s 1.74 million. By many accounts, the episode was a success, and the shocking cliffhanger at the end lent itself to unending storylines and crossover possibilities.
But we all know what happened next.
When The CW announced that they were passing on the series, fans got to work. An online petition, started by Georgia Heapy, blew up and gathered over 80,000 signatures. Campaigns were formed to flood The CW headquarters with letters. Plans were made to send large orders of powdered doughnuts (as a nod to Sheriff Donna Hanscum’s first appearance on Supernatural in “The Purge”) to CW affiliates in cities where Creation Entertainment Supernatural conventions were being held. (Yes, really!) Many other ingenious ideas were formed, including calls for other networks, such as Netflix and SyFy, to grab the show. But ultimately, the show was not picked up by any network.
Of course, our Wayward women aren’t gone forever; still a part of the Supernatural universe, some of them have already come across our screens since the pilot episode aired last year. This season’s third episode, “The Scar,” welcomed back two of our Wayward women: Sheriff Jody Mills (Kim Rhodes) and Dark!Kaia (Yadira Guevara-Prip). (Granted, Dark!Kaia is not “our” Kaia. But a Dark!Kaia is better than no Kaia at all.) That same episode also confirmed what many had suspected (and hoped for) after watching the bond between Kaia and Claire end brutally in the pilot episode: that their feelings for each other extended beyond friendship:
The next episode to air on January 24th, called “Damaged Goods,” will welcome back Briana Buckmaster as Sheriff Donna Hanscum. Hopefully, we will get to see Kathryn Newton (Claire Novak), Clark Backo (Patience Turner), and Katherine Ramdeen (Alex Jones) very soon as well.
We might not have gotten our show, but what we accomplished as a fandom should not be overlooked. As our staff editor Tricia pointed out shortly after The CW passed on the potential series, the fact that the pilot episode was made at all is a monumental feat. The spirit of Wayward was borne out of the fandom’s desire to see more positive representations of women on our screens. The writers and show runners of Supernatural listened, and now Wayward is forever woven throughout the Supernatural universe(s). This season, Dark!Kaia’s spear was retrieved to kill archangel Michael, and now that Michael has seemingly destroyed her spear, she will very likely return to collect. And we know from this week’s upcoming promotional material that Sheriff Donna will run into Nick (Mark Pellegrino) and finally meet the boys’ mother, Mary (Sam Smith).
Outside of Supernatural, our Wayward women have been busy. Wanting to effect positive change within her community, Katherine Ramdeen ran as an Independent for Vancouver City Council last fall. Clark Backo is currently filming mini-series The Hot Zone, and Kathryn Newton can be seen starring alongside Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in Big Little Lies, and she will also be in Pokémon Detective Pikachu later this year. And in July of last year, Briana Buckmaster released her bluesy, soulful debut album, Begin. It was listed as the #1 Blues album on iTunes on the day it was released.
And the most recent gift given to us by our Wayward women is The Wayward Podcast, a weekly show that tackles anything and everything that hosts Kim Rhodes and Briana Buckmaster think are worthy of discussion. Families, health, beauty, and sex are some of the topics that have been covered so far.
It has been a year since we saw our dream of “Wayward Sisters” come to life. And while the journey did not end up where we had initially hoped, where we are today should make us proud. Kim and Briana have summed this up perfectly, I think, on the front page of their podcast: “We may have wandered off the path, but we are in the right place. We choose to celebrate it. Let’s be messy. Let’s be human. Let’s be Wayward AF.”