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Before diving back into this, I again would like to issue a reminder. Please, please, please! I beg, plead, ask and request, no attacks on the actresses. This is a sensitive subject to the fandom in general, I realize that. But this is a look at the demon Ruby, not at the women who worked on a film set. Also, please keep in mind that this is entirely opinion. 
 
Blond Part Deux

Hot diggity! Things were going well for Hell. Dean Winchester was on Alistair’s rack. Lilith was gathering her power on earth. And Ruby, well Ruby was being taught her lesson before renewing the hunt for Sam. She was scolded well and good. “You are not up top for your own pleasure Ruby girl. Don’t forget again.” 

I wonder, did she peek in on Alistair and Dean? What a temptation! To see Dean, hated Dean, pain wracked on the rack. I bet the bitch did. And I bet she smiled.

But she didn’t linger long, she couldn’t. There was a lot of work to do with Sam. So up she went, with ‘orders’ from Lilith to kill him. Ruby didn’t change her tactics much. She jumped another blonde, kept the kick ass, smart mouthed, manipulative, sensuous, intelligent, condescending and bossy attitude. Not Ruby’s best move.

It almost looked, in their first meeting after Dean’s death, that Ruby expected Sam to beg for his life. Beg for the chance to kill Lilith. But Ruby miscalculated, Sam’s headspace was far from where she wanted him to be. So she killed the demon with her and piled Sam into the Impala. Now she expected him to be grateful. She was still trying to ride herd on him. And Sam had had enough. He was hurting and in no mood for bossiness or condensation. She demanded his sympathy but he only had room to think about his own pain.



“I took all of this risk to get back to you, so yeah, I deserve a damn thank you.”
“Who asked you to save me?”
“I’m just trying to help.”
“Can you help me save Dean?”
“No. Nothing I know of is powerful enough to do that.”
“Then I have no use for you.”
“What?”
“Get out.”
“Sam,”
“Whose body are you riding Ruby?”
“What do you care? You’ve never asked me that before.”
“I’m asking now.”
“Some secretary.”
“Let her go.”
“Sam,”
“Or I send you right back to hell.” 

Hell and damnation! That must have pissed Ruby off. Her old approach had hit a brick wall. Sam was done with her. She didn’t even have a chance to bring up revenge on Lilith. Almost everything she had built in the past year had just gotten leveled. She had to start again. Really start again. 

And not only did she have to find a new tactic, but Sam had set an absolute boundary about her possessing people. This must have been a particular aggravation. I’m going to take a quick detour to talk about demon possession and the joy it must bring them. Even in the most boring of moments, they still have their meat suit’s soul to toy with. So when they are being ‘good’ and following orders and acting human to blend in, as Azazel’s gang did, they at least still had a soul to needle and persecute. My heart breaks and breaks again when I think about Brady. The real Brady, not demonBrady. 

The man was a friend of Sam’s. I think about young college Sam sometimes. It must have been scary and daunting to truly enter the world of ‘normal’ all by himself. He was without his brother, without his father, without the confidence that he’d been trained to hunt a normal life. It must have felt empowering and liberating to finally be independent, but also very lonely. So he made friends, and one was a young man named Brady. Not Dean, not even close to Dean, but a good friend none the less. 

Then Brady goes home for Thanksgiving and is jumped by a demon. How often was Brady forced to watch his friend Sam struggle to bring him back from “The drugs. The bitches”? Was Brady compelled to watch Jessica suffer? How often was he screaming at Sam to not listen to the demon wearing his face? Using his voice? Did the demon prod him awake so Brady could bear witness as Sam learned the truth about his introduction to Jessica? Was he begging Sam to kill him, just so it would all stop? If this has crossed my mind, it certainly crossed Sam’s. 

Sorry for the side bar, but thinking about the delight demons must get from those human souls, underscores Ruby’s dedication, and (as much as I hate to put the word to it) her sacrifice. She had to be careful about how much chaos and suffering she caused. If she wasn’t, and Sam heard about it, there’d be no chance of him trusting her. He’d probably try to hunt her down.  Her one avenue of release was the person inside the meat. There at least she could torture to her black heart’s content. Now Sam was even going to take that from her? 

Ruby was stripped of this last channel dedicated to her own pleasure. The only thing left in front of her, was Sam. She had nothing to call her own but the hope that she could lure him to her Master. As sick as it was, Sam Winchester became the sun that Ruby orbited. It’s odd, but this demon had no recourse to selfishness. What the hell? No, seriously, what the hell? That’s weird, right? 
I’m not saying she didn’t take satisfaction in twisting and tempting Sam down his road. But any real reward could only be hoped for at the end. There was no immediate pleasure to be found, except the pleasure of Sam himself. That is simply not common demon behavior. It’s freaky, it’s creepy, it’s something I kind of respect. And that makes me feel dirty! But I’m getting ahead of myself.
 
A Fresh Approach



Ruby went looking for a fresh cadaver to inhabit. But it couldn’t be just any cadaver, it had to fill certain specifications; female, young, attractive, preferably one without any pesky family members. Lastly, it couldn’t be blonde. Ruby was changing her game, and she didn’t want a lot of reminders around of her old methods.
 
So she showed up on Sam’s doorstep, all alone inside the body, proof in hand and a new persona. Not entirely new, she didn’t want it to be blatantly obvious that her manipulation was taking on a new tone. But she threw in a little more empathy, backed off the bossiness and condescension and, perhaps most importantly, made herself seem vulnerable. She had finally realized that Sam didn’t respond well to being herded, (only Dean has ever really gotten away with bossing Sam around) but perhaps she could coax him in the right direction. And what had he been doing most of his life? Saving people, hunting things. So she gave him something to hunt, Lilith, and someone who might need potential saving, herself. “Lilith is one scary bitch.” And recall the look on her face when Sam said he was ready to go? I read it as fear and a little panic. By putting on a dollop of damsel in distress, she wasn’t nearly as threatening.
At the same time, she made herself out to be a valuable and trustworthy ally. She got pissed when things weren’t going his way. She saved his life. She argued with him. She was soft, resistant, bolstering, sympathetic, competent, fought back to back with him, validated his grief, encouraged him…in short she offered herself up as a friend that I would like to have! Ruby no longer indulged herself in what she wanted. There were no more temper tantrums, no more “I know more than you, so do what I say” flounces. Sam was her sun and that must have felt so good to that grief stricken young man.

Then there was the blood. 

I doubt my curiosity will ever be satisfied about that conversation between Sam and Ruby. “Yes Sam, to kill Lilith, you will have to drink demon blood. It’s what feeds your powers.” Knowing Sam, no matter how drunk and grieving, he would have been disgusted and more than a little reluctant. He’d hunted vampires and other blood hungry monsters. It would be revolting! Plus, demon blood is the very thing that had made him feel like a freak! He hadn’t even been able to tell Dean about it.
 
My guess, there was no way he drank it from a vein that first time. Or even the second time or 20th time. So Ruby probably drained some into a cup. It wasn’t enough, not nearly enough, for what he needed. But Ruby still felt she had time. The first seal hadn’t even been broken and it wasn’t like Dean was going to awkwardly appear and interfere.
 
So she let him struggle along without enough juice. The practice, the headaches, his frustration; Sam had to learn in his own way that he would need more. But how could she get him to be physically comfortable enough around her to drink from her veins? To have him want to drink enough? Well sex is a fun and easy solution. So she waited until a particularly vulnerable moment and turned on the seduction.


 
Quick break. Sorry everyone, but as much as I hate Ruby, as much as she annoys me, as much as I can’t stand her, well, that scene with Sam was hawt! It shouldn’t be! I object! Um, dead chick possessed by an evil demon? Gross! It’s revolting! And sordid and nauseating and I think I’m going to go watch that episode again. Ahem. Anyway, if any of you really do feel appropriately (i.e.: repelled) watching that scene, please let me in on the secret. 

From bed play it would be a quick jump to blood play. “Don’t use the glass Sam! It’ll be cold and congealed by the time you get it all down. Here, take it straight from me.” Smart of her in many ways to integrate pleasure into blood drinking.


 
Oh, I’m going to jump ahead for a minute. I’ve wondered why Sam would go into such detail about screwing Ruby to his brother. My theory, Sam was actually, in that moment, going to tell Dean about drinking the blood. He said he wanted to come clean. But he needed to give Dean the context. It would be an incredibly difficult offense to confess. And Dean was being so wonderful, understanding and he was listening, Sam must have seen reason to hope for acceptance. But still, it wouldn’t be easy to say, so off he goes on a tangent of nudity. (Fun for me as a fan girl, not so much for Dean.) So he interrupts and Sam talks about Ruby saving him. And I do think that Sam STILL would have ‘fessed up if Ruby, in the guise of the maid, hadn’t interrupted! Ok, digression done.
Now maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never understood the sexiness of vampires and blood drinking. I’m sorry, but have any of you all tasted blood? Gag me. Suck on a penny, it’s just as delicious. It kind of reminds me of that taste in the back of my throat when I puke. So there would be the baseline gross factor, plus Sam’s ingrained disgust of blood drinking creatures. 

Ruby married the physical pleasure of sex directly to the initially unwanted act of drinking her blood. As his tolerance and desire for the blood grew, sex wouldn’t be as important, but simply a part of the ritual. 

I work with people who have addictions. On a daily basis I am witness to the horrors that addiction can wreak on a human. People do nutty stuff, monstrous things, when the demon of addiction drives them. Did you know it isn’t just the drug itself that effects people? It is the surrounding stimuli, the ritual they perform before and while using. The sound of a soda can popping open can cause an alcoholic to yearn for a beer. After a meal, that cigarette sounds especially good. Music means that it’s time to bring out the bong. Anticipation of the drug of choice is also a trigger. It only takes the thought, the hope, or even the mention of paraphernalia surrounding a drug, and a person who is an addict lights up like a Christmas tree. Anticipation actually causes the body to react as if it’s already on the drug. The physical body is preparing itself for ecstasy. 



Ruby was many things, but not a fool. She was handing Sam a means to exorcize and kill her. Once he really started down the blood road, he would become more powerful than she could hope to control. What if she happened to piss him off one day? What if he began to mistrust her? She needed to leash him to her specifically, not just any demon he ran across. So she made herself more than his dealer, but a part of his dependence. When the cravings began, she wanted him to obsess over her, not just the blood. The sight of her, the smell, the sound of her name, the feel of a knife in his hand; all would become a reminder of his need for her.
It really was a rotten but intelligent move on her part. I’ve often heard people with addictions refer to their drug of choice as “the love of my life.” And the yearning, heartsick desire that transforms their face is tragic to see. They were talking about a glass, or a needle, Ruby offered Sam a warm, attractive woman. That bitch! (Please note, I am NOT calling Ruby the love of Sam’s life, but drawing a picture of the effects of addiction.)
 

Comments  

Luminosity
# Luminosity 2011-12-23 01:04
I love your deconstruction. Ruby was one of my favorite characters in Season 4. I loved to hate her. I did my own little deconstruction in mid-season, and it feels really good to have those feelings confirmed by the show and then echoed here (much more articulately, to be sure).
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-12-26 12:19
Thank you Luminosity. Love your handle by the way. I'm acutually curious to know what your deconstruction was. Was it, by chance, scribed down? Inquiring minds want to know!

Thanks for reading.
Luminosity
# Luminosity 2011-12-26 12:42
Thanks for asking! :) I used to post a lot more than I do now, and my New Year's Resolution is to pick it back up again. Ruby: Femme Fatale?
(I hope this comment utilizes html!LOL)
Luminosity
# Luminosity 2011-12-26 12:43
annnndd... it didn't!
http://sockkpuppett.livejournal.com/545056.html#cutid1

:)
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-12-26 13:55
What are you talking about? I thought what you had to say was incredibly articulate! Femme fatale indeed. Reading this makes me wish I'd been in fandom for Season 4. Fun speculation!

Off to look for a time machine
NoLieFe
# NoLieFe 2011-12-23 05:12
You know what : It's always a great pleasure to be on this site and read so many interesting reviews. Thanks a lot for all the reviewers and their amazing and intense thinking work : watching a character in all its facets is fascinating. Every day, I come here and I have a new article to read ! I am addicted to SPN and "The Winchester Family Business". You have to compile all the articles into a book !
Hope you'll understand my poor english langage...
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-12-26 12:20
Your english is good! And yes, the site it full of so many amazing articles.

Thanks for reading
Eli
# Eli 2011-12-23 09:34
What an interesting and well-argued article! Your analysis of Ruby really rings true.
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-12-26 12:22
Thank you!
Bevie
# Bevie 2011-12-23 11:16
That is a great analysis of Ruby.

You know, this article will make my re-watching of season four much more enjoyable, and since it is my least favourite season (hated the schism between the boys), that is all to the good!

I hated her and actually yelled in delight when Dean jammed the knife into her. My favourite moment of season four!

By the way, I think all actresses did a great job portraying her in all her complications.

Thanks for a great article. :-)
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-12-26 12:25
Glad to help with the enjoyment factor. Though I must admit that 4 is my favorite so far. And I yelled in delight as well! Definately a Huzzah moment.

And we agree, all the actresses did so well. My one regret? That 'maidRuby' didn't get a little more screen time. She was awesome. :-)

Thanks for reading
rmoats8621
# rmoats8621 2011-12-26 02:08
A great conclusion. Thank you so much for this article. It was articulated with such finesse. I loved to hate the character Ruby and all that she stood for, but the actresses that brought her to life need to be commended for a job well done. After all, that's what they needed to do...make me want to hate her!! :D
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-12-26 12:30
You are welcome. And thank you for your kind comments.
And yes, the actresses definately deserve our thanks for bringing so much life to such a hated character. Is there such a thing as a "Thanks for being so good at being so bad" award?

Thanks for reading
Sylvie
# Sylvie 2011-12-26 09:24
Thanks for this great essay. I was one of those who actually liked Ruby. Don't get me wrong, I'm oh so very glad that she's dead, but part of me also wishes she were still around in some capacity. There can be no light without darkness after all. And I do get the analogy to Dean. Maybe it was all a game on her part to get Sam to trust her even more, but she did have Dean like "qualities" or should I say "proximities". It would have been pretty great to see her actually become the Winchester's ally. But I guess demons are what they are, pure evil.
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-12-26 12:37
Hugs to you for walking against the crowd! Can't say I liked her, but I appriciated the role she played, and (apparently) respected her. Sigh.
I like that, Dean like proximities. Nicely put.

It would have been something else if she had decided to ally with the Winchesters. What an interesting journey that would have been to watch, to see someone tempted on the road to being good. The mind boggles.

Thanks for reading
Pragmatic Dreamer
# Pragmatic Dreamer 2011-12-27 16:35
Hi Naismith,

Great part two! Lots of thinkie thoughts to consider.

I'm glad you brought up the issue of sex between Ruby & Sam. I think it was crucial she successfully get him in bed with her. Sex makes you naked - emotionally and physically - and creates a vulnerability and intimacy that almost nothing else does, assuming it's not a one-night stand. And we're lead to believe that Sam & Ruby spent many, many nights together.

We know that Sam is an... ahem... ardent lover (drool, drool.. that scene.. you know the one!) I think it was probably during a frisky afternoon romp that Sam took his first sip, direct from the veins. (Oh dear lord. I am discussing Winchester sex as a storytelling device. We lead bizarre lives!) He could convince himself it was all just foreplay, nothing wrong with it. And as long as he linked it with sex he could convince himself it was just something they did in bed. He was probably pretty comfortable with it. But pretty soon he was hooked, and it didn't matter how he got the blood, he just needed it.

It's interesting that every time Sam is shown drinking from Ruby's veins, there is a sort of sexual ecstasy about it.

I agree with you about Dean & Ruby sharing some of the same proximities. (Great word Sylvie. Using qualities makes it sound like a compliment!) I think it was very intentional and all part of her master manipulation plan. If she really wanted Sam to trust her, she had to remind him of the one person he trusted most, but was no longer available to him, and that was Dean.

In fact, in IKWYDLS, Dean asks Sam why he trusts Ruby so much, and eventually Sam answers "Whatever you have to say, she saved me. More than that, she got through to me. What she said to me... It's what you would've said. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be here."

There's the whole truth of Ruby's success right there. She was a form of Dean-lite (actually, as you more properly say, Dean-dark!) when Sam so desperately needed him.

It is neat to ponder the storytelling possibilities had Ruby turned good, and helped out the boys. But that would be kind of like having a girlfriend (she is female after all) or a Lisa-equivalent and that doesn't seem to go over well.

On the subject of important Demons, I think it would be cool to meet Ruby and Alistair again. I think there is just so much storytelling still to be done with those two. Perhaps some flashbacks, or maybe they're just incapacitated not really dead? (I think Dean is still haunted by Big Al, and I think Ruby lingers in Sam's mind too, for many reasons.)

Oops. I've been lengthy again. See, your article gave me lots of thinkie thoughts too!

Happy holidays! & check out the Holiday Bonanza. They're all delicious!

Best wishes for 2012!

Pragmatic Dreamer :roll:
Naismith
# Naismith 2011-12-29 15:36
:D Yes thinking about Sam and Ruby 'relations' is such a chore, but someone has to do it.

I've sometimes wondered if sex with Ruby, which became a part of his using, has caused sex to be a trigger for Sam. RoboSam obviously had no problem with it, but the real Sam...well. If it did, it's just another reason to think bad things toward Ruby. :sad:

Yes, to wriggle through Sam's armor, Ruby did have to remind Sam of Dean in some ways. Similarity breeds familiarity and all that. Here though, my opinion was to actually acknowledge that Ruby herself held some of those proximities (thanks Sylvie!). I think that Ruby acted Dean-like sometimes to lure Sam, but hid her true Dean-like proximities since those were the ones that kept her so loyal to Hell. Am I making myself clear as mud?

I'm not certain how happy I would be to again see Ruby...though Alistair gave me pleasant creepy, heebee jeebees. Maybe if it helped enlighten some of the mystery around the myth arc, but overall, I really didn't like Ruby. I appreciated the importance of her role, but appreciate even more her death.

Yes, it is fun to ponder Ruby going good. While I know fandom would have exploded (Sam with a girl friend?! Burn Kripke burn! *insert eye roll*) I like to sometimes ignore what fandom (myself included) would feel and just consider the possibilities as if the Winchester world were real. And frankly, I'd like to see them happy. For themselves. Which would make the show much more boring or course. :-? :-)

Thanks for reading
Margena
# Margena 2012-01-02 13:32
I concur. 8)