What did we really no about Bela Talbot?

SupernaturalBelaTalbot.jpg
Was Bela really disliked that much?

I never originally tuned into the show around season 3 so what info I’ve picked up was after those events aired. But what I had picked up on was Bela and Ruby were supposed to be love interests for the boys? Bela Talbot is a fictional character on The CW’s network drama/horror television series Supernatural, portrayed by Lauren Cohen. Appearing only in the third season, she is depicted as a character who uses knowledge of the supernatural world to her advantage rather than to help people like the series’ main protagonists, Sam and Dean Winchester, do. Self-centered and a thorn in the side of the Winchesters, Bela makes her living by stealing occult objects and selling them to wealthy clients. While critical reaction to the character was mixed, fans responded very negatively to the character, leading to her departure at the end of the season.

Was Bela well ahead of her game?
Was she one smart cookie ……

Plot 

In her first appearance, “Bad Day at Black Rock”, Bela Talbot hires two crooks to steal a cursed rabbit’s from a storage container owned by deceased hunter John Winchester. Anyone who touches the foot is granted good luck, but will die within a week if the foot is lost. She intends to sell it and shows no concern for the fate of the thieves. John’s sons, series protagonists Sam and Dean, retrieve the foot but are cursed by it. Bela interferes when they attempt to destroy it, and shoots Sam in the shoulder. Dean, however, tricks her into touching it. She gives the foot up for destruction, but manages to steal $46,000 in winning lottery tickets from Dean that he had purchased using the foot’s granted luck.

Had Bela met her match with Dean Winchester?

She next appears in “Red Sky at Morning”, an episode in which the Winchesters track down a ghost ship responsible for local deaths. Bela fools them into helping her again, with the three of them working together to steal a hand of glory, a precious and magical artifact. The Winchesters plan to destroy it in order to end the curse, but Bela steals it from them to sell to a client. However, Bela then witnesses the ghost ship, which only appears to those who have spilled the blood of a family member. Condemned to death, she turns to the Winchesters for help. Dean is prepared to leave her behind to die, but Sam comes up with a plan to save Bela’s life. This time, Bela gives them $10,000 as a “thank you” before she leaves, because she does not like being indebted to others.

Bela see’s her worst nightmare …..

In “Fresh Blood”, hunter and recently-escaped felon Gordon Walker tracks Bela down and threatens to kill her unless she reveals the location of the Winchesters. Reluctant at first, Bela agrees to do so in exchange for his priceless mojo bag. She then “forgets” to warn the Winchesters that Gordon is coming to kill Sam. Once the brothers later confront her, she uses a Ouija Board to obtain information on Gordon and his location.

In “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, Bela returns when the Winchesters contact her for help in saving fellow hunter and family friend Bobby Singer, after he falls into a mystical coma. They need dream root to enter Bobby’s dreams and find out what is keeping him asleep. She claims nothing from them in compensation, explains she is helping them in order to repay a debt to Bobby. However, the Winchesters discover after Bobby awakens that she was lying, having helped them to gain access to The Colt, a mystical gun capable of killing any being.Enraged at the theft, Dean and Sam attempt to track her down in “Jus in Bello”, but instead are led into a trap she has set up; police arrest the Winchesters and throw them in jail. Though the demonic overlord Lilith sends her forces, Sam and Dean eventually make their escape.

Abbie as a little girl …

In “Time Is On My Side”, Dean tracks down Bela and discovers she has sold the Colt. He later gets her criminal record from England and learns her true name is Abbie. Almost ten years prior, when she was 14, she had her parents killed in exchange for her soul as part of a ten-year deal made with a Crossroads. The reason is implied to be abuse by her father. Now desperate because her time is running out, Bela tracks the Winchesters down and tries to kill them, but they anticipated her and escaped ahead of time. They then call her a few minutes before her deal is up. She confesses to them she tried to get out of the deal with the Crossroads Demon by trading the Colt. Once she gave it up, however, the deal changed so she had to kill Sam as well. She pleads for them to help her, and though Dean refuses, she reveals to him the demon Lilith holds all the contracts brokered by Crossroads Demons, including his own. She tells him this, as he has a chance of killing Lilith and escaping his deal. At the stroke of midnight, Dean hangs up after saying, “I’ll see you in Hell.” Her death is inevitable, but not shown.

Characterization

According to series creator Eric Kripke, the writers conceptualized Bela Talbot as “someone the Winchesters have really never come across before”. Though she moves throughout the supernatural world, Bela has no interest in the “altruistic or obsessed or revenge-minded motives of hunting”. Described by actress Lauren Cohen as a “a female Humphrey Bogart” Bela is also “a mercenary, very much out for herself”, who “sees everything as an opportunity”. Cohan also feels Bela is “a little bit manipulative” and “always wants to be in control”. The character “thinks she’s justified” in stealing artifacts for profit rather than for helping people like the Winchesters do, and finds the brothers “really naive and kind of endearing”. On this aspect of Bela, writer and producer Sera Gamble commented, “I always suspect when someone is that blase that there’s something underneath, and we’re finally getting into that”. Likewise, after talking with the writers about later episodes, Cohan came to the realization Bela is a “really damaged character” who, due to terrible experiences in her life, has been shaped into a character that is “a lot less heartful” than she was expecting. Cohan noted, “She keeps those walls up and very rarely lets them down. She does, but then she quickly builds them back up because she doesn’t like to ask anyone for help.”

Development

Originally intended as a recurring character, Bela was upgraded to a series regular after the CW requested a second female character for the season. Cohan auditioned for the demon Ruby, the other new female role, but ultimately received the part of Bela. Upon learning of Cohan’s British accent, a “really psyched” Kripke reworked the character to be British. The actress herself later pictured Bela that way, feeling she “has some kind of cool shading and sneakiness, which fits the British accent”. At the time Cohan’s casting, however, she had been given little exposure to the character script-wise, and was unaware she would play a “nasty person”. It was not until The CW up-fronts that Kripke gave her a “good spiel” about Bela because she would be interviewed. The actress later turned down an offer from him to provide more of the character’s back story, and instead opted to learn it as the episodes were filmed. In order to prepare for her role, Cohan received weapons training to be “well equipped with swords and a lot of instruments—sharp instruments”.                                           

Kripke meant for Bela to be introduced in “small doses”

Due to “protective and occasionally nervous” fans, Kripke meant for Bela to be introduced in “small doses”. He wanted fans to know the show would always be just about Sam and Dean Winchester, and stated, “[Ruby and Bela are] there for important plot elements, but it’s not the Ruby and Bela show, nor is it about the four of them cruising around in the Impala together. It’s about the guys.” However, he feels the writers pushed it too far in the episode “Red Sky at Morning”, stating his opinion it “was by far the least successful episode this year because it really kind of became the Bela show”. Unfortunately, the writers also did not take the time to consider how to tie her into the Winchesters’ story lines. As Kripke pointed out, “It’s a road show and we’re in a different town every week, so if you’re going to run into the same character over and over again, you better have a damn good reason…” They were eventually “crushed under the weight of the absurdity of it” because it became more difficult to justify her reappearances within the narrative. Another key problem stemmed from their conceptualization of her as an antagonistic character rather than a potential love interest for the brothers. The writers, “so taken with a woman who could screw the boys over at every turn”, ended up making Bela too antagonistic without establishing a balance. Any chance for a “funny effervescent episode where they all work together” was lost after the character attempts to have the Winchesters killed on multiple occasions.

Reception

Critical response to the character has been mixed. Buddy TV staff columnist Don Williams deemed the addition of Bela a “cheap ploy” to attract teen male viewers, believing the character distracts viewers from the “brotherly bond that made the show so special in the first place”. As well, he felt her “sexy cat burglar act, coupled with her flirtation with one of our heroes, is cliched and has been seen a thousand times before”, and he likened her to a combination of Cat-woman and “the equally annoying Electro- Gwen from Angel“. However, he later admitted Bela was “a great comic foil”. Moreover, Diana Steenbergen of IGN became “increasingly frustrated” with the “unlikable and manipulative” Bela throughout her appearances. She found the character’s tragic back story to be “too little, too late”, but was surprised the writers were able to make her feel “even a tiny bit sorry for [Bela]” during her death scene. Steenbergen wishes the character had been written differently—”not either annoying or downright contemptible”—and deemed her “a wasted opportunity to give us an interesting female foil for the boys”. Although TV Guides Tina Charles “really liked” the character, she noted her annoyance that Bela continuously steals from the Winchesters, making them “look ridiculous”. Overall, she felt Cohan “did one hell of a job”. Likewise, Karla Peterson of The San Diego Union-Tribune believed Bela “got gone just as [she was] getting interesting”, and deemed her a “decent traveling companion”.

she noted her annoyance that Bela continuously steals from the Winchesters,
making them “look ridiculous”.

Fans were at first very wary of bringing in female characters to the male-dominated show; they feared Bela was brought on to be “arm candy or [a sidekick]”. To make matters worse, when coming up with the scenes for the auditions for Bela, executive producer Robert Singer spent an hour writing a lackluster script not intended to be used in the show. Mere hours after the script was given to the casting director, the show’s fans had found them on casting websites and were “obsessively going over these scenes”. According to Kripke, the fan reaction was the characters “really look like they suck”. Bela’s overly-antagonistic actions throughout the season did not calm the viewers’ fears. “[Bela screwed] over the boys so badly,” Kripke explained, “that she became unlikable to the fans because she was irredeemable”. Kripke has confessed part of the decision to kill the character off was due to the negative reaction from the fans.

She knew how to handle Dean Winchester
And give him a run for his money, literally ….

Inspiration has been running out of juice lately, so apologizes for this. I have sat down and started my summer bout of re-watch, and thought delve into season three. Now that was a season that was always down at the bottom of my favorites list, I don’t no about others. But since pulling up certain episodes that season wasn’t too bad on the whole. There were some crappy moments like the ghost ship.  Which nicely brings me on to Bela Talbot. Finding extracts from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bela_Talbot a lot does nicely tie Bela into an untidy little bow. So what do we make of this sassy female who always tried to win one over on the boys, and get her own back. Had Dean simply had enough of her excuses, and the pot had run dry. Could Dean may be have been a tad more sensitive or, did he do the right thing sending her to her death and being eaten alive by hell-hounds. Not a nice end considering what she had to put up with as a child. I had always felt sorry for my name sake, as I cannot imagine how terrible that must have been for any child to go through. Also to make a deal of that magnitude, at such a young age. When Dean made his, at least he was a grown man and away of the pitfalls demons bring. Could Bela have handled it differently. Would it have made her a better person if she had? 

But did the boys get one over on her in the end?

How do you as a fan of the show really feel about Miss Talbot, and her ways. Did she get her just deserts and deserve the ending Kripke and Co gave her? Had she out lived her usefulness to early, or was it the right time for her to go? Would she have also been a suitable partner for Dean, as we no now how love interests go down, and what becomes of them.  Bella as ever would dearly love to know what you think of this little lady, if she ever was one. What you think she bought to the show, and were the writers right, in killing her off? Is it a myth or fact that many don’t care for Miss Talbot? Is Bela still in hell or could we assume she might have gone to Heaven after all? Share your thoughts little ones on the eve of Comic Con, I cannot wait for news tomorrow. Night nite, I’m off to the land of Nod!! 🙂 

 

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6 thoughts on “What did we really no about Bela Talbot?

  1. I liked Bela for the episodes she was in. I would have liked to see the angry sex with Dean LOL and I will always be thankful to her for having Dean wear a tuxedo! I think she was the way she was because she knew she was damned as she made a deal with a demon (Crowley??) to kill her parents (both of them? Im not sure) I don’t think she was around enough for the fans to have not liked her! IMHO
    Yes the deal was for both parent, not sure why she wanted her mother dead, perhaps she knew her father was doing the deed. Angry sex with Dean ummmh, what about Sam dreaming of Bela, he was a real numpty in that scene …. I really did feel sorry for Bela in the end, how scared she was and how afraid she was because she knew what was coming, her fate. 😦 She only made the deal because she could hack what her father was doing to her, poor girl 😦 She has a very sad story to tell I am sure. I liked her loads, hence my ID name and found her an amazing gutsy lady. Shooting Dean moment was also a classic, seeing Dean get out of his comfort zone was fun to watch, and loved the scene with the Siamese cat. I do miss Bela Talbot. 😦

    Thanks for the comments, always
    Love Aunty B xxxxxxxx

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  2. Could that have been Bela in the cage in Hell that shouts out to Sam”I knew you would come.” She was a plot device and I saw her as a way to differentiate why she traded her soul and why Dean traded his. Both had to do with family issues, but her solution was to counter the alluded to molestation by her father. My one criticism was that her motivation was the abuse eluded to as the reason for the deal. Usually SPN is more socially responsible. This topic should have been dealt with more sensitivity,There were human ways to go for her, but she is so twisted by life and also a coward.She was in the trade for her own dark purposes. Brings up the nature/nurture controversy. Dean traded in for Sam’s life. I did like her as a plot device when she and Dean had to dress up formally as it gave us an opportunity to see Dean in a tuxedo. HOT, HOT HOT. It was also a funny episode when Sam had to escort the senior lady to the dance. Dean to Sam”You smell like sex.” She did get the better of the brothers and showed the darker for profit nature of a dealer in opposition to these altruistic boys. It did seem contrived that she showed up from time to time until it lead up to the disposal of the colt. Dean was shredded heroically, trying to save the world. She could never trust the boys to help her, too scarred from child hood trauma? They were able to help others who made the soul trade.. I enjoyed her getting what she deserved and could not see her character going anywhere in the series. She did offer some lighter moments, but i loved baddass Dean when he tells her not to move, she does, he shoots. Priceless. She was never a love interest. Purely business.Dean won’t allow her to objectify him, but I sure did. So…was that Bela in the cage in Hell? Sam walks coldly away with I’m not him and focused on finding Bobby.
    I think Bela bought some great TV moments are way, and as an actress she was perfect for the part. I do see this parallel also with Bela and Dean, about trading their souls. Both very different reasons of course. But interesting motives too. It should have been handled a lot more sensitively granted. I also think we could have been dealt more story. Supernatural lets themselves down with this as they seem to make the same judgement. I thought she was a fascinating character to watch and get to know. I thought she had spunk, get up and go. And gave Dean in particular a run for his money. She knew how to get one over on him, and work him to suit her situation. She used him for what she could get out of it. In a way she is similar to Crowley, having her own agenda 😉 Was the actress who danced with Sam, very well known, as her face seemed very familiar? of course much later on in life now. I did like how she was bought in and used around the objects. So I guess her story had run its course. I would like to think it was her in hell, I wonder if Sam wondered this also?

    FYI I got a personal tweet from Mr. Beaver today. He will not be at Comic-Con next weekend as he was not invited. Obviously, SPN is focusing on the future not the past. He is going to be doing a commercial in New Mexico next week and has been signed for a major film which starts shooting in January. Idjits.
    Cool, I wish Jim the best of luck. He is a good actor, and a well known figure even before SPN. He along with Mark Sheppard and Pelligrino seem to get work, good for them. They are obviously so good and well known in their respective fields. I bet he is a very friendly guy. So I wonder what he will be doing between now and January, spending time with Maddie 🙂 I thought comic con was this weekend? Whoops got that wrong 😉 I did get a tweet back from one of the crew, forget who now. Not tweeted in six months, and was surprised to get a return tweet and forgot how exciting it is …. So I think I will get back into tweeting again. I un-followed a lot of people as I found my time line way too long.

    Thanks for the comments, always
    Love Aunty B xxxxxxxx

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  3. Oh, Bela Talbot! I liked a lot about her. I liked that she was smart and sophisticated and out for herself. It did bother me that she constantly one upped Sam and Dean. That made them look incompetent and that didn’t sit well. For me, the biggest hurdle for the character to overcome was her introduction. She tried to kill Sam. It was indirectly, but she was fully aware that by taking the rabbit’s foot she was condemning Sam to death. In season three Sam and Dean were in a good place and I could never believe that Dean would EVER talk to anyone who tried to kill Sam, let alone work with them or trust them. And in Red Sky at Morning she had Baby towed. Both actions are on the top of Dean’s unforgivable list, and I just couldn’t believe he would ever associate with her again. It was a shame because I like the actress and except for totally not believing that they could work together, I liked the character. If she hadn’t targeted Sam in Bad Day At Black Rock, I could have bought her as an antagonist. It would have helped if we had seen her back story earlier. She was in the same boat as Dean, facing Hell and I could have seen them bonding over that. It would also have helped if we were told early on that part of Bela’s deal WAS being able to put things over on everyone and gain their trust even after she had fooled them. That would have let her triumph and get away for reasons that didn’t make Sam and Dean look less than intelligent. It was unfortunate that the network forced Kripke to add a female character that he hadn’t envisioned as a long term character. Bela could have worked, but the circumstances of her introduction and then the need to keep her around by having her best Sam and Dean at every turn made her a difficult character. I wish there had been more thought given to her that would have made her viable.
    I think her shooting Sam was seeing how far she would herself go. I think when she shot him, she even surprised herself. As if you look at her face, she’s a little taken a back. I think she was just scaring the boys, and trying again to have the upper hand, and she loved this. I loved her for trying to get one over on them full stop. There are not many whom have been before or since with the exception of Gordon Walker that have had her brass nerve. I think still she is one of this shows little gems. She really took the boys for a ride. That scratch card moment will always go down in history as a classic. I could see why she did what she did, and I had hoped we might see her again in the future. But doubt this very much. I can also see why Dean basically let her have it. She became a annoying and her time had to end, and show the audience she got her comeuppance. I guess we shall put Bela Talbot down to the writers. As she was a superb character and once again that word she wasn’t fleshed out enough. I did feel for her so badly, did she really deserve that ending after what her father clearly put her through. I do miss old Bela.

    I do not think that she deserved her fate. She was a child when she made her deal and i have always had an issue with that. Bela should have been an interesting and complex character. I suspect the fact that she was forced on Kripke meant he didn’t give the kind of thought to her character that was needed to make her acceptable. He also lost any chance to course correct when the writers strike shortened the season. It was a sad case where timing and circumstances worked against having her character work.
    I certainly don’t think she warranted that demise at all. But gave Dean the chance also to have the upper hand and send her packing. I bet the writers strike put pay to so much that we never really saw. This was before my time so I had no clue what really went on behind the scenes. But I think she did work. And in parts she was superbly written. I wonder what Bela would have been like possessed by a demon…. 😉

    Thanks for the comments, always
    Love Aunty B xxxxxxxx

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    1. Sam the would be lawyer could have argued she was not of legal contract age when she made the deal and that would have broken it. One of the demons reminds us that Dean was a consenting adult when he made his deal, so contract law would have applied. She just could not trust either Sam or Dean. She shoots Sam, not to kill him, her aim is good and gets the better of Dean, but not always. The writers strike gave Bela nowhere to go but Hell.

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    2. I agree. I did like her up to a point. I liked that actress. She’s very lovely and I loved her accent and the whole cat burglar thing but they couldn’t seem to do anything with her character that didn’t make the boys look stupid. Even though BDABR is one of the funniest episodes ever, I still find that shooting Sam, informing Gordon on their whereabouts and stealing the Colt was just too much for me. In the end, the introduction of her backstory made me sympathize but it was still too little too late.

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      1. This is the exact same thing they did with Naomi. They introduced this great potential villain and then dropped her on a sympathetic note. Which is why I hope they bring Naomi back to correct that before we start to see it a a recognizable pattern. Well it is a pattern that female characters rarely have back stories at all. Even Garth has a kind of story. We knew almost nothing about Jo and Ellen and Lisa. We never knew Jess at all. Its been 8 years and the shows track record on female characters consists of Meg whom they have just killed off.
        This is what so annoys me about female characters and its really starting to pee people off now. People are talking and noticing. Garth still annoys me, but I am slowly coming around to him too. Naomi’s death really took the pee as she could have been a superb female lead with much power at her disposal and I think what could have been with her character. She was not to be trusted, but the stories that could have been told…. 😦

        This is why I like Charlie. She’s a positive LGBTQ woman who while annoying to some people, she still is a good, well written, fleshed out female and people are always saying the show needs more of that. Maybe the writers can address that in 9.
        I agree Ikeke she is well fleshed out and Robbie Thompson is getting to understand her character really well now. I don’t dislike Charlie for one minute. I am getting used to her but is taking a while. I think Becky Rosen is the one that still infuriates me beyond words, now I really dislike her with a passion.

        Thanks for the comments, always
        Love Aunty B xxxxxxxx

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