In the beginning, not much is known about Ruby, a feisty blonde first seen in "The Magnificent Seven". She trails Sam Winchester, and seemingly focuses on him throughout the episode, coming close to approaching him once but disappearing by the time he turns around. At the end of the episode, when Sam is in danger of being killed by Pride and two other Sins, Ruby appears once again, this time wielding a knife with which she kills the demons, their death throes similar to that of those killed by the Colt. Ruby then appears in the next episode, "The Kids Are Alright", and informs Sam that there is work to be done, referring to the changelings present in the episode. She does not return until the end of the episode, whereupon Sam demands she tell him who she is. She finally relents, revealing herself to be a demon. Sam threatens to shoot her, but then decides to let her live and continue to "help him". Ruby does so in "Sin City", helping Bobby to restore power to the Colt.
In "Malleus Maleficarum", it is revealed that she used to be a witch who sold her soul to a demon before her death during the Plague. Ruby later tells Dean that she can't save his soul. She adds that she still remembers what it's like to be human and says that she isn't the same as the other demons, though she wishes she were. Ruby returns in "Jus in Bello", offering to perform a spell that will destroy the attacking horde of demons, though it will also kill her. However, because the spell requires a human heart, Sam and Dean don't allow her to perform it.
In the season finale, Dean captures Ruby, steals her knife, and leaves with Sam to face Lilith in New Harmony, Indiana. During the brothers' campaign, Ruby somehow escapes and tracks them down, helping them find Lilith. The demon, however, escapes, and the trio run away from the Hell Hound tracking Dean down. During the mayhem, Lilith takes over Ruby's host, sending Ruby back to Hell. However, Lilith's powers have no effect on Sam, and just before Sam can strike her with Ruby's knife, the demon exits Ruby's host, leaving the body limp, presumably dead.
As revealed in "I Know What You Did Last Summer", Ruby eventually convinces Lilith to trust her again, and Ruby is set free from Hell with instructions to kill Sam. She betrays this promise to Lilith, however, and sets about helping Sam again. She tracks him down, but he rejects her since she is possessing a human host. To solve this, Ruby takes possession of a body recently declared to be dead. They sleep together at least once, and she brings him out of his downward spiral towards self-destruction. Consequently, Sam now trusts Ruby implicitly. She then begins training him in using his demonic abilities to exorcise demons.
After the resurrection of Dean, Ruby urges Sam to tell him the truth about what he has been doing before Dean finds out about it on his own. When, in "Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean Winchester", she learns that Dean was resurrected by an angel, she becomes terrified and stops associating with Sam out of fear of being killed. This is apparently short lived, as in the next episodes "In The Beginning" and "Metamorphosis", she and Sam sneak off in the middle of the night to interrogate a demon to learn the location of Lilith.
She later alerts the Winchester brothers to the plight of Anna, a young woman who can hear angels and is wanted alive by the demons for information, and helps them to safeguard her. In "Heaven and Hell", Ruby continues to assist Sam and Dean in protecting Anna, and helps when they discover that she is a fallen angel. Following Sam's plan, she destroys a hex bag and summons Alastair to make him a deal. Ruby is then captured and tortured, but leads Alastair to the Winchesters and Anna. After Anna steals her grace in the fight between the angels and demons, she returns to her true form and disappears. In the explosion of light created by the process, Alastair vanishes.
In "Criss Angel is a Douchebag", Ruby appears and hassles Sam about working a case when over half of the Seals have been broken. Sam later leaves with Ruby for an unknown destination.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
As a demon Ruby can possess human hosts, granting the body of the host demonic abilities, which can only be seen in a possessed person. Similar to other demons, she exhibits enhanced strength and inhuman durability. However, being demonic, she is vulnerable to most weaknesses of demons. Ruby is also a skilled fighter, and does not fight like other demons. As opposed to using traditional demonic abilities such as telekinesis, she tends to rely on conventional martial arts.
As well, during her time as a witch, she gained extraordinary knowledge of magic. She has been shown to know how to nullify the effects of hex bags, as well as how to create them in order to hide her presence from supernatural beings, including angels. In the episode "Jus In Bello", she claims to know a spell capable of wiping out all demons - including herself - within a mile radius.
Ruby possesses a mysterious and presumably magical "demon-killing" knife. It has been seen and utilized many times throughout the third and fourth seasons, mainly as an instrument to kill demons. Upon being stabbed in a vital area, both the demon and human host suffer immediate death. The demon possessing the human is shown to convulse violently, as if shot with the Colt. It then flickers with light before expelling a small cloud of smoke from the human body, leaving whoever it was possessing dead. The demon possessing the body then also disperses, as the knife's effects appear to mirror that of the Colt. However, both its creation and how exactly it can kill demons has not yet been revealed. Unlike the Colt, which is rumored to be able to kill anything, the knife does have limitations. It cannot kill angels, and powerful demons appear to be resistant to its effects.
- Season 3 -
- "The Magnificent Seven", "The Kids Are Alright", "Sin City", "Malleus Maleficarum", "Jus in Bello", "No Rest For the Wicked"
- Season 4 -
- "Lazarus Rising", "Are You There, God? It's Me, Dean Winchester", "In The Beginning", "Metamorphosis", "I Know What You Did Last Summer", "Heaven and Hell", "Criss Angel is a Douchebag", "Sex and Violence" (voice only)
Behind the scenesEdit
Due to the fact that, as creator Eric Kripke put it, "the fans are a protective and occasionally nervous bunch", Ruby was meant to be introduced in "small doses". He wanted fans to know that the show would always be about Sam and Dean Winchester, and nothing else. "[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." Therefore, Ruby was not introduced to be a love interest for Sam and Dean Winchester, but rather to be an antagonistic character.
Actress Katie Cassidy described her character: "She's definitely a demon hunter on their side, but she also likes to stir up a little trouble. Ruby is a demon hunter, definitely kick-ass, bad-ass. A little bit mysterious. Definitely manipulative. Loves to be in control of the situation. She's always a couple steps [ahead] of everybody else. But she's got everything together. She's on top of it. And she knows what she wants, and she's out to get it."
Adjusting for the roleEdit
When Cassidy, who originally auditioned for the role of Bela Talbot, joined the series, she had to train in kickboxing to be able to perform Ruby's martial arts skills. Because of this, she tried to do as many of the fight scenes as she could, rather than relying on her stunt double. As well, because of her height compared to the lead actors - Cassidy being 5'7" and Jared Padalecki being 6'4" - she had to wear tall, spiky high heels, leading at times to her losing her balance. Due to Ruby's manipulative ways, Cassidy looked to Sharon Stone's performance in the film Basic Instict for inspiration.
Due to budgetary reasons, Cassidy was let go after the third season, and a new actress was brought in. When auditioning, however, Genevieve Cortese did not know it was for Ruby, as the character was merely described as "a love interest". To prepare her for the role, she was given DVDs of Katie Cassidy's portrayal of Ruby. Cortese found it at first strange stepping into Cassidy's shoes, stating, "I was conflicted over where Ruby is now versus where she’s come from." Taking from the third season finale in which Dean is sent to Hell, Cortese also plays the character as having some guilt over his death.
Fans were at first very wary of bringing in female characters to the male-dominated show. To make matters worse, when coming up with the scenes for the auditions for Ruby and Bela Talbot, Kripke and executive producer Robert Singer wrote lackluster ones that were not intended to be used in the show. Fans quickly came across them on casting sites, and developed a feeling that the characters "really look like they suck". However, Kripke believed that fans would change their minds about Ruby after learning of her demonic side. By the middle of the third season, Kripke felt that enough fans were "responding positively to vindicate the character". When the character returns in Season Four, she is much different than her third season counterpart. In Cortese's words, Ruby did not walk in saying, "I'm going to kick everyone's ass and be tough," but was rather a "total 180 from [how she was] last season". Cortese feels that while the drastic change made fans angry, the flashbacks provided in "I Know What You Did Last Summer" shed some light on Ruby's new mindset and made fans more accepting of the character.
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