Spoiler alert: If you haven’t watched the May 13 episode of Supernatural, you probably want to stop reading now. Actually, you definitely want to stop reading now!
When we found out Tessa the Reaper was returning for an episode of Supernatural, there was no way we ever thought it meant that Death’s righthand woman would meet, well, death. But that’s precisely what happened when poor Tessa decided to take her own life. More specifically, she decided to kill herself by impaling herself on Dean’s First Blade.
So what was going on in that moment? According to Tessa herself, Lindsey McKeon, it was a matter of Tessa choosing a better life for herself. “Since heaven is closed up, she unfortunately can no longer do her job and take souls where they need to go, so the souls are lost and stuck are in this in-between world where they’re completely tortured, and Tessa has to hear them all the time,” McKeon said. “And obviously that would make anybody crazy, so she’s sort of in a position where her hands are tied and she is constantly listening to this pain of all of these humans and can do nothing about it.”
Put simply: “Nothing seems worse to her than what she’s dealing with right now. She sees the opportunity — [she] wanted to take her own life in the auditorium — [and] now here’s the First Blade and this is the chance to do it.”
But as all die-hard Supernatural fans know, there’s a big significance behind the fact that Dean was the one holding the murder weapon. And that wasn’t lost on McKeon, who loved Tessa and Dean’s relationship. “Who better for her to do that with and get rid of that pain and angst than one of her favorite humans who she’s always had a connection with and who at the same time, I think, really understands her? Even though he doesn’t understand a lot of the times why she’s doing what she does because they’re working for different teams, he totally understands the actions she’s taking because he takes similar ones.”
However, Dean’s whole deal with the Mark of Cain is not something that Tessa approved of, and viewers saw how that impacted his reaction to Tessa’s death. “What this Blade is doing to him is giving him this sort of infatuated sense of self, sense of power, sense of ego, and he’s really become addicted to and enjoying the killing aspect,” McKeon said. “In a moment he’s sad Tessa’s gone and he feels for that, but in the next moment, there’s some force that is beyond him that’s overtaking him. And this is what Tessa realizes when she sees him with it which is why she basically [says] ‘Dean this is trouble. How are you getting into this and why are you doing this?’ So I’m sure you’ll see more of that play out in the season finale, and obviously the other angels come in and don’t believe necessarily that he didn’t kill Tessa.”
Regardless, Tessa’s gone, stuck in some unforeseen in-between world full of nothingness. And yet, somehow that seems like an upgrade from where she was. “The only thing she feels she has left at this time is to take her own life…I don’t know how long she’ll be there. I don’t know whether she’ll be punished for it, but right now, to her it seems like the better option.”
And as an actress, McKeon felt like this death was her best option. She got the script a week before flying to Vancouver to shoot and immediately knew she was in for something good. “I just had a feeling. Where I am in my own life and when they called, I had this sort of inkling that it would be really cool and I would really like why I was coming back,” she said. “And as I got the script and I was reading it I was thinking, ‘Oh my god this is so awesome!’ [Laughs] Because she comes in and it’s for a small period of time and yes, she dies, but what she’s doing and where she is in her beingness at the moment is such a cool place for me as an actress to get into, the reasoning of why a character would do what she’s doing.”
But just because she’s gone doesn’t mean she can’t come back. This is Supernatural, after all. And the good news is that McKeon would happily reprise the role. “I would absolutely love it,” she said. “She is one of my favorite characters. These are the characters I enjoy playing, not just characters that are in the human world and have a human plight, but characters that live in these other realms and have some wisdom beyond what we have here as humans. That’s my favorite. So I would absolutely love to come back and play with the boys again and play with Tessa. She could be stuck in a world of nothing, someone could perhaps come to the other side to get her, or we could find her in so many places that it would be interesting to see the underbelly of that.”
So our favorite Reaper might’ve met her death, but considering she and Death are old friends, we wouldn’t count her out just yet.