I adored her! She was so strong and nobody — NOBODY — pushed her around. I’m startled that there’s any negativity on my dash when she was presented as pretty much the most badass character in the whole episode.
Uh, I kinda went off on a tangent. Feel free to ignore this, my friend.
I understand people feared the worst. I know I did the moment I saw the promo because Supernatural has a sad (and hopefully changing) history of not treating their women with the dignity they deserve and women of color, specifically, are poorly represented in TV/film. She has a collar on, she’s a dog in her animalistic form, and her partner is a caucasian man. I get it.
But it was repeatedly made clear that she was by no means less than James, by no means oppressed or ‘owned’ by him. When Dean questions her in the lounge, she looks him in the eye and stops him- makes it clear that she is not his pet, that she has equal footing with him and that their bond is one of balance and mutual consent.
Portia had a sex scene and (inform the presses!) we saw her in a position of dominance and power. He was chained to the bed and she was on top of him, driving every move, making every call. The end result was not some cheap jab at softcore porn but an actual sex scene about two people equally taking pleasure from a shared love for one another. How many sex scenes are ruined by an emphasis on the female body, not to esteem it but to make the male audience hound after thighs and breasts and dramatic rolling (always female!) moans? How many sex scenes are clear fanservice and imply nothing about the substance of the relationship or the characters? This was phenomenal.
And the big thing driving me home- and I’m going to shut up now, I swear- is that Portia was portrayed as both a sexual woman and a literal dog and anytime Dean meant to question this, any time the door opened to make a joke at this, characters shut it down. Sam notes and voices that Dean they’re working the case and he hasn’t made a single jab at bestiality. Dean asks questions and Portia immediately turns it around- not saying, ‘what’s wrong with me? What do I need to justify, since this man is implying something is wrong with my situation and choices?’. Instead, she says “you don’t like dogs.” Instead, she realizes that the problem is him and she owns that shit because she knows where she stands.
Excuse me but Portia was incredible and I do not see a single thing wrong with her portrayal, even if we could’ve gone without the dog collar.