LINDA TRAN: THE MOST TERRIFYING 5 FEET OF MOTHERLY WRATH TO EVER WALK THE EARTH
I’m all in favor of badass!Linda, but I find that scene interesting, disturbing, and tragic. There’s a fair amount of discussion about how callous Sam and Dean have become over the seasons about the fate of angelic and demonic vessels, and this scene is certainly an example of that. This isn’t killing demon and vessel in self-defense in a combat situation; this is a deliberate keeping of a prisoner to hand over for revenge killing. And in Linda we see on a smaller narrative scale a similar process to what has made Sam and Dean into who they are now. It’s not like Linda is unaware of how possession works. She herself was the victim of possession by Crowley, and Dean’s willingness to kill her in order to kill Crowley was an emphatic narrative point. Yet now she is going to kill a demon who is inhabiting a vessel not much older than Kevin, kill him in cold blood in revenge for her imprisonment and torture. And that’s what Sam and Dean have to offer her, out of their own experience, as a way of dealing with her trauma. It’s not an incomprehensible reaction for any of them, but it’s one of the saddest and grimmest moments on a show that, albeit with some ups and downs, has been willing to confront the fact that the outcome of trauma isn’t necessarily badasses you admire or woobies you want to wrap in a blanket, but people damaged in ways that are scary and not at all pretty.
I’d also note that though of course Linda’s relationship with Kevin is a major part of her character, it’s not accurate to characterize this particular moment as “motherly wrath.” This isn’t something Linda is doing because of Kevin, this is something she’s doing in reaction to her own experience. I respect the show there both for allowing Linda to have her own reactions to her own traumatic experience and for letting her do something that morally ambiguous without the (extremely double-edged in SPN in any case) context of protecting family.