Supernatural: Let’s Get it Together

Well, my fellow Supernatural fans. It looks like we’ve survived another season. Sadly, I can’t say the same for quite a few characters. If you read my last post, I said that I love Supernatural. That’s still true. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want to throttle the show sometimes though. This is one of those times. Before I get started, let me apologize for how ridiculously late this post is. I blame school. Anyways. Moving on.

I wrote in my last post about some of the frustrating steps the show has taken this season. Lack of direction, uneven writing, and poor pacing, just to name a few. There have been so many missed opportunities this season, but none so much as Mary. I was kind of confused when Mary came back at the end of last season, and I wasn’t really sure where the show was planning to go with that. It appears the show wasn’t really sure where they were going with it either. That is both disappointing and frustrating. There was so much dramatic ground to mine with her return. When Mary last saw her children, Dean was a typical, adorable 4 year old little boy and Sam was an infant. Now, she’s faced with two grown men who have been hunters their whole lives and have been living without their mother for the better part of three decades. She doesn’t know who they are and they don’t know who she is either. Instead of the show taking time to build a relationship between Mary and the Boys, they’ve kept them mostly separate the entire season. I could understand Mary needing some time at the beginning to process everything that happened. That’s reasonable. What’s NOT reasonable is for Mary to decide to take off to do…what exactly? The narrative never provided a reasonable explanation for Mary ditching Sam and Dean. Then, when she does come back into their lives, it’s only for a day or so at a time and she’s lying the whole time. Then, when her lies and deceptions all come to light, she has the audacity to catch attitude and snap at Dean that she didn’t come back to mother them. Ummm…what? The only thing Sam and Dean asked of Mary was to get to know her, and she denied them (and us) that opportunity. When the BMoL allegedly brainwashed Mary into being cold and uncaring, I honestly didn’t see how that was any different from the non-brainwashed Mary I’d been forced to endure the whole season. Almost from the moment Mary got back, she began distancing herself from Sam and Dean. When Dean finally got a chance to tell Mary how he really felt about her, I didn’t care. Not for her anyway. I didn’t care that she was hiding out in her own mind. I didn’t care about her fear of rejection. I didn’t care because the show never gave me an opportunity to care. I cared a great deal about what that moment meant for Dean though. I cared because I’ve had a chance to develop a relationship with Dean. I know how early Dean had to sacrifice his childhood so he could take care of Sammy. I know how it destroyed Dean when he realized that he wasn’t able to protect Sam from all the horrors of the world. I know how Dean defines himself by and derives his self-worth from his job. I know all of that because the show spent time cultivating that character. Thus, when he’s faced with emotional moments, it hits home. Well, that, and the fact that Jensen Ackles is one of the most phenomenal actors that we have the privilege of watching. Even when they give him mediocre material, he still finds a way to do great things with it. The show missed an incredible opportunity to develop a relationship between the Boys and Mary, and I don’t think there’s any way for them to fix that. At least not for me. They’ve retconned, re-written, and ignored the show’s canon in regard to Mary this season, that I’m not even sure who she is supposed to be. They tried to save her in the end by having her fight off Lucifer to save the Boys, but it’s too little too late.

Then there was Crowley. The problem isn’t so much that Crowley died. It’s Supernatural. Everyone dies at least once. It was the fact that the show overshadowed Crowley’s rather surprising sacrifice by also killing off Castiel. More on that in a minute. Back to Crowley. Whether you’re a Crowley fan or not, one thing you must admit is that Crowley has had a pretty massive impact on the story since his first appearance in season five. Crowley is the one who gave the Boys the Colt in the hopes it would take Lucifer out. Crowley’s the one who helped Dean get his first face to face meeting with Death. Crowley is the one who suggested siphoning souls from Purgatory which led to God!Cas and the Leviathans. Crowley is the one who helped Dean get the Mark of Cain. And the list goes on and on. Has he always had altruistic motives? Heck no! As a matter of fact, his motivations were usually at odds with the Winchesters, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t actually help on occasion. One thing that’s always been true is that Crowley is always looking out for Crowley. However, if Crowley’s interests also aligned with the Winchesters’ interests, then he was more than happy to help out. If not, well, he might still help because whether he admitted it or not, Crowley was fond of Sam and Dean. As evidenced by the fact that Crowley put himself at risk to try and stop Ramiel from killing them earlier this season. I said all of that to say that Crowley, whether good or bad, has had a major impact on the story and on the Winchesters’ lives. As such, if the show was going to kill him off, he and Mark Sheppard deserved better than the show gave them. They both deserved to have their moment. When Crowley turned to Sam and Dean, smiled that sad smile, and said, “Goodbye, Boys,” I should’ve been able to let that hit me in the feels for a little while. Alas, the show overshadowed that very powerful moment with Castiel’s inexplicable death.

Once again, I’m not mad that Castiel is dead. It’s Supernatural. Everyone dies at least once. I’m upset by the fact that the show did this in a blatant (and quite frankly amateur) attempt to gin up drama. Based upon all the events that had previously occurred in the episode, there was no reason for Castiel to be anywhere near Lucifer or the rift. The show heavily implied that Sam, Dean, and Castiel formulated a plan to trick Lucifer into crossing through the rift and completing Crowley’s spell to trap him there. The plan worked. So someone please explain to me why Cas even went through the rift again to confront Lucifer? It was a stupid, pointless death, and just like Crowley deserves better, so does Cas. Crowley has had a pretty massive impact on the story, but the Winchesters consider Cas family. Due to that fact alone, if the show was going to take him out, then he deserved to have his moment not be such a stupid, unnecessary death.

So that’s where we are right now, Supernatural family. We are at an intersection of unimaginative, uninspired storytelling that does a great disservice to the caliber of talent we have on this show. I mean, they killed Rowena off-screen for crying out loud. She’s made a pretty distinctive mark on the story since she popped up in season ten, and the show couldn’t do any better by her than denying her an on-camera death scene? Seriously? Much like Crowley, Rowena isn’t a part of the Winchester family and she works primarily in her own self-interest, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t come through in a pinch. Not to mention that Ruth Connell is seriously one of the most adorable, delightful people ever. I’m not sure what the powers that be are planning for next season, but I sincerely hope they take some time to pick an actual direction for the story instead of throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks. I still love you, Supernatural. But right now, it’s really not me. It’s you.

  • MH

    I love this so much. You said everything that I wanted to but could not put into words.

    Completely agree with every word.

  • Sharon_123

    I just wonder when Sam,s life is about him and what was done to him and not how sacrificing and bad it all was for Dean ?

    I often find it sad that people say they feel for Dean because the writers have spent time on his emotional landscape and not for the poor bugger who was a victim of several deals he had no say in.

    • Jessica Breaux

      If Sam had had the kind of scene with Mary that Dean had, then I would’ve talked about Sam instead of Dean. Sam’s emotional journey and sacrifices don’t negate or diminish Dean’s emotional journey and sacrifices and vise versa.

      • waitingforAslan

        Also, much of what Dean said to Mary in that scene focused on what her demon deal had done to Sam! We as the viewers know what that meant to Dean, but I noticed that, while he mentioned what his childhood had been like, he spoke specifically of what Sam had suffered.

        I agree with you so much that Mary distanced herself needlessly from her sons. Even before she was brainwashed, she was cold toward them. I get feeling discombobulated and confused, but she seem to not even try.

    • Kaleestraza

      Dean’s entire speech was about how shitty SAM’S life was….. He didn’t even mention his own during-series problems just so he could focus on Sam’s.

    • roxi

      And I wonder when Dean’s suffering will be about HIM and not all about Sam. Dean’s whole speech to Mary was all about what Sam went through.
      Well, Dean has gone through a lot of suffering himself, but who cares right?
      Is there a reason you had to post this? Why is it for some of you, it always has to be Sam vs Dean.

      • Sharon_123

        But his suffering is about him he is the character that gets those moments , and others do care .
        Tell me when the last time someone sat down with Sam and actually cared about his emotional well being .

        That scene was not about Sam but how it affected Dean , how he could not prevent what happened his anger and resentment towards his mother for putting him that position.
        I am glad he got that scene and that cathartic moment but it was about him.

        I am asking a genuine valid question because regardless of what Sam has experienced , what decisions people have made , what was done to him , or his own mistakes in the end we see it through Dean,s eyes how it impacts Dean.

        We can most certainly disagree but I will not change the question or the reasons behind it.

  • chriscross

    Could not have said it better myself. Especially … “We are at an intersection of unimaginative, uninspired storytelling that does a great disservice to the caliber of talent we have on this show.”
    It’s only about shock & awe nowadays, never mind if nothing makes sense. The writers don’t seem to have any insight into anything that has gone before on Supernatural or even the characters they’re writing for.
    What is this I’m watching… and what have they done with the REAL Supernatural?

    • Diane Sahd

      Season very disappointing. Love SPN; but, no great follow trough on stories. Kind of a “what the heck, just do it” attitude.

  • Jennifer Byars White

    I agree completely! This season had some really good potential. It breaks my heart to say it (because I’m so addicted that I fear the day the show goes off the air), but it really fell short. Rowena deserved a better send off. I am devastated that Crowley won’t be coming back. I love that cheeky little devil! And whoop-dee-doo Cas dies again. I didn’t hate this season by any means. It had some great moments! But it really was lacking that magic. And for the record, I am so confused by Mary’s role in this whole thing. Amara said she was going to give Dean what he needs. I would think that Dean needs his mom; not another hunter.

  • Evelyn W

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I do love your comments and critique about the latest season of Supernatural. I have often wondered where the show that I fell in love with back in Seasons 1-5 disappeared to. It is still vaguely here, but hiding in the shadows. I still watch the characters I know and love, i.e., Dean & Sam Winchester, but as you said the “unimaginative and uninspired storytelling” has relegated these characters more towards supporting characters and insipid plots. I had a lot of hope for what could happen with Mary returning, but I also feel they totally ruined the potential for inspired stories with her being back with her boys. There are a lot of new fans watching Supernatural and a good portion of them don’t care as much for a direction of an arc or storyline, it seems they may be more interested in the shock and awe of it all. They are all still saying how great and wonderful the show it. I couldn’t disagree more. I’m not sure if their adoration has to do with the young age of the new viewers or the fact that they didn’t watch those most important first 5 seasons live and suffer through the interminable waits for the next episode or the next season with Sam’s death, Dean’s death, Sam’s death, etc. I’m frustrated that so many of the viewers just don’t care about storylines and plots anymore. Many of the fans that I used to converse with left seasons ago because they didn’t care about the direction the show was going and just got fed up. I’ve contemplated leaving a couple times by now, but I’m in it for the long haul, but still, Show is testing my patience for how much longer I can endure watching a substandard Supernatural, waiting to see if the “real” Supernatural will ever make a return. Thank you again for this “spot on” analysis for a show I used to adore, which has become more a show I like.

  • lah

    For me, Crowley’s death has the most impact. His character is more multi-faceted then Castiel or Rowena. I’m not a fan of the Castiel character so his death doesn’t bother me. The Castiel that died is probably the one from the other world. As for Rowena I read that when the actress was told she was being written off that she wouldn’t come back to film her death. Yes, I was disappointed about Mary’s lack of a relationship with her sons, but think about it, how do you go about developing a relationship with two grown men? We all know John Winchester is dead – where is his soul. Wasn’t the last time we saw him when the gate of Hell was opened and he helped the boys with the yellow-eye demon? Where did his soul go? Why wasn’t he with Mary in heaven? Why didn’t Mary ever wonder what happened to her father, whom Crowley had brought back? How come Bobby and Mary never heard or ran into Henry Winchester in heaven or heard of him as a hunter? Didn’t John ever talk about his father? I’m glad that all the supernatural friends are gone. It was becoming too easy for the Winchesters to get one of their friends to help them. I liked it better when it was Bobby and the boys solving the problems and not always using spells, magic, demon, and angel assistance. The boys are fast becoming warlocks themselves.

  • Jaxta

    I couldn’t agree more!! I was so excited to see what would happen with Mary back, and they totally shat the bed with the whole storyline. Even from the very first episode of the season with Sam getting mentally raped, and Dean chasing his tail. There was so much potential, and so many directions they could have gone. But most of the good things that happened this season were all ruined in one way or another (Magda, etc).
    The thing that’s really getting to me with Supernatural lately though is that it’s all lit up like a soap opera. The scenes drag for too long, there are no exterior shots to set the mood, the character nuances they used to have (busty asian beauties, Sam eating salad, etc) are all gone. The writing staff really has a lot to answer for and it brings me no comfort knowing that it will be the same team writing for season 13.