Supernatural Chat: Season 8 – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

With the return of Supernatural last week (finally), I heard a few different variations on how people liked the first episode after a (very) long break. Ranging from: “Oh my lord, everything is wonderful and rainbows and puppies!” to “Yeah, I guess it was okay…” and, my personal favorite, “Eh, it was a filler episode.”

So needless to say, the opinion of the fans I’m talking to think this season (not just the episode return) is just sort of… okay. While it’s obviously wonderful that Supernatural continues to go strong, do we (as a fandom) think the story telling is lacking?

Here are a few things about season eight that I am having issues with. Feel free to chime in using the comment section below – I want to hear from you!

The Good:

Season 8 has had some fine points. I’ve enjoyed Benny, which is saying a lot since characters that aren’t Sam, Dean, Cas, Bobby, etc. tend to annoy the crap out of me (I could write a dissertation about Amelia, but I’ll digress) but I’m really loving Benny. His relationship with Dean lends some amazing tension between the brothers, and, let’s be honest, a New Orleans vampire is right up my alley. I’m not even trying to be unbiased with that one. Benny is amazing because he’s a southern vampire, okay?

I’m also liking the tension between Sam and Dean. Not that I like the boys to fight or, heave forbid, even disagree on anything, but in season 8, the relationship roadblocks that the writers are hitting seem to be working for me. Instead of feeling like the problems that the brothers are experiencing are unwarranted, and only being used because there needs to be some sort of drama, these relationship issues are warranted.

Anger from Dean because Sam didn’t even bother trying to find him or purgatory (even though, like Dean said, it’s an unspoken rule between the two brothers that they always look for each other), and also because Sam decided to play house with a girl instead of searching. Yeah, I’d probably be pissed, too.

But then there’s the flip side of the coin. Sam never wanted the hunting life… it doesn’t matter that he was born into it and it’s part of his blood. He tried to get out several times since he was kid, and even went to school across the country to get away. I understand that he came to an agreement with himself that he would embrace the life and work to avenge Jess, but enough is enough, right? I completely understand Sam being upset that Dean refuses to understand his reasons for not looking for him (even though they’re all bogus).

The Bad:

Several things have really bugged me about season 8. I don’t mind that Sam has a girlfriend, before you all flame me for being a hater. I loved Sara, and wish she and Sam had lived happily ever after and hunted as one big happy family. But Amelia? She horrible. She has no depth, doesn’t even seem to care about herself let alone anyone else, and do any of you think she is incredibly condescending and mean? Because I do. Oh, AND – she’s pushy as hell, and still hung up on her dead husband.

While a lot of this wouldn’t normally bother me (I mean, Sam isn’t exactly the poster child for letting things go), but everything combined, and with the way that female characters deserve a much better chance on Supernatural, Amelia needs to exit and quickly.

The Ugly:

Okay, not really. Ugly is a strong word, and I just needed it to finish my title (sue me). Anyway, some of the “ugly” sides of Supernatural season 8 – Cas’ problem with Heaven pretty much sucks, am I right? For some reason I’ve become extremely protective of Castiel and just want him to be left alone. I’m also sick of the “bad angel vs. good angel” stories that seem to follow the show since the fourth season.

Kevin’s story line also needs to either pick up or shove off. I’m not liking the cat and mouse game between Kevin, Crowley, and all of the other prophets that are being dragged into the mix. Either there’s one prophet that can read the tablets or not… enough with Crowley “almost” getting there.

Considering that there are about three things that I’m really not liking in season 8, which is extremely low considering my issues with past seasons, Supernatural is once again working for me and I can’t wait to see what else is in store!

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  • For me, I’m loving this season. There hasn’t been any “WTF” moments unlike the last two years. I hope this continues.

  • The Kevin story-line is going a little too slow for me. Would like to see some more Garth in there somewhere, he tickles me with his hugging. Benny needs to stay on the show. I really enjoy him, being that I am a Southern girl and all. He’s just lovable. The story now with the brothers isn’t bothering me at all. I’ve seen where some people are having a problem with all the flashbacks that take place. That doesn’t bother me, either. Castiel is bugging me though. I’m not too fond of that story. Can’t pinpoint exactly, but I want to fix him and give him a big hug. I think we’ve all gotten protective of him. The women, on the other hand, just don’t work for me at all. None of them seem to fit in. Then again, maybe that’s the point. They don’t and they’re not supposed to fit. All in all, I am enjoying the season. Wednesdays just don’t get here quick enough anymore.

  • Huh. I actually would like to see more Kevin. I really like the character and it’d be great if we got to see more of him. I kind of want him to become a hunter. I hope they don’t just waste him at the end of the season, but then again I should probably remember which show I’m watching. The amount of amazing characters that they’ve pointlessly killed off over the years is staggering.

    I agree with you about Cas. I’m tired of him being dangled over the fire every season and I’m also sick of them forcing him to be “evil Cas” just to suit the plot. It’s old now.

    Benny hasn’t grabbed me personally as a character, but I wouldn’t be opposed to him sticking around under the condition that this stupid fight about him between Dean and Sam gets resolved.

    That’s where I disagree with you the most. You say the fighting between Sam and Dean hasn’t felt unwarranted. Which I agree with for the “you didn’t look for me” vs. the “but I thought you were dead and I was happy for the first time in years” fight. (As an aside, I think Sam did the best he could. I think he was traumatized and got kind of lost and Amelia pulled him back from the edge. I wish they’d spent more time showing that, but the flashbacks do hint at it, imo.)

    But the Benny fight is beyond ridiculous. It makes no sense. It requires Sam to be wildly out of character since he’s always been the one to give the monsters a chance to be decent. That was one of the things I most admired about his character and it annoys me that they took that away just to manufacture yet another thing for the boys to be in conflict about. Wasn’t the fight over Sam not looking (and Dean being kind of a judgmental dick about it) enough?

    • dashnjo

      I think the point with Cas this season is that he’s doing things that aren’t really helping Sam and Dean but its not his choice, Naomi is controlling him. I think left to his own devices he’d be helping Sam and Dean and trying to restore Heaven as much as he can but as much as I hate to say it Naomi controlling him makes the reason for him being around more compelling. Don’t get me wrong I would love to see her with an angel blade through the neck at the end of the season and wings burned into the ground behind her but it does make it more interesting, even if a bit heartbreaking.

  • Jessica Breaux

    Hi Kelly! Good article. I agree with everything you said, and I would just like to add that the writing is working much better for me this season. The last couple of seasons I’ve felt like the overall writing has been very much hit or miss. Unfortunately more miss than hit. But this season (with the exception of ‘Bitten’) there haven’t been any episodes that I didn’t like because of the writing. I was especially surprised by Andrew Dabb and Daniel Loflin. They usually write together, but their episodes usually have pacing problems. This season they each penned a solo episode, and each was very well done. Very few, if any, pacing or tone problems.

    I would also add that I absolutely LOVED everything about Purgatory. I loved the way it was shot. I loved the drained color. I loved that we got a lot of panoramic shots so we could understand the scope of Dean’s situation. I loved the evolution of the Dean/Benny relationship. I just loved it all. Jensen was especially impressive. I mean, he’s a fantastic actor all the time, but he added so much to Purgatory Dean with just his body language. Wonderful work.

    Just as an aside, I wasn’t going to say anything about how awesome Benny is representing us Southerners, but now that you mention it… 😉

    • Amal Al-Saffar

      I like the way you described purgatory and Jensen’s acting

  • sick of it

    FFS people get the hell over Sarah. She was a DID that appeared in one episode like 8 years ago. I didn’t notice any particular chemistry between them that is so amazing and it would be ridiculously stupid and pathetic if she was still single out there waiting for knight and shining armour Sam to return!

  • Amal Al-Saffar

    Agree & disagree..

    Agree that Amelia was beyond boring and so not Sam’s type. Also, Kevin & the tablets story is being dragged slower than the word slow and the dance with Crowley is getting old. Benny & his relationship w Dean along with everything purgatory is the only interesting storyline of the season yet we haven’t seen enough of that instead we got the ever lame Amelia flashbacks. Cas stories make me feel like i’m running in circles and I just threw up. I want him to go and stay gone or stay & have a clear & steady role to play/be.
    I disagree about the drama between the brothers. Their fights had always fell into place and had reasonable justification to both sides. This season however, the fights are pushed down our throats & the justifications behind them, esp for Sam, are beyond ridiculous! The writing suffers greatly this season due to lack of focus & creativity and it’s severely harming the show. The writers need to get their act together & get the story going. Also enough with dumb excuses they give us in interviews and expect us to fall for.

  • Reading Idiot Articles Is Fun

    Another article making Sam look like the bad guy. Dean is a pussy. Nuff said.

    • Dean Summers

      Sam is being an ass this season. Nuff said.

    • Amal Al-Saffar

      Sam has been acting like a high school drama queen and Dean is being too nice and easy on him

  • Iam not liking season 8 which just feels to me…. like an extension of Sera Gambles’ awful seasons 6 and 7. I only like the Benny character,… but don’t need to know about Benny’s gf or his grandaughter. Tire of the brothers always fighting..that is getting old for me after seeing SPN since the pilot. The Samelia story is boring ugly in season 8 ..and thats 1 subject both sides of the brothers fanbase seem to agree on. Season 8 too has been focused more on the guest characters than the brothers who seem to be used as window dressing to lure the Sam & Dean fans into the stories of Kevin Tran & his mom, Goofy Gard, Geeky Charlie, Benny, and Castiel and the angels once again.
    I think ”Bitten ” was the worst of season 8 with the brothers M.I.A. Fed up too with Castiel back being used to reinforce destiel , which I hate on SPN. Carver too has still to explain to me why Sam never went looking for Dean . I just see myself exiting at the END of season 8 forever if the other half is not better.

  • deborah

    SO glad Amelia is gone and hope she never returns. As for Cas, I also wish he would get a break; he would have a happy story line, for a change. I actually think it would be cute if they’d follow the Cas-wants-to-be-a-hunter story line or have him popping up to help Dean and Sam, like he did in the days of Team Free Will, in the future (into season 9). “Hunter Heroici” was great! Worrisome: I am also seeing touches of the current producers returning to the Sera Gamble way of thinking, as of late: the killing off or disappearance of everyone except for Dean and Sam (Amelia; Benny; Samandriel). This makes me worry about Cas. Dean’s reaction when he’s wakened by Cas (his anger). What happened to his “I need you” or the hug in Purgatory? What is with the renewed ‘suspicion’ about Cas, etc. I hated what happened to the show in the Gamble years. I don’t want a repeat!

  • debbie

    the one thing im missing on the eight season is a really big hole HIS NAME IS BOBBYSINGER realy want him back on the show.