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.