Now, let’s get on to my review of the season finale and my overall thoughts on season seven. It may not surprise you at all that this post is really late considering the season finale was all the way back in May. Honestly, I kept trying to find a way to write this post in a way that wasn’t simply bashing this season. I wanted to offer ways that, with the storyline as it currently is, season eight of Supernatural could improve.
But first let’s review the finale. So, yeah the finale… what can I say? I didn’t enjoy it. First, we have the whole Bobby’s ghost storyline ending with the boys burning Bobby’s remains so that he doesn’t become a vengeful spirit. Supernatural writers, you can’t write lackluster storylines that have no purpose other than to make me feel feelings. Basically, all the writers did was kill Bobby twice, thinking that fans will go, “OH MY GOD THIS IS DOUBLY SAD!” I wasn’t sad when Bobby died the second time. He didn’t die with honor. He died almost becoming a monster. And there was this whole big build up about him becoming bad and trying to take on Dick, but all Sam had to do was give Bobby his patent puppy eyes and Bobby stopped. That means this whole storyline had no consequences, and since Bobby is now gone, it brings us no character growth, so this storyline was completely pointless. Furthermore, it completely detracted from Bobby’s first death during the mid-season finale. That was a good death. It showed the strength of Bobby’s character and allowed him to die honorably, while at the same time allowing character growth for Sam and Dean. Bring him back only to kill him again doesn’t make it “ubersad.” It just makes the first death pointless and distracts from our main plot.
Speaking of our main plot, there wasn’t much of one was there? In my “Before the Finale Review” of Supernatural one of my fellow writers, Fiyero3305, had this to say,
I was dumbfounded last week when they said tonight’s episode was the season finale. I was like “But we JUST got back to the actual conflict of the season! They’re going to go up against the Leviathans with ONE EPISODE’S worth of preparation on the weapon??
And that’s exactly how it felt: rushed, poorly done, and with little to no preparation. When writers are forced to fit a whole season’s worth of plot into one freaking episode, something terrible happens… they start telling us things. The main rule in pretty much every form of writing is show don’t tell. If you’ve gone to school, at all, and have been forced to write a paper, you know that. Show, don’t tell! For example, telling me that the Leviathans are oh-so-scary, or telling me that Dick Roman is the smartest villain you ever faced, and just expecting me to believe it is not happening.
Sure, the Leviathans eat people and are hard to kill. That sums up almost every monster Sam and Dean ever faced. Hell, they wouldn’t have defeated Eve without going all the back in time to find a phoenix. And Azazel needed a super special gun in order to be killed. My point is that every supernatural thing Sam and Dean face is hard to kill. They also all eat people and there are a lot of them. Again, just like every other monster. I honestly started to get annoyed that the Leviathans thought they were so special when they act like every other monster. The only thing truly different about them is that they can kill angels, but other than Castiel, there are no angels threatening them so that doesn’t bring anything to this season at all. You know what was scary? Lucifer, in season five, because Sam and Dean couldn’t kill him. They had to trap him and in order to do that they had to send Sam to hell. Now that’s scary.
And again there was this constant insistence that Dick Roman was the smartest villain Dean and Sam ever faced. Dick Roman is at best a good business man. He has a lot of people under his control and he moves them around effectively, but that’s about it. Let’s think about what happens to him throughout the finale. The writers go to the effort of showing us a whole two things that are supposed to prove that he’s smart. One, he painstaking goes through a contract with Crowley so that there is no way Crowley can betray him. First, let me just say what riveting television that was, and yes, it shows Dick is at least cautious and calculated, but smart? Well, later in the episode Crowley still manages to betray Dick, despite the contract.
Furthermore, Crowley gets rid of Dean and Cas (notably Cas whom he has a grudge against) and Meg (his enemy and rival), while leaving Sam alone and isolated. At this point I’d say Dick is an idiot and Crowley may well be the smartest villain the Winchesters ever faced. Dick also makes a bunch of copies of himself so that the Winchesters don’t know which is the right one to kill. This obvious mastermind plan is cunningly thwarted with Castiel’s eyes. Yep, that’s it. All Cas had to do is look and see which one is the real one. Then finally, we have the way Dick was killed. Castiel runs at him, Dick pushes him behind him, allowing Dean to stab him with a fake weapon. For some reason this was needed because Dean knew Dick was clever… yeah, I don’t get it either. Then Castiel, who isn’t supposed to be as strong as Dick, holds him from behind while Dean stabs him with the real weapon. The most you could say Dick succeeds in is his death drags Dean and Cas into Purgatory with him. Yes, our genius villain’s greatest trick was dying.
All of the problems with the Leviathans had could have been dealt with if only more of the season had been devoted to them. I have never seen a show completely forsake their main villain the way Supernatural did. Yes, some of the filler episodes were cute and funny, but it doesn’t matter if the main plot is shoved into one or two episodes. Lucifer had a lot of build up before season five. There were allusions to him in season three and all of season four was spent worry about him. This could have been ruined in season five if the writers didn’t actually show us that he was a threat in season five, but the first thing we see is him manipulating Nick in order to take him as his vessel, next episode we see him pretend to be Jessica in order to manipulate Sam, but even that wouldn’t be enough to prove how dangerous he is, so the writers gave us an episode showing us an apocalyptic future where Lucifer has pretty much destroyed everything. After only three episodes, we, the viewers, knew Lucifer was a threat, but even then it could have been ruined if we never saw or heard of Lucifer again. Almost every episode of season five was dealing with Lucifer somehow though, so that there was no way anyone could forget he was a threat. The most I saw of the Leviathans was them eating people or drugging people, and I saw this so rarely that I forgot to care about the Leviathans until almost near the end of the season.
Another problem with the Leviathans was there was no depth of character. To be fair every villain in Supernatural before Lucifer was pretty two dimensional, but after having a three dimensional villain not having one seems to be going backwards story telling wise. Even in season six, the monsters had some depth (they seemed to just want Crowley to stop killing them) and our other villain was Castiel! So loads of depth there. But the Leviathans only want to eat people. They are basically just violent farmers if you really think about it.
But hey, in the words of Spiderman, “Everybody gets one.” In this case meaning every TV show gets one bad season and bad villain. Even Joss Whedon, famous for The Avengers and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, wrote one of the worst seasons I have ever seen. The villain Adam, in season four of Buffy, was atrocious, and the whole government plot makes me cry, but I’m not here to talk about that. What I’m saying is every show has a bad season, but my dear Supernatural writers, let this be the last time. I don’t think I could handle it again.
So the finale ends with Dean and Cas going to Purgatory, Meg getting taken by Crowley, and Sam being left alone, setting us up for the next season!
The Overall Season Review:
It seems pointless to me to review the whole season over again and since I was so scathing when talking about the finale I’ve decided just to list what I liked about this season.
- Kevin Tran: I don’t often see any diversity on Supernatural so it was especially nice to see that the new prophet was an Asian American character. And yes, I’ll admit there were things about him that were stereotypically Asian, but in just the two or three episodes that you see him, Kevin really grows as a character. I certainly hope he becomes a recurring character later so that the writers can develop his character even more.
- Hallucifer: Most of this season I was annoyed with my main characters (especially Dean… mostly Dean) and Supernatural doesn’t have much of an ensemble to help distract you when your favorite main characters are pissing you off. This season, however, did have one thing going for it, Hallucifer, Sam’s hallucination of Lucifer. Mark Pellegrino’s performance of Lucifer was gold this season and added enough dark humor that kept me laughing and tuning in for more. I also enjoyed the fact that Hallucifer didn’t act exactly like the Lucifer that fans knew from season five, showing that this is how Sam imagines Lucifer and not completely how he is. It was subtle, but it was there and really added to the show.
- “Death’s Door”: Sera Gamble has gotten a lot of shit this year for turning out a crappy season. Enough that she resigned and Jeremy Carver is now stepping in as lead writer. While I don’t think Sera Gamble is completely to blame, I do think season six and seven (especially seven) were handled poorly and I admit that most of the episodes she wrote this season I thought were pretty bad if not terrible, but “Death’s Door” was perfect. Sam and Dean really shined as characters and you really identified with them and felt their pain. Bobby got to die heroically by managing to help his boys one last time. And oh, Bobby’s memories of the boys as kids or just of them doing simple things like arguing over movies in their off moments of hunting was beautiful. It was one of the most perfect episodes this season, because though it still gave us the action-packed supernatural fighting that we loved, it also touched on something very real, the death of a loved one. And yes, Supernatural has done this before, but never this well. I was truly in awe of this episode.
- Ben Edlund: For those of you that don’t know, Ben Edlund is one of Supernatural‘s writers. I didn’t realize it until I looked back at the episodes, but I literally enjoyed every episode he wrote this season. Each episode he wrote was funny, interesting, and actually furthered the plot in some ways. My hats off to you Mr. Edlund.
- Garth: I admit, I wasn’t a fan of Garth when he first appeared. My initial reaction was, “Oh great, another white male hunter for Sam and Dean to team up with. Never saw that before.” But I admit, I loved him in “Party on, Garth,” and while I can’t say I was overjoyed with the episode I found Garth genuinely endearing, funny, and enjoyable.
- Cas and Meg: I know that these two kind of sort of hooking up (are they actually together at this point or just flirting?) pisses some fans off, but I actually love them together. I think they are funny and cute and really bring something to the show. My only complaint is that the Supernatural mythos tells us in no uncertain terms that demons are always evil. Meg even says that she wants Castiel on her side to protect her from Crowley. So, even if she does kind of like him, she is still just using him. I would like to see them have a legit friendship/romance otherwise this will just turn into another Sam/Ruby ordeal.
- Dean in His Sexy 1940’s Outfit in “Time After Time”: What? I’m allowed to like something superficial once and while, right? Also why does Dean always get zapped through time? The Doctor should really look into that?
- Sam: Yeah, I just loved Sam every second this season. There were one or two episodes where he said or did things that didn’t make any sense, but for the most part the writing for Sam was spot on. (Not that Dean’s wasn’t well written, but he made me so angry that I just can’t add him to this list.
- Special Guest Stars: Felicia Day, Charisma Carpenter, and James Marsters, they were perfect. I don’t think I need to say more than that.
- “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo”: Out of all the episodes this season this one was objectively perfect. Lady Saika and I loved Charlie, Felicia Day’s character, so much that we like to pretend she’s a series regular. But Charlie wasn’t the only thing perfect about this episode. Every character was spot on, and this is the only episode that made me interested in Dick or the Leviathans at all. Too bad that wouldn’t last.
By now you are probably saying, “Alright already, so you didn’t really like this season. If you’re so smart what would you do to fix it?”
So here are my Do’s and Don’ts for next season.
- Have Any Mystical Pregnancy Episodes: Having these kinds of tropes will just offend your female audience, and they are overdone anyway.
- Kill Off or Write Off All Your Supporting Characters: See the Do’s section for further explanation.
- Sacrifice Plot for Humorous Filler Episodes: Filler episodes can be fun and Supernatural has had some great ones, but we’d rather have a well-developed plot throughout the season than unconnected filler episodes.
- Kill Characters Twice: Or don’t simply do things that have no impact on the plot or character development, but will (you think) make fans cry. Just because it’s “dramatic” and “emotional” doesn’t mean it’s good.
- Have Any Amnesia or Coma Story Lines: Leave amnesia and coma story lines to soap operas and fanfics. They don’t belong in your TV show.
- Have an Ensemble Cast: I asked a couple people recently if they would have watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer if it was mostly about Buffy and Giles, and everyone else only appeared once or twice a season, or was killed or written off? People resoundingly said, no. While I respect the show trying to keep the focus on Sam and Dean these guys need an entourage to add some spice. Dean and Sam are still funny and interesting characters, but we have seen them constantly and we can become numb to them after a while. Sam and Dean need those other characters around to be foils and counter parts with. Having more characters will makes things more interesting for the audience as well as giving more people for Sam and Dean to play off of actually enhancing the focus on Sam and Dean.
- Keep that Ensemble Cast Diverse: Crowley told Sam at the end of this season that he was all alone now. Not true! And there is a host of characters he can go to for help that would make an interesting and diverse cast. Kevin Tran is still around and actually still at ground zero with Sam by the end of the episode. The two characters could team up and Kevin could develop more as a character. Sheriff Mills is still around and we know from “Time After Time” that she seems to be hunting a bit now. Let her become the “new” Bobby, not a carbon copy because that would be lame, but she can collect all of Bobby’s old research and use it to try and find a way to get Dean and Cas out of Purgatory, while still hunting with Sam occasionally. Garth is also still around, and fans agree he’s pretty funny, bring him on board to help Sam. And hey, Garth and Becky were flirting a tiny bit this season, and since we probably won’t get Charlie back, I think it’s about time that Becky develops as the cool nerd girl. She is clearly smart and knows enough about Sam and Dean’s world to be helpful with things and she’d totally enjoy teaming up with them! Plus, this season Becky was kind of ruined for me. She needs to be redeemed. And then, of course, getting Meg away from Crowley and having her around will be nice, but as mentioned earlier something has to make her good otherwise it will be Ruby all over again. And these are just a few of the characters that the show already has on tap. There are unlimited possibilities for new, interesting, and diverse characters.
- Remember Castiel is a Main Freaking Character: I have heard some rumors that Castiel may be written out of the show in season eight. This is a bad idea. Many fans regard Castiel as being as important as Dean and Sam. Several fans during season seven even said they would stop watching if Castiel was killed off. Dear writers, just accept him as a staple character it will be better for everyone. Also, be careful to write the new Crazy!Castiel well, otherwise fans could get annoyed with it. So either keep the writing good or make Castiel sane again. I would further play up Castiel’s new pacifist stance it will make for good juxtaposition with Sam and Dean’s shot ’em up attitude.
- Make Crowley Your Main Villain for Season Eight: Crowley has so far one-upped the Winchesters almost every season. He knows Sam and Dean well and he knows how they work, making him an extremely dangerous villain. Go with that.
- Connect the Purgatory Plot with Sam’s Plot: So rumor has it that Sam and Dean will be separated almost all of season eight, with Sam on Earth and Dean in Purgatory. Do not have two completely different unrelated plots for Sam and Dean. Maybe have them seem different at first, but eventually connect the two to make one cohesive and complex plot. And please for the love of God don’t repeat the same plots from past seasons over again like, “Sam and Dean are wanted by the law,” and “Sam and Dean lie to each other and then split up when the truth comes out.” We have seen these before. They were cool the first time but not if when they are repeated almost every season.
Well, I hope you enjoyed my final Supernatural Review for this season. See you all again for season eight, but until then…