Please welcome for the first time Cathia as a guest writer. As part of our “Closting the Door on Supernatural Season Seven” series, Cathia is offering a somewhat more frustrated view of season seven, especially when compared to season six. Considering how season seven has drummed up a lot of strong fan opinions, it seemed right to offer one in our retrospective.
One day, I was wondering what makes Season Seven so controversial. Sometimes it’s put in the same category as Season Six because it’s perceived to be stuffed with non-important filler episodes, red herrings and things showing up totally out of the blue. I tend to disagree, as I was introduced to Supernatural during the course of Season Six. I became up-to-date with previous seasons and I could see a difference, but it was smaller than noticed by every critic I’ve heard. Honestly, I was surprised to find so many people complaining about it. As much as I appreciated the complexity of the story arc of Seasons 1-5 and all its consequences, I also enjoyed what was emerging from the first ten or eleven episodes of Season Six.
I caught up with watching on a weekly basis at “Like a Virgin”, right after “The Soulless Sam” storyline had finished. Many people were complaining that it was too early to finish that storyline. What about the rest of the season? At the very same moment we were introduced to Eve, Mother of All, and as the monsters’ strange behavior was stressed throughout all the episodes, we knew that she was supposed to be that great scary bitch, villain of the season. And then, a couple of episodes, and Boom!, she’s gone and we are facing the real villains of Season Six: Castiel and Crowley. I read many opinions saying that it was totally out of the blue, a kind of Deus ex machina solution and it didn’t make any sense. Those complaints didn’t make any sense to me.
If we go back throughout the whole season, it is quite clear that something very wrong was happening to Cas. I know, it wasn’t shown clearly enough for many people, but, c’mon, it was obvious! The only surprise (but so delightful!) was Crowley being actually very much alive and in cahoots with our beloved Sheriff of Heaven. It was a great wrapping up of the season, but it wasn’t as unexpected and sudden as many people think, especially since they are forgetting that Cas and Crowley resurrected Samuel Campbell and started torturing creatures and looking for Purgatory a whole year earlier, so the monsters had their time to react and try to acquire the means necessary to raise Eve right up from Purgatory.
It’s all there, in the background; even in such a sideline episode like “Weekend at Bobby’s” we are informed about strange things happening – Okami out of Japan? Apart from “Mannequin 3”, we are always alerted that something is very wrong, and it makes the whole season very consistent. Thanks to one single idea behind it, there is almost no episode (apart from “Mannequin” and “All Dogs Go to Heaven”) that is really bad and unwatchable for the second time. This IS a great problem of Season Seven.
It began with a huge explosion and then it was like shooting blanks. Take “The Girl Next Door” and “Shut up, Dr. Phil!”, for example — they had their moments, but they were really crappy fillers. Yes, I consider them meaningless fillers even if the first one brings on the idea of Sam and Dean trusting each other (yet again) and the second introduces us to one of the possibilities of incapacitating the Leviathans. Both were wasted, to be honest. Then, we have a series of totally different episodes: some boring, some better, some classics or outstanding, all mixing with each other. Unfortunately, many of them are not connected to the main storyline. It’s like the Levis don’t exist, no worries here. Later on in the season, their existence is acknowledged by Frank or numerous Dick jokes. Am I the only one who feels a lack of something? At the point of “Out with the Old”, I was asking myself “What the hell?” It was intriguing, but it didn’t make me curious about the main plot as much as Season Six. I knew that something obviously huge was happening, but it didn’t puzzle me as much as Castiel’s “little angelic war.” Archeological excavations, cancer research, real estate, Leviathans’ working on modified food didn’t work for me. I was like: “They have a plan. All right, Luci had a plan as well.” I really wasn’t interested. Okay, we know what the Levis can do, but as the season went on, there was Dick Roman and no one else — maybe Edgar. Of course, Dick was awesome, but he was the only one. It was like there was one storyline, not sufficient for the whole season, so they had to fill it with other things. Some of them were nice – take “The Mentalists” for example — but we also had “Defending Your Life”, which was really crappy.
The only thing that worked is the story about Sam’s psyche collapsing slowly, but inevitably, since Lucifer’s arrival in the first episode, we were expecting that something huge was going to happen. Personally, I thought that Sam’s breakdown would happen much earlier, at the point of “Death’s Door.” We can see him pressing his hand. I think that for once he was hoping that he was hallucinating. But it took a few more weeks, maybe even months to break, and it was the saddest part of the season, together with the sacrifice of Castiel (we will get there shortly).
My second problem with Season Seven is the matter of life and death. I know that everyone dies in Supernatural and maybe he/she comes back, but that’s not always certain and it was always a trademark of the show. Season Six brought up one totally redundant person and killed him off in a totally pointless way – Samuel Campbell was so wasted!!! Nice character, great actor, but well… he didn’t make it. No one screws with Dean Winchester and lives to tell the tale. I was really sorry for Rufus to go, but he was a Hunter and that’s their way of living… And I know that many people fell in love with Balthazar, who was a delight, but I didn’t buy him too much because my angel trickster will always be Gabriel. Balthazar’s death was the final step of Castiel’s fall and such a great part of the finale! I really loved this.
However, when it comes to Season Seven, deaths are totally misused. Bobby’s death made me cry all night and even drink a glass of whiskey in his memory (and I hate whiskey!). For a long time, I couldn’t force myself to watch “Death’s Door” for a second time. But I thought that it had some point; after all, it is a Sam and Dean show and the audience needs to be shocked or something, or maybe Jim Beaver wanted to spend more time with his daughter… Suddenly, something strange begins to happen around the boys, and it seems that Bobby stayed in a mortal realm as a ghost. All right, I thought, they wanted to make us curious, uneasy, they will find a way to bring him back. And they didn’t. They just killed Bobby off for the second time, this time in totally pointless way, a minute before the finale. I really don’t understand this charade. It gave us a few really fine episodes, but… as part of the bigger picture, it was pointless.
The same goes with Castiel’s death. I am a huge fan of our naïve little angel, but I understood the need to let him go and it was a nice way to say goodbye to him. – He overdid it, he had no chance to come out alive. Let’s say it was a crime and a punishment in one. Then, Cas returns, just in time to save Sammy. It’s a little bit like the writers realized that they had put Sam into such trouble that only an angel could save him now. Yes, I know, Misha Collins was supposed to return at some point, but that was a little bit questionable. He could return as Crazy Cas without that little interlude, but there would be a point of healing Sam. I didn’t like this solution.
So, this is it. I’d love to say that I think that in the future I will be able to like Season Seven, but I honestly do not think so. A couple of episodes, yes, for sure – “Meet the New Boss”, “Slash Fiction”, “Death’s Door”, “Repo Man”, “Party on, Garth”, “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo” and “Survival of the Fittest” for sure. The season had its moments — it was heartbreaking, funny and witty at times as Supernatural should be, but in general… No. Please, give me back the old Supernatural.. All my hope lies with Jeremy Carver now.
What’s your opinion on Season Seven?