What do you want to see happen in S11?
That question was asked of me and Alice in the TV Fanatic Roundtable for “Beyond the Mat”. Before Supernatural begins the final sequence of eight episodes that will hurdle us all toward whatever heart stopping, cliff-hanger disaster the Winchester brothers must endure this year, this question is worth pondering.
Personally, I try not to have expectations for the direction of the series. I want to keep my mind open to clues and multiple theories so that my “Threads” reviews present an unbiased analysis and interpretation of each week’s chapter in the myth arc. Mostly, though, I enjoy the thrill and suspense of experiencing the show as the writers want it to unfold. I want to be entertained, and awed, and surprised.
That honest confession of my preferences as both a fan and reviewer would be a cop-out for a round table review, though, so I answered the question that was posed to me (our answers are short to allow everyone a chance to voice their opinion):
- I want the brothers to continue their honesty and brotherly love
- I do not want either of them to end up in the void (although I believe that is a distinct possibility)
- I would like Castiel to learn he is valuable, and
- I would like Crowley’s role to be revitalized (I enjoy him more as a scheming ally than a purely evil demon).
I answered a few other questions on what I expect to happen (which is slightly different than what I want to happen in some cases), saying,
Now that Crowley’s no longer Lucifer’s pet, I’m excited by his new found freedom! Without the burden of Hell’s administration, he can devote all his time to doing what he does best – scheming. I expect him to look for Hand of God weapons (both for his own defense and to keep them away from Lucifer) and eventually reconnect with the brothers for another common enemy alliance. When this is all over, I’m curious if he’ll want his throne back. He was so bored with its routine, and the audience is tired of seeing Hell’s warehouse, so it’s a prime opportunity to rewrite his role entirely. I’m hoping this doesn’t lead to him being the sacrificial lamb and leaving the show, though!
Regarding the Hand of God weapons,
What is curious about them is who can use them. They burn up humans who touch them, but obviously supernatural beings (i.e. Crowley) can use them without consequence. That leads me to believe that either Crowley or Castiel will have to use the weapon in the final showdown with Amara.
Just to add an afterthought, I want Billie to be Death, reincarnated.
How did Alice answer the single question of “What do you want to see happen in S11?”
Honestly, a story that makes sense and manages to surprise me. Also, episodes that pick up the pace a bit and generate a least a little excitement. The last couple of seasons seem to run out of gas as they progressed to the end. Just keep the ball rolling, don’t give us crap like the Frankensteins, no meaningless deaths, and we should be fine.
The question of what we want to see in season 11 deserves serious thought by the dedicated, meticulous, passionate fans who make up the SPN Family, so I decided to ask the rest of The Winchester Family Business writing team for their thoughts on the subject. The immediate, enthusiastic response I received from almost the entire staff told me that, as fans, we all have something we are hoping for this season! While their answers have some similarities and common themes, the differences are actually rather fascinating, as they each eloquently reveal a lens through which they view the show. Without intentionally seeking it, simply asking the question proved how every fan needs (or wants) something different and uniquely personal from the show we all love.
Here is The WFB staff’s wish list of what we’re hoping will happen with Crowley, Cas, Sam and Dean, presented in the order in which they were received.
I hope the brothers continue as they are otherwise all bets are off. Can I make a prediction what will happen? It is not what I would like to see, though; rather it is where the story might go. So, mostly this will be the opposite of what I want. Here goes…
Chuck appears again to give a message/help to the Winchesters. He is not God at all, just his messenger, who gives Sam back the Samulet telling him that he was right about some of his visions. Sam hands it to Dean. They find out that the only way to win over Amara is to have Dean take Michael in so Amara can’t use her hold on him. They also try to save her vessel. Billie helps the boys and either she is the new Death or we see him appearing back to reap both Sam and Dean. Sam finds Rowena in Hell and uses her to get Lucifer away from Cas; leaving Lucifer’s “essence” out there flying around. “Amara” is left alive but unconscious. In the end, Chuck appears and tells Cas that all angels get their wings back by the big boss. Other angels are forbidden to come back to earth. Only Cas can do that, but he can’t interfere anymore with the lives of people or help the Winchesters. God chooses Cas to show the way to Gadreel, who is resurrected, and they will battle against rampaging demons and other nasty things the blast of Darkness let out when it went to the empty with the boys. Cas’ powers won’t work if he tries to use them for the boys (or they make Cas a human and he can be like Bobby was to the boys. Holding the fort and helping normally with cases). Lucifer blasts Hell and the whole place goes to chaos. Crowley shows what he is worth and why he is Crowley. Sam will get Dean to eject Michael but a blast happens and both Winchesters end up in the void because Sam holds on to Dean to not let him suffer it alone. They notice that they are all alone in the void and it is cold, dark and empty. They are screaming their names for one another. Forever. And there is where we are left off.
So, you can probably guess what I would like and wouldn’t like to happen. They need to make Cas and Crowley work at least as what they are. There are ways to do that. And for the love of Chuck, DON’T end the season like that. It would be horrible. I am wishing for a happy ending to the season but with this show – it is wishful thinking right? And most of all, the season ends so that we know there is a season 12.
I want to see some major fallout from Dean killing Death and I mean more than he and/or Sam get sent to The Empty. I mean Dean killed Death, the entity that thought he could reap God, but right now there are no worldwide ramifications? That doesn’t track for me. Metatron did more damage locking down heaven than Death being killed.
I want Amara to finally feel like an actual threat. She’s supposed to be God’s equal but so far she feels less threatening than Lilith, or Azazel or Meg 1.0. She’s way less scary than Lucifer was. Less telling how dangerous she is and more showing. Stop playing with the idea that she isn’t really evil, she’s just a hurt child. And have someone take her to a store and get her a bra! and maybe a nice black ensemble that doesn’t show her boobs. Black leather could work.
Have Crowley go back to being a reluctant ally for Sam and Dean, at least until Lucifer and Amara are dealt with. I think he’s moved beyond big bad status, since I don’t think they will write him off, but if he’s a complete enemy then Sam and Dean should actually try to kill him. Put him back to season 5 status, helping Sam and Dean and being very clear it’s only to save his own skin.
Spend 30 seconds explaining why the ENTIRETY of season five, where Sam is Lucifer’s only true vessel, is no longer true. Really a line that says since Cas’s body was reanimated to hold an angel, it’s suddenly the universal donor of vessels. They spent a whole season hitting us over the head with the idea that Sam and only Sam can host Lucifer. Now, Lucifer is suddenly willing to kill Sam and acting like he doesn’t need a backup if Cas’ body fizzles out?
This will probably be unpopular, but I’d like Sam to be right and Cas decides he wants to keep hosting Lucifer. I think they missed a big opportunity in season seven by having Cas disappear as opposed to having him be the big bad of the season. They don’t seem to know what to do with Cas anymore. I think we’ve seen all there is to angel politics. Vanquishing Amara this year then having to work to stop Lucifer in Cas’ body keeps Misha around and has a glimmer of potential as a season arc. If they don’t do that, Mark Pellegrino just got killed off on Quantico, so have whatever power that reconstituted Cas’ body reconstitute Nick’s body (now new and improved with 1000 times the staying power, batteries not included) and have Lucifer be the big bad for season 12.
I really don’t want God to appear. I’m willing to go with where they left season 5 when it was strongly suggested and implied that Chuck is God, but I majorly don’t want God as an active and acknowledged force in this universe. I don’t need a big family reunion between him and his sister. I’m still mad about “Hammer of the Gods” and the way non-Christian religions were handled, so I don’t want them getting anywhere NEAR religion again.
Originally I thought this was going to be short, now I feel I should add “And I want a pony” to it.
I’d like to see a cosmology that makes sense, but I think that’s too much to ask for at this point … *wry grin*
That said, I definitely want to see the brothers continuing their honesty with each other. The tired old trope of creating conflict artificially by having them keep secrets from each other, whether to protect the other or out of fear of being viewed differently by the one person whose opinion matters most, has been so overused that it’s simply ridiculously not supportable any more.
I would love to see the brothers taking steps to revitalize the Men of Letters both to rebuild their support network and make the bunker the updated, contemporary resource it *should* be. I’d love to see other characters return to help carry the load of research and expand the bunker as a nerve center to direct operations and update the information in its archives. Why not bring in Aaron Bass, with whatever knowledge he and his Golem have learned about the Judah Initiative and their work, as well as Garth, Eileen, and more? Hell: the wayward daughters could play a significant role. Claire wants to hunt, but Alex doesn’t; still, as pretty much eternal vampire bait, Alex would find it hard to escape totally. The bunker could offer her safe refuge while letting her use her knowledge to good purpose, defining hunts for others while she herself lives a non-hunting life.
I DON’T want to see the bunker burned down the way the Roadhouse was, but I like the idea of letting other people in on its secret precisely so Sam and Dean could be more free of it, returning to a more peripatetic existence but with the bunker always still there as a fallback refuge, a home for Dean – who desperately needs one! – and a secure place of intellectual belonging for Sam.
My problem with the Roadhouse was how ridiculous it became with hunters always there, armed to the teeth, never trusting each other. Burning it down became the only choice because it turned into something nonsensical – but it didn’t HAVE to be that way. It could have been more subtle – just an occasional way station for singular hunters, not an isolationist gang-bang – but that’s not how it was used. I’d like to see the bunker become a true resource and history for hunters who matter, and I think that could happen if a few folk we already know and trust became sharepoints in its guardianship.
I’d also like to see this season end the show’s obsession with making the brothers’ quests constantly bigger. Season five opened and ended the Biblical apocalypse; seasons six and seven added Purgatory into the show’s universe; seasons eight through eleven made Heaven and Hell just extensions of Earth. How much bigger could anyone go? We viewers are mostly concerned with Sam and Dean, I think; every push to make the story’s focus bigger makes its focus on the brothers smaller. How many times can any two men save the universe? I think it’s time to bring the story back to human proportions and perspectives. What happens after you’ve saved the world, more than once? How do you find purpose in your life? How do you make your life matter? How do you continue, when the burdens you carry are so heavy?
I don’t think the answer lies in finding an even more powerful monster or expansive universe problem to absorb the characters. I think it lies in having the characters find their own reasons to survive within the world they already inhabit – and that means paying attention to who they are and what they face, not in making their enemies supernaturally powerful. The show has already made demons and angels weaker than they used to be just to enable the heroes to survive; if that trend continues, what would be next?
What would I like to see for the final third of season 11? It’s generally the same thing that I’ve wanted for several years now. I can reduce these desires down to three areas: story arc completion, character development, and clear stakes and worldbuilding.
Story arc completion: One of the challenges this show has encountered for many years is its inability to follow certain story threads to completion. A good example of this problem is invoked by Alice – The Steins. The show tends to move toward what I would call a false climax in its final arc in order to set up a rather expected finale move. In season 8 it was the introduction of Metatron and the rather inept and insulting Clip Show episode. In Season 9 it was the pseudo-political angel fiasco and in season 10 it was the out of left field Stein story. It’s red herring story telling and in the end, such moves dilute what could be very powerful finale episodes. So my desire is that the show stay on story task and avoid introducing non-sequitor storylines in order to set up false bottom narratives.
Character development: Another challenge the show has faced in the last few seasons is character stagnation. What do I mean by that? Characters don’t really grow in fundamental ways and this is across the board, including both the main and secondary characters. They don’t learn, in other words. Now I understand that the show is formulaic – it has a particular calculus that requires that the core duo stand steady and strong while the secondary characters are there to progress plot; however the secondary characters have not really done that. Instead we get these consistent emotional reboots to character traits that the show has come to depend on for its bread and butter.
Crowley, for example, is no longer an ambiguous figure. He’s predictable. He’s a spoiled child who waivers between his desire to have things he wants and his desire to be a part of something bigger. He’s not villain but he’s not hero and in less able hands than Sheppard, this character would be a travesty. The same can be said for Castiel. He never learns from his mistakes. The trope for him has become bad decision making but without real consequence. I focus on the secondary characters because they are the real plot movers, in a way, so their inability to grow and the constant reboots shed more light on plot problems than any other thing, in my opinion. So what I would like is a Crowley that’s less spoiled and fresher. I’d like a Castiel that faces consequence and grows, learns, becomes more than what he has been. And what would I like for Sam and Dean? A story that doesn’t require bad choices in order to further a plot that seems incoherent at times.
Clear stakes and worldbuilding: I’d like to see, like I would’ve liked to have seen in the past few seasons, a commitment to worldbuilding that allows viewers to see and feel the stakes at play. For example, the nods to the political and other issues of hell and heaven often seem too easy and too artificial to actually invest in. In other words, most of the time I really don’t care what happens to anyone in those places, so angels falling? Eh, whatever. And I tend to be affirmed in that belief as the season progresses. Again, like the Stein’s story, what was the point beyond filler and setting up an unnecessary character death? And that gets to the real question – what is at stake and if the worldbuilding isn’t there, then the stakes are always low. So for this season I’d like to see consequence for Castiel for choosing to allow Lucifer to occupy him BEYOND simple sentimentalizing or “boypain” and to explore his relationship to heaven and his brethren, his family. I’d like to see that Sam’s character development regarding the hunt is not simply a way to fix the Sam problem the show has had for the last few years. I’d like to see Dean’s continued return to the point of the hunt (saving people, etc.) stick. I’d like to see Crowley’s complexity explored beyond just an opportunity for a witty retort.
In the end, I want from season 11 what I want from each season – at the end of it, I’d like to say it was worth the 23 hours.
Far Away Eyes
For the end of season 11, I’d like to see a good story. There’s been so much change and growth this season between the brothers, and I’d like to see that continue. As much as I’ve loved the new character developments with Castiel/Lucifer/Crowley, I’m truly loving how the brothers relate to one another this season and hope to see that grow in an organic way. Considering the likelihood that we’ll get a season 12, I know we’ll likely have some form of cliffhanger, but I want to be surprised by it in a way we haven’t before. I’d love something that makes us talk all summer long. Most of all, just give us a good emotional story with the brothers at the center and the rest will follow.
I have a rather long list for what I would like to see for the rest of Season 11. To make things easier, I’ve categorized it:
A Powerful Darkness: At the beginning of Season 11, there were ramifications of Amara’s release. The rabid infection was a great starting point, and episode 11.1 showed that ordinary people were being effected by The Darkness. But now, after 15 episodes, what threat does Amara actually pose? Whatever it is, it’s certainly not immediate. She hasn’t been shown doing much of anything. Of course it’s hard to top the threat of the apocalypse like we had in Season 5, but Amara should still be creating havoc on the world. We need to see more of what she’s capable of so there is a sense of urgency to disposing of her.
A Showdown with Amara: If The Darkness is such a powerful force to be reckoned with, then an epic battle needs to take place. I don’t need “Swan Song” 2.0, but I want something more awesome than the way they got rid of The Mother of All or Abaddon. I would love to see Amara face off with Lucifer and/or God. Sam and Dean should also be instrumental in defeating the Darkness. Imagine how cool it would be if the boys end up lending a hand to God himself.
Make Lucifer Sinister Again: I hate to bring up Season 5 once more, but that version of Lucifer was truly scary. Season 7 Hallucifer veered a bit more into comedic territory, but his agenda to ceaselessly torture Sam was still menacing. Even the version of Lucifer that trapped Sam in the outer cage was manipulative and disturbing. But now, Lucifer has been reduced to a whiny, annoying brat who spends all his time humiliating Crowley and dealing with suit wearing bureaucratic demons. I would love to have the old Lucifer back. And frankly, that means Mark Pellegrino returning to the role. It also means the character needs to execute an evil plan to defeat The Darkness, take over the world – or something – anything, please.
Answer Lingering Questions about Death: Surely, there should be some ramifications from Dean “killing” Death. But other than Billie the Reaper showing up and talking tough to Sam, there has been no mention of the destruction of Death. Before the season is over, I would love to get some explanation as to what happened to Death and if there were any real consequences for Dean and Sam, or the world, when the oldest Horseman “died.”
Give Castiel and Crowley Something to do: Enough said.
Keep the Brothers’ Bond Strong: One of the things I am loving about Season 11 is that the brothers truly are united. They have gone the entire season (so far) without a real fight. We may finally be seeing the maturity that Jeremy Carver talked about in Season 8. The brothers are being honest with each other, and are emotionally there for one another. When Sam and Dean’s relationship is shown like this, both boys come across as stronger characters.
All in all, I think Season 11 has been one of the better seasons we’ve had in a long time. If I see the things on this list come to pass, then it will be even better.
How about an “all hands on deck” scenario? All the Supernatural characters work together:
Angels, Demons, Crowley, Lucifer, Witches, Vampires, Zanna, Dead souls (Bobby,
Kevin, Charlie) and Hunters (Cole, Jody, Donna). Rowena, resurrected as a demon,
and Billie, the new Death, could pitch in to help. What if everyone reinforced
Castiel’s words, “I wanted to be of service to the fight”?
Let’s hope for a glimmer of God without eliminating the mystery.
All this Season’s feminine imagery should culminate in a supportive feminist ideology.
Rather than destroy the persecuted Amara, perhaps God and Amara could make amends.
Amara wouldn’t be just another “Female Power = chaos and destruction” entity;
but, rather, her Female Power could be equated with creation, strength and peace.
Fingers crossed that the Writers get at least a 50% on Season 11 for the Bechdel Test.
Could we have a woman direct an episode? (They seem to be willing to try anything but.)
Most of all, I’m wishing for a Season Twelve!
The biggest question is what do YOU want to see in the two months that remain in season 11? We’ve given you several different points of view for each character and each plot line.
Did anything surprise you, either by inclusion or exclusion?
What’s your wish list for the perfect season 11 ending?
Speculation is encouraged but please warn people if you want to mention spoilers! There are ways of *knowing* spoilers without specifically saying they *are* spoilers (e.g. I expect…).
[Editor’s Note: This will be our first MAJOR use of our new commenting system! We want to hear your opinions so please give it all you’ve got, be patient and let us know if anything unexpected happens!]