As a long time fan, I just don’t know what to say.  I’m usually open to a show re-inventing itself.  I’m usually open to the idea of creative license.  I’m usually open to pushing character studies over real action (at times).  But I absolutely hated “The Things We Left Behind.”  As in fire spewing, cursing TPTB with the power of a thousand suns hate.  While I usually prefer to spare the major rants when many people saw something different than I, I have too much invested in this show not to say what’s bothering me.   I’m not one that likes to ruin joy, so apologies up front to you happy fans.  You might not want to read this.  To you angry or perplexed fans, this review is for you.  Let’s examine what about “Supernatural” is failing to connect this season, especially in this episode, and why the writing has clearly gone off the rails. 

No one is guiltier in falling back on the art contrived plotting than Andrew Dabb.  Not a whole lot of this story made sense.  For those that may not be familiar with the trope, contrivances happen when a plot is forced to take a direction that doesn’t seem natural in order to meet a writer’s planned story theme or twist.  For example, remember Dabb’s episode “Clip Show” when Sam and Dean left Abaddon alone in the warehouse so she could inexplicably escape?  They would never do that!  One would stay behind while the other took the call from Crowley.  They aren’t that dumb.  This episode had a lot of that.  First, do you honestly think that Amelia, Jimmy’s wife, after all they had been through actually abandon her daughter like that?  That was his big setup for Claire being in a group home?  Killed by a demon would have been more plausible.  Then there’s Claire herself, who we last remember was a very headstrong little girl.  She was willing to take the place of her Dad as a vessel to save him!   But no, she’s a troubled, angry, clueless teenager who’s obviously willing to be reckless to spite the world.  Gotta create that tension between her and Castiel. 

There’s the John Winchester story, which doesn’t make a lot of sense knowing what we knew about Dean so far during that time of his life.  We’ve had enough flashbacks to his teen years.  He didn’t exactly defy John at the time probably because he knew he’d get punished.  It was Sam that was always rebelling.  It doesn’t fit, despite me smiling at the idea of Dean sneaking into CBGB’s.  Plus it was a cute story.  It just really didn't serve any purpose.  Then you have the end, which gives me the biggest fits of all.  Why in the world would Sam, knowing Dean’s state of mind (he did notice the bulging Mark of Cain earlier), leave Dean alone in that house with the bad guys and go to the car with Castiel and Claire?   They didn’t need his help.  No, no, no, no, no!   Sam is not that ignorant.  These types of lazy plotting devices completely ruin the impact for me.  That’s why Dabb’s scripts have often disappointed me more than impressed. 

SPN1009HD0709

Then there’s just the whole predictability factor.  Going back to the character of Claire Novak actually wasn’t a bad idea.  They finally put to rest the long fandom debate about what happened to Jimmy Novak.  I’m cool with this idea of the angels trying to connect with the messes they’ve left by taking on a vessel, but it all unraveled from there.  The story fell into this soapy, listless drama that made me wonder what show I had turned on by mistake.  Of course Castiel was going to break her out.  Of course she would run away from him.  Of course she’d end up trusting some sort of scumbag.  After all, she’s an out of control, confused teenager!  Now if Randy ended up being some sort of monster, or better yet an old angel colleague of Castiel’s, that would have spiced things up a little.  Nope, he was an average scumbag and the guys after him were faceless thugs, the kind where we didn’t give a crap if they died.   Yes they were humans, but they were bad humans who had it coming.  We certainly knew the one dude wasn’t going to hurt Claire because Castiel would arrive just in time.  We only see it every day in all those standard cop procedurals.  But it made Castiel look badass and a hero swooping the save the day, right?  Yeah, right.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Castiel, but there are far better ways to use your angel warrior. 

Then there’s Crowley.  I just can’t fathom that this fearsome King of Hell that has survived every attack against him because he’s smart and knows threats before he sees them, is hovering in a warehouse somewhere dealing with mommy issues.  This is not the Crowley we know.   He didn’t even have any great lines!  The plot pace with Crowley is that of a snail and it’s not really going anywhere.  Here it is half way through the season and he’s still licking his wounds from losing Dean as a buddy.  I think.  Hell, I’m really not sure of Crowley’s motivations.  All I can think of is why did Mark Sheppard become a regular just for this mess?  He’s capable of delivering so much more.  It’s turning into a colossal waste. 

Then there’s the part that gets me more mad than anything.  The Mark of Cain should be dominating the storylines.  Probably because it’s supposed to be the main mytharc.  I do accept that Dean was pulled away from being a demon quicker than most would have liked because of the 200th episode.  But that doesn’t mean that the brothers shouldn’t be spending their time tracking down leads and dealing with the complications of the Mark for a decent amount of time on a weekly basis.  Remember season three when Dean was doomed for Hell?  Sure, one or two filler episodes are necessary, but we’ve had more than one or two.  There’s so much unknown mythology behind the MOC that could be explored!  That approach would raise the stakes quite a bit.  Yes, they did show Dean unraveling a bit this week.  I do appreciate that.  But it’s kind of cruel to offer someone who’s dying of thirst a few drops of water.  There needs to be more, much more.  

Dean Bloody 2646 

I also lament over how beloved moose, one of the two main leads and a driving force in the “Supernatural” story, seems to be missing his purpose.  He’s supposed to be the leader of the Men of Letters!  He’s the dorky connection to the legacy!  What happened?  They introduced the whole Men of Letter’s bunker and that opened up a world of possibilities.  They aren’t taking advantage of any of that.  I just think of all Sam went through with the trials and being possessed by Gadreel, and his character progression from it is nothing more than he’s learned to make really good grilled cheese sandwiches.  It really breaks my heart.  There are so many dangling threads with Sam’s character they could go back and address (what happened with his demon blood, did the trials purify him?).  But no, we get him hanging out in the car with Castiel while Dean goes ape s***. 

There’s been very little movement with the MOC, there’s been little to no movement with the brothers, there’s been no movement with Castiel or Crowley.  It seems that all four guys are wandering around in their little corners, drifting and trying to figure out life.  To me, that’s been as much fun as watching paint dry.  There’s no mission, no direction, just random happenings that aren’t coming together. I understand that the stories are supposed to be more “personal” this year, but in order to explore deeply the personal aspects of a story, you have to have an actual story!  Story drives characters.  It’s writing 101.   

I’m a traditionalist.  I fell in love with “Supernatural” because it was different.  It wasn’t like any other show I’ve seen.  Remember “no chick flick” moments and just good old fashioned demon busting action?  Remember when they were breaking out some daring mythology using biblical and other non-canonical texts to make their own mind-blowing canon?  Remember when the stories used to drive the characters, not the other way around?  Remember when everything had really high stakes and mattered?  Remember when this show actually used to be about the supernatural?  Now it’s evolved to a below average soap opera using melodrama and lazy plots to cover up the fact that the writers are clearly out of ideas.  There are no risks being taken in the story telling because there is no story telling. 

I don’t like average TV dramas.  I watch serial sci-fi because that’s my thing.  I chose this show because it was thrilling and wildly creative.  Honestly, if I wanted to see such overwrought character dynamics on a Tuesday night I would turn the channel to “Chicago Fire.”  I spent most of the hour waiting for something to happen, and nothing did until the final few seconds.  Was that enough to energize me through a midseason break?  Not by a long shot.   Where are you Eric Kripke?  Why haven’t you burst into the writers office there at Warner Brothers with a fire hose screaming, “What have you done to my show???”  Okay, okay, that’s a little dramatic.  But still, I smile picturing it. 

SPN1009HD0520

Look, I don’t expect “Supernatural” to be what it was, despite my critical comparisons with old and new seasons.  Shows age and take different directions.  However, you really have to look seriously at your show when the creative team starts phoning it in and producing work this bad.  It’s tough to swallow when it used to be so good.   There is an entire second half of the season (plus a few more) for them to salvage this mess, but this show has clearly lost its way as a cutting edge sci-fi drama.  Or a basic sci-fi drama.   After this episode, it seems sci-fi doesn’t need to be part of it at all. 

I’m giving “The Things We Left Behind” a D-.  The only thing that saves it from being an F is the once again solid and brilliant direction of Guy Bee.  At least there’s still excellence behind the camera.  How about next time giving Guy a good script to work with Mr. Dabb?

Comments  

Nicole Storey
# Nicole Storey 2014-12-11 21:15
I couldn't agree with you more. This season has been disappointing to say the least.
Alice
# Alice 2014-12-12 16:57
Thanks Nicole. I'm still holding out hope for better.
BookLady
# BookLady 2014-12-11 21:30
Alice, I was just thinking the same thing about the MoL. Everyone was really excited when it was introduced. It was going to open up a lot of great story possibilities, remember? What happened?! I can think of tons of story ideas related to it - ways to continue the mythology while still lightening the load on Jensen and Jared- and I'm in no way a professional writer.

As Nightsky wrote on her most recent comment post to her article, the younger fan following see Sam and Dean as old (Fan Fiction even stated it outright!). But, as an "old"person myself, that means experience and a wealth of knowledge related to that so why not capitalize on it? Want to cater to a younger demographic? Well, then incorporate some younger hunters, male and female, that Sam and Dean can mentor. Dean is a great hunter because he has tons of experience. He can see patterns, anticipate, think on his feet without panicking, plan his course of action and yet have a Plan B. Sam has always had the desire to learn more, see past the initial encounter to see what is really going on. These traits can be explored and celebrated. They're both so smart, well-trained and capable. I hate it when they look stupid!! Want to keep the focus on the brothers? Have them struggle with keeping their humanity in light of this never-ending battle of good vs. evil. Recognize that they are older and that they have injuries, nightmares, PTSD, that they get defeated and demoralized, that they can't save everyone, that the years have been grinding on them. It can remain a human story amidst a supernatural environment. The possibilities of this being a great show are still there. It still has the great acting, sets, directors, guest stars, the amazing gang in Vancouver. But, they're being wasted, in my opinion. It's a shame. And, it's frustrating.

My apologies if I've stolen anyone's joy.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-12 07:41
Quote:
Want to cater to a younger demographic? Well, then incorporate some younger hunters, male and female, that Sam and Dean can mentor.
I have always disliked the idea of Sam and Dean mentoring young hunters. I think that mentoring would actually make them appear older. They would be passing the torch in a way. I want Sam and Dean to be the young ones on the show (and Jared and Jensen to look like the stars). I want it to be the two of them against the world till the end.
Puck
# Puck 2014-12-12 08:06
Nope. You're not killjoy BookLady--just a realist.

THEY ARE NOT OLD! They're just not the adorably cute 20-somethings they were when they started this show. Now they're sexy 30-somethings.. .on a network full of cute teen stars. It's why I watch nothing else on the CW. For anyone that does: do audiences/other characters think the Green Arrow is old? I tolerate "The Originals" because it's not a cast full of teeny-boppers, there are a few running around outside of school, but they're not leading characters (plus who doesn't think New Orleans is cool?). That being said I seem to be one of the youngest fans on WFB, but I'm only a few years younger than Jared. It kinda made me sick to hear the two of them get called "old" by my former students, but hey what do the 12-14 and 18-22 crowds know about life anyway? ;) They've still got good taste for watching this show. Honestly, Tuesday night at my house is a riot--half of UF's art department are fans!

I guess the writers are shafting Sam because it's harder to write him. How do write for a character that is a thinker without always using the same tricks? I don't know. The closest I've come to script-writing is five minutes newscasts and radio jingles. The flip side to that is it's probably easier to write Dean as he's vocal, physical and in charge. Plus, Jensen brings the magic no matter how far Dean gets pushed. That's a gift that shouldn't be wasted.

The biggest disappointment for me is Sera lead and Jeremy is leading teams that are trying to figure out how the Winchesters should act as brothers now that they've grown up and it feels "off." :( Or am I crazy? Just once I'd like to hear them do another "Bitch." "Jerk." It's the "Supernatural" equivalent of "As you wish." from "The Princess Bride."
Alice
# Alice 2014-12-12 17:01
Quote:
Recognize that they are older and that they have injuries, nightmares, PTSD, that they get defeated and demoralized, that they can't save everyone, that the years have been grinding on them. It can remain a human story amidst a supernatural environment. The possibilities of this being a great show are still there. It still has the great acting, sets, directors, guest stars, the amazing gang in Vancouver. But, they're being wasted, in my opinion. It's a shame. And, it's frustrating.
So perfectly said. There's so much they can draw from. Why they think these are the stories that we want to see is beyond me. Dabb especially loves making Sam and Dean look stupid. I'm not sure why no one has strongly discouraged that. I don't know about stealing anyone else's joy, but you've made me happy that I'm not the only one seeing things this way.
shelly
# shelly 2014-12-11 21:33
I could not agree more. I spent 40 of the 42 minutes rolling my eyes and sighing with irritation that this was the mid-season finale episode? A boring train-wreck? Nothing in this episode has me anxiously awaiting the return of the show in January. In fact....I almost don't care. This is an unpopular opinion, I know, but I don't care about Castiel. I don't care about Crowley. I CERTAINLY dont' care about Claire or Rowena. Not like I care about Sam and Dean, and I think it would be generous to say the two of them had even 15 minutes of screentime this week. As an episode, it was not even a medoicre attempt; as a mid-season finale, it failed on every level. Zero suspense, zero mytharc action (mytharc? what mytharc?), unrecognizeable character beats, and more time spent AWAY from the reason I (and so many others) even started watching the show (the brothers) than time spent with them. *sigh* I did appreciate the last two minutes - that was at least *something*. But man, seeing this travesty on Tuesday night, then seeing the EPIC way Arrow went into their mid-season break? Yeah...SPN really screwed the pooch on this one. I have enjoyed roughly half of the season thus far, but after this recent episode I can safely say I am one hugely disappointed fan.
Alice
# Alice 2014-12-12 17:11
I know, wasn't Arrow great? That's how you do a midseason finale. If you think about it, Supernatural's season three finale was "A Very Supernatural Christmas." It makes me cry when you think what we got then and what we have now.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-12-12 19:56
*SPOILERS* Yeah but how in the hell is Oliver going to get out of that one. This isn't SPN you know, there isn't going to be a deal with a demon or an angel. Stabbed though the heart and tossed down what looked like an unsurvivalbe fall? Ahggg.....
shelly
# shelly 2014-12-12 21:15
True it's not Supernatural... .but the 'verse of Arrow is no less supernatural (just in a different way!). I've heard theories, and read a few things that relate to what exists in the Arrow comic verse so I'm not worried...at least not about *that*. haha. I have other concerns when it comes to the return of Arrow but they're not about Oliver :D
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-12-12 21:51
I don't know enough about Arrow. I thought that Oliver was human. But he has to be something else unless Barry is going to come "speeding" in to save the day.
shelly
# shelly 2014-12-13 14:44
oh yes, Oliver is human. I just meant there are "other forces" in the Arrow-verse that could come into play. I don't know specifically what that might end up being...but there are things, and those things border on the supernatural/fa ntastical. So...it should be interesting regardless! :)
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-12-13 15:38
This isn't a show that I watch (I tried it just wasn't for me) however I might have to tune in to see how he gets out of his current predicament. :o
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-12-13 15:43
I just caught the last few minutes and it caught my attention! I watch it sporadically. I want to see what happens next myself.;)
shelly
# shelly 2014-12-12 21:20
YES! I think what most upset me about SPN, was the complete lack of excitement or buildup or tension of any kind for an episode supposedly leading us into a super long hiatus! There was nothing about it that makes me want to come back. In comparison, though the SPN Christmas wasn't a "cliffhanger" hiatus ep, it was still a great ep to lead into a break (though was that break planned or was it because of the strike? Prob doesn't matter in the end but still)! Sigh. It's very frustrating...b ut I'm happy I have Arrow to keep me excited!
rubby
# rubby 2014-12-11 21:41
It hurts, like it literally hurts to agree with every single thing you say. I love this show, I love it with all I have.It means the world to me... and it kills me watching as it gets lost. I hate that. I am starting to hate the creative team for not putting effort to give this show the arc it desserves. I hate not being able to deny your arguments, because they're true. I hate not being able to just get over what's happening with my beloved show. It is so painful because Supernatural deserves better, Sam and Dean deserve better. I seriously hope the writers or anybody actually reads the multiple reviews of this first part of the season so they can fix the issues now. I will never stop watching this show, I will stand by it till the end. But I cannot deny the fact the this season... it's doing nothing but use MOTW eps to fill the lack of interest and lazyness of the season. I know that, I can see what's happening and I hate it.
Rourke
# Rourke 2014-12-11 22:39
While I can't agree about Chicago Fire, which I happen to enjoy, I do agree that the show seems to be in a slump. I am a writer and there are so many dangling plot threats throughout the last nine seasons of Supernatural that if the staff writers went back to the beginning and started tying those up along with the current mytharc then they wouldn't be trying to scrape a filler story together at all. I love this show, have since it aired in 2005, it's part of the reason I write for film and television now. But it pains me to see it floundering. I'm not saying it's easy, because it's not. But I am saying that if they are so concerned with lightening the load of Jared and Jensen that the stories lose their continuity then they should just throw in the towel. And trust me I want to delete that sentence right now. But both the actors are signed through season ten. Make it the best it can be and then worry about appeasing them if there is a season eleven. Just my thoughts. Your review got me right in my writer brain and I had to weigh in. To those that love the show and don't care about this, please disregard and don't come out with fists of rage. We all wanna see this series continue. Just without losing what made it so great to begin with.
Peace and love.
nickmaniac
# nickmaniac 2014-12-11 23:33
Well I must say, despite the fact that I enjoyed the episode, Alice, I still ended up agreeing with many of your points here. (Only difference being, I'm not heartbroken about it.) :)

Is there any way at all for this feedback to reach the eyes and ears of TPTB? Some of the writers/produce rs say they love to engage with fans, try to figure out what they want... is it possible for them to somehow read this review? Would it be inappropriate, for instance, to tweet a link of this article to some of them? I mean, if we're looking for things to improve, wouldn't making sure that the producers receive direct feedback be the best way?
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2014-12-12 08:04
TPTB read this site although I CANT TELL........
Migmom
# Migmom 2014-12-12 00:45
I agree so much with you, yet I do still enjoy watching our boys play. Still, I am left wondering where the passion went in the story. It's been so predictable and often contrived drama. I try so hard to not get spoiled but it happens, but that is likely what leads to my disappointment. They've been given this gift of a show for now on ten years and there are so many things that could have should have been addressed. Adam could have been taken care of in season six with a line from Sam about being alone in the pit of hell for a hundred years, because Adam had been rescued and brought up to heaven just after they fell. How painful would that have been? Yet instead of closing off loose threads, they create more of them. I still don't get the point of Naomi or killing Bobby.
So this one which was billed as a game changer, changed nothing. But my current measure of how good the episode is is when and how often I look at my clock. Too many times. I have many thoughts about why that is, but I am determined not to be too negative this year and just enjoy it. My only other comment is that I am hearing a lot about J2 wanting more time off, yet for the third year now they've been given 23 episodes. Why not think outside the box and do 13 a year, or 10 90minute shows? Another case of network stuck in a rut syndrome.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-12 07:50
Quote:
My only other comment is that I am hearing a lot about J2 wanting more time off, yet for the third year now they've been given 23 episodes. Why not think outside the box and do 13 a year, or 10 90minute shows? Another case of network stuck in a rut syndrome.
Wouldn’t Jared and Jensen have to take a pay cut in that case? And a season consisting of 13 episodes might actually mean that Jensen and Jared would have to work harder for a smaller amount of money relatively speaking. Making a show that has 23 episodes per season allows them to negotiate time off.

It seems that the studio etc. can earn more money by making more episodes. International deals etc. The network needs to fill airtime.
E
# E 2014-12-12 22:04
I think if they did a modified season that the J's could presumably bargain for higher pay per episode. So, theoretically that might be making less overall but more for the time they are putting in. Then they could have more coveted time off and the fans would still feel like the brothers were the focus of the episodes that were produced. It's what ER started doing most of the time in it's later seasons sometimes only producing 12 new episodes in a season. That would take some pressure off the J's, allow the story to become more compressed, and let the writers focus on moving things along rather that stalling and boring us with filler as they are now. Also with fewer episodes it would feel like the J's are more involved. I think this show could easily drop down to 15-16 episodes and do a much better job of it. Lord knows it seems as though the writers could use the extra time on their scripts!
Russ
# Russ 2014-12-13 00:38
Wouldn't happen. The more episodes = the more money from syndication, both in the US and overseas. Less episodes = less revenue. With leas episodes airing, they'd have to create another show to fill the void.

Also, with my lack of faith in this show's current state, less episodes means they'll have to cull some of the writing stuff, and you just know they'll keep the wrong ones.
E
# E 2014-12-13 07:15
That's probably true. I wonder why ER was able to get away with it though? You're right about the writing staff though, they'd keep Dabb, Glass and Bruckner/Ross-L emming and fire the rest. Can you imagine what that would leave us with? Charmed meets Lois and Clark. It would make what we are seeing now look Emmy worthy.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-13 07:21
It seems that Supernatural is sort of a safe bet. I mean, the ratings have never been all that great (but good for the network). So the more episodes they make, the more money they can make for years to come. Supernatural also sells really well on the DVD market.

But maybe a shorter season would be a possibility if one or both of the Js got a movie career but they still wanted to keep the show alive.
Glorie
# Glorie 2014-12-12 00:53
Thank you, Alice, for your review. I wholeheartedly agree.

Thank you, BookLady, for saving me the time to have to write a whole post. I couldn't have said it better. :) You made every point I wanted to make.
njspnfan
# njspnfan 2014-12-12 08:01
Alice; I regrettably agree with everything in your review; raised some similar points in the bitterness threads. And I don't think the problem is with the leads having more time off; they've managed to do some excellent episodes featuring Bobby and Castiel. It seems as though they're not even trying anymore, or have run out of ideas. And that's the shame of it - there were plenty of things introduced in S8 that could continue to be fleshed out and explored, they're just not following thru on any of it.

To save some time, I'll summarize the second half of S10 -

    Castiel gets his remaining angel grace back from Claire and saves heaven.

    Metatron comes back and does his best impression of annoying man.

    Rowena causes all sorts of problems for Crowley, threatening his position as King of Hell.

    Dean, fueled by the MoC, runs around killing more people who deserve to die and man-angsts about it.

    Charlie comes back from Oz, infected by something evil - Dean saves the day.

    Sam and Dean run in to a pack of werewolves that up and decide that, besides eating human hearts, they can now shapeshift
.
    Sam - in episode 11, Dean knocks out Sam "for his own good". Sam wakes up in episode 20 and makes Dean a sandwich using the panini press Dean so thoughtfully got him for Christmas.

    Season finale - Sam goes out on a beer run while Castiel sacrifices himself to save Dean from the MoC.


The time I put in to typing this up is about the same amount of time they took to plot out S10.
Puck
# Puck 2014-12-12 08:12
Ahahaha! Good one! ... I still want Charlie's reentry music to be Elton John's "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road." They should play 'Saturday Nights Alright for Fighting" foe Dean at some point, too.
jane
# jane 2014-12-12 10:21
I think you resumed very well what TPTB has plained for the rest of the season. But why do you think Sam would wake up in episode 20 ? That's seems too early, no ? They could save it for the finale and spare the beer run.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-12-12 10:28
Quote:
They could save it for the finale and spare the beer run.
It does not matter because Sam will be blamed somehow or the other.
Shante
# Shante 2014-12-12 08:06
Hi Alice, i agree with you, im currently taking a break from Supernatural trying to figure out why im still here, and what or who these people are, they're not Sam and Dean, maybe they're Leviathans?, also, what is going on? until the show and characters i used to know and love come back, i will turn over to re-watching The Vampire Diaries-the other series that i own, and other shows.
rubby
# rubby 2014-12-12 13:35
Quote:
im currently taking a break from Supernatural
Quote:
until the show and characters i used to know and love come back, i will turn over to re-watching The Vampire Diaries-the other series that i own
... I am nobody to judge or tell you what to do or stop doing. But don't you think it's a bit... I don't know childlist to say you won't watch a tv show till it goes back to being like it used to be? aren't fans supposed to stay by the show they love till the end because since we care about the show, we'll be there in the good and the bad? Some episodes may be bad, but that's Sam and Dean, still loveing and caring for each other. In my opinion it's a bit selfish to just go watch other shows that are having a better time than spn at the moment instead of doing that AND still supporting the show you care about. I know it's just a tv show and what I''m saying may feel like I'm taking it too personal or too serious, but for the good moments we've had with the show, don't you think you could try a bit harder, because if you stop watching and others stop watching, the rating will go down and there'll be no time for the writers to fix what's been going wrong with this season.
st50
# st50 2014-12-12 14:55
Rubby -
As another person deciding to take a break from Supernatural -

I would say it is MORE childish to continue to watch a show you're not enjoying - if your reason for watching is simply that you're "a fan" and you're "there to the end". Television is entertainment. A show is not a person to whom you owe undying gratitude and devotion. If it doesn't serve it's purpose - to entertain - then you turn it off.
TPTB get the message that things need to change only when viewers stop tuning in. It's not helpful to continue to watch what is not entertaining. That's keeping a show on the air for the wrong reasons, imho.
Do I think it'll make any difference to them if I, personally, watch every episode or not? No. Not a bit. The only one impacted by that is me. It is a more mature decision for ME to turn the television off if I am not enjoying it, imho.

I love Sam and Dean (and Jared and Jensen) - SO - if the show were to somehow begin to entertain me again, I would watch again.

Thanks for the review, Alice. I'm in total agreement, unfortunately.
rubby
# rubby 2014-12-12 23:07
I guess you're right. I think this show just hasn't done as much for you as it has for me. Even tho it's just a tv show meant to just entertain, it means way much more than that for other, it has literally saved my life. So yeah, it may be a inmature to keep watching if you don't enjoy it. Happily for me, I still do, and since I am a devoted fan I will stand with it. Tv is meant to entertain, but then again to some Supernatural is more that just a tv show, we care deeply about those characters and it's more than just entertainment for me.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-12-12 23:42
I think I understand what you mean Rubby. I love this show more than I ever thought was possible. It has changed my life (for the better). It is more than a TV show it is a family. One that I am so glad I found. Jared and Jensen and all the writers and crew have given me something that I will always cherish so yes I feel an obligation to stick it out in good times and in bad. For what this show has given me I feel it is the least I can do.
E
# E 2014-12-13 07:49
Quote:
I think this show just hasn't done as much for you as it has for me.
Rubby, I am uncomfortable with fans speculating about why other fans choose to watch or not watch this show. And with comments like the one above you really risk seriously offending someone. You don't know why Shante and st50 watch and you don't know why they are choosing to take a break. Further you don't know what role this show has played in their lives or it's level of importance to them. This is a speculation thread where we speculate about THE EPISODE; was it good… was it bad and why. Perhaps we should put the topic of who watches and why to bed and move on.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-12-13 12:48
E I agree with you that we should not make assumptions about how other viewers feel about the show or what their own personal experiences have been. Having said that however this article dealt with Alice's displeasure not only with this episode but the show in general. She also talked about what brought her to Supernatural, why she has stuck with it and why her love has faded. I think it is fair game for anyone to talk about what the show means to them and why they are either walking away, sticking with it or are still wildly happy about it. There are those that are very angry right now and those that are hurt by that anger. I think everyone is passionate about this show and sometimes the passion gets the best of us. But as long as we are respectful I don't see why we can't express why we feel the way we do.
st50
# st50 2014-12-13 09:17
Some commenters on this site might remember what this show meamt to me / helped me deal with in the past. I've commented on it in the past - and often deleted those comments later as being too personal.
So yes, I agree with E and suggest we refrain from assuming things about anyone's life and move on to the show and the episode I'm question.
E
# E 2014-12-13 10:41
:D Hugs!
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-12-13 01:07
Hi st50. For me personally I would never to continue to watch a show unless I still enjoyed it. Once I lose interest I am done. Being loyal or a fan has nothing to do with it. I still have much affection for the show, these characters, those actors, and think it still has much to offer in the way of entertainment. Therefore I am in it until the end.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-12 09:49
Quote:
There are no risks being taken in the story telling because there is no story telling.


The demon blood storyline was too much to handle for a lot of fans. So I doubt that Dean will go on a truly dark journey. I would want the show to explore the character’s psyche. They will probably just stick to safe stuff like Dean killing bad guys in a more violent manner than usual. Of course Sam might get treated badly but fans are very lenient when it comes to that... Since Supernatural has pushed the envelope in the past, this hyping up the mark of Cain storyline or what Sam did to get Dean back is not working.
Daisymae
# Daisymae 2014-12-12 10:11
I don't agree with all you said but I just want to address the end. We have not been given a lot of Dean worrying about the Mark because maybe he wasn't feeling anything. I think the idea is that the killing spree came out of nowhere. And that was the surprise. Instead of Dean constantly looking at the mark and scratching it or whatever, there was nothing really happening. He was waiting and there was nothing. I felt that Dean was as much surprised by the killing as Sam was. So, that may be what the writers were after and we all did not see it coming. It's also why it felt disjointed to some. Well, that's my take.
res
# res 2014-12-13 00:48
Quote:
We have not been given a lot of Dean worrying about the Mark because maybe he wasn't feeling anything. I think the idea is that the killing spree came out of nowhere.
IMO Dean took two hard shots to the head and could have easily been dazed enough (or even unconscious) to allow the Mark to take over and protect its vessel in the ensuing blood bath. He is clearly bleeding from the head after the shot from the bottle before he gets kicked in the head. Then when Sam rushes back into the room, he is dazed and disoriented, almost drugged. I'm not sure that he actually knew what was going on but I think that's the whole point of us not being allowed to see it. We are supposed to be guessing just as much as Sam and Cas are. The evidence doesn't look good for Dean at all but that's also what we are supposed to see.

In addition, I'm not sure if Dean is actually lying to Sam or himself or both about the Mark's influence, considering how Dean is the King of Denial. Either way, the Mark has feed a lot. So, is it sated for a time or hungry for more?
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-12-13 01:46
This got me wondering if Dean in fact did actually slaughter those people. We were not shown one second of the massacre. I thought that was curious. He most likely did but we have time to speculate no?:)
jane
# jane 2014-12-12 10:15
Alice, your review is right on spot. I agree with everything you said. I am desperate to see what the show has become. I didn't bought Claire's story one bit, thought too cliche, her mom would have never abandoned her (remember very religious famillly and all) and over acted. I just didn't care.
How did this writers team could turn the king of hell to this pathetic loser. Where is the fun and evil demon we knew. Rowena annoys me, I think she is also overplayed. And I didn't get why she is alive. Can witches live this long. Maybe I fell asleep when they explained it.
Dean keeps lying, Sam is still a pretty wallpaper and I care less and less about Castiel.
But during this break, I am going to try to be optimist because two years ago, I was in the same state of mind, thinking, maybe it's time for me to stop watching but couldn't because I love Sam and Dean too much. I hated the first half of season 8 and the mid season finale too and finally loved the second half of season 8. I can only hope the second half of season 10 will be better.
But something really scares me. They got good ratings for this crap, will the writers think that it's because the fans want this bullshit ?
Glorie
# Glorie 2014-12-12 12:09
Quote:
They got good ratings for this crap, will the writers think that it's because the fans want this bullshit ?
lol I think we're making it pretty clear the fans won't tolerate this bullshit.
NOLANOLA
# NOLANOLA 2014-12-12 12:46
Long as they get good ratings they have
ZERO reason to change,
MONEY talks BS walks.
LeAnn
# LeAnn 2014-12-12 13:16
Yes, this is true, but just like the second half of season 9 fans will just stop watching. How many times can one show burn bridges with their loyal fanbase before their loyal fanbase has had enough?
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-12 12:22
Quote:
And I didn't get why she is alive. Can witches live this long.
5.07 The Curious Case of Dean Winchester

Cliff: Look, I know it sounds crazy. Guy comes up to me at a bar, invites me to play. Gives me twenty-five of these weirdo poker chips, right? Chants some mumbo jumbo over them, says now they're twenty-five years. I'm laughing, but then I come out up. And look at me.

Patrick: You boys want chips? Take 'em. They're just chips, Einsteins. It's showmanship. This may come as a shock, but the magic does not lie in a pile of crappy plywood or in any phony abracadabra. It's in the nine-hundred-ye ar-old witch. You boys want years? Score 'em the old-fashioned way. Texas hold 'em.


It seems that when people agreed that instead of money, they’ll play for years, it gave the witch the power to use the years that people lost to his own gain. Rowena has likely found another underhanded way to cheat death. Maybe that’s one of the reasons why she was curious to know how Crowley had died.
jane
# jane 2014-12-12 14:45
Thanks, I haven't though about it. What a good show it was then.
And now it reminds me there was also the couple of witches in "shut up Dr Phil".
LeAnn
# LeAnn 2014-12-12 12:59
Oh Alice I can not agree more. I'm watching reruns on TNT Season 2 early Season 3 and thinking what in the world happened to this show! I knew it was feeling soapy but from then to now we are seeing two different shows. I loved the Horror/SyFy feel the show had and the writing between then and now is like night and day. I think now I have figured out why I'm eh I can take it o leave it, you are right, it's predictable, soapy, no excitement, no suspense, to much teenage melodrama, can see things coming from a mile away. I don't want to offend but the writing we are getting now is amateur to what it once was. It use to draw me in now it feels hollow and phoned in. And believe it or not Sam & Dean actually talked to each other and were both engaged with the story. Supporting characters actually supporting them not the other way around, and last but not least the show did not pander, they gave us what we needed not want we wanted. Sad :(
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-12 18:15
Now that both Jane the Virgin and Gina Rodriguez were nominated for Golden Globes, Supernatural airing on the CW can’t be used as an excuse anymore. The writers need to step up their game or the only awards the show – or Jensen and Jared to be more specific – will have a chance of getting are the People’s Choice Awards.
Ginger
# Ginger 2014-12-12 19:42
Quote:
However, you really have to look seriously at your show when the creative team starts phoning it in and producing work this bad.
This pretty much says it all. Since the quick end to DDean, so far this season has been nothing but "The Return of Nobody Cares," with the Winchesters used as viewer bait, and every single one of this string of forgettable characters have had the most predictable, clichéd tools a writer can use to give a character motivation.

This has been the season of "The Return of Nobody Cares." Besides the lack of a story for the Winchesters and the lack of any relevance to the stories the forgettable characters have gotten, I am up to my eyeballs with teenagers, women, women, and more women (because "we are not misogamists, see"), and the "emotional personal journey."

The MoC story is a poached demon blood Sam story, but it still has wonderful potential; potential to even carry a story through next season, but my expectation for this happening even this season is just not there. I watch now only to take advantage of being able to see JA perform, but I am seriously thinking about not watching live anymore. I think I will record the show so that I can fast forward through all the scenes that don't have Sam and/or Dean in them. It the season's pattern holds, that should be between 10-14 minutes a week of viewing.

And I will just mention that the references to Dean being old ticks me off royally. Both JA and Jared are in the prime of their lives, and they should be in the prime of their hunting lives.
shelly
# shelly 2014-12-12 21:31
You said both JA and Jared are in the prime of their lives, and I couldn't agree more. Which is why I kind of want this show to end already so these two talented actors can go do SOMETHING ELSE. They shouldn't be wasting their prime years on a less than mediocre show like this. It's a waste of their talents, and a waste of our time when what they're producing is just tired and old and recycled/repurp osed stuff. I know they don't want to let down the fans, but honestly, I'd rather have fewer seasons of an AWESOME show, than a million seasons of a show that just does what it does over and over and over with no creativity instilled in it. *sorry to rant! :D
Ginger
# Ginger 2014-12-13 00:10
It is the Js choice to extend their contracts, and a lot of decisions go into making that choice. They made their choice as to whether to move on or stay put. The thing for me, though, is that the J2s are the show. They made the commitment, they and all TPTB know they are the show and always have been, but they are only working part-time while we watch obscure character stories that the Winchesters just pop into as viewer bait. So far, all the Winchesters have done is take road trips from obscure character story to obscure character story. One episode was even a 42-minute commercial for the new SPN Clue game; and in this winter finale, viewers only had to watch the promo and the sneak peak to get the entire Winchester story. We keep hearing that there will be a mytharc after the break, but can we trust that to be the case with the egregious viewer baiting TPTB resorted to for this winter finale?
shelly
# shelly 2014-12-13 16:20
Oh sure, I definitely know it's the J's decision to continue if the network keeps renewing the show. I just wonder if they themselves think the show is of the same quality it once was? I don't know - I fully admit I know nothing about the politics and people and the behind the scenes machinations - I'm just speculating. And really, I just want to see both these guys do other things instead of languishing on a show that just does what it does, over and over and sometimes (many times) not that well. They both are talented actors and it'd be nice to see them be able to do other projects (if they want. Heck, maybe they're both content to just do the Sam and Dean show until the end of time - which, I'd be sad if so but that's their prerogative).

And I agree with you, the J's for me are the show, too. The Winchester's are the reason I watch. I don't really care at all about the other characters that have been getting too much attention the last few seasons. I enjoy the occasional guest star - but I don't give a fig about Heaven, or Hell, or Angels, or Demons. I haven't cared about those things since season 6. So...it's rough to watch sometimes. (oh, but I did like the Clue episode - but I am also a giant fan of that 80s movie so....). I hope the show comes back with a vengeance after the break, and it's all mytharc all the time til the end (a hopeless wish, I know...sigh). It's just so disheartening to see such a generic and dull (and soooo OOC) episode lead us into the hiatus. So...I'm venting. :)
PSG
# PSG 2014-12-12 20:15
LOL! Great minds... As you know I too have been disappointed and troubled by the writing, especially when they have the makings of greatness with the current character arcs. I will catch up on my reviews during hiatus working backwards from this episode.

it's clear to me that Cole and Claire were meant to show the greyness of hunting. For both, Team Free Will was the bad guy, the monster in their stories. In this episode we see humans far worse than D!Dean or H!Crowley. I hope it's a set-up for Dean becoming the dark hero he always was, Crowley leaving hell behind, Cas leaving heaven, and Sam learning who he is now that he isn't tainted by supernatural. It's a great set-up. I love that the brothers roles are flipped. I really love the idea of TFW 2.0.

Now can we clone Carver. It's obvious he rewrote Reichenbach. The vision is superb. I don't understand why we are seeing this silly , pedestrian stuff.

Speaking of season 3/4, why haven't they touched on Dean’s personal arc from then during his "cured" phase. Dean saying he was embarrassed by his demon sojourn with Crowley is the most bizarre line of dialogue. I was convinced he wasn't really cured in the sense that the demon was 100÷ cleansed. Dean's been off and acting like Dean for episodes culminating in the manic display of "human" excess in this episode. Still... it's just so lame and so bad I almost hope the bad writing is intention due to passive -aggressive issues behind the scenes.
Sigh. At least I can look forward to Dean punching a possessed? Charlie and gleefully smarmy Metatron.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-12-12 20:57
Demons or monsters are always worse than humans. We have 9 years of episodes to attest to that. Case in point, Dean decreed that Amy from season 7 had to die for killing "bad" humans, even if it was to heal her sick child. By that criteria, Dean should be killed for what he did. There's no such thing (IMO) as a dark demon/MOC hero. Dean screwed up and I'm still waiting for him to show regret. He needs to be cured.

Also, maybe it's just me, but I really don't like the term Team Free Will applied to Sam, Dean and Cas. We can argue all we want about the merits of Dean tricking Sam into being possessed, but one thing for sure is that he took Sam's free will away, and Cas absolved him by saying he was just too trusting or something. (of course Cas didn't want to be saved by Metatron because, you know, free will and all). Sorry. It's a sore point with me. There's no such thing as free will for Sam, because Dean just HAS to save him no matter what. (Sorry, I've had a bit of wine so I whine…)
E
# E 2014-12-12 22:35
Heh…... JuliaG I made pretty much the exact sam point on another thread. Funny how Dean decided that Amy just HAD to be killed even though she only killed lowlifes, did it to save her sick son and vowed never to do it again. That wasn't good enough for Dean despite the fact that he then let his good buddy Benny go, who had undoubtedly killed 100 times the number of humans in his 200 years as a vampire than Amy ever had and that's because he was Dean's good buddy and continuity, fair play and consistency be damned. And now Dean has done the same thing, killed humans…just like Amy did and for less of a good reason IMO. I wonder if this show will remember Amy Pond and what Dean did? I wonder if Dean will remember or Sam even? I'll bet not. And I'll bet no one will say that Dean deserves to die even though by his own rules, the rules under which he condemned Amy, he does.

Its pretty irritating that the writers seem to be trying so hard to "mitigate" Dean's actions by having him kill only those people that "deserve it." I wonder what the reaction would have been had Dean gone all Rambo on a day care center or old folks home? Even while Dean was a demon he only killed other demons and Lester who had sold his soul anyway. Actually the implication made by the show was that Dean saved Lester when he killed him because it was a breach on Lester's contract; who knows, Lester probably ended up in heaven because of Dean. And Sam, well Lester's death is "on Sam" as Dean said. So basically the MoC story is turning out to be a copout AND boring to boot. What a great combo.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-12-13 00:27
Should Dean, under the influence of the MoC, the blade or demonness, get held responsible for his actions? I don't think there was any conscious desire to kill those humans, I think he was compelled. Amy is a different story. The possession was a different story.
Ginger
# Ginger 2014-12-13 07:57
We don't know what the Mark does to the bearer, because the writers have set no parameters within which to tell that story. All we know is that Dean has a tattoo on his arm. What that tattoo does, how it affects the bearer, can it's influence be overcome, can it be gotten rid of, does it make Dean immortal, does it take over when, say, Dean is kicked in the head maybe unconscious, maybe not. Without having any rules, the writers can do anything they want with it...or not. There has been no build-up to let the audience make a decision as to whether Dean should be held responsible or not. He, or the Mark, obviously slaughtered the scumbags. That really is all the viewers know.
E
# E 2014-12-13 08:04
Amy was as compelled to save her son as Dean was to kill those people because of the Marks influence. They both had their reasons and were both at the mercy of their impulses. And Dean took the Mark WILLINGLY so I am having a hard time with his regrets at this stage. He brought it on himself with full knowledge. (or at least a vague understanding, he could have had full knowledge if he had just ASKED; thwaps Dean upside the head:D). And my comment wasn't really about weather or not Dean should be killed (at least it wasn't supped to be) its more about how the show can't keep track of it's own POV and doesn't even seem to be trying. Dean was made to look right by killing Amy, then he was made to look right giving Benny a pass, (a contraction) now he'll be mitigated in these murders (its the marks fault) even though if Dean was the hunter here rather than the perpetrator he would have killed the monster who killed those people without question mitigating circumstances or uncontrollable impulses or not. It makes Dean look inconsistent as a character and slowly chips away at his credibility. I hate that. They do it to Sam too. All they would ave to do is have either Sam or Dean mention Amy in the fallout from this latest MoC episode. But who am I kidding… they won't talk about Amy, hell they won't talk about anything. The writers aren't keeping track of what their characters say or do any more and so they end up contradicting themselves. It's sloppy…. and Dabb is one of the sloppiest. He's had some half way decent episodes lately but this isn't one of them.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-12-13 09:17
Quote:
giving Benny a pass,
A pass given on the basis of Benny's word.
Are you the murderer?
No I am not.
Well you go free.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-12-13 12:03
I wasn't really trying to talk right or wrong here. I think all the characters have done things that were right and some that were very wrong. I didn't agree that Amy needed to be killed. Dean going off and taking on the Moc wasn't the smartest thing the character has ever done. I don't think he knew or cared what the consequences were at the time which ultimately makes him responsible. I just think that a decision by someone driven by supernatural forces (ie possesion or the MoC) is not the the same as a decision that is made when you have some free will. As Amy had. I believe it hasn't been spelled out but I do think it is apparent the MoC takes the free will out of it's influence at some point.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-13 12:56
Quote:
I believe it hasn't been spelled out but I do think it is apparent the MoC takes the free will out of it's influence at some point.
I think that would go against the message of the show.

9.11 First Born

Dean: And Lucifer ordered you to make more.
Cain: My knights and I, we did horrible things -- for centuries. Bringers of chaos and darkness.
Dean: Then you met Colette.
Cain: She knew who I was... and what I was. She loved me unconditionally . She forgave me. She only asked for one thing.
Crowley: To stop.
Cain: When the knights found out, they took retribution. They took Colette, so I picked the First Blade back up, and it felt so good to have it in my hands again, and I slaughtered the Knights of Hell.
Dean: Not all of them.
Cain: No.

(Flashback)

Cain: No, Colette! Colette, I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I will find Abaddon, and I will kill her.
Colette: No, there's been enough killing. Promise me. You're better than all of this.

[Colette dies in his arms as Cain sobs goodbye. Scene then changes back to Cain's house with Cain telling the story.]

Cain: So I buried her, and I walked away.


Cain was able to stop killing even though he was a demon so should Dean.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-12-13 15:08
That's true. I wonder what the difference is? Why does it seem to be so hard to control for Dean and yet Cain can just up and walk away? Love of a woman? Dean likes to kill? I don't know.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-12-13 15:45
I imagine over many centuries (and Collette) Cain learned how to control his bloodlust. Or maybe when he comes back in a few episodes he will give Dean a few pointers. Maybe beekeeping (Cas was obsessed with bees too....hmmm) has something to do with it. I have a feeling we will find out.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-13 16:06
Quote:
I imagine over many centuries (and Collette) Cain learned how to control his bloodlust.
Cain said, “My knights and I, we did horrible things -- for centuries. Bringers of chaos and darkness.” I think that having been a killer for such a long time makes it harder to just stop.

10.02 Reichenbach

Crowley: Dean! How did it go?
Dean: Fine. Fine. Uh... He's dead, and you're right --I-I feel amazing.

---

Dean: Or what? Hmm? Go ahead. Make a move. See how it ends. I ain't your friggin' bestie, and I ain't taking orders from you. When I need to kill, I'll call. Until then, stay out of my way.


It seems that demon Dean didn’t have enough motivation to stop killing even after Sam came to him.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-12-13 21:01
I'm not sure I get what you mean. Cain did stop killing it seems for at least 100+ years so there must have been some way he figured out how to stop. Since we don't really know how he achieved that yet I guess Dean hasn't figured it out yet either. Demons don't really care who they manipulate or kill so if Dean was a demon and one powered by the MOC I would gather it would be harder to stop the bloodlust than even a regular demon. Do you mean when Dean and Sam met in the bar? I think at that point Dean had decided to give up any vestiges of human and embrace demon. If you mean part way through the cure I thought that the MOC was affecting how that was going. Even when Dean lost the black eyes he still had the Mark and it still needs to be fed theoretically. So in a round about way I am saying I guess I am not sure what you mean about Dean and his ability to control the Mark
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-13 22:59
I thought you meant that it took a long time (centuries) for Cain to learn how to control his bloodlust. I got the impression that he was able to stop killing cold turkey.

Cain had been “the best at being the worst” so I think it’d be harder for him to stop than it would have been for Dean who hadn’t been a demon for all that long and he hadn’t killed any civilians.

Quote:
Demons don't really care who they manipulate or kill so if Dean was a demon and one powered by the MOC I would gather it would be harder to stop the bloodlust than even a regular demon.
I think that demon Dean was more capable of controlling himself than the average demon. Dean’s soul was twisted but his humanity hadn’t been burned away.

10.02 Reichenbach

Crowley: Really? Because I think you don't know what you want. Tell me, Dean -- what are you? A demon? If so, why isn't Lester's wife dead? Did you feel sorry for her? So maybe you're human. Except you have those pretty black peepers and you're working alongside me. Why don't you do us all a great big favor and PICK A BLOODY SIDE?!
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-12-13 23:12
I always thought that a fresh made demon was like a new vampire. The bloodlust was harder to control. As the demons aged kind of like Meg they gained more control over their actions. We haven't seen any new demons hang around long enough to figure out how they act. But then again we haven't seen a demon made the way Dean was. So I am not sure what the rules are for a Knight of Hell that hasn't possessed someone but is a twisted soul inside it's own body. I am not sure how Dean could have chosen to become human again. Maybe Crowley knows something the rest of us don't? I guess we will have to stay tuned to see how it gets explained.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-13 23:35
9.14 Captives

Del: And you know the worst part? I wasn't even allowed to kill anyone. I was told to protect them. I mean, how sick is that? Am I not a young, vital demon with basic demon needs and rights?

Demon Dean wasn’t all that eager to kill. Crowley even said to him, "The fact is...you need to kill now. Not want to, not choose to --need to,” and “So, the question is, do you want to spike a civilian or someone who has it coming?”

Quote:
I am not sure how Dean could have chosen to become human again.
I wonder if Sam not having been able to reach Dean will be significant.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-13 15:48
9.11 First Born

Dean: Well, I'm sorry -- truly. But I have to stop Abaddon. So, where is the Blade?
Cain: No.
Dean: Hey! Listen, you son of a bitch. You may be done killing, but I'm not.

---

Cain: The mark can be transferred to someone who's worthy.
Dean: You mean a killer like you?
Cain: Yes.
Dean: Can I use it to kill that bitch?
Cain: Yes. But you have to know with the mark comes a great burden. Some would call it a great cost.
Dean: Yeah, well, spare me the warning label. You had me at "kill the bitch".


I think Dean is preoccupied with killing and thinks he is no good. He needs to let go of that.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-12-14 21:29
What was the waitress's name? Maybe it's her love that saves Dean. :(
eilf
# eilf 2014-12-14 22:01
What Dean loves most is what saves him? Well then this seasons evidence is that the impala is going to have to learn to communicate real quick :P

They did an episode of Dr Who like that - where the doctor got to talk to the Tardis, it could work.
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-12-14 23:11
Heh heh, I think we all know who Dean loves the most with the Impala coming in a close second!;) Cain was turned around by a woman in his case. Honestly I think it will ultimately be Sam's love that saves him. It has so far.
cheryl42
# cheryl42 2014-12-15 03:46
Hmmm......inter esting. Dean has been paying special attention to the Impala. She should at least be involved. ;)
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-12-15 09:48
you may be right..Dean was more angry with sam having an ipod jack?rack? in impala than with himself for putting Gadreel in Sam.:p
Bahhumbug
# Bahhumbug 2014-12-13 20:37
The overwhelming impression I took away from this scene was that it was love that saved Cain, gave him the strength to repress the effects of the Mark, even after centuries. At the time, I thought rather dismally it would be the unconditional love between the brothers that might allow Dean to make the same choice but that has been mangled too effectively by the writers efforts to manufacture conflict and since the fans will no doubt baulk at Dean finding a depth of love with a female character, it seems to be another dead end.
E
# E 2014-12-14 19:24
Its not the viewers take on what Sam and Dean do as being right or wrong that I am talking about, it's the shows. The show's take on Dean killing Amy was that he did the right thing. This was shown in how they treated Sam; making him apologize to Dean for being a "bitch" and telling him that he was right. Then the show's take on Dean letting Benny go was shown to be right by making Benny a "good guy" and his chief challenger Martin a crazy man. The show continually changes the way Dean reacts to things (and Sam too for that matter - he wants normal, he doesn't want normal, he hates John - he defends John etc) but then doesn't explain why his decision is different this time. If the show wants to make something out of Dean maybe making the correct decision at times and the wrong decisions at other times (as we all do, it's human after all) then the show must say so, show that in the dialog, but it doesn't. Everything that Dean says is taken at face value and is never challenged by another character, indicting that in whatever incident Dean is reacting to, his reaction is always the "right" one at that given time regardless if its in direct contradiction to a similar situation in another episode. The fact that it's completely inconsistent is not acknowledged by the show in any way and ends up making Dean look inconsistent.
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-12-13 15:12
Well, Sam was held responsible for his actions while influenced by the demon blood, because it was his choice to start drinking it. So shouldn't Dean be accountable for what he does now, given that he took the mark of his own free will, without being tricked or even caring about the consequences?
LEAH
# LEAH 2014-12-13 15:39
Yeah, I'm not really one of those people who think Sam did anything so terribly wrong during that period. He THOUGHT he was doing the right thing. I still see it a little differently. Sam felt powerful he made decisions based on that. I don't think the demon blood was able to make Sam do anything he didn't want to do. Dean's decisions led him to this place yes, so I think he is responsible for being stupid. I don't think he thought he would have little or no control. I won't go so far as to say he wanted this all to happen and made a conscious decision to slaughter humans. That's JMO and bow out now.:)
JuliaG
# JuliaG 2014-12-13 15:15
Well, Sam was held responsible for his actions while influenced by the demon blood, because it was his choice to start drinking it. So shouldn't Dean be accountable for what he does now, given that he took the mark of his own free will, without being tricked or even caring about the consequences?
Bahhumbug
# Bahhumbug 2014-12-13 20:56
Where does the question of responsibility come into it? As someone (sorry, can't remember who) pointed out, Dean made a deliberate decision to take on the Mark and he knows full well that every consequence arising from that decision is his to bear. He's never once shirked his responsibilitie s on what he's done, in fact more times he's taken on responsibility for things that weren't his to take (Jo and Ellen's death, Ash's death, his father's sacrifice, to name a few). He knew that Sam would be furious when he allowed Gadreel to possess his brother and he never tried to mitigate Sam's anger about that either. Dean knew that killing Amy was the wrong thing to do. He'd do it again, because ultimately he believes that the guilt he'd feel if Amy did go bad and he'd let her go, would be worse than the guilt he felt taking her life and her son's mother on that off-chance. His real guilt came not from killing Amy but from lying to Sam about it. Had he been 100% certain of that kill, he'd have told Sam and faced the fallout. He wasn't 100% certain of it. He weighed the pros and cons and believed that it was better that he kill her than not. But he never tried to make out that it wasn't his decision.

A lot of S7 was muddied up by that conflict, which realistically should not have been anything. Manufactured melodrama, yet again. They attempted to have another go at the theme of monsters good and evil in S8, with Benny and Kate and didn't have a clear understanding of that either, largely since they refused to go into any depth. Sam called Dean a hypocrite about killing Amy and insisting that Benny was different in S8 and Dean agreed that he'd changed his mind on the subject. He'd let Kate go because of what he'd seen in Benny.

Every inconsistency in character, every contradiction by the characters and in the events of the show comes straight from the writers room. Blaming the characters for their on-again-off-ag ain behaviour is ridiculous. Blame the writers who don't care enough to go back (as the fans do all the time) and rewatch the episodes, analytically and carefully to see what the characters have done, what they've gone through and how it would change them.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-12-14 04:27
Quote:
He knew that Sam would be furious when he allowed Gadreel to possess his brother and he never tried to mitigate Sam's anger about that either.
did not ask for forgiveness and when he tried to it was too little too late.Quote:
Dean knew that killing Amy was the wrong thing to do. He'd do it again,
did not apologise.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-12-13 09:15
Quote:
I wonder if Dean will remember or Sam even?
Show has selective amnesia .Your name is not Sam? wel you have done no wrong.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-13 09:55
Quote:
Actually the implication made by the show was that Dean saved Lester when he killed him because it was a breach on Lester's contract; who knows, Lester probably ended up in heaven because of Dean.
Conspiracy to commit murder should be enough to earn one a ticket to Hell.

Maybe Crowley was mad that the contract was broken because he has more control over the soul when he holds the contract.
Bahhumbug
# Bahhumbug 2014-12-13 02:37
Alice, you have both nailed the episode's failures and Andrew Dabb's. He has consistently written the characters out of character and with the sort of brains that the Dukes of Hazzard made popular. Uh ... gosh ... a trap. Whaddaboutdat, huh?

However, take that despairing magnifying glass and look over the seasons since Season 7 - or 6, from about halfway through. The writing team ran out of a story that both developed the ongoing maturation of the characters and provided them with a solid, bonafide reason to keep fighting the good fight a long time ago, and were left undirected by both showrunners since Kripke left. Many of their episode ideas are fine. In fact, many of those episode ideas are terrific. The Men of Letters society. The Mark of Cain. The tablets of the Word of God. The trials required to close the gates of Heaven and Hell. These are extremely workable, epic arching storylines that could have carried the show for not just a couple of seasons, but literally a dozen without strain - in the hands of writers who actually knew how to write. Or who even cared about the story and characters they were attempting to write. They've written for the show for a while, they *should* know both the characters and the canon of the series. But they don't.

Dabb's perpetual chip-on-the-sho ulder attempts to belittle and demean the characters should have been nipped with the first outing - Yellow Fever. Dean's a bully? And a coward? Really? It's strange that psychologically speaking that doesn't really gel at all with a lifetime spent trying to save people and put himself between monsters and innocents? Oh, he's a secret bully! Um ... no. When you see episodes, like A Very Supernatural Christmas, for instance, it's quickly apparent that Dean could not have been a bully for it was the opposite of his entire upbringing and experiences. So ... fail for Dabb who brings his personal issues to the episodes and hangs them out for all to see. Obviously mentoring Mr Glass in this arena.

A writer takes an idea and crafts it into a coherent, logical event. A writer researches whatever they're working on to ensure that within the bounds of their fictional universe, the reader (or audience) will not be faced with inexplicable behaviour, unbelievable deux a machinas, illogical plot holes, and the endless reworking of existing history because it's peskily not letting them do what they want to do. A *WRITER*, as you and others here point out so succinctly, will come up with millions of ideas of how to justify what they want to do happen, in a way that the audience will understand and accept. A *WRITER* will use the surface story to explore and illuminate and develop the characters so that their personal quests are as exciting and tension-filled as the more obvious plot. A *WRITER* will ensure that each event (chapter, episode) that the characters get through will feed a little more information about the overall plot, the novel or season's journey, giving the reader/audience a constant sense of participation, adding tension with anticipation and keeping the contract between reader/audience and novel/show intact by never reneging on details already known or introducing "just because" moments due to a horrendous dearth of imagination.

Did the writers in S9 realise that in Gadreel's story, the angel who allowed his trusted and beloved brother, Lucifer, into the Garden, lay a parallel to the Winchesters? Why, no. Not one appeared to notice that. Did the writers use the trials to purify Sam's blood of the demon taint, leaving him finally human and himself again? No ... no, they managed to miss that opportunity too. Did the writers notice that in one episode, they had Dean 'nesting' hopefully at the beginning and bluntly stated that he was suicidal and unable to find hope at the end, apparently without noticing the large contradiction there.

One of the reviewers here rightly points out that it is experience and knowledge and skill that marks someone as having lived a life. It is unfortunate that not one "writer" in the writers' room appears to have any of those things, certainly not in a quantity or of a quality where self-inserting themselves into the characters, without consideration for story or character, is regarded as a heinous crime that no ***WRITER*** would ever freaking well do.

Alice, I know you've been trying to see the best in the show for awhile now. Perhaps that's a good thing, certainly I see many fans claiming that the episodes of the last few seasons are "wonderful" and "heartwarming" and so on. But sooner or later, someone has to notice that the Emporer's not wearing any clothes. It's irresponsible to not complain when a group of writers treat the audience as if they're five year olds - deliberately or not, perhaps these writers have the mental capacity of five year olds with limited attention spans, inability to write naturalistic dialogue, unwillingness to put any attempt at research into their "work" or to even comprehend what the original premise and the core natures of the characters actually was - and write drivel whilst congratulating themselves on how brilliant they are. Carver's constant need for interviews to "explain" what the episodes are "supposed to mean" must have struck more than just me as bizarre? Did anyone need the episodes of the first 3 seasons "explained" to them? Did Kripke or any of those writers, even the less-skilled ones, ever write an episode that needed several flashbacks in it? Or that failed to develop the bond between the brothers, revealing them to the audience gradually, consistently and steadily throughout the course of the seasons? Go back, fans, watch S1-3 again. Watch it carefully, not for the eye-candy. Watch for story and characterisatio n and dialogue and action. Watch Dean's loyalty to his father and Sam's slow understanding that perhaps he had missed a few things about his dad and with maturity is coming to realise that. Watch the way the ovearching mythology was gradually revealed, more information divulged with each case they took. Watch the secondary characters, rounded and full, not sketched in caricatures, but people who had lived lives of their own. Watch how important the lore of the supernatural was then - patterns and rules and solutions, but they had to be researched, had to be found. Then compare those episodes with what's been thrown (dare one say regurgitated!) onto the screens for the last 4 years.

Like you, I was completely thrilled by the show when it aired. No one in television has ever married so perfectly the realm of the supernatural, a dark fantasy, with a gripping family drama. The potential was infinite. A hunter's community, always in the shadows, committed to each other but giving up the chance for a life of normality to save people from the things that hunt in the darkness - I mean, wow!

I will never understand the decision to kill off the hunters and leave the Winchesters struggling mostly on their own. It is not a matter of testing the brothers' mettle or skills. No secondary character was needed in every episode, but when things got very bad, a place to rest, to reflect on what was happening to them, psychologically speaking, was an essential. Every decision production-wise since then has gone from bad to worse, despite the enormity of the possible vistas opening up with each new mytharc. Heaven manipulating the bloodlines of humanity to create keys and vessels? Angels in league with Hell? What part of these epics - yes, grandiose but oh, so exciting - did they choose to continue with? None. The show introduced God as a character and then backed off so quickly it was like watching a cat soaked by a hose.

As another commentor hear pointed out, there are a huge amount of threads left dangling in this series. Throwaway comments. Plots begun but then dropped. Would any *writer* leave those unresolved? No. No, a writer's business is finding those tantalising trails and following them, making them fit into a broader canvas with care and ingenuity as if they were always meant to be rediscovered years later. But the show doesn't have writers. Alas. The show has emotionally and intellectually stymied folks who believe that pop culture references are just as good as meaningful dialogue. That a suitable explanation for a physical impossibilty is "it must run on magic!" like a bad school panto. That the existing canon isn't important and can be thrown out when it doesn't suit. And that's the reason it cannot improve. Either the production team are incredibly ignorant and don't see what they're doing. Or they do see but don't care. Either way, it's a rare thing to see the characters in the episodes now - even if they're in every scene, mostly it's not Dean and Sam. It's just someone else the actors are struggling to play as close to their characters as the poor writing allows.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-13 08:10
Quote:
Did the writers in S9 realise that in Gadreel's story, the angel who allowed his trusted and beloved brother, Lucifer, into the Garden, lay a parallel to the Winchesters?
What kind of parallel exists in your opinion?

Quote:
Did the writers use the trials to purify Sam's blood of the demon taint, leaving him finally human and himself again? No ... no, they managed to miss that opportunity too.
Well, Sam didn’t finish the trials. So if the trials were in fact purifying him physically, it’d make sense that a smidgeon of demon blood would still be left.

They could still reveal that Sam was completely purified when he started the third trial (confessed) because he had to use his own blood to cure a demon. Gadreel never mentioned Sam having demon blood.
E
# E 2014-12-13 08:38
They never clarified what was happening with Sam's blood and they have not mentioned it since. Something as important as Sam's tainted blood, the very foundation of the show was dropped like the proverbial hot potato.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-13 09:10
I don’t think that they have completely dropped it since Sam didn’t use his own blood to cure Dean in 10.03 Soul Survivor. However, they haven’t given an explanation for that. Was Sam afraid that he still has demon blood in him and the “Forgive me, Father” might not purify his blood enough? Was Sam afraid that curing Dean would mean that he finished the trials? Or did he simply think that the process of injecting blood is so exhausting that he should use someone else’s blood? Hell, maybe Sam and Dean don’t have the same blood type.
E
# E 2014-12-13 10:59
Its' one of the sad and inconsistent things about the show as a whole of late. They set it up in season 8 to show that the cure required blood that had to be purified through "confession of your greatest sin," then showed us that the administering of blood to cure the demon was an arduous process, taking a huge toll on Crowley and Sam. Then suddenly they changed the whole nature of the cure in season 10 without any explanation whatsoever. I can certainly understand why it might not be the same as the circumstances were not the same, but the differences were not addressed in any way at all. Was it because Sam was doing the trials before and didn't need to go through that same kind of sacrifice as last time? Or because his blood really wasn't purified? Or because there's angel grace inside him? Or because he needed more blood to cure Dean than he needed to cure Crowley (although why that would be I haven't a clue), or was it because if Sam HAD used his blood that he would inadvertently finish off the trial he had started with Crowley and would have shut the gates of hell and dooming himself in the process? Any one of these reasons could have made perfectly good dramatic sense and also would have provided a small but important moment of insight into any number of characters who could really use it. And it would have been dramatically interesting to boot. But they haven't addressed it at all, in any way, which leaves us in a state of head scratching over the reasons and an awkward dangling plot thread that still makes me go "huh?". This is just poor dramatic construction. Considering how little seems to be happening in the episodes lately would it kill them to write in a few of these moments? Flesh out a few of these kinds of details? Probably not, but it WOULD require the writers know which threads are dangling and could use a little shoring up and attention. Kripke was really good a that, Carver? Not so much.
Bahhumbug
# Bahhumbug 2014-12-13 20:27
Not just the 'confession of the greatest sin' but the period of fasting and self-examinatio n. Sam couldn't eat or sleep for most of the second half of S8 - biblically speaking, that would be the period of self-preparatio n that most of God's candidates for great tasks went through. They provided a 'background' for the trials but they failed to deliver conclusions to the audience. Again, I'm uncertain if that was a deliberate ploy, to avoid being caught in having to stick to the storyline or if it was a subconscious decision to avoid the possible religious aspects and allow the audience to come to those conclusions on their own. The problem with the latter is that in writing a story one must commit to the plot sooner or later. It can't all be surrealistic and 'have your own version' because nothing deflates tension more quickly than having everything fuzzy and nothing concrete. The reader/audience cannot anticipate or speculate (interactive) on what might be happening without some concrete baselines to work from and the show hasn't given any.

Sam's failure to look for Dean - not explained, not justified and completely OOC. Sam's demon blood, purified through his own trials of fasting and sleep deprivation and introspection (which might have led to his acceptance of what he'd done and his genuine desire for atonement - let's not forget that Sam thought he would be paying for his choices by taking Lucifer back to the Cage and then was whisked out after a week or so - again never specified) followed by a heartfelt and completely contrite confession - never explained that this was (a) what was needed for his blood to purified and (b) that it actually happened. We're left to assume that Sam's blood is purified else it wouldn't work to 'cure' Crowley. Why not then have a two-minute scene between the brothers to set it straight and give them hope that Sam is now human and has put his demons to rest with the act of penance and contrition? Why on earth leave that in the air - unless Carver determined that he might want to have Sam topple into demon-driven darkness at some point in the future? Unfortunately, it would make a mockery of his blood being purified for Crowley by doing that, but it seems that the writers don't care if their internal logic is shonky.

Then we have the problem of Sam's violent emotional swings through S9. One minute, the bunker is their home and a place from which they can take the fight against the supernatural. The next Sam is telling all and sundry that he has no home and he never will. While each of the writers is responsible for coming up with their own stories, and they obviously don't do a great deal of collaboration with each other, the showrunner surely should be ensuring that each episode story is consistent - plotwise, emotionally for the characters, for the revelations and events - with all the others. So, when a major event happens, it is not completely ignored in the following episode and ongoing events, such as Dean's reactions to the MoC - and Sam's - are delivered incrementally from episode to episode and not slam-dunked into single episodes with a pile of horse-shit exposition to "explain" it.

In 10x8, Dean seemed to be utterly sincere when he told Sam that for the first time, he wasn't being pushed by the Mark. The very next thing we see is him being chewed up by nightmares, presumably fed by the Mark. That's not consistent. Is it so difficult for Carver to instruct the writers to have very small scenes, episode by episode, showing the effects in small ways that Dean is being affected? Or having small scenes of Sam researching on his own, becoming more and more worried by what he's finding out? All such scenes could be shot together, even, and simply added to the episodes to keep continuity for the characters. Wouldn't even scramble a shooting schedule :(

Likewise, after a season of Sam repeatedly telling Dean that he didn't have a family, didn't want a family, thought Dean was weak and afraid to be alone (and hey, Carver wrote "Free to Be You and Me" where Dean was actually happy to be on his own without the worry of looking after his brother, so um ... what happened?), the only thing offered in explanation at the season finale is "I lied"??????? That might've been a suitable throwaway if the behaviour had then been addressed in a following episode, but as a total explanation it's just bullshit. As someone else here points out, LAZY writing. And what has driven Sam - inexplicably - to turn into a ruthless torturer and killer to find his brother? Is that another attempt to create a manufactured conflict between the brothers? Or is it a development in the character?

The idea of exploring the true nature of monsters is a worthy one, but only if there is justification for the behaviour and it is within the character's core nature - a nature that must be shaped by all that's happened to them over the course of the time we've known them. Sam told Dean in S7 that he'd felt like he'd paid his dues and he no longer felt guilty. Obviously he underestimated that a tad because he had plenty to confess and that statement was more or less ignored by the S8 writers. A slipup but not an irredeemable one, it could've been explored a little as Sam underwent the trials - or it could've been used to explain his decision to live his own life instead of looking for Dean. No matter. At the end of S8, he is supposed to have accepted, understood, confessed and asked for forgiveness for what he'd done. It's not explained if his release from the contract brought on the life-threatenin g illness. It's further not explained why, when in a coma and debating with himself over living or dying, he seems to be thinking rather highly of himself, considering he's just gone through the confession part and despite his supposed knowledge of Dean, he finds it outrageous that Dean would take any means at all to save him.

C'mon, guys, Dean sold his soul to save Sam. He's not afraid of being alone. He's afraid of failing the one purpose, the one job he sees himself having - protecting his brother. All of which is pretty damned unmistakable if anyone watched the first three seasons. So why was Sam swinging between being furious with Dean and trying to be reconciliatory?

Poor plotting. Poor planning. Poor execution. As each script is developed, I would think the showrunner would check them for consistency between the characters, between the events they describe and the impacts those events have on each character, and for their ability to add more information to the over-arching plot that makes the season meaningful. That just doesn't happen in the show anymore.

Sam - apparently - was driven by a murderous rage while Dean was a demon. It's not explained why. He doesn't even know that Dean is demonic until some unspecified length of time has passed and he sees Dean in the security camera footage. Dean has left him a note asking him to let him go. So far as we're aware, that's the one lead Sam has had to go on. He does know that Dean was dead and is now, apparently alive. Did I miss something else here? I freely admit to not watching carefully once it became apparent that to these writers, a demonised Dean consists of bad karaoke, pool, darts and banging the local waitress. Since that was more or less what Dean could've been doing on any given Saturday night he had off in the last twenty years, I'm not sure what the difference of him being a demon was supposed to be ... perhaps that's Carver way of showing Dean wasn't a monster, even when he was? Who knows? None of it is clear. From what we've been told (ha ha, not shown), the only things he was killing were the demons Crowley was sending to attack him from time to time. Perhaps 'embarrassing' is the correct interpretation for Dean's brief time as a demon. Certainly, he has nothing to feel remorseful for!

Sam, on the other hand, had no motivation to go around slaughtering demons (and their vessels) to find his brother. You would think he'd start by checking whatever networked and online security footage he could access around the country and set a bot looking for news reports, but no, he moved straight to torture and killing. Why? Forget, for a moment, of the direct contradiction of his statement to his brother "Same situation, if you were dead, I wouldn't try to bring you back" ... from a psychological viewpoint, being Sam, the only reason for his over-the-top reactions is fear. Fear of what? Fear of losing his brother? His remaining family? Why didn't that fear drive him when Dean disappeared into Purgatory?

These are questions that now cannot be resolved. The writers have twisted and mangled the character so much that nothing Sam has done, is doing or will do can make any kind of sense. In their efforts to create angst and melodrama instead of drama and resolution, they've managed to turn Sam into a walking contradiction. What's worse is they don't appear to see or understand what they've done and how incredibly difficult it is to unwind the tangle of discrepancies from the character and bring him back to somewhere near the altruistic, ethical and enjoyable character we all met back at the beginning.

And then we have Dean. At the beginning of S6, Dean had grown up. He'd shouldered the responsibility for a family, he was somehow managing his guilt and grief and for a short time, he was a grown man, in his prime, clear in his head on what he was doing. Since then, however, the writers have foregone characterisatio n for laughs. So, despite seeing Dean make a decision to tear up a waitresses' number, he makes comments about how wife-swapping makes for the best wife in the world. A small contradiction but unfortunately a telling one. I'm not sure why any writer would sacrifice character for an attempt at humour, other than ignorance, and I'm completely flabbergasted by the number of times these "writers" sacrifice tension and pace for their attempts at humour, but they appear to believe that the fans prefer light-hearted hunts to serious ones. There have been a few very well-written light-hearted episodes. Not many. Bad Day at Black Rock stands out. So does Tall Tales. When watching those, however, it's obvious that despite the fact that the situation has gone out to left field, the real danger of the cursed object and trickster are still very much present, the tension is not allowed to fade away and Dean and Sam are very much themselves in those episodes, not twisted into someone else to get a laugh. Sam's view of Dean exaggerated by the trickster's magic, is hilarious. It belittles neither character since it is made clear that it is an exaggeration of feelings already there. Understandable feelings for both brothers. In comparison with any one of the more recent attempts at comedic episodes, it's clear that the writers can't think of situational comedy and rely on humiliation humour, making fun of the characters instead of keeping them intact and putting them into situations that are then funny to watch. Pretty much the lowest common denominator form of humour, unfortunately. I digress madly. Dean has been regressed in much of the last 3 seasons to an age less than when we first saw him in S1. He appears to have forgotten about all the life-changing events that have happened to him - enduring the sacrifice of his father for his life; going to Hell, and spending 40 years being tortured and torturing others; understanding finally that Sam is a grown man entitled to his own choices; being a partner and father with a family to protect and provide for; struggling with his choices as he tries to fight monsters, demons, angels et al. I don't know how exactly the writers could fail to see the impacts that kind of life might have on a character, but it's apparent that they have.

Of course, it's just television. Just entertainment. No real reason to try and develop a story that might be more than a thrown-together bunch of scenes and hey, once it's shot and aired, who cares about what was said or done? It's endemic to our society now - news reporter fail to provide what, who, when, where, how and why; best-selling novels are poorly written and barely edited; movies are made on scripts so thin that it's hard to remember the plot once the credits roll ... so why should tv writers be compelled to lift the standards and write quality drama and action?
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-13 21:54
Quote:
let's not forget that Sam thought he would be paying for his choices by taking Lucifer back to the Cage and then was whisked out after a week or so
The important piece, Sam’s soul, was left in the cage for a year and a half. In addition, time runs different there.

Quote:
and hey, Carver wrote "Free to Be You and Me" where Dean was actually happy to be on his own without the worry of looking after his brother, so um ... what happened?
It was clear to me that Dean was trying to convince himself of being happier without Sam but he was failing.

Quote:
And what has driven Sam - inexplicably - to turn into a ruthless torturer and killer to find his brother?

Sam - apparently - was driven by a murderous rage while Dean was a demon.

Sam, on the other hand, had no motivation to go around slaughtering demons (and their vessels) to find his brother. You would think he'd start by checking whatever networked and online security footage he could access around the country and set a bot looking for news reports, but no, he moved straight to torture and killing.
How on earth are you coming up with all that? Besides, torturing demons is nothing new to Sam and Dean.

Quote:
Forget, for a moment, of the direct contradiction of his statement to his brother "Same situation, if you were dead, I wouldn't try to bring you back"
No, Sam meant that he would not have tricked Dean into being possessed by some angel.

9.13 The Purge

Sam: I'll give you this much. You are certainly willing to do the sacrificing as long as you're not the one being hurt.
Dean: All right, you want to be honest? If the situation were reversed and I was dying, you'd do the same thing.
Sam: No, Dean. I wouldn't. Same circumstances...I wouldn't.


Quote:
At the beginning of S6, Dean had grown up. He'd shouldered the responsibility for a family, he was somehow managing his guilt and grief and for a short time, he was a grown man, in his prime, clear in his head on what he was doing.
Which episodes are you referring to exactly?
Bahhumbug
# Bahhumbug 2014-12-13 22:32
Quote:
The important piece, Sam’s soul, was left in the cage for a year and a half. In addition, time runs different there.
Which, presumably, is why Sam told Dean that he felt he'd paid his dues. Ignored by the writers. Please don't misunderstand my intentions here. I'm devastated at what the writers have done with the character of Sam Winchester. I don't argue character behaviour because - guess what! - the characters aren't writing themselves. Many fans attempt to justify and rationalise the poor writing, the inconsistencies that riddle the last few seasons, for some reason I can't fathom.

Quote:
It was clear to me that Dean was trying to convince himself of being happier without Sam but he was failing.
Well we have a difference in interpretation there. When watching that episode, watching the actor's performance especially, Dean's response appears heartfelt to me.

Quote:
How on earth are you coming up with all that? Besides, torturing demons is nothing new to Sam and Dean.
:) From watching the episodes, I'm afraid. Sam's demeanour with the demon we see him kill and the conversation between Sam and Dean in the car about what Sam has done. The fact that he clammed up tight about it. The fact that Dean didn't press him on it. It doesn't matter, really, does it? This show is one where a variety of opinions on the events and what is said and done by the characters is inevitable because of much of the writing leaves the audience free to speculate in any direction they choose. From a perspective of watching people, those are the impressions I've received about Sam's actions while Dean was a demon. The disclaimer about it being nothing to either brother to be torturing demons is neither here nor there. Again, the writing in the show shifted after S4 on the matter of demons and their possession of innocent vessels. In S2, Bobby was very clear about it, then it just kind of got forgotten. Or became less important. Who knows?

Quote:
No, Sam meant that he would not have tricked Dean into being possessed by some angel.
Ah. Very pedantic. "Same circumstances." meaning the exact, precise same circumstances, not the more open interpretation of "you are dying - or dead" that could also constitute the same circumstances in a broader sense. Quibbling over semantics isn't worth it.

Quote:
Which episodes are you referring to exactly?
Exile on Main Street, Two and a Half Men, The Third Man, Weekend at Bobby's ... another point of differing interpretations ?
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-13 23:14
Quote:
When watching that episode, watching the actor's performance especially, Dean's response appears heartfelt to me.
Even when he looks over at the empty passenger’s seat?

Quote:
Sam's demeanour with the demon we see him kill
Sam’s demeanor was due to not having been able to stop the deal being made. Sam didn’t kill the demon, it escaped.

I think you took quite a leap by claiming that Sam moved straight to torture and killing. What gave you the impression that Sam hadn’t behaved like a hunter?

Quote:
Ah. Very pedantic. "Same circumstances." meaning the exact, precise same circumstances, not the more open interpretation of "you are dying - or dead" that could also constitute the same circumstances in a broader sense. Quibbling over semantics isn't worth it.
I think the important part is “You are certainly willing to do the sacrificing as long as you're not the one being hurt.” Sam didn’t say that he would not try to save Dean.
Bahhumbug
# Bahhumbug 2014-12-14 03:07
Quote:
Even when he looks over at the empty passenger’s seat?
One look versus the rest of the scenes? Yes. Dean's entitled to feel melancholia that the situation has come to the point where he's hunting without his brother, without backup or a partner. It doesn't wipe out what he tells Cas, or his emotional state overall. Do you not feel occasional fleeting moments of regret or sadness in the midst of an otherwise happy life?

Quote:
Sam’s demeanor was due to not having been able to stop the deal being made.

What deal? Lester's deal? What precisely does the episode give in factual information about what Sam did or didn't do from the moment he discovered Dean's body missing to the opening of the first episode of S10? Not what might've happened but what was actually shown? Sam torturing a crossroads demon we later find out was the one he manipulated Lester into meeting and selling his soul to. That, I think, is about it. You might be right, Sam might've let the demon go, since Lester's deal was known to Crowley, but that's still conjecture. Dean's comment on who was the real monster here, as ham-handed as that was, suggested that Sam had done more than manipulating a human into selling his soul and torturing a demon. But, like the karaoke-vision of Demon!Dean, maybe that's enough to be seen as a monster to the writers. I have to say though, I managed to miss the demon's escape. Too many flashbacks to keep track of, no doubt.

Quote:
I think the important part is “You are certainly willing to do the sacrificing as long as you're not the one being hurt.” Sam didn’t say that he would not try to save Dean.
Heh. That one line made me see pure red when it was aired, since I'm pretty sure that going to Hell for 40 years might've smarted a touch. But I'm not even going to get into that here. Sam didn't unequivocally state, with his hand on a Bible, that he would never try to save Dean. That's true. The implication from what he did say - same circumstances, I wouldn't - is that he wouldn't try anything to save his brother. Looked at in the context of the past few seasons, the implication is strengthened by the fact that Sam didn't look for Dean in Purgatory. From Dean's POV, and the audience's, the statement suggests that Sam would not try to save his brother if the situation arose.

Again, this is not a character argument. If the writer had something in mind for using these words, in this situation, other than the obvious goal of creating conflict between the brothers, it might have been more understandable. Unfortunately, like the scene where Dean tells Sam he's too tainted to work with anyone else and then promptly reneges on that statement in the next episode, most of the writing seems to be about soap-opera style impact! rather than story-telling or characterisatio n. Sam was angry with Dean and had every right to be angry. He'd been possessed twice before - by Meg and by Lucifer - and I'm 1000% sure he never wanted to go near that experience again. To find that his brother had made a decision to save him that way would've been a terrible conflict - so why didn't the writers write it that way? Why was the character not given a chance to tell Dean that? To address the actual problem? Sam's not a 10 year old, he's an articulate adult who was more than capable of bringing up problems in an adult way, prior to the last few seasons. He managed to convince Dean to let him do what he had to do in taking Lucifer into the cage, a situation fraught for both of them but which both dealt with in a reasonable way. Having him react in a purely emotional way, with accusations designed to hurt, and statements that are not clear is not the behaviour of an adult. It wasn't the way Sam would've handled it - not the way he handled difficult situations previously. There have been at least two occasions when Dean tried to keep something a secret and Sam found out where he managed his reactions differently, despite being younger and despite both occasions being more future-oriented dangers than already happened.

I guess I'm wasting breath here. My point, overall and specifically, has been that the writers are failing the characters. They are not looking back and seeing how those characters handled things in earlier seasons and then building on that. They're running amok with their own ideas of who the characters are, writing scenes just for shock value and failing to take into account that every time they write something OOC from a character and it's aired, it becomes a canon component of that character. The result has been ... chaotic ... to say the least. Sam, as I've seen him on the show, would've looked for a way to get Dean out of Purgatory. He might've failed and turned to a normal life after that, in the midst of knowing that he couldn't save Dean, that would've been in-character, so far as I'm concerned. But not looking at all was not in-character. Sam would've been furious at being tricked into being possessed by an angel, even to be saved, but he would've expressed himself to Dean - clearly and had it out with him until they reached some kind of resolution, not just sulked and thrown out things in the way it was shown. In the early seasons, there was a lot of Sam telling his brother about things that were bothering him. And Dean would listen. And apologise, try and make it right. That was one of the things that made the brothers so much closer. They have gone through a lot that has made it harder for them to talk to each other, but a part of character growth is the struggle to find their way back to that relationship, not to keep detonating things between them.

Maybe a lot of fans don't mind the retrofitting and rationalising of what the writers are doing to both characters and show. Maybe I'm being ridiculously fussy to complain about it or even voice my opinion about it. That could well be.
anonymousN
# anonymousN 2014-12-14 04:37
Quote:
and the audience's,
No ,just audiences like you.Sam's statement gave me relief while you saw red.Quote:
Sam didn't look for Dean in Purgatory.
The past few season also tells us that Sam did not know Dean was in purgatory.
Quote:
so why didn't the writers write it that way?
I too have wondered the same.Quote:
Having him react in a purely emotional way, with accusations designed to hurt, and statements that are not clear is not the behaviour of an adult.
I have observed in real life people who have adult mentality are not always 100% of the time adult like.Quote:
Sam, as I've seen him on the show, would've looked for a way to get Dean out of Purgatory
The show has told us that Sam did not know ...would I have liked them showing rather than telling Sam's initial responce ..well ya..but they normally tell about Sam and show about Dean..so I will go with that.Quote:
But not looking at all was not in-character.
for me it was.I do not know whether you visited the site in its earlier days..but we Sam fans were blamed for thing Sam as a saint ... I never did...Sam broke after Dean died (not went to purgatory..died)..I can get behind that.Quote:
Sam would've been furious at being tricked into being possessed by an angel, even to be saved, but he would've expressed himself to Dean - clearly and had it out with him until they reached some kind of resolution, not just sulked and thrown out things in the way it was shown
I agree.Quote:
And Dean would listen. And apologise, try and make it right.
This I do not remember..maybe it was pre season 5.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-14 06:38
Quote:
One look versus the rest of the scenes?
It wasn’t just “one look”. It had more significance because it ended the scene. I think it was used to show that what Dean said and how he really felt were contradictory.

Quote:
Do you not feel occasional fleeting moments of regret or sadness in the midst of an otherwise happy life?
You really think Dean was happy at that point in his life??

Quote:
The implication from what he did say - same circumstances, I wouldn't - is that he wouldn't try anything to save his brother.
Sam meant if Dean was dying, Sam would not do something that would actually end up hurting Dean more than Sam. If you try to save someone but the person you “save” has to pay the price, it’s not right.

Quote:
He managed to convince Dean to let him do what he had to do in taking Lucifer into the cage, a situation fraught for both of them but which both dealt with in a reasonable way. Having him react in a purely emotional way, with accusations designed to hurt, and statements that are not clear is not the behaviour of an adult.
Those aren’t comparable situations at all. Sam had been ready to die but he said yes to Dean. Sam saw his hands killing Kevin. He couldn’t see the upside of being alive. I don’t understand how someone could expect him to be “reasonable” instead of “emotional”.

Quote:
There have been at least two occasions when Dean tried to keep something a secret and Sam found out where he managed his reactions differently, despite being younger and despite both occasions being more future-oriented dangers than already happened.
Are you referring to Sam finding out what Dad told Dean before his death?

Again, there is a difference between Dean trying to keep “more future-oriented dangers” as a secret and Dean making a choice for Sam despite thinking Sam would rather die.
Bahhumbug
# Bahhumbug 2014-12-14 08:26
Quote:
It wasn’t just “one look”. It had more significance because it ended the scene. I think it was used to show that what Dean said and how he really felt were contradictory.
Yes, well that's your interpretation of the scenes and the episode. Please allow others to have differing opinions of what the writing and the acting and the direction of the episode shows, pertinent to their experiences with people and life.

Quote:
You really think Dean was happy at that point in his life??
What I really think is that the weight was lifted from Dean's shoulders by the separation, and yes, for Dean that was a good feeling. He was able to relax, to not have to worry about anyone but himself. The actor showed a mixture of relief, disbelief and lightness in the scenes with Cas that supported that supposition quite well. Furthermore, during the course of the episode, I saw no reason to doubt the character's description of how he felt. His behaviour was consistent with his words.

Quote:
Sam meant if Dean was dying, Sam would not do something that would actually end up hurting Dean more than Sam. If you try to save someone but the person you “save” has to pay the price, it’s not right.
In your opinion. You do realise that you cannot change my opinion or interpretations of the scenes, simply through stating your own? What you consider "Sam meant" is not a factual component of the scene. It is purely the way you took what the characters (and writer) meant by the wording. My interpretation and opinion of the writing and characterisation are different. They are not "right" and I would make no statement ever to indicate that they are "right". They are the way I saw the scene and that's all.

Quote:
Those aren’t comparable situations at all. Sam had been ready to die but he said yes to Dean. Sam saw his hands killing Kevin. He couldn’t see the upside of being alive. I don’t understand how someone could expect him to be “reasonable” instead of “emotional”.
Again, in your opinion the situations aren't comparable. When looking at how people handle epiphanies, trauma and other life-changing experiences, it is not the specifics of each, individual situation that counts as much as how the person deals with emotional upheaval and all the stressors and unknown factors that come along with those events.

Sam has, in my opinion only, had to deal with a great many extremely stressful events in his life. Up until the end of S3 specifically and on into S4-5, he dealt with them fairly consistently. After S5, it became less and less consistent and in S9 it was nothing like what seemed to be his core character from the beginning. Now, there are a lot of variables that can be taken into account, specific to the situation of being possessed, but I'm afraid I disagree that the emotional stressors of the various situations weren't the same for him - he killed Cindy McLellan in S4 because he needed the demon blood - all of it - to kill Lilith. "Seeing his hands killing Kevin" was not going to be the brain-shocking trauma that some fans and the writers thought, had they remembered his earlier actions. Do you believe that he felt more guilt for his body being possessed and killing Kevin than he did for killing an innocent victim of possession with his own hands, under his own control, in cold blood?

My opinions of Sam's behaviour comes from watching the entire series, quite a few times now. But it's not any more factual than your opinions are. Opinions, by their very nature, are impressions of what has happened. Not what truly happened.

Quote:
Are you referring to Sam finding out what Dad told Dean before his death?
That's one of the occasions. The other is when Dean made the deal for Sam's life. Both experiences were extremely traumatic for Sam. The first brought into focus what he'd feared for some time - that he was different, that he was tainted, that he would turn into something that wasn't human. The second came with the realisation that Dean was going to leave him in the middle of a war against Lilith and Hell, leave him without his last family member, leave him to fight alone. These are not situations that raise emotional responses any different to any other life-threatening/changing event. Why do you think Sam felt so strongly about Dean's decision to save him at any cost? Do you think Sam was angry that Dean had taken away his choices?

Quote:
Again, there is a difference between Dean trying to keep “more future-oriented dangers” as a secret and Dean making a choice for Sam despite thinking Sam would rather die.
I'm afraid I must disagree here as well. On an emotional reaction level, there isn't. Dean made choices that affected Sam - all three choices affected every aspect of Sam's life and his future. The same emotional reaction applies to all three. You made a choice for me that I didn't agree to. That's the surface thought. What underlies that are the emotions - anger, fear, pain, doubt, devastation etc. And the emotions were the same, varying in degrees of intensity, but not by that much.

I can no more change your opinions of how you've seen the seasons than you can change mine, and I wouldn't want to. We view other people's behaviour through the lenses of our own experiences, what we've seen, what we've felt, what has made an impact on us. For some people, those who experienced, perhaps, betrayal by a family member personally, their view of the scenes will be very, very different to someone who has never been betrayed by a loved one. It's inevitable that what we observe changes us and our view of the world, to a greater or lesser extent. I can attempt to explain what I feel and think about a scene but it would be futile of me to try to change someone else's view of that scene, their opinion of what they've seen, felt, believed is as valid as mine, neither right nor wrong, but their own.

I'm not sure if I've actually stated it somewhere in this comments section, but my beef is really that the writers do not take the time and effort to make bloody sure that they know the characters. Relatively speaking it would take little time and perhaps a medium amount of effort to sit down, watch the series, season after season, and study the characters. Analyse what they do and why. Focus on the horrific events that have shaped their lives and think about how those events have affected them. It trivialises the story - the whole story as shown over the years from S1 - when those events are ignored or brushed aside as being unimportant. They were incredibly important - still are important. Think of an event that has changed you, for good or for bad. It's echoes continue on, even when the event is long over and some accommodation or closure has been reached. Those events are in us, forever. Writers take that into account. Many ff authors do as well to ensure authenticity for their stories which are free. These "writers" haven't and don't appear to be interested in the characters or their stories at all.
SanSummer1
# SanSummer1 2014-12-14 10:31
In season five, Sam and Dean were dealing with an outside threat. They needed to stop the apocalypse so Sam needed everyone to agree on the plan to get Lucifer back in the cage. In season nine, Dean let Gadreel in. Sam felt that Dean had broken his trust. The circumstances were completely different. Thus, Sam’s reactions were also different.

Quote:
Do you believe that he felt more guilt for his body being possessed and killing Kevin than he did for killing an innocent victim of possession with his own hands, under his own control, in cold blood?
9.01 I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here

Sam: I need to know one thing.
Death: Yes.
Sam: If I go with you... can you promise that this time it will be final? That if I'm dead, I stay dead. Nobody can reverse it, nobody can deal it away... and nobody else can get hurt because of me.
Death: I can promise that.


9.13 The Purge

Sam: I mean, Kevin's dead, Crowley's in the wind. We're no closer to beating this angel thing. Please tell me, what is the upside of me being alive?

In season four, Sam was trying to stop the apocalypse. In season nine, Sam had been ready and willing to die but Sam living seemed to come at a cost to others as well.

Quote:
Do you think Sam was angry that Dean had taken away his choices?
9.11 First Born

Castiel: Sam, the trials. You chose not to go through with them for a reason, didn't you? You chose to live rather than to sacrifice yourself. You and Dean... You chose each other.
Sam: Yeah, I did. We did. And then... Dean made a choice for me.


Anyway, your tone is quite lecturing so I’m not sure it’d be sensible to continue this discussion. The reason I addressed some of your points is that you seemed to base your issues with the writing on how Sam (and Dean) were characterized because the show had deviated from your own interpretations of the characters.
lala2
# lala2 2014-12-16 19:19
I guess I'm not paying attention at all this year . . . . Sam slaughtered numerous demons in his search for Dean?!?!?! When did that occur?
E
# E 2014-12-13 08:37
This is a terrific comment! I agree wholeheartedly! Can we get YOU into the writers room?
Quote:
Carver's constant need for interviews to "explain" what the episodes are "supposed to mean" must have struck more than just me as bizarre? Did anyone need the episodes of the first 3 seasons "explained" to them?
Absolutely! This quote taps into something that I have been having a major problem with in the Carver years. He gives interviews and lays out in excruciating detail his plans for the season and then do we see that on screen? No, we don't. Case in point; Carver's claims that they would be exploring what it means to be a "true monster." He claimed that Sam's motivation to save his brother (because of his non-actions in season 8 supposedly, actions that were also largely unexplained despite Carver's claims to the contrary) would send him down a "dark path" and that this would be explored in a "big way." Well… I am not sure what Carver means by 'explored', but a single sentence where Dean admonishes Sam about Lester selling his soul is hardly an exploration and nor was it done in a "big way," hell, it was barely a passing mention in a single episode and has never been brought up again. He further claimed that the MoC was going to be a big consideration for the boys as the season progresses. How does he do this? By leaving key events off screen and in a mid-season finale no less. In what world of Television writing did it seem like a good idea to NOT SHOW US a major development with the main arc of the season? I suspect that TPTB thought it would build tension, when in fact it's only built frustration from lack of attention. This was their idea of a cliffhanger? Ugh, it was an eye roller. This seems to be the trend of late; Carver explains what his plans for the season are in interviews and then we never see any of it on screen. If Carver stopped giving interviews no one would have any idea WHAT was going on in this show.
Bahhumbug
# Bahhumbug 2014-12-13 21:36
Hmm. There'd be homicide if I was allowed within 1000 miles of the damned writers room :S

Carver has ideas. The writers have ideas. Not one of them has the understanding of how to translate those ideas into a plot that outlines the overall idea and then digs deep through the action, through dialogue and reaction and provides resolution, partial or full. They're not writers. They leave out things that are vitally needed. They waffle on in great, boring monologues of exposition to cover the fact that they've just come up with this idea and it has no bearing on anything else that's come before. They mistake sentiment for heart, a cool moment for a meaningful one. They appear to have no knowledge of other people's lives so every secondary character, even those they've developed themselves, is no more than a rough sketch, a cardboard placemarker in the story, with no background or depth to make them real and believable. I was watching Wendigo the other day, and the scene were Dean and Sam go to interview the old man who'd been a boy when he survived the attack on his parents was riveting. Not only for the chillingly well-written account of that account, but for the actor chosen, for the delivery of those lines, a wealth suggested in a lifetime of wondering what had really happened that night and why he'd survived when his parents were taken. I can't recall a single moment in the last 3 - no, make it 4 - seasons where a scene interviewing a witness was that well done - or where I could even remember the secondary characters.

It would seem that keeping key events off screen and then just referring to them in poor dialogue is the way most of these writers prefer to write their stories. Perhaps it saves money somewhere and they're told to do it. I don't know. There have been precious few conversations between the brothers and that is something that seems to be arising from a lack of knowledge of how the characters would conduct such conversations. In the early seasons, it was an established point of touching base, seeing where each character was and how they were dealing with what was happening, and where they thought they were in relation to finding more out about the big picture. The car, of course, is tailor-made for such moments of conversations, parked or while driving the long distance hauls. I have no idea why it's used so scarcely now. It feels as if the writers are subconsciously attempting to have a permanent wall of suspicion and wariness between the brothers but I can't imagine why - the show is about them, it's imperative that we know what they're feeling and thinking.

So far as I can tell, not once since S6 has a showrunner's outline of what they want to do ever managed to manifest in what actually happening in the season. They spout a lot of high falutin' buzz-words about perspective and psychological impacts and exploration of the truths of our world ... blah blah blah. But they don't know how to craft the stories to truly do those things in a way that is both meaningful and incorporates an entertaining and illuminating story. Twenty years ago, any editor would have told them to go back to their day jobs on seeing the sort of utter tripe they're passing off. The world turned and now they're well paid for it and no one pipes up to say 'hey! you guys can't write!'.

If Carver stopped giving interviews no one would have idea WHAT was going on in this show ... rotflmao ... you speak the complete truth! And how sad is that?
Prix68
# Prix68 2014-12-14 07:25
Great, well thought out comments and I agree completely. The show has completely lost its direction and totally derailed under Carver. Each year getting worse. Unfortunately, this show, that was so unique in it's first 5 seasons, is destined to go out with a whimper instead of a bang.
migmom
# migmom 2014-12-15 16:15
I can't say I have great knowledge of the method used in writing for episodic television, and I have no doubt that the writers care about this show and the characters. I get that they get together and figure out and agree to the "arc" of the season, it's just that in this show I don't think they discuss and agree to the emotional arc of the characters in general. I think this has always been an issue based upon Dean's ups and downs between gung-ho and depression/guil t from one episode to the next. While his blatant disregard for his brother caused him to kill Amy, in the next episode (or 2?) he actually wants to ditch the hunt because the victims were once bad (now guilty). Sam is no better; does he really not care about the impala, I always had the feeling he thought of it as home but some writers treat the car as Dean's only. They are smart in one episode and idiots in the next. While I understand a certain amount of this wishy-washy stuff (if you've ever cared for an addict or a terminal friend or relative, you know your emotional state can change from one day (or hour) to the next) lately it's been pronounced and seems based upon each writer's view of the characters. As fans we have wildly different interpretations , and that's fine, but as writers and show runners everyone should be on the same page so the characters can have that consistency even if it's not directly addressed. What is the emotional arc of Dean? Is he bathing in guilt unable to move forward, will he find some peace around episode___? Is Sam hurt by the knowledge that his brother did___? will he have an episode of "what should I do"? and then determine (silently) that he will what? Move forward and ignore the pain? give up and become suicidal, take Dean for what he is and___? I honestly don't think any show runner has had this degree of foresight and has allowed the writer tell his/her own story and then determine if it falls within or can be interpreted as what he sees in his character's growth. I honestly still see no point in Bad Boys, nothing new was revealed and it was ripe with opportunity. I don't like rewriting things in my head so they make sense, they should know the POV of the character even if they choose to not drop it on our head, then at least there would be some consistency.
As for this episode it was remarkably. slow, more like bait or harbinger of things to come, and I hope it delivers. The conversation "tell Cas that story" was contrived and I can personally think of 10 better ways to deliver the same (limited) punch. Still, for me, I watched not expecting a big cliff-hanger and I know from previous interviews and sneak peeks that they are often a deceptive way to get viewers. In that respect I don't trust them at all and try not to read spoilers or interviews. Carver interviews are the worst since he says stuff like "they were in a pretty good place at the end of season 9" so I am not expecting much anyway, which is kinda sad. On the other hand, I can't get into any other show on a consistent basis so (for me) this is still the best show on TV and I will enjoy the acting and design and the little victories in the story as we go along.
bahhumbug
# bahhumbug 2014-12-15 18:20
I appreciate your point of view, and in all honesty, I feel much the same way about watching - there are no other shows that sparked my enthusiasm, imagination and interest as deeply - or at all. I don't, however, believe it can improve. Unfortunately as less and less importance is given to the details, I can only see it degenerating further. There seems to be no patience for a slow, careful build of story here, and no recognition of the need for the characters to develop and learn from what happens to them. The last 3 years have been written like The Simpsons, so far as I can tell, the characters remaining unchanged and just the situations revolving between "ideas" and "conflict", all contrived and manufactured with ever-decreasing skill. I can't see these writers being able to deliver character arcs as you describe - answering the questions that have been raised from the actual events of the last 3 years. It's hard to say if that too is a deliberate decision or a lack of ability/interest/experience.

What's frustrating is that, like you, I too can see potential in every "story" they've attempted. Bad Boys was a dismal failure for me for the very same reasons it was for you - nothing happened. Nothing was learned. Nothing was changed (other than known, existing history) and the characters weren't served at all. Most of the episodes seem to be filler in this way. They progress to nowhere, for the Winchester story or the individual character's journeys. What was the point of Hannah's sojourn on earth? No angels were convinced to return to Heaven. Nothing moved. Hannah switched from an earth-side mission to a heaven-side one. Could've been covered in two lines of dialogue at any point. Keeping Castiel on screen until they come up with something for him to do is hardly a good outline for a story of a major character.

While I have to admit, it's sometimes a relief to vent this way, I can hear the whining drone in my posts and cringe from them. I must be totally masochistic.
angie_E
# angie_E 2014-12-15 23:30
I agree about the poor plot. Even though this episode did not start with (the way too overdone) blood spatter on the wall, I am also left wondering what happened to the sci-fi aspect of this show? Other shows have ramped up their special effects when SPN seems to have gotten worse. Even the blood doesn't look real anymore. What's going on? At least an episode can have some redemption with good music, a brotherly moment, an impala scene, or even some good special effects......pl ease!!! I'm not asking for every episode to be stellar, but give the tired episodes 'something'.
spnlit
# spnlit 2014-12-16 17:49
Alice, I agree with each and every point you made in this article. You wrote what I was thinking on each point. This episode was a train wreck for all the reasons you stated. I was hoping this mundane crap was an anomaly but no wait.... it gets worse. Instead of tapping in the MOL knowledge we will get more of the non supernatural story of Claire and Cas who is just going to do his darndest to try really really hard to make it work with the new teenage model of Claire. Maybe Sam and Dean can help by screening her dates....... HELP!!!!
E
# E 2014-12-17 10:06
So, I watched the episode a second time. Yes, I actually did and no, it did NOT improve with the second viewing. IMO it was still a hot mess, a characterless disaster, a plotting nightmare and a snoozefest. But in order to comment effectively I need to know the episode well, so, I watched it again. So, aside from the obvious, which was tackled so eloquently by Alice, there were a few other things I noticed this time around that also bugged me.
- Dean and his admonishment to have Cas kill him. Haven't we already established that as soon as Dean dies he becomes a demon again? So isn't it illogical for him to want Cas to "Stab or shill him?" That would only result in Dean becoming "that thing" again quicker. And as for Cas throwing Dean into the sun, I don't believe it works like that, cause if it did, Cain would have done it eons ago. The Mark brings with it everlasting immortality; the only person who can kill someone who has or has had the Mark is someone with the Mark, hence Cain demanding that Dean come back at some point to kill him; he can't die otherwise and neither can Dean. I don't mind Dean asking, what I do mind is that no one is setting him (or us) straight on the details.
-Jimmy is dead. I am sorry, but this just makes NO SENSE whatsoever given what we've known about how angels and vessels work since they were introduced in season 4. Why does Cas get to inhabit a dead and soulless body when no other angel has or can? Why do angels have to ask for permission when they can just take on a dead body instead? What is the point of Jimmy being dead? It's illogical and goes against the established parameters set up by the show with zero explanation as to why it's suddenly different now. This is a growing trend in how Carver works in case you haven't noticed. If he doesn't set parameters, if he doesn't explain anything then he can't be confronted with his failures.
-Not only will the writers not write for Sam, not only does Sam have absolutely nothing to do, not only does Sam continually dismiss himself out of scenes so that Dean can bond with the "guest star of the week," but now we have Dean dismissing Sam from the action as well. To my knowledge it's always been Sam dismissing himself, but now Dean's doing it too.
Quote:
Sam: Uh Why don't we go ask around at the group home? Dean: Uh, you know what? We're gonna stick here in case she circles back. You go ahead.
Exit Sam stage right.
Then we get that lovely and illogical scene between Cas and Dean that shows Dean's fears and wishes and his desire to keep Sam out of things entirely (because hey, Sam knows nothing about being controlled by a supernatural entity, nothing at all.) It's all Dean POV. This is followed by a painfully short clip of Sam taking about Claire. POV for Sam? No, he gets exposition, oh joy. Not one teeny, tiny bit of POV though, not Sam. It's so pathetically bad these days that it's practically farcical. I can pretty much give you an outline of how all the episodes are going to go it's become so painfully formulaic:

Cold open
Brother scene that's about Dean being "funny" where nothing is said and no one learns anything
Problem presents itself and brothers go investigate
Sam excuses himself from scene
Dean bonds with anyone other than Sam
Dean's issues are referred to; POV and managnst follow
Danger ensues as the brothers walk into a trap (because the brothers are morons and don't know anything)
Sam gets knocked out or tied up or both
Monster gets to monologue assuring that we know more about them then we've learned about Sam in three years
Saved by guest star of the week (because the brothers are morons and don't know anything about hunting)
Brother scene where nothing is said and no one learns anything.

Its been maddening these past few years to watch Sam as a character dwindle away to nothing. He's inert. Yes he's worried about Dean, we can see that, but what has he DONE? Nothing. The conversation Dean had with Cas should have been a conversation between Dean and SAM. Sam should have been the one to say to Dean "no you're not" to Dean's response that he was "fine." That's the role of the brother on this show, especially now that they are supposedly "walking in each other's shoes." Well, we certainly have Dean walking in Sam's shoes, although he doesn't seem to notice, nor is he learning anything from it nor has that fact been mentioned by anyone. But is Sam walking in Dean's shoes? Really walking in his shoes? No, because Dean did more than stand around silently and worry. He was pro-active, he called Sam out on his bullshit, he tried to find solutions, he fought Sam and fought FOR Sam, he believed him and offered support. Is Sam doing any of that? NO, because he's inert, silent. As Percy's likes to say… he's a lamp… in the background and used to illuminate everyone else.

So these are my further or should I say additional complaints to the mid season finale. It was simply awful and failed on just about every level. MBFWB is still my number 1 worst because there's nothing like insensitivity and possible racist and sexist overtones to turn me right off, but this episode is now down at the bottom of my list with Taxi Driver and Mannequin 3: The Reckoning.
Bahhumbug
# Bahhumbug 2014-12-17 23:06
Quote:
- Dean and his admonishment to have Cas kill him. Haven't we already established that as soon as Dean dies he becomes a demon again? So isn't it illogical for him to want Cas to "Stab or shill him?" That would only result in Dean becoming "that thing" again quicker. And as for Cas throwing Dean into the sun, I don't believe it works like that, cause if it did, Cain would have done it eons ago. The Mark brings with it everlasting immortality; the only person who can kill someone who has or has had the Mark is someone with the Mark, hence Cain demanding that Dean come back at some point to kill him; he can't die otherwise and neither can Dean. I don't mind Dean asking, what I do mind is that no one is setting him (or us) straight on the details.
It's a shame, of course, that the audience has no clue (and not for lack of trying to work it out by any means!) of what these scenes mean. If Dean is killed, and Crowley elects not to call him back - does that mean Dean's soul is returned to the "limbo" he was in when Metatron killed him? It didn't seem that Dean's soul was sent to Hell, but was trapped in his body by the Mark, unable to move anywhere until Crowley put the First Blade in his hand and (somehow) called him back.

Now, a lot of that paragraph above is pure speculation on my part, based on what I saw in the scene. There was no reference to Dean being in Hell, Crowley didn't suggest it (so far as I saw) but he certainly wasn't "released" to go anywhere else.

Why, on returning Dean's soul to his body, Dean should've become a demon (without the centuries of torture blah blah) was also not explained. Was it an effect of the Mark? Cain suggested that when he killed Abel, he became a soldier, a Knight of Hell. No further explanation is given - did he die? Was he even a demon? He trained the other Knights of Hell, who were far stronger than regular, human-soul-twisted demons - what was the difference? Why does it have to be the First Blade and not an angel sword, which manages to kill angels, demons of all ranks (except, apparently Knights) and even reapers? The parameters of the Mark, of Cain, and now of Dean, are all unknowns. The writers simply state that Dean became a demon, not on dying, but on his soul being ... what? revitalised in his body due to the combination of the Mark and the blade together? Hard to define that one too.

It would appear that the writers are not "straight on the details" so very difficult for them to set the character or audience straight on the details. Very little detail there.

Quote:
-Jimmy is dead. I am sorry, but this just makes NO SENSE whatsoever given what we've known about how angels and vessels work since they were introduced in season 4. Why does Cas get to inhabit a dead and soulless body when no other angel has or can? Why do angels have to ask for permission when they can just take on a dead body instead? What is the point of Jimmy being dead? It's illogical and goes against the established parameters set up by the show with zero explanation as to why it's suddenly different now.

This was one point I didn't find offensively lacking in detail or trashing existing canon. Raphael disintegrated Cas - and Jimmy Novak - in S4. Lucifer disintegrated him again in S5. The explanation given - that a human soul cannot maintain integrity with a disintegrated body was okay for me, and Cas' "resurrection" (not actually a resurrection, but just a reintegration) would not have called Jimmy's soul back to the meatsuit. In Haitian voodoo, the mythology of the zombie is similar - it's not a resurrection of the dead person but just the flesh, minus the soul, which makes it more terrifying. From a plausible, logical and biblically mythological view, it does make sense that the soul moved on but the celestial wavelength (angel) was able to retain its memories of the body and reintegrate when the body was reformed.

That Cas was given the appearance of Jimmy Novak after both reintegrations (presumably by God, since he was the only one who could) was probably less to do with a logical and plausible story line than a desire to keep the actor on the show.

That other angels don't simply step into dead bodies, seems to be because once consent is given, and the angel has bonded with the recipient's physical cells, they can then control the body, living or dead but cannot inhabit a dead body without consent (??) - Hael's vessel would certainly have been dead (without self-healing) yet she was animating the dead body until Cas killed her with the angel sword. She couldn't escape from the dead body (which seemed very pertinent to me) either. There hasn't been any other detail on the questions of angel possession (or the mechanics of demon possession for that matter) so again, that's the impression I got, and the "rationalisation" I've made from it. That I had to rationalise it is a continual sore point with me, because the angels have been around for 6 seasons and some kind of framework should have been given in that time. Mind you, the writers also forgot that Cas lived with a woman for six months after the Levis released him (or he was reintegrated yet again), presumably a life that including stirring coffee and having sex, yet they wrote him as if this was the first time he'd been human. Found on a fishing boat, taken to a hospital, suffering from bed bug itches and having to borrow money from Bobby for a bus ride in S5 wasn't remembered either.

I would hazard a guess that the "point" of Jimmy's soul resting safely in Heaven is to close out the possibilities of Cas choosing another vessel. A production requirement, in other words, not a story one.

Quote:
This is a growing trend in how Carver works in case you haven't noticed. If he doesn't set parameters, if he doesn't explain anything then he can't be confronted with his failures.
LOL ... yes, that's exactly why neither he nor any of the writers on the show set any kind of parameter that they might want to ditch 2 or 5 episodes later. Occasionally, they slip up and then are forced to ditch their own canon anyway. A lot of fans don't seem to care, they just come up with a spectacular rationalisation on their own.

Quote:
Its been maddening these past few years to watch Sam as a character dwindle away to nothing. He's inert. Yes he's worried about Dean, we can see that, but what has he DONE? Nothing. The conversation Dean had with Cas should have been a conversation between Dean and SAM. Sam should have been the one to say to Dean "no you're not" to Dean's response that he was "fine." That's the role of the brother on this show, especially now that they are supposedly "walking in each other's shoes." Well, we certainly have Dean walking in Sam's shoes, although he doesn't seem to notice, nor is he learning anything from it nor has that fact been mentioned by anyone. But is Sam walking in Dean's shoes? Really walking in his shoes? No, because Dean did more than stand around silently and worry. He was pro-active, he called Sam out on his bullshit, he tried to find solutions, he fought Sam and fought FOR Sam, he believed him and offered support. Is Sam doing any of that? NO, because he's inert, silent. As Percy's likes to say… he's a lamp… in the background and used to illuminate everyone else.
It certainly is maddening, not to mention horrifically wasteful, considering that the story is about the brothers, and the rest is background. Looking back over the past 4 seasons, it's as if not one writer there knows how to write Sam therefore he's become a prop. I haven't noticed him illuminating anyone, unfortunately, especially when he's forced to bow out of a scene. If pushed, I'd say that the writers and/or Carver prefer to keep a wall between the brothers as much as possible. There's no reason for that, other than wanting to be able to throw in a catastrophic and highly contrived "misunderstandi ng" or secret or whatever to create a massive conflict between them to stir up the divisions of fans on social media and keep the buzz going on the show. So, there are 1 minute meaningless "bonding" scenes instead of conversations, OOC moments of online dating and The Three Stooges instead of discussing their issues and approaching a resolution for them. This seems also to be the reason for Sam's reluctance to go through the greatest repository of supernatural lore and knowledge in the world looking for answers about anything. Instead of allowing the characters to be themselves and coming up with plots or directions that come out of that, they would rather write about secondary characters who do not advance anything and not deal with Dean and Sam and their growing mountain of problems.

An enormous part of the problem is that neither character was ever written as black and white, and yet the writers persist in labelling them and pigeonholing them as if they're cardboard cutouts. Dean hates research. Sam loves research. Not just a lack of subtlety but often opposites. In the earlier seasons, there was a much greater variation in their characters, and solid motivations for all their actions, reactions and behaviour. Now, there's none.

If the writers were as proactive as the fans in digging through the episodes and trying to nut out what is the truth of the behaviour and the story, if they understood their craft, it would still be an incredible show.
Ginger
# Ginger 2014-12-29 19:46
Quote:
It certainly is maddening, not to mention horrifically wasteful, considering that the story is about the brothers, and the rest is background.


The show used to be about the brothers. So far this season, that has not been the case at all. Every episode since Sole Survivor has been about some character-that- nobody gives a rat's tail about, with...what?... two mentions of the Mark.

There is so much depth and background to the two Winchesters, that I find it absolutely absurd that Carver and this bunch of supposedly professional writers can't come up with a story about and for them. What is with this soapish 'family' problems and mommy and daddy issues?
isleofskye
# isleofskye 2014-12-29 10:09
Just to say i love Sam and Dean and the show, but everything that is wrong with it is ALL on the writers and naturally Carver.
These men are supposed to be professionals, well paid to come up with good exciting, creative scripts., something they don't seem capable of doing.
All the necessary is still present for SPN to be as great as it once was, so therefore I repeat, the blame for its current lameness falls on Carver.

Some complain that the Js want more time off. Fair enough.
All the more reason to make their reduced screen time mean something.
Their story-lines should be taut and exciting with some good brother moments and brotherly baiting thrown in. Everything with S&D has become so heavy, so sad. Before, even in the most dire circumstances there was always a light-hearted moment, now they are as rare as snow in the desert!

Where's big brother Dean?
Is looking out for Sam, which was one of the more endearing aspects of his character, no longer a part of him? And bitchy geeky little bro Sammy. Has that all been taken from him to leave us a man so depressed and unhappy that it saddens one to look at him, never mind the fact that we get to see him less and less!
Poor Supernatural!

As for the Castiel sequences, I fast-forward them. They are repetirive ad boring, not worthy of the spirit of the show.
If the writers need fillers to pad out the episodes, then they should find a more interesting character and sub-plots to submit to the viewers.
He eats tooth-paste but knows how to use a smart phone, he can drive but didn't know cars ran on gas, he has watched humanity for millenia but doesn't know the basics of human life. "Rolls eyes."
Not knowing that ketchup is made with tomatoes is just the last insult to the watchers' intelligence!

I so hope the writing picks up fbecause Sam and Dean deserve to go out on a high note; the Js deserve it and the fans, especially the long-term ones, deserve it too!
Ginger
# Ginger 2014-12-29 19:53
I agree with you completely about Cas and his character, but I take it even further into Crowley now. I thought Gamble pretty much ruined Cas' character and he has not recovered. It seems they want Misha on the show for filler, but they can't think of a story for him, so he wanders around in meaningless and purposeless territory. Unfortunately, for me, I can't stand Crowley being stupid, mooning over the loss of his boyfriend, and now being played like a fool by momma. I can't stand that he sits on a cheap throne in some basement room with street windows and stairs leading to the outside. I like Mark S. and think he is a terrific actor. I loved Crowley in the early seasons, but the writers are ruining his character, just like they ruined Cas. If they want an ensemble cast to give the J2s a third of the work schedule, the writers need to come up with actual storylines for them; preferably storylines that deal with the supernatural and NOT mommy/daddy/fam ily/rebellious teenager/angst issues. Use them or lose them; just quit ruining them.
isleofskye
# isleofskye 2014-12-31 16:33
Yes. It's such a pity for Crowley that the character has been turned into a caricature of himself because he made such a great villain when he was allowed to be one, and Mark is such a good actor. I agree that he's become as pitiful as the Castiel character.
The problem is that there's no bad guy on the show. SPN needs evil, otherwise how can you pit good against it!

The characters, including the brothers now run around like headless chickens. The show has no direction, no scope, no final aim to reach. I can't understand why the writers are doing this. What do they hope to achieve? Muh!

I have to say though, I liked Sera's idea for Castiel in season six because that was the only role I felt was left for him if TPTB wanted to keep Collins. The big bad.

Castiel has too much power as an angel to be teamed up with the Winchesters. That would nullify them. Whereas as the bad guy, he had a reason to exist. A good adversary for Sam and Dean.

But things went differently and now we have two characters Crowley and Castiel who are in the grey area of neither completely good nor completely bad. Just useless.

Then do we really know if the Js want more time off? Or was it Carver who decided he wanted an ensemble show?
Either way the lack of quality brother story-lines has made itself felt and it's such a pity because SPN is a unique show and the Js and the fans deserve better.
Ginger
# Ginger 2014-12-31 20:36
Quote:
SPN needs evil, otherwise how can you pit good against it!
Sadly, we have daytime soapish programming. I swear I want to puke every time I hear the word 'family' these days!

Quote:
The characters, including the brothers now run around like headless chickens.


The brothers are side characters in the show under Carver. All they do is take a short road trip here and there, but there is no purpose to it whatsoever other than to be onlookers in episode after episode of some previous 30-second character's story -- just 14 minutes of screen-time to say that they are two of four leads in the show. I don't understand it at all either.

Cas as the bad in S6 was a good idea, but like all good ideas in this show, it went no where. Had TPTB or the writers followed through on any one of them, there would be no fan complaints today. Sadly, I don't see it getting any better, because I don't think (1) the writers want to work that hard and (2) I don't think they are or care to be 'professional' writers. They have made way too many amateur mistakes to make me believe they care about the show, the two Winchester characters, or their craft in general. I have seen no improvement on their behalf in the 4 and 5 years every one of these writers (save Beren) has been with the show. I do agree with you that Cas should never be permanently teamed up with the Winchesters. IMO, he should have went back to Heaven at the end of S5, but now is good for only 4 or 5 episodes a season...in some way supporting the Winchesters and not carrying on his own side story.

I loved Crowley when he was the charming bad guy and Dean was his foiler. Those two worked really well together. At this point, though, Crowley has won every single time against the Winchesters and it's time they ganked him. I also think it is time that the Winchesters were depicted as the top-shelf hunters they are supposed to be, including getting some respect from a broader hunting community. I still have great reservations about turning Dean into a demon or wearing this stupid (and so far very weak story) MoC thing. I like the potential the Mark story has, but there is a niggling little thought in my mind that it seems so wrong to turn Dean into the very thing that destroyed his life at the age of 4 and that he has been hunting ever since...and I don't think the writers can pull anything off that will make it seem right.