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I just don’t know what to say. 

There are a few approaches I could have taken for this review.  I could have ranted about how an utter travesty like “Paint It Black” ever made it to air, I could have calmly tried to break down the material we were given and analyze where it all went freaking wrong, or I could have given my review in a few sentences and then we talk about the weather or something. 

Actually, none of those approaches worked.  I’m sure you all are tired of my ranting by now, I didn’t pay enough attention to the episode to give it a great analysis, and even the weather in my part of the world has been sucking.  So, I’ll first give my honest thoughts and then I think it’s time for an open talk about the options left for a fan that’s having serious doubts that “Supernatural” can turn things around. 

The Review

Let’s tackle the basics.  The script was deplorable, the acting was bad, especially Rowena and whoever that witch nemesis was, the “shocking” murders played out worse than a horror B-movie, the nun thing played out like a cheesy telenovela and  Sam and Dean are still wringing their hands over the Mark of Cain, again with no movement. 

Yes, it was a Brad Buckner/Eugenie Ross-Leming script.  I could go back to their long history of weak to laughable scripts for "Supernatural", but part of me feels like by doing that I'm contributing to an already festering wound.  Despite their bad reputation among the fandom, they believe they are telling good stories and who am I to say otherwise?  All I know is their track record is so bad, I personally feel deflated whenever I see their names on the episode synopsis.  I certainly don't get excited about watching the episode nor do I engage in the fan girl "squee" that so many do on episode night.  Probably because I'm trained to see through a filmsy plot.  Judging by the crickets chirping on our timeline last night, many agreed.  I just don't know what show I'm watching anymore.  

Poll:  What's the worst Brad Buckner Eugenie Ross-Leming script?

I’ll tell you what plot twist I really don’t get.  The discovery that the Men of Letters broke up Rowena’s coven and are hiding their materials in multiple places (did I get that right?)  So, there are more bunkers?  If all of the MOL are dead, why do they keep surfacing in numerous episodes to service a plot?  Why do I think there is still a secret MOL hideout out there somewhere?  The witch didn’t think the MOL existed anymore, but knew of Sam and Dean?  Finally, how many freaking times to I have to endure Rowena’s grating “The Wiiinnnchesters” drawl every time she brings them up, which is all the time?  Why in the world are they the center of her universe?  With her powers, she could pop them like a zit.  Other than take the first blade from Crowley, what have they done to get her into such a snit? 

I’ll tell you what I hated the most.  The fact that Crowley will be forced to choose between his horrible mother who he should have easily skewered by now and Sam and Dean who treat him like common filth.  He should give up and go to Vegas instead.  He knows about the MOL Bunker but didn’t say anything.   Heck, he had his own room there (it was the dungeon but he knows the place).  So why doesn’t he help Rowena?  Why after all this won’t he kill Sam and Dean?  I mean, I think I know why, he likes them, but is there any basis for why Crowley needs them alive other than it would ruin the show?  Any basis for keeping his annoying mother around?   I’m not getting Crowley’s motivation here, and honestly, it’s killing me to see such a fine actor like Mark Sheppard wasted like this. 

I liked two things about the episode.  First, they used that gorgeous Catholic Church that’s across from the Wall Centre in Vancouver (the same one used in “Houses of the Holy”).   I’ve stayed at the Century Plaza hotel for the two times I’ve been to Vancon and the balcony view has looked over that church both times.  It’s a visually captivating place. 

Second, there was that gorgeous scene with Dean in the confessional booth.  Forget how Jensen absolutely nailed the dialogue, Dean pouring his heart out to the priest about his fate, but the lighting was another Serge Ladoucer masterpiece.  It amazes me he can still give us such gems like this after all these years.  There’s always something new to try.     


I’ve been wanting for some time to see Dean give us an update on his faith.  After all, a lot has changed since “Houses of the Holy.”  We learned in “Sacrifice” that Sam’s choice of confession was for all the times he’s failed Dean, but honestly we haven’t had a good check on Dean’s perspective.  I was pleased to see that Dean doesn’t want to die.  That he realizes there are still things in life to experience.  That gave me a ton of hope for him.  I’ve had serious doubts for some time that Dean has wanted more than what the life provides and I’ve wondered often why he is even going (same for Sam).  This tells me why.  Life still means something.  Suddenly, that adds a whole new set of stakes to his predicament, just like Sam’s “light at the end of the tunnel” perspective in season eight (which has tragically disappeared with no explanation). 

I think this is one of my favorite pieces of dialogue in the entire series. 

Priest:  Do you believe in God?
Dean:  I believe there is a God, but I’m not sure he still believes in us. 

If that’s not an open invitation for Chuck to come back to the show, I don’t know what is.  Honestly, we need Chuck and his wisdom.  One of the themes from the earlier seasons that has been tragically lost in the later years has been the subject of faith and destiny.  It was such an important driver and it told us so much about the motivations of the Winchesters.  What guides them, what makes them tick, why they fight evil all the time at great sacrifice to themselves.  They need to believe in a higher purpose, whether it be God or humanity or the flying spaghetti monster.  Otherwise they’re no better than machines.   

Almost every week now it seems Sam and Dean are just going through the motions, killing evil because they can or have nothing better to do, leaving viewers like myself less engaged in the story.   I’m not saying there should be a confessional every week, but aside from the inspiration drawn from “Carry On Wayward Son” while watching “Supernatural” the musical, there’s been little spark behind the missions.  It doesn’t mean anything anymore.  I want to see Sam and Dean care more often, not just show up in their suits, flash their badges, and go step by step working the case until it ends bloody for the monster.  Where’s the laughs, the fun, the bravado, the personality?  Where’s the belief that what they are doing matters?   Where’s the hope?

The Red Headed Monster

Do I believe in “Supernatural?”  Yes, but I’m not sure the show believes in us anymore.  Thank you Dean, you helped me answer a long burning question.  

It’s time for an open, honest, chat.  I’m going through my own crisis of faith these days.  I’ve put a lot of my life into "Supernatural" over the years, more than any fan really should.  I did it for love of the show, but “Paint it Black” is just the latest reminder that somewhere in Hollywood, someone has given up.  They don't have that spark, that passion, that inspiration that it takes to put something extraordinary to the page.  The show’s lackluster creative direction has been wearing me down, the fandom has really been wearing me down, and changes in life circumstances are making me question my choices just for a mediocre TV show.  In other words, why am I doing this?       

I didn’t particularly pay attention to the details of last night’s story because I got so bored.  The hubby and I actually started working on our photo library.  I went through with my son his school schedule for the rest of the week.  Normally I pause the episode when I do this, or rewind later to catch what I missed.  I didn’t do that last night, and dammit, I didn’t miss anything either. 

The truth of the matter is I’ve lost faith in the show.  I know several of my fellow bloggers are having issues and several have quit watching.  Several friends have too.  It’s at this time that I seek validation for sticking around and this week was the equivalent of being told to get out.  This episode was an insult to loyal fans and what’s worse is any sense of outrage will go unnoticed.  Once upon a time the writers used to care.  Kripke used to care.  The producers used to care.  Jared and Jensen used to care.  Now the battle is just getting through it all.  I think the writers are tired and burned out, and it’s becoming very obvious that a 23 episode season is too taxing for this bunch.

I used to believe in the themes and drew inspiration from “Supernatural” for my own life.  The stories aren’t personal anymore, nor do they matter.  They’re just there because the CW requires something be on the air one hour a week to fill their slots.  I’d rather watch an hour of Sam, Dean and Castiel playing pool at a bar or hanging out the beach drinking beer rather than watching these listless, slow, and often downright insulting to my intelligence pieces of filler. 

I’m not delusional.  Superatural owes me nothing.  The Supernatural fandom owes me nothing.  It’s a TV show.    I don’t have to watch.  I accept that.  I could let this episode and all the others fester on my DVR for months while I actually watch something fun like “Arrow” or “The Flash” live.  That would be my choice to make.  But for someone like myself, someone who has put in such a long commitment to this show, it hurts to see something I once loved revert to this.  I suppose it was always inevitable too.  TV shows, despite what we as fans want, don't last forever.  

So the question is, do I have any more faith left that it gets better?  That’s the personal struggle each of us fans must face, and honestly, there are no easy answers.  But lately turning to the fandom for support isn’t helping much either.  I see fans turn on each other constantly because we’re not all happy campers drinking the kool-aid, or if we tend to lean toward one character more than another, or if we prefer a particularly pairing over another.  That doesn’t give me much hope that the situation will improve.  It just cements the fact that this is draining more than lifting and it’s time to decide what battles are worthy of fighting. 

Who knows, maybe it’ll only take a string of good episodes to get me out of my funk.  But I’m sad that there’s no concern about legacy anymore and pride in a job well done.  I don’t wish to rain on parades either, so what's a loyal but frustrated fan do to?  When I figure it out, I'll let you all know.    

Overall grade, a D.  The confession scene pulls this from F territory, although I strangely didn’t find this episode anywhere near as offensive as “Man’s Best Friend With Benefits” except for the rock star aliases of Betts and Allman after the whole Sarah Jones thing.  That was pretty tactless. 

Since we like to discuss, share as a fan how you felt about last night’s going through the motions piece of filler.  Are you still in the “at least Supernatural is still on the air” camp or has the recent season got you reflecting on that mentality?  Are you angry that the same set of writers continue to deliver grossly inferior scripts yet still have jobs, or do you think this is just a sign that the writers in general have given up?  Are you going through your own “Supernatural” faith crisis?  Of course, if you’re happy, say so too.  All opinions are welcomed an appreciated.  There’s no bad opinions and there’s no good ones either.  This week, we’re keeping it real. 


Nogadamo Bhitia
# Nogadamo Bhitia 2015-03-26 22:05
It's sad to read how discouraged you are. I have very much enjoyed your writings.
I'm having a different reaction as I have been enjoying Season 10, for the most part. I love Fan Fiction and Hibbing 9-1-1; they're among my all time favorite episodes.
I'm an old lady who just wants to be entertained and this show continues to do that for me. I admit I don't always catch on to stuff right away, like in this episode I thought it was kind of odd the young girl was wearing Rennaisance era garb, but thought the artist had posed her that way for a Mona Lisa look. The kid behind my local pharmacy counter has the exact same haircut as the artist, so that didn't clue me in. I didn't get it until they put the date on the screen.
I did think the flirtation between Dean and the nun was disconcerting and the deaths were't really convinging. Not after last week. I still don't get why the ghost went after the priest, so someone please tell me.
This season we are seeing Sam and Dean really grow up, and I like that.
Alice, my advice is pour yourself a some Scotch (or sherry, like I do), sit back in a recliner and just watch. If the dialogue bores you, stare at the details in the background. The interior of the church in this episode was fascinating. The story not so much.
I still don't get why Sam was driving at the end. Is it just because he was driving the final BM?
# BppkLady 2015-03-26 22:21
From everything I've read, I'd say that the consensus is that the fans tune in to see Sam and Dean fully alive, taking care of the family business equally and together, not being side-lined on their own show.

My suggestion is that they scrap the 23 episode format and go to a shorter season with a cohesive story planned out before they even start filming. Everyone weighs in with input - J2 especially on character, but also production, design, special effects, the whole Canadian team with the LA team working together to breathe life back into the show. It needs it. Also a take-no-prisone rs show runner who loves the show and the characters and respects its canon.The writers have to audition to stay on the show and that includes all of them, all of them! If they can't write a great script, sorry try again next season. Also, the only recurring characters should be Sam and Dean, no one else. With a shorter season, J2 should be able to commit the time to be the only repeat cast, as the show originally started. Sorry, but I just don't see a way to continue to use Castiel or Crowley, no matter how beloved they are. Castiel is an angel and Crowley is the King of Hell; both should not be even in the same league as our human brothers no matter how hard Sam and Dean fight. If they were written well, they'd have already done away with the brothers or solved all their problems. Exit stage right, sorry. Occasional cameos and guest appearances are fine, but otherwise back to the basics and the heart of the show. And, no more pop music, please! Spend the money on the classics! Sam and Dean aren't inexperienced teenagers; they're knowledgeable, hardened hunters. They're bad-ass and their music should be the same. Another thought, from now on, how about dead staying dead? Just to add some real tension and threat to life and death situations?! No take-backsies, but also no deaths just for shock value. They have to make sense in the story-telling. Ha! That'll never happen.

I know that it's unlikely to happen as Supernatural's numbers still seem fine, but for the sake of the show, I think that it what it needs to up the quality in story-telling. Just my opinion, of course. My apologies if I've offended anyone.
# eilf 2015-03-26 23:15
I am totally in agreement with all your ideas Bppklady (sorry :D ) they are excellent! I would be willing to allow Castiel and Crowley to stay but only with reasonable reason for them still to be there.

With Crowley at present I sort of feel they could be working up to something, but I haven't understood Castiel's role for a long time now
# Mae 2015-03-26 23:52
@BppkLady: Well Said! I second everything.

& @ Alice: I think you and I are coming from very similar places! I was bored out of my skull last night! If it wasn't for my damn loyalty to the show, I would have changed the channel. I folded laundry, checked work email, played Trivia Crack all during the episode.

I always hesitate to openly admit in fandom that I think the show would be stronger without Cas & Crowley around as regulars, but I think it's true. Supernatural was/is designed to be a show about two people, two brothers, a duo - not a show about a hunter duo and then an angel & demon.

I love how the Supernatural world has always orbited around Sam & Dean - it is the way the show was built & designed & it has worked beautifully.

I have always loved the revolving door or characters that come into & out of the Winchesters lives, and then reappear & disappear (no matter how sad it is to see them go - that's life, for us & the Winchesters). I now feel like the show is attempting to make the Supernatural world orbit about Sam & Dean & Crowley & Cas. And it's jarring & frustrating & in my opinion, not working. Because while Crowley & Cas may be "fan favorites," they will never be Sam & Dean's.

I simply do not care about either character's story line if it is not directly tied to & interwoven with the Winchesters.

My other main issue is how the general tone of the show has changed.

I think the Crowley/Rowena storyline in particular is just..campy. Supernatural has always felt real to me. I think because Sam & Dean (along with rich characters like Ellen and Bobby and John) made it feel real. I related to these characters & it made this Supernatural world believable.

But now Crowley & Rowena are beginning to feel more like cartoon caricatures. Hell, the nuns last night too. Not to mention that I think Hell feels fake - it looks like a sound stage, a fake set from a play or something. Supernatural has lost it's grittiness.

And don't even get me started on the soap opera that is the Cas & Claire story line.

I honestly do not think the writers really know what to do with Crowley & Cas. Hell, Cas spent the first half of the season driving around the country aimlessly in a car. Nothing about that is anywhere near enthralling.

I think the show desperately needs to be re-focused on the brothers. Last night it felt like the brothers were guest stars in their own show - or like they were the set decoration. It was just sad. I understand J2 wanting & needing more time off, so why in the world wouldn't you make their precious screen time count more?

BppkLady, I really like your idea that the seasons are shortened from 20-something episodes to like 13. I feel like it would fix a lot of SPN's current problems (i.e. lack of Winchesters, pacing, pointless filler).
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-27 12:32
I wish you and Booklady were the showrunners!
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-27 12:30
I agree with everything you said. Basically what you described was the Kripke era: a team of talented people, led by a showrunner with a vision, who understood the show and the brothers. And the showrunner has to be actively involved in framing each and every script to avoid all of the inconsistencies and dropped plots that the show has been saddled with.
# BookLady 2015-03-26 22:23
Again, it's BookLady, not that other weird name :)
# st50 2015-03-26 22:39
First and foremost, Alice, thank you for keeping it real.
We sure don't always agree on the site, but at least we're all allowed to be honest here.
I saw some nonsense on twitter last night, and it did make me sad. This fandom -like all others, I suppose - has its share of intolerance, pettiness, and nonsense.

I'll admit to being in a similar crisis situation with regards to the show. I have been struggling since 8.01, hanging on to hope that things will improve (obviously, I want them to improve in the areas I personally see as deficient), and wondering how long to hang on to that hope - or if all hope is gone...(and even wondering why I still want to hang on).
To some degree, at this point, I think I'm watching because of friends I have in fandom, and because of Jared and Jensen. Not because of what the show airs each week.

Part of me is glad the show is at least still on the air, and part of me wishes it had ended when it was, IMO, still good. I totally agree it is no longer personal for the boys, no longer urgent, no longer explores the big questions about family, faith, life and its importance and meaning, and indeed, it no longer fills the need in me that it filled when I became a fan.

I just simply can't bring myself to let go. I think, ultimately, the CW is going to have to cut those strings for me.... So as long as supernatural is still meeting whatever requirements the network has to keep it going, I'll probably still be around - in some capacity. But I can't join in the squee anymore. Apologies to those who can. I dont feel that things are all rainbows and unicorns, with great writing and thrilling seasons... The show feels tired. Or maybe that's just me.

The REAL question, I suppose, is whether there is still a place for those of us who are struggling to come to discuss it, or not. And that answer more likely rests with you, Alice.

This episode is definitely in the bottom tier of all episodes of the series, for me.
# eilf 2015-03-26 23:26
Oh it would be lovely to be given even little crumbs of things to squee over wouldn't it? :o
# Arlette 2015-03-26 22:40
I feel I must respond to your critical review. This episode tied a lot of loose ends together and set the path for the continuing arc, kept me wanting more. I think your review was not objective but the venting a negative frustrated fan who doesn't like the current story arc. Your comment about not even watching but being busy with other things shows me that no care or thoughtful analysis was done on this review. Rowena the character is from Scotland so she has an accent...she's supposed too! The show this season has not been consistent with the episodes, but this one nailed it. Maybe your perspective has waned because you have watched too many years and are not open to fresh ideas in the storylines. Supernatural writers take risks with their writing. I'm not saying I always agree or like it, but do respect them for taking on this task. With all due respect, perhaps it's time you move on from Supernatural and seek a different program to comment. It seems that you have burnt out of the enthusiasm for Supernatural. Let people enjoy the show, it's not rocket science, it's horror / action. My rating for paint it black is B+
Nogadamo Bhitia
# Nogadamo Bhitia 2015-03-27 00:06
Arlette, I gree with you that this episode tied several threads together. As to drama and bad acting, the witches on this show have often been drama queens. there's a reason wildly raging womenbecky marriage get called witches.

You are right in saying Supernatural takes risks. They won't always pay off. Like the Sam-Becky marriage episode. I don't dwell on those. Alice, you shouldn't either.

All the rest of us should keep the conversation civil and tone down the negativity. We don't have to like everything but hatred is too strong an emotion to have for a TV show when no one is forcing us to watch it.

If we don't like the later seasons we can be like the Star Wars fans who refuse to acknowledge the prequels. My son is one of them and he's happy.
# LEAH 2015-03-27 00:30
Hi Arlette and Nogadamo,
I am actually not very unhappy with the show. I do have episodes I like and some I don't. I am in it for the long haul. But I don't think you guys should be so judgmental towards the people who are unhappy. Alice's job is to review the episode in the way she see's fit. We don't have to agree but I don't think anyone has the right to tell her or anyone else to move on or how to do a review or how to express how they feel in a post. As long as it's civil and not attacking anyone else for their views. I'm sorry, everyone has the right to express their opinion here, happy, unhappy or in between. There are days the site isn't a fun place for me to be but that is MY problem. If I don't like it I back off. Telling someone to stop watching the show is also against one of the rules of the site.
# SPNForever 2015-03-29 08:26
Hi Arlette and Nogadamo - This site does not restrict comments to only those which are "positive". Obviously when there is a great epsidoe there is are a lot of positive comments. I am offended that others should tone down the negativity. It appears to me that those who are the most negative are also very committed, loyal, long-time LOVERS or SPN who have a genuine ax to grind - I am not implying you are not a loyal viewer and lover of SPN at all. But you are not the "tone" police and people are free to express whatever they wish. I don't have to watch SPN anymore as I'm very frustrated with the show but you don't have to read all of the comments here and then give advice to other's who post here. Everyone here reads each other's post because we laugh together, we grieve together we are a community. Please post your thougths on the show but leave the "tone guidance" out as it takes away from your perspecitve on the show.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-27 16:42
By definition a review is subjective rather than objective. It's one person's opinion of the episode. That's why almost all reviews are different, because the people writing them are different. I would have thought that was self-evident. What I like about this site is that all of the reviewers have very different perspectives. Even though I disagree with some of the reviews, I don't find them offensive or unwelcome on the site. And if I were somehow offended I would choose not to read that reviewer's posts. Just saying.
# SPNForever 2015-03-29 08:08
Arlette - I take offense at your comment's to Alice's review. Alice is providing her opinion and she does an excellent job of stating objective and subjective statements in her writing. I found your reply "personal" and inapporpriate. Suggesting Alice is not open to fresh ideas would be akin to someone saying you are out of your depth in your writing. This site allows free expression and not all SPN sites allow this. Just because someone has a "negative" reaction does not give another the right to go on the attack. Your opinion is important but perhaps the personal jabs at Alice were not the best way to make your case.
# Alice 2015-03-29 14:45
Sorry, I've been meaning to respond to this for a few days now. As the admin for our site, we've been having some difficulties and we actually did a server move this weekend, so I haven't been attentive to comments.

Your criticism of my review is very fair Arlette. The comment was actually reported but I see nothing wrong with it. I agree, there is a big failure of objectivity on my part. As long as I've been reviewing Supernatural episodes, I do elude to struggle of the critic side of me vs. the fan side of me when reviewing an episode. This week, you got the fan side for sure. I saw this episode, and most season nine and ten, to be a big betrayal to a long time fan who's been nothing but loyal and is crushed to see what they've done to this once great show. I did give a glowing review of "The Executioner's Song" but yeah, I'm afraid that's all I got positive to say for the time being.

I'm open to fresh ideas very much so. These are stale. It's turned into Charmed lite or something like that. The slow pace is agonizing. My problem is that I do review other shows. I'm the head writer for our sister site, TV For The Rest of Us, and I've done reviews for numerous other genre shows. Currently I do the Arrow reviews and I just finished doing a whole season of The 100, but I have other writers doing other shows as well. Those other shows are putting way more quality into the writing and story construction. The 100 just did a mind blowing job with season two and the way they tightly constructed the entire mythology and character storylines. They did 16 episodes of near storytelling perfection. Supernatural used to do that as well, even back in season eight. But lately, it's random and lazy. These are writers have hit a wall and are just plain out of ideas. I do probably bring up the older seasons too much, and it's likely not a very fair comparison. But when reviewing other shows too, the flaws are obvious.

So yes, I'm a frustrated fan because I do expect better. I fell in love with Supernatural because of it's extraordinary writing and acting, and lately, for me personally, it's no longer fun to watch. It's a chore. Yeah, perhaps I should stop writing reviews, but I continue because there are others like me out there that still read what I have to say and agree. I do struggle with the idea that it's time to let go. I probably should have cut this show loose last season. Like I said in the review, many of my blogger friends have. But, it's hard to let go of something that's become a big part of my life this long, and that's why I opened my heart to other fans regarding my frustration this time. It seemed like the thing to do.

It's okay if you don't see it that way. I'm very glad you didn't. But if others didn't, they're allowed to say as well. All opinions are welcome. Perhaps we'll be on the same page next time! Thanks for the comment.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-29 15:19
Alice, I agree with you about The 100. That is one of the few shows I watch besides SPN, and this season was terrific. It's almost an unfair comparison, however, because it's easier to have fresh story ideas and character arcs when you're only in your second season. But I think SPN would still have a problem even if the writing and story arcs were as good as those of The 100. Unlike SPN, The 100 has been an ensemble show right from the start. They've had to craft interweaving stories for multiple characters and they've had the freedom to kill some of them off. SPN has always been a two-lead show. The brothers' relationship was what drew me in and distinguished the show, and I know many fans feel the same way. They've tried to have the Ms as series regulars but it's hard to come up with story lines for them that credibly, logically and entertainingly relate to the Winchesters' story. When the Ms are given more independent stories many fans are just not that interested because they watch for the brothers. Since the Js apparently are unwilling to return to the grueling schedule of previous seasons, it seems unlikely that we'll see a return to a show in which almost all of the plots and episodes revolve around the brothers. Therefore, to me, it could never approach the greatness of the earlier seasons. However, I do think it could still be a very good show if the writing and story construction were vastly improved. I actually liked the episode Bitten. I thought it was a good story and I liked the characters and the found footage concept. But as a SPN episode I was less than thrilled with it because there was SO little Sam and Dean in it. If the episodes that are light on the brothers told decent stories in their own right, I could tolerate/enjoy them if they were sprinkled throughout the season, knowing that the majority of the episodes featured the brothers. I think TPTB could find a balance that would satisfy most fans, but this current staff is clearly not up to the job.
# SPNForever 2015-03-30 09:39
Alice - I am so glad you brought up the 100. I have been blown away with this show this season. The writing, the cast, the pace, the special effects, the tension, the drama - AMAZING!!! I think your reply to those who didn't agree with your review of "Paint it Black" showed a lot of class and grace. I love reading your reviews and I find your rebuttal/respon se here just as on-point as your original review. If you look at the ratings for Season 10 from the premiere to "Paint it Black" viewership is down by 800,000. "Paint it Black" drew the smallest number of viewers of any episode this season. For a show that averages 2 million viewers an episode it can't afford this trajectory. I realize that ratings go up and down and there are a lot of factors that go into ratings but still the trend is very clear. Something is broken at SPN and nobody seems to be willing at the show to admit it and fix it. They seem to project we know what's best and turn a blind eye and deaf ear to criticism (example - mid-season roundtable with prominent bloggers). This is disheartening and insulting to fans, IMO. There are those who really enjoy Season 10 and that's great. I wish I were one of them. I do read posts from many SPN fan websites - all of which are built and devoted to the love of the show - none of them are there to tear SPN down. The trend across many fan boards is much the same as yours - desperation and frustration and sadness. Thanks for your reviews - I am a fan.
# eilf 2015-03-26 23:08
I have a crisis of faith about the show too, Alice, but I want to just make a general comment about this ep and these writers.

I have been playing devils advocate about the positive aspects this episode over on the other comment page, not because I think this episode was good, because it wasn't at all really, but because I really didn't think it was significantly worse than any other episode this season. And it made me laugh a couple of times (though not at the points I think it intended) And there is a tendency towards implying (by pretty much everyone) that these two writers are somehow solely to blame for the lack of all the things that used make the show tick, and for everything that is wrong with the show. Is that an exaggeration? I don't know. Maybe. I think the point people are missing is that if these writers were gone, the current overall quality of the show wouldn't actually rise all that significantly.
And we would have zero Sam instead of nearly zero.
What I am saying is that there is plenty of blame to go round, not least because I actually believe that this team of writers, if they actually wrote as a team and not as a whole lot of different agendas, and if they wrote to something resembling canon could write this show well again.

There is one episode - 1 - that I could imagine watching again from this season. And it isn't this one and it isn't myth-arc related (or the 200th episode). It is just a lively little piece of fluff. I WANT depth and canon and mytharc, but only if it makes some sense.
That episode gets a B, everything else this season is at a C
ETA: well, ok I have to admit The Executioners Song was pretty good, and Jesen's stunt work was amazing (and painful), but as a part of this season I can't imagine coming back to watch it again because as of now (like Dean saying he is going to die) it makes almost no sense plot-wise. I will give it a B also.
# AlyCat22 2015-03-26 23:21
Wow, no need to be so aggressive just because she was stating her unhappiness with where the show is now! Just because it doesn't match how you see it doesn't mean its invalid, lazy or that shes any less of a fan! The heart wants what the heart wants!

Alice, I understand your frustration. It is particularly hard to see Show present an episode as soaring as The Executioners Song and then serve up a mediocre episode such as last nights. Ouch. We share your pain. I still stupidly remain hopeful that they will end this season strong. I have to say though if after all this dedication (slogging thru crappy episodes, boring side B and C side acts, multiple hiatuses...) if they screw up this MOC/DemonDean storyline, I may be too disappointed to continue watching! This dragging out of an important arc should be a criminal offense! Calling it a snails pace is insulting to snails. They move with the speed of light compared to how Carver is stretching this out!!!

You know, people slam The Walking Dead all the time, but do you know what I get from that show that I'm not getting from Supernatural? Action and a lot of it. Supernatural could take a note or two.

I like Rowena when she lets her true self shine thru. The other is an act to cause people to think shes non threatening and let their guard down. I think we are going to see more of the evil in her when she comes up against Dean again. Initially I bet she will use her OTT act but then change when he doesn't fall for it.

Hang in there girl. We are all in this together. There is always time for a mass exodus if the circumstances call for it at the end of the season!!! ;)
# AlyCat22 2015-03-26 23:26
Eilf my comment wasn't directed to you! Sorry if that's how it looks!
# eilf 2015-03-26 23:33
Hi Alycat, no it doesn't look like it is, no problem.
# cheryl42 2015-03-27 00:57
As long as the show is on the air I will keep watching. For me this season has had more hits than misses. I am currently watching S6 on TNT and what I am seeing of all the seasons up through S9 really is that every episode is focused on Sam and Dean. With very few exceptions and those are either Bobby's or Castiels and only a very few episodes total. This show does not work if the J's are not a main focus of the episode. It just doesn't. I think that is why this show has lasted so long. If there wasn't a Jared and Jensen there would have been no show or at the most a short lived one. Yes the writing and the arcs were tighter in the early days but what captivated us was the relationship between Sam and Dean. And the real life friendship of the two actors sold us on their story. Without them this show is just a mediocre fantasy. I believe that is why this season seems so disconnected to the show we want to see. The J's are just not a big part of every episode. So the way I look at this season and going forward the episodes that don't focus on Sam and Dean are not going to be as compelling so I have to watch with that in mind. But for now there have only been 2 episodes that I probably won't re watch this season. Last night is one of them. But hey it wasn't Bloodlines bad.
# Dion7 2015-03-27 01:05
I liked this episode a bit more than you did. Though I was pretty annoyed by the terrible acting, mostly the good nun and Rowena is not a very interesting character to me. I thought the episode was pretty enjoyable and I agree that the confessional scene was really touching.
My main problems with the episode and the series are these:
Crowley's character has really taken a turn for the worse. I think that the point where they first went wrong was when they actually showed what hell looks like and what Crowley does as king. When the character was first introduced Crowley was awesome and hell was both creepy and mysterious. To me, it lost that quality.
Secondly, I'm getting tired of the endless amount of ghosts and other monsters that we have seen a thousand times. It's supposed to be a horror show, but the last time I was actually creeped out was with the changeling episode. I wish they would come up with some new monsters, and not make it gory, but creepy. Although the updated worm from last week wasn't exactly creepy, it was a monster that we've only seen once before, so that was pretty nice, they should do stuff like that more often.
# AlyCat22 2015-03-27 06:40
Why do people still keep thinking they are in Hell? The current location is on Earth. Topside. Think of it as a satellite of the "Corporate Office" if you will. Granted when they did show a version of Hell that Sam visited it was kinda lame but this ain't it.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-27 19:32
I thought the same thing as you, but in Wednesday's episode someone definitely indicated that they were in hell. I believe it was in that first scene with Crowley, Rowena and 2 face, but I'm not sure who said it and I refuse to re-watch it to find out.
# AlyCat22 2015-03-28 06:55
I'll rewatch it today and see if I can catch it but based on all that was said before and the fact that they are in a dilapidated building? So not Hell and so not sexy... I will report back with my findings... we must keep in mind who wrote this episode too...
# Dion7 2015-04-14 19:50
Oh, well I'll make sure to pay good attention when I watch those episodes again. I indeed thought that the scenes were situated in hell, I've never heard them say that it isn't in hell. But I'll see if I can catch them saying anything about that.

Though to be honest, it's not just about the setting. Watching Crowley's often boring business takes away the idea of hell as a frightening and cruel place that was established in the early seasons.
# Jen 2015-03-27 03:17
Howdy everyone. I just watched the ep. Paint it Black again. I felt the episode was very meaningful As with the Khan Worm ep. The writers are running characters parelell to Sam & Dean. There not telling the very heavy and emotional story just through the boys. I see Dean as very depressed & hopeing for a way out to live. But nothing is showing itself. His tired looks very unwell and unable to fight anymore. His looking for answers whereever he can find one. Like with the nun in this Ep. - why is she a nun what brought her to this decision - the priest hoping for answers there. Sam is growing more and more desperete - finding it harder & harder to hold his brother up. Hence the sign He ain,t heavy His my brother. And the chat in the car at the end From 2 brothers both desperete both scared both trying to hold on & find their OWN answers. The acting wasn't that bad and the story was ok. I enjoyed it as I enjoy most episodes. I don't have a long list of bad Eps xxoo
# Lilah_Kane 2015-03-27 04:46
Since we like to discuss, share as a fan how you felt about last night’s going through the motions piece of filler. Are you still in the “at least Supernatural is still on the air” camp or has the recent season got you reflecting on that mentality? Are you angry that the same set of writers continue to deliver grossly inferior scripts yet still have jobs, or do you think this is just a sign that the writers in general have given up? Are you going through your own “Supernatural” faith crisis? Of course, if you’re happy, say so too. All opinions are welcomed an appreciated. There’s no bad opinions and there’s no good ones either
The episode wansn't perfect and I don't care who writes and what in the show. I have also liked season 10 and can't wait where it is heading.

This week, we’re keeping it real.
Sorry, too dangerous. Have deleted my post probably ten times already so will leave my comment on those two crappy sentences. But yeah, hopefully the episodes turn better for you and you welcome them then. :)

- Lilah
# AlyCat22 2015-03-27 06:59
LK - I'm with you now. Took a couple days to shake my negativity off. I remain ever hopeful that they will knock this MOC storyline out of the park. I too am looking forward to how they are going to wrap it up and still carry it into next season!!! I think it's just driving us all nuts with these little teases and glacier like movement of the main storyline! I like the glimpse we got of a now very determined, take no prisoners Sam. Dean is harder to read because it seems like he's all over the place. Now he's physically hurting either because of MOC is presenting the same symptoms he suffered in the past or it's something entirely new as it sinks its claws in further. Dean wasn't trying to hide it which surprised me. Was he too tired or just figures it doesn't matter at this point? For Dean to be showing it at all, you know he's got to be in a lot of pain. Sam didn't call him out on it but was definitely aware and concerned. He knows he's running out of time and Jared conveyed that beautifully. Nope, even crappy writing - I can't quit this show!
# YellowEyedSam 2015-03-27 05:45
You know what springs to mind when I think of this season so far? Filler. In fact some of the other seasons had bad cases of filler, but this one is making me sigh in annoyance. 23 episodes in a season and how many ep have we had that are involved with the main story? I agree that writing 23 ep is a bit tough. Especially when the writers basically stated they don't know how a season ends and they write as they go along. When I first read that statement I was shocked and horrified. They don't even have a basic outline of the season? WHUT!

At times like this I prefer the anime version. 22 episodes that cover season 1 and 2. Yes it has filler episodes but I counted 12 episodes that cover the main story or strongly linked to it. We're on ep 17 now of S10 and how many episodes have we had covering the main story? Mmm.. first three were demon Dean, oh.. and who could forget the one with Cain in. Ah.. I can't remember anymore. Maybe thats because the writers throw in scenes about the main plot so fast you blink and you miss them.
# njspnfan 2015-03-27 08:24
I feel your pain, Alice. I found myself distracted during the initial airing, checking the clock, responding to some emails. So I did sit down and watched it off of Amazon streaming last night and it was just as bad the second time around. Grading this one, I'll be generous and give it a D.

1) Rowena is a cartoon character; she is Over the top, grating, and the entire storyline is a waste of time.
2) What the hell has happened to Crowley? Fergus may have made a crossroads deal for "3 inches more below the waist" but has lost that, and then some this season. To me, Mark Sheppard looked bored/disintere sted during this episode.
3) While I can buy in to the fact that there may have been more MoL bunkers outside the U.S., wouldn't Abaddon have gone after those MoL groups as well? And, if not, wouldn't someone have checked up on the U.S. operations/bunk er in the past 60 years? Especially since they contain such a treasure trove/historica l archive of all things supernatural? No logic whatsoever.
4) How would Sabrina the Teenage grand coven hamster witch (forgot her name already) know about the Winchesters?
5) Still unclear on why Casper the ghostly nun's belongings were shipped from Tivoli to a church in Massachussetts.
6) Dean's "confession". Yes, it was well acted but made no sense. Dean doesn't want to die and believes in God but isn't sure God believes in us. They've made a big deal of the fact that Sam and Dean have exhausted all resources in researching the MoC so Dean has to know HE IS CURSED AND CANNOT DIE. THE MARK OF CAIN WON'T LET HIM. Or did he forget his little stint as a demon earlier this season? Or that his reckless behavior caused this predicament in the first place? I think the extent of the canon/logic checking nowadays consists of running the scripts thru spell check.

JA and JP even appeared to be phoning it in; either that or they were embarrassed by this script. The really good episodes are few and far between now. And it really is a shame because the show has 4 very good actors to rely upon; this is a writing and story development problem. I'm just not sure if the showrunners think this is good material, or they just don't care anymore?

I completely agree when people say this is Carver and the writers story to tell. But, on the flip side, it's my decision to watch or not watch. I've committed to watch thru the end of Season 10 but that's probably the end of the road for me.
# Shante 2015-03-27 08:55
hi Alice, i understand your frustration. im here out of loyalty. i have accepted Supernatural is not the same show anymore, and never will go back to being Supernatural again, and this series with my name initials is going down the toilet. this show is turned into a lie, its not about 2 brothers, its about 1. im currently keeping track of Sam's unconsciousness , and other things, Sam :(.i have left this show a total of 4xs and i always came back when i was not happy with what was going on in the show at the time most recent being 10x09. the potential of Demon!Dean has been wasted, it feels like it to me now, we have another year to endure of this show, unless there is a new showrunner, better writers, pacing, etc things will never change. i just dont understand
# jane 2015-03-27 09:49
I am loosing my faith in the show since the beginning of season 8.
I was also very bored by it and I am pretty sure I fell asleep during one of Morticia "rowena" adams scene. This character is a joke, I really don't care about her.
The only question that came through my mind during the episode was "why is the sister wearing makeup as if she is a top model ?"
Going from one story to an other doesn't work. Supernatural hasn't been built on a ensemble show. Sure change can be made but here, it doesn't work.
I used to love Crowley but nowadays I don't want to see Mark's name on the screen anymore because i know we will jump from one story to an other. Same with Misha's name.
I know many fans think the confessional scene saved the episode but it ruined it even more for me. Not because of the acting, or what was said. But during the all thing, I kept thinking, "say it to your brother". Thanks Sam for saying it at the end. Same with Dean's answer to Sam, I though to myself right before Sam said it, "could you at least pretend to believe it". So that's the only scene that matters to me.
Like you Alice, I miss the talk, the fun between the brothers, that they care about the family bussness. The mark of Cain is a tiresome stroryline, it drains the energy of everyone: characters, actors, writers, fans. Make it stop please.
# Ginger 2015-03-27 09:49
Oh, Alice, I can't help you with your faith in the show crisis, because I am in exactly the same place. Your article states my feelings precisely.

Like you, I have lost all faith in the show; but more than that, I have lost all faith in the J2s. Three years ago, I seriously evaluated whether to keep watching and concluded that I enjoyed watching JA perform his craft so much (and that when the show ended, I might not get much of an opportunity to do that), so decided to stick with it. I almost quit last season, until the MoC/Demon Dean story promised so much potential (which has all been squandered). This season, sadly, I feel the J2s just don't care any more than anybody else connected to the show. That actually started in S9, but it is so glaringly blatant this season, that it cannot be ignored. The J2s main concern is no longer their "legacy," or dedication to the long-time loyal fans -- their main concern is to work part time and, as a result, it is left to one-bit support or guest characters written by untalented writers to fill in the air minutes. In other words, I feel that the long-term loyal fans like myself are being used by everyone connected with SPN.

I don't think we are alone in our disappointment. Between the premiere and this latest episode, the show has dropped 800,000 viewers. It's too early to say whether than is a downward trend or not, but for a show with so few viewers, 800,000 is a huge number.

Will the show get better next year? No hope there. It will be more of the same. The Js aren't going to want to work any more than they do now and the writers are the same. I have decided to finish this season out, but probably won't be back for S11. I am unable to put aside the disappointment I have in the J2s for their role in disrespecting the fans that kept this show on the air for years. I think they are still delivering in their performances, but ten minutes a week isn't enough to keep me around, because they are the show as far as I am concerned.

Why do the Winchesters continue to hunt? No clue. I've asked that since Dean got Sam's soul back in S6.

Am I excited about more MoL bunkers all over the world? No. It ticked me off, because it is just another example of diminishing the Winchester characters. They are MoL by genes only. They have not gone through any initiation or anything else connected to the MoL. It was a throw-away line and only used in an attempt to tie Crowley/Rowena to the Winchester story.

Thanks for bringing these issues up. It's something that needed to be brought to light a long time ago.
# SPNForever 2015-03-27 10:39
Alice - You nailed this review and you spoke for me and probably many other die-hard fans who feel their favorite show of all time dying a slow agonizing and ugly death. I won't rehash what you said becuase there is NOTHING I disagree with. Brad and Eugenie need to be let go. I have struggled with Season 10 and find it hard to believe that I now find Season 10 the WORST season of the series. Season 10 makes Season 7 look much better in comparison. The ratings seem to be holding but I think that is because there are so many of us that have a decade or more of our lives tied up and wrapped around this show that used to be so AWESOME. After "Paint it Black", I, a die-hard fan for the FIRST time said the show needs to be cancelled because it is killing me to watch it fade into a trainwreck that is speeding towards a concrete wall. I love this show and am so sad that I will not watch another epidose in this season. Jeremy Carver has destroyed this show in a season that had all the elements in place to be one of the best seasons ever. I am beside myself. I have even e-mail Mark Pedowitz to tell him how much I love SPN and how I can't stand to see what is has become. I no longer get excited about watching the show - sometimes I even forget that it was on. I never thought this was possible. I don't see how this show can turn around and become SPN again - I'm afraid it is too far gone.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-27 13:03
I agree that it's not just one issue that is ruining SPN. There are multiple problems, some insurmountable, some that could be easily addressed. The biggest problem in my opinion is not enough Sam and Dean, and I don't think that can be fixed in a 23 ep season. The Js simply do not want a return to the grueling workdays of the early years. So either the ep has an equal focus on the other stories, which are just not that interesting nor are they why I watch the show. Or, what's almost worse to me, they separate the brothers so (I assume) they can stagger the Js workdays and let them have longer weekends. This has been a big problem because I prefer the brothers together, and because many of these writers don't seem to be willing or able to write scripts that give Sam anything much to do when he and Dean are apart.
However, even when both brothers are in the episode, and Sam isn't totally ignored (a rarity), I think the biggest problem is that the writers have lost sight of the characters. Both Sam and Dean seem very different the past couple of years from the characters I love. There's character growth and there's character assassination. I won't belabor all of the ways in which Sam has been stripped of his core qualities by TPTB. I've done that ad nauseam. But Dean, too, is gone. It's like in Season 4 when Sam said that Dean isn't Dean anymore. That's even more true now. It's been almost 2 years of Dean grimly dealing with the MOC and all of his usual load of guilt. There have been just a handful of episodes where Dean showed the humor, lightheartednes s and deep affection for Sam that are a part of his nature. So even in the filler episodes, I get little joy from watching the brothers because the dynamic between them is so different. This arc and these characterizatio ns of the brothers have sucked the life and fun out of the show even more than the lackluster plots. I enjoyed every single episode the first few seasons, even Bugs and Route 666, because I simply enjoyed the interactions between the brothers and the feelings and thoughts they expressed. Yes, those were the days when we didn't have to guess and infer their every thought and emotion. This could be remedied by just having one person on the staff re-familiarizin g themselves with who the brothers are. They should re-watch earlier seasons just as often as many of us fans do. Of course, great, exciting plots would also be very welcome, but I think they have to address the brother issue first. I agree that some of these writers are decent. What is lacking is a showrunner who cares enough to ensure that the season arc and each episode are consistent with canon and the brothers' characters. If they need fresh blood on the writing staff because they're out of story ideas (and that wouldn't be surprising after 10 years) then get new writers. Or better yet, solicit ideas from the fans. Nobody has invested as much time into thinking about this show as the fans. Seriously, if TPTB are tapped out, go to the greatest source of ingenuity and love for the show that they have- US. I've read some amazing ideas for stories and character arcs on this site, better than much of what I've seen on screen. Carver is a great writer, but an awful showrunner. I liked the 2nd half of season 8, the first half of season 9, and a handful of episodes this year, but I feel like he's destroying the show now. I truly think the show can be saved; maybe not restored to the greatness of past seasons, but it can be an entertaining, exciting show with two phenomenal characters at the center. I'm hoping next season will start that process.
# eilf 2015-03-27 13:28
I agree with your thinking Samandean, I really think that it is time they made a general plan for the season, and then got the writers to write to it. And prevented them from rewriting show history to suit themselves. They need to stop writing themselves into a corner and then escaping by cheating too. And if they want to separate J2 for great chunks of the episode Sam needs to get the A story more than once a season. Let Jensen have a few days off occasionally, the place won't fall to pieces while he is gone. And the viewers they are shedding might even be encouraged come back if there is a possibility that Sam might also have some focus and be allowed heroics once in a while (seriously, Show, we have never really asked for much).

Or better yet, solicit ideas from the fans. Nobody has invested as much time into thinking about this show as the fans. Seriously, if TPTB are tapped out, go to the greatest source of ingenuity and love for the show that they have- US. I've read some amazing ideas for stories and character arcs on this site, better than much of what I've seen on screen.
I have seen this suggestion a few times now and the thing is they pretty much aren't allowed do that. As far as I am aware it is a serious no-no. See how few of the writers you will get to admit they read fanfiction - they are afraid of being unconsciously influenced by it. It is possibly a union thing but more importantly it is an intellectual copyright issue etc. If they use a story or an idea that a person can prove came from them then they are at a serious risk of being sued. Even if they solicit ideas and pay for them there are risks of being sued for more money and residuals etc (Ok I admit I am not really familiar with the inner workings of TV companies - so 'residuals', for example, might be the wrong word - but this is what I understand the situation to be). And lastly if you sold an idea for a TV episode wouldn't you find it totally impossible not to tell the world about it? I would! And there goes any suspense etc..
# E 2015-03-27 15:16
So... does that mean that if the writers end up using the "Sam commits suicide by using the blade idea" that I can sue?! I could sure use the money!!! :D:D
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-27 16:26
I will testify on your behalf! I was unaware of all of those pesky little copyright issues. I was thinking more along the lines of the tee shirt design contest from last year. The winning designers got merchandise as their prizes. The winner of the story/episode contest could get to watch the ep being filmed in exchange for signing a non-disclosure agreement. But I forgot about the residuals aspect. Although they could have a contract forgoing any claim to residuals. Sadly, it probably would end up in a lawsuit. Thwarted at every turn!
# eilf 2015-03-27 16:41
I hate to tell you both but there is extremely good evidence that the writers are not listening to a single word any of US are saying... for details, see the total lack of any of our complaints over the past 3 seasons even being acknowledged never mind addressed :P

Would make it very hard to prove that they took your idea E ...
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-27 19:34
I keep picturing them with their fingers in their ears saying "I can't hear you! la la la la."
# E 2015-03-28 06:54
Aw nuts. Foiled again. I guess I'll have to stay poor then. You know, I have tons of ideas like that, maybe the show should just hire me….There's no way that I can't come up with better stuff than is going on now. Renaissance, crazy nun love story? Really? That's the best these guys can do? It's embarrassing!
# AlyCat22 2015-03-27 18:58
The writers have said in the past that they are not allowed to take story ideas from fans. It is verboten.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-27 19:37
Verboten? or a convenient excuse for not incorporating our fabulous ideas? No, I'm sure that's true, but what was the context when they stated that? Were they getting a lot of fan ideas?
# AlyCat22 2015-03-28 07:00
No definitely not allowed. I'm not sure the reason but I believe the jist of it was it deals with legalities? I have read it more than once. This isnt a "Can't, or won't!?!" situation for them.
Amruta Karve
# Amruta Karve 2015-03-27 14:22
Hey Alice, great review! No seriously! I mean how much bad can you write about a sucky episode in more good words? :D I completely agree with your review. I felt everything you felt during watching the episode. Somebody needs to remind Supernatural a great line from the movie that Dean so admires "You die a hero or you live long enough to watch yourself become a villain." I'm fearing for sometime now that this is getting true for our show and here I've said it. It's so painful for me to write all this.

But despite everything I'm not gonna give up! Because that's not what our boys would do, it's not what Dean's gonna do. So I'm gonna watch it with new hope each episode. Because that's what life is, HOPE! And Supernatural is our life. And I wish you do the same.
# percysowner 2015-03-27 14:30
I wish I could help you regain your faith in the show Alice, but I really can't. Ever since Carver took over I have become more and more dissatisfied. For a long time I thought I would eventually leave because of the lack of interest in writing any sort of POV for Sam. This episode left me feeling that I might leave because the show is boring me to tears.

I do think it is salvageable IF the showrunner decides to take a good look at the history, put effort into reconciling the canon changes and works on remembering who Sam and Dean were and goes back to giving them back some of those characteristics , while looking at why others have changed.

I have not been a fan of Cas for many reasons and I think Crowley is being used horribly. I don't think they are necessarily lost causes. I think they could be worked into the fabric of the show and made relevant to the story of Sam and Dean, but it would take work and thought. My concern is that I don't think this show runner and this stable of writers CARE enough to evaluate where the story is, what is happening with the characters and then come up with a plan to integrate the stories and bring back the depth of characterizatio n and the excitement in stories that made me fall in love with this show.

I have never been one to say a show should have ended years ago. I figure if enough people watch the show then it deserves to continue. Supernatural is still one of the the top shows on the CW. So for that reason, I'm glad it's still on. I may be running out of interest in it however. After Paint It Black I started considering DVRing Supernatural and then waiting to find out what happens before I actually watch it. This is something new for me and this show. I'm baffled at how the show got so off course. I feel like the writers are simply making the motions so that they can keep a cash cow on the air, and are not putting any effort into the show. This really makes me sad.

As a response to some of the points you brought up in your review. I THINK that Olivette was saying that there are international chapters of the MOL and that only the American one was wiped out. This actually makes sense to me, so I would not be shocked if eventually we find other MOLs in the world of Supernatural. I was less impressed than you with Dean's confession. It's good to hear that he doesn't want to die, however, we have already been told that he CAN'T die. That if he does die, he just becomes a demon again. It was deeply annoying to me that back in 8.23 when Sam said he didn't know how to start, Dean managed to dredge up every single thing Sam had ever done wrong and Sam accepts this judgment. When Dean is put in a confessional, suddenly his only sin is not wanting to die and wanting more of a normal life. The type of life he has consistently told Sam that Sam must not live because wanting those things makes Sam selfish. He doesn't confess getting the Mark and seems far more interested in what he has missed out than the fact that he may well kill Sam. The disconnect bothered me. I want Dean to live, but he's NOT dying and he seems disinterested that he may be driven to kill Cas, his best friend, and Sam, his brother. The content of the confession fell flat for me although Jensen acted the hell out of it.
# Shante 2015-03-27 16:33
hi percy, i do dvr supernatural, ever since 10x11.
# st50 2015-03-27 16:43
Ditto. I had dvr'd the entire season. Sometimes I watch live. Mostly I don't.
For some reason, I bought the season 9 DVDs (habit, I guess). They remain untouched in their shrink wrap. I won't be buying season 10.

As an aside, I didn't really get anything from Dean's confession. Hasn't he had the same belief - that there is a god, but he just doesn't care anymore - since season 4?
# Ginger 2015-03-27 17:31
I didn't get anything but confusion out of Dean's confessional speech. I don't know what the purpose of it was, but I don't think it was to live a normal life. Rather, I think Dean has a need to talk to someone and was just thinking out loud to an anonymous person. That, of course, means nothing to me, either, so the scene didn't touch me at all.

The other thing that I think the writers had wrong is that Dean has no problem about believing in God. What Dean has now that he did not have before is the knowledge that there is a God. There is a big difference between the two and it has nothing to do with religion.

Either God or Michael commanded Dean be raised from Hell to complete his job. The show tells us it was Michael, but God is the one that deemed Dean was the Righteous Man.

God lifted Sam and Dean from the convent when Lucifer rose and popped them safely onto an airplane a mile up and away. Cas told Dean the angels didn’t do that.

God cleaned up Sam’s blood addiction at the same time.

God gave Dean his power when he killed the Whore, and it was God that Dean asked for help at the end of My Bloody Valentine.

Joshua told Dean that God knew about the situation but wasn’t getting involved.

Between my confusion as to what the confessional scene was supposed to mean and that belief question from the priest, I took that scene as another indication of how little the writers understand Dean and Dean's characterizatio n.
# Fazzie 2015-03-27 18:18
Sorry to hear you are so close to having enough. Completely understand why and it would have to be a Lemming and Buckner one to do it to you.

The take aways from this episode for me

- Sam can now speed read 16th century Italian, but not only that it isn't print but in the handwriting of a woman going mad and who chops her fingers off. Really, gone are the ays of pad and paper and Bobby going through old books not in contemporary English.
- Dean wants to talk but would rather do it to a brick wall than Sam or Cas. But after the last two seasons you can understand his logic, when anyone has talked before it turns into some big fight.
- Rowena likes to sucker punch people and is just missing a comedic villain mustache
- Rowena seemed completely unaware of the effects of the witch trials and taking of objects. She's Scottish. The reformation, the killing times, we even had a King who wrote a book on the demons. It isn't something to be proud of that getting Cromwell to invade your country was a good thing. But witch trials decreased in Scotland under his time.
- The MOL survived centuries all throughout the world but one attack on the US Chapter and the rest of the world wide organisation that fought many many dangers cried and went and hid. So guess it is USA, USA, USA!!
- Oh yeah women are bad. Like really bad. The MOL, mostly men as it seemed to have a problem with women, noting Dorothy's mentioning of things and the undercurrent that Joise had problems during her time. They went after the grand coven whose members we have seen, one mental manipulative pantomime villain, a child eater who stockholm syndromes her victims into helping her and a stuck up pompous bitch. Really can't blame the MOL if that is the caliber of the rank and file of the coven.

- Oh and nuns don't get screened to get into the order. Seriously Sr Matthis with the whole distract herself with a mission. What did she do have a broken heart see a ghost turn up on a convent door and then they just handed her a wimple by lunch time?
# SPNForever 2015-03-28 07:41
I have already posted once on this article but have more to say........Woul d someone kill Rowena already. She is the worst, most annoying, and completely worthless, from a plot perspective, charachter to ever be introduced into the show. I hate every scene that she is in and just listening to her whining is more than I can take. Crowley and Castiel are brought on as season regulars and their characters and roles have been so diminished that I don' even recongnize them anymore. Crowley is now a meek mama's boy hiding out in a warehouse that is suppossed to be hell but isn't scary enough to make it at a Halloween carnival. The demons are no longer scary and are utterly laughable and just dumb. Sam and Dean - who are they now? I'm so tired of the 3 years of Carver induced tearing the boys further and further apart and so changing their characters that I don't even connect with them anymore. Eugenie and Brad are the worst writers on the show and if Eugenie were not married to Robert Singer I doubt she would even be working on the show - please get rid of these two as "Paint it Black" is a perfect example that they do more to destroy the show than anything else. "Paint it Black" was the straw the broke the camel's back for me. I have been struggling with Season 10 - there have been a few good episodes but there is no structure to the season the arc seems barely present - episodes seem to ramble and are just presentations of the writers POV that don't tie together in a way that creates a season. Season 10 is completely disjointed - is the MOC important or is it a parlor trick? Did they turn Dean into a demon just for a "wow" effect and then didn't have a plan or know what to do with his character? It seems pretty obvious the writers wrote themselves into a corner and they keep getting deeper and deeper in this abyss where they have completely lost perspective on the show, canon, characters, flow, etc. Carver needs to go - I'm sorry but I am so depressed over this season I don't watch the show live anymore - I sometimes forget it was even on. I used to LIVE to watch SPN live. I watch it on DVR or HULU and after "Paint it Black" I'm not sure I even want to watch it at all anymore. Why is this happening? Is the show pushing ahead just to make money with litte or no regard to the fans who have supported the show for a decade? I feel like I am losing an old friend - like the show is dying. I'm beside myself and I am powerless to do anything but express my feelings on boards like this and hope something will change. After the mid-season roundtable where prominent bloggers gave feedback on the show which was less than positive to be kind I thought that might be a wake up call to Carver but apparently he didn't listen or didn't care. Carver's legacy at SPN may well be that he is the man that killed the show that no one thought would ever die.
# Shante 2015-03-28 08:36
hi there, i agree with everything, im here out of loyalty, my heart will stay at the beginning of season 10 as there is where s10 started off good. after that, i pretend the rest of the eps are just fillers. the best i could hope for and wish is that there is big news this summer saying Jeremy Carver has stepped down, new showruner, new writers, etc* for season 11
# E 2015-03-28 07:43
I agree with those who were not moved in any way by Dean's confession. Sorry Alice, but it was not a saving grace in this episode for me, it was another aspect that made zero sense either dramatically or character wise and for me ended up making Dean look first like a misogynist and second like a fool who doesn't actually know what a confessional is for. Jensen is a fine, fine actor, but even his chops couldn't save that slog-fest of a scene for me. To me he seemed very uncomfortable and stiff in that scene, like he knew that the writing was terrible even as he tried desperately to sell the schlock he was being forced to say; IMO Jensen did not believe in that scene and neither did I.

First Dean does his "arrogant philanderer" act to tempt the ghost. I know what he was doing there, and I get it, but did the writing have to make him look so completely like a jerk? It's almost like he was bragging rather than confessing… cause, you know, all good looking guys who cheat actually want acknowledgement of how awesome they are rather than to be forgiven for a sin. I know that the whole scenario was fabricated, but it's like the writers were trying to have it both ways with Dean: "lets make him really awful about being unfaithful to make sure the ghost is tempted, but he's still sooo cute and endearing too though isn't he?" Yeah.. not so much. So once that embarrassing part was over, then Dean decides to "get real" with the priest and launched into "effecting, heart wrenching speech number 117 of this season." But does Dean actually discuss his sins? Nope. Does Dean (or the writers) even know what the word sin means or have any of them ever been to confession? I'd have to say no, because that is NOT how a confession works. A regret is not a sin, writers… a regret is something you wish you HAD done, a sin is something you wish you HADN'T…. Duh. Why could't the writers have actually had Dean discuss the things that he should actually feel sorry about? Like being dumb and self destructive enough to take on an ancient evil that has condemned him to most likely becoming the scourge of the earth and the very thing he's fought his whole life to save others from? How about the betrayal and assault on his most beloved brother by forcing an angel on him? Or almost killing him with a hammer? How about mind wiping his once girlfriend and her son? Dean has done many things in his past that he might want absolution for, but being afraid to die and lamenting not having done something more "normal" with his life aint it. And Dean didn't have to talk specifics... how about "There are people in my life I've hurt… my brother, I betrayed him….my girlfriend and her son" How about the old tried and true "I've made some bad decisions and I think maybe I've damned myself".. This show used to be really good at having the boys talk about their issues in generic subtext letting us in on the larger issues but still keeping the nature of their lives under wraps. But no, all we get from Dean is a weak, "I really want to live!" moment? It was just plain bad. These are not sins..and there was zero reason that he couldn't have said any of what he said in the confessional to Sam instead.

And furthermore it galls me to no end that the show repeatedly brings up Sam's transgressions, his sins over and over and over again in multiple episodes in various ways, by many, many other people (Dean, Cas, Bobby, Meg, Garth just since season 8) but when the writers themselves actually create the scenario designed to visit some of Dean's less than stellar moments they can't even detail any of Dean's actual sins, his actual wrongs? Why do the writers continue to cop out so badly every single time with Dean? Because he's Saint Dean and the shows take on him is that the worst things he's done is regret not doing "more" with is life. Well, I've got a great idea Dean, why don't you ask for forgiveness for being a hypocrite? For wishing for normal for yourself, and then denying your brother the same?
# AlyCat22 2015-03-28 10:19
Um maybe because it wasn't necessary for the plot?
# E 2015-03-28 10:43
Nothing he said in the entire confession was necessary for the plot or anything we didn't already know. The only plot relevant part of Dean's confession was the misogynist jerk part. They could have left the rest out. But it was the writers themselves who set it up, created the opportunity and then refused to follow through.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-28 10:26
Yes, yes, yes! about everything. The writers set up a situation where for the first time in over a year Dean was maybe going to think about someone other than himself. There's a laundry list of things he could've confessed that would have made sense and been consistent with the Dean who used to feel guilty about everything, even for things that weren't his fault. But new, completely self-involved Dean is only sad that ... that what? it's still not clear to me what exactly he's so sad about, other than that it involves only him and missed opportunities in his life. The Dean from pre-season10 would be REELING from the prospect of killing Cas and Sam. It would be consuming all of his thoughts and all of his energy would be going into avoiding that outcome. That is why I feel that Dean just isn't Dean anymore. His abject self-pity and lack of concern for anyone other than himself are completely OOC for Dean. Sure, he's had bouts of those feelings over the years, as has Sam. But this particular pity party is seemingly endless. Not one thing about that confession moved me.
# E 2015-03-28 10:44
Agreed! Where is loyal, caring Dean? He's missed.
# Ginger 2015-03-28 19:55
I don't usually comment on posts that talk about the 'other character,' but I wanted to say that this fits with Alice's comments about the lack of story, characterizatio n, and character motivations. I have no idea what the confessional speech was supposed to mean, because there has been zero set-up or insight into Dean's feelings. I am assuming Dean needs to talk to someone and that someone is not Sam.

Dean has never been self-pitying. He has always wanted the people he loves around him, and he has never, in the history of the show, given up what he knew to be right. He has never pretended that the choices he has made led him to where he is today, and he has always accepted the consequences of the choices he made. Until this season, Dean has always managed to put the pain aside and find one way to put one foot in front of the other to get the job done. I don't understand this self-pitying territory he is treading into, not the Ostrich Dean.

It would have been much more meaningful to the story and to the season as a whole if Dean, in the confessional speech, came to realize that he needed to talk to someone, but that someone could not be Sam and the why for that. It would have been much more meaningful to Sam's character and story if he had somehow come to realize that the brother's relationship had changed and to go on with the season to explore why of that (at least as an interesting sub-text or C-plot story).

I think, too, another reason for the confusion of not only this season, but of the whole story for the Winchester season, is that no foundation is being set up or has been set up for anything. The season is almost done, and I doubt that one viewer can explain what the MoC is doing to Dean, how killing Cain affected him, what he thinks about Cain's prophesy, or anything else. All Sam is doing is worrying, but what is he worrying about? How is Dean acting differently, other than having given up? We are getting a sketch of a story, heavily interspersed with switching back and forth with other stories in every episode. We are getting sketches of the Winchesters in episodes that are nothing more than weekly skits starring nobody characters.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-28 20:25
Where are those brothers that I love? You're right that they've been missing in action all year. It amazes me that the Dean fans aren't just as unhappy as the Sam fans. Sure, he is getting the bulk of the screen time and dialogue, but he sure isn't the Dean that I love. They've actually managed to make him boring and kind of unpleasantly self-centered, to the extent that we know what he's thinking and feeling. What a shame.
# Ginger 2015-03-28 22:06
I can assure you that this Dean fan is hot happy, nor are the Dean fans I communicate with. I don't believe he has gotten any more or less screen time than Sam, but the problem is that neither of them are getting screen time. When the Winchesters are in an episode as stage furniture, the B-plot, or make cameo appearances, their story and characters cannot be explored. What you gt is what we have -- things are just plopped in without any build-up or foundation for it.

I do't know what Dean is thinking or feeling. He wants to hunt until he can't hunt anymore. Period. Why? He thinks he is going to die and is resigned to that. How and why? He isn't drinking, he's sleeping, he looks at women, he's eating, he isn't scratching at his tattoo, and he is maintaining complete self-control... so what's the problem? What is Sam worrying about? How is Dean in trouble? How is Dean feeling? I have no clue at all. I have no clue what story is being told about the Winchesters. They were supposed to face their demons. What demon is Dean facing? His darkness? He isn't being dark or moody or brooding. Why is Sam worried about Dean? There are no physical symptoms. There's no losing his temper?. There's very little growling. He wants to hunt and he's finding cases using his gut feeling. How is that different?

I do agree that both Winchesters are MIA, but my big worry is that this season is going to permanently change both Winchesters into completely different characters than who they were, because of the indifference and disinterest of the writers to tell a Winchester story. As I see it, what little we are seeing of the real Sam and Dean this season is solely what the actors are bringing to the written page and, IMO, Dean is so different, even JA is having trouble finding those instances where Dean can poke his personality out.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-28 22:57
I was very interested to hear your perspective as a Dean fan. I haven't seen very many complaints from Dean fans about how his character is being portrayed. I guess I assumed most Dean fans were happy that he's getting a myth arc story (that seems to be going on forever). But I feel as distressed as you that the brothers lately bear so little resemblance to the brothers from the first 7-8 seasons. Despite Sam's incessant worrying about Dean, they don't seem to really care about each other, or enjoy each other's company, the way they used to. That is the heart of the show to me and the problem that really needs to be remedied- hopefully soon.
# Ginger 2015-03-29 01:04
From what I have read, most viewers are just happy the brothers are together and not at each other's throats; that they are talking to each other. What I see is the brothers are together and they have their brother moments in the Impala, but they aren't saying anything of importance to each other. Not one issue between them, and not one personal issue of either character, has been resolved. Last season, Sam disowned Dean and dismissed his very life, while Dean thought he was poison to everyone around him. Sam said, "I lied," and Dean said, "I know," and that was the resolution that led Sam to not give up on finding Dean. Dean, as a demon, tried to hurt Sam with half truths; and as almost human, tried to kill him. I don't know where they stand with each other now. A marriage of convenience, maybe? Back to the unbreakable brother bond? That's kind of mythical at this point and without the show providing some clues, it is left up to each viewer to fill in the blanks as they wish. My personal opinion is in agreement with yours -- they love each other, but I don't think they particularly like each other.

As I said, most everything I see is that there seems to be a general consensus of the season being alright because the brothers are together. The Dean fans are still hanging onto the hope that the Demon Dean/MoC story will be fulfilled. The long-term loyal fans who know and fully understood Eric Kripke's conceptual marriage of ghosthunting and family; the underlying themes of humanity - specifically the human ability to love and that family love is able to overcome any other kind of power, was the thing that drew people into the series. It was the family dynamic between the brothers that was being tested by a background story of intrigue and danger (that intrigue being a demon was manipulating all of them).

In those first three seasons (despite Kripke having plot holes and logic fails) complex and compelling characterizatio n was constantly being laid out, so those plot holes and inconsistencies were easily forgivable. Aside from the fact that the two brothers represented two aspects of society; the instinctive and moral and the intellectual and ethical, the characters themselves were learning in every single episode -- their views were forced to change, their ideas about themselves were forced to undergo reflection and revision, and it was that progressive journey that the two of them were on together that brought both characters to life and created in the viewers' minds the unbreakable 'brother bond.'

I don't understand how any writer at the TV network level of their profession could fail to see any of that and, instead, write what is being put out today. They are not even giving any thought to characterizatio n or character motivation. The Winchesters are cardboard cutouts of the original characters and are presented however the plot requires them to be presented.

That is why I believe everyone connected to the show has lost interest in it (including the J2s), and the writers certainly don't care about telling a good story, about staying true to characterizatio n and canon, and; certainly, if they have no respect for the show and no respect for their craft, they certainly cannot give respect to the viewers who kept the show on the air and invested a decade of time and money into it. I will caveat that very harsh thought with the fact I think the J2s are both putting their best efforts into their performances... it's just that they want to have their cake and to eat it too and that is hurting the show, because those two are the show. My opinion only, of course.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-29 10:07
Hah, when you said that most viewers are just happy that "the brothers are together and not at each other's throats, that they are talking," it reminded me of the French Mistake: "hey, at least we're talking." You're right though; they're talking, but they're sure not saying anything important or revealing to each other.
# E 2015-03-29 21:54
I don't know that I agree that there has been zero set up or insight into Dean's feelings. There has been zero set up and insight into Sam's feelings that's for sure. But it seems to me though that with Dean its more a matter of over insight and lack of consistency than lack of insight. Every other week we are getting some kind of monologue that details Dean's feelings. It's happened so often this season it's coming across like a part of the current writing formula - Dean must have emotionally effecting monologue in each episode. The problem for me with this is, first it's over exposure. I'm tired of hearing about Dean endlessly, especially when he doesn't really have much to say thats new each week and especially in light of the fact that Sam's motivations remain largely unvoiced. Which brings me to problem no 2, redundancy. How many times now has Dean expressed that he's hopeless in these monologues? How many times has he told us that he's going to just keep going on until he can't. How many times has he told Sam to drop it? Many times, too many times. Except for those times when he completely and inexplicably changes his tune, which brings me to the third problem with Dean's characterizatio n which is inconstancy. Despite the fact that we've heard what Dean's been thinking in nearly every single episode this season I still don't have a clear idea with what is going on inside his head. How can a character with such a boat load of insight and intense focus still be so completely cryptic and obscure? Because the writers don't know what they are doing with him, and they don't know where they are going with the story is my guess. Does Dean remember that he brought this on himself? Does he remember that he can't die? Does he understand that he will become a demon again if he IS killed? Does he care at all that he's destined to kill his brother and his best friend? Why doesn't he want Sam to look for a cure? His entire POV doesn't make any sense to me at all and seems to change week to week depending on who's writing the episode. That's why his confession didn't work for me; it didn't' clarify what he's thinking or why, it just brought in another aspect that I couldn't quantify.
# E 2015-03-28 08:06
Hi Alice.. Thank you for this review. It's completely honest, which I appreciate. I did wonder while watching this crapfest of an episode if this would end up being your final straw. I could certainly see why if it is. I too am not happy and haven't been since Carver took over. When I think back to how ecstatic I was when it was announced that he'd be taking the helm… how I thought he was more like Kripke, and a "master plotter" as everyone was saying, that the show would be pulled up from the doldrums it had sunk into after season 7 and return to the riveting, character driven, well planned out and exciting show it had been in the first five seasons. I bought into Carver's "three year arc" declaration hook, line and sinker. Boy, was I mistaken or maybe it was more like duped. Carver doesn't care… and he doesn't have a plan, that much is abundantly clear. He's basically just making sure that the scripts are on time and on budget, letting the writers come up with their own plots, not checking to make sure those plots are relevant or down right contradictory, he's allowing them to pander to the audience, and insert themselves into the drama to stroke their egos and live out their childhood fantasies. He's not plotting the seasons or keeping the content consistent or within canon or established character traits. He's an overpaid secretary, shunting paper too and fro. It's horribly depressing.

I'll tell you why I hang on and why I continue to watch though…it's for this site. Even with an episode as deplorably bad as Paint it Black (and I keep calling it Back in Black, that shows how bad it is, I can't even get the title right), the highlight of my week is coming here to discuss it with all of my WFB friends. This site means more to me than the show at the moment. And the deterioration of the show makes me fear that you'll finally decide you've had it and then poof, this site will be gone. For me the closing of this site would be as tough to take at the end of the show. So, I can understand your frustration, but please know that if for no other reason than the continuation of WFB, your continued dedication and hard work in keeping the site going despite your disillusionment with the show is so, SO worth it.
Barbara Maake
# Barbara Maake 2015-03-28 10:41
Again, I agree with everything you said. I'm a relative newcomer to the site but I am honestly becoming almost as addicted to the WFB as I am (however tenuously now) to SPN. Reading all of the reviews is often a highlight of my day (shh! don't tell my kids!). The writers and posters on this site are intelligent, creative and pretty damn funny and I always get at least one good laugh a day from what I read here. The analysis of the show is head and shoulders above what I see on other sites. I used to go to at least a dozen or so sites for reviews of each episode, now I don't bother going anywhere but here. The perspectives of the writers are so unique and insightful that I love reading them all, whether I agree with them or not. Nightsky even has me wondering if this ep wasn't quite as horrid as I thought. I've dreaded the thought of SPN ending because I love the brothers far too much for any rational adult; but now I dread almost as much the thought of no WFB. So PLEASE hang in there Alice. At least give it one more season.
# Alice 2015-03-30 19:38
You don't need to worry E. If I get fed up with the show and stop watching, this site doesn't end. We're here for the long haul. We've got lots of dedicated writers, and Nightsky has been doing an amazing job running the day to day operations while I handle all the admin stuff. I'll always be the admin. I don't have to watch the show to do most of the technical stuff I do for this site. Even when the show ends (and yes it will someday!) this site will stay up. We have way too impressive an archive for me to shut it down.

I just feel honored that all this time later the site can be a good place for people to go and discuss Supernatural. That means a lot to me. It means that whatever original vision I had has payed off!
# E 2015-03-31 06:56
Well that's a relief. Although I'd miss your reviews. As a fellow Sam fan I look forward to your take and your Sam insight.
# Sarah 2015-03-29 00:25
I don't think I was quite as disappointed as you, Alice. The last couple of episodes have felt like 5s or 6s out of 10- not 3s. But I do agree: this isn't the show I gush about to my friends. This isn't the show I love.

But I won't stop watching. And, even if this show consecutively delivers terrible episodes, I won't stop watching. Why? Because I've fallen in love with the characters.

Eoin Colfer, the author of the Artemis Fowls series, once said that there are Character Writers and Plot Writers. He's a Character Writer. Someone like JRR Tolkein is a Plot Writer. For me, when it comes to stories, I'm a character reader/viewer. When I hear a story I like, it's often because I love the characters.

And I really, really like the characters on Supernatural. I love Sam and Dean, I love Cass and I loved Abbadon and Caine and Lucifer and most of the villains. I might be one of the few who like Rowena. And I also believe, that no matter how bad the plots get, the characters will be the same. I trust the actors enough to keep that right, and for the most part, I think they have. Yes, there are sone minor characterizatio n points that frustrate me. Even larger ones: it took me years to understand why Dean wiped Lisa and Ben's memories and why Sam didn't look for Dean when he went to Purgatory.

But there are some shows- the Vampire Diaries, for instance- who repeatedly violate their own characterizatio n. Who corrupt their own characters' personalities for the sake of the plot. To me, Supernatural doesn't do that. So, because I care about the characters and because I trust that the characters are going to be consistent, I'll keep watching.

As for the plot, I agree, it's not of the caliber that I associate with Supernatural. To me, the show was best in Seasons 4 and 5: when Sam and Dean were the underdogs, facing incredible challenges by a seemingly all-powerful yet fatally flawed group of supernatural creatures. Remember when demons were hard to kill? Remember when angels were incredibly powerful? They crippled Bobby! They killed Pamela! Meg killed Jo and Ellen! And that was all in one season!

We need villains like that again. We need Sam ad Dean to be involver in arc that has real stakes again. I don't know what those are. I know that the Leviathans were supposed to creatures that could out-evil the angels, and I don't believe they worked, but I want something like that. I want a group of villains who have a plan and allies to make them happen. I want them to recognize all of the Winchesters' skills and achievements and not be intimidated. Right now, the only character who fits that bill is Death, or maybe Chuck, but I think it's up to the writers to developed more characters like that. I admit, that's a tall order. But, when it comes to Supernatural, I have faith.
# E 2015-03-29 22:17
But there are some shows- the Vampire Diaries, for instance- who repeatedly violate their own characterizatio n. Who corrupt their own characters' personalities for the sake of the plot. To me, Supernatural doesn't do that.
It's funny you should say that… for me, the Sam not looking for Dean idiocy was exactly that. There was absolutely nothing in Sam's previous characterizatio n that supported him not looking for Dean, and episodes like Mystery Spot directly contradict the notion that Sam wouldn't look for Dean. So for me it became a violation of Sam's character simply to service the plot. Carver wanted to make sure Dean was angry enough at Sam for an entire season to drive him into the suicidal state he was in in Sacrifice so that they could set up the Angel Possession story line, which in turn set up the MoC story. The entire basis for the past three season has been plot driven and it hinged on making sure Sam did something so completely un-Sam like that the writers themselves couldn't even explain it.
# SueB 2015-03-29 23:02
I thought the episode was definitely setting up the back end of the season. I really liked Dean's confession scene and it gives me hope for him -- even when he's feeling hopeless. I'm very worried about Dean's clear physical pain. I presume this means the Mark is taking it's toll. I thought the Italian nun backstory was really cheesy. I liked sassy nun and the sympathetic priest. I am also liking how openly hostile Rowena is with Crowley, it feels more honest. I have no idea what Crowley's plans are but I think there's much more going on here than we've seen.

I appreciate your frankness and am providing feedback because you've asked for it.

First, I need to say that the following really bothered me:
"This episode was an insult to loyal fans and what’s worse is any sense of outrage will go unnoticed. Once upon a time the writers used to care. Kripke used to care. The producers used to care. Jared and Jensen used to care. Now the battle is just getting through it all. I think the writers are tired and burned out, and it’s becoming very obvious that a 23 episode season is too taxing for this bunch."

I think it's fair to say you felt insulted by the episode but to suggest all "loyal" fans are insulted bothers me. If I'm not insulted, does that mean I'm not a loyal fan? I'm sure that's not what you meant because you are a much nicer person than that. I would just ask that when you make these strong statements, you try to avoid the appearance of 'opinions as facts'. I also think the implication that J2 and the writers don't care is insulting to them. By saying they "used to care", it's pretty much saying they do not care now. J2, in particular, put in long hours and IMO give their best for every scene. Sometimes the writing is bad IMO, but I've personally never felt like the actors don't care. Their enthusiasm in interviews and at conventions is infectious. Same with the writers. Robbie Thompson and Bobo Berens in particular will go on at length about their enthusiasm for everything in the show.

I guess my bottom line is this: if it's gotten to the point that you think the writers and actors are insulting you and don't care, I think you need to step away from the show. It seems toxic for you. That's not something to spend hours and hours each day working on. You've given an honest expression of what you are experiencing. And that's fair. I just think there's no recovery watching week to week and loathing that you have to watch the show and review it. Perhaps you could DVR the rest of the season, binge watch it after taking a break, and then decide where you are for S11. No show is worth this kind of aggravation, no matter how much time you've put into it.

Good luck in whatever course you pursue.
# SPNForever 2015-03-31 11:14
SueB - Wow, I can't recall a more mean-spirited post to a review. Many, if not the majority, of those who have commented on Alice's "opinion" and review agree with her and even when Alice has taken "heat" for her well-placed criticism she (Alice) responded respectfully and with grace. I won't quoute your post or reply to it line by line or tit for tat because I am too offended to read it again or expose myself to such a personal negative attack. You make your argumet and case and I can see your point of view, for sure. I just don't understand the last paragraph and how much anger there was in those few sentences. I don't know what else to say but this season of SPN is bringing out a lot of negativity. It's a shame.
# SueB 2015-04-01 18:45
Wow. That really wasn't my intent. *reads last paragraph*. No seriously, it was not my intent to be remotely mean-spirited. Alice seems like she's really struglling and I was honest-to-God offering what I thought was a viable solution. Binge watching makes the warts and pimples seem less important IMO.

I certainly did not intend to be mean-spirited. I don't know what to say except that apparently I do a shitty job of offering constructive criticism. I felt you were unfair to the actors/crew and those of us who are not 10 year viewers. But I didn't mean it as a personal attack. Reading it again, I can certainly see how my criticism comes across as personal but it wasn't my intent. And my suggestion for binge-viewing was because you indicated you didn't know how to proceed. I'm appreciative of what you do and was trying to be helpful. Apparently it was an Epic!Fail.

My sincere apologies.