WEDNESDAY’S WATCHING

Supernatural 11. 23 “Alpha and Omega”
Writer: Andrew Dabb
Director: Phil Sgriccia
Director of Photography C.S.C: Serge Ladouceur
Airdate: 25.05.2016

BY WEDNESDAY

Derailed Finales?
Dog’s Breakfast ? The Bomb and the Lazy Shag.
Ah, “You had your reasons.”
 Gems, crystals, and petals, and the Light at the End of the Tunnel.

WHAT DID I WATCH?

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DERAILED


Somewhere, during the Season, the main arc was derailed. We heard the train whistles of alarm but never connected the dots. Behind the scenes, things were going down! Robert Singer started the season by relinquishing some responsibility. Jeremy Carver resigned, to work on the new series, “Frequency.” Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb became the new showrunners. This was followed by Robbie Thompson leaving to work on projects…perhaps his comic, Silk. Jenny Klein also is moving on to write for Marvel's Jessica Jones

Amara, the Darkness, was the big bad. A female entity who was a barren and destructive force. (The opposite of what our ancient Goddesses were.) God appeared wearing the meat suit of Chuck Shurley. God was the male force of creation and light. (Again, the opposite of our ancient Male Gods were.) Chuck was a Meta voice for the writers, in particular for Robbie Thompson and Jeremy Carver. “Don’t Call Me Shurley” was a farewell script. All the imagery of the season, feminine and fertility images; and the themes of family dysfunction and forgiveness, mostly with siblings, were building to a climatic conclusion where the Alpha Male Power faced off with the Omega Female Power.

A theory about the End:

The season’s finale was to be written by showrunner Jeremy Carver. No doubt, Carver and the writers had an idea for the finale script, or a large portion of it. The writers had to know where they were heading. The final script slot was turned over to new showrunner, Mr. Dabb, who wrote his own finale. Mr. Dabb did NOT use the old “Carver finale concept.” Perhaps it was too dark, or maybe the ending was too much of an “end of the series” Kripke hole.

The “Carver finale,” or the original end goal of the season that the writers were working towards, no doubt, united unlikely allies, abused Amara, and ended with sun dying in the corner of the sky. The writers would have been hooped all hiatus with only one plausible outcome: have God and Amara kiss and make-up. But, who would have liked that for a season opener after waiting all summer for a resolution? Probably none of us. Best to get the only option and the lame ending out of the way and have a fresh start for season 12.  



“DOG’S BREAKFAST.”

Mr. Dabb chose to write in the direction he wanted to pursue in Season 12, but the Season 11 arc NEEDED and DESERVED a conclusion. The limp, much trodden on “Carver finale,” or the concept for it, was turned over to Mr. Berens. Although there is evidence the episode, “We Happy Few” contained remnants of “Carver’s finale,” it lacked the dark, ugly, underbelly of Carver’s season opener. Mr. Berens tried to reconcile Carver’s dark ending and possible pit of looming “end of the world” darkness with Mr. Dabb’s vision of a new future for Supernatural.


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Mr. Berens, author of “The Vessel,” is an amazing writer, but “We Happy Few” ended up a “Dog’s Breakfast.” In hindsight, we can see that Mr. Berens tried to pay homage to previous episodes in his script.


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No question, we got two finales this season.

If you look carefully at Mr. Dabb’s finale, you will see that he, too, tried to wrap up the season by paying homage to the Season’s episodes, provided finality to the Chuck and Amara arc, and embraced a bright new future.

THE SCRIPT

“ALPHA AND OMEGA”

Imma leave this here:

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“The Lazy Shag”

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The resolution of the excellent Season 11 was secondary to the setup for Season 12.

Some key character arcs dangled.

Where was the conversation between God and Castiel? Castiel deserved some sort of recognition for his love and steadfast loyalty to humanity. Sam deserved more of a conversation with God other than, “I'm gonna go get you some water.”  Dean and Cas had a catch up forgiveness Brother bonding moment.


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(Is it just me, or does that sound like a message to a certain Ship?)
 
But, the other characters hovered in the background with little interaction.
The cast seemed to be adding their own actions and dialogue.

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Billie delayed and milked her entrance for all it was worth.

Good for her. She flirted back with Crowley.

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Why were some of the best moments without dialogue?

 “The Bomb”

Sam rallies everyone to keep fighting. Because of his refusal to give up, they come up with the solution of the “Soul Bomb.”
The episode is interrupted with an excursion to Waverly Hills Sanatorium, a notoriously haunted place, for Sam and Dean to collect souls.
A great idea for a Monster of the Week episode was wasted here.
Dean (Ackles) seemed snarkily unimpressed with this turn of events mimicking Rowena with a leprechaun (adlib?) voice,
“It's a Book of the Damned spell, boys. Take this wee crystal. It'll suck up all the blimey ghosts. Just say the magic word.”
(Which was ….Haggis!)

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What were we doing here? Some fans loved this scene because it was “old school” and the FX were great.
However, it did not make a whole lot of sense. It was like watching a pitch for a video game for twelve year olds.
Dean (Ackles) hollered into the empty halls and delivered this line, with what sounded like another adlib,

“Let's give the magic word a shot, BECAUSE WE'RE SIX.”

It especially did not make sense when Billie the reaper appeared to remind everyone that she was a soul collector.
Oh, ya. While some of the audience might have forgotten this detail, Mr. Dabb certainly didn’t forget,
so why did we waste time going to the Sanatorium in the first place,
especially when so many of the characters’ arcs dangled unfinished?

“Say What Now?” Why didn’t Sam know the magic word?

But, the scene DID inject colourful action, and entertaining moments into an otherwise slow script and it did pay homage to previous episodes.

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Mr. Dabb had the time to properly wrap up Season 11.
He elected instead to waste at least 4 minutes introducing us to LADY ANTONIA BEVELL.

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The end shot of Toni, blood dripping from her hand, and perhaps an MOL insignia on her jacket, or gun, would have been enough of a set up.
(4 minutes plus 18 minutes of advertising WAS BEYOND frustrating. Deep resentment.)

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Precious moments which could have been used to properly sum up an excellent season were wasted on this trivia.
If this was an effort to pander to the fans across the pond they might try to let go of some stereotypes.
(The cheap London shot, the tea, and the “Haggis” were just bloody awful.)

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Still, Mr. Dabb too, had his reasons.
He, like the rest of us, did not want to spend the summer wondering about the Darkness and God and the MOC. 
He stepped it forward and put the Darkness behind us. New arcs. New season. Light.


THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL

The graveyard scene was emotive.

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Amara (Emily Swallow) drew our pity with her inability to touch without destroying the beauty around her.

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She hid her hands drawing our sympathy.

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The pigeon lady’s dialogue was perhaps better suited to a more familiar character, and many had the necessary experiences to deliver it.
(Rowena, Sam, Cas)
However, Amara’s tearful reaction and ‘seeing the light’ moment were engaging. 

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Dean’s revenge speech which harkened back to “Chitters” was beautifully delivered by a compassionate Dean.
“Yeah, that's revenge. It'll get you out of bed in the morning, and when you get it, it feels great...
for about five minutes. I've been there.

Me and Sam, we have had our fair share of fights, more than our share, but no matter how bad it got,
we always made it right because we're family.

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Amara’s and Chuck’s (Rob Benedict) forgiveness scene completely captured a moment of genuine resolution.
This dreaded, predictable scene, and the only way out of this plot mess, was portrayed in a surprisingly convincing and heart felt way.

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I loved the two surprise endings. Sam is shot! (Although we all know it won’t be fatal.)
Finally, we’ll learn more about the MOL, a vast and cavernous unexplored world.
And, maybe, a possible romance for Sam? Amara with her primitive thinking gave Dean a gift to fill the need in his heart.
What is dead should stay dead. But, Mom looked very much alive.

This could be fun!

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CINEMATOGRAPHY

The cast and crew slaved to give you their best. Everyone should factor this into their ratings.
It was a phenomenal effort.


MOTIFS & FORESHADOWING

The songs, “Carry on My Wayward SON” by Kansas and "Don't Let the SUN Catch You Crying"
by Gerry and the Pacemakers actually endorsed the motif.

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HANDS

Hands were used to convey emotion, and close-ups highlighted important plot points.
Rowena’s hand foreshadows events to come…

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SYMBOLS

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PERSPECTIVES/ANGLES

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High Angle Perspective of the Gods

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LOW ANGLES

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This racking shot from close up to a hallway dancing with paper ghosts.

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TRANSITIONS

Dissolve Dean/Sun

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Slow Rack focus

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Match Cut Transition

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SET/PROPS AND NODS TO PAST EPISODES

The amazing “Power” set with hand painted murals designed for Carver’s finale,
complete with a phallic spear and a yoni wound, in “We Happy Few ” gave way to Flowers.
(All that remained of the Season’s fertility/ feminine imagery
That and few empty peanut shells.)
The sets and props worked hard to pay homage to previous episodes as a “LOOK BACK.”

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Did you get other allusions or NODS to previous episodes in Season 11?

LOCATION


Mary’s grave side served as a foreshadowing for the appearance of Mary.
Petals rained like tears on everyone and Mary’s Grave.

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(The first time I saw this shot, I thought I was looking between Dean’s legs.
I know I’m awful! Sorry/Not sorry)


SFX /VFX

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BROTHERS IN SYNC

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EYE CANDY BABY!

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ALL THE FEELS

TEARS

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HUGS

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Some beautiful edits/artwork already circulating:

Holding Hands

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KISS


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BECHDEL TEST

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2 PASSES IN ONE EPISODE!!

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Goodbye Old Supernatural

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Hello, New Era of Supernatural!


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BEST PERFORMANCE

The cast drove this episode.
The fandom relished the performances of Rob Benedict (Chuck) and Lisa Berry (Death).

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And, Yay! Cas is back!

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Show stealing Crowley

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Rowena flirted, cooked up some magic, and felt a wee bit sorry for Dean. And, always a Laugh.

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(Love the Dean and Cas reactions.)


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Some seriously heartrending moments from Jared Padalecki (Sam).

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Emily Swallow’s tragic portrayal of Amara won us over.

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Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) truly laboured in this finale.

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FROM THE REAR VIEW

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RATING: Three WTF Pigeons out of Five

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QUESTIONS FOR READERS’ COMMENTS
50/50 CHALLENGE
50% NEGATIVE/ 50% POSITIVE
1. VENT: Share a “Say What Now?” question/moment arising from this episode.
2. PRAISE: Share a “Nice Touch” in the script or a “Nod to another episode.”